The answers may be in this forum and I missed them but figure this group would know...
a) Is there a How-To somewhere how to write a campaign?
b) Is it possible to make single missions and port them over into a campaign? If so, how?
I'm asking because I intend to release by 3/2019 a BETA of a 10-mission campaign involving the SAAB Gripen vs. Dhrani Fulcrums, Frogfoots and more so will soon be starting a thread just on showing my progress on that. Really like the Gripen, just wish it was perceived as the kid sister to the Typhoon due to lack of hardpoints.
Now for a quick look at an F-16 flight combat simulator you may have heard of, in particular the only version of Falcon 4.0 currently in development.
Benchmark Simulations official add on to Falcon 4.0 is called BMS 4.33 (currently upgrade 4) and to use you need to buy the original 1998 Microprose Falcon 4.0 from places such as GOG.com and then install that first. Then you install BMS 4.33 after downloading via the torrent from the BMS web site.
Now if you are lucky you perhaps played the original or one of the other versions, or even the other official release Falcon 4.0 Allied Force from 2005 (that I will confirm BMS most certainly DOES NOT work with). However if you have not, you will be starting a learning and somewhat challenging journey, which is about what these types of things are all about after all.
Things like the Avionics go very in depth and 4.33 brought with it a Maverick Handoff procedure with the targeting Pod that will make grown men cry – although I am not entirely sure a certain defence contractor couldn’t have made it easier if they had tried!
You might also have noticed the Avionics Configurator option on the splash screen that already caters for about 40 different versions of the F-16. That’s right if you are not familiar with F-16s then erm well even a Block 50 for example has different versions with different avionics and capabilities depending on the year (upgrades) and the country it was sold to and this is impressively catered for.
I will have a Block 30 with GE-132 and go faster stripes please
Although Falcon BMS does still trounce all in its path in certain aspects I am going to briefly start on one of the less impressive parts of Falcon, that being the visual environment. Despite its 1998 origins, limitations have been progressively overcome to improve this area also. BMS 4.33 Came with many new ground and air objects as well as a new terrain set with trees by Polak.
Like Strike Fighters there are some very talented individuals who have spent years providing professional level mods for free. I will give mention to Falcon Legend JanHas (http://www.janhas.net/) who has been around for…ever it seems. Real credit to the guy and rest be assured every rivet is polished to perfection to provide models as good as or better than anything else. His mods also come with comprehensive install documentation – and yes you do need it.
New afterburner flame most welcome
Installing mods is not as easy as Strike Fighters, there are bits you copy and paste but the models still need LodEditor to install them. Having just installed pretty much all of the JanHas mods I can tell you that despite it looking complex initially you are just pressing buttons and changing a few numbers at the end of the day so after the first few it becomes pretty easy – just time consuming having to do it manually.
Why are these mods not in the baseline install making my life easier? - Well the reason is I have read that BMS have certain standards they keep to so it still runs on lower spec hardware.
After a Herculean effort to get the mods installed!
Also as with Strike Fighters, Modders have created different theatre’s for Falcon 4 over the years including the middle east, Balkans and Germany (Ostsee by TomKatz) that even makes an attempt to populate the terrain with well placed 3D buildings.
So there you have it, graphical improvements have been slow because it requires good samaritans with free talent with free time, but it’s always nice to see there has been progress in that area. I have not mentioned the internal view because that is already more than good enough, especially considering most of a campaign is where I’m at anyway!
On behalf of the entire BMS development team, I am happy to announce that the latest iteration of the Billion Soft Falcon 4.0 total conversion modification - Benchmark Sims 4.33 U4 - is available for you to enjoy as of RIGHT NOW!
Like U3, the changes and bugfixes in Update 4 are a direct consequence of feedback we got from some bigger MP sessions. There are no data or feature changes included in this patch.
First things first: the "Falcon" trademark has a new copyright holder, Billion Soft (Hong Kong) Limited. We're very grateful to them that they support and enable us to keep releasing future BMS updates!
BMS 4.33 U4 requires a legit installation of a Falcon 4.0 (all older and newer versions are accepted alike, i.e. Microprose, Hasbro, GOG, Steam, Retroism). The check is performed both at setup time and every time you start BMS. If no valid installation is found, BMS will exit with a corresponding error message.
For those of you who are still in need of a legit Falcon 4.0 base installation, please be aware that Retroism is offering a special price for Falcon 4.0 for the upcoming black Friday weekend ($/€2.79)!
U4 is an incremental update on top of U1 + U2 + U3, so you need to have the BMS 4.33 U1 Full Installer package and the corresponding 4.33 U2 Incremental Installer and 4.33 U3 Incremental Installer available on your PC. You can both update your existing U1 + U2 + U3 installation as well as perform a fresh U1 + U2 + U3 + U4 installation from scratch, as you like. See the installation instructions below for details.
- The build number string in the Falcon UI reads "4.33.4 Build 16083" after the update
- No data or docu or config files have been changed, this update is a pure "code-only" patch
- The shortcuts in the start menu and on your desktop will NOT be renamed to U4, feel free to rename them manually
- Updated splash screen and monolog output for the new Falcon copyright holder: Billion Soft (Hong Kong) Limited
- Significant performance improvements for importing ACMI .flt to .vhs:
* Reduced time needed for import by at least a factor of 10 to 20
* Added monolog output, flt file size at START, duration summary and vhs size at DONE
- In the UI chat windows, the participant tree title will now include the number of players in the chat, e.g. "(4)Lobby" instead of "Lobby"
- Increased the disconnect timeouts for the transport layer to 60 seconds for increased stability in "short temporary network loss/disconnect" situations
- Fixed mouse wheel not always working in UI
- Multiple (potential) CTD/hang fixes:
* memory depletion (OOM) CTD originating in a data range overrun
* client CTD when exiting BMS
* CTD related to input device sorting
* CTD in DrawableTrail::DrawChunkBillBoards
* CTD when exiting a campaign on a client due to invalid object access in UpdateIntel
* CTD when checking in with AWACS
* CTD in AirTaskingManagerClass::FindNearestActiveTanker
* infinite loop in AirframeClass::CalcMach
* CTD in VU message handling