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AndyJWest
09-24-2009, 03:10 PM
I've been an amateur programmer now for more years than I like to think about, and am maybe halfway capable. I also have time on my hands (I'm not working for health reasons - getting better though), and was thinking about starting a new project - preferably something fairly simple so that if circumstances change, I've not committed myself to too much.

It seems worth asking if anybody has any ideas for something useful for the IL-2 community that isn't already available - I'm not talking about mods, needless to say, and it will have to be a practical project for a lone programmer.

If you have any ideas, post them here. No promises of course, but I'm open to suggestions.

Andy

stalkervision
09-24-2009, 03:38 PM
Originally posted by AndyJWest:
I've been an amateur programmer now for more years than I like to think about, and am maybe halfway capable. I also have time on my hands (I'm not working for health reasons - getting better though), and was thinking about starting a new project - preferably something fairly simple so that if circumstances change, I've not committed myself to too much.

It seems worth asking if anybody has any ideas for something useful for the IL-2 community that isn't already available - I'm not talking about mods, needless to say, and it will have to be a practical project for a lone programmer.

If you have any ideas, post them here. No promises of course, but I'm open to suggestions.

Andy


You want to work for Battle of Britain "wings of victory" http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/winky.gif

The BDG guys need people just like you Andy and would love your help to be sure. Great bunch of guys there. I bet you would fit right in.


http://shockwaveproductions.co...43e5cde01467c1454441 (http://shockwaveproductions.com/forum/viewforum.php?f=42&sid=0285c8fc230f43e5cde01467c1454441)


Lots of great projects that I am sure you would just love. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/heart.gif

We just had a guy from il-2 that designed the IL-2 Matt manager do a whole series of new skins for the He-111/stuka and Dorniers in the game! http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_cool.gif

some new 2.10 screenies..

http://shockwaveproductions.co...43e5cde01467c1454441 (http://shockwaveproductions.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=19548&sid=0285c8fc230f43e5cde01467c1454441)


One of mine..

http://img188.imageshack.us/img188/4800/shot212.jpg


http://img23.imageshack.us/img23/1052/shot093.jpg


Discussions on what should the 2.5 patch have already begun. Now is the time. Buy a copy and give it a try.

Urufu_Shinjiro
09-24-2009, 03:50 PM
I'd suggest you take up the Throttle (http://forums.ubi.com/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/23110283/m/2741045185/p/11) project, but it seems that 4.10 or whatever will include dual throttle abilities. Maybe PM one of the TD guys and ask if they think it will be in the next patch and if it might be worth it to take up this project if their implementation is a maybe instead of a for sure.

Waldo.Pepper
09-24-2009, 04:11 PM
I don't care what you do, if ever anything. But I think that those people who are programmers, who do make a useful free utility should be heartily praised. FT's Il-2-sticks is a godsend as are others. (But his pops into mind first.)

So thanks in advance.

Bearcat99
09-24-2009, 04:18 PM
See this thread (http://forums.ubi.com/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/23110283/m/5461050973?r=5461050973#5461050973rl) for some ideas.. also this one (http://forums.ubi.com/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/23110283/m/9111035165?r=8021058165#8021058165).

AndyJWest
09-24-2009, 04:21 PM
stalkervision:

I was thinking more on the lines of something for IL-2 itself. I've not tried Battle of Britain "wings of victory", and I'd think just getting to know the game well enough to be of much use might be a long-term commitment. Also I can't really commit myself to anything that others will rely on getting done on a particular timescale - this will obviously depend on health/employment issues, so perhaps this isn't really sensible for me.

Urufu_Shinjiro:

As you say, there is the possibility that dual throttle control will be provided soonish by the TD guys, but if it isn't going to happen then this might be a possibility. From my understanding of the way DeviceLink works, together with the knowledge I gained on my autopilot prototype, this seems feasible. In fact it almost sounds too simple, and I wonder if there are hidden snags in actually implementing it. I'll have to look through the 'Throttle' thread carefully to see what is in there. Has anybody else tried this, and are there issues that make it difficult?

Edit-----

Bearcat:

I think that most of the ideas in the first thread are probably mods rather than external utilities - not what I had in mind (and if they were, I wouldn't talk about them here, anyway...)

External utilities for .ntrk modification and editing might be possible, in fact I vaguely recall seeing something that was supposed to do this, though what for I can't remember. I'd wondered myself whether it might be possible to add extra static cameras to an existing .ntrk, say, to get the best action shots and what have you. Two issues come to mind though: (a) the legal one: I'd have to reverse-engineer the .ntrk file format to do this, and this could raise copyright issues, and (b) to make a user interface that was half-way practical, it would be necessary to make the camera position adjustable while the track was being displayed - I think a mod would probably be necessary to achieve this - one for Team Daidalos, I think.

Ba5tard5word
09-24-2009, 05:47 PM
How about something that provides an interface to edit the conf file without having to open it and search for stuff? That would be nice, Il2setup leaves out a lot of options.

stalkervision
09-24-2009, 07:26 PM
stalkervision:

I was thinking more on the lines of something for IL-2 itself. I've not tried Battle of Britain "wings of victory", and I'd think just getting to know the game well enough to be of much use might be a long-term commitment. Also I can't really commit myself to anything that others will rely on getting done on a particular timescale - this will obviously depend on health/employment issues, so perhaps this isn't really sensible for me.


you might be right. Just a thought. You might want to get the game and some fun with it anyway thou. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

Aviar
09-24-2009, 08:39 PM
Not too long ago, I had an idea for a utility concerning skins. I posted it here (the actual idea is located in my second post):

http://forums.ubi.com/eve/foru...5410763/m/4471017077 (http://forums.ubi.com/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/45410763/m/4471017077)

Aviar

na85
09-24-2009, 10:08 PM
Originally posted by AndyJWest:
I've been an amateur programmer now for more years than I like to think about, and am maybe halfway capable. I also have time on my hands (I'm not working for health reasons - getting better though), and was thinking about starting a new project - preferably something fairly simple so that if circumstances change, I've not committed myself to too much.

It seems worth asking if anybody has any ideas for something useful for the IL-2 community that isn't already available - I'm not talking about mods, needless to say, and it will have to be a practical project for a lone programmer.

If you have any ideas, post them here. No promises of course, but I'm open to suggestions.

Andy

New il2compare, with the ability to add and remove aircraft from its database.

Bearcat99
09-24-2009, 11:22 PM
Originally posted by AndyJWest:
Bearcat:
I think that most of the ideas in the first thread are probably mods rather than external utilities - not what I had in mind (and if they were, I wouldn't talk about them here, anyway...)


Why would it be a mod.. all the utilities I mentioned in that thread are great user made utilities.. That thread was made before the mods even came out.. @ a year maybe two before in fact.

WTE_Galway
09-24-2009, 11:50 PM
Not sure if it is technically (or legally) possible but an "aircraft viewer" to allow you to view skins you are working on without loading the full game would be an awesome tool.

AndyJWest
09-25-2009, 06:01 AM
Well, there are some ideas to think about here, though, some would likely involve more work than I'd be sensible to commit myself to. Some recurring themes:

Skin Viewer:
------------
This would be a very useful tool, but as WTE_Galway says there are possibly legal issues involved in extracting the 3d aircraft modelling data necessary to do this. I don't do skins of any great significance myself, beyond the odd quick lashup, so I don't know how the ace skinners work at the moment: do they task switch IL-2 in and out, or do they restart IL-2 whenever they need to inspect their masterpiece? I'd need to get a better idea of what the current situation is: any comments would be useful. It would be interesting to know what tools Oleg and co used for skin creation in the first place too...

I have thought of one possible solution, or at least a possible improvement to the current situation, but this will need a bit of experimentation: watch this space...

[Edit]
One possible partial fix here. (http://forums.ubi.com/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/23110283/m/8171042297)
[End edit]

Skin identifier (in Aviar's thread):
------------------------------------
I don't think there is any way to match a skin to an aircraft type, short of some sort of AI algorithm - way beyond my capabilities, I think. As has been said before, the aircraft i.d. ought to have been included into the file format in the first place, but wasn't.

Since any legitimate use for this wouldn't involve 'borrowing' other peoples skins, another approach would be for someone to create a centralised database of all publicly-released skins, together with the aircraft type they were intended for. One could then compare the skin one has with the database - this could be speeded up considerably using some sort of hash value generated from the skin file to do comparisons. Without the database though, this won't work, and someone would have to compile and maintain it - a heck of a lot of work.

Improved conf.ini editor
------------------------
Again this would be very useful, but I don't think it is really a practical proposition. There are just to many parameters in the file to provide a proper editing interface for each - I'd have to know what all the parameters are, and what all the valid values for each one too. This is a moving target anyway, as each patch will add new parameters, so the application would need to be updatable relatively simply to achieve this.

Given that the conf.ini file is effectively a database of sorts, it is even possible that an existing general-purpose application might be available that would do the job - just a thought.

.................................................. .......................

There are quite a few other possiblities for utilities in the threads that Bearcat gave, perhaps he could indicate which ones he would consider most useful and practical, so I can look at them in more detail.

I commented on editing .ntrk files earlier, and was incorrect in my assumptions, so this may be problematic. A bit of searching found this posting from Tully here (http://forums.ubi.com/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/23110283/m/260100926?r=877104926#877104926) :


When you exit an offline mission there is a button labelled "Save Track". Pressing that button saves what is commonly referred to as an "offline track" in a file with the .trk extension. This is a record of the mission file and the player's control inputs. There is no positional information at all except the starting positions (the mission file) and for proper playback the flight models must be identical to those used in the recording and the control inputs must all be played back at exactly the time they were recorded. It is because of this that attempting to play back on a different patch version or even on a computer that is prone to pauses during missions will pretty much always result in the mission not playing back correctly.

Using the "quick record" feature during a mission or using the "start recording" button on the menu that appears when you press the ESC key records a file with extension .ntrk. This file contains position and timing information for all objects in the mission. In addition to being in binary, it is encrypted. If it were not encrypted it would be of no use to the developers as a means of working out how cheats might be done and it would be of no use to online ladder competitions as a means of resolving disputes about what really happened in matches. These are anong the reasons the community asked for this feature and among the reasons that it was added, so I very much doubt there'll be any clue released about how to decode .ntrk files.

It might be possible to add or resite static cameras in an existing .trk file, but adding them to an .ntrk looks impractical. Would anyone think this facility was useful? Or has it already been done?

.................................................. .......................

I'm still open to new suggestions, so keep thinking guys,

Andy

Tuphlandng
09-25-2009, 08:19 AM
A utility that would allow planes to re-arm and re-fuel would be cool. I think that is something this game is missing.

Bearcat99
09-25-2009, 08:26 AM
That would be a mod...

AndyJWest
09-25-2009, 02:07 PM
Ho hum, looks like my idea for adding static cameras to an existing .trk file won't work:
http://i958.photobucket.com/albums/ae65/ajv00987k/TrackChange.jpg
It looks like there is a checksum or something in the file. Though it might be possible to work around this, on consideration a tool that modifies existing .trk files is open to abuse. I've learned one more thing though, so time not wasted.

The floor is still open to new suggestions (no mods please).

Andy

Waldo.Pepper
10-06-2009, 03:18 AM
Got one for you.

Can you make a utility to print our the controls [setting] screens?

Would have made my life easier today. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

ffb
10-06-2009, 03:42 AM
I know this is about mods in a way... but anyway...

As all map-makers know, the location and type of all objects placed upon a map by the builder are in the actors.static file.... which is nothing to do with objects later added to the map by the mission builder.

It would be very useful to be able to open and list the Objects in an actors.static file. Perhaps to replace one particular building with another one, maybe of a newer type which has a better appearance, or to remove completely all cases of a particular tree or building.
As new Objects are being made in the community it would be nice to replace the old types upon even default maps....or reduce the number of Objects to help the FPS.

AndyJWest
10-06-2009, 06:14 AM
As I understand it, maps cannot currently be altered without a mod. I don't know much about how maps are constructed anyway, I think someone more clued-up than me would need to tackle this. Presumably this data is all text-based, so maybe the project wouldn't be that difficult. I can't think of any obvious objections (other than copyright issues) why modding maps wouldn't be acceptable.

I'm still open to ideas. I've been occupied with 4.09m, so haven't done much programming, but I will give any sensible suggestions serious consideration. As I said in my OP, no mods though.

Bearcat99
10-06-2009, 06:16 AM
Originally posted by Tuphlandng:
A utility that would allow planes to re-arm and re-fuel would be cool. I think that is something this game is missing.

Not any more........ http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-wink.gif

thefruitbat
10-06-2009, 07:03 AM
Originally posted by AndyJWest:
Ho hum, looks like my idea for adding static cameras to an existing .trk file won't work:
http://i958.photobucket.com/albums/ae65/ajv00987k/TrackChange.jpg
It looks like there is a checksum or something in the file. Though it might be possible to work around this, on consideration a tool that modifies existing .trk files is open to abuse. I've learned one more thing though, so time not wasted.

The floor is still open to new suggestions (no mods please).

Andy

It proballay is possible, cause someone over at aaa has a mod for removing icons from ntrks, which is brillient, and was supposed to be impossible.

FlatSpinMan
10-06-2009, 07:21 AM
Can you make some kind of "group objects" for the FMB so that a mission maker could drag a box around a group of objects and move or rotate them, or even better, paste them to another map? That would be hard to do I imagine.

Lt_Letum
10-06-2009, 07:46 AM
A utility that makes racetracks with chimneys and
lights from a saved mission with just way points
in it would be good.

The program would open the mission file with the
waypoints and place a race track of lights and
appropriate objects along the path of the
waypoints.

ffb
10-06-2009, 02:03 PM
Originally posted by FlatSpinMan:
Can you make some kind of "group objects" for the FMB so that a mission maker could drag a box around a group of objects and move or rotate them, or even better, paste them to another map? That would be hard to do I imagine.

The FMB+ can already select/rotate/move a group of Objects... but not copy/paste

only works with static objects though... not things with waypoints

stalkervision
10-06-2009, 02:07 PM
i think the new patch is a pretty good utility all by itself. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_cool.gif

DD_crash
10-17-2009, 03:24 AM
As FFB is going to be getting popular, how about a program to set levels of feedback? I have tried a Cyborg FFB (thanks Mr Zooly http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif) and it seemed a bit weak.

AndyJWest
10-17-2009, 06:17 AM
DD_crash:
There should be software for adjusting FFB levels provided with the joystick, I'd have thought. There are files in the IL-2 Sturmovik 1946\ForceFeedback folder which I assume are the effects, but whether it would be possible to edit these to change levels I don't know.

The only FFB controller I currently have is a Saitek Rumble Force gamepad, and I have to turn the FFB gain setting down quite low for levels not to be distracting, though this is a matter of personal preference more than anything.

Insuber
10-17-2009, 06:59 AM
I'd suggest a very simple but much needed one: a (working) utility to tweak the config.ini parameters.

Regards,
Insuber

BTW Andy, good luck for your health issue.

F16_Neo
10-17-2009, 07:35 AM
If anyone is planning an object-copy application, have a look at Groupcloner (http://www.filefront.com/14739513/groupcloner.zip) - VB6 source is included in the zip.
I recently took a look into the code again after almost 4 years and realised that I should have made a lot more comments... http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/53.gif

Another thing that might be useful would be a simple application that automates the process of turning ntrk's into gun-cam-videos http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

S_p_l_a_s_h_1
10-17-2009, 09:55 AM
Perhaps you could pick up where Leigh (Aces) left off with IL-2 MAT MANAGER. It might be worth asking if he'd hand over the project to someone, since he has long since abandoned it. His contact info is probably still on the boards here somewhere.

It's one of the most useful and indespensable utilities out there, imho, but could stand to have some of the bloat removed, GUI cleaned up/simplified, and generally be updated for changes and additions in the game.

AndyJWest
10-17-2009, 11:12 AM
DD_crash:

I've rechecked my FFB setup, and in fact the levels in IL-2 are relatively low compared to the demonstration effects provided by my gamepad configuration software, so possibly the IL-2 .ffe files could be edited to increase the effects. However, the files are in a binary format, and though it might be possible to figure out how to edit them, I haven't located an editor application for this. Given that controller software should provide adequate adjustment, I'm inclined to think this is a bit of an esoteric utility anyway.

Insuber:

A conf.ini editor has been suggested earlier, this is what I had to say about it:


...this would be very useful, but I don't think it is really a practical proposition. There are just to many parameters in the file to provide a proper editing interface for each - I'd have to know what all the parameters are, and what all the valid values for each one too. This is a moving target anyway, as each patch will add new parameters, so the application would need to be updatable relatively simply to achieve this.

Given that the conf.ini file is effectively a database of sorts, it is even possible that an existing general-purpose application might be available that would do the job - just a thought.


S_p_l_a_s_h_1:

I don't use Mat Manager myself, so don't know what would be involved. In any case, as you say the original author would have to hand over the source, and even then updating might not be practical. Does anyone have a contact for Leigh?


Other Utilities:

One possibility I have been thinking about is an on-screen trim-position indicator. It is simple to poll IL-2 using DeviceLink, and as I have shown with my prototype autopilot (http://forums.ubi.com/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/23110283/m/4121016097?r=8031011197#8031011197) app, it is also possible to overlay a part the IL-2 screen with graphics from another application. There are a few aircraft with trim position indicators in-cockpit (e.g. Mosquito), but otherwise, those using trim slider controls have a real advantage over the rest of us stuck with keyboard etc. The indicators will not need to be very large, and will probably be best displayed in a screen corner. I will also be able to provide a display in a separate window, for dual-screen setups. Unlike my autopilot, this app should work online as well as offline.

I could make the app poll the keyboard as well, so a key could be used to toggle the display on and off, and another key to toggle the trims shown - there is no point showing trims that aren't available for the plane being flown. In theory I could even have the app use DeviceLink to find out what plane is being flown, and set the trims shown accordingly, but this is probably overkill.

Obviously this app will take some processor time etc from IL-2, but I doubt if there will be noticable consequences.

What do people think about this? Would it be useful?

Insuber
10-17-2009, 05:38 PM
ANDY,

Thank you for your answer. Actually a conf.ini editor exists but it is in cyrillic.

Regards,
Ins