mikew

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Everything posted by mikew

  1. Yes, Happy Thanksgiving to our former North American colonists! As we're a few thousand miles away, we see no mention of it around here, but every frickin' retail outlet has had 'Black Friday Sale' posters up since the Halloween stuff was out of the way.
  2. Just thinking out loud, not really aiming at anyone, least of all you. ...although maybe Eagle Dynamics. I can't imagine them putting alien spaceships into DCS World...or a dynamic campaign for that matter The only recent-ish game that I've experienced a faster load time than expected is Elite Dangerous. I suspect that's because a large component of even a single player game is already running in the 'cloud'. With IP speeds so fast these days, it might be worth looking at using it to handle 'internal ' communications within TFXplorer. It would make scaling easier when one PC is no longer enough to handle everything TFXplorer is doing. I'm not very good with computers though, so I'm sure there's plenty of reasons against it.
  3. A bit bored today, so I'm just trying to remember where we are with our understanding of the theatre design process and how the information is stored. It's been a year or so since I looked at it it, but my interpretation was something like this: 1. Choose some roughly 1200x1200 mile chunk of the planet to work with. 2. An 'artist's impression' 400x400 indexed bitmap (.lbm) of the theatre would be produced with the colour of each pixel defining 'what' should be at a certain position. The colour definitions for TAW were stored in the .wld file (amongst other info). 3. By inspecting each pixel and its surroundings, the transition characteristics of each tile of the theatre can be determined. 4. For each unique transition combination, at least one file (.ssd) needs to be produced defining it in detail. The information linking 3. and 4. is stored in the .asc file. From the above, the .env and .dat files (in TAW) can be 'compiled' to provide the map info to the game engine at runtime. If we ignore the moving map, tile randomization and clouds for the moment, that's basically it. This results in a map of 160000 tiles but mainly due to a limited 'palette' in step 1, we only have a few hundred different tiles defined. Of those, there are only a few tens of tiles that are truly unique. Thanks to all this, we end up with a compact dataset which IMHO still looks pretty good when rendered in TFXplorer. It's not just the visuals though, each tile needs to define other information relating to the game engine. For TAW, the entire dataset is about 120MB and loads in a couple of seconds if assembled into a single file archive. As a contrast to this, I also have Xplane10 which came in a box with 10 DVDs. Someone also created tiles based on real world data, with more accurate geography, roads etc. These multi-gigabyte files could be downloaded free from the internet. The result was quite impressive as you could fly around around an area you know well just by following known features. The downside is that each scenario takes over 5 minutes to load and even then, you only get generic buildings unless you download more detailed models if they exist for a particular area. If you took the Xplane approach to modelling the TAW map, you'd need 100s of GB of data just for the visuals. In a military sim, you need a damage model for the whole map and a way to keep track of it. That patch of forest you napalmed on the last mission needs to be still smouldering on the next, etc etc. This is probably the reason the DCS people only had one map for years, and the Nevada map is mostly desert. Anyway, I can see why we don't get games with the scope of EF2000 or TAW these days, but I'm not giving up on it just yet though.
  4. I can only look on in wonderment... That 'visual spice' might be a bit too much inspired by Star Wars though.
  5. Well done. Take the rest of the day off! Meanwhile, you've inspired me to start up Unity again. My sphere-moving-on-a-plane sim is coming along nicely. I had to read the instructions even to do that though.
  6. Wow! This must be the fastest developed game since E.T for the Atari in 1982.
  7. Great!...but how are we going to find the loot boxes in the dark? Unfortunately, I can't help with anything but I'm enjoying watching your progress.
  8. The plane that won the war! Hadn't realized that it was that late into the air. Thanks for this daily education.
  9. Nothing really to report, but I was pondering what theatre would be the most interesting to work with using the TFX way of describing worlds. Apart from EF2000's Scandinavia, and TAW's Red Sea map, we also have the 200x200 maps of TFX, (plus Korea etc) that could be expanded to 400x400. The Libya and Yugoslavia maps might make good candidates for that. A 400x400 map is roughly 1200 miles on each side, and we could expand, for example, the Korea map (black square) in a number of ways : ....or of course start from scratch and pick any 1200x1200 mile area on the planet. While ideally we'd just pick a centre point and have some tool scour online databases and automatically create the tiles, I feel it wouldn't be as easy as that. Anybody else thought about this?
  10. The 'realism' is all in the mind anyway. Some of the most intense gaming experiences I've had have been night missions with F-22 ADF/TAW. The missions themselves and the campaign they are part of may be utterly ridiculous from a real world point of view but I choose not to think about that.
  11. At least it gave the pilot something to do in a mission otherwise pre-planned in minute detail... ...and that's a hard thing to handle in game design. I doubt any part of a real F117 mission was boring when flying the real aircraft, but it's not quite the same when sitting at a PC at home.
  12. The Zsa Zsa bio is a bit out of date now, but at least it contains the part where she beat the crap out of that cop.
  13. I didn't believe that, but after 5 seconds of searching, it seems you're right. Some interesting comments here: http://www.f-16.net/forum/viewtopic.php?f=36&t=53045&p=367071 ....ok, it's off the internet, but some of it could be true.
  14. I vaguely remember Reagan firing the ATCs, although at the time we had a similar purge of any union controlled industry or organization as part of the 'Chicago School' monetarist policies that were in vogue at the time. Must have sucked to be personally affected. I'm looking forward this F117 project being finished. I'm assuming it will fit on the 3 floppy disks of the original?
  15. Probably still true... I came across this thread by chance. Seems like a 21st birthday coming up. The paywall thing was before my time, but fascinating to read about.
  16. Apologies to Combatsim's female membership and visitors for that comment. To prove that not everybody at this site shares such stereotypical views, here's a clip of some kittens.
  17. Wonderful! I like the way you left the gear down to provoke a response from that SAM launcher. Seems this will be finished soon.
  18. But we already did that last weekend and I don't live in Hawaii or certain parts of Arizona. I prefer the more accurate PSAs from the olden days.
  19. I managed to produce an x86 build on one machine at least. It turns out that the user32 call GetRawInputDeviceList only returns two items, the mouse and keyboard. So, we end up with the 'No suitable HIDs found' message. So, the problem could be anywhere...except TFXplorer. EDIT: I've brought up this issue on the Wine forum: https://forum.winehq.org/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=29672
  20. Well, good luck! I have Unity installed, but have done nothing with it apart for some VR/AR experiments last year when VR was in vogue. It's nice to see someone using it properly.
  21. Theoretically, all the API calls TFXplorer uses in 'user32' and 'hid' are implemented and not stubbed in Wine. I'd like to try to add some traces but Wine can't handle a x64 TFXplorer build at all, and I can't build an x86 version from the code I have (26/12/16) due to some errors. This can wait.
  22. Ah, you're not recreating exactly the 2D pit of the original game? Then I'd suggest just putting the functional bargraph in the corner of the screen and worry about it later. You're going to have the same problem with fuel level etc.
  23. The second one. I think easier to read would be better given that the 1992 era graphics aren't too subtle.