Space Trading Simulators & Space Combat Simulators - Dead Genres?
When one thinks about playing space games, one usually gravitates to something popular like a Star Trek game or the likes. The scope of such games is a little larger than that as there are such things as space trading simulators and space combat simulators as well!
Most people categorize space trading simulators along with their counterpart space combat simulators as " pseudo space flight simulators".
Not so long ago space flight simulators and space flight games were very much in vogue and very popular amongst game players. The same cannot be said for today as since games have emerged into the new millennium, these are now considered to be a dead genre.
That said, open-source communities and enthusiasts have still managed to pull off some modern titles in action as can be seen from the free Orbiter Spaceflight simulator. Even in 2011 the aerospace community acknowledged the Kerbal Space Program which was commercially released and also notably rather well received.
True, some of these games in this genre have an aim to recreate a realistic rendition of a space flight, hey that was what the big deal was all about in the first place when they first came on the scene. These involve working out calculations of orbits within a more encompassing physics simulation, than that of pseudo space flight simulators.
As they say it is always different strokes for different folks. Others purely wish to focus and put their attention on gameplay as opposed to the simulation of space flight, along with its multitude of different facets. The actual realism of these latter games is somewhat limited to what the designers of the game deems to be in accordance with appropriate gameplay, rather than shifting the spotlight on to the realism of transporting the spacecraft through space.
Some of these "flight models" are indeed very cleverly created using a physics system that specifically applies and takes advantage of the principles taught in Newtonian physics. This is all very well, however most of these space trading simulators are usually limited when manoeuvring the craft around its immediate environment. They do not pay any attention to the orbital calculations that would turn this type of game into a simulator. But then who can have everything?