Rogue-lite Flight Sims

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I want flight simulators like DCS, IL-2, War Thunder, and Microsoft Flight Simulator to have a Rogue-lite game mode.

Rogue-lites are a subgenre of roguelikes with most of the the same game design philosophies and progression elements that persist after failure, so players feels they are progressing despite setbacks.

Flight sims take a lot of time that many who love them don’t have. These fans of the genre would be delighted to jump in the cockpit and play for a quick session, say, 30 minutes to an hour, with progress tracked so we can see how many parts of our airplane are usually missing after we land.

A rogue-lite game mode in a flight sim could be to take off with a basic airplane, fly to a random waypoint on a map, and land to deliver a letter, while arbitrary enemies try to stop you.

The gameplay loop in a rogue-lite game mode, focussed on delivery something to an objective, could be something like:

  1. Random airbase and random delivery point (another airbase, road, or flat area) are chosen by the computer on the map map.
  2. Player starts with an early plane with a basic loadout. As the player completes missions, more planes and weapon loadouts are unlocked and available as a choice from the beginning.
  3. Player needs to take off, fly to delivery point, and land.
  4. Random enemy planes and/or anti-aircraft guns are placed between player and target, and sometimes on and around target delivery field itself.
  5. The more damage player takes, the less points are gained upon mission completion. The number of victories over enemies a player has is tracked, as are kill-streaks, which are displayed on the screen during the mission. And so on.

Progress and statistics would be tracked, such as consecutive (randomized) mission runs without dying, amount of letters delivered, enemy aircraft and ground targets destroyed, weapons and tech tree upgrades, cosmetics like nose-art unlocked, et cetera.

Video games like Dead Cells and Noita have good examples of these gameplay mechanics.

Satisfying sound effects and a 3D “kill cam” on the top of the screen like in War Thunder would be fun, and a fast loading speed of the 2D or 3D world would be important. Speaking of War Thunder, it is quite close to a rogue-lite sim, but I wish I could play against AI for progress unlocks and not always against other players.

A high-fidelity rogue-lite flight sim would do what Metal Gear Solid 5 does with the third-person stealth shooter: Balance a fictional alternate reality and a good-enough physics simulation that has gameplay elements like character development, points, unlocks, and humor.

The big flight sims listed at the beginning already have most of the elements required for a rogue-lite game mode. I hope at least one of the flight sim studios or members of their community make it real, and I’m willing to help make it so.

Do you know of a rogue-lite flight simulator that already exists, or have ideas about how it could be implemented in one of the above sims? Please let me know, or come discuss on Reddit or in my stream chat!

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