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MigBuster

Falcon 4.0 today: The Campaign

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Main.thumb.jpg.d487221eee0ea3ed600cb552f66ca7b5.jpg

 

Once upon a time in a galaxy far, far away……….it would appear that games developers started projects based on what they could achieve rather than what time and money constrained them to achieving!

…..So brings our hero in this story a certain Mr Kevin Klemmick who on his first ever job found himself being given quite a challenge:

 Initially I was hired as an intern and asked to design and develop a dynamic campaign. For better or worse there wasn’t a lot of direction on what that would entail – the directive was mostly to make something that would be a persistent world and generate dynamic missions instead of the pre-scripted model which was the norm.

 

In case you are wondering the Dynamic Campaign of Falcon 4.0 is still a gem of the modern flight sim world, so some brief quotes on what it involved to create such a thing are in order:

 

I was given a pretty blank check in designing the Dynamic Campaign, so I approached it as I would a strategy game. The idea being that this game would be running in the background whether or not the player flew any missions. In fact, it could be played as a strategy game from the tool I wrote to monitor it. The AI was broken into three tiers, a strategic level, operational level and tactical level. Yet another level of AI would operate in the Simulation itself to drive the vehicles or aircraft.

The missions were generated as a by-product of this AI, and in fact used real world planning techniques. For example, once a priority list of targets was determined, a package would be put together to time suppression of air defence, air superiority, refuelling, AWACS, etc. All these missions would be timed out and planned much like a real-world commander would, but were generated as a response to decisions made by the campaign’s AI.

While my primary goal was to make something fun to play, we were very fortunate to get a lot of advice from military sources about how things work in the real world and I tried to match that as closely as possible while keeping the game play elements that I felt were important. However, all of this had to work within a very tiny slice of the CPU, which was a huge limitation given all the AI/planning work that was going on. That was probably the biggest challenge of this system.

 

So, got that right.

 

What was the difference between this dynamic thingy and a pre-scripted model?

An example of pre-scripted from the Strike Fighters series would be someone creating missions with the Mission Editor or before the Mission Editor existed, Yankee Air Pirate creating missions for players.  There are some advantages to this such as recreating historical missions or providing a story or backdrop for the player beforehand. The main disadvantage is that once you have played the mission a few times it’s basically the same thing each time.

Of course, Falcon 4.0 does also have a Mission Editor (Tactical Editor) and you can create missions or training scenarios. DCS also has a Mission Editor that includes some quite advanced features for mission designers.

F-16_Multirole_Fighter_Coverart.jpg.edb2148bfdc6c047b06037b94e9848e1.jpg

Nostalgia and story based missions from yesteryear (Novalogic)

 

 

Campaign Mode

Although it can appear to be just a set of single missions Strike Fighters does have a basic dynamic campaign. DCS campaigns on the other hand are currently a set of scripted missions, but that doesn’t mean you cannot have some very good campaigns in this sense!

A Falcon campaign starts with a ticking clock on day one, and the whole thing runs on a massive scale putting the player either in a 2D map mode or joining the campaign by flying in the 3D world as part of it.

Even in the 2D map mode the player can see most of the things happening (there is still a fog of war) and also gets news updates on major events. Of course, the missions you do fly will be different and often unpredictable, and that is the extra challenge!

MissionsMap.thumb.jpg.cf997084b8cd72bcc0de9f094ab8c17a.jpg

Here you can plan and influence things.........bet you didn't plan for that big purple blob.........looks like the space ship from Independence day is here!

 

Yes, the player can run the campaign as default and just join auto fragged missions every now and then – or they have a lot of power to create packages, flights, to frag their own missions, change package loadouts, join other squadrons etc, etc. Anyway, I won’t go any further because the scale is rather large.

Note, that if you do just run a campaign without changing the initial mission types and PAK's you will be given non-stop suicide missions and so will your AI buddies! (so, change them!)

 

And yes BMS 4.33 comes with a full set of manuals created by other heroes telling you all you need in the Docs folder in your install (e.g. C:\BMS-433-U1\Docs\Falcon BMS Manuals)

5a343045af82b_BMSManual.JPG.5f2e8309ae436708c0ef4d4f212d00cf.JPG

 

 

The default campaign is Korea in which you can club Kim Jong Un's Cold War museum collection with a multitude of modern weapons like AIM-9X and HMCS. For an extra challenge select Korea Strong and prepare to eat AMRAAMSKI from the Flanker Hoards.

 

Kim-Jong-Un-female-fighter-pilots.jpeg.57ed4854e1e36245e94eb97b08d9a6f0.jpeg

By 2014 the North Korean air force went through a massive modernization program which included (or perhaps involved entirely of) employment of beautiful young women (Yonhap News / Aviationist)

 

Of course, as mentioned in part 1 there are many other campaigns and theatres to try from the modding community for BMS 4.33.

BalkansBGComm.thumb.jpg.559e085ea81163eeb5a0eecbf09e8b79.jpg

Totally new Allied Force campaigns - joy!

 

New additions & changes to BMS 4.33

 

Default loadouts

Thank the maker! Any past players may have noted that when 4 x Su-30s appeared on the horizon, your escorts armed to the teeth with 2 x AIM-9Ps and a CBU-52 would be nothing more than useful missile decoys! This may have prompted some like myself to spend ages before missions tweaking loadouts of other flights! But it seems someone has finally improved things here for the better!

 

Ground war

You can now control the ground units if you like, one benefit of this is to finish campaigns a lot quicker. And yes, this feature was in the 2005 Falcon 4.0 Allied Force.

 

MANPADs

Less welcoming from Allied Force is the addition of MANPADs that make going below the clouds a bit of a no no unless you like jumping out of airplanes! MANPADs were there before 4.33 but were somewhat lackluster in comparison. 

 

Reduced weapon supply

You may want to try to hold onto those drop tanks a bit longer because unlimited supply may no longer be the case……………you can of course just frag those super brave tanker boys to get you that juice.

 

The little things

Adding detail onto the campaign map to be saved to your data cartridge for use in flight is now made better just by the fact that it persists after each mission instead of having to redo it every time!

HSI.jpg.c52776982e1ef9c5b7e33e6178ba2622.jpg

Be a king of Situational Awareness with Bullseye positions, FLOT, Radar coverage, flight path SAM rings and data link tracks!

 

Weather with you

From manual:

Weather management has been drastically improved, with a dynamic weather system which changes with time as it moves across the BMS terrain. Bad weather effects have also been improved, with better visibility management and new cumulus cloud layers.

If you like a challenge you can get pretty good random weather in the campaigns that will require some thought on how you do things when neither you or a targeting pod can actually see the targets! Anyone who learnt their A-G radar mode skills back in the day will still find they still come in handy.

A shout out to the rain effect in Falcon which is by far my favourite in any sim so far:

 

Rain2.thumb.jpg.2355b6f6fa815a176e9b5ef010373991.jpg

 

 

Artificial Intelligence (AI)

From manual:

The AI is now much better at energy management, timing and fuel efficiency thanks to updated climb profiles, top of climb and top of descent management. Holding points and push points have been improved. AI now perform baseline intercepts much more effectively (be warned). This is important for BVR combat but also for tanker rendezvous. The ATO features new target selection logic and package constitution.

AI ATC has been drastically improved, providing reliable management of the traffic queue. New options for autonomous approach have been created to allow human players to approach airbases without having to listen to ATC vectoring you through the pattern (useful when you are flying IFR for instance).

 

Note on the last paragraph, which provides a happy medium between the full talk down and the emergency landing…………the full talk down is still fantastic in pea soup weather where there is no ILS at the air base.

 

 

 

So, there you have it, still an addictive pleasure that will lead you into a false sense of security before kicking your A!

 

Well, it’s just really hard to do. Looking back on it, I think the only reason we took on what we did is because we were too inexperienced to know better. Knowing what I do now, even given my experience on Falcon, the cost to develop such an engine would be substantial. Since flight sims don’t bring in that kind of revenue companies look at it from a cost to benefit standpoint and Dynamic Campaigns score pretty low in that regard. There is also the argument that scripted missions are more interesting which has some merit. I think if I were to do it over I would do a mix of scripted/generated missions, so that the player still feels like they’re involved in the world, but there is also some variety thrown in to keep things interesting.

Kevin Klemmick 2012

Main2.thumb.jpg.1870b5b196460d3c3ed0a5475bdee706.jpg

 

Disclaimer - this article may contain Star Wars quotes.

 

 

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You know, I really really want to try this game, but I am afraid it will be super difficult to learn all the start up procedures and managing the weapon systems. It might take months just to learn how to fly one type of plane and operate all it's systems properly.

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1 hour ago, TheLemon said:

You know, I really really want to try this game, but I am afraid it will be super difficult to learn all the start up procedures and managing the weapon systems. It might take months just to learn how to fly one type of plane and operate all it's systems properly.

I am thinking exactly the same. Very tempted to get Falcon 4 BMS, but I'm afraid it'll be more frustrating than fun for myself.

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in BMS Flying the F-16, navigating and using A-A and A-G weapons is not that hard, even using the TGP can be learnt in some time. Guys, believe me, enter youtube, search for Krauzes tutorials and take pen and paper to annotate the more important things. You will be flying in no time!!

BTW MiGBuster, I like your entries. Thanks for creating them!

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Does BMS have a "easy" option where one's starting with engine running etc ? Would make quick "action centered" flights more fun.... like SF but with much more detailed F-16 avionics :D

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49 minutes ago, Crusader said:

Does BMS have a "easy" option where one's starting with engine running etc ? Would make quick "action centered" flights more fun.... like SF but with much more detailed F-16 avionics :D

Yes, you get an option to start on Ramp, taxiway or runway at the start of a mission including campaign ones so you don't have to do the Ramp start. The one caveat of this of course is if you switch off your engine during flight by accident and have not learnt how to switch it back on.........so learning ramp start is required really even if you don't ever use it. 

With training missions and the mission editor you can start in flight, likewise with the campaign you can jump in mid flight. (you are unlikely to do this because you cannot change loadout config of a flight already in the air!)

One thing that is easy I find after a few flights is clickable cockpits...far easier to learn the position of a switch it seems than a random list of keyboard commands!

The Training manual and training missions are the place to start, but others might find it easier to watch you tube tutorials because it is often easier to learn by doing and the technical manual things will start to make sense after a while. Others find that joining an online squad for multiplayer training sessions gets them on their feet quicker................depends.

The sim itself can still be customised in skill level.......not that I have ever played it out of ace level.............however hardly a feat and I would recommend any newb to start there as well especially if they have played another sim in the past. 

 

But today it is an F-16 simulator and very far removed from 1998 in that sense so there is a lot to learn if you wish to.

2017-12-16_144329.thumb.jpg.fa66124c88db49425d1b9d337e03aaf5.jpg

Another Caveat - I don't know if all of these options are still supported in BMS outside of full up.

 

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Ah cool.. nice to have easy option etc.

Last time I (briefly) played Falcon it was one of the mods.. Red Falcon or Falcon Cobra ?? ... something like that.

 

Just crossing my mind..:

In BMS 4.33, when you jettison the 370 gal tanks.... how is that visually ?

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So do you mean how the tanks should fall into the slipstream at a certain speed/altitude/ AoA  ? (What is your reference for that?)

Do you mean the tanks dropping without the pylons?..........the 370 tanks do drop with the pylons in reality whereas the 600 tanks jettison without the pylons (because they use the A-G pylons). In 4.32 there is a text file you can edit to fix that.

 

 

 

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They were aware of it so I hope so and can't remember changing it in the last few upgrades, but if they still haven't fixed it it was

 

C:\Falcon BMS 4.33\Data\Terrdata\objects

Make backup copy of bmsrack.dat

Open bmsrack.dat in Notepad and change:

 

definerack f-16-370-wing-tank
    racksmsname 370PY
    weapjettmodes NONE
    rackjettmodes EMERGENCY,SELECTIVE
    rackct 3084
    rackstations 1
    addwclass tank

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    • By gterl


      View File Caporetto V2 (Terrain & Campaign)
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      *******************************
      INTRODUCTION
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    • By gterl
      Caporetto Terrain WW1 V2.0
      *******************************
      INTRODUCTION
      The Italian Front during WW1 refers to a series of battles fought between 1915 and 1918 in northern Italy between the armies of Austria-Hungary and Germany against Italy.
      Italy hoped that by joining the countries of the Triple Entente against the Central Powers it would gain Cisalpine Tyrol (today's provinces of Trentino and South Tyrol), the Austrian Littoral, northern Dalmatia and some areas of western Carniola.
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      The Battle of Caporetto (also known as the Twelfth Battle of the Isonzo, the Battle of Kobarid or the Battle of Karfreit) was the greatest defeat in Italian military history. The battle was fought between the Entente and the Central Powers and took place from 24 October to 19 November 1917, near the town of Kobarid (now in north-western Slovenia, then part of the Austrian Littoral). The battle was named after the Italian name of the town (also known as Karfreit in German).
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      - Italian terrain/front WW1, situaton around summer/late summer 1917
      - 544 unique tiles
      - 10798 targets and 589 target areas
      - Terrain represents the most important battlegrounds on the Italian front (Monfalcone, Mt. Hermada, Doberdo and Doberdo Lake, Mt. Fajiti Hrib, Gorizia, Mt. Sabotino, Bainsizza plateau, Caporetto, Mt. Krn, Mt. Tre Cime, Mt. Cristallo, Mt. Lagazuoi, Mt. Col di Lana, Mt. Marmolada, Mt. Ortigara, Mt. Pasubio...and many other historical places)   
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      - Important mountains where done via satellite images (the tiles), like Marmolada, Mount Krn, Monte Cristallo, etc. all unique
      - All historical fortifications are included (mountain bunkers, etc.) and locations/naming correct (as good as it gets)
      - Major railroad lines included
      - Port of Triest acts as port of Pola with all the major Austro-Hungarian Dreadnoughts stationed there
      - Flying boat stations included with stationary Lohners and Macchi aircrafts
      PREREQUISITES
      - FE Gold or FE2
      - Very strong PC and GPU
      INSTALLATION
      1. PRELIMINARY WORK
      1.1 Extract file into a temporary folder like 'c:\temp'
      1.2 You'll find a new folder called 'caporettoV20' within 'c:\temp'
      1.3 For the campaign to work properly you'll need the following aircraft (you'll find them at the usual places)
      --- AlbatrosC3
      --- AlbatrosD3OAW
      --- AviatikC2
      --- AviatikD1
      --- Ca3
      --- Dfwci
      --- Hanriot_HD1_CAM
      --- Hansa_BrandenburgDI
      --- LloydC2
      --- Nieuport12
      --- Nieuport17
      --- oefD3_ba53a
      --- oefD3_ba153a
      --- oefD3_ba253
      --- PhoenixD2a
      --- PomilioPE
      --- RumplerC1
      --- SAMLS2
      --- SP3
      --- SPAD7_150
      --- SPAD7_180
      --- SPAD13
      --- SVA5
      2. TERRAIN INSTALLATION
      2.1 FIRST EAGLES 2
      - This terrain uses the stock wwiCambrai.CAT file, You must have the "wwiCambrai" terrain from First Eagles for the wwiCaporetto terrain to work properly.
      - Look into your personal Windows folder like 'C:\Users\<username>\Saved Games\ThirdWire\FirstEagles2', e.g. your MODS Folder - create the folder 'terrains' within if not already there
      - Move the 'wwiCaporetto' directory from your temporary folder (like 'c:\temp\caporettoV20\Terrain\wwiCaporetto') to 'C:\Users\<username>\Saved Games\ThirdWire\FirstEagles2\terrains\', e.g. your MODS Folder
      - Move the folders within 'GroundObject' directory from your temporary folder (like 'c:\temp\caporettoV20\Objects\GroundObject') to 'C:\Users\<username>\Saved Games\ThirdWire\FirstEagles2\Objects\GroundObjects', e.g. your MODS Folder
      2.2 FIRST EAGLES GOLD
      - This terrain uses the stock wwiCambrai.CAT file, You must have the "wwiCambrai" terrain from First Eagles for the wwiCaporetto terrain to work properly.
      - Move the 'wwiCaporetto' directory from your temporary folder (like 'c:\temp\caporettoV20\Terrain\wwiCaporetto') into your FirstEagles installation directory (like 'c:\Program Files\First Eagles\Terrain')
      - Move the folders within 'GroundObject' from your temporary folder (like 'c:\temp\caporettoV20\Objects\GroundObject') into your FirstEagles installation directory (like 'c:\Program Files\First Eagles\Objects\GroundObject')
      - If you've already my previous Italian WWI terrain, then you probably don't need these objects. In any case if asked to 'owerwrite', click NO.
      3. CAMPAIGN INSTALLATION
      3.1 FIRST EAGLES 2
      - Look into your personal Windows folder like 'C:\Users\<username>\Saved Games\ThirdWire\FirstEagles2', e.g. your MODS folder - create the folder 'Campaigns' within if not already there
      - Move the 'wwiCaporetto01' directory from your temporary folder (like 'c:\temp\caporettoV20\Campaings') to C:\Users\<username>\Saved Games\ThirdWire\FirstEagles2\Campaigns\', e.g. your MODS Folder
      - Move the files (bmp's) from your your temporary folder (like 'c:\temp\caporettoV20\Menu') to your FirstEagles2 installation directory (like 'c:\Program Files\First Eagles2\Menu')
      Aircraft Skins
      - All needed aircraft skins are included. Look for them into your temporary folder (like 'c:\temp\caporettoV20\Objects\Aircraft') add them like any other FE2 aircraft skins. You'll already have the majority probably.
      3.2 FIRST EAGLES GOLD
      - Move the 'wwiCaporetto01' directory from your temporary folder (like 'c:\temp\caporettoV20\Campaings') into your FirstEagles installation directory (like 'c:\Program Files\First Eagles\Campaigns')
      - Move the files (bmp's) from your your temporary folder (like 'c:\temp\caporettoV20\Menu') into your FirstEagles installation directory (like 'c:\Program Files\First Eagles\Menu')
      Aircraft Skins
      - All needed aircraft skins are included. Look for them into your temporary folder (like 'c:\temp\caporettoV20\Objects\Aircraft') add them like any other FE aircraft skins. You'll already have the majority probably.
      4. EXTRAS
      - You'll find several ZIP files within the temporary 'Extras' folder (like 'c:\temp\caporettoV20\Extras')
      Description:
      Terrain_wwiCaporettoFolder_oldCarst.zip
      - I've repainted the carst region tiles to make them look more like limestone in this new version. If you like more the previous look, then just extract this file and overwrite the tiles within the wwiCaporetto folder.
      Terrain_wwiCaporettoFolder_oldIsonzo_trench_dry.zip
      - I've added wet fields and water filled shell holes in this new version. If you like more the previous look, then just extract this file and overwrite the tiles within the wwiCaporetto folder.
      MenuFolder_Music_MainScreen.zip
      - If you like a bit more exciting musing in the main menue. Just drop this file into your 'Menue' folder.
      PilotDataFolder_Additional_PilotImages.zip
      - These are all the portraits of all aces on the Italian front during 1915-1918. Quite a lot of work went into this. If you like a more historical approach then use these and drop them into your 'PilotData' folder.

      CREDITS
      As usually I want to say thank you to all guys who helped me to create the Italian terrain, to TK, Jan Tuma, Stephen1918, ojcar, Gepard, Heck, geo, quack74, Edward, and specially Geezer. Sorry guys, can't remember all the names. Please contact me if you want to be named here. Thanks for files, suggestions, bug fixing, etc.
      DISCLAIMER
      The Italian terrain is freeware.
      You are free to modify and share it, BUT Commercial use is prohibited.
      If you find bugs please post them in First Eagles section of Combatace.com forum.
    • By Avrillav
      Hello. I have updated SF2, and there is no Campaign or Mission editor. How can I get that? 
    • By MigBuster
      Falcon BMS 4.34 is now available to torrent (19 April 2019) and comes with free IFF
       

       
      Falcon BMS 4.34 Teaser trailer
       
       
       
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