Flight Sim Toolkit

Moby ID: 19208
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Description official description

Flight Sim Toolkit is a feature-rich package of tools with which you can create your own custom aircraft, worlds, and challenging flight sim scenarios.

A Windows-based set of tools allows you to save your creations as stand-alone DOS games. These tools include a world editor with which to create custom landscapes, a shape editor that allows the creation of objects (e.g., trees, cars, houses) that can be placed on the landscape, a color editor that allows control over the game's palette, a cockpit editor with which to develop the in-cockpit graphics and a model editor with which to develop flight models for aircraft.

FST includes a fully working, flight simulation game called "Top Gun". Aside from being a game that can be played in itself, players can opt to use the tools in FST to alter elements of Top Gun into a whole new gaming experience.

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Reviews

Critics

Average score: 65% (based on 8 ratings)

Players

Average score: 3.0 out of 5 (based on 3 ratings with 1 reviews)

A powerful, cumbersome, and buggy toolkit for designing your own flight sims.

The Good
Flight Sim Toolkit (or FST) is an incredibly powerful and feature-rich toolkit for designing flight simulators. At the time of its release, it provided the basic tools for creating very sophisticated games and gave those tools to the average consumer. FST allowed you to create custom aircraft, worlds in which to fly, and scenarios with which to challenge players. Five editors were included in the package - World, Shape, Color, Cockpit, and Model. Although the editors ran in Windows 3.1, the finished simulations that you were capable of making ran in DOS. The finished simulations looked very beautiful in cutting edge SVGA graphics. One of the most exciting features of FST was the ability to save your programs as stand-alone games. Hypothetically, you could create your own flight simulation games to share with the world.

The Bad
First of all, let me preface this by saying that even back in 1991 I was fairly computer literate and had played many, many hours of flight sims. At the time I was teaching myself some basic programming skills. I was – and continue to be – interested in graphics programs such as Corel Draw and Paintshop Pro. In short, FST seemed tailor made for someone like me. It didn’t take long, however, for me to realize that if FST was very sophisticated, it was also very complicated. I cracked open FST’s manual and read it through, cover to cover, only to be disappointed. The documentation was so inadequate that it made understanding even basic functions a chore. The only way to figure out FST was to explore the program first hand, through trial and error. Unfortunately, exploring the program was not easy. Not only was it very complicated, but it was very buggy. Over the years I installed this program on three very different machines, and tried ever so patiently to make it work, but it was always prone to locking up or crashing without warning. Trying to navigate my way through FST became an exercise in aggravation.

FST is something that a flight sim fanatic would dearly love to make work. Legions of fans around the world stuck with FST for many years, producing a number of small freeware flight experiments. I have no doubt that great things can be accomplished with this set of tools. Simis and Domark used the program, in part, to create the game Mig-29 Super Fulcrum. In retrospect, however, it almost seems like Simis and Domark took a look at the tools their programmers had developed in order to make games, decided to box them up as FST, and send them out with scarcely any thought to documentation or support. After FST’s release, Simis and Domark promised to update the program with multiplayer capability, but never got around to it.

The Bottom Line
FST is a feature-rich, complicated and buggy program that just doesn’t deliver what it promises. You may spend a lot of time and effort with this program and get very little payback.

Windows 3.x · by Les Nessman (265) · 2005

Discussion

Subject By Date
Games created with FST MrFlibble (18361) Mar 30, 2021
Freeware updated version? MrFlibble (18361) Feb 11, 2021

Trivia

Unofficial update

In April 1999, Simis announced the development of "FST - Enthusiasts Update" by a team of independent programmers. FST - Enthusiasts Update was to include new and improved editors, virtual cockpit views, and texture mapping. The project was released as freeware by DiGiaCom Technologies but is no longer readily available.

Awards

  • Computer Gaming World
    • November 1996 (15th anniversary issue) – #13 Most Innovative Computer Game

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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Les Nessman.

Acorn 32-bit added by Kabushi.

Additional contributors: Patrick Bregger.

Game added September 22, 2005. Last modified January 22, 2024.