Lead Pursuit's Falcon 4: Allied Force
An Interview with Joel Bierling, Executive Producer,
Lead Pursuit LLC
"BeachAV8R" Frishmuth and Tom
a few short weeks we will see the next chapter in the Falcon
4 story reach retail store
shelves. Falcon 4 was originally presented by Microprose as
the "New Benchmark in Flight Sim Technology", and
Falcon 4: Allied Force
looks to provide some new breakthrough technology of it's
own and fixes to long-standing F4 problems. We've just
completed an interview with Executive Producer Joel Bierling
and asked him about their flight sim.
Q. What's the background of Lead
A. Lead Pursuit is a
group of 20 developers from around the world, united by our
passion for Falcon 4.0. We all have had strong links with
Falcon over the past five years. This may be the company's
first venture into commercial games development, but the expertise
behind us and our knowledge of Falcon is second-to-none.
We know that F4:AF is being produced by the two Texas companies,
in the Dallas area and Lead
Pursuit in San Antonio. Tell us how the two of you got
together and how Atari, the owners of the F4 code got together
A. Lead Pursuit was given the
opportunity to develop the commercial successor to Falcon
4.0 and we were honored to bring the legendary Falcon brand
back to the consumer market. Graphsim has an established history
as a publisher and allowed us at Lead Pursuit to do what we
do best, develop software.
Q. We understand that F4:AF is
Falcon 4, plus the 1.08 US patch, and then recoded and updated
in its present form. Is that right?
A. Falcon 4.0: Allied Force
has its roots in the original Falcon 4.0 codebase, but it's
been given a near total overhaul. We wanted to fix the original
Falcon once and for all and get the community on a stable
and complete product.
Our company mantra is stability, stability,
and stability. We've made tremendous strides here. Our tests
on the data have greatly improved gameplay. Julian Onions
has taken a virtual chainsaw to the Virtual Universe engine
to improve the management of all entities (aircraft, objectives,
weapons, etc.) in the Falcon world. The Artificial Intelligence
Quotient has jumped 50 points thanks to the efforts of Sylvain
Gagnon, Manfred Nelles, and Mike Laskey. There are new hi-res
textures, dynamic lighting, and volumetric clouds. Multiplayer
has an engine to impress online squads-we recently had ten
players battling it out in a busy Internet campaign. The User
Interface is so much easier to navigate, and a lot more intuitive.
Q. If so, where does F4:AF fit
relatively on the long spectrum of Falcon after-market mods?
SP3 or 4? BMS? Free Falcon?
A. Falcon 4.0: Allied Force
sets a new standard. All those hardcore enthusiasts who enjoyed
the best of Falcon 4.0 over the years will love Allied Force.
Q. Similar question, but just
how different will AF be to what Falcon 4's current fans are
playing and are used to seeing?
It will be significantly different because of our improvements
to Stability, Artificial Intelligence, the Dynamic Campaign
Engine, the Multiplayer Engine, the User Interface, and the
Graphics and the Campaign Theaters.
aside, when you've been working on Falcon as long as we have,
sometimes you lose appreciation for the vast amount of features
that are brand new to Allied Force. So when we were invited
by Intel to speak at the launch of their dual core processors
in London, it was very exciting to watch the press's reaction.
Allied Force was projected across one of the biggest movie
screens in London, and it looked pretty impressive!
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