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Author Topic: Modding Tornado  (Read 1048 times)

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Offline Frankie

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Re: Modding Tornado
« Reply #15 on: October 15, 2017, 02:30:54 AM »
Haha! Apparently in the default Tornado game, the Spectator View (F4) already has the pan left and pan right feature. So Hack #11 is a no-Hack. Guess I confused the Remote and Spectator views.
« Last Edit: October 21, 2017, 03:42:41 AM by Frankie »

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Offline Frankie

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Re: Modding Tornado
« Reply #16 on: October 15, 2017, 06:46:21 PM »
For those with the original Digital Integration (or Spectrum Holobyte) Tornado combat/flight simulator installed on your computer, or if you fancy digging up that old CD-ROM (or diskettes!?) to install the simulator, I am making the latest multiple-views-modded FLIGHT.EXE available to you. Below is the link:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/n5appd9ysehp1d2/FLIGHT-at-end-of-Sunday-15th-October-2017.zip?dl=0

Instruction:
This will only work with the Non-Operation Desert Storm version of Tornado.
Simply make a backup of the original TORNADO\FLIGHT\FLIGHT.EXE and then extract the Zip file. Then copy my FLIGHT.EXE into TORNADO\FLIGHT subfolder.

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Offline Frankie

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Re: Modding Tornado
« Reply #17 on: October 17, 2017, 12:19:47 AM »
12. Checksix view

Mod: Fullscreen rear view with F2 (Modded Satellite View) - allows you to Checksix!
By Frankie
Link: None. Open the VIEWS.ASM file. Then follow the code hack shown.
Description:

I managed to mod the Satellite View inside VIEWS.ASM so that when you hit F2 you get a front-facing almost full-screen view, and if you hit F2 again, you get a full-screen BACK VIEW. Both views can be further adjusted by pressing and holding down < or Shift< or > or Shift>.


What I did was to change line 1542 from
mov    TMP_VIEW.VP_PITCH, ax
to
mov    TMP_VIEW.VP_PITCH, -45
-and-
I commented off line 1253 by adding a semicolon in front. Like so:
;mov    TMP_VIEW.VP_ROLL,0

This angle is new to Tornado. Here you can see the rest of the Squadron queued
up behind your Tornado. The white line is a runaway line marker.


Another unique angle. See those droplets falling down behind our Tornado?
They are from YOUR Tornado, not your Squadron mates'. You have overflown the runaway and
the bomblets are raining down BEHIND you.


Your JP-233 bombs are going off behind you. Seconds later, your own Squadron mates hit the other targets surrounding the runaway.

See those bigger flashes of orange and white at the bottom-right corner of the last screenshot image above? That would be drone Squadron flights doing what they've been programmed to do best - hit the target on time, every time. The angle is unique. The visual damage done to runaway thanks to the cumulative efforts of the Squadron is unique to Tornado. The story this image tells is powerful.

This proves that there is almost no limit to what the 24-year old assembly language source code can do . All it takes is TIME, TIME and creativity, curiosity and lots of luck.  Perhaps even Providence. I am sure that there are many other tricks the code can do if coaxed properly and patiently.



Watch the video below to see the new Satellite View (F2) in action.


Below is video showing more action using the modded Satellite View (F2). This time it's a 6-plane mission.11-IDS Airfield Dawn Attack. When the video is ready, check out the last 5 seconds of the video. Those seconds is what Tornado was/is all about. Start of the take-off has some green clipping on the runaway. Not sure what is causing that. Never mind. It's minor to me.


Cheers
Frankie Kam

After the Dogs of War are let slip, let us smoke the Pipes Of Peace.

Offline Frankie

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Re: Modding Tornado
« Reply #18 on: October 18, 2017, 09:20:20 PM »
13. Use the Right or Left TV Tab Display to activate glorious night vision effect

Mod: An improved Night Vision Goggles view
By Frankie
Link: None. Open the TAB.ASM file. Then follow the code hack shown.
Description: All you need to do is to comment off one line. ONE LINE. NVG has been done before. Heinz-Bernd Eggenstein of Germany wrote the original NVG mod back in 1996. That mod made the entire screen show up in night vision green. My hack allows just the windshield to be in night vision green. Plus, compared to Heinz's mod of 1996, my hack makes it extremely easy to implement and to activate/deactivate during the game.

A single semicolon (remark command) to rule them all!


Change the Right TV Tab Display to the TIALD view


Glorious green


To deactivate the NVG effect, simple select the FLIR view inside the pilot's central MFD. See above.


All external views will show in the NVG effect when activated.


Application of the mod? I think this version of NVG, compared to Heinz's brilliant NVG mod of yesteryear, is easier on the eyes. It is easy to implement the 'hack' of commenting that one line, and easy to activate and deactivate during the game. It will also allow you to better target ground targets in the darkest of nights. Mauser strafing and night shooting sprees in the making!

I have a feeling that Tornado 2 of 2018 is simply going to be the same 16-bit assembly language Tornado FLIGHT.EXE, albeit with at least 10 to 20 minor improvements. What matters in the end is the cumulative effect of the mods, no matter how small they may be, will enhance the overall gameplay of this classic flight simulator. We may not have the DESERT.EXE source code, nor the source code to Robin Heydon's brilliant Advanced Mission Planner (AMP.EXE), but what we have is a God-send. Kevin Bezant's full source code of the 3D simulation part of Tornado. FLIGHT.EXE is simply going to get better over time.

So here's to more mods over the next 6 months or so!

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Offline Frankie

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Re: Modding Tornado
« Reply #19 on: October 21, 2017, 10:19:22 AM »
14. Wump-Crump-Shake the Tornado

Mod: Shake Tornado at moment of ordinance target explosion even when Tornado is outside of weapon's damage hemisphere
By Frankie
Link: None. Open the WEAPONS.ASM file. Then follow the code hack shown.
Description: In the default game, all weapons have damage hemisphere values. For example from the second screenshot below, the 1,000lbs GPB will damage the Tornado if the Tornado is within 750 feet from the blast. So if the Tornado is, let's say, 1,000 feet away from the blast, then there is no visible tremor or shaking of either the pilot's or navigator's cockpits. That's why it pays to make a bomb run from a safe height.

How to blow yourself up with your own bombs - from the Tornado game manual

One of Tornado's notable strengths is also one of its greatest weaknesses. The simulation is accurate down to the plane physics, aerodynamics, ballistics and explosion data. However this results in a less fun experience. For example, imagine you as the gamer after having fought your way through AAA and SAM defenses, manage to bomb the target, only to be greeted by a less than impressive sound effect, and with no visible cue of the explosion. In the achievement of high fidelity physics data, the fun factor has been sacrificed in some parts of the simulation.

Existing code in WEAPONS.ASM

The purpose of this "Wump-Crump-Shake the Tornado" hack is to put the fun factor into the bombing experience by shaking the cockpit screens even if and when the Tornado is OUTSIDE of the damage hemispheres of any weapon. This is a tad unrealistic, as at certain heights and speeds the Tornado may well be unaffected by the shock waves of the blast behind and below it. However this hack ramps up the fun and immersion factor. It gives the gamer a visual cue as to the moment of impact by shaking the screen slightly. This visual cue, combined with the auditory feedback of the explosion sound is my way of enhancing the combat experience of this 24-year old flght simulator.

Here is the hack. Put the code SHAKE    SHAKE_BRAKE,HSHAKE_OFF,VSHAKE_LO,65535 right after the NextMobile: label. See image below.

This code gives the cockpit a brief, small but unmistakable shake/tremor/jolt

This code will cause a slight shake of the cockpits when a bomb detonates. If this is too small an effect for you to notice, then you can try replacing the code with SHAKE    SHAKE_COLLIDE,HSHAKE_HI,VSHAKE_HI,50 which is a much stronger shaking of the cockpit or tremor.

Here is a video showing the effect. You can see this effect at 00:23 and 01:13.

Don't blink at 00:23 and 01:13 or you will miss the effect!

So now with my hack, when the bomb hits home, there's gonna be a whole lotta shakin' goin' on! Inside or outside of the Damage Hemisphere.  This puts the F-U-N factor back where it belongs. Inside the simulator. Adjust and stir to taste.

« Last Edit: October 21, 2017, 11:14:17 AM by Frankie »

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Offline Frankie

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Re: Modding Tornado
« Reply #20 on: October 21, 2017, 07:24:57 PM »
15. Flyby view

Mod: After 24 years Tornado finally gets a true flyby view
By Frankie
Link: None. Open the VIEWS.ASM file. Then follow the code hack shown.
        The magic value of -10 for ".VP_PITCH" seems to work wonders this time.
Description: The Remote View (F3) always showed a flyby view from directly behind the Tornado. This very simple hack will finally give your Tornado simulation the flyby view it always needed. Oh well, like they say, "better late (by 24 years) than never!".

The flyby view at last for Tornado.
This video contains scenes never before possible with Tornado. Until now.

Flyby view with F3 (hacked Remote View). After 24 years, Tornado finally gets a true flyby view!

I had been looking at the Remote View and was thinking how to hack the anchor location of the camera. The Remote View was always looking directly  at the rear of the plane as it flew away from the camera. The Remote View, though unique, was quite limited in its uses. Not eveyone will get exciting by seeing the Tornado disappear into a speck within 2 seconds.

What was needed was a true flyby view. You know, the type of view similar to Jane's F15. And other countless flight simulators since 1993. Like TFX, IL2, DCS and Falcon BMS. Somehow throughout all these years, Tornado fliers and gamers played the simulation without this standard flyby view - and were quite contented.

Until now.

By a stroke of luck and Providence, I managed to chance upon the right code to get a nice fly-by view. I also needed to edit the -35 values (or -45 values) of Hack #9. In Hack #9, I changed  ".VP_PITCH,0" to ".VP_PITCH,-35" (or ".VP_PITCH,-45" depending on your taste).

So here are the before and after modifications of VIEWS.ASM:

First change is to modify the anchor position. I changed M_VIEW to V_VIEW. Also, to make sure that the horizon does not reset to level, I comment it off.
Before:
After:

Second change is to modify the SetRemotePitch label. Specifically, I changed the "ax" register to -10.  In this way, REM_VIEW.VP_PITCH will store the value -10 instead of what was previously in "ax" register.
Before:
After:

Third change to the code. I edit the values of Hack#6 to -10. As mentioned above,  in Hack #9 ("9. Flip the flipping sky and let's give the ground more coverage"), I changed  ".VP_PITCH,0" to ".VP_PITCH,-35" (or ".VP_PITCH,-45" depending on your taste). So here I changed that -35 or -45 value into -10. What is the meaning of -10. Well a "VP_PITCH,0" dives the screen into two halves evenly between the sky and the earth. "VP_PITCH,-10"  will give make the bottom (earth) half of the screen slightlu taller than the top (sky) part of the screen. I found that the value -10 gives a nice balance between flybys that scream overhead in the sky and that dive down onto the earth.

One more video. I couldn't resist showing off my new Flyby View of my favorite DOS flight simulator. Whee!!!
The spectacular 1993 DOS flight simulator is NOW even MORE SPECTACULAR!

Cheers
Frankie Kam
« Last Edit: October 21, 2017, 08:02:27 PM by Frankie »

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Offline Frankie

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Re: Modding Tornado
« Reply #21 on: October 26, 2017, 08:25:04 PM »
16. Functional Pause/Unpause key

Mod: A better Pause!
By Frankie
Link: None. Open the  \LIB8086\VGA_DRVR.ASM and the CONTROL.ASM files. Then follow the code hack shown.
Description:The Pause key no now longer fades to black.  This allows you to pause the game at the right moment to take in the sights.

I managed to remove the "fade down to black" effect when the Pause (P) key is hit/pressed, and the "fade up from black" effect when the unPause (P again) key is hit. Previously when the user paused the screen, a darker palette was displayed. Now when you pause the screen or the action, the details shown are the original colours. Now you can see the detail put into the game by the Digital Integration development team.

Here are three screenshots that I was able to take by pausing the game at the critical moment. All screenshots were taken while in Weapons View (V key). The missile travels so fast that the final moments is all but a blur, and you have as good a chance of getting a good close-up view of the target, as spotting the elusive clouded leopard in the wild. The chance is practically nil. Unless you use a screen recording software and then later play back the footage frame-by-frame. And unless you use my hack with lots of luck getting the pause at just the right moment. Even with my pause hack, getting the scene paused at just the right moment was one heck, pun intended, of a job. I did over 20 takes before landing the right 5 screenshots. Well, now you know.

My ALARM missile is about to turn a Russian-made ZSU-23-4 Shilka into toast.
Have you ever seen a Shilka this up close in Tornado?
For early 1990s graphics, I'd say the devs got the 3D model done just right

What looks like a ZRK ROMB (SA-8) amphibious mobile SAM system to me, is a split second away from disaster.
Seeing one close enough to identify it, is a rare moment indeed in this game.

Another Shilka on the receiving end of my ALARM missile. Remember this was 1990-1993 era graphics.

Again, these screenshot are something you probably have never seen before in all the years of playing Tornado. Made possible ... curtesy of this hack and Frankie Kam

Usually in the standard game, what you see is just a split-second glimpse of the target vehicle before it is reduced to a smoking earth-coloured crater. This is probably the first time you are looking at such screenshots of the game. The process of capturing the above three screenshots above was ONLY made possible by this hack.

The hack consists firstly of editing the FadeDown procedure of \LIB8086\ VGA_DRVR.ASM.  Just add a ret command to exit the procedure at around line 4085

Edit the FadeDown procedure of VGA_DRVR.ASM


Secondly, edit the FadeUp procedure of the CONTROL.ASM source file. Make the changes shown in yellow highlight below. Basically, I changed 3 values and commented off 4 lines of code. This took me hours to find and to test

Edit the FadeUp procedure of the CONTROL.ASM

So that's it for Hack #15. The Pause key in Tornado is now much more functional compared to the original. It won't hide your screen from the Boss when he or she walks into your cubicle, but then again, should you be playing Tornado at work in 2017? I think not. :sweat_smile:

Two more screenshots from the game. Pause is KING!

Here's Laser-Guided-Bomb on its way towards the target.
Ever seen this up-close before? What? Still not close enough for you?


Okay! How about this now? Close enough for you NOW? It sure is for me!
Made possible because of the Functional Pause hack. Enjoy!

In closing, this hack allows you to pause the game at critical moments. With a dose of luck and sheer timing of your keypresses to pause and/or unpause, you should be able to capture moments never before viewed in the history of Digital Integration's Tornado. Enjoy!

Retro-Man Frankie, out.

Kaboom at dawn! This is an extremely rare screenshot of an ALARM hitting a enemy vehicle.
I hit the P(ause) key at just the right millisecond.

Postscript.
I have tested this on my iDOS2 beta build running on my iPad Air. The pause button works perfectly because if I press and hold down the P key, the screen pauses. Unpausing on the iPad is a bit more tricky. A press and hold won't unpause the screen. I have to quick light tap the P key with my finger tip to get the unpause to work. Still work in progress to achieve the right tatactile feeling.

An indirect ALARM cuts off its parachute and bears
down almost vertically onto a helpless SA-8 Gecko

For future enhancement, it would be nice to be able to rotate, Matrix Keanu Reeves style, the Tornado while in pause mode.
« Last Edit: November 16, 2017, 04:24:26 PM by Frankie »

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Offline Frankie

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Re: Modding Tornado
« Reply #22 on: November 07, 2017, 01:23:40 PM »
17. A better Lookup view

Mod: Lookup view reinvented
By Frankie
Link: None. Open the VIEWS.ASM. Then follow the code hack shown.
Description:I changed the angle of the default Lookup view. Previously, it would show a view of the sky 12 o'clock high from the pilot's seat. Like so.


Just blue sky. Getting a neck ache searching the sky in vain for bogies. Can I change this view? Why not?

I think only ADV pilots will benefit from the default view. As for me, I play the IDS version of Tornado 99.99% of the time. I thought "Wouldn't it be nice to show the ground detail instead of meaningless blue sky?". So here's my fresh take on the Lookup "Home" key.


The screenshot below is after hitting Home. The familiar ironworks/HUD brackets, but this time, minus the blue sky!
Instead you get a generous slice of the ground view.



The same view minus the Ironworks. Right after I hit the "6" key to make the partial cockpit disappear.
So this is my way of making the Lookup View more practical and useful. What do you think?



[size=8]Here's how I did it. VIEWS.ASM file. See the yellow-shaded code.[/size]


More code that I added. Shown in yellow-shaded code again.
Lines 1672 and 1673 enable the bottom-row info bar with useful text data against a black strip.


Backup of my VIEWS.ASM at this point of time. Includes this hack.

After the Dogs of War are let slip, let us smoke the Pipes Of Peace.