A lot of games place you in a location that is then carefully constructed around you. A flight simulator is the total opposite where you’re given a playground to operate in and then told to “roam free” in the world that has been created for you.
I’ve known for a while that IL-2: Battle of Stalingrad and Battle of Moscow had some good looking night skies. The developers even paid special attention to the star constellations and placement so, if you feel so inclined, can navigate by star on night missions.
Navigation by star is a huge immersion factor and for me its another “cool” thing that the developers have done to ensure that the simulation world is detailed and accurate. Its another thing for me when I learn that their simulation goals also include twinkling stars.
Yep, if you look closely enough or you press F11 and place the camera in a stationary point. You can just sit and watch the stars twinkle. I was wondering if it was an unintended graphical effect but it happens across the star-field, seemingly at random, looking very much like the developers did that on purpose.
This is where you can tell that a video game was not just a detailed simulation but a true labour of love. Twinkling stars do nothing for night time navigation but they do add to the almighty immersion factor and its a wonderous thing!