FWsim – Fireworks Display Simulator – Preview
Follow Genre: Simulator
Developer: Lukas Trötzmüller
Publisher: Lukas Trötzmüller
Platform: PC
Tested on: PC

FWsim – Fireworks Display Simulator – Preview

Good: The timeline is easy to work with, there are many beautiful fireworks effects to choose from which are based on real-life fireworks.
Bad: The 3D models look rather unrealistic, there are no reflections, and no simulated smoke.
User Score
8.0
(1 votes)
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FWsim is a simulator that allows you to create your own fireworks shows, using fireworks that exist in real life. It’s been a while since we’ve been able to enjoy a real fireworks show, so being able to create a virtual show seemed like a fun way to experience fireworks again! FWsim gives the opportunity to play around with beautiful fireworks which would be really expensive or only available for professionals in real life, so it’s a perfect opportunity to go all out with fireworks! With this simulator, you can even create your own custom fireworks. FWsim is currently in Early Access and is being developed and published by Lukas Trötzmüller.

This simulator tries to replicate the looks of the fireworks as it would look in real life, and it does a pretty good job at that. Fireworks with multiple stages of combustion are properly represented, and even the initial launch of the rockets is represented as both an appropriate light-flash and sound. You’ll be able to make the camera move around during your show, to view the fireworks from multiple directions.

While the fireworks themselves look realistic, there is no simulation of the smoke trails the fireworks would leave behind in real life, and there are no reflections of the fireworks in the environments with water or other reflective surfaces. It would be really nice to see smoke and reflections added to this simulator, to make the shows more realistic, and to allow for extra creativity to play around with the light the fireworks would cast on the direct environment. Sadly, this also takes away the possibility to light up the smoke with flares or even implement lasers to make things a lot cooler. This would have added another layer of realism to the equation. Also, implementing a VR mode for this simulator, would also be extremely impressive.

The default location where you create your fireworks show is a field in a rural location. You can choose between a few 360° panoramic images to provide a background, or insert your own images. There are also some 3D models of famous landmarks you can use to build your show around, for example: the Tower Bridge of London. However, the scale of these landmarks seems to be a bit random: they generally look way too small compared to the fireworks effects. The latter can be somewhat improved when tinkering with certain settings. The 3D models do get lit up by the light of the fireworks, but they don’t properly reflect the light, making them seem rather unrealistic.

This simulator features the sounds fitting to the fireworks; not just the explosions of the fancy fireworks effects, but also the initial launching sounds. There are environmental sounds present as you edit and play the show, which simulates the feeling that you are at an outside location. You also have the option to insert music into your show, so you can time your firework effects to the music. There are a few tracks within the program to choose from, but you can also select music from your own computer, thus making a truly unique and personal experience. Fitting everything to the music, however, will prove to be a challenge.

FWsim is a fireworks simulator, in which you can create fireworks shows. The main purpose of this simulator is to create shows which should be possible to be recreated in real life, if you have the materials available. The fireworks you can choose from, are based on fireworks that actually exist. This sim is very accessible, using a timeline on which you can time your firework effects, and you can even add music to your show.

This program features a short but super-useful tutorial. Following the tutorial is really handy to quickly learn the basics of the program, and to get acquainted with the many different types of fireworks available within this simulator.

The UI is accessible and easy to work with, especially once you’ve experienced the tutorial. The shows are represented in a timeline format, which should be very familiar to people who have worked with video-editing or animation software before. Fireworks effects are represented on the timeline as a block with a certain duration, which you can drag around to the proper timeslot within your show. You can even adjust the duration of your effect (to a certain extent), by stretching or shrinking the effect on the timeline.

Once you’ve placed the fireworks effect on the timeline, you can drag the placement of the fireworks around in the virtual environment you’ve selected for your show, and you can aim the fireworks to shoot off in any direction. You can define a number of locations within your environment to serve as guides of where you want your fireworks to be placed, which helps in creating symmetrical effects, but you can also place the fireworks freely. Placing and dragging the fireworks around in the virtual environment is easy and straightforward, but as soon as you add a 3D model of a landmark, you’ll want your fireworks effects to be scaled in proportion with the landmarks. This is much more complicated to achieve, and it would be nice if that was covered in the tutorial.

You can either place single fireworks or a series of fireworks called ‘steppers’. Steppers are a number of the same fireworks which are placed along a line and can be timed to go off simultaneously or one after another. Steppers are awesome and make it easy to quickly create a show which will immediately look cool, especially if you place the fireworks at a good position, aim them outwards or inwards, and time them in such a way that they will fire off symmetrically.

You’ll be able to choose from a lot of different fireworks effects. If you don’t know that much about fireworks, the assortment to choose from will be quite overwhelming! Luckily, in the tutorial, a few types of fireworks have been mentioned. You can even modify existing fireworks by changing the colors for example. This program also features the possibility to fully create your own fireworks! However, doing so will take a lot of time and fine-tuning, if you want to create custom fancy-looking effects.

The demos in the program look very impressive and serve to give a good example of great-looking shows. You can see exactly which fireworks are used, how they are placed and modified, so you’ll be able to get inspiration from that for your own shows. There are also videos on YouTube for inspiration. However, in those videos you generally won’t see what the exact setup is of the show, and fancy-looking custom fireworks can be very hard to replicate.

Conclusion

FWsim is a fun and user-friendly simulator to create your own fireworks shows. It’s best suited for fireworks enthusiasts, who already know a bit about the ins and outs of fireworks shows, which placements would look good, and what kinds of fireworks are available. However, even for a total newbie, this program is still very accessible, and after some fiddling around you will be able to create a show which will look somewhat decent. If you want a realistic representation of fireworks shows at real-life locations, this program is still a bit lacking, but it will work fine to create a basic outline of a fireworks show.

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FWsim - Fireworks Display Simulator - Preview, 8.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating
Anmaja


I'm a LARP writer, freelance teacher and everlasting PhD student, and an avid gamer. Nowadays I game mostly on PC, but I love my retro playstation 1 & 2 as well :) I like watching anime, movies and series, and read books & comics whenever I have time!

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