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What could PWCG learn from WOFF?


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#1 PatAWilson

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Posted 18 December 2013 - 17:11

In the "always willing to learn" category, what aspects of WOFF could be of use in PWCG. Remember, we are talking about what can be done in terms of historical campaign and mission generation. I can't add planes or do anything else that requires changing RoF code.

I don't have WOFF and don't really plan to get it. I know some of the OFF guys from my Red Baron days and they are good people. I have no doubt that WOFF is a fine effort. However, my free time is already extremely limited and I do not have time for another flight sim.

With that in mind, I am looking for your feedback. Are there aspects of WOFF that could be added to PWCG?
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#2 Dutch2

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Posted 18 December 2013 - 17:46

Music, like old RB3d and OFF3. It is just like in a movie, a very important factor to make the campaign more intensive and not so sterile.

More aces/famous pilots with there skin.

More activity on the ground.

The famous book in the RB3d campaign mode and hear the pages.
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#3 BroadSide

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Posted 18 December 2013 - 18:11

Dont know if engine failure can be added, but that's a huge plus.

I'm hoping 777 will take seriously the AI thread, and they'll give you a dynamic thinking AI for PWCG.
That's in their hands though.
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#4 PatAWilson

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Posted 18 December 2013 - 18:26

Music and sound effects might be possible. Not sure about copyright issues.

Can't do engine failure since there is no way to command it in a mission.

I already have every ace with over 20 victories and every French ace with over 12 and every USAS ace with over … not sure … 7?. If a skin exists PWCG uses it. Is there a particular ace that you are thinking of?

PWCG already has the ability to man the entire front. I have to write code to stop it from doing that. 15.1 made all units spawn and then added units to take advantage of the resource savings, so now trains or trucks might appear randomly and AAA is in key locations as well as along the front. Beyond that, I will continue to expand ground activity as mission limits allow.
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#5 Bucksnort

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Posted 18 December 2013 - 19:05

Weather.

WOFF has done a great job with the weather…it can be horrid.

In PWCG it is always a nice day. In WOFF you can go 2 or 3 weeks flying daily and never see the sun. And when you do see the sun you are glad for it.

During dogfights I have had to make the decision to turn right instead of left because of the wind, knowing I will get a faster turn to the right as I would be turning into the wind to the left. WOFF very often has you flying on the edge of what these craft could take from the weather. And they show real video snips from WWI between missions where you see Camels rolling through the mud and taking off where they disappear into the fog at the end of the runway, etc.

WOFF has done a great job of including your other enemy (and friend) in the game…the weather. They also have weather trends, where it isn't horrible one mission and perfect the next, but rather there are patterns with horrible weather for a week, then some days where it is breaking followed by a string of very nice days.

Don't know what you can do with the RoF weather engine, but I seem to remember flying in some pretty miserable weather in some of the RoF campaigns and missions. I remember one in particular where the ceiling was about 250m with squalls and poor visibility…it made for a great dismal feeling which WOFF has in spades.

When I watch the real video clips in WOFF of WWI pilots taking off in these horrible conditions I can almost hear their thoughts: "No way I would fly in these conditions, except this is war!"
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#6 PatAWilson

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Posted 18 December 2013 - 19:09

There is more that I can do with the weather. People complained originally that they had trouble with the wind, so I scaled it back. Might so something in simple config where I let the player decide.
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#7 Dutch2

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Posted 18 December 2013 - 19:56

Music and sound effects might be possible. Not sure about copyright issues.

Can't do engine failure since there is no way to command it in a mission.

I already have every ace with over 20 victories and every French ace with over 12 and every USAS ace with over … not sure … 7?. If a skin exists PWCG uses it. Is there a particular ace that you are thinking of?

PWCG already has the ability to man the entire front. I have to write code to stop it from doing that. 15.1 made all units spawn and then added units to take advantage of the resource savings, so now trains or trucks might appear randomly and AAA is in key locations as well as along the front. Beyond that, I will continue to expand ground activity as mission limits allow.

Think there are more skins of aces/famous pilots then in PWCG available, as a sample the huge jasta40, jasta18 and jasta5 skins, were are the pilots that uses the skin. Lot of skins but only a few in PWCG

Music, why not some map were you can, like in RB3d put in your own music. As you know I did change the original RB3d music to the Blue max music. Or I used the OFF3 music in FirstEagles
Map is empty, all to users choice to put in the music he likes.

Another point I do miss: how to manage aces that are shot down.
I suggest to use a check box:

1]. you shot down the ace/famous pilot, also in the game he is dead/out of order, so a message do appears: pilot XXXX has kill/shot down ace YYY.
2]. you shot down the ace/famous pilot, but in the game he is marked as only wounded or escapes to his own lines, temporally out of order and after XX weeks he is back, with a message as a warning when active. He will alive until his historic lifetime is ending.
3]. you shot down the ace/famous pilot, but ace will be alive normal, he is not wounded, you can meet him in your next flight, He will alive until his historic lifetime is ending.

The historic lifetime is also important, I did noticed that some aces had more then 100 claims. :?

BTW: Turning the pages of the logbook like in RB3d, sounds this not a good idea??
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Yep I’m an 2009 Rof pre-order buyer and one of the few that did buy the Sikorsky game.

#8 lederhosen

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Posted 18 December 2013 - 20:52

I like the paperwork. If by chance that would also be possible…with time / distance / alt etc
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#9 JohnnyEss

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Posted 18 December 2013 - 21:42

Being a musician myself, I find the requests for music interesting since it does in its best application add to a cinematic experience. What is also interesting is that music doesn't simulate anything one might find in actual combat! That's why I find both music and camera effects such as lens flaring to be an immersion killer. They are great in playback files and cut scenes but not so great in actual play.
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#10 PatAWilson

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Posted 18 December 2013 - 22:01

There really is no actual game play in PWCG. It's more like you are on the ground, so music is not entirely out of place. It goes without saying that the user could turn it off. I almost never have music playing in game as I too find it to be an immersion killer, but in PWCG it makes some sense.

Aces: If somebody can correlate skins to aces I will see to it that they get into PWCG.

Paperwork - details? PWCG already has all sorts of paperwork but there is always room for improvement.

Actually making pages turn is an animation that I do not think java Swing can handle. Playing a page turn sound might be possible.

Aces score as they did historically and I do not want to change that. Aces with 100 kills is a bug. If anybody sees this please zip up your campaign folder and post it and I will try to fix it.

So the biggest suggestions that I have are more weather options, better paperwork (details please), and sounds/music.
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#11 WW1EAF_Paf

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Posted 18 December 2013 - 22:06

I remember there is alot of free music and radio broadcasting available from that era.
In Silent Hunter it was possible to set up a radio corresponding with your game-date. Would be cool to sit in the PWGC and hear radio-broadcast from that specific year/ month.
Maybe I can find that source again.
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#12 PatAWilson

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Posted 18 December 2013 - 22:53

Think I found some good ones here …

https://www.collecti...11-9001a-e.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;">https://www.collecti...anada.gc.ca/gra … 01a-e.html

Anyhow, it would be one of those things that any song is replaceable. I would just put them into a directory an call them song001 to songnnn. You could add more, replace existing ones, etc.
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#13 catobird

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Posted 19 December 2013 - 01:41

In the "always willing to learn" category, what aspects of WOFF could be of use in PWCG. Remember, we are talking about what can be done in terms of historical campaign and mission generation. I can't add planes or do anything else that requires changing RoF code.

I don't have WOFF and don't really plan to get it. I know some of the OFF guys from my Red Baron days and they are good people. I have no doubt that WOFF is a fine effort. However, my free time is already extremely limited and I do not have time for another flight sim.

With that in mind, I am looking for your feedback. Are there aspects of WOFF that could be added to PWCG?


Hi

Can you increase the cloudiness? In PWCG every day has a blue sky.
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#14 Raine

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Posted 19 December 2013 - 02:03

Pat,

First, let me say how much I respect your incredible work, but your openness to input is really special. I'm toying with the idea of trying WOFF, and I don't think the following idea is in it, but here's a suggestion [which should be a player option]. Could PWCG "take over" your career – assign you to a squadron IT chooses, transfer you occasionally [especially as you reach higher rank], and send you on leave [especially after a major decoration]? It would force you out of ruts, making you try different plane types or services. And it would allow interesting twists of fate. Left to ourselves, we are too easily tempted to pick that same Pup squadron that's just about to get Camels…
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#15 PatAWilson

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Posted 19 December 2013 - 02:14

Raine - I like that. Let's see:
1. Leave after major decoration.
2. Leave after long period of active duty.
3. Forced transfer on promotion to executive or command rank.
4. Possibility of rejected transfer request.

That seems reasonable.
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#16 Bucksnort

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Posted 19 December 2013 - 02:16

Pat,

First, let me say how much I respect your incredible work, but your openness to input is really special. I'm toying with the idea of trying WOFF, and I don't think the following idea is in it, but here's a suggestion [which should be a player option]. Could PWCG "take over" your career – assign you to a squadron IT chooses, transfer you occasionally [especially as you reach higher rank], and send you on leave [especially after a major decoration]? It would force you out of ruts, making you try different plane types or services. And it would allow interesting twists of fate. Left to ourselves, we are too easily tempted to pick that same Pup squadron that's just about to get Camels…

Hi Raine and Pat,

WOFF has exactly what you describe above and it would be a great option in PWCG also. At the players option you can turn yourself over to the game and have your entire career dictated to you. You can request a transfer, but they can take forever or be denied. You get stuck in planes you don't like sometimes as your squadron changes equipment or roles. As you said, it can get you out of a rut :)
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#17 ParachuteProne

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Posted 19 December 2013 - 02:18

Don't know if WOFF has this but how about leaving a shaded spot in the roster to show lost pilots ?
The blank spot could be removed when the pilot is replaced. Similar to having an empty chair in the mess.
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#18 gavagai

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Posted 19 December 2013 - 02:45

Being a musician myself, I find the requests for music interesting since it does in its best application add to a cinematic experience. What is also interesting is that music doesn't simulate anything one might find in actual combat! That's why I find both music and camera effects such as lens flaring to be an immersion killer. They are great in playback files and cut scenes but not so great in actual play.

There is no music in WOFF while you fly.

Anyway, I like the idea of some music with PWCG. Just be sure it is not horrible like Il-2 1946. If you have heard some of the Matt Milne tracks, they give the WOFF GUI a kind of epic feel.

PWCG could do more to simulate the RFC's highly aggressive operations. I know it already does that to an extent, but not as much as WOFF. If you fly as the CP in WOFF you are under constant threat on your own side of the lines from mid 1917 onward.

If I think of others things not yet mentioned I'll post again.
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#19 W1ndy

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Posted 19 December 2013 - 06:28

Raine - I like that. Let's see:
1. Leave after major decoration.
2. Leave after long period of active duty.
3. Forced transfer on promotion to executive or command rank.
4. Possibility of rejected transfer request.

That seems reasonable.

I would like the sense that I'm part of a large outfit (RFC/RAF) not an autonomous flyer, so something like these points would be welcome - optional of course. Good post Raine.

Re. Weather - certainly, more please. Even though they didn't go up in the rain, dirty weather missions can emulate the pilot being caught out by weather changes, in lieu of dynamic weather code. Can't handle a cross wind ? Harden up. I haven't seen those raindrops on my goggles for years it seems.

Some of my best RoF memories involve harsh weather conditions. Now the AI cant see through clouds as I understand it.

Re. Music. Two ways; stirring theme music, and music from the era, TBH some of the music from the era is quite hard to listen to for more than 30 seconds, but I'd probably prefer it to stirring theme music. The flying Furry campaign did it well as I remember.
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#20 Raine

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Posted 19 December 2013 - 06:47

How about a chance of transfer to 3-4 months on Home Defence after about 6 months in France?
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#21 Bucksnort

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Posted 19 December 2013 - 07:11

Another idea would be to add a third column in the Pilot Selection screen and let us pick the skins on a plane by plane basis. That way we could make sure our favorite ace has his historic skin (sometimes they do, sometimes they don't right now even from one sortie to the next).

Also, we could fix things if they aren't right. About a week ago I was flying Triplanes with RNAS 9 and for some reason even with Random Historic skins turned off I wasn't getting the historic skin for RNAS 9 (I was getting another RNAS squad's skin, can't remember which). I was having to go in to the .mission file to fix it before each sortie.

So lots of opportunity to have fun with the skins and/or fix things if we could pick them on a plane by plane basis.
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#22 Bucksnort

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Posted 19 December 2013 - 07:24

I haven't seen those raindrops on my goggles for years it seems. Some of my best RoF memories involve harsh weather conditions.

+1 :S!:
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#23 matmilne

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Posted 19 December 2013 - 10:17

I would love to provide some music for rof, you just gotta ask.
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#24 Rover_27

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Posted 19 December 2013 - 10:50

Wow, Matt Milne here! That would be just splendid!
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#25 dirk

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Posted 19 December 2013 - 11:04

Regarding music, there was no broadcast music until the 1920s. The only music available came from the spring-wound gramophone, or was played by the participants themselves on real musical instruments ie piano, violin, flute, etc. Many of the officers would have learned such instruments at their public schools
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#26 matmilne

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Posted 19 December 2013 - 11:21

in 9 years of scoring films games and tv i can only tell you what i've seen: period music is great for sound design to remind you what period the character is in, but for dramatic, story-telling, emotive or any other purposes it's completely insufficient, because it's not tailored to what's infront of you. It reminds you though the character is in the period, you are not, and it pushes you away.

Period music on its own just doesn't support or guide the player. I think some period records, together with some great themes would really engage and immerse you.
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#27 hq_Jorri

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Posted 19 December 2013 - 11:31

I would love to provide some music for rof, you just gotta ask.

That would leave even War Thunder eating ROF dust :D Jeremy Soul, bless his heart, but OFF music takes the cake.
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#28 matmilne

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Posted 19 December 2013 - 12:10

Well, if you guys would like that, i can put some ideas together over the holidays.
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#29 PatAWilson

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Posted 19 December 2013 - 18:09

Music:
So I did something last night that plays music. What I am going to do is write the code that plays the music without providing the music itself. Songs could be played on a random, round robin basis. Another option is to play different targeted music on different screens. That would fit better with the sort of compilation that Matt is talking about, where the music would be associated with the action.

What you will have to do is put wav files into RoFCampaign\data\Audio and name them Song001.wav … etc. Native Java only supports wav, so they will have to be in wav format. This way people can choose there own songs. If I can get some help compiling pieces in wav format I will host the download on the PWCG web site.

Also looking into sounds - pages turning, chatter when a briefing or debrief starts, etc.
Not sure how best to handle the conflict of ambient sounds with background music. Not sure what happens if I play an ambient sound over the music.

Weather:
I will add something to the config to give degrees of weather. Low will be PWCG right now, and each step up will increase the odds of bad weather and wind. I could use some help here. If you run across a mission file with interesting weather patterns please upload the file for me.

PWCG Managing careers:
I like the idea but it will be a challenge. Each nation had its own patterns and it will be difficult to get it right. I will try to get something in and then work to improve it over time.
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#30 Terekiisu

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Posted 19 December 2013 - 18:36

Would it be possible to make certain targets very high priority? I was flying the other day with Jasta 11, led by von Richthofen himself. He spotted a lonely RE8 down below crossing the front going to German side. Now, he descended slowly (as did the rest of the flight, me included). At some point the 2-seater went a bit too far away, but I still had visual contact + prior knowledge (i.e. memory) that it was an RE8. Yet our flight leader decided to abandon the attack and returned to normal patrol area. Considering that shooting down artillery spotters/recon crafts was the top priority undertaking at the time it felt unrealistic to give up that easily. Granted, RE8 is a fast aircraft, but I'm sure our D.IIIs would have caught them eventually.

Another thing that has bugged me is that our flight AI leader is often reckless in his decisions. So, I was flying with Jasta 2 in the early September of 1916, led by Boelcke. There were three of us in Halberstadts and we spotted a flight of 4-5 Nieuport 17s. I knew instantly that this is going to be suicide: we had inferior planes, were outnumbered and had no altitude advantage either. Our dear Boelcke and another fine gentleman from Jasta 2 died that day, I managed to escape. Perhaps this kind of thing is out of your reach though and has more to do with AI. Yet this is one of the huge issues I've been having with AI flight leaders.
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#31 PatAWilson

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Posted 19 December 2013 - 18:46

To be fair I think the decision to abandon the chase might not have been a bad one. I'll let Gavagai comment on the RE8 being a fast aircraft relative to the Albatros :)

I have tried to come up with ways to make the AI more aware of odds, etc., but the complexity of even making an attempt is … challenging. Really better done at a core level (AI code) rather than switches in the mission file.
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#32 Dutch2

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Posted 19 December 2013 - 18:47

Hope some guy can put in a WOFF campaign movie

Here OFF3 sample

And here the mother of all campaigns:

goodluck PAT.
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If I wrote something in this forum that is hurting or abuse a member, organisation or country? Let me know by pm for the corrections, please do not react back by bashing/trolling/flaming or other personal attacks!

Yep I’m an 2009 Rof pre-order buyer and one of the few that did buy the Sikorsky game.

#33 Terekiisu

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Posted 19 December 2013 - 18:50

To be fair I think the decision to abandon the chase might not have been a bad one. I'll let Gavagai comment on the RE8 being a fast aircraft relative to the Albatros :)

I have tried to come up with ways to make the AI more aware of odds, etc., but the complexity of even making an attempt is … challenging. Really better done at a core level (AI code) rather than switches in the mission file.
Fair enough. But here's another - perhaps a bit more PWCG than AI (i.e. somewhat out of your reach) related idea than those mentioned before.
I usually try to fly without icons and thus have to fly quite close to spotted aircraft to identify whether they are enemy or not. Somewhat realistic thing actually. Yet pilots in WW1 usually had some idea about neighboring squadrons and their activities which means that they could identify a friendly flight far away. It would be really nice if the map in mission generator showed approximate routes and number of friendly aircraft. E.g. knowing that a flight of three 2-seaters were going on a bombing raid around the same time as me from the squadron few km-s in the north. In the air I wouldn't have to chase them down just to discover that they are friendly crafts.
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#34 PatAWilson

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Posted 19 December 2013 - 19:25

I have icons turned off in flight but if I cycle through enemies using CTRL-F2 they show up on the mini-map.
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#35 matmilne

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Posted 19 December 2013 - 19:34

I record in wav as my native format, and i have a lot of tools for converting/transcoding so that's no problem Pat. Round robin tends to be non-specific which gives you less options for making an impact on the player and is likely to be turned off. The targeted stuff is a much better option, as players can associate tracks with events more easily. Woff's score was 4 suites of music; 1 central, 1 entente,1 flight and 1 game suite, i then let the devs chose where best to put the tracks. If i write a bunch of tracks, you can pick where you think they're most effective in the system.
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#36 Hellshade

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Posted 19 December 2013 - 19:39

To be fair I think the decision to abandon the chase might not have been a bad one. I'll let Gavagai comment on the RE8 being a fast aircraft relative to the Albatros :)

I have tried to come up with ways to make the AI more aware of odds, etc., but the complexity of even making an attempt is … challenging. Really better done at a core level (AI code) rather than switches in the mission file.


For what it's worth Pat, I am a huge fan of your work, but I think you are correct when you say changing the AI requires access at a core level to be done properly. WOFF AI doesn't use anything from CFS3. It's coded from the ground up and apparently, according to what the Devs told me, it doesn't use "rolls of the dice" to determine what an AI plane does next. It literally looks at a whole bunch of factors (status of AI plane - fuel, ammo, damage, etc, how many in AIs are currently in the flight, how many in enemy flight, differences in altitude between the two, which side of the lines it is flying over, pilot wounded or fatigued, etc) to decide what it's going to do next. And the AI doesn't have a 360 degree view. It scans the skies in segments, so it only decides based upon what it has "seen". Makes it possible for them to be "bounced" or for the AI in your flights to get attacked totally unawares.

I can't see how you can emulate that with only access to the mission files at this time. Now who knows, maybe when BOS is finished 777 might decide to port a new AI over to ROF? We can always hope. But in the meantime, I think V15.0 of PWCG is by far your best iteration yet. You have every reason to be proud of it sir.
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#37 PatAWilson

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Posted 19 December 2013 - 19:53

I record in wav as my native format, and i have a lot of tools for converting/transcoding so that's no problem Pat. Round robin tends to be non-specific which gives you less options for making an impact on the player and is likely to be turned off. The targeted stuff is a much better option, as players can associate tracks with events more easily. Woff's score was 4 suites of music; 1 central, 1 entente,1 flight and 1 game suite, i then let the devs chose where best to put the tracks. If i write a bunch of tracks, you can pick where you think they're most effective in the system.

I would appreciate that. I think that I have ideas that would work.
General music on the main screens
Targeted music on the campaign screen, preferably related to the nation of service
Stop music at other screens to allow sound effects.

Java's music/sound playing capabilities are not great. There are no doubt Java libraries out there that offer more sophistication, but I am committed to keeping PWCG running on core Java.
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#38 Marcomies

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Posted 19 December 2013 - 20:28

1. Leave after major decoration.
2. Leave after long period of active duty.
3. Forced transfer on promotion to executive or command rank.
4. Possibility of rejected transfer request.

It would be great to have an option to limit player's choices and maybe give player more power as he raises in ranks. A rookie wouldn't be able to touch mission plans not to mention ask leave but a leading ace of a nation would pretty much be able to request latest planes (maybe even transfers?) for his unit.
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#39 gavagai

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Posted 19 December 2013 - 20:32

To be fair I think the decision to abandon the chase might not have been a bad one. I'll let Gavagai comment on the RE8 being a fast aircraft relative to the Albatros :)

I'll leave that for 777 to start their own "What could RoF learn from WOFF?" thread. ;)
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#40 matmilne

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Posted 19 December 2013 - 20:36

That's great Pat, a general track list would be a big help. if you have a list of specific screens, years of the campaign etc i can put a track to each, along with any other ideas you have, you can pm the details. If you have a specific soundtrack you like i can look at it before i start, I had a look at blue max and flyboys before scoring woff.
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