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#4371559 - 07/29/17 11:44 AM History of development?  
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BigDuke66 Offline
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Hi
just wonder if anyone is so long around here that he is able to give a little history lesson of the development of this game. I was working through some material and got as far back as to OFF Phase 3 Between Heaven and Hell, and although that is already awhile back it seems that a lot more development came before that. For whatever reasons it's interesting to me to get to know the "story" of WOFF.
Cheers


"Das Fliegen ist das Leben wert!"
#4371574 - 07/29/17 01:31 PM Re: History of development? [Re: BigDuke66]  
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Hi Duke

There are those among us who are capable of answering that in good detail but I am not one of them. I do recall that it all started as a spinoff of the Red Baron days. Somewhere along the way the devs jumped to the CFS3 sim as it became the basis for their inspiration. There was a WOFF2 in the past as well. That is all that I can offer.

You are a new face to me on the forum so let me extend a hearty welcome.


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#4371577 - 07/29/17 01:41 PM Re: History of development? [Re: BigDuke66]  
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I've been around since Phase One. IIRC, OFF (as it was known then) was going to be released in (I think) four phases. I remember watching the development of Phase One before it was released! And believe it or not, Phase One was multiplayer capable. Although my personal experience with that feature is that it was quite dodgy, and they were smart to 86 it. OFF was free back then, too. Has to be ten years ago at least by now.

#4371589 - 07/29/17 02:50 PM Re: History of development? [Re: BigDuke66]  
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Attached Files Pols MOD section.jpg
#4371783 - 07/30/17 07:21 PM Re: History of development? [Re: BigDuke66]  
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Shredward Online content
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If I remember right, Capt Sopwith has written histories of WoFF and it's predecessors several times. Perhaps he'll reprise one
For me, it's been so long, I dont remember when we started
Cheers
Shredward


We will remember them.
#4371865 - 07/31/17 03:04 PM Re: History of development? [Re: Shredward]  
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Originally Posted by Shredward
If I remember right, Capt Sopwith has written histories of WoFF and it's predecessors several times. Perhaps he'll reprise one
For me, it's been so long, I dont remember when we started
Cheers
Shredward


That was awfully kind of you to remember, Shred. I saw this thread a few days ago and I kept meaning to come back to it. So now that the puppy is asleep (finally) and I have some coffee, I'll see what I can do. reading

WOFF's development team has a long history working on WWI flight sims that stretches back, as far as I know, to the 1990s and the Red Baron II / 3D days. Much of this community formed around modding Red Baron for the better part of a decade. I found the group in 1999 when my family finally got internet access - I was 17 at the time and by far the youngest member on the now ancient Delphi Message Boards for Red Baron.

Back then modding RB was a pretty individualized affair, with modders creating UOP (UnOfficial Patches) that changed the game. RB was fairly easy to mod from a visual perspective, once you figured out how to change the bitmap files that controlled everything in the game from aircraft skins to textures on ground objects. The problem with these one-off patches is that they were almost always incompatible with one another, so users would mix and match and break their game. After about five years or so, some of the modders decided to band together and form a group called SWWISA. Doing so would allow them to build bigger and better projects and ensure that their respective work all played well together. James "OvS" Romano described the coming together of the group this way:

“Some quick background on SWWISA...but it should really come from Uhlan... way back in 1999/2000 there were a lot of arguments and dis-continutity on the Flight Sim Forum, which is where we all came from. It was the grand meeting place of all personalities in the RB community. It was even before Wings of Valor [a major Red Baron site in 2000]. There were a few sites out there that were very good, but [there was no other single place where everyone involved could go besides The Flight Sim Forum]. It was a good place to talk, and exchange ideas, but that soon became the opposite. There is no blame needed, or any one to point fingers at, just know that it was time to move on and design another outlet for like-minded individuals to gather and openly exchange ideas without confrontations.

Our founding members were Uhlan, CdT (Karel), and a few others. It was a small group that quickly grew into a larger one just based on the open-minded principle. Karel set the tone with his new line of models using Anim8r. It was a movement of sorts. It was a really great time in the life of this Sim.

It worked out well for everyone. I joined SWWISA later on, after the first release of Hell's Angels, as I felt I could contribute to the group by what I learned from modding. It was a lot of fun and the guys in SWWISA were all very helpful and always there for me. I know this 'club' or as we liked to call it, guild, is virtual, but it was the best place I knew of to talk to some great personalities. We had Historians, Artists, Modders, and Modelers, even Programmers.

I think that might be a good starting point that you can build on. I don't know all the insides because I was a 'trawler' until I made Hell's Angels. I just liked coming to the SWWISA forum and talking to the guys a lot more than the Flight Sim Forum. This SWWISA forum was a great idea, and I'm glad that it still upholds the initial ideals it was built on. That's why we accomplished so much. Prior to SWWISA, it was pretty much a free-for-all."


I personally remember CdT (Karel) fondly. He opened up the ability to produce top notch 3d models of WWI aircraft with a degree of detail and fidelity we hadn't seen before while keeping the frame rate high in game - which was a huge challenge at the time. Tragically, Karel died suddenly in 2002, but he really opened the door for what could be done with a proper WWI sim.

Flash forward three years (was it really only 3?) to 2005 and I get a message from James, who you'll see around the boards when he's not busy with his volunteer firefighting work, saying that some of the guys from SWWISA were moving on to a new project, and that Red Baron had taken them as far as they could go. The new sim would work around CFS3 -- a WWII sim of all things - and that they would release in phases. A few weeks later, I received a CD in the mail from James with Phase 2 on it.

You can see what their website looked like back then here: https://web.archive.org/web/20051219225359/http://off.oldbrowndog.net:80/gallery.htm

And from there, things got busy. I had finished college and moved on to graduate school so the releases got a bit blurry for me. Phase 3 became known as Between Heaven and Hell which I played for hundreds of hours. Then came the Hat in the Ring expansion pack and a few years later, WOFF. Each subsequent release seemed to surpass everyone's expectations and, much like the development of Red Baron 3D before it, the sim just seems to keep doing things that it should, by all reason, not be able to do. Real time lighting and shadows? AI that are unpredictable enough to make you think you're fighting a real person? High definition textures and flawless terrain and fully realized cockpits and amazing sound... it just goes on and on. The Dev team also maintained a rapid response rate with patches - if we found something off in WOFF and posted about it, there was always a patch out within a week of the issue - often sooner if a hotfix was needed. I have no doubt that once WoTR is ready for sale, they'll come back through WOFF and incorporate what they learned on the other project. That's the great part about how the team works - they always bake in new ideas as they go.

If that wasn't enough reading for you, you can find my review of WOFF:UE (which has some history on the dev team) here https://www.flightsim.com/vbfs/content.php?17179-Review-Wings-Over-Flanders-Fields-Ultimate-Edition Some thought it was a bit flowery, but frankly, I thought the sim was damn near perfect (I was also so happy not be writing work related content that my enthusiasm came through in my writing. tuner )

And if you want to read up on what came before, you can find my now ancient history of Red Baron over on OvS's old Red Baron site here: http://www.hellsangels.firstflare.com/history.htm I apologize in advance for my writing - I was 22 at the time and not the most eloquent writer. You can also see what his mod, "Hell's Angels" looked like - OvS is the man responsible for most of the fantastic Albatros skins in WOFF these days.

And I've saved the best for last. The Dev team on WOFF did an interview a few years back with FlightSim.com. You can find it here: https://www.flightsim.com/vbfs/show...-Flanders-Fields-Team&highlight=WOFF

Hope this helps! If you've got any other questions, ask away, we're always happy to talk shop about our favorite sim!

Cheers! cheers

Last edited by CaptSopwith; 07/31/17 03:17 PM.
#4371874 - 07/31/17 04:02 PM Re: History of development? [Re: BigDuke66]  
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Thanks Capt'n, for the refresher. It's a welcome re-read for me.


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#4371894 - 07/31/17 05:07 PM Re: History of development? [Re: BigDuke66]  
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dutch Offline
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If you want to check the real OFF history then read also this, from the old OFF forum were I guess it all started, before moving to Combat ace forum:
http://www.sim-outhouse.com/sohforums/forumdisplay.php/8-Over-Flanders-Fields-1-amp-2

http://www.sim-outhouse.com/sohforums/forumdisplay.php/62-Over-Flanders-Fields-3



Last edited by dutch; 07/31/17 05:12 PM.
#4371923 - 07/31/17 06:50 PM Re: History of development? [Re: BigDuke66]  
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I'm still not exactly sure why we got kicked off there... behindcouch

#4372215 - 08/02/17 02:11 AM Re: History of development? [Re: BigDuke66]  
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BigDuke66 Offline
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Great information, provided a lot insight, thanks to all and especially to CaptSopwith.
One can only conclude that this long history of development even over different games and that finally matured into WOFFUE is a prove and prime example for the passion & love to the first war in the air.


"Das Fliegen ist das Leben wert!"
#4372222 - 08/02/17 03:48 AM Re: History of development? [Re: BigDuke66]  
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Capt Sopwith:

What a walk down memory lane! Those days of the modding Red Baron were really enjoyable.
Your linked history of RB brought back many fond memories and many great modder "handles".

Who would have ever imagined what WOFF UE has brought us to..

#4373148 - 08/07/17 01:51 PM Re: History of development? [Re: BigDuke66]  
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Thanks for the huge plug Cappy... I deeply appreciate the respect you always give me and am as shocked as you are when the idea of 20 years passing since all of this has gone on is slowly approaching!

I would like to add in that I am here because of Polovski and Shred. Without them, I never would have had the opportunity to do all that I have done. Shred and I go back to the days of making all my RB3D mods and doing the best we could to force that poor little game into doing things it wasn't meant to do. While Polovski came into my life when all three of us joined the disastrous Sikorsky project.

On top of all that is Winder for being the un-relenting force driving this entire project since day-1. He's been the inspiration to all of us on the team to push our abilities to the next level and demand the best of everyone involved. He's a great leader and always has us focused on giving the user/consumer the best product we are capable of delivering. Without him, none of this would have been possible.

When you look back at screenshots of each version we've put out, it's clearly apparent that we've advanced every version over the next 10 fold. It's really amazing.

I just think without any of these guys, I'd simply be another washed-up RB3D'er trying to relive days well past...

I thank them all.

cheers

OvS

twoweeks

Last edited by OvStachel; 08/07/17 01:54 PM.

The Black Baron of Boistrancourt returns!!

I'd rather die fighting, than live for nothing. - Gen. G.S. Patton
#4373217 - 08/08/17 01:04 AM Re: History of development? [Re: OvStachel]  
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Originally Posted by OvStachel
Thanks for the huge plug Cappy... I deeply appreciate the respect you always give me and am as shocked as you are when the idea of 20 years passing since all of this has gone on is slowly approaching!

I would like to add in that I am here because of Polovski and Shred. Without them, I never would have had the opportunity to do all that I have done. Shred and I go back to the days of making all my RB3D mods and doing the best we could to force that poor little game into doing things it wasn't meant to do. While Polovski came into my life when all three of us joined the disastrous Sikorsky project.

On top of all that is Winder for being the un-relenting force driving this entire project since day-1. He's been the inspiration to all of us on the team to push our abilities to the next level and demand the best of everyone involved. He's a great leader and always has us focused on giving the user/consumer the best product we are capable of delivering. Without him, none of this would have been possible.

When you look back at screenshots of each version we've put out, it's clearly apparent that we've advanced every version over the next 10 fold. It's really amazing.

I just think without any of these guys, I'd simply be another washed-up RB3D'er trying to relive days well past...

I thank them all.

cheers

OvS

twoweeks



The bonds between you all are evident in the way you speak of the team OV. I can clearly understand how you feel about having had the opportunity to contribute to such a fine piece of work as WOFF in all it's progressions. I'm sure it has taken it's toll on your personal life as I'm sure it has on all team members but you can take a lot of positives away as well. I for one greatly appreciate what all of you have achieved.


(System_Specs)
Case: Cooler Master Storm Trooper
Pwr Sup: OCZ, GameXStream,1000-Watt
MB: Asus Maximus VI Extreme
Mem: Corsair Vengeance (2x 8GB), PC3-12800, DDR3-1600MHz, Unbuffered
CPU: Intel i7-4770K, OC to 4.427Ghz
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Seidon 240M Liquid CPU Cooler
Vid Card: ASUS GTX 980Ti STRIX 6GB
OS and Games on separate: Samsung 840 Series 250GB SSD
Monitor: Primary ASUS PG27AQ 4k; Secondary Samsung SyncMaster BX2450L
Periphs: MS Sidewinder FFB2 Pro, TrackIR 4

#4373248 - 08/08/17 05:04 AM Re: History of development? [Re: Rick_Rawlings]  
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Originally Posted by Rick_Rawlings
I'm still not exactly sure why we got kicked off there... behindcouch

We didn't get kicked off. It's still there, with a die-hard core still hanging out at the BOC bar.


In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. But in practice, there is.
#4373252 - 08/08/17 06:13 AM Re: History of development? [Re: Hauksbee]  
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Rick_Rawlings Offline
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Originally Posted by Hauksbee
Originally Posted by Rick_Rawlings
I'm still not exactly sure why we got kicked off there... behindcouch

We didn't get kicked off. It's still there, with a die-hard core still hanging out at the BOC bar.

The sim outhouse OFF board. Looking back over those old threads, it's amazing how much Winder used to be on the boards!


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