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Author Topic: Modding Tornado  (Read 13334 times)

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Offline Frankie

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Re: Modding Tornado
« Reply #45 on: January 17, 2018, 06:04:25 PM »
34. Attention getters and warning lights in full-screen views (TV-Tab1 - left TV-Tab only)

Mod: Improved full-screen views - warning panel lights come on
By Frankie
Description: Added red attention getters and warning light board to full-screen FLIR & TIALD views. Now the gamer no longer needs switch to the Pilot's panel in order to know what the cause of the attention getter sound is. All the warning information that he needs is found on the right of the full-screen view, as shown in the screenshot below.


Those aren't Christmas lights!


Room for improvement: for now, the some of the warning lights, when lighted, will overlap with the eScope (lower-right corner of the screen) and the bottom information bar. It is possible to raise the warning lights higher, but only the colored rectangles can be raised further up north, not the warning capsule labels (e.g., FLPS, UC, etc.) as those labels are part of the Navigator's panel graphic file (NAVIGPAN.PT2).
« Last Edit: February 17, 2018, 03:23:16 PM by Frankie »

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Offline Frankie

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Re: Modding Tornado
« Reply #46 on: January 17, 2018, 06:10:25 PM »
35. Screen shake and full-screen command line parameters

Mod: /sh and /fs parameters added
By Frankie
Description: Added two command line parameters /sh and /fs parameter/

/sh enables shakes due to damage and random cockipit shakes.
For example, C:\>TORNADO /sh will enable the extra shake effects.

/fs enables the full-screen FLIR and TIALD views when in the Navigator's cockpit.
For example, C:\>TORNADO /fs will full screen FLIR and TIALD views whilst in the Navigator's cockpit, as well as the Pilot's full-screen FLIR MFD view.

Adding command line parameters greatly enhances the features of Tornado. Thesec customised parameters are a good alternative to the scarce keyboard commands (practically the entire keyboard is already in use by Tornado's extensive key commands). This is a significant mod because now gamers have a CHOICE how they want Tornado to behave.

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Offline Frankie

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Re: Modding Tornado
« Reply #47 on: February 05, 2018, 12:40:35 PM »
36. Added full set of command line parameters on demand.  E.g., in DOSBox, C:\>FIGHT /e1 /gr /to /tt /nm

Mod: More command line paramaters to facilitate quick starts and testing of scenarios
By Frankie


Full list of command line parameters


The result of C:>FLIGHT /e1 /e2 /gr /fl /ecm /hd /tt

The significance of this is now you can start a what-if-scenario like starting airborne with the gear and HUD damaged.
« Last Edit: February 27, 2018, 07:25:32 AM by Frankie »

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Offline Frankie

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Re: Modding Tornado
« Reply #48 on: February 05, 2018, 12:49:20 PM »
37. Secondary Control Surfaces Indicator (SCSI) functioning needles added  to  full-screen FLIR and TIALD.

Mod: Flat and slats needles added to the full-screen FLIR and TIALD to improve situational awareness without having to pop back into the Pilot's cockpit. By Frankie


The needles are shown at the lower-left corner of the screen, just above the Attitude Direction Indicator (ADI).


The flaps and slats needles are highly visible at night

Attached is the latest FLIGHT.EXE file.

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Offline Frankie

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Re: Modding Tornado
« Reply #49 on: February 17, 2018, 09:55:42 AM »
38. MFD, Flare and Chaff counts in full-screen views AND added Warning Panel lights to TV-Tab2 (right TV-Tab)

Mod:  Added flare and chaff counts in full-screen TV-Tab1 (left) FLIR and TIALD modes.
By Frankie
Description: For better situational awareness. Having the flare and chaff counts show on screen helps when te SAM-evading action is thick and fast. I also added the Warning Panel feedback in TV-Tab2 full-screen (i.e., in right TV-Tab FIR and TIALD full-screens)

Flare and chaff counts are below the Cannon rounds count. See Centre left of the screen.
« Last Edit: February 17, 2018, 03:24:25 PM by Frankie »

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Offline Frankie

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Re: Modding Tornado
« Reply #50 on: February 17, 2018, 10:04:41 AM »
39. Auto-adjusts sky-to-earth ratio according to Tornado type (IDs, ECR or ADV)

Mod:  Shows more or less sky based on Tornado type
By Frankie
Description: The simulation now detects if your Tornado is an ID or an ADV Tornado-type and automatically allocates more ground view or more sky view in the tracking (F1) view, depending on your Tornado type. For IDS missions, hitting F1 will reveal more ground vertical space on the screen as opposed to the sky. After all, almost all IDS missions are about mud-moving. And if you are in an ADV mission, you will see more sky than ground when you hit F1. Hope you like this one extra mini-nugget.


IDS in action. Deserves more ground screen real-estate, no? So the ratio of sky to earth here is around 56:44


ECS variant. More ground view for photo reconnaisance activity. Activate via C:>TORNADO /VE


ADV mission. Bue skies and the coast is clear. Tornado F3.


The code that does this selective shifting of the sky:earth ratio in the Tracking View (F1).
« Last Edit: February 17, 2018, 03:21:31 PM by Frankie »

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Offline Frankie

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Re: Modding Tornado
« Reply #51 on: February 17, 2018, 10:14:58 AM »
40. More lethal SAMs

Mod:  Still not as bad as "one-hit kills your Tornado" but adjusted to damage more instruments with each strike
By Frankie
Description: Made the SAM doubly lethal, but still not "just-one-hit-from-a-SAM-means-killed". With previous versions, it would take about 8 to 10 hits from a SAM before you Tornado went down. It was like that so that I could thoroughly test the TV-Tabs. Now that the TV-Tabs are quite stable, a single hit from a SAM can do some major damage. Two to three more strikes from a SAM and almost all your avionics will be shot out, with the warning panel lighted up like a Christmas tree


After a single strike from a SAM....


...then another hit from a SAM give this....


...followed by a third. You plane is a smoking wreck by now.


True enough. Three to Five strikes and you're out!


« Last Edit: February 19, 2018, 03:16:15 PM by Frankie »

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Offline Frankie

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Re: Modding Tornado
« Reply #52 on: February 19, 2018, 03:13:51 PM »
41. Adjusting HUD colour intensity and NVG colours on-the-fly

Mod:  Change HUD color and toggle between Infra-Red (NVG) and normal view anytime!
By Frankie
Details: Now you can change the HUD color when in full-screen  FLIR and TIALD views by pressing the H key. Previously this was only allowed when in Pilot cockpit or Pilot MFD mode. In version 31, you can change the HUD color directly in full-screen FLIR and TIALD modes - whether in the Pilot's cockpit or the Navigator's cockpit. You can now also toggle between Infra-Red night vision and normal night colors by pressing Shift+Tab in cockpit or in any external view! For example, go to Tracking view with F1. Then press Shift+Tab to turn on the florescent green. Release both keys. Then hit Shift+Tab to restore the non-Infra-Red normal night colors. With these two features, the interface is now MUCH MORE user-friendly, flexible and intuitive. Gamepley has been enhanced.


Before. Night mission. Both TV-Tabs are normal night colors.


After. The key combo Shift+Tab is hit. Both TV-Tabs show up in NVG colours.


Before. Large-screen TV-Tab1 with normal-sized TV-Tab2. Both in normal on-NVG night colours.


After. I hit Shift+Tab. Both full-screen TV-Tabs are now in NVG colours.


To change the HUD colour intensity, I hit the H key to cycle through the 6 different HUD colours.
Both the left and right TV-Tabs' HUD colours change at once.


The NVG/normal night colours toggle applies also to external views. Here is the F1 tracking view in NVG...


...rendered in normal night colours with the Shift+Tab key combo.

Conclusion: with this twin features of on-the-fly HUD colour intensity changes (H key) and the NVG/normal night non-NVG colours toggle (Shift+Tab key combo), the gameplay of Tornado has once again been enhanced. Bon appetite!
« Last Edit: February 19, 2018, 03:29:27 PM by Frankie »

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Offline Asid

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Re: Modding Tornado
« Reply #53 on: February 19, 2018, 11:27:15 PM »
Great stuff Frankie  :thumbsup

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Offline Frankie

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Re: Modding Tornado
« Reply #54 on: February 20, 2018, 07:38:13 AM »
Thanks for the encouragement, Asid. My time-machine's still stuck at 1993. Time to reprogram the TARDIS for 2018. Alas, no source code for SteelBeasts. Haha.

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Offline Frankie

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Re: Modding Tornado
« Reply #55 on: March 17, 2018, 04:50:42 PM »
42. Improved instant medium/low-height rear view with F2. Rear view horizon pitches when the Tornado banks.

Mod: Improved rear view (F2). Also known as the "Check-Six!" view.
By Frankie
Description: Now when you hit F2, the view with instantly switch to the rear view. This hack is an improvement over hacks #11 and #33. This is a very convenient way for the flight simmer (Tornadoholic) to get instant feedback as to the effectiveness of his fallen bombs. Something that was never possible in the original simulation. The rear view's horizon and external environment will also tilt according to how your Tornado banks to the left or to the right. F2 toggles between a medium-height rear view and a lower-height rear view. Both heights are slightly adjustable with the "<" (unzoom) and ">" (zoom) keys. All these tweaks, IMHO, make for a more engaging and visceral rear view. I have also modified the bottom status bar to show the view as "REAR".


F2 instantly shows an enemy runaway getting the spectacular but controversial JP-233 treatment!

Coding work


This one-line modification makes it easy for me to implement this mod.


The meat of the code to display the check-six! view. Shows the various tweaked values to raise the ground vertical view.

Update Tuesday 20/3/2018.
I've decided to add the tail-part of the Tornado in the F2 view. This gives the view a better perspective. Put your Tornado in autopilot and when the Tornado banks at an angle, the tail-part will show up more dramatically against the check-six view! For example:


Check Six! view. Directly behing the Big Fin's tailfin!
-and-

Is this cinematic and more dramatic than just the rear view? I think so!


The code that makes this possible

To activate the rear Tail Fin in the Check Six view, press Control+F2. F2 will toggle the Tail Fin off.

Note: I have attached the latest FLIGHT.EXE in this post.

« Last Edit: March 20, 2018, 01:06:46 AM by Frankie »

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Offline Asid

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Re: Modding Tornado
« Reply #56 on: March 17, 2018, 06:56:00 PM »
42. Improved instant medium/low-height rear view with F2. Rear view horizon pitches when the Tornado banks.


Nice. This will add to the fun and immersion  :thumbsup

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Offline Frankie

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Re: Modding Tornado
« Reply #57 on: March 18, 2018, 08:41:51 AM »
43. Instant switch from full-screen FLIR/TIALD view to Navigator's Panel with normal-sized FLIR/TIALD on

Mod: Improved usability of the full-screen FLIR and full-screen TIALD views
By Frankie
Description: These two earlier mods #18 Full-Screen FLIR and #19 Full-Screen TIALD are two of the best Tornado mods that I have invested my time in. However, there was a usability problem both mods #18 and #19. The gamer was forced to hit the "[" or "]" keys in order to cycle through the views before finally arriving at the Navigator's panel view. This meant that there was no way for the gamer to get instant and immediate visual feedback of the Navigator's instrument panel. This Mod #43 solves this problem! With this Mod #43, I have added code that will allow the user to hit the PgUp key to revert to the Navigator's Panel with the FLIR or TIALD showing in the normal sized TAB displays.

The cycle of displays that show in the left TV-TAB and the right TV-TAB, when hitting the "[" or "]" keys, are now more logical. The displays now follow this cycle:
1. Navigation Waypoints Display ;TAB_PLN
2. Map Display                     ;TAB_MAP
3. Reference Display             ;TAB_REF
4. FLIR Display (original size)     ;TAB_FLIR (original)
5. FLIR Display (full-screen)       ;TAB_FLIR (full-screen)         
6. TIALD Display (original size)   ;TAB_TIALD (original)
7. TIALD Display (full-screen)     ;TAB_TIALD (full-screen)         
8. Cycle back to 1.


TWO USE-CASES. NOTE: TV-TAB1 IS THE LEFT TV-TAB. TV-TAB2 IS THE RIGHT TV-TAB.


Use-Case A - To full-screen FLIR and back to Navigator's Panel


TV-TAB1 shows the normal FLIR view. TV-TAB2 shows the normal TIALD view.


User has just hit the "[" key. TV-TAB1 now shows the full-screen FLIR view.


User has just hit "PgUp" and returns to the Navigator's Panel. The FLIR view shows in the normal-sized TV-TAB1.
If the user wants to go to the full-screen FLIR in TV-TAB1, he can hit the "[" key next.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Use-Case B - To full-screen FLIR and back to Navigator's Panel


TV-TAB2 shows the normal TIALD view. TV-TAB1 shows the normal FLIR view.
Note: even if both TV-TABs contents were interchanged, the below use-cases will still work.



User has just hit "]" key. TV-TAB2 now shows the full-screen TIALD view.


User has just hit "PgUp" and returns to the Navigator's Panel. The TIALD view shows in the normal-sized TV-TAB2.
If the user wants to go to the full-screen TIALD in TV-TAB2, he can hit the "]" key next.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Source code modifications


Array elements have been rearranged to follow the sequence of TAB display cycle.


Code allows the gamer, whilst in full-screen FLIR mode,
to instantly jump back to the Navigator's Panel with TV-TAB showing normal-sized FLIR.



Code allows the gamer, whilst in full-screen TIALD mode,
to instantly jump back to the Navigator's Panel with TV-TAB showing normal-sized TIALD.



Conclusion
This mod makes Tornado more fluid and logical. Accessing the Navigator's Panel from both TV-TABs has been GREATLY improved. Now, when the gamer is in full-screen FLIR or TIALD view, he can return instantly to the Navigator's Panel by hitting the PgUp key.

Well, this weekend I've managed to polish up Tornado with two mods. Not bad. The last version of Tornado was Tornado 1.0E in 1994. Perhaps in March 2018 we can now, with Kevin Bezant's and Digital Integration's permission, update Tornado to Tornado Version 1.0F, with "F' standing for "Frankie". Haha.

Cheers
Frankie Kam
Malaysia

P.S., latest FLIGHT.EXE is attached.
« Last Edit: March 20, 2018, 04:18:13 AM by Frankie »

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Offline Frankie

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Re: Modding Tornado
« Reply #58 on: March 21, 2018, 09:53:25 AM »
44. Added 5,000 more trees to the Tornado ground landscape

Mod: Increased the number of landscape trees
By Frankie
Description: ADDING MORE TREES to the default Tornado landscape is something I wanted to do in Tornado for years! The desire to see more trees whiz by me at low-level is what started off on the quest to modify the Tornado source code. It had always been my dream to add forests to the game. Well, I have good news and bad news. The good news is that, TODAY,  I finally figured out how to do this in Tornado, and I can add in any ground object anywhere on the landscape. The bad news is that I have at my disposal only 16,200 bytes with which to add my objects in Tornado. The number of trees is not limited by the computer's speed - it is limited by the 640Kb Conventional Memory cap of the 1993 x86 ASM programming language. Did Bill Gates really once say ""640K ought to be enough for anybody"? Doesn't work for someone trying to extend the game in 2018! Haha. Anyway, I had a lot of fun and excitement editing these 2 files in order to add more trees to Tornado: \visual\SECDATA1.ASM and \visual\map\sectors\OBSECDEF.INC.
Tornado uses 256 sectors in its default landscape. Each sector is divided into a grid of 64x64 tiles. The default game has 10,000 objects (trees, buildings, pipelines, bunkers, airfields etc.) defined.


More trees than you can shake a stick at in the 1993 DOS game Tornado!
This is not a mockup. Rather it is the result of adding more Tree objects inside
the \visual\map\sectors\OBSECDEF.INC file.



I discovered that the 1993 x86 ASM code supports up to a maximum of only 15,000 3D ground and sky-layered. So I added another 5,000 tree objects divided among 203 out of the 256 sectors. This gives an average of 25 additional trees per sector. I could have chosen to add a few hundred trees to selected sectors, but instead chose to even out the spread for uniformity sake. Below is one Sector that has more than a hundred tree copses (a copse is a few trees huddled/bundled together).

To be brutally honest, 15,000 ground objects is nothing at all by modern standards. Most modern flight simulations have millions of objects rendered. However back in 1993/1994, Tornado had the most dense landscape of all flight sims. Being able to add 5,000 more trees is a big deal for me as it proves that the game, sorry I mean simulator, can be still be extended,albeit to a limit.


Tornado is a mud-moving DOS flight simulator. IMHO, the more ground objects
whizzing by me at high speed, the better the experience.



In the process of adding more greenery to the landscape, I modified the Moving Map display (see the screenshots below) so that the trees show up as a dot in the color of COL_HUD. This adds additional load cycles on the CPU (running under DosBox) but so far I haven't encountered any game breaking problems with the additional pixels.


See those florescent green dots? Them there dots are trees!
You can see the forest for the trees in the large Moving Map (M key)



Trees show up as green pixels inside both TV-Tabs.


There's a dense forest of trees west of my Tornado.

Note: the TV-Tab Moving Map display screenshots above show a very green landscape devoid of clutter because I commented off the display of the othe map objects (mountains, etc.) so that I could clearly see the tree pixels. I later added back all the map display elements so that the Moving Map shows everything up like this:


Tornado surrounded by lotsa hills and trees. Woodman, spare that tree!


This line from \VISUAL\SECDATA1.ASM is crucial!


Sample code from the file \VISUAL\MAP\SECTOR\OBSECDEF.INC. It shows that:
The Sector 11, 1 contains FOUR tree copses.


The LATEST FLIGHT.EXE incorporating 15,000 landscape objects is attached. 607Kb.

Watch this space.

Update, Thursday 22 Mar 2018
I had to reduce the number of landscape objects from 16,200 to 15,000. The FLIGHT.EXE with 16,200 landscape objects weighs in at 612Kb and it only runs fine under the DOSBox command prompt. E.g., C:\>FLIGHT /a
If I run FLIGHT.EXE under the normal GUI menu system, it fails to load my SoundBlaster driver. Not enough memory to load the driver. If I switch the soundcard from SoundBlaster to Adlib, it works. I love Tornado's SoundBlaster sounds and effects, so I had to do something! I reduced the number of landscape objects to 15,000. After compiling and linking, the resultant FLIGHT.EXE now weighs in at 607Kb. I have tested this reduced FLIGHT.EXE and I can confirm that it works when played from the GUI menu. As a result of this, I have renamed the subject of this post from "Added 6,200 more trees to the Tornado ground landscape" to "Added 5,000 more trees to the Tornado ground landscape".
« Last Edit: April 09, 2018, 02:03:04 AM by Frankie »

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Offline Rinix

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Re: Modding Tornado
« Reply #59 on: March 21, 2018, 02:24:08 PM »
Did Bill Gates really once say ""640K ought to be enough for anybody"?
No, but he did say that he thought 640K would be enough for 10 years: https://quoteinvestigator.com/2011/09/08/640k-enough/
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