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Some TAW stuff from the past .


Polakreturned
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2 hours ago, Polakreturned said:

In reply to Kricztyj's call to look in the old HDs for stuff related to TAW I have found something on my Google Drive.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/zy1fs8xi375fccg/Project_TAW.zip?dl=0 

 

Lots of tools, tables, screenshots, and graphics. I think some of them were assumed lost when SimHQ/Photobucket went down. That’s fantastic stuff! 👍

I’ll add it to my archives step by step. That’ll take a while but rest assured that nothing is lost!

 

@Home Fries I’m sure some of those files are interesting for our Dropbox as well …

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One of the files that rang the bell were the SH format. Those were the shadows from TAW decoded and included in 3dObject converter by Zoltan Karpaty. That makes possible to view *.sh files in his converter and other popular 3D editors. At the time there was no further push to make it "Save" in that format and so it stayed just at "Load". By providing him with information about format of *.3 files we could perhaps make it fully editable ie. Load/Save. I see may of those information in TAW WIKI. Any other place or specific thread here?   

And one more thing, it is helpful to make 3ds rip of any of the file and submit it for analysis. Has any scene capture been done yet for TAW with *.3 files? 

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3 hours ago, Polakreturned said:

By providing him with information about format of *.3 files we could perhaps make it fully editable ie. Load/Save. I see may of those information in TAW WIKI. Any other place or specific thread here?   

We have a viewer for .3 files which can open >90% of shapes: http://krishty.com/taw/3view_en

However, the format is reeeeally special and hard to handle. I don’t think there’s a chance to one day have Load/Save support.

 

3 hours ago, Polakreturned said:

And one more thing, it is helpful to make 3ds rip of any of the file and submit it for analysis. Has any scene capture been done yet for TAW with *.3 files? 

For TFXplorer, we try to get away from .3 files (due to their difficult handling and them not being GPU-friendly). Mikew has documented his great effort in converting .3 to VRML here: 

P.S. Sorry for missing your post on SimHQ! Combatsim has RSS/Email support, which means I’m notified of answers directly, but SimHQ requires me to actually open the site, which happens rarely.

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Good stuff! A lot of nostalgia there, and I fondly remember randomly changing bytes in tent_3.3 in order to see what effect it had. We know a lot more now. :)

 

Tent_3 consists of 10 vertices and 8 polygons, and could be created in seconds in any 3D design program. That's far too easy though, so instead I've programmatically converted it from .3 to VRML format. While it can be viewed by 'Lean Viewer' or the 'Castle Game Engine' viewer, it seems Blender's importer doesn't work, so probably need to look at a different format.

 

tent_3.png

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You Guys did many great things for TAW!

 

Time permitting, my main interest will focus on F22, geopolitics of the Red Sea theater and AI and UI of this great game.  In the current state I do not see any easy way to drastically and radically improve anything here.

 

The best course of action is to experience and learn from the elements of the great design of this great combat simulation TAW has always been.  

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1 hour ago, Polakreturned said:

my main interest will focus on F22, geopolitics of the Red Sea theater and AI and UI of this great game.

That's what I'd like to do as well, but have no idea where to start.
Krycztij may have something to say about this, but I'd consider 'TFXplorer' to be 'done' in terms of rendering the current state of game objects on screen.
What is needed is to create that 'database' of state that gets updated every frame for every object in the world.
How this was achieved for TAW relies no doubt on a lot of smoke and mirrors, but the overall effect is impressive even now.

 

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5 hours ago, mikew said:

What is needed is to create that 'database' of state that gets updated every frame for every object in the world.

 

Yeah, the actual smoke and mirrors is updating only the part of the world that’s interacting with the player, and only on-demand. E.g. airfields in TAW have wind socks. I forgot the exact number, but it’s about 4000. You’d rather not update them 60 times a second – just the one close to the player.

There’s also a few hundred contrails in the world, and this is already enough to bring weak systems to their knees.

 

Anyway – I’m planning a system to interconnect the planes/buildings/etc. in TFXplorer, sure, but the urgent problem is getting the current version to a releasable state. While the new GUI is good enough, the remappable controls are far from usable, and we have plenty of regressions like bullets being invisible …

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There's exactly 100 airbases on the TAW map. About half have windsocks I'd guess, so we've saved a lot of work already. :D

 

It's been a decade or so since I last looked at the AI system, but TAW's campaign AI is quite opaque. While you could generate the .mdl/.udl etc files (like what TAWBC does) to place planes and ground vehicles on the map, there is no way to harvest the result of a session without decoding the .sav file which looks like a memory dump with no obvious structure.
For EF2000, text files are generated so you could conceivably produce a closed loop campaign, which I think is what 'Strategic Command' did.

 

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Hmmn, this may be one of those half myths about TAW that 'proved' the game is not worth playing.

 

According to stratval.txt, the windsock has a value of 1, so taking it out may put the level of damage of an airfield over the threshold that it is deemed destroyed in certain circumstances. Just destroying the windsock isn't going to have much effect though.

 

 

wsock.png

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 10/6/2021 at 6:17 PM, Krycztij said:

Yeah, the actual smoke and mirrors is updating only the part of the world that’s interacting with the player, and only on-demand. E.g. airfields in TAW have wind socks. I forgot the exact number, but it’s about 4000. You’d rather not update them 60 times a second – just the one close to the player.

There’s also a few hundred contrails in the world, and this is already enough to bring weak systems to their knees.

Seems Zuckerberg could be running into the same problem with the metaverse. This comment sums it up quite well I think.

https://tech.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=20114569&cid=61936567

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Question related to StratVal.txt file :what is exactly meaning of PIT, DEFD, and SCUDPAR1 in that file?

 

The rest I understand I think   

ARMY selfexpl  

AF airforce

NAVY selfexpl 

C4     commandandcontr 

POL political

INF infrastructure

PIT    ?

DEFD    ?

SCUDPAR1    ?

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DEFD sounds like defence/defensive. May have something to do with airdefences.

 

I'm somehow missing Industry/industrial. Maybe it fits into one of the listed categories. The listing is aparently "target classification". 

 

Given the file name "StratVal" it seems to indicate the weighing of different target classes, the question is for what? To win the war? To prioritise ATO logic for target selection?

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I would interpret PIT as political/cultural and POL as political/economical.

 

Not all lines have a corresponding PAR1. Airdefense HQ for example. But where PAR1 has a value greater than 0 it corresponds to the sum. Maybe PAR1 is a kind of activate value, only if a value is entered here its actually counted. Or another meaning could be that a different value could be entered here, if there are multiple values per line to influence the weighing.

 

That DEFD and SCUD lack any values is certainly owed to the fact that no corresponding target types (SAM, AAA, SCUD launchers) are listed. These are mobile and not static targets. I would interpret its inclusion as a provision.

 

 

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The campaign section of the TAW manual on page 26 says this:

Total Air War Campaign
Total Air War has adapted the Five Rings Process to allow for superb game play.
Political targets (PIT) include multi-storied structures that house the government elite as well as temples and traditional government buildings. Key production (also known in some circles as “organic essentials” or “POL”) targets include oil, gas, water, and electrical complexes, as well as power generating dams. Infrastructure targets (INF) are the roads, bridges, pipelines, railroads,and airports that crisscross the opposing countries. Industrial targets (IND) are the factories that turn out the war materials needed by the fielded forces to re-supply and fight. Command, control, communications and computing (C4) targets are the networks and nodes that send orders to the fielded forces and information back to the Campaign leadership. An integral part of the C4 nets are the radar and sensors that provide forces and leadership with “eyes and ears.”
Naval (NAV), Army (ARMY), and Air Force (AF) targets are also included in the TAW database.

 

So, a lot of that ties up with stratval.txt. No mention of DEFD,SCUD or PAR1 though...

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I like this "twist" of having PIT targets in most inner and critical ring , but this is really not is reflected in StratVal. Still having some intel reports and chasing the leads on locations of the "Aces" (remember that deck of cards from Iraq) would add to immersion and gameplay .    

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