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Title 278
posted 3-17-01 - forum boards

What is a weekend? I have forgotten

:D

I’m lucky my wife works as hard as I do, otherwise I’d be staring an early divorce in the face. Never underestimate the power of love.

Well, the past few weeks have been an enormous stress on the crew as we integrate the more mature strat layer, mission/RPG systems, and gear up for massive server loads. The server architecture is something we simply cannot fail on, and as such we are going pretty methodically to make sure that we can deliver support for all when the gates open.

The terrain editor is complete and “keeper” editing is at hand. My office is wallpapered in “Early France” right now. When I get over there next I’m gonna get a job as a taxi driver and clean up. Grass, ground clutter, multi-texturing, and a great library of terrain objects and buildings from Roger “FT” Long and Diana “Hawkmoon” Winter are all getting used in editing “passes” on the Blitz theater. Final editing of this massive theater is at hand. We start with markers for all the cities and “choke points” we will be modeling, then add the rivers, road and rails. From there it’s forests and lakes, then a detailed texture “blending” pass that eases transitions from say farmland, to forested areas. Then all the cities are placed with one eye on the map, and the other on gameplay. We want these cities to be great places to get into a fight, and not just endless “boxes” lined up for the bombers to flatten. There’s a great mix of “enterable” buildings, and “city blocks” that help the editors design great fighting avenues. The next set of screens will simply put to rest any worry about cover for the infantry. All you’ll need to do as a WWIIOL troop, is manage your ATP level so you can sprint to the next cover when needed, and keep an eye on those ammo levels so you don’t get caught with your gun “out”.

Hoof made a final physics pass to tighten up some anomalies uncovered in the beta, and the vehicles are feeling great. The aircraft especially, are quite impressive. I could go on and on about what the loops do and why, but simply stated this is the best flight sim I’ve ever flown. We did a lot of work pouring over “the numbers” and old factory specs for each plane, and one thing that we’ve found is that a lot of flight sims “slow down” control response for various reasons. One being predictor algorithms. With the high rates of reversal that these planes really had, the standard predictors have a hard time smoothing out where the guy really is on the update schedule that a MMPOLG needs to maintain. Well rather than fake it, or turn your fighter into a 737, we decided to treat the problem rather then the symptom. We fixed the damn predictor :D Well the results are great. Finally planes that perform as you’d expect, and in some cases better!

AT guns and troop weapons are getting finalized too. SMGs, grenades, pistols, and the heavy MGs are all getting animations done along with proper loadouts and specs. The WWIIOL troop will be able to hold his own against armor if he’s smart and not alone. The AT guns are fun..and deadly. I watched a duce of Char B1 bis get demolished in about 15 seconds by a single Pak36 crew the other day. They simply didn’t look where they were going in Dinant proper, and fell into a single gun that was VERY well deployed. Just awesome to see a weapon system that stout get routed so bad, so fast, with a good deployment.

The Hurricane and Hawk will be added shortly, followed by the 110 and He111. After release we’ll be adding the French version of the A20 and the rest of the plane set.

Believe me, if this design was 1/10th as complex we’d have released it a long time ago. Heck, we had a damned fine flight sim done in 90 days! But delivering this game with all it's basic systems functioning is not a trivial task and we are working our tails off to get it gold.

This next build will hold lots of players and as soon as the dev team gets it integrated and tested, Mike (Gryf) will be in a position to add more folks. I’ll take some more terrain screens when we get a bit further along and follow up on those grass screens we released a bit ago.

More soon~


Chris "Mo" Sherland
WWIIOL's Producer
http://www.playnet.com

"That's right!"
-The Manic Mechanic