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#3841967 - 09/26/13 01:50 AM Mapping out EF2000's world
MarkG Offline
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But first, a low-res Eurofighter video (one of my favorites)...

http://198.65.10.229/DID/Temp/21_Century_Airpower_320.mpeg

Probably on YouTube and in hi-def, with my internet speeds I can't be bothered to check.

++++++++++

On to the maps...

I have a flight sim "fetish" of flying over oil platforms at night. It started with MP's F-117, and then TAW and now EF2000. I remember a surreal moment once in TAW, a pitch black night flying over the northern Red Sea, observing the lights of the many refineries off the Saudi coast, and then seeing flickering lights far below on the sea surface. Dropping down for a closer inspection it was oil platforms burning off excess. Don't know why, it just looked cool as hell, especially under dim room lights (how I play when I'm serious).

So I thought I'd locate some of the oil platforms in EF2000 (please excuse any JPEG compression)...






Jives pretty well with the low-res moving map (blue splotches)...




And this is how I'll continue until all of the many target file items are placed on the map...




Where it's going to get really interesting is locating all the bridges and tunnels, and then mapping out the transportation routes (not sure how I'm going to map road/rail accurately yet, either by finding coordinates in another file or using the moving map for reference).

And then it'll all be cleaned up to create an entire EF2000 Atlas. Thanks again mikew for getting me the information for making maps.


Damn! I had a couple of really good EF2000 nighttime oil platform flyover pics and forgot to upload them, maybe later.

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#3842100 - 09/26/13 10:51 AM Re: Mapping out EF2000's world [Re: MarkG]
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Mark,

Would these findings assist in creating new campaigns? Being that the campaign itself is in one text file, figuring out the abstractions seems to be the key here.

I'm having trouble with the alliance matrix; it's more complicated than the square grid in TAW. Also, I haven't put a lot of time into it; first I need to apply my EF2000 code to the TAW Launcher to make it Windows 8 compatible.

Another random thought: we could probably use Super Revive to tweak settings for a custom campaign as well.
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#3842340 - 09/26/13 05:53 PM Re: Mapping out EF2000's world [Re: MarkG]
MarkG Offline
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HF, I'm realizing the maps are going to take me a little while, once I get all the items placed I still have to break each map into separate pages (when necessary) while scaling text and symbols accordingly to be clearly readable on letter size paper. But I'll keep this thread updated until I'm done and post the PDF.

One really nice feature of EF2000 is having the X,Y(Z) map coordinates displayed on the moving map. Oh so many little things (i.e. MFD buttons mapped to keyboard, Ctrl shortcut in MFD screens). All is not perfect of course, I'd like to see user defined keys.

Anyway, once that's done it's back to what I believe might become my biggest programming attempt ever, and I'll summarize it into phases...

1. Read and display all campaign information from files using text and graphics where necessary.

2. Allow user to modify/adjust all campaign settings, before and during campaign.

3. Automate code from #2 for hands-off playing (i.e. aircraft swaps, resupply, alliance changes, nuking of bases, ...all done automatically via separate AI to follow an enhanced storyline.

And the ultimate (even if static/frozen), to have TAW-like AWACS capability to observe and even modify the entire campaign.

Not shooting very high, eh? smile

++++++++++

4,000,000 sq. km? Ok, that's a map that's 2000x2000 km, which of course is really 2048x2048 km (powers of 2). Moving map of 400x400 means each coord. unit = 5km (400 x 5 = 2000). You run off the map at 0 and 400 (after elegant warning) and mission shuts down. So what happens to the other 48km? Is this a border buffer for visuals so you never actually see the end of the map?

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#3842595 - 09/27/13 10:00 AM Re: Mapping out EF2000's world [Re: MarkG]
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Quick update...

The main target file...
http://198.65.10.229/DID/Temp/NORWAY_TRG.TXT

536 general "targets" on moving map resolution (i.e. airbase, town, port...not accounting for the many individual targets of each) divided into 30 separate groups.

Populating the map is looking impressive, feels like the list is growing the further I get. I've started over since the above pics for better organization (using attributed blocks, combining symbols and text as a single object w/labeling on separate lines and layers [i.e. coords now under symbol]).

At the moment it looks as if most maps will need to be divided into quadrants, so each type of map will be 4 pages of the Atlas. It'll be many pages for sure, and then after the printable maps are done it all gets converted to a VB program as the beginning of some sort of mission/campaign editor.

Where I may need help is figuring out what some of the 30 types actually refer to (i.e. v_amytwn.sss = army town? And the "v_"?) but just the location on the map may explain their meaning when I get to them. When I'm done and all research is exhausted I'll start asking questions.

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#3842717 - 09/27/13 02:42 PM Re: Mapping out EF2000's world [Re: MarkG]
Krycztij Offline
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Originally Posted By: MarkG
4,000,000 sq. km? Ok, that's a map that's 2000x2000 km, which of course is really 2048x2048 km (powers of 2). Moving map of 400x400 means each coord. unit = 5km (400 x 5 = 2000).
Something I've written on that over at Combatsim:
Quote:
The unit length in TFX, EF2000 and ADF/TAW seems to be eight feet (we have already discussed that, but I'd like to recall it here) because of the following observations:
EF2000 contains a file with a cube whose sidelength is one unit, and that file is named 8feet.3.
ADF/TAW cover a terrain of about 2000 km sidelength, which is about 6,720,000 feet, using 400 tiles of 2048 units each. This is a factor of about 8,2 feet per unit.
Therefore, I believe the terrain has a sidelength of 6,553,600 feet (1,997,537.28 m) in 819,200 units.

Originally Posted By: MarkG
You run off the map at 0 and 400 (after elegant warning) and mission shuts down. So what happens to the other 48km? Is this a border buffer for visuals so you never actually see the end of the map?
In ADF/TAW, I remember seeing holes in the terrain which I cannot find in the game files, so I assume the terrain is repeating and the edge looks pretty ugly.

On the target files: I have C++ source code for parsing them, if you need it (150 lines of code).

Regards, Pjotr


Edited by Krycztij (09/27/13 02:49 PM)

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#3843314 - 09/29/13 12:21 PM Re: Mapping out EF2000's world [Re: MarkG]
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Heh heh, I should have known you CS guys already had this stuff all figured out, probably a long time ago. smile

Krycztij, I'll get back to you on your code, and I'm really going to have to start reading CS to see what I might understand this time around. I just want to get these maps done before moving on to anything else, but thank you very much for explaining the EF2000 (DID) measurement system. I think when the maps are done and I start playing with distances and geometry within AutoCAD it'll really start clicking for me.

Thanks.

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#3843318 - 09/29/13 12:32 PM Re: Mapping out EF2000's world [Re: MarkG]
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A couple of progress pics and comments.

But first, some more low-res entertainment...
http://198.65.10.229/DID/Temp/Gabriels_Oboe1.mpeg

And pics (a little further along than text file scrolling indicates)...





I'm placing everything on a single map (lots of overlapping text) and then I'll separate onto separate maps using layers.

Man, this map is HUGE! About to start on bridges, tunnels and dams, weather permitting (hoping for rain) I'll get a lot done today.

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#3844004 - 09/30/13 07:56 PM Re: Mapping out EF2000's world [Re: MarkG]
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A quick update.

But first...
http://198.65.10.229/DID/Temp/Round_Up_320_240.mpeg

~66% done, all locations placed except bridges, tunnels and dams which I'm working on now, plus a few bigger city items...



Obviously there's plenty of cleanup to do.

Anyone who remembers Microprose F-19/F-117 might remember flying stealth missions from Lakselv (top left corner) to Murmansk and Polyarnyye...




For now I'm going to place road and rail using moving map which should complete object placement.

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#3844103 - 10/01/13 04:05 AM Re: Mapping out EF2000's world [Re: MarkG]
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Everything from NORWAY.TRG has been placed on the map and I'm adding land routes...





Note that moving the moving map background exactly half a unit down and half a unit to the left made everything line up perfectly across the entire map.

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#3844240 - 10/01/13 11:37 AM Re: Mapping out EF2000's world [Re: MarkG]
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Looking good! thumbsup
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#3844440 - 10/01/13 04:42 PM Re: Mapping out EF2000's world [Re: MarkG]
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Thanks, HF. smile

I just wasn't up to the other stuff yet. The scripting language in the installer was Greek to me and (much to my surprise) the VB launcher was hard for me to follow. It looked like some of my own programs, borrowing code from Karl Peterson's site (I gave him a donation once smile ) and actually understanding the code only after a thorough line-by-line study. The outdated PCs with internet not up to the task of file sharing services just made it that much worse. Argh.

Anyway, I needed to get my head back in the game with something more comfortable, and I've always wanted better maps for playing EF2000 (maybe one day we sharpen up the MFD moving map?).

++++++++++

I want to point out that map making in AutoCAD has some advantages. As you know I'm placing items on the 400x400 map grid (great info by Krycztij above)...



The cool thing is that a 'unit' is arbitrary in AutoCAD, when I'm done I'm going to scale a copy of the map up to match real-world game measurements.

More importantly, the map isn't just lines and text. Each symbol has fields attached which store information. For example, when I double click a bridge I get this dialog box...



...because I've associated two fields (Name and Coords) with the bridge symbol. I could add rotation, color or whatever if I need to, or separate the X and Y and add a Z, whatever I want. By storing info which each object you can export the info to a text file, spreadsheet or data base using templates.

And the reverse is true, you can use AutoCAD's built in VB editor (VBA) and code a VB6 program to build stuff in AutoCAD. And the older versions of AutoCAD (pre-2007, I use 2000i and LT 2002) exports to 3DS for game related content, including materials, lighting, etc. So I'm hoping to start taking advantage of some nifty things that AutoCAD and VB can do.

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#3844454 - 10/01/13 05:03 PM Re: Mapping out EF2000's world [Re: MarkG]
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You know, this has great potential for multiplayer campaigns. Since only the host can see what's going on, he can always communicate "We're attacking the HQ building at Hammerfest airfield" and people can bring up the atlas to see its location, runway heading, visual points, etc.
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#3844501 - 10/01/13 06:14 PM Re: Mapping out EF2000's world [Re: MarkG]
MarkG Offline
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When I get to organizing I'll get input from you guys as to which coordinates need to be displayed (major airbases, towns, etc.). Every object has a name and coordinate which can be displayed (as you see on some pics) but obviously this gets messy, we can choose which ones we want to see.

Also, there's free AutoCAD clones out there...
http://www.solidworks.com/sw/products/free_2d_tools.htm?scid=hp_acrd_dl_free2d

...which can open DWGs just as well as AutoCAD (epically the old 2000 format I use), and I'll upload the free viewer Autodesk released for the 2000 version. It's VERY easy to use, limited to turning layers on and off (the different objects and labels), getting distances and printing.

Also, I want to include the airbase drawings from the Manual. I don't have precise vertices but I can put each page on a graph (they're coming unglued so it'll be easy) and use a protractor for relation to North Arrow. I'm also going to put bar scales (km and miles) on each page for measuring precise distances.

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#3844526 - 10/01/13 07:13 PM Re: Mapping out EF2000's world [Re: MarkG]
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Was just thinking about something...

When the hardcopy stuff is all polished and printed, gotta work on a digital map. But first, to really look at what's already accomplished (i.e. the viewer, repacking the DAT, etc.).

I'd love to see an AWACS/JSTARS-like project for the EF2000 campaign. I'm thinking old-school display like you see in this book from 1987...



Recognize the map?

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#3845249 - 10/03/13 01:22 AM Re: Mapping out EF2000's world [Re: MarkG]
MarkG Offline
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You know the drill by now...
http://198.65.10.229/DID/Temp/Staying_in_Command_320.mpeg

Routes taking me a while, noticed it works best to place every vertex using a half unit grid (800x800 vs. 400x400 for same area)...



Also, there are some discrepancies...



The worse is pictured to the left at coordinate 194,153, the horizontal yellow line is the actual highway/interstate/motorway but it doesn't show on the map. The small stretch of road to the right (the brown splotch) doesn't exist.

Another problem area is below the scaled-up area, although not as bad (and hasn't been verified so I didn't point to it). Maybe one day we can update the moving map, but the Atlas will be correct.

Other things to do so I might be slowing down until Sunday evening.

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#3846604 - 10/06/13 01:26 AM Re: Mapping out EF2000's world [Re: MarkG]
MarkG Offline
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Quick follow-up to the above...

I had always planned to go back and clean up the routes at a slightly higher resolution...



...but thanks to TFXplorer I can draw acurate routes as I go...





So, many thanks to the developer of TFXplorer and anyone involved in the project, what a slick tool!


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#3846646 - 10/06/13 04:31 AM Re: Mapping out EF2000's world [Re: MarkG]
Krycztij Offline
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I'm glad you like it.

There are still unsolved problems with EF2000's terrain — e.g. we don't understand how tile randomization works. If I remember correctly, TFXplorer will show bridges with wrong rotation in two or three places (but you'll recognize the errors easily).

If you have any ideas on that, or if you want to see the source code, just discuss here.

Regards, Pjotr


Edited by Krycztij (10/06/13 04:31 AM)

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#3846687 - 10/06/13 09:49 AM Re: Mapping out EF2000's world [Re: MarkG]
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Your program is wonderful, Krycztij. cheers

I figured out Shift S (TOD) and Ctrl S (distances), if I had only one request it would be the ability to enter X,Y location coordinates (vs. always starting from Bergen).

A day I've been dreading but knew was inevitable, for this I'll embrace C/C++. Can't do much today, but could you give me a heads up on what I'll need to view the source (i.e. VS C++ 2012 Express)? Thanks.

++++++++++

On the routes, I'm keeping each route vertex on the grid (corners are simply filleted with .5 radius in bottom pic) hoping this will eventually lead to something of a tangible ground war/supply lines (vs. implied). The Manual gets a little creative on p.312...

==========
"THE WARGEN SYSTEM

HOW THE CONFLICT ARE DRIVEN

Selection of ground forces and placement of air defenses.

For Ground based vehicles the most appropriate trucks and tanks are selected for offensive or supply missions. The choice of the safest supply routes to use that day will allow the required amount of supply through.

Placement for all 500 SAM sites, and 100 plus AAA guns is also calculated.

Placement of battle vehicles in the currently disputed areas of the world is carried out as follows...

For Ships: placement of the carrier fleet adjacent to the current area of the most offensive operations. Selection of the safest supply routes to use to get ships either to or from ports for supply. Attack-ships are positioned when an attempt is made to capture a base."
==========

Eh, my campaigns seem to be missing trucks and tanks and I have yet to engage a carrier fleet. Obviously was meant to be but apparently unfinished, and I really hope we can make WarGen all that DID meant it to be.

Otherwise the campaign is so excellent, still captures my imagination ("The Russians are coming!")

But even if we can never include truck and tank plinking in the 3D world, at least we can give text-based news reports of troop movement based on actual coordinates and in a way that affects base supply, by using a separate campaign generator/manager that edits the campaign files as one would do manually using the current add-ons. That's the intention anyway, other than having a nice set of maps.

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#3846692 - 10/06/13 10:11 AM Re: Mapping out EF2000's world [Re: MarkG]
Krycztij Offline
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Originally Posted By: MarkG
Your program is wonderful, Krycztij. cheers
Thank you :-)

Originally Posted By: MarkG
I figured out Shift S (TOD) and Ctrl S (distances), if I had only one request it would be the ability to enter X,Y location coordinates (vs. always starting from Bergen).
You should be able to reach any location quickly using NUMPAD 2, 4, 6, and 8. Once you get used to it, it should be just as quick as entering numbers into the console.

Originally Posted By: MarkG
A day I've been dreading but knew was inevitable, for this I'll embrace C/C++. Can't do much today, but could you give me a heads up on what I'll need to view the source (i.e. VS C++ 2012 Express)? Thanks.
Yes, Visual Studio 2012 Express for Desktop is sufficient. You can use it to compile the 64-bit version. If you want to compile the 32-bit version, you'll need the good old Visual Studio 2010 (because it's compatible to Windows XP).

In exchange, could you please give a short summary on which files contain road information and how it is stored? I'd love to include that into TFXplorer one day. I think Mike already gave me a hint for ADF/TAW, but I don't know where to find it in EF2000. Thanks! :-)

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#3847274 - 10/07/13 03:29 PM Re: Mapping out EF2000's world [Re: MarkG]
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Krycztij, prepare to be disappointed. frown

I have no idea where the road and rail information (i.e. vertices) are to found, I'm only tracing out the route valleys using the moving map (NORWMMAP.bmp). Wherever that file or info is, I'd imagine it's pretty big, there's a lot of track and asphalt winding through this gigantic map! I'd love to get that detailed with mapping.

Judging by some of the features of EF2000 Reloaded and playing with the viewer (thanks for the tip about using number keys for relocating, this helps a lot), I'll be playing serious catch-up to what you guys already know about the game and campaign.

I'm tied up for another day or two (catching up on outside work with this gorgeous weather) so I'll get back to you on the viewer code as well. I need to get VS2012 installed first among other things (with Satellite Internet you have to plan ahead for both daily bandwidth and speed) and finish the maps.

I wanted to quote the Manual once more, p.310...

==========
“In practice, WARGEN manages an area of ever 4,000,000 square km and controls the operations of over 1000 planes, 2000 ground units, and 500 ships.
...
In addition, keeping on good terms with non-combatant countries means that you can use their road/rail network and ports to bring in your supplies. If they become angry with you, they will not allow you to use their transport network, thereby cutting your supply network and making life easier for the enemy!"
==========

Hmmm...


Also note the original TactCom pre-release notes...

==========
From the DID website:

EF2000 Upgrade Details

Please note: The upgrade should be available by the end of January 1996 and the information detailed below is subject to change.

FIXES

Missions - several missions were not working in the right way, and these have now been fixed. Problems included incorrect attack patterns, and improper weapons delivery. With computer controlled flights, lead aircraft no longer fly lower than wingmen when terrain following.

Pilot's wingmen will fly below 500 ft when terrain following.

Ground vehicles no longer appear on top of each other in Campaign.

No loss of target lock when changing AA weapons.

Anti-ship missions now occur in the Campaign.

Damage systems are no longer swamped by the distorting MFD effect. Individual warning messages can be read correctly on the right-hand MFD.

The plane shakes about in the flak fields.

Radar is disassociated from the weapons selection. If you are flying with radar switched off, selecting S-225 or AMRAAMS will not turn the radar back on automatically. This improves stealth tactics.

Sea Eagle and other ground attack patterns now work correctly with wingmen.

Carrying weapons has a more pronounced effect on the aircraft performance. A full bomb load will mean a longer take-off time and greater drag.

We will include a command to attack ground targets. This is called 'Running in' and the sound sample has already been made.

Dumping all stores should not trigger rockets and missiles. These items simply fall-off the plane and drop to earth.

When enemies fire missile salvoes, they are more widely spaced and therefore more difficult to spoof.

Cannons are now more effective against aerial targets.

There are more long-range strategic CAPs in Campaign.

SAMs and AAA will be much more evident as you fly to targets. In addition, targets will be much more heavily defended.

Various sorting and stitching problems with the landscape polygons have now been fixed.

AAA and SAMs now conserve their use of ammunition thus remaining a threat for longer.

UPGRADES

Network Campaign will allow four or possibly more players to participate.

There will be scramble missions in Campaign, where the player will be expected to take-off and intercept incoming enemy aircraft.

In-game configuration settings will be saved automatically after one selection.

Neutral aircraft (blue) will now fire upon you when you intrude into neutral airspace.

When ground collision is imminent, a Nagging Nora 'pull-up' voice warning is given, and a break 'X' is drawn on the HUD.

Finland can now be invaded in Campaign.

Helicopters now appear in campaign as Forward Air Controllers.

When approaching enemy airbases in Campaign, the enemy fighters will scramble to intercept you.

Shift and return will automatically select cannons. This feature has been added for owners of ThrustMaster equipment.

The AA predictor has been upgraded to include a 'snake'.

There is an extending bar to indicate progress of software loading.

The player can arm the plane in Campaign.

Keyboard controls for adjusting radar scan range and mode have been added.

It's now possible to choose your own weapon loadout prior to a networked mission.

More detailed mission debriefings. Including debriefings for wingmen in the campaign.

Names under "locked" network players as with "king of the skies" now available in other network games (press shift S).

Missiles now available in "king of the skies".

Code now 10-20% faster on 486-based systems.

Four player CAP missions can now be played in the network.

We have provided shortcut keys - R and D - to enable the player to switch on these systems without having to look down at the MFDs.

There is more detailed debriefing information in the Campaign. This includes a visual path and event marker to show where the planes have flown, and what happened at specific points.

There is a key combination 'Shift L' that will allow last message recall.

AWACS information is now more accurate.
==========

Helicopters now appear in campaign as Forward Air Controllers?

I believe most of this was done, although I don't recall seeing helicopters in a campaign.

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#3847277 - 10/07/13 03:42 PM Re: Mapping out EF2000's world [Re: MarkG]
MarkG Offline
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We could use the return to SimHQ of Mr. Steve Hunt and see what treasures of knowledge he might recall about this game.

Marco, EF2000 "artist - world building and design of texture maps" once had a presence here too.

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#3847515 - 10/08/13 12:27 AM Re: Mapping out EF2000's world [Re: MarkG]
Krycztij Offline
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Originally Posted By: MarkG
Krycztij, prepare to be disappointed. frown

I have no idea where the road and rail information (i.e. vertices) are to found, I'm only tracing out the route valleys using the moving map (NORWMMAP.bmp).
Alright. Thanks anyway! If I recall correctly, for TAW, this information was somehow encoded in the .ASC files.

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#3847711 - 10/08/13 12:17 PM Re: Mapping out EF2000's world [Re: MarkG]
MarkG Offline
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I'm sure we'll find it one day. smile

++++++++++

Now here's someone who gets it...

Breaking News!

I want THIS, but having war highlights dynamically generated to follow the campaign...

"BREAKING NEWS: Russians advance south to Kristiansund, Molde airbase expected to fall, Alesund residents flee!" smile

We need automated newspaper headlines and stories. We also need to import the couple of text-based campaign files and...

A. See what the campaign is doing in detail beyond the low-res in-game maps (ala Strategic Command).

B. Make any necessary adjustments and/or have automated adjustments (i.e. WP and stores for better AI success).

C. Play AWACS Commander (ala TAW) for an 8-hour period, then properly save campaign for WarGen to continue normally.

The ground war can happen, just maybe not in 3D. EF2000's resolution is so low you would probably miss it visually anyway. smile If we were flying an A-10 this would be a problem, but we're about dropping LGBs with laser precision and MiGs from the sky. What happens outside of WarGen proper can affect the campaign as if it was part of the game (i.e. Revive's reserves and the nuking of bases).

If this were a dedicated stealth sim I'd have the Reds ground another nuke boat off the Swedish coast, only this time tension escalates. For fear of greater conflict NATO is reluctant to get involved. Sweden says, "We can handle it", while secretly requesting a few covert stealth missions (recon and strike) from clandestine airfields in Norway. Or maybe Sweden says, "Thanks, but no thanks" and NATO/US helps out anyway.

Actually, once we get a full understanding and control of the campaign file we can play some of this out with the AI (we have F-117s). Reading Usenet, they've been doing funky stuff with the campaign file in Notepad since the game was released.

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#3848189 - 10/09/13 12:32 PM Re: Mapping out EF2000's world [Re: MarkG]
MarkG Offline
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Originally Posted By: MarkG
If this were a dedicated stealth sim I'd have the Reds ground another nuke boat off the Swedish coast, only this time tension escalates. For fear of greater conflict NATO is reluctant to get involved. Sweden says, "We can handle it", while secretly requesting a few covert stealth missions (recon and strike) from clandestine airfields in Norway. Or maybe Sweden says, "Thanks, but no thanks" and NATO/US helps out anyway.


Speaking of which, does anyone know why submarines were modeled in this sim?




I don't dream so much of a modern version of EF2000, rather whatever vision DID was dreaming of at the time. I've read they left some things out due to 1995 hardware, understandable but a real shame.

Look at the detail of the rail network, the bridges, junctions and even the track itself. I believe WarGen accounts for airbase supply routes (i.e. knocking out rail and road bridges helps weaken the base, making it susceptible to capture) but surly DID intended for actual trains to run along all those miles of track! I once watched in TAW's AWACS viewer an A-10 strafing a train, I'd love to see this in EF2000.

But submarines? I'd love to know what they had in mind!

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#3849332 - 10/12/13 05:52 PM Re: Mapping out EF2000's world [Re: MarkG]
MarkG Offline
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I should be finishing the routes today, then probably take a couple of days to make the PDF pages. It's been a slow process following each route with TFXplorer for accuracy. There's many discrepancies and you just know when the darkened route area stops but the road and rail continue, the routes are going to deviate from the moving map in some way (unless it's a tunnel). In some areas, without TFXplorer I would have gone insane trying to figure out the correct path! One day we need to update the MFD moving map to accurately reflect the game world.

I'm ready to finish this and move on to dissecting the campaign files.

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#3849977 - 10/14/13 04:13 PM Re: Mapping out EF2000's world [Re: MarkG]
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Routes are finally finished, even marking rotated bridges and a couple of other miss-aligned tiles in TFXplorer...



These markings are for future study and won't be shown on final map as they appear fine in-game.

Again, just a cleanup and organization to release, then I'll start a new thread on EF2000's "WarGen" Dynamic Campaign. And oh man, it's one of my most anticipated subjects and project, starting with my favorite and possibly unique feature of DID's DCs, national alliances which can change mid-campagin...



In addition to full-blown programs as shown above, there were lots of interesting text and spreadsheet edits to EF2000's campaign back in the day...

EF2k Editing (see middle post)
EF2000 callsigns

There's a thread I can't find right now, an online squad edited the campaign file to place a NATO base in Finland and they started flying strikes deep into Russia!

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#3851239 - 10/17/13 06:56 PM Re: Mapping out EF2000's world [Re: MarkG]
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Awesome!

In TAW, the routes can be derived from the terrain .ssd files, but there isn't the same mechanism in EF2000.

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#3851414 - 10/18/13 09:32 AM Re: Mapping out EF2000's world [Re: MarkG]
MarkG Offline
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Taking me a bit longer than expected as I'm adding geographic vector graphics...





...to be smoothed out later.

++++++++++

Wednesday was appointments, lots of reading in waiting rooms...

Manual overstates DC.
Strategy Guide tactfully points out DC limitations.
Strategic Command Help goes far beyond Manual in most cases, claims to show lots of campaign file info hidden from player.

Should be fun. smile

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#3851513 - 10/18/13 01:16 PM Re: Mapping out EF2000's world [Re: MarkG]
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Love your passion and dedication!
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#3851831 - 10/19/13 12:15 PM Re: Mapping out EF2000's world [Re: MarkG]
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Thanks, fellas. Motivation is two-fold...the game I love to play and the game I dream of developing, which I hope resembles the game I love to play. smile So what I learn with one maybe I can use for the other, it's all good/related.

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#3855910 - 10/30/13 12:07 AM Re: Mapping out EF2000's world [Re: MarkG]
MarkG Offline
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<Update time, sorry out of videos>

Everything is now there...



Just taking a while for scaling and organization. For example, each target type is now in a separate DWG, all referenced (AutoCAD calls it "Xref") into a master DWG for controlling labeling and layout. I'm also drawing the individual airfields from the Manual, so it's going to take just a bit longer.

For an occasional break I'm playing with VB6's picture box for zooming and panning (using a lower res map outline for pure vector graphics...WMF)...



"WARGEN 2000"...LOL.

++++++++++

I've been playing occasional air-to-air Custom Combat in TAW and I'm actually enjoying the game again. Mostly it was the FLIR/LANTIRN implementation that frustrated me to no end, man those funky zoom factors and on two separate screens! I don't use it anymore nor do I strap anything under the wings, I prefer flying the F-22 in a more realistic manner and that's making it fun again.

So after the EF2K maps and a little progress on a DC viewer, I plan to re-visit the TAW cockpit files and completely rip all the A/G features out my pit and making it A/A only, leaving only JDAMS for flying the rare strike mission. No more so-called IRST/LANTIRN screens (which magically shows a camera view for the AIM-120). Maybe this time I'll stick to CAPs and escorting F-35s to target, where I had the most fun last time.

Plus the idea of a future (2020? vs. EF2000's past...2001) conflict fighting a Saudi nation turned extremists well AFTER getting their orders of Eurofighters and F-22s (oops...at least F-35s.).. yeah, that could be fun. And once again flying over the Red Sea at night under a star filled sky, from friendly Egypt to Saudi would have me crossing my favorite part of the map (endless numbers of oil platforms and refineries).

So I'm thinking, now that I'm getting my FLIR LGB + progressive DC (moving FEBA) fix with EF2000, I can disregard what I perceive to be the biggest flaws of TAW and enjoy it where it excels, the overall "AIR WAR". I need to think of both sims as a complete game with different gameplay (one multi-role [which I fly almost exclusively A/G] and one pure fighter).

So I guess I'm back to TAW as well and plan to get back to everything I was working on, starting with finishing the map (similar to what I'm doing with EF2000).

I gotta admit, watching Neph's training videos made me miss TAW and the F-22.

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#3856450 - 10/31/13 02:36 AM Re: Mapping out EF2000's world [Re: MarkG]
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So I finally finished sorting through my TAW stuff today. I lost some work a while back, stupidity during a bad situation, nothing I can't redo...

1. Some AutoCAD drawings of the GUI based on the gadget files (wanted to revise the UI a little, maybe make the AWACS window a little bigger and some buttons/features a little smaller).

2. Many if not most of the speech files defined including words spoken (unless unintelligible) and redneck rating. After so much EF2000 with the serious and always calm European tone, I simply can't go back to, "YAHOO! IT'S A HIT!" I still have the speech from another redneck sounding sim burned into memory, "SAM LAUNCH! SAM LAUNCH!", Jane's USAF being even worse, IIRC. I'd rather replace some of those samples with something more subdued or have silence. smile

3. Some work defining each color of the 256 palette. It's a matter of using the NV palette (256 shades of green) and changing each color one-at-time to red and then playing every part of the sim possible (including 3D model displays) to see what the color is used for.

#1, no big deal, #2 & #3, just time consuming, but I'll get it done. Today I played with the TAW Configurator and Texture Manager VB source while looking over the extracted files, I'm really ready to get back to this game. So much has already been accomplished by the CombatSim crew (judging by Neph's videos) and what better way to learn how a massive flight sim is designed than working with TAW extracted (other than having the actual source code). Another EF2000/TAW is on nobody's radar as far as I can tell so for this kind of game (ultra-modern flight sim w/full-blown DCs) it's this or nothing.

EF2000 will always be my favorite, holy crap I'm still getting some beautiful visuals from this old game, maybe I'm going blind! smile I know it's relative to what I'm currently use to, TAW's MFDs reminded me just how low-res EF2000's MFDs are but what'cha gonna do?

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#3859087 - 11/06/13 02:04 AM Re: Mapping out EF2000's world [Re: MarkG]
mikew Offline
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Originally Posted By: MarkG
For an occasional break I'm playing with VB6's picture box for zooming and panning (using a lower res map outline for pure vector graphics...WMF)...
Thanks to DrKevDog, who has found an unimplemented file in EF2000's díd.dat of the same form used as TAW's moving map, we can now produce a 6400x6400 bitmap of the EF2000 world.
Would that be of any interest as a backdrop to your work?

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#3859201 - 11/06/13 10:11 AM Re: Mapping out EF2000's world [Re: MarkG]
MarkG Offline
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mikew, that reminds me, here's the VB6 source to all of my TAW projects...
http://198.65.10.229/DID/Temp/TAW_VB.zip

The only "finished" project is TAW Configurator but I have a few more features I want to add. Still have lots to do on TAW Texture Manager and I'm working on that one now. Unfortunately I'm not one to comment my code and my settings are a bit Registry heavy, I'm working to change that.

About the map file, what I'm using as a background map is an AutoCAD drawing saved as a WMF file, so graphics are vector (no resolution lost/pixilation when zooming in). But I am interested in DKG's discovery (always nice to know my options), are you guys updating the MFD moving map?

++++++++++

I'm totally sold on EF2000 (always have been) but I've had a change of heart with TAW, especially after playing it the last couple of weeks. It's foolish of me to ignore the opportunity of understanding how a flight sim is designed working with an extracted TAW. Plus, most of my complaints (i.e. sloppy cockpit line-work) are fixable, while dropping LGBs on static targets like buildings is still pretty well done (I forgot you can load LGBs internally if you do so manually). TAW could be a fun sandbox for future what-if scenarios with an undated F-22 (full touch screens, colored NV, etc.).

So while I work on printable maps for EF2000 (this thread) I'm doing the same for TAW, in fact I find that going back and forth between the two helps keep them fresh, not getting burned out with working on the same game for too long.

F-19, I've come a long way (there's excellent examples provided by 3D engine and the community), but I have sooo far to go to have anything close to playable, I need something complete to play NOW. That's something I didn't think about a couple of years ago, you can work on your own game which could take a really long time, but you have to take time to just kick back and play something, thus my return to DID sims.

Man, I meant for this to be a short post, it just happened. smile

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#3859220 - 11/06/13 10:49 AM Re: Mapping out EF2000's world [Re: MarkG]
MarkG Offline
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And the next TAW "mapping" job will be the complete GUI...



...if just to modernize it a little for today's bigger screens.

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#3859338 - 11/06/13 04:28 PM Re: Mapping out EF2000's world [Re: MarkG]
MarkG Offline
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<This is a post full of old pics I found>

A follow-up to the above, the sloppiness I was referring to...



...is totally fixable...



It's just a matter of drawing it from the text file, then redrawing it correctly and replacing vertex coordinates.

Much like we did the HUD...



Another pic of an extracted text file...



++++++++++

And THAT'S what I lost, I had some work on the pit making my MFDs full touch screens (no surrounding mechanical push-buttons). I'm kicking my own arse for not taking a progress pic, it was working! I figured it was plausible that a future F-22 upgrade would get F-35 like touch screens (although individual screens), even had tabbed looking buttons (as you see in F-35 simulators)!

I was also using simpler solid coloring/shading so that this (showing a graphics screw-up)...



...looked more like this on most surfaces...



Similar to Aeyes (worn) vs. Stopworks (new), we just don't have the resolution to properly do worn IMO, and besides, this is suppose to be new upgrades! smile

++++++++++

Oh man, just found some other pics, I forgot about adding ships to the campaign!...



Even if warships don't work properly in the DC at least we can get some super tankers in there to give the Red Sea more activity!

++++++++++

I'm feeling the love again! whoohoo Just gotta finish the maps first.

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#3861142 - 11/11/13 10:06 AM Re: Mapping out EF2000's world [Re: MarkG]
mikew Offline
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Posts: 2450
Loc: UK
MarkG, thanks for the VB code!

These open fine in VB5 with the usual slight modding of the project file. smile

It seems that VB5/6 are still the easiest way to implement GUI applications on Windows in 2013. The VB5 IDE installs and works fine on Win7-64, and everything that I've compiled with it works on Win8.1.

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