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Author Topic: Modding Tornado  (Read 11569 times)

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Offline Frankie

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Re: Modding Tornado
« Reply #30 on: December 10, 2017, 10:16:13 PM »
22. Working HUD in full-screen FLIR display view!

Mod: Working HUD with full-screen view of FLIR
By Frankie
Description: After two and a half-months I have achieved success at last! The HUD information is now accurately shown when in the full-screen FLIR view. The Mauser cannon and Countdown clock with Target of Opportunity Waypoint (T) is now working too. CCIP Bomb-lines in HUD are good. Loft bombing is ... magical. Here are the screenshots.





So what does this mean? Well, you can now hunt down those elusive SCUD launchers and that wily train in the Tornado missions. Shooting up soft targets, tanks and APCS with your Mauser cannons never felt so good. Better immersion, better gameplay. With the 20 cumulative enhancements and modifications, the original Tornado just got enhanced by a factor of 5x.


Instrument Landing System (ILS) in action. The HUD information is perfect.
« Last Edit: December 11, 2017, 10:41:04 AM by Frankie »

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Offline Frankie

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Re: Modding Tornado
« Reply #31 on: December 11, 2017, 07:03:22 PM »
23. NVG (Night Vision Goggles) toggle

Mod: View FLIR and TIALD in bright green colors (Night Vision)
By Frankie
Description: Pilot's MFD must first be accessed and the FLIR is turned on.  Then hit Shift+Tab to turn ON the NVG effect. Hit Shift+Ctrl to turn OFF the NVG effect.
Prior to this hack, when flying at night, all previous versions of FLIGHT.EXE automatically showed the FLIR and TIALD views in Night Vision Goggle (NVG) green phlorescent  colors. The user cannot turn off and on the NVG colors at will. It is out of his control.

Now however, by default, the full-screen FLIR and full-screen TIALD views are NOT in NVG colors. Instead, at night the user will initially see them as per the night level colour. This time the NVG colors are turned on MANUALLY by the user using these steps:
(1) User must be in Pilot View (Home key)
(2) User then hits the 'D' key 3x so that Pilot's MFD will cycle until it switches to the FLIR view ...
(3) ... which of course will open in full-screen mode. The user then hits Shift+Tab to turn ON the Night Vision color
(4) If the user hits the Home key, he will see that the outside of the cockpit is in NVG color. The user can imagine that the pilot is using a NVG gear on his pilot's helmet. The tracking (external view) will also be in green phlorescent colors!
(5) To turn OFF the NVG color, the user hits Shift+Ctrl. The colors will revert to the non-NVG colors.


There are several benefits of not defaulting to the NVG colors:
(a) The user can practice takeoffs and landings at night minus the aid  of the NVG technology;
(b) The user can appreciate the night hues an colours of the environment (e.g., runaway and towns)!
(c) The user now has a choice to toggle a TIALD or FLIR view between NVG and non-NVG colors
(d) The user can navigate by the lay of the landscape and by the stars!
(e) The TIALD and FLIR views are now not so boring - seeing the MFD and TV-Tab show green NVG colors in every mission gets a bit tiring



The choice of turning on and off the NVG colors leads to more variaty based on the use-case of the user. It extends the playability of Tornado. For example, the user may want to practice full-screen FLIR view and loft bombing in almost total darkness. Being able to toggle the NVG on and off affords the user with a choice to apply the NVG or non-NVG colors to his situation or taste. Artistically, you can watch a runaway or enemy station being hit by flashes of light and explosives at night. That is a sight to behold in Tornado.

Unfortunately, at the moment I am unable to switch off the NVG colors when I am in the TV-TAB TIALD or FLIR views. So if you are in the Navigator's panel and have switched to the full screen FLIR or TIALD with NVG colors, the only way to  turn off the green colors is to switch to the Pilot's Panel view and then hit D three times, followed by the awkwardly positioned Shift+Ctrl key combination.


Above: a runaway in its full lighted glory, as seen through the TIALD view.  Someone forgot to do a blackout. Did they forget that there is a conflict?

The latest FLIGHT.EXE is attached. This executable comes with the manual NVG colors that the user is able to switch on/off.
« Last Edit: December 12, 2017, 07:26:30 AM by Frankie »

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Offline Frankie

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Re: Modding Tornado
« Reply #32 on: December 20, 2017, 03:12:15 PM »
24. Mini-views of FLIR and TIALD displays are back in fashion!

Mod: Mini-views of FLIR and TIALD displays
By Frankie
Description: Gamer can now choose between the original FLIR/TIALD TV-Tab displays or the full-screen FLIR/TIALD displays. I felt that converting the FLIR and TIALD views into full-screen were great, but something was missing in the process. The MFD's FLIR mini-display and the TV-TAB's FLIR and TIALD mini-display are classic. They have their charm of their own.  So for the sake of the Tornado purists,  have I decided to put them back into the simulation. Now the gamer can select both mini-views and the full-screen views of FLIR and TIALD! This has never been done before!




I enabled the FLIR in the pilot's MFD.




The TIAD display in the TV-TAB and the FLIR view inside the MFD are back wth a vengence.
The graphics below are 25-27 years old, yet they still look good!




A novelty. The TIALD TV-Tab display superimposed over the full-screen TIALD view.
This has never been done before in Tornado.




This time the reverse. The FLIR TV-Tab view superimposed over the full-screen TIALD view.




Here's the night view. See the MFD in the centre? It's NVG is not yet activated!




All it takes is a Shift-Tab to activate the NVG. Not only is the MFD's FLIR view
in infra-red, the outside world is too!




The outside world in NVG!




Both the MFD's FLIR display and the right TV-Tab's TIALD views are in non-infra red.
You get to appreciate the night time colors. Isn't the enemy supposed to impose a total blackout
in a time of war?




The MFD and TV-Tabs in infra-red.  The ability to toggle on and off the
infra-red palette greatly extends the gameplay of the simulation.

That's it for the pre-Christmas release mod. If nothing else happens between now and Christmas Day, then this is the Christmas 2017 release of the modded Tornado! If you are a former Tornado-holic, I hope that you are enjoying this classic flight simulator more and more each day! If you are new to Tornado or never touched it all these years, you may be wondering what all the fuss is about. Well, the BEST DOS flight/combat simulator just got even better.

Regards
Frankie Kam

P.S. I am attaching the latest FLIGHT.EXE file. Enjoy.

Update on 27/12/2017.
I had to remove the mini-MFD inside the Pilot Panel because it caused a side-effect where the target marker went missing. Imagine selecting the ALARM and seeing the weapon countdown clock appear BUT no target marker! So no more Pilot's mini-MFD. Instead of a mini-MFD, the FLIR MFD appears as full screen when the D key is hit. The Navigator's mini-MFD FLIR view works fine is unaffected.
« Last Edit: December 26, 2017, 08:34:35 PM by Frankie »

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Offline Frankie

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Re: Modding Tornado
« Reply #33 on: December 21, 2017, 04:30:54 PM »
THANK YOU

Thank you Asid for our friendship since 2014, and for allowing me to host my Tornado news on the Dogs Of War Virtual Unit forums. You are the reason why the Tornado threads exist. You are a rock star!

Thank you DOWVU forum readers, for reading this and my many posts on Tornado on this wonderful website!

Thank you tertius_oculus, for making Twitch videos of Tornado, even in 2017.

Thank you AirFox, for creating a proof-of-concept GOG Tornado zip in 2017.

Thank you Tom N. for being the a supreme example of a Tornado maestro. And for showing me the finer points of flying Tornado with one engine and in extreme weather conditions. Tornado's hard-core flying was created for gamers like you.

Thank you Aki, for creating the Tornado Discord Server back in August 2017, and for compiling what is probably the first new FLIGHT.EXE in 20 years - you started the whole modding process for me in 2017!

Thank you Christopher R., for sharing with me love for Tornado, evident in your many boxed copies of Tornado, in its many variants.

Thank you tbest90662, Terry, for pioneering the quest for Tornado II back in 1998 through one of the earliest and most active forums on Tornado

Thank you to horsmaan, Simo, for a shout-out to my humble Tornado Tribute site on Home Of The Underdogs' Tornado page.

Thank you Jens S. for recommending the OpenGL graphics engine for a Tornado remake, and for offering your aviation expertise with the Tornado remake project.

Thank you Agathosdaimon for making me understand more about raising and lowering the Tornado under-carriage especially at high speed!

Thank you aturi83, Paul, for calling me a "steely eyed missile man".

Thank you ajalberd8, Andrew, for loving Tornado back in its day, and for your joystick questions.

Thank you Olof Pettersson for our wonderful and timeless Olof's Tornado site. It existed long before my Tribute site and there is no other website done in Tornado colors as yours.

Thank you Winged Hussar, Rob, for sharing your love for Tornado and for drones and UAVs.

Thank you foo squiggly, for calling my site cool and for showing me that there are people who will download and play Tornado in 2016.

Thank you Peter "MiGMan" Inglis for the one and only Migman's Musuem, the most comprehensive flight simulation website on earth and this side of the Universe, and for igniting my love for flight sims back in the 1990s.

Thank you Renders, M., for your friendship on Dogs Of War Virtual Unit, and for liking the concept of Tornado2.com.

Thank you Davide I., for expressing interest in flying for Germany, Saudi Arabia, UK and Italy in the remake of the game

Thank you, The Maverick, Joe, for your BBS flight sim files, and firing up Tornado in DosBox once every so often, as well as other classic DOS flight simulations like F15 Strike Eagle II.

Thank you Andrew R., for advising me to replace the old 16-bit assembler with something more up-to-date, like 32-bit or 64 bit or DirectX, Direct3D and OpenGL.

Thank you Speedwagon, for making this sim a part of your life since 1994, and for running it (still!) on both an IBM PS1 486DX 20MHz (your first PC) and an IBM Aptiva Pentium 166MHz. Indeed your enthusiasm in aviation and for the game propels me to greater heights. Your Debriefing tutorial on one of my Youtube videos will always be a classic to me!

Thank you Blackfire, B., for the chat we had on Google Hangouts, and for your professional programming skills which are a source of inspiration to me.

Thank you Gillespie P., for showing me that old timers and good DOS games, like Tornado, are never inseparable.

Thank you for Herve Caen of Interplay, for offering me an opportunity to form a team of developers in order to revive the game.

Thank you Richard P. for the many magazine scans of Tornado reviews of the 1990s. Yoou brought back many memories of the 1990s.

Thank you Graeme Mason, for writing on Digital Integration (DI) and for bringing the world of DI to our world with the many fascinating photographs and historical DI artifacts. You are the King of Retro Gaming reporting.

Thank you Carl Hamlin for being an assembly language guru and for being my inspiration in low-level programming.

Thank you Zurger6, Phil, for sharing so many things in common with me - Malaysia, durian, Petaling Jaya, aviation and of course, Tornado.

Thank you Bruce M., for volunteering to play test the Tornado remake.

Thank you Andrew MacP., for your enthusiam of Tornado back in the 1990s right through to the early 2000s. Your Google Group posts on Tornado are a joy to read. My favourite is your 2003 post entitled "And then one day you find, Ten years have got behind you...".

Thank you David Punshon, for putting a soundtrack on Tornado and for your music skills and talent. Your music maketh the game.

Thank you Simone Serponi for writing an Italian post on Tornado back in 2016. It was full of nostalgia.

Thank you gpoppitz, Gotz, for sharing with me the challenges of WZ1, Mission 9 "EWR Dawn Attack" and WZ2, Mission 3 "Early warning radar blackout".

Thank you Squakenet for your Youtube videos on Tornado.

Thank you Kenneth Larsen for your ingenious Tornado Time Compression mod.

Thank you Eric Joiner, Basil Copeland and Heinz-Bernd Eggenstein for forming the TCSC Associates group and for creating the BEST Tornado tactics and strategy tutorial of all time, the Tornado Command and Staff College Tutorial.

Thank you Heinz-Bernd Eggenstein for the many, many original ingenious Tornado mods of yesteryear. Yours were the ORIGINAL Tornado mods.

Thank you Mike of Leavenworth KS, for contacting me on eBay in 2002 and for sending me the boxed set of Spectrum Holobyte's Tornado, for free! You started it all for me.

Thank you to the entire ex-Digital Integration development team for creating a classic!

Thank you Matt Smith for designing the colour palletes used in Tornado. The colours of the simulation make it stand the test of time and are a monument to your amazing skill.

Thank you Kevin Bezant for being MORE than a consultant on the Tornado source code. You practically and single-handedly wrote the bulk of the Tornado 3D simulation engine. Tornado is you, and you are Tornado. You are, and always will be in my book, the greatest assembly language developer who ever lived. Whenever I look at the 16-bit ASM code that you wrote 25 years ago, it never fails to amaze me.

Thank you David Keith Marshall, for Tornado. You were the reason for its birth and production. You will be missed.

Thank you to my wife, J.L., and my girls, Leanne and Laura for living with a gamer/flight simmer dad.

Thank you to my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ (Happy Birthday to You!) for salvation by grace, not by works. And for the creative skills you have blessed me with to create the Tornado Tribute site and the many assembly language hacks and mods of the Tornado source code. HALLELUJAH!
« Last Edit: December 21, 2017, 06:42:56 PM by Frankie »

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Offline Frankie

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Re: Modding Tornado
« Reply #34 on: December 22, 2017, 06:44:48 PM »
25. Added a Credits screen - The Christmas 2017 Version of Tornado.

Mod: Credits screen
By Frankie
Description: The Digital Integration development team were a modest bunch. For the amount and quality of work that they put into the simulation, there was never a credits screen inside the game. In the paper manual, yes. Game, no. Until now that is. For the first time in 25 years, a credits page appears when you hit the F11 key.




Hitting F11 at the Pilot Panel screen


The text is easily read in a night mission.
I resisted the urge to add my name to the list.


Hitting F11 in the Drone view

Sorry if the red color that I used is garish, but it does provide sufficient contrast to be read. I chose to use only UPPERCASE letters because they can be read clearer compared to a mix of upper and lowercase letters. How did I do this? Firstly, I had to modify the CONTROL.INC file. Just a tiny tweak. I changed the OPT_DEBUG constant from 0 to 1.


This small change makes a world of difference

I also had to modify the \VISUAL\VISDEBUG.ASM file.


Modifying the text and making sure that the text is properly centred

So after 25 years, the development team finally gets its own credits page with the F11 key! Better late than never. Giving credit where credit is due. With this 25th mod of the series, I can now say that this is the CHRISTMAS 2017 VERSION OF TORNADO.

Happy Holidays and a very merry and
blessed Christmas to all

***Update***
I have improved the color of the names.  This time, the color of the names are the same as the current HUD color level. So while in the Home mode (Pilot Panel) or in the full-screen FLIR mode, hit the "H" key to cycle the HUD colour.


I can see clearly now the rain is gone


I can see all obstacles in my way

Then when you are at any of the external views (F1, F2 forward view, F2 reverse view, F3, F4 or F5), hit the F11 key for a surprise. The latest FLIGHT.EXE is attached below. The original garish-red version is also attached below. Season and use to taste. Cheers!

;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;
Update: 29th May 2018
Due to the memory limitations of Tornado, I am unable to add a full credits page. Instead this is what I have designed for the Credits Page. It contains only the names of the Development Team.


New Credits Page
« Last Edit: May 29, 2018, 09:23:34 AM by Frankie »

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Offline Frankie

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Re: Modding Tornado
« Reply #35 on: December 23, 2017, 04:30:48 PM »
After much trial and error, I've decided on this design for the Credits screen of Tornado. Here are the improvements over the previous post's design:


(1) The title is short and straight to the point;
(2) I used a mixture of UPPERCASE for the names and lowercase for the responsibility for better readability;
(3) I raised the text so that the title does not get cut off in the F2 (Satellite) View;
(4) I added a fitting tribute to DKM in the footer;
(5) I feel that this version is more aesthetic compared to the earlier prototype Credit screens.


Happy Christmas Eve, 2017
Frankie Kam
Malaysia
« Last Edit: December 23, 2017, 04:54:33 PM by Frankie »

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Re: Modding Tornado
« Reply #36 on: December 26, 2017, 10:30:33 AM »
26. Boxing Day Community Names screen with the F12 key

Mod: Boxing Day Community Names mod
By Frankie
Description: I added a Community Names screen to thank all the gamers who contributed in one way, big or small, or another to the development of these Tornado mods that you now see. This was no easy task as I had to manually remove the legacy video modes code from /LIB8086/COM_DRVR.ASM. I mean the Hercules, CGA, EGA and V16 colour modes. Does anyone still play Tornado in or CGA or in EGA? I think not. So I succeeded in freeing up more variable space and this allowed me to mod the  /VISUAL/VISDEBUG.ASM file so that I can add a procedure that, when called by the F12 function key, displays the names of the Tornado Community. The amount of memory used to get this is dangerously close to exceeding the 48Kb limit of the data segment.


Names of the faithful few still waiting for Tornado2. Or not. See a familiar name or two?

Many thanks to the Tornado Community who contributed in any and many ways. To get this screen, first hit H key in Pilot Panel view (Home) to get the HUD colour that you want. Then hit F2 key to go to Satellite view - or any external view like F3, F4 or F5. Then hit the F12 key to bring up the names. If you name is not here, and you feel that I have left you out by mistake, chances are I have left you out and I apologise in advance for the ommission. Email me and I will see if I can fit your name in here! It will be an extermely tight fit as conventional memory for the data segment is limited!(edited)

The F11 key still brings out the Development Team's names and credits. This screen's contents are pretty much the same as the Christmas 2017 version.


The Digital Integration Team that created a classic in flight simulation

I am attaching the latest FLIGHT.EXE with the Community names (F12 key) with this post. This executable has been tested in the DI Tornado simulation and it works. Just make sure you rename your original Europe FLIGHT.EXE file before copying this file inside the /TORNADO/FLIGHT folder.

As the year draws to a close, I would like to say that by adding this mod, I have almost reached the limit of variables space afforded to me by the 16-bit ASM and conventional memory programming. This may jeopardise any future enhancements to the game where the enhancement requires new variables to be declared. Unless of course I poke around and find more ways of freeing up obsolete variables. Thank God for the Hercules, CGA, EGA and VGA16 code. Without them I would not be able to free up memory as other code would be core code.

Anyway, I am pleased with the modding efforts from August 2017 to December 2017. In total 26 mods, in varying degrees of difficulty and usefulness, have been done. This is quite an achievement if I must say so myself as I only compiled my first assembly language code, to create a modded FLIGHT.EXE file, in August 2017.

Many thanks once again to Asid and the DOWVU community. Many of whom no doubt had a peek at my posts and probably wondered "what is all the fuss about this old graphics flight simulator?". I owe an arm and a leg to Kevin Bezant, the programmer who wrote 99% of the FLIGHT.EXE code back in the 1990s at Digital Integration. In spite of his busy schedule and real-life, he gave me many pointers about the source code. His code spoke to me through the many well-written and descriptive codibg comments. His macros and procedures were written for future extensability and I am thankful for that. I am happy to bounce ideas off him and it has been a rewarding 5 months of modding Tornado.

With regards to the 25th Anniversary of Tornado in 2018, Tornado has indeed come to life ahead of schedule! It is not quite the Tornado2 that I had dreamed off, but still I was quite surprised by the number of improvements that the old code was capable of. If anyone is disappointed that Tornado2 with DirectX or graphical enhancements is not here, well all I have to say is, "Suck it up soldier!". Tornado2 is still a distant dream. Maybe DCS can fulfill that dream. In the meantime, I found plenty to modify and enhance in the original Tornado source code.


Tornado - a classic by any standard.

I enjoyed every moment modding this venerable game, and I hope that if you used to play Tornado in a time long forgotten, perhaps my mods would have motivated you to get into the saddle once again and to fire up the game. In the process I have learnt the value of perseverance and patience in poking through the 25 year old 16-bit assembly language code.

It has been quite a journey and I am eternally grateful to the friends I have made and for the God that gives me purpose and joy through his saving grace and love. And to my family for accepting that Daddy is on the keyboard trying to 'save the (Tornado) world' once again. When I do lay down my keyboard to pursue other pursuits and life's challenges, I hope that some young computer scientist or flight simulation geek will pick up the mantle and carry on with the modding journey.

Cheers
Frankie Kam
Boxing Day, 26th December 2017

Update on 27/12/2017. I removed the previous FLIGHT.EXE attachment. The previous executable had a serious bug in which the weapon's target marker went missing (became invisible). In its place is the latest FLIGHT.EXE (see below) as of 27/12/2017 morning. I have tested it and so far seems to work fine.
« Last Edit: December 26, 2017, 08:37:42 PM by Frankie »

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Offline Frankie

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Re: Modding Tornado
« Reply #37 on: December 27, 2017, 08:31:35 AM »
NOSTALGIA ALERT! Do not read this post any further if extreme nostalgia causes these symptoms in you:
1. fits
2. sighing
3. tears running down your cheek
4. heartache caused by longing for the good ole' days when life was simpler and a lot more slower


THAT'S IT, MISTER. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!

About two weeks ago I had asked Speedwagon if he could test out the latest FLIGHT.EXE on his old PC. I was curious to know if the new modded FLIGHT.EXE would run on a 1990s computer hardware. Turns out that Speedwagon has an old IBM PS/1 computer that he stil uses now and then to fire up Tornado. This is very rare. Just in case anyone doesn't know what a PS/1 is, here's what it looks like.


The PS/1 "is a brand for a line of personal computers that marked IBM's return to the home market in 1990,
five years after the IBM PCjr. It was replaced by the IBM Aptiva in September 1994". Source: https://i.ytimg.com/vi/bttYIH1SdmY/hqdefault.jpg

Speedwagon replaced the FLIGHT.EXE on his PS/1's Tornado installation folder with the Boxing Day 2017 version of FLIGHT.EXE. He fired up Tornado and the result is nothing short of amazing.


The new Credits screen in Tornado. Why are the colors on an original IBM PS/1 (see that logo?)
monitor so vibrant, crisp and clear?

Firstly Tornado didn't crash the PS/1's memory. Secondly. the latest-modded FLIGHT.EXE runs smoothly on a 1990 PC without any notiacable lag or stutter. If there is any reduced frame-rate, it is not felt or noticed. I was also concerned that the full-screen FLIR view, which is the second HUD object created, would impact an older computer's performance. But no. The 24+ year old PS/1 ran the modded Tornado as easily as the out-of-the-box Tornado.


The PS/1 breezed through the full-screen FLIR display with secondary displays/TV-Tabs/MFD in place.
Tornado's assembly language code is running so fast that it appears to be multitasking. Astounding!

A second HUD object means that additional conventional memory is being used to model the full-screen FLIR with working HUD. In fact, two HUDs are loaded and running simultaneously in the computer's memory. The Pilot's default HUD which occupies 320x160 pixels and the full-screen HUD which occupies 320x192 pixels.


The Night Vision Infrared (phlorescent green!?) full-screen FLIR view running on the PS/1. A machine as old as Tornado itself!

Speedwagon also discovered that I had actually created a Tornado Easter Egg.


Switching to the Navigator's side view after hitting the F11 key. The tribute line appears alone.

"Wow...while watching an airport pass by using the "Glance Right" cockpit view I pressed F11 to view the team credits.
When I let go of the key all the names disappeared except for...[David Keith Marshall]" (Speedwagon). It seems that I had created a "very fortuitous Tornado easter-egg. The DKM tribute only seems to happen in the cockpit side views." (Speedwagon).


How Tornado was started up on Speedwagon's old PS/1 - using a good old fashioned 1.44Mb boot diskette! Remember these?


There was a time when 640Kb of RAM was a lot of memory. Where have those days gone?

The smooth running of the modded Tornado is testament to its well-written, and tightly compiled and linked 16-bit real mode assembly language. Not only did Digital Integration manage to cram so much gameplay and functionality into 640Kb of RAM, the code also accommodated the latest mod changes of 2017. Tornado ran these mods and additional functionality without crashing and without any noticiable performance degradation. Kudos and credit to  Kevin J. Bezant, the orginal programmer of Tornado's 3D engine, and to the Tornado development team of 1993.

In conclusion, the test-drive of the modded Tornado, on a machine as old as Tornado, was a resounding success! Many thanks to Speedwagon for taking the time and effort to test drive the Boxing Day 2017 version of Tornado. Perhaps what is even more amazing is that his PS/1 is still cranking out those machine cycles, and its monitor is as brilliant as the day Speedwagon bought it, which was in 1994.

Cheers
Frankie Kam
Photograph credits: all images were taken by Speedwagon except for the first image.
« Last Edit: December 27, 2017, 09:36:25 AM by Frankie »

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Offline Frankie

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Re: Modding Tornado
« Reply #38 on: December 28, 2017, 07:48:40 PM »
27. Tornado cockpit shakes when the plane is damaged or in distress

Mod: Cockpit shakes as per damage inflicted on the Tornado
By Frankie
Description: COCKPIT SHAKING OF TORNADO PROPORTIONATE TO DEGREE OF DAMAGE TO THE TORNADO!
I thought that it was odd that in Tornado, you could have the plane avionics shot up and the only indications of the damage was the Central Warning Panel (CWP) lighting up like a christmas tree with red and orange flashing lights. What about the plane itself? Could the simulation not simulate a plane in distress with a shaky cockpit environment? What about if one engine were damaged and the Tornado were flying on only one engine? Would it be possible for the Pilot and WSO cockpit in Tornado to be depicted with some degree of jerkiness or shuddering or shakiness? Not to much as that would induce headaches and frustration to the gamer. Perhaps more than a subtle degree of jerkiness or shaking if, let's say, the flaps, sweep or gear were to be damaged.

Well, I have done it! Using an algorithm (see below) which is just my guess of correlating the damage to the Tornado to the resulting horizontal and vertical jerkiness of the cockpits:


In the screenshot above, I am playing the "QuickStart - IDS Hard" quickstart game.
And I am getting shot to pieces.

Thanks to the algorithm below, my Tornado is vibrating - as it rightly should (I think) since the AAA is making mincemeat out me. Tracer rounds are flying towards my Tonka and I am getting shot up petty bad.


Don't cha just love assembly language. It is a thing of frustration and beauty both at once.

Above and below is the logic algorithm to determine how shaky my Tornado' Pilot and Navigator cockpits will be if and when a component is damaged/shot. Just my guestimate how high or low the jerkiness will be.


More assembly language rules on degree of horizontal and vertical shakiness when a component is damaged

A little heads up on the code.  SHAKE SHAKE_NOSE_DOWN,HSHAKE_OFF,VSHAKE_LO,65535 is a macro named SHAKE that receives 4 parameters. Without being too technical, this specific code means induce no horizontal shaking (OFF) and light vertical shaking of the cockpit. The value 65535 is supposed to be some time value but I am unsure what it does.


Animated GIF shows you the vibration effect.
Aw rats! My flaps configuration are beyond the maximum allowable speed.

I have attached the latest FLIGHT.EXE file in this post. Download and rename to FLIGHT.EXE. Give it a try. You can start by flying the simulator mission where one of your engines has been damaged. Are your flaps damaged? Swing wing stuck? MFD and TV-Tabs shot out? Your Tornado will respond accordingly! You will see the difference immediately.


Give this simulated situation in Tornado a try. You will feel the difference at once!

I hope this version of Tornado will enhance your Tornado experience by making the game more 'realistic' in terms of physics modelling. In this case the physics is related to the damage of the plane and how I think the plane will handle in such cases.

Enjoy!
Frankie Kam
Malaysia
« Last Edit: December 29, 2017, 09:03:43 AM by Frankie »

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Offline Frankie

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Re: Modding Tornado
« Reply #39 on: December 30, 2017, 01:15:05 PM »
28. SAM proximity warning

Mod: SAM proximity warning goes off when a SAM is locked onto your Tornado and is seconds away from turning your jet into a burning heap of scrap metal.
By Frankie
Description: I have figured out the exact position to add in the SAM proximity warning sound alert/alarm! I have tested it and I am 100% sure it works. This warning sound effect activates when an enemy missile is locked onto your Tornado and is closing in. This hack is NOW ready. BOY, is it a much-needed hack for the Tornado source code! For some unknown reason, the original source code is missing the SAM proximity warning alert sound". That sound effect that was present in Digital Integration's Tornado since Version 1.0b.


The procedure MorseDashSound is called at the right place in WEAPONS.ASM.
I declared the procedure with the code "EXTRN MorseDashSound:FAR" inside this ASM file.

I just need to get the Morse Dash sound effect to replicate as close as possible to the original proximity sound effect. Not easy to do since the SAM proximity alarm code is specific to Tornado version 1.0b. So here's the summary:
(1) I have the exact spot where the code to sound the alert should be placed in - yea!!!
(2) Me using the Morse Dash sound effect is a poor, but for now the one and only substitute for the Tornado 1.0b SAM proximity alert sound effect - boo!!

But I am not complaining as having this SAM alert sound, is a hundred times better than having NO alert sound at all. It gives the gamer a fighting chance to avoid being hit by the SAM by punching flares or chaff at the right time.

Here's what my substitute SAM proximity warning sounds like:

My "poor cousin of the SAM proximity warning sound effect" can be heard.
See the 20-21, 31-32 48-53 and the 55-58 second mark.

In contrast, BELOW is the "real deal" SAM proximity warning sound effect from the original Tornado 1.0e.
The ORIGINAL SAM proximity warning sound effect.
See the 15, 25-29, 50-54 and the 57-61 second mark.

The original warning sound is richer, deeper and has a more sense of urgency and impending doom, as compared the Morse Dot Code sound effect that I used as a substitute in the Tornado source code. Still, beggars can't be choosers. So until and unless I find the actual code that replicates the exact same sound effect of the SAM  proximity warning sound effect, this is the best I can do.

Above: An every virtual pilot's nightmare. A SAM is launched. That's the gray speck rising up in the sky - against your Tornado.
Too bad Tornado doesn't model the SAM's smoke trail as in Domark's SVGA Harrier. Limited memory resources.

Attached to this post is the FLIGHT.EXE with my substitute SAM proximity sound effect. Lines 83 and 4729 of WEAPONS.ASM contain the code that the uses the "MorseDashSound" procedure. The main thing is ... this mod WORKS and GIVES you a FIGHTING CHANCE to avoid becoming SAM-fodder. For the geek flight simmers, I also attach the WEAPONS.ASM source code file.

Enjoy and survive your next Tornado mission.

Regards
Frankie Kam, 30th December 2017.
2017 is about to become toast.
For more information on Tornado, see http://www.tornado2.com and http://www.moodurian.com/tornado/home.html


« Last Edit: December 30, 2017, 02:24:40 PM by Frankie »

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Offline Frankie

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Re: Modding Tornado
« Reply #40 on: January 01, 2018, 09:55:49 AM »
29. A SAM hit against the player's Tornado no longer results in instant death

Mod: SAMs are less lethal now
By Frankie
Description: When Tornado 1.0a was first released in 1993, players complained that SAMs were too deadly. A single hit resulted in death. Game over. So Digital Integration modified the SAMs so that in version 1.0b onwards, a hit from a SAM only resulted in cumulative damage to the player's Tornado. The Tornado source code unfortunately has lost this feature.

The GOOD NEWS is that I have today, on the first day of 2018, managed to simulate FLIGHT.EXE Tornado1.0B to Tornado1.0E, where a single hit from a SAM on the player's Tornado, will not be instant death. Instead, the damage will be shown immediately as a set of avionic systems failing simultaneously. Case in point. The image below shows the damage cause by a single SAM hit against my Tornado. Subsequent hits will only cause more extensive systems damage.


One hit from a SAM results in this damage. No longer, the unforgiving of mistakes, instant death.

The trick I used is to modify the ContPlayerKill label of the WpnKillDrone procedure inside the DRONELIB.ASM file.


There is method to my madness. The code that restores the non-lethalness of SAMs in the modded Tornado.
This is how SAMs behaved in Tornado versions 1.0b through to 1.0e.

Explanation: I have to remark (comment) off the lines 413-415 because if I don't the Tornado will go into the instant death mode.
Then immediately after that. I need to call the MaxDamage procedure at least once. But once is not enough because after being hit by a SAM, it may only show
minimal damage (e.g., Oxygen damage alone). So what I did was to execute "call MaxDamage" 7 times(!) as shown in my code above. Each time the MaxDamage
procedure is called, it will in turn call the RandomDamage procedure of DAMAGE.ASM.

The RandomDamage procedure of DAMAGE.ASM generates a random number between 0 to 18 to simulate any one of the 19 different systems failing.

So if I want the SAM damage to be more severe, I can increase the "call MaxDamage" lines to more than 7 lines. For your reference, I am attaching these two files for you.
(1) FLIGHT.EX_
(2) DRONELIB.ASM

Proof of concept Youtube video that showcases this mod in action.

The bottom-line is this: the modded Tornado is now even better. SAMs are still deadly but are more forgiving. Gameplay has been restored. The game is still enjoyable and challenging, as a SAM hit on your Tornado allows you to continue the game. The year 2018 is the 25th anniversary of Tornado. What a great way to start the year with this mod feature! CHEERS, ENJOY THE FIRST DAY OF THE NEW YEAR 2018, get grogged at the pub/home/home-bar but don't get too groggy!

Regards
Frankie "TornadoMan" Kam



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Offline Frankie

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Re: Modding Tornado
« Reply #41 on: January 01, 2018, 05:15:30 PM »
30. Pilot's and Navigator's cockpit panels shake effect (once in a while)

Mod: Subtle random shake effect to Pilot's and Navigator's cockpit panels
By Frankie
Description: Tornado-out-of-the-box flies too smoothly, as though skating a friction-free surface or ice. No airplane I know flies without some rise or fall along the vertical axis. If you watch the videos of Tornados flying over the Iraqi desert, the plane bops up and down above the terrain. So what I did here was to add a very rare and subtle shake effect to the Pilot's and Navigator's panels. This is useful to break the monotony of fixed and static panels, especially for missions which last more than 15 minutes from Waypoint A to final waypoint (landing on an airfield). Hopefully as the effect has a 2% chance of occurring, it will not be irritating to the player. Hopefully the effect will make the simulation more visceral and realistic.


Here is the code in PILOTPAN.ASM.

Pseudocode
Generate a random number
The shake effect has a 2% chance of happening
Excecute a random shake effect (there are 4 choices):
   1. No shake for either horizontal or vertical axises of the screen (i.e., do nothing)
   2. Low shake for BOTH horizontal and vertical axises of the screen
   3. Low shake for just the vertical axis of the screen
   4. Low shake for just the horizontal axis of the screen


Here is the code in NAVIGPAN.ASM


The shake effect is very rare. In this game session, it occurs only at the 7-seconds and the 36-seconds mark of the video. It is also quite subtle. Blink and you might miss it! It is quite hard to strike a balance between realism and irritation. Too frequent an effect and the result is annoying to the player. As a rule of thumb, it is better for this shake effect to be occurring less than more often.

The Pilot and Navigators panels are actually in 2D, but the pixels are cleverly shaded to gives an impression of 3D. This rare and subtle shaking of both panels at random moments further helps to deceive the eye and the mind of the gamer, presenting a sense of realism and 3D movement of both cockpits. Well, at least that's what I think. You might beg to differ.

So to conclude, what's the deal with this mod? I think it adds a small but significant, subtle and realistic touch to the simulation. Hope you like it. ;-)
« Last Edit: January 01, 2018, 05:44:37 PM by Frankie »

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Re: Modding Tornado
« Reply #42 on: January 06, 2018, 07:27:58 PM »
31. Store Management Display mod

Mod: Store Management Display on full-screen FLIR/TIALD display
By Frankie
Description: IT IS DONE!  I added the Store Management Display at the upper-left corner of the screen in full-screen FLIR/TIALD mode! This allows the virtual Tornado pilot to select and manage his ordnance store without having to exit the full-screen FLIR or TIALD TV-Tab displays.

Below is the improved Stores Management Display (SMD). See the ALARM, LGB1000 and the JP-233 information on the left of the screen? That's the SMD! Now the HUD is less obstructed as the SMD is at the upper left section of the screen. Just below the navigator's MFD. This may not be the visually-best location for the SMD text, but I think it will do for now.


I just hit the Left TV-Tab ("[" key) immediately after entering the Navigator's Panel with the PgUp key

The advantage of keeping the SMD text on the upper-half of the screen is to keep the area below the HUD as clear and as clean as possible. As the majority of Tornado's missions are IDS-based, it makes sense to position the "helper" instruments/tools away from the HUD so that there are less distracting to the virtual Tornado pilot.


I then cycle to the next display on the full-screen Left TV-Tab by hitting the "[" key again.
The full-screen Left TV-Tab now shows the TIALD  view.


This is the first full-screen TIALD view of the Right TV-Tab. It reached this view by going first to the Navigator's Panel
and hitting the "]" key. Note that I programmed the SMD text to be at the top-left hand corner. Nice!


Then I hit the Right TV-Tab key again ("]"). Now the TIALD full-screen view fills the Right TV-Tab.
Note that the text is once again is nicely tucked away at the top-left corner of the screen.

A little caveat. The SMD text colors are not very distinctive during a day mission. especially the selected (highlighted) ordnance. In this example, the words "ALARMx4   DIR" and "CANNONx180" are extremely difficult to read against a bright light blue sky. Poor contrasting colours! Again this can be improved with time, and is not a deal-breaker.


Daytime mission. The FLIR full-screen view fills the Left TV-Tab.
Note the selected ordnance is difficult to read due to poor contrasting colours. Room for improvement for another day.

So just when you thought that Tornado couldn't get any better, it has now! This has been my MOD of the week. It is very satisfying to accomplish this. Assembly language is no barrier! Many thanks to Speedwagon for requesting this feature. It is now a reality. Happy hunting.

Regards
Frankie Kam
« Last Edit: January 06, 2018, 07:44:05 PM by Frankie »

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Re: Modding Tornado
« Reply #43 on: January 11, 2018, 02:15:25 PM »
32. Store Management Display text colours follow the current HUD color - dynamic now

Mod: Dynamic text colors of the Store Management Display on full-screen FLIR/TIALD display -
By Frankie
Description: In Mod #31, the text colours of the SMD were static, giving rise to poor and low contrasting colours, depending on the time of the mission. In this Mod #32, the colors are dynamic. Able to change with the color of the HUD which happens when the user hits the "H key" in Pilot Panel or when the FLIR display is shown in the Pilot-MFD! So now the currently highlighted ordnance shows up as the same colour as the current HUD color. Better visual, better gameplay. Mod#31 now has a MORE POLISHED look and feel to it.


BOTH the currently selected Air-To-Ground and Air-To-Air store
management text are following the current HUD colour - in this case BLACK!



This time a night view. In the example below, the current HUD color has been cycled to the brightest hue.
Both "LGB1000x1  LGB" and "AIM9Lx2" are the currently highlighted weapons - BRIGHT GREEN.



This time, it is the right TV-Tab in TIALD full-screen mode. As you can see, "ALARMx4  DIR" and "CANNONx180"
are the current highlighted weapons. They are both the same colour as the cuurent HUD color which happens
to be cycled (with the "H" key) to the brightest cue possible.


Pressing Enter or Alt+Enter will arm the respective weapons. At last, the Stores Management Display is working PERFECTLY in full-screen mode. The effect is a more consistent and more organised look to the full-screen FLIR and TIALD views of TV-Tab1 and TV-Tab2!

Regards
Frankie Kam
For more on Tornado, head over to http://www.tornado2.com and http://www.moodurian.com/tornado
P.S., the latest FLIGHT.EXE is attached at the end of this post. Enjoy!
« Last Edit: January 11, 2018, 02:49:16 PM by Frankie »

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Offline Frankie

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Re: Modding Tornado
« Reply #44 on: January 17, 2018, 05:59:57 PM »
33. F2 rear view is fixed - easier on the brain and eyes

Mod: Fixed F2 rear view
By Frankie
Description: no more confusing rolling horizon when banking the plane. Previously rear view would bank in the wrong direction resulting in disorientation. Hence the decision to fix the rear view!
The rear view is handy when watching how your bombs hit home

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