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#1392535 - 08/15/04 05:49 PM Wings of War + modding potential - WW1 sim fans please read!  
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Drawde Offline
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Apologies for this long post!

I also posted this on the SWWISA (Society of WW1 Sim Artisans) forum but thought it might be
worth posting here too. I have put it in the KOE rather than general sim forum as this seems to be
where most WW1 sim fans post.

When I first played this game I fully expected to be disappointed with yet another
glorified shoot-em-up with a generic assortment of WW1 aircraft, simplistic combat, and a
fixed third-person view!
However instead I was pleasantly surprised. Firstly, the level of graphical detail and
accuracy in both the aircraft and terrain is amazing. Apart from a few things (like bright
green forest edges) the level of terrain detail is almost equal to IL-2 and really looks convincing,
(the terrain in the training mission really does look like England, not just a generic green landscape).
The aircraft are beautifully modelled and have detailed virtual cockpits with moving instruments.

Secondly, the variety of aircraft in the game is incredibly impressive. It's not just Camels and Spads versus
Fokkers. Amongst others, the game has the DH2, BE2, Dolphin, Breguet 14, Caproni Ca.33, Hansa-Brandenburg
seaplane fighter, Siemens-Schuckert, Fokker Eindecker, and many, many more. All are flyable, though you can't actually
pilot the multi-engine bombers unfortunately, only man the gunner and bomb aimer's positions.

Thirdly, the flight and combat modelling is not as bad as I thought. If you set flight modelling to "Classic"
and difficulty to "Hard" the game is much more of a flight sim than a shoot-em-up. Aircraft handling is still
more than a bit forgiving (hard to stall unless you virtually throttle down to zero) and damage modelling appears
to be purely hitpoint-based, but it is certainly not a "flying-on-rails" game like Secret Weapons over Normandy.
You can also turn off things like the targeting boxes that appear around aircraft. With this turned off, watching
for enemies, identifying them, and keeping track of them in battle is a genuine challenge in itself.

Basically, the flight model is not in any way detailed and highly accurate, but on the other hand it is not a simple
arcade model either. It does give a convincing feeling of flight, and things like machinegun bullet trajectories are
also modelled well which makes combat more challenging.

However, and it's a big however, even if you don't mind the FM, WoW is far from being the WW1 sim that so many people want. Mainly because the game has, currently, absolutely zero moddability and extendability. You are stuck with the 13 campaign missions, and though they are long, fun to play, and quite replayable, playing the same scripted missions again and again is not what most flight-sim fans, including me, enjoy. There is an instant-action mode but this only allows for simple dogfights; it's nothing like IL-2's Quick Mission Builder where you can specify the types of enemy aircraft, skill,
ground targets, etc.
All of the data files are packed into archive/storage files, so it is not currently possible to paint aircraft skins,
mod the FM, terrain, sounds, etc.

It doesn't have to stay this way, however! From looking at the data files in a hex editor, most of the data in them is
uncompressed or at most only lightly compressed, and certainly not encrypted. Anyone with programming knowledge and
an understanding of binary file formats and (maybe) basic compression techniques (i.e NOT me) would be able to write an
extractor. This sort of thing has been done with many games in the past, including some which use completely compressed
data formats (e.g BF1942).
All the textures and sound files are standard .DDS and .WAV which will allow easy graphics and sound modding once there is a way to extract them. Configuration files for aircraft etc. are stored in the data files, not hard-coded, however I don't
know whether they are ASCII or not.
Also I'm not sure in which format (binary or ASCII) the mission files are. Even if they are binary, though, it would still be possible to make a mission editor; again, this has been done for other games in the past
(e.g LucasArt's X-Wing/Tie Fighter series), by deciphering the original binary mission files, with no help from the developers as far as I know.

All it needs is a few people with good programming skills and an interest in WW1 sims. Then this would open the way to other non-programmer modders and mission creators who could work to improve the game.

Though this would certainly require some work, there are a lot of very dedicated people in the WW1 sim community. Apart
from the many RB3D mods, and the FS:SDOE WW1 project, some people have been talking about creating a new sim from scratch,
or modding other newer sims such as Strike Fighters and CFS3, simply because of the lack of any up-to-date WW1 sim.

I wrote and posted this because after playing WoW and feeling frustrated at how close it was to being the great WW1 sim
that so many people here wish there was, and then thinking; with some work from the community, it virtually -could- be.
I thought it would be such a shame for this game to just die away and be forgotten (like Wings of Honour); as the future
of KoE is now somewhat in doubt, WoW seems like an opportunity for a decent WW1 sim which is too good to miss.

Overall I would say that at 19.99 (the standard UK price) WoW is well worth buying for any WW1 aviation fan even if it does not have the world's most sophisticated FM.
But the game really needs the community to take it that final step to being a genuinely good sim.

Anyway, I'd like to hear everyone's views on this.

Inline advert (2nd and 3rd post)

#1392536 - 08/15/04 06:28 PM Re: Wings of War + modding potential - WW1 sim fans please read!  
Joined: Jan 2001
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RSColonel_131st Offline
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Vienna, 2nd rock left.
I'm pleased to hear that the planes actually have cockpits...the lack of internal screenshots on the website made me question that.

If this is as you say, then indeed it sounds like a good base for modding once someone breaks trough. Hey, EAW never was officially moddable, and look where they are now. Perhabs a crosslink to this post on the EAW board would get them interested.

#1392537 - 08/16/04 02:53 AM Re: Wings of War + modding potential - WW1 sim fans please read!  
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FlyXwire Offline
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So the PC version is available Drawde?

I found some more sceenshots of WoW (not sure if they're X-box or PC):









Looks purdy, but can it fight!

Maybe I'll have to drop that boycott of Destineer afterall. \:D

Interesting post Drawde...........maybe you can you tell us more about how well joystick/rudder pedal control is enabled, and how the cockpits are rendered.........how bouts some screenshots from in-game?

#1392538 - 08/16/04 08:11 AM Re: Wings of War + modding potential - WW1 sim fans please read!  
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franksvalli Offline
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I found those somewhere too FlyX - made my mouth salivate but I had mixed feelings because of the reactions on this forum to it. Definitely looks nice, and the arcade style sounds O.K. but it just doesn't feel right. Maybe arcade style will get people interested into WWI aviation though? If that's what it takes...

-FranksValli

#1392539 - 08/16/04 10:03 AM Re: Wings of War + modding potential - WW1 sim fans please read!  
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Drawde Offline
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Drawde  Offline
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Cookham,Berkshire,UK
It's out in the UK now but apparently not in the US. EBgames.com gives a release date of 6th September.
Who knows, maybe the US version will have additional fixes/improvements. It is also out on Xbox.

The "collectable power-ups" feature - the most "arcadey" part of the game and the most
off-putting part of the game's box description (it certainly made me hesitate a while before
deciding to buy it) does not appear to be present, thankfully, in the single-player campaign,
only in the MP deathmatch. As I said, with the realism/difficulty settings on max, it is definitely more of a
sim (with simplified FM and often rather Hollywood-esque missions, though not nearly as bad as SWON in this respect)
than a shoot-em-up.

It does make me really angry though when a game like this is released. Add a bit more detail to the
FM/DM, and include the mission editor, and you have a game which WW1 sim fans might be playing for years.
As it is, it will probably be played for a few days by action-gamers and then left to gather dust when they complete it
or get bored with it.
Do the publishers/developers -really- think that marketing it as an action game will make all the FPS-fans start playing it instead of Doom 3, and earn them vast amounts of money?
Surely it would make more sense to create a game which earns the respect of the sim community and which people will be playing and buying for years to come. It is true to an extent that the sim community can be very demanding and unforgiving
but this is generally much more the case with sims which cover an already well-trodden area - i.e WW2 Western Front, and modern jet fighters. Also, if you make your game easily moddable, people will be able to fix things themselves rather than complaining endlessly about it to the developers (e.g IL-2 with things like muzzle flashes and AI gunnery; yes, I know that on the other hand it prevents MP cheating, but you really have to wonder sometimes.. most moddable games nowadays have compatibility-checks to prevent people with dissimilar files playing together online)

It just seems a shame (referring to WoW) that all the time and effort put into creating the aircraft models and detailed mission environments might be wasted!

("Operation Tiger Hunt" was rather similar from the point of view of a tank-sim fan (as I also am), this
game was never released in the UK though so I have only played the demo. A pity because this game appeared
to be quite "moddable" looking at the demo files and could have been improved realism-wide)

#1392540 - 08/16/04 10:09 AM Re: Wings of War + modding potential - WW1 sim fans please read!  
Joined: Jun 2001
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Drawde Offline
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Drawde  Offline
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Cookham,Berkshire,UK
About joystick control, this appears to be fully supported. Steering, rudder
and throttle all work along with the hat switch and various buttons. There is also mouselook
in the cockpit view.
I don't think there's any additional support for advanced joysticks though.

The control surfaces are animated on the aircraft (unlike Wings of Honour I think)
and the instruments in the cockpit (control column, pedals, gauges) also move.

I'll see if I can grab some screenshots later.

#1392541 - 08/16/04 10:45 AM Re: Wings of War + modding potential - WW1 sim fans please read!  
Joined: Nov 2006
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FinnN Offline
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It certainly looks good, and if I see it in a shop I might buy it - but with simple damage modelling and presumably gameplay that's a world away from the missions and campaigns you get in games like IL2, CFS3, etc I can't really see it being that suitable as the next 'big' WW1 game. It's true that the nice scenery and large numbers of planes give it a good head start but I think most people agree that it's programmers not modellers and texture artists that are in short supply. And it seems to me that virtually the whole game would have to be tweaked/altered to make it into a proper sim.

In a perfect world I'd like to see a new sim egine with an open architecture aimed specifically at WW1. Unless someone drops a bombshell this isn't going to happen any time soon.

The next two options are equally attractive to me. First off an existing closed engine is licensed commercially as the basis for a WW1 game. This has the advantage of being an 'out of the box' solution would be great for an instant hit of WW1 action. I think IL2 would be perfectly suited for that and without a question I'd buy such a game immediately and probably play it to death. As I also like to help in the creation of add-ons though, this route would be ultimately very unsatisfying for me - especially as it'd be even more unlikely to get extra planes into the game than it would be with the standard IL2 game.

Second would be to take an open architecture game such as CFS3 and use that as a basis. I mention CFS3 as personally I think it is the best bet. The way the campaign works would be perfect for WW1, and the high poly capability of the game means that finally we could have some truly detailed internals and externals without too much of an fps hit - and that's something I think is very important for a WW1 game. It also supports multiple positions in a plane online. The downside is that none of the open architecture games are WW1 era so there's no foundation to work up from.

The final option is to push existing older engines to their limits and keep with them - engines such as SDOE and RB3D. Personally I think these are really starting to show their age now. It's quite amazing what's been done with them and I think this very success has prevented a move to another engine. After all, why move from a game with 40+ planes and all the scenery and vehicles to match to a game with none? Especially when there's no obvious single successor - some will say Strike Fighters, others IL2, others CFS3, Targetware, etc. It's quite possible that whichever of these sims gets a signficant number of planes, of a quality superior to what's possible in the old engines, will be the next 'big' WW1 game. And that of course is impossible to predict - if in fact it even ever happens...

Have fun
Finn

#1392542 - 08/19/04 04:27 PM Re: Wings of War + modding potential - WW1 sim fans please read!  
Joined: Dec 2000
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Cas141 Offline
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Cas141  Offline
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Northern hemisphere
Well, I've just picked this up in PC World for 19.99. I'll load up and give it a go, and give my first impressions later.
I have flown them all, (and I don't understand the comments re FMs - who the hell knows what is authentic? \:\) ) and I will be rating it on comparison with FCG and Red Baron, what it looks like and if it is fun!!
In view of KOE not even existing yet, if ever, I don't see why Wings of War can't have a forum of its own? ;\)
Later...


Mankind's problem is not failing to know the difference between right and wrong; - It is failing to know the difference between different and wrong
#1392543 - 08/20/04 12:27 AM Re: Wings of War + modding potential - WW1 sim fans please read!  
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FlyXwire Offline
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Lookin' forward to hearing your impressions Cas141!

I'm wondering how accurate the cockpits look, and how well the instrumentation functions.......hope you can touch on that too.

Thanks!

#1392544 - 08/20/04 02:58 PM Re: Wings of War + modding potential - WW1 sim fans please read!  
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Drawde Offline
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Will post some screenshots soon, I'm having some problems with HyperSnap DX at the minute, it
seems to mess up half the screenshots I take (are there any other good DirectX screenshot programs?)

#1392545 - 08/20/04 03:58 PM Re: Wings of War + modding potential - WW1 sim fans please read!  
Joined: Dec 2000
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Cas141 Offline
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Cas141  Offline
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Northern hemisphere
I'va had a half day at this and it is better than a curate's egg. In fact, in some parts it is very good. The first impressions are as follows and I agree with Drawde that this sim could become another EAW.
My system is Athlon 1800;512 Ram Radeon 9800 Pro Omega drivers for Win98SE.
I use a Cougar and trackIR. And a projector!

This sim can be a real arcade yukkie , but it can also be loaded to hard settings and then it isn't easy; but nor does it go into the realms of "realistic" (meaning impossibly hard to fly ).
1. As Drawde said, the FMs (I've only flown a Eindecker and a British pusher, so far ) are not detailed - no torque etc. In a dogfight, the throttle of the AI and yourself can be "matched" (sheesh!), but importantly this can be set off and so you can overshoot the AI etc - and the AI is a good fighter- scissors for instance.
The reason I have flown the two basic planes is that you don't get access to all the planes at first, they become available as you progress in the Campaign. They then also become available in the Instant Action mode.
This means,FlyXwire (S!), that so far I've not seen all the cockpits; what i have seen suggest the cockpits are basic, instruments work but they are not as well portrayed as RB. There is a funny HUD, but you'll want to "lose" that using the settings.
So, if the flying parameters were the same as Red Baron it would be hopeless in comparison;- but it has some lovely goodies, which make it fun for me, over Red Baron.
The terrain - Is very, very good. In parts it is brilliant.The buildings and railway stations and railway lines are excellent - Flying low level along them is a buzz. Low level is great.
The only fault of the terrain is, like EAW, they have attempted 3d forests/hills and it doesn't come off. (Job for a modder, as in EAW ;\) )The individual trees are first class, as is the rest of the terrain.
It is a pleasure to dogfight over terrain like this. In fact, as I was concentrating on one encounter I thought "what is this coming at me"-then a realistic flock of birds passed me . A really lovely touch.
By this time i was using trackir -ordinary mouse view as opposed to absolute - but nonetheless very good and keeping centre better than the original IL2. With trackir, the immersion is really there.
The guns are too accurate, but sound Ok and are not immediately lethal. As far as I can make out their accuracy cannot be adjusted.
There are rockets! IMHO, bloody ridiculous in a WW 1 sim ( Someone is going to tell me there really were rockets fitted to planes \:\) )and they are lethal. Spoils the dogfight when used. I don't know if /and how they are turned off from being used by the AI.
Padlock - There is a toggle type enemy finder, ie there is an arrow pointing in the enemy's direction which, when it comes in view, has a discreet box around it.This can be turned off. When it is, the ability to find the enemy is as "realistic" as any sim. Better than IL2 in this regard.
There is no padlock where the target is Centre screen or "held" as you "jink" to fight it. You keep it in view by using the POV Hat, or mouse ( or Trackir \:D )

I run at 1360 x 1020 x 32; 2AA and it is smooth, even with several AI enemy - They build up , ala Red Baron style. The planes externally look excellent, better than any other WW1 sim!

I anticipate excellent ground attack missions, and I think - in fact, I'm sure, I will play this more than Red Baron.

I venture to suggest what this Sim needs to become a classic.
1. A forum here on Sim HQ,
2. An ability to be modded like EAW/ Red Baron etc. Do you think that possible Drawde?
3. A mission builder of some sort.
It is better than the originals of either of EAW or Red Baron, IMHO.

It cost me less than 20. Worth every penny. I really hope this progresses.
There was a thread recently discussing what may attract and hold new simmers. Tom Cofield made some wise telling comments in it. This sim could do that IMHO.
Give it a go - It deserves your support


Mankind's problem is not failing to know the difference between right and wrong; - It is failing to know the difference between different and wrong
#1392546 - 08/20/04 05:37 PM Re: Wings of War + modding potential - WW1 sim fans please read!  
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Ursus Offline
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Cas, Hello mate,
some screenshots would be nice! This sounds interesting.

#1392547 - 08/20/04 06:35 PM Re: Wings of War + modding potential - WW1 sim fans please read!  
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FinnN Offline
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FinnN  Offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Cas141:
...Someone is going to tell me there really were rockets fitted to planes...
Yes indeed! Although they were only intended to be used against balloons. I doubt they were ever used against aircraft, and if they were I doubt they ever hit anything. The Germans also had guided anti-shipping missiles, although these never made it past the testing stage.

Have fun
Finn

#1392548 - 08/20/04 09:53 PM Re: Wings of War + modding potential - WW1 sim fans please read!  
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Toadvine Offline
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Seattle
"It is better than the originals of either of EAW or Red Baron, IMHO."

Whoa, that is saying quite a bit! Especially since I was expecting total pap from this game. I am definitely picking this one up when it arrives here in Seattle.

#1392549 - 08/21/04 01:33 AM Re: Wings of War + modding potential - WW1 sim fans please read!  
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FlyXwire Offline
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Thanks Cas141 and Drawde!

We'll have to try this one for sure, and sounds like it has some serious potential.

Now what multiplayer modes are supported I wonder..........the game description mentions support for LAN gaming also! \:\)

#1392550 - 08/21/04 02:19 AM Re: Wings of War + modding potential - WW1 sim fans please read!  
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FlyXwire Offline
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FlyXwire  Offline
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I found some more X-box screenshots for WOW while searching the web tonight, this one includes a view of a Fokker D.VII in a paint scheme that looks like one flown by Ltn. Franz Buchner while he was Staffelfuhrer of Jasta 13:

[img]http://groups.msn.com/_Secure/0TQDtAicYU...485698866759137[/img]

Here a Zeppelin goes down over winter's trenches:

[img]http://groups.msn.com/_Secure/0UQALAzsa3...485698943039347[/img]

I also found this quote concerning multiplayer modes from one of the online game previews:

Co-operative and head-to-head multiplayer Net play for PC players.

Did they say Coop mode!!! \:\)

#1392551 - 08/21/04 03:06 AM Re: Wings of War + modding potential - WW1 sim fans please read!  

**DONOTDELETE**
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Anonymous
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Found two more pictures from the sim.




#1392552 - 08/21/04 03:38 AM Re: Wings of War + modding potential - WW1 sim fans please read!  
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Toadvine Offline
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Toadvine  Offline
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Seattle
Look at the frame work on the burning zep. That has to qualify as detail huh?

#1392553 - 08/21/04 03:58 AM Re: Wings of War + modding potential - WW1 sim fans please read!  
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fearlesslds Offline
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fayetteville
Can't wait for this sim to come out . Hope it comes out when planned unlike KOE . Have bought the Promised Land patch and it keeps kicking me out to desktop ... . Have myself and 2 brothers that love WW1 .


scott hill
#1392554 - 08/21/04 04:12 AM Re: Wings of War + modding potential - WW1 sim fans please read!  
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Toadvine Offline
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Toadvine  Offline
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Seattle
Dude, the sim is out! It is out in the UK right now.

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