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XyZspineZyX
09-14-2003, 04:38 PM
S! All!

I usually give a pretty technical progress report. This time I'll post RAF74_Taipan's words (from the Scorched Earth Message Board):

S!

While we had a few minor hiccups in Saturday nights scorched earth beta testing, it turned out to be simply extraordinary bringing a grin from ear to ear!

First of all by sheer chance we ran what would be close to the largest mission ever run in Forgotten Battles. In the first mission of the day half a dozen of us flew in a mission with 100 aircaft airborne and about 100 active ground units moving, firing and fighting. About halfway through Leadfinger and Walldog both hung up - but although the first minute of two was a bit choppy it was great to realise that the game could take it. The other 4 competed there missions and were shot down or landed.

However on parseing some issues arose - some to do with how we had set up the mission and a small carry over bug from the very latest patch. Walldog rewrote some of the mission generator, and i downloaded it together with all the up to the minute data, so we could try again.

(Wall-dog Note: I'd modified the parser to deal with parachute shooting which Oleg introduced in 1.1b, but in the newest version of FB 1.11, Oleg added another line for parachute killing. In 1.1b I never saw that happen - anyway I had to write a quick line of code to deal with this new log feature from Oleg. When Oleg changes the log file, I have to change the parser...)

Walldog uploaded the latest data into the mission generator. And i reinstalled the latest version of the mission generator. The lads flew a filler mission while we did this.

Buzz and Vic had to go so we were left with Walldog, Penguin, Shades and myself to test. We reflew the first mission again. Had some fun. Now the basis of this series of mission was that unless stopped enemy forces and allied forces would engage the enemy some on delayed starts on a series of north south roads between Simferopol and Sevestopol. Some would be attacks some would be counter attacks.

On the western side of the crimea was 16 PzIV f2 tanks. They were to drive down the west coast road, and with the assistance of the luftwaffe dive bombers destroy a russian defensive position guarding a bridge, and then continue south.

In the first mission Walldog,Penguin and i took some hurricanes and did some train busting. Both Walldog and Penguin lost there planes while shades flying german had some fun getting some kills.

During the first mission i had returned almost out of ammo, and had been forced to watch the bridge defenses being attacked heavily by the 4xJU87. I could also see the defenses firing at the attacking tanks together with artillery as they raced along the road towards that bridge (16 PzIV f2). As my hurricane was damaged i had to push onto base to save the aircraft.

I then took that mission, parsed it and then within 2 mins loaded up a completely new mission. Basically under two mins to analyize the previous mission, and upload a completly new mission excluding everything previously destroyed. Now this is where things became extraordinary and until you see it in action you probably wont realise how exciting it is to see.

There were only two hurricanes in mission two (2 being destroyed in the previous mission). Only 1 LA5 (1 being destroyed in the previous mission) and 2 P39N, (Again two being destroyed in the previous mission). On the german side they were down to 1 BF109 and 3 FW190's. Shades took a 190, Walldog and i the P39 and penguin took the LA5.

When i started the second mission (game time was 9.00am - 1 hour after previous mission), Penguin in the La5 and who was flying from the most northern base said that his waypoints showed him landing at a blue base. Well that didnt make much sense as it was a red base wasnt it - and we had a brief chat about it over teamsound. Must be a bug somehow - we would look at it later.

Walldog and i were at about 6,000 feet just north of that base and over teamsound i said to walldog lets go and see where those tanks are up to that id seen in the previous mission. So we started a shallow dive towards the bridges north of the base expecting to find the tanks there.

I looked over my left shoulder at about 7 oclock and i could see all this AAA going off. I called it to walldog saying - i wonder why that is happening over at that airbase there isnt anything over there is there?

Then it dawned on me.. We turned back towards the base and were just in time to see 12 Pz IV f2 fight there way into the base destroying all the AAA positions and any remaining aircraft. Overflying the base we could see 1 Pz Iv destroyed about 1km north of the base, with the other 3 tanks being destroyed in the previous mission (mission 1).

We called shades up and he flew over in his FW190 and landed at the base which 20 minutes before had been in russian hands. He sat there on the runway with 12 PzIV and still the base continued to receive sporadic incoming artillery. It was almost surreal - he was at a base that only a few minutes before - he would have been shot to pieces if he had tried to land and now he was surrounded by 12 german tanks, even if the base continuyed to take fire - including the fuel supplies. Now this all started in the previous mission and was totally dependant upon the outcome of that mission.

Without doubt probably one of the highlights of my gaming in forgotten battles to date. Not only had the mission generator moved on an hour, it had removed all destroyed units out, changed 4 tank units to 3 tank units (because of losses), moved them forward to the new start point as at 9.00am and let them proceed. Those tanks had then attacked the airbase - destroying the defenses, and occupying it so that the luftwaffe could land!

All around us was an ongoing dynamic war - what we have been promising for so long - but to see it is simply so mind blowingly cool it is brilliant.

This week walldog will work on code to swap landing aircaft into stationary aircraft and stationary aircraft into flying aircraft. This is based on the fact that all aircaft will need up to 1 hour to refuel and rearm after a mission.

Shades continues to work on the GUI for the waypoint system.

Watch this space!

Tai

____

RAF74_Wall-dog

<a href="http://www.doghousecomputing.com/scorchedearth">http://www.doghousecomputing.com/scorchedearth/images/parsersmall.jpg


Message Edited on 09/14/0303:51PM by RAF74_Wall-dog

XyZspineZyX
09-14-2003, 04:38 PM
S! All!

I usually give a pretty technical progress report. This time I'll post RAF74_Taipan's words (from the Scorched Earth Message Board):

S!

While we had a few minor hiccups in Saturday nights scorched earth beta testing, it turned out to be simply extraordinary bringing a grin from ear to ear!

First of all by sheer chance we ran what would be close to the largest mission ever run in Forgotten Battles. In the first mission of the day half a dozen of us flew in a mission with 100 aircaft airborne and about 100 active ground units moving, firing and fighting. About halfway through Leadfinger and Walldog both hung up - but although the first minute of two was a bit choppy it was great to realise that the game could take it. The other 4 competed there missions and were shot down or landed.

However on parseing some issues arose - some to do with how we had set up the mission and a small carry over bug from the very latest patch. Walldog rewrote some of the mission generator, and i downloaded it together with all the up to the minute data, so we could try again.

(Wall-dog Note: I'd modified the parser to deal with parachute shooting which Oleg introduced in 1.1b, but in the newest version of FB 1.11, Oleg added another line for parachute killing. In 1.1b I never saw that happen - anyway I had to write a quick line of code to deal with this new log feature from Oleg. When Oleg changes the log file, I have to change the parser...)

Walldog uploaded the latest data into the mission generator. And i reinstalled the latest version of the mission generator. The lads flew a filler mission while we did this.

Buzz and Vic had to go so we were left with Walldog, Penguin, Shades and myself to test. We reflew the first mission again. Had some fun. Now the basis of this series of mission was that unless stopped enemy forces and allied forces would engage the enemy some on delayed starts on a series of north south roads between Simferopol and Sevestopol. Some would be attacks some would be counter attacks.

On the western side of the crimea was 16 PzIV f2 tanks. They were to drive down the west coast road, and with the assistance of the luftwaffe dive bombers destroy a russian defensive position guarding a bridge, and then continue south.

In the first mission Walldog,Penguin and i took some hurricanes and did some train busting. Both Walldog and Penguin lost there planes while shades flying german had some fun getting some kills.

During the first mission i had returned almost out of ammo, and had been forced to watch the bridge defenses being attacked heavily by the 4xJU87. I could also see the defenses firing at the attacking tanks together with artillery as they raced along the road towards that bridge (16 PzIV f2). As my hurricane was damaged i had to push onto base to save the aircraft.

I then took that mission, parsed it and then within 2 mins loaded up a completely new mission. Basically under two mins to analyize the previous mission, and upload a completly new mission excluding everything previously destroyed. Now this is where things became extraordinary and until you see it in action you probably wont realise how exciting it is to see.

There were only two hurricanes in mission two (2 being destroyed in the previous mission). Only 1 LA5 (1 being destroyed in the previous mission) and 2 P39N, (Again two being destroyed in the previous mission). On the german side they were down to 1 BF109 and 3 FW190's. Shades took a 190, Walldog and i the P39 and penguin took the LA5.

When i started the second mission (game time was 9.00am - 1 hour after previous mission), Penguin in the La5 and who was flying from the most northern base said that his waypoints showed him landing at a blue base. Well that didnt make much sense as it was a red base wasnt it - and we had a brief chat about it over teamsound. Must be a bug somehow - we would look at it later.

Walldog and i were at about 6,000 feet just north of that base and over teamsound i said to walldog lets go and see where those tanks are up to that id seen in the previous mission. So we started a shallow dive towards the bridges north of the base expecting to find the tanks there.

I looked over my left shoulder at about 7 oclock and i could see all this AAA going off. I called it to walldog saying - i wonder why that is happening over at that airbase there isnt anything over there is there?

Then it dawned on me.. We turned back towards the base and were just in time to see 12 Pz IV f2 fight there way into the base destroying all the AAA positions and any remaining aircraft. Overflying the base we could see 1 Pz Iv destroyed about 1km north of the base, with the other 3 tanks being destroyed in the previous mission (mission 1).

We called shades up and he flew over in his FW190 and landed at the base which 20 minutes before had been in russian hands. He sat there on the runway with 12 PzIV and still the base continued to receive sporadic incoming artillery. It was almost surreal - he was at a base that only a few minutes before - he would have been shot to pieces if he had tried to land and now he was surrounded by 12 german tanks, even if the base continuyed to take fire - including the fuel supplies. Now this all started in the previous mission and was totally dependant upon the outcome of that mission.

Without doubt probably one of the highlights of my gaming in forgotten battles to date. Not only had the mission generator moved on an hour, it had removed all destroyed units out, changed 4 tank units to 3 tank units (because of losses), moved them forward to the new start point as at 9.00am and let them proceed. Those tanks had then attacked the airbase - destroying the defenses, and occupying it so that the luftwaffe could land!

All around us was an ongoing dynamic war - what we have been promising for so long - but to see it is simply so mind blowingly cool it is brilliant.

This week walldog will work on code to swap landing aircaft into stationary aircraft and stationary aircraft into flying aircraft. This is based on the fact that all aircaft will need up to 1 hour to refuel and rearm after a mission.

Shades continues to work on the GUI for the waypoint system.

Watch this space!

Tai

____

RAF74_Wall-dog

<a href="http://www.doghousecomputing.com/scorchedearth">http://www.doghousecomputing.com/scorchedearth/images/parsersmall.jpg


Message Edited on 09/14/0303:51PM by RAF74_Wall-dog

XyZspineZyX
09-14-2003, 04:46 PM
WOW



.
<ceter>http://cards.austrosearch.at/images/pic_2002-08-06_193454.jpg </center>

XyZspineZyX
09-14-2003, 04:51 PM
/i/smilies/16x16_smiley-surprised.gif Sounds absolutely amazing.

Even more now I wish I had an internet connection at home. /i/smilies/16x16_smiley-sad.gif

S! Simon.
<center>

'''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''' '''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''' '''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''' '''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''' '''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''' '''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''' ''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''
Download the USAAF campaign folder here (http://www.downloadcounter.com/cgi-bin/download.pl?username=James_Jones&account=705).

http://extremeone.4t.com/images/USsig.jpg
<font color="#000000">It's my attitude not my aptitude that determines my altitude.</font></center>

XyZspineZyX
09-14-2003, 05:08 PM
I thought he said everyone would want to see this?

Takeoffs are optional. Landings are mandatory.

XyZspineZyX
09-14-2003, 05:35 PM
S! US352!

I guess there may be one or two people out there who are not excited by the ability to run fully dynamic (in fact SEQUENTIAL) online campaigns...

But the vast majority of the community will find this to be very exciting.

What some will also find exciting is that I plan on releasing Beta 6.0 of the RAF74 IL2/FB Dynamic Campaign System sometime within the next few weeks. I want to add some GUI stuff to allow users to input data into the database without MS Access first though.

If you don't think what we are doing is exciting, that's just fine. You are entitled to your own opinion. I think the sarcasm is a bit silly considering just how exciting some people will find this, but you aren't going to break anyone's heart telling us you find the idea of dynamic online campaigns boring.

RAF74_Wall-dog

<a href="http://www.doghousecomputing.com/scorchedearth">http://www.doghousecomputing.com/scorchedearth/images/parsersmall.jpg

XyZspineZyX
09-14-2003, 05:40 PM
RAF74_Wall-dog wrote
- What some will also find exciting is that I plan on
- releasing Beta 6.0 of the RAF74 IL2/FB Dynamic
- Campaign System sometime within the next few weeks.
- I want to add some GUI stuff to allow users to input
- data into the database without MS Access first
- though.

Could this be used for offline campaigns at all?

S! Simon.
<center>

'''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''' '''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''' '''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''' '''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''' '''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''' '''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''' ''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''
Download the USAAF campaign folder here (http://www.downloadcounter.com/cgi-bin/download.pl?username=James_Jones&account=705).

http://extremeone.4t.com/images/USsig.jpg
<font color="#000000">It's my attitude not my aptitude that determines my altitude.</font></center>

XyZspineZyX
09-14-2003, 05:50 PM
Walldog.... it's mindblowing in my opinion.. there is a downside though... all of us who are addicted to this game.. can u imagine wanting to leave and not see what happens next???? What will become of our social lives /i/smilies/16x16_smiley-wink.gif

Big applaud at u guys!!

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XyZspineZyX
09-14-2003, 06:10 PM
Are you RAF74 dudes gonna be good samaritans and make an offline version of that thingie? maybe sell to oleg and matt in exchange of some lomac demos or some FB paid add-ons hehehehe /i/smilies/16x16_smiley-happy.gif

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<

XyZspineZyX
09-14-2003, 06:19 PM
Ignore the children! A lot of us think this is a great peace of work! And yes by all means can we get an offline version for us 56kers? Dgen's a little slow on the ground war! Thx for your hard work!

<img src="http://www.world-data-systems.com/aerofiles/albums/userpics/D13-Hamm109 copy.jpg"

XyZspineZyX
09-14-2003, 07:10 PM
WOW!! Can't wait for the official version to come out. Wish you support and success to this great project!


Yes, it can be used offline.

http://fluxout.homestead.com/files/Thx-32x.jpg


"You can discover what your enemy fears most by observing the means he uses to frighten you"

Eric Hoffer (1902 - 1983)

XyZspineZyX
09-14-2003, 07:17 PM
Amazing work, I'm flabbergasted. This could be the best thing to happen to FB this far. S!

"I find your lack of brains disturbing"
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Former Würgerwhiner extraordinaire

XyZspineZyX
09-14-2003, 07:30 PM
for 100 ac and ground units i bet itl be pretty heavy on resurces, i dubt my 1ghz could handle it

XyZspineZyX
09-14-2003, 07:43 PM
I WANT IT................

XyZspineZyX
09-14-2003, 07:51 PM
/i/smilies/16x16_smiley-happy.gif

You guys are amazing... Great work RAF74, WallDog, Taipan, and the entire crew. Can't wait to see how this developes.

~~Salute!~~



WW-V-TFW CO

[email="wwsandman@wingwalkers.org>Email</a>
WW Forum (http://www.wingwalkers.org/Forum/index.php)

XyZspineZyX
09-14-2003, 08:28 PM
S! All!

Thank you for the encouragement!

There is going to be nothing stopping people from using this for offline campaigns, but keep in mind that there will be no AI running the enemy's side of the war. That means you will have to run both sides. You might be able to come up with some interesting 'play by e-mail' scenarios where two people run against each other in offline play, but other than that you will need to essentially control both sides.

It would take a tremendous amount of programming to make the computer run one side of the war. It would also be really cool. Who knows though? At some point Taipan and I will be running the full-blown Scorched Earth war. When that happens I'm planning to not only release the final version of the RAF74 IL2/FB Dynamic Campaign System, but I'm also planning on releasing the code. There are a lot of bright people here. I'm sure that with an open-source campaign system our community can make something really special!

I've been somewhat surprised at just how little attention our project has received. We wouldn't sell to Ubisoft even if they offered, but we have not had any contact with them at all. We've asked Oleg for a couple of things in different releases that would have helped, but have never had a reply and he has not added the things we have asked for. From a commercial perspective, my guess is that people look at our toolset as something that relatively few would be interested in. Lots of people want to PLAY IN online wars, but only a handful of people want to run them. Without the ability for the computer to run one side of the war, this is not something that will compete with Lowengrin's or Starshoy's campaign systems. And there are other popular online wars out there.

I'm excited about what we are doing. I think our format takes emersion to a new level. What Taipan described about last night was a ground battle near an airfield that continued over a two-mission period, culminating with the airfield falling into enemy hands. Had we attacked the tanks in the first mission we might have been able to prevent them from taking the airfield, but we attacked a train instead. But by making the missions sequential, we make what happens in each mission matter. Our format isn't about points, but about terrain. Under our format, wars will be won or lost the war real wars are won or lost - by capturing and holding ground. That's the difference between what we are doing and the other wars out there.



RAF74_Wall-dog

<a href="http://www.doghousecomputing.com/scorchedearth">http://www.doghousecomputing.com/scorchedearth/images/parsersmall.jpg


RAF74_Wall-dog

<a href="http://www.doghousecomputing.com/scorchedearth">http://www.doghousecomputing.com/scorchedearth/images/parsersmall.jpg

adlabs6
09-14-2003, 08:56 PM
If I'm reading your posts right Walldog, then this is really great stuff. Seems like an environment that truly encourages realistic self support and preservation tactics on behalf of players. I'd guess that there is ample room for pilots who primarily enjoy bombers, since holding the terrain is often dependant on the many ground objects and supply lines. Thanks for the efforts! /i/smilies/16x16_smiley-happy.gif



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XyZspineZyX
09-14-2003, 09:26 PM
all we need now is dedicated servers to run it

XyZspineZyX
09-14-2003, 11:45 PM
Just awesome! This may sound silly,but I'll ask it: How friendly will this be to us 56kers? Will these Scorched Earth campaigns be playable for us? Anyways,kudos for your dedication./i/smilies/16x16_smiley-wink.gif

47|FC
http://rangerring.com/wwii/p-47.jpg

XyZspineZyX
09-15-2003, 02:13 AM
Sounds very cool indeed - I love the idea of flying so what you do makes a difference - seems like games have had a tough time striking the right balance between the "nothing I do matters" and the "one plane/pilot can change the outcome of the war" extremes. This sounds like a good middle ground, and a huge step forward from the dynamic campaigns we have now (always kinda got to me destroying a big bridge on one mission and having it be rebuilt overnight before my next mission).

Hope you guys are able to get this working before the next patch blows it away - this could just be the thing to get me to try flying on-line after all this time - really looking forward to it.

Keep up the good work, and thanks!


Wir sind die schwarzen Husaren der Luft,
Die Stukas, die Stukas, die Stukas.

... "Stuka-Lied"

XyZspineZyX
09-15-2003, 02:56 AM
S! necrobaron,

You ask about 56k playability with Scorched Earth. Relax, you will be pleased to know that I have a 56k line and was flying in the tests mentioned in Taipan's report. For the first mission with 100 planes and 100 ground units it was a little choppy, occasional microstutters. But I still was able to dogfight, landing hits on a La-5 (Wall-dog) from my 109-G2.

Then on the subsequent missions I flew a Fw190-A4 and had good success against turning P-40, P39 and Douglas aircraft. These missions had smaller numbers of units, but it was butter smooth and I was easily able to make large-deflection shots with no warping by the target.

What Taipan didn't say was that I shot down 2 Douglas transports at the overrun airbase as the tanks were rolling in under the Russian artillery barrage. The Douglas passengers all parachuted (in vain at the low altitude) but the game did not miss a beat with the artillery, tanks, multiple parachutes, smoke columns etc.

Of course, the faster your PC the better. My rig is:

3 GHz P4, 1 GB PC2700, Radeon 9700PRO, SBLive!, MS FFB2, ASUS P4G8X mobo, 56 kb modem. The ping to the server was about 200 ms.

Cheers,
IV/JG7_4Shades

XyZspineZyX
09-15-2003, 03:40 AM
S! 4Shades!

What really got me was that when the airbase fell, it was the first time in IL2 or Forgotten Battles where for a moment I got so involved in what was going on that for a moment it didn't feel like a game.

Incidentally, 4Shades isn't just a talented programmer. He's a darn good pilot too!

RAF74_Wall-dog

<a href="http://www.doghousecomputing.com/scorchedearth">http://www.doghousecomputing.com/scorchedearth/images/parsersmall.jpg

XyZspineZyX
09-15-2003, 04:46 AM
OK, let me get this straight...this is probably the best thing that has happened for ONLINE gaming!!! Now I understand the concept of your work!!! This is what I take of what you have acomplished:

- Made a software that can run an on-going 'real time' war so that users can get in on any time and find a war running, get out and still the war continues with damages, victories, defeats being left and accumulated until a set of flags are met to constitute a victory on either side!


If this is what you have made then you should get an award! Jane's simulations and Novalogic tried and never delivered and you have! Great work!!!

http://fluxout.homestead.com/files/Thx-32x.jpg


"You can discover what your enemy fears most by observing the means he uses to frighten you"

Eric Hoffer (1902 - 1983)

XyZspineZyX
09-15-2003, 05:30 AM
Thanks for clearing that up,4Shades. I can't wait!/i/smilies/16x16_smiley-happy.gif

47|FC
http://rangerring.com/wwii/p-47.jpg

XyZspineZyX
09-15-2003, 06:56 AM
This sounds great! Can't wait on this proggy - amazing work! /i/smilies/16x16_smiley-happy.gif

A couple of questions:

What happens when you loose your plane or get killed? Does the dynamic engine count planes and pilots for each side as BadBernie's FD Daemon?

For how long will or can a campaign go on? You mentioned a test campaign with two missions capturing an airbase.

Will it be possible for players to enter the game at any time from HL and pick a side?

XyZspineZyX
09-15-2003, 07:18 AM
S! txmx,

As I understand it (Wall-dog or Taipan will correct me if I get it wrong), the SE war is persistent. It is designed to be run over many hundreds of missions, or more. All unit losses will be tracked, as will pilot records, unit locations, infrastructure, fuel, front lines etc, in EVERY mission, for as long as the war continues.

I think you could run a short on-line war with the SE program - but it is primarily designed for a long, immersive campaign. I think the idea is that people just meet in HL and join missions. The missions themselves will be scheduled by a hierarchy of commanders on each side. The commanders will make and delete missions dynamically, according to weather, supplies, advances/retreats and combat losses. Then, as those missions are executed, the lucky pilots will be those who turn up in HL. EVERY mission operative at that campaign date/time will be in the air, as each pilot concentrates on his/her specific mission. If you go looking for trouble, you will probably find it! If you get shot down doing so, then your side has one less plane to use, perhaps lost doing something stupid!

So it is not like a scripted dogfight, where you can work hard for an hour, die 10 times and win or lose, then forget what you did. This war goes on for months, and any mistake you make will be a PERMANENT disadvantage for your side. Picture a land battle being fought for a strategic town over several days. You have to prevent enemy bombers blowing up your tanks - you have to suppress their ground units to make it easier for your tanks. Whoever finally wins the battle will feel they have achieved something - but at what cost? The SE war system will count the cost. Sometimes winning a battle can lose you the war.

Sounds great, huh?

Cheers,
IV/JG7_4Shades

XyZspineZyX
09-15-2003, 07:30 AM
Pardon me if I'm dense/i/smilies/16x16_smiley-tongue.gif ,but can you respawn during a mission? Once you've chosen a side,do you have to stick with that side? I ask this because what if you have someone who typically flies for the opposing side,deciding to sabotage your mission by flying under your flag? They could just keep committing suicide,destroying your side's valuable planes and resources.

47|FC
http://rangerring.com/wwii/p-47.jpg

XyZspineZyX
09-15-2003, 07:49 AM
S! necrobaron,

Each mission is an FB coop - so no respawning. You can only die once per mission.

Also, and I am thinking out loud here, it wouldn't be right to allow players to swap sides too often, because they would take valuable intelligence with them. Wall-dog would have a better idea of the settings here, but it did happen in WWII occasionally, as did pilots going loco and sabotaging their own missions. But certainly the game would work best if people who wanted to act stupid went elsewhere instead.

By the way, missions can proceed without loads of human pilots - AI will take over the slots. There will be recons, resupplies, SEAD, ground attack, bombing, CAP, anti-shipping etc. Plenty of variety, all set in a randomly generated weather climate too. When you see the other side's pilots lining up in the FB aircraft selector, it is likely they will all have their own specific missions, and you won't even see them in the air. But then again, you might ...

Cheers,
IV/JG7_4Shades

XyZspineZyX
09-15-2003, 07:59 AM
Thanks again FourShades. What sides are there to choose from? Is this Luftwaffe vs.VVS or what? Sorry for all the questions,but this really has my interest piqued...

47|FC
http://rangerring.com/wwii/p-47.jpg

XyZspineZyX
09-15-2003, 08:03 AM
S! necrobaron,

The initial campaign theatre is the Crimea map. It will be Luftwaffe (OKL) vs VVS. I am not sure of the kick-off date, i.e. 1941 or 1942 or what.

Cheers,
IV/JG7_4Shades

XyZspineZyX
09-15-2003, 09:07 AM
Mate I cant wait to try this thing out it sounds awsome,

I wonder if oleg would be interested in this program sounds like the perfect addon for this sim IMHO.

No1RAAF_Pourshot


http://members.optusnet.com.au/~andycarroll68/mybaby.jpeg.JPG

Ride it like ya stole it.

XyZspineZyX
09-15-2003, 09:21 AM
I had a small taste of this last week, I jumped into Taipans coop which turned out to be a test of the mission settings I think, all the same although there were only 4 of us there were loads of planes, ground vehicles etc active on the map and I found that after the first 5-10 secs it was reasonably smooth and my connection struggles to get anywhere near 56k, my ping was around the 250 - 300.

All in all a lot of fun and with the promise of being able to fly later and see the outcome (either positive or negative)of your efforts it should be great if all goes well.
Just wondering if this will be squadron only or will individuals be allowed to fly?

JG4_Tiger

XyZspineZyX
09-15-2003, 09:59 AM
this sounds just great.

so if the action goes on over months, does the map change as one side's forces advance or retreat? Or does everything take place on one map?

This could be awesome for recreating actual operations such as Bagration or whatever.

I've not done any coop missions yet but this sounds like it will do it for me. Great stuff - surprising that Oleg hasn't picked up on it and helped you out.

My rig is 2.0Mhz with 1gig DDR RAM and a Radeon 9600 - fine for most things but surely would struggle a bit with hundreds of objects going on at once?



http://www.endlager.net/fis/pix/banners/fis_banner_07.gif


She turned me into a newt, but I got better.

XyZspineZyX
09-15-2003, 10:36 AM
S! Tiger27 and bazzaah2,

Quick answers:

Squads and/or Individuals: I am not sure. I can't see why individuals wouldn't be able to play, but Wall-dog or Taipan would know for sure.

Different Maps: A lot of work goes into making the map automation work (ask Taipan!). At the moment only Crimea is set up. If there is enough demand then maybe another map or two might be added later.

Cheers,
IV/JG7_4Shades

XyZspineZyX
09-15-2003, 11:28 AM
I have been in contact with Taipan regarding settings, and understand that they will not be "full real", which is fine. I'm wondering if this program will be made available to other groups who would like run an online war with different settings?

"Those people in aviation, who think they know it all, are particularly annoying to those of us who really do" /i/smilies/16x16_smiley-happy.gif

IV/JG51_Razor
Intelligence Officer

XyZspineZyX
09-15-2003, 12:21 PM
S! All!

4Shades is correct - the war will essentially be perpetual (at least until one side wins). Because it is based on ground activity, it's hard to predict how long it will last or what maps will be used. We are going to do the southern part of Barbarossa. We will use whatever maps the participants carry the war to. If you are German, you probably won't want us to use the Berlin map http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif.

This will be a squadrons-only war, but we are going to be as accomodating as possible for non-squadron pilots. Simply put, you have to be a part of the hierarchy - you have to be in a 'squadron' at least as far as the war goes. Missions will be based upon squadrons and flights. This isn't going to be a war in which you just pick a plane and go. Your squadron commander will have orders. You will fly as a part of your squadron/flight in support of those orders.

But as I said - non-squadron pilots will be able to fly as long as they are willing to band-together in a Scorched Earth 'squadron' that follows our war. You won't be able to fly completely rogue. But you don't have to be in a 'real' squadron either.

And the reason is - as people speculated - we don't want anyone 'changing sides.' Your squadron will be a part of either one side or the other. You will be in that squadron. So you will be either on one side or the other...

We will be releasing beta copies of the program as we add functionality. We will not release a final version of the program (Version 1.0) until AFTER Scorched Earth starts, but after Scorched Earth has gained traction we will release the full toolset to the community. yes - you will be able to run your own wars with whatever settings you want. We are at beta 5.2 right now - which does not have mission building capabilities and may have some log parsing issues with version 1.11 of Forgotten Battles. I am pretty close to having a version 6.0 (beta) of the program ready. Version 6.0 will work just great with the newest version of Forgotten Battles, and the mission builder will be functional - though it will be designed more for air operations than ground operations (we still have to write the code that forces ground units to follow roads - though as long as participants can make waypoints along roads the ground war does work...). Essentially, beta 6.0 will work well for mini-wars. We may release other betas before we get to the first non-beta release, but we will not release a full-blown mission generator until Scorched Earth gains traction (for obvious reasons).

We are also toying with the idea of releasing the code for the program. It would be pretty cool to see what it would turn into if it were open-source.

As for settings, what we want to do is 1) ensure that Scorched Earth settings are 'hard enough' that everything someone gets is earned, and 2) allow different squadrons to fly with whatever settings they are comfortable with. To accomplish both, we will have a 'minimal standard' for difficulty settings that will be almost (but not quite) 'full real.' Those who wish to have more difficult settings will be able to do so by coordinating with the other squadrons involved in each particular mission.

Taipan is setting up the rules so he will know the settings better than I do, but I believe the 'minimal standard' will be with limited-range icons and padlock. There has been some discussion about external-views (which I like) but due to the 'radar' that externals give we won't allow them. It's too bad you can't have limited externals... But you play with the cards you are dealt...

So rest assured that the settings will be 'hard'.

We will be starting mini-wars shortly - as soon as we have the waypoint entry system (with the participants controlling the action we have to have an interface for them to do so) working we will fire the miniwars off. I was going to make a text-box/drop-down-list waypoint entry page that would be crude but that would work. As I was working on that though, 4Shades dropped in and started doing a really cool map-based 'click where you want to go' waypoint entry page. I thought to myself "this guy is six months ahead of where we are on this - we need his help!" and 4Shades agreed to help us! Before 4Shades started helping, we'd had others offer, but nobody really delivered anything. All of the work had been the work of just two people - myself and Taipan.

So we decided to hold-off on mini wars until that gui map interface is ready...

The mini-wars will be a ton of fun, but the purpose of them will be primarily to give us a firm test-bed to use while we add more functionality to the mission generator. We have all of the 'core' functionality done, but there is still a lot of peripherial stuff to do, and some of the work yet ahead of us is pretty important!

The 'kick-off' date will be the start of hostilities with the Battle of Barbarossa. That's the full war - not the mini wars. I believe we are using the Crimea for the mini-wars. And the full thing will be the southern part of Barbarossa..

Will the maps change? Yes - but as 4Shades said, there is a tremendous amount of work involved in making the program work with a particular map. But we will have to use whatever maps the war progresses to...

I think that answers all of the questions that 4Shades didn't cover.

RAF74_Wall-dog

<a href="http://www.doghousecomputing.com/scorchedearth">http://www.doghousecomputing.com/scorchedearth/images/parsersmall.jpg

XyZspineZyX
09-15-2003, 12:39 PM
At the present moment we are in testing, finding all those little things that cause trouble, or where changes occur between patches.

We have developed this primarily for RAF74 to host the scorched earth war. That war will run from 22nd July 1941 till May 1945. It will take in promarily the southern part of the front.

No 74 Squadron did serve in Tehran Iran,from November 1942 - May 1943 flying hurricanes. This was at the time that the german advance was at its deepest approaching the caucusus north of iran.

The next step will be to set up small set piece battles. This is to test air side ops. Already land side ops are working but it is still using the FMB as the input method. More below on this issue as we have had to solve a lot of problems and until recently there was only walldog and i working on this.

Once we are satisfied that we have ironed out most of the issues, we will release the crimean map and the mission generator. It will be released as open souce code because there are many great programmers out there and we believe that the whole community can benefit from so much input no matter how small.

This will allow all members of the community to play with the DCS.

At around the same time we will start the Scorched Earth war series. These will include the Lvov map, the crimean map, the kuban map and the stalingrad map - and then all the way back through the maps and the balaton map to Berlin.

However we have also finished most of the data capture for the smolensk, moscow, Kursk and prokhorovka maps. We certainly see that the game will be run on multiple fronts at the same time. The program has been written in the anticipation of the war being run on multiple fronts and squadrons being transferred around.

The tempting idea of using the upcoming new aircraft such as the P51 and B17 over the Berlin map as a strategic air war is a possability and may be able to factor into war supplies for the russian front (this is a new concept that ive only started thinking about this week). This would work on the basis of human and allied aircraft flying from a number of designated boxes on the edge of the map and returning again to the edge of the map and other boxes. As long as you are in those boxes you can exit the game. - we will look at this.

Scorched Earth will be run against the historical timetable. So the war will start initially with german advances. Victory and defeat will be measured against the original time frame. Either side doing better or worse against history.

So while the outcome of the war will be certain - the last map played will be the berlin map - the gamers playing the game will be assessed against what part they took in the war series. In many cases there will emerge major winners even from the losing side.

Back to Scorched Earth and the DCS development.,

The problem with the FMB is that both sides get to see what the other is up to. The good news is that missions are now encrypted and so its not possable to open them up in the FMB.

What we have had to do is recreate the FMB outside the game, compile all the "orders" from both sides and launch the mission. We are already doing this and with shades joining the group our ability to crete an easy GUI to plot way points has been enhanced tremendously. This will make it user friendly. Shades is already well advanced with this.

Walldogs parser is already well known, but even that needs updating as patches are issued. At the end of a mission we can obtain a minute by minute description of what and who did what to whom. Every unit is described in the log files, and if 4 tanks are driving down a road and 1 is destroyed - we will know which unit it was that that lost the tank. The unit will be shown losing the unit and at the begining of the next mission that unit will start with 3 tanks just like it ended the last mission.

As mentioned above the war will be run using coop missions. As apposed to many of the current wars you wont need to get a certain number of players to fly in a war mission. At present there will be some missions run with no one, (overnight), and the minimum number will likely be just two. One human player from both side. This is to ensure that nobody hops into the enemy slots to find out enemy bases etc.


The game will be run in real time. If your mission lasts 37 minutes - the clock will advance 37 minutes.
On any one front there will be up to 32 slots to be flown in each mission. x that by up to 18 hours a day that is potentially a lot of missions. Add to that AI with up to 50 aircaft flying and you have a lot of busy airspace.

Settings have been discussed ad nuseum on our site. However what has been basically resolved is to let like minded fly against like minded. So settings will apply on a particular front. However there will be a minimum that we will allow on. These being Padlock on, speed bar on, waypoint icon, scorched earth limited icons.

The next thing is that we will recruit a group of server players. These will be players on either side who have good connections, and good computers to host the missions.

The best way to describe the scorched earth coop is to see it like a library book. On any one part of the front only one person can have it out at a time. Server players will be responsable for returning the mission to the database at the end of the mission. The next server player can then take it out and fly the next period of time. Those who want can jump in and fly.

Re blown bridges and moving artillery. Have a look at the two trailers put together. Click on the button marked trailer one and trailer two for a brief presentation.


http://www.doghousecomputing.com/scorchedearth/

trailer one and trailer two. The majority of info there is still on track.

To answer a few questions now.


Author: adlabs6
Rank: Over 500 Postings
Date: 09/14/03 07:56PM


If I'm reading your posts right Walldog, then this is really great stuff. Seems like an environment that truly encourages realistic self support and preservation tactics on behalf of players. I'd guess that there is ample room for pilots who primarily enjoy bombers, since holding the terrain is often dependant on the many ground objects and supply lines. Thanks for the efforts!

This was a reply i wrote to WW sandman today about AI and pilot value.

"S!

Pilot experience is well done in Forgotten Battles and allows us to do some interesting stuff.

Here is a mission file for two apposing flights. This shows how we can adapt it.

[MAIN]
MAP Kuban/load.ini
TIME 12.0
CloudType 1
CloudHeight 1000.0
player r0111
army 1
playerNum 0
[Wing]
g0100
r0111
[g0100]
Planes 4
Skill0 3 - This is ace standing
Skill1 2 - This is veteran standing
Skill2 1 - This is average standing
Skill3 0 - This is novice standing
Class air.BF_109G2
Fuel 100
weapons default
[g0100_Way]
NORMFLY 82296.54 127856.08 500.00 300.00
NORMFLY 91836.11 122445.58 500.00 300.00
[r0111]
Planes 4
Skill0 3 - This is ace standing
Skill1 2 - This is veteran standing
Skill2 1 - This is average standing
Skill3 0 - This is novice standing
Class air.P_39Q10
Fuel 100
weapons default
[r0111_Way]
NORMFLY 91978.49 120309.86 500.00 300.00
NORMFLY 80872.73 127286.56 500.00 300.00
[NStationary]
[Buildings]
[Bridge]
[House]

So as you can see we can have human flights mixed up with AI of different experience levels. This will be add a real taste of excitment. You could have a wingman who is an ace - or who is a novice.

So how is this decided. The Dead is dead principal is well known allthough it can ruin a great night of gaming as you are out of the game for the night. Gamers want to play on even if they are killed in a mission.

So what we have decided is to create "value" for human pilots. For every mission flown you get 1 point whether you hit anything or not. For every target destroyed, planes, ground units, bridges, ships etc you get another point. Destroy 5 Sdkfz251 and return to base you will be worth 6 points. Fly the next mission and see nothing and rtb you will be worth 7 points. (We will inbuilt a time requirement of say 15 - 20 minutes or % of mission time so that people just dont rtb. Anybody who does return early will be shown as an early rtb mission.)

As a squadron you will accumulate points. With these points you will "purchase" AI points. All AI arrive at the front as novice. To purchase each average pilot will cost you 150 points, veteran pilots 300 points, and ace pilots 450 pilots.

If you survive say 20 sorties and shoot down and destroy 60 enemy units - you are now worth 80 points and growing every flight by at least 1 point.

I dont know about others but my online life has now become valuable. Its taken skill, ability, tactics, luck and a whole bunch of time to get that value. It will only take 1 bullet, some AAA, and your worm food and your new personae is starting out at 0 again. When valauble players play you will see your team mates protecting them just a little more.

It will also build in another level of strategy. What do you buy with your points - a single AI squadron of aces or 3 squadrons of average. Permutations become very interesting and what about your own squadron when you have AI flying with you. Do you want aces or it doesnt matter... well it might...

More soon.

Tai"

next question.

Author: panthercules
Rank: Over 400 Postings
Date: 09/15/03 01:13AM




Sounds very cool indeed - I love the idea of flying so what you do makes a difference - seems like games have had a tough time striking the right balance between the "nothing I do matters" and the "one plane/pilot can change the outcome of the war" extremes. This sounds like a good middle ground, and a huge step forward from the dynamic campaigns we have now (always kinda got to me destroying a big bridge on one mission and having it be rebuilt overnight before my next mission).

Hope you guys are able to get this working before the next patch blows it away - this could just be the thing to get me to try flying on-line after all this time - really looking forward to it.

Keep up the good work, and thanks!


Wir sind die schwarzen Husaren der Luft,
Die Stukas, die Stukas, die Stukas.

... "Stuka-Lied"

In scorched earth you will be able to make a difference. A blown bridge or destroyed artillery at the right time allowing a group of "engineers" to be positioned beside a bridge and rebuild it will allow the advance to continue. Different bridges will take different time periods. As mentioned above the outcome is known, each historical campaigns outcome is historically known, but in the game players can fight for better outcomes.


next

NTESLA
Rank: Over 300 Postings
Date: 09/15/03 03:46AM


OK, let me get this straight...this is probably the best thing that has happened for ONLINE gaming!!! Now I understand the concept of your work!!! This is what I take of what you have acomplished:

- Made a software that can run an on-going 'real time' war so that users can get in on any time and find a war running, get out and still the war continues with damages, victories, defeats being left and accumulated until a set of flags are met to constitute a victory on either side!


If this is what you have made then you should get an award! Jane's simulations and Novalogic tried and never delivered and you have! Great work!!!

Each mission will be flown as a coop - so you cant just enter any old time. Sometimes you maybe able to jump into a mission in 5 minutes other times you may have to wait half an hour. The key people will be from both sides who are the mission hosts - however on each section of each front there will only be one mission at one time.

The wonderful thing is that even I was able to parse a mission and build a new mission under two minutes! almost not enough time to grab a coffee or a beer.

On both sides players (with command authority) will commit additional planes, tanks, trucks etc to the battle - these will start to appear in each new mission, - and at the end of every mission those things destroyed will be removed.

After every mission individual success or failure will be recorded. And a full history of every flight you flew and what you did will be recorded, and kept in the data base.


Author: Rayzor22
Rank: Over 200 Postings
Date: 09/15/03 10:28AM




I have been in contact with Taipan regarding settings, and understand that they will not be "full real", which is fine. I'm wondering if this program will be made available to other groups who would like run an online war with different settings?

"Those people in aviation, who think they know it all, are particularly annoying to those of us who really do"

IV/JG51_Razor
Intelligence Officer

As mentioned above we plan to have some minimum settings however individual squadrons can adapt to that setup as they see fit. Those who believe in everything on wont be disappointed, at 74 squadron we will have those 4 settings on as this is what we find acceptable. Nobody is right or wrong in this arguement - it is really a matter of choice. As the developers of the scorched earth series we believe this should attract some of the toughest gamers out there.


One of the most difficult things in recreateing the external FMB was to plot all the roads. How does a tank get from point A to point B on a map. If your using the fmb it will be slaved to the road network if that is the shortest distance between two points and it doesnt go over water. The air side ops is simple compared to this problem.

However insert those same two points into a coop mission and you can watch tanks driving across rivers and oceans. Better still watch a destroyer sailing across the country side. So what we have had to do is to plot every road on every map, parse that into a data base. Every time a road turns, every time it reaches a bridge you get a waypoint. Now excluding the berlin and leningrad map - that runs to 33,000 waypoints.

While most out there were enjoying flying i was sitting here night after night adjusting intersection waypoints.

These waypoints are sorted into maps. Now for those with a mathetical mind, try and solve this problem - (we have a solution but we doubt it is the only one), Tell a tank unit to drive from Dzhankoy Point A to Sevestopol point B, you have no map - only thousands of waypoints. How do you find tyhe shortest route along the roads (just like the FMB), and at the same time accumulate all the waypoint numbers along the way to feed into the coop mission. The tank will drive from one waypoint to the next until it finishes the route.

Walldog shades and I can certainly do with some more help. If you have real skills, and time to help contact walldog and he can find plenty of work to do. I know walldog and i want to be playing this and finished building it. After two years of work - it was an incredable joy to see it actually working on the weekend.

Please feel free to ask questions.

I know that a few of out there hope we will fall on our faces, but with the work to date, the work in hand and what i saw with my own eyes - it will be here very soon and it will work.

If anybody has an ear to Oleg - we would love to be able to tow artillery and antitank guns. Eg the halftracks etc.

RAF74 Taipan




https://toolbox.iprimus.com.au/application/download.asp?FileName=scorched+earth%5Cflight%2Dgi f2%/

XyZspineZyX
09-15-2003, 01:03 PM
Nice work guys!

I'd be interested in trying this out in our war, Forgotten Wars.

S!
609IAP_Recon

Forgotten Wars Virtual War
Forum: http://fogwar.luftwaffe.net/forums/index.php
Website: http://forgottenwars.dyndns.org
Visit 609IAP at http://takeoff.to/609IAP

http://www.leeboats.com/609/sig/609_recon3.jpg

Agnus Dei, Qui Tollis peccata mundi, Miserere nobis. Dona nobis pacem

XyZspineZyX
09-15-2003, 02:10 PM
Superb.

Talk about immersion, this sounds right up my street.

Keep us posted.



Cpt-Madcowz
Comsa (http://www.comsa.co.uk)



"When the hunter comes, the tiger runs with the deer."

XyZspineZyX
09-15-2003, 03:01 PM
S! All!

We are going to go open-source with beta six of the DCS. Does anyone have a good copy of the GPL they could share with me? My e-mail addy is:

wally@doghousecomputing.com

RAF74_Wall-dog

<a href="http://www.doghousecomputing.com/scorchedearth">http://www.doghousecomputing.com/scorchedearth/images/parsersmall.jpg

XyZspineZyX
09-15-2003, 03:15 PM
http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/gpl.html

Cpt-Madcowz
Comsa (http://www.comsa.co.uk)



"When the hunter comes, the tiger runs with the deer."

XyZspineZyX
09-15-2003, 03:36 PM
Sounds incredible!
Looks like I'll have to start flying online soon, just to be able to try this when it's released.

XyZspineZyX
09-15-2003, 03:43 PM
TU Capt MadCowz!

That will do the trick!


RAF74_Wall-dog

<a href="http://www.doghousecomputing.com/scorchedearth">http://www.doghousecomputing.com/scorchedearth/images/parsersmall.jpg

XyZspineZyX
09-15-2003, 04:37 PM
When you guys say "squadrons" do you mean currently existing virtual squadrons,or new squadrons just for Scorched Earth?

47|FC
http://rangerring.com/wwii/p-47.jpg

XyZspineZyX
09-15-2003, 04:47 PM
S! Necrobaron!

Either or...



RAF74_Wall-dog

<a href="http://www.doghousecomputing.com/scorchedearth">http://www.doghousecomputing.com/scorchedearth/images/parsersmall.jpg

XyZspineZyX
09-15-2003, 05:11 PM
You guys amaze me. FB is the best sim game ever and to develop an ad-on program to interface with FB and run a dynamic campaign like the one described is unbelivable. I am excited and can't wait for that program to be available for the rest of us. Thanks for all the time and effort to make FB all it can be. I'm glad I decided to buy the game. Never heard of it before I seen it on the shelf. That was the original. I had to have FB after I played the original. I'd like to see a campaign generator for the original. Just excited about the whole enchilada. I appreciate the dedication shown by the beta testers. Thanks! PBNA-Striker

XyZspineZyX
09-15-2003, 10:10 PM
BUMP! for an awesome thread....

47|FC
http://rangerring.com/wwii/p-47.jpg

XyZspineZyX
09-16-2003, 06:16 AM
Never in my wildest dreams could i imagine this level of detail in this new dynamic campaign engine. Truely awesome! /i/smilies/16x16_smiley-happy.gif

S! guys

//F16 =txmx=
http://www.f16vs.tk