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Author Topic: Modding Tornado  (Read 13545 times)

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Offline Frankie

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Re: Modding Tornado
« Reply #75 on: May 04, 2018, 12:01:10 AM »
55. User can pan the Check Six view on the horizontal axis with Z and X keys

Mod: Check Six view with horizontal lookaround
By Frankie
Description: Previously the Check Six view (with the F2 key) was fixed in space. You couldn't pan left or right. Now with this mod, you can pan around to enjoy the scenery.



Maverick: Requesting permission for flyby.
Air Boss Geoffrey: That's a negative Ghostrider, the pattern is full.
Gooser: No. No, Mav, this is not a good idea.
Maverick: Sorry Goose, but it's time to buzz the tower.... Tally Ho!!!


Okay, let's switch to the reverse view in one fell swoop...hit the F2 key!


The normal Check Six view. The runaway is retreating into the background.
Ah nice! But what if I want to look around to the left or to the right?


I have now added the ability to pan left (wth Z key) and right (with X key). This gives better situational awareness if one uses the Check Six view a lot. It also allows the user to have a nicer 'look see' to survey the reverse view.


User has just held down the 'z' key. View slews to the left.
Plane is still flying on course.


This comes in handy when on autopilot (obviously), the user wants to quickly check out the landscape or the sky left and right of the reverse view.


User has just held down the 'x' key. View slews to the right.
Plane is still flying on course.


If after panning left and right to enjoy the scenery, the user can hit Control+F2 to reset the Check Six view.


User has just hit the F2 key. View returns to the Check Six view.


Sometimes, it is easy to get disorientated with a full view with no reference. So I have added the Tornado itself as a reference to the view, If the user hits F2 again, the tail part of the Tornado is visible. User now has a slightly better orientation.


User has just hit the F2 key AGAIN. Check Six view remains,
but now you can see part of the Tornado (Tail area).

You can now slew, on the horizontal axis, a full 360 degrees. This is what the user sees if he slews all the way to the front view.


User has held down the 'x' key. View slews all the way to the front.
User is now looking forward towards 12 O'clock.

Here's a short video that illustrates this mod. The Tornado is thundering at 650 knots at 200 feet above ground. I feel the need, the need for speed. Enjoy!



Well this mod brings us to the sixth (6!) page of the "Modding Tornado forum thread. It's been quite a journey so far. As usual, I attach the latest FLIGHT.EXE file. Hope this incremental improvement adds to your Tornado experience.

Cheers
Frankie Kam
« Last Edit: May 18, 2018, 07:35:42 PM by Frankie »

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Offline Frankie

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Re: Modding Tornado
« Reply #76 on: May 04, 2018, 04:59:42 AM »
Haha thanks Asid. Yes, some days I do wish I had drafted myself or volunteered as a tester, back in 1993 when I was in Hull U.K. However, if I were part of the dev team back then in 1993  then I wouldn't have been able to finish my graduate studies. LOL.

What I need is a time machine to go back in time and say, "Hi Kevin, you're not going to believe me, but I'm from the future, and this is what your flight simulator looks like now - core components are mostly the same, but with additional features". If Digital Integration had the luxury of time, then they would have been able to create Tornado2 back in 1995/1996. However they had staff to pay and so a slew of simulations followed suit as should be the case for any company to stay alive. They moved on to other products. The Tornado that they created will always be a classic because of the Advanced Mission Planner and the awesome paper manual. Me? I'm just a gamer dad looking at the existing code and time to time I ask myself, "Whay can't this be added in?". And then I try. Most times I fail, but occassionally the tweaks I try out work. And that is the really fun part. Seeing an idea come to life, and then actually playing the simulation with the additional features.

The main programmer of the 3D simulation engine, a.k.a., FLIGHT.EXE, was Kevin J Bezant. The genius and hard assembly work was done by him. He wrote 99.9% of the 3D engine source code. I am merely adding and tweaking assembly language code that already exists. Code which I never could have created myself.

One of the amazing things about the 16 bit assembly language used is that even after adding the additional features, there is no serious deal-breaking slowdown of the simulation in terms of frames per second.

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Offline Frankie

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Re: Modding Tornado
« Reply #77 on: May 04, 2018, 08:17:22 PM »
56. Enemy-held airfields (runways) are now blacked out

Mod: Enemy airfields are no longer lit like a Christmas tree during the night or twilight/dawn.
By Frankie
Description: In default Tornado, the enemy runway at night is lighted up with a combination of white, red and blue colors. The roads surrounding the runway are also lighted up. IMHO, it is more realistic if the entire runway and airfield had its lights dimmed or blacked out during a conflict. This mod simulates the blackout of an enemy airfield. This mod also makes it much harder to find the enemy airfield, apart from the information given by the autopilot mode and Waypoint/Navigation TV-Tab mini-screen. You now will have to manually switch on the Night-Vision view with Shift+Tab in order to visually locate an enemy runway at night. Here are my screenshots that show this mod in action.


We're right on top of the Enemy airfield. Where is it?



The user has just hit Shift+Tab. Ah there it is! As clear as day.



Again, it's pitch black out there. The enemy has intentionally turned off and dimmed the lights.



With the NVG (Night Vision Goggles) mode, the enemy can't hide.



Part of the code responsible for this injection of 'realism'



Here is a friendly-held runway. See the runway lights?



Another view of a friendly-held runway. Lighted up like Christmas tree.



An enemy runway at dawn. Again no lights are on - a blackout even at dawn.



Another dawn view of a busy enemy runway. This mod douses the lights.



In contrast, here is an Allied-held runway. The runway lights are on.

Video demonstrating this mod in action
Fast and furious.

This mod makes the night airfield strike missions more realistic and challenging. This is where the Night-Vision mod comes into its own. Enjoy!



Regards
Frankie Kam
« Last Edit: May 18, 2018, 07:36:07 PM by Frankie »

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Offline Frankie

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Re: Modding Tornado
« Reply #78 on: May 15, 2018, 12:07:28 AM »
57. You can toggle the game's theme music (Soundblaster) on (F5) and off (F4) now

Mod: Same effect as C:\TORNADO>TORNADO /SB /MB
By Frankie
Description:
/SB flag means load Soundblaster driver;
/MB flag means play the Soundblaster version of the Tornado Theme music

Normally, using the /MB flag is the only way to run Tornado and have the theme music play in-game. Unfortunately, once it plays, you cannot turn it off unless you end the game with Ctrl+Q!

This modded version of Tornado allows you turn the theme music on and off at will. At the moment I can think of no other key combination for the toggle, so I have chosen F5 (turn on music) and F4 (turn off music). When you hit F5, you will immediately switch to the drone view, and the music will start. Hit F4, and you will see the spectator view, and the music will cut off.


Just another day buzzing the countryside in Tornado.
This time flying past a red bridge.


In hindsight, I could use the keys 9 and Shift+9 for this instead of F5 and F4. So this mod version is more exploratory than anything. Caveat: the music is shorter that the music of the Advanced Mission Planner (AMP). So be warned. The music loops quite soon and it may be irritating to some gamers. At least now we can turn it off with F4, so it's not so bad.

Any feature that enhances or adds to the stock game's functionality, qualifies it as a mod, no matter how irritating over time it may be. So this "turn the music on/off at will" feature, merits being Mod#56. I have attached the latest FLIGHT.EXE file.

Update: 16th May 2018
I've changed the keys to Key 9. Pressing 9 now toggles the theme music on and off. This leaves F4 and F5 to their standard functions which are Spectator and Drone views repectively. I have uploaded FLIGHT.EX2 which is the latest amendment to Mod#56. Simple download FLIGHT.EX2 and rename to FLIGHT.EXE. Enjoy.
« Last Edit: May 18, 2018, 07:36:26 PM by Frankie »

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Offline Frankie

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Re: Modding Tornado
« Reply #79 on: May 16, 2018, 09:16:05 PM »
58. External views now show the current waypoint letter on the bottom status bar

Mod: Waypoint Letter shown in external views
By Frankie
Description: The Tracking, Spectator, Remote and Overhead external views add to the immersion of the game. Unfortunately, in stock Tornado, these views do not show the current waypoint. It is very easy for the gamer to be carried away by the external views, and not realise that the target (waypoint nodes X, Y or Z) is coming right up. Therefore, this mod displays the current waypoint (B, C, D, ... X, Y, Z, etc.) to the bottom status bar, thus providing better situational awareness to the user.


Tracking view (F1). The Tornado is about to hit Target waypoint Y
Notice the waypoint shown at the bottom left of the screen in orange alert color?
That waypoint letter makes a BIG difference to the external view!

Keep an eye out for the WAYP=X information at the bottom left of the screen.


This code, in the ASM file named EXTRNPAN.ASM, does the trick.


The waypoint letter shown at the left corner on the screen (e.g., WAYP=Y) is dynamic and will update itself in real-time. Hope this mod adds to the immersion of the game for you.

As usual, the latest FLIGHT.EXE file is attached in this post.


Update on 18/5/2018

I have upped the ante by adding "seconds to reach waypoint" information next too the Waypoint letter. Now you not only see the current waypoint, but you also see the number of seconds remaining to the current waypoint. For example, the screenshot below shows you that the current waypoint is B, and you have 053 seconds to reach Waypoint B.


53 seconds to reach Waypoint B, Skipper!


This code does the magic that information on the status bar at the bottom of the screen.

WAYP=X and seconds countdown to reach waypoint information at status bar. Nice!

Conclusion: now the status bar gives you more immersive information to time your bomb runs, and you can still enjoy your external views to your heart's content.

I have attached the latest FLIGHT.EXE with the "seconds to reach waypoint" information as FLIGHT.EX2 below. Download FLIGHT.EX2 and rename it to FLIGHT.EXE.

Regards
Frankie Kam
« Last Edit: May 18, 2018, 07:37:27 PM by Frankie »

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Online Asid

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Re: Modding Tornado
« Reply #80 on: May 16, 2018, 09:53:57 PM »
Agreed. The waypoint mod does make a big difference  :thumbsup

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Offline Frankie

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Re: Modding Tornado
« Reply #81 on: May 17, 2018, 09:29:10 PM »
Mod#58 (above) has been enhanced to now show the time remaining in seconds to reach the current waypoint letter. The external views are now more useful than ever. Enjoy.
« Last Edit: May 18, 2018, 07:36:47 PM by Frankie »

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Offline Frankie

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Re: Modding Tornado
« Reply #82 on: May 18, 2018, 03:01:24 AM »
59. 2nd analog joystick throttle mod for Tornado

Mod: Waypoint Letter shown in external views
By ataribaby

Reworked 2nd analog joystick throttle to work like real one. Engine throttle follows absolute throttle analogue axis with little gap at top for afterburner.  Note: Before starting Tornado or entering 3D set your analogue throttle approximately to half (center) or game will fail to detect it or it will doesn't work as intended.

Gamer ataribaby's DOSBOX settings for Saitek X52.


Saitek X52

Just set your analog axles in dosbox (CTRL + F1 when you are in text mode), and for most HOTAS, it will work out of box. You can even use X360 joypad.

joysticktype=4axis
timed=false
autofire=false
swap34=true
buttonwrap=false

It works with ANY analog axis you will map in dosbox as the second joystick. By default, DOSBox maps most HOTAS sticks like the joystick section from  ataribaby's DOSBox config settings above. It is not specific to Saitek. Should work with other analogue joystick models.

Note on the attachments
1. FLIGHT.EXE = ataribaby's analogue joystick throttle code incorporated into latest FLIGHT.EXE with Frankie's cumulative mods
2. ataribaby_tornado_analogue_throttle.zip = ataribaby's work based on the original FLIGHT.EXE (un-modded) but with his analogue joystick throttle code incorporated.
« Last Edit: May 18, 2018, 07:37:47 PM by Frankie »

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Online Asid

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Re: Modding Tornado
« Reply #83 on: May 18, 2018, 01:25:12 PM »
Awesome Frankie  :thumbsup

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Offline Frankie

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Re: Modding Tornado
« Reply #84 on: May 18, 2018, 07:29:41 PM »
60. Waypoint countdown timer in external views are now colour-coded

Mod: Waypoint countdown time in seconds is shown in colours of ever-increasing urgency
By Frankie

Tminus more than10 seconds: cyan
Tminus10 seconds: yellow
Tminus5 seconds: light red
Tminus0 seconds: red


If waypoint is MORE than 10 seconds away, time remaining is shown in cyan color


When the waypoint is 10 seconds away, time remaining is shown in yellow color


When the waypoint is 5 seconds away, time remaining is shown in light red color


When the waypoint is reached (0 seconds away), time 000 is shown in red color


Here's my Youtube video of this color-coding in action during external views:


Conclusion: IMHO, the external views now show useful Waypoint information. So you can now enjoy the sights of the external views whilst keeping an eye on the current waypoint's countdown clock. The different colours of the urgency spectrum (cyan-yellow-lightred-red) act as a visual reminder to select, arm and release your weapons in time for the intended target.

Enjoy.
« Last Edit: May 18, 2018, 07:42:03 PM by Frankie »

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Offline Tom N

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Re: Modding Tornado
« Reply #85 on: May 19, 2018, 09:39:32 PM »
Awesome!!! The currently selected waypoint indicator in different viewmodes and that countdown timer next to it are VERY useful! And that enemy airfield lights out realism is great, too. And also those joystick setups will be useful for those being equipped with that flying gear (I'm still recording only with keyboard setup, sadly, luckily). Actually, why won't real pilots fly with a keyboard? They could change back and forth between Twitter and Flight Controls!

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Re: Modding Tornado
« Reply #86 on: May 19, 2018, 10:00:11 PM »
Actually, why won't real pilots fly with a keyboard? They could change back and forth between Twitter and Flight Controls!

 :lol

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Offline Frankie

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Re: Modding Tornado
« Reply #87 on: May 21, 2018, 06:10:03 PM »
61. TIALD view of Laser-Guided-Bomb is more 3-Dimensional

Mod: 3D TIALD view
By Frankie

EVOLUTION OF THE TIALD (Thermal Imaging Airborne Laser Designator) view
One of the standout features of Tornado in 1993 was the then unique TIALD modelling of laser-guided bombs. Here's what it looks like in the stock simulator. There was an amazing amount of movement and detail inside that small TV-TAB window, located at the top-right corner of the screen.


The famous TIALD view in the Navigator's cockpit. A 1993 sensation

In Mod#18 (25 November 2017), the TIALD view evolved into a groundbreaking full-screen view. For the first time in 25 years, you could now pan the crosshairs around in full screen. However the view was still "from-top-looking-vertically-down" as the original smaller TIALD view.


The TIALD view in full-screen. A 2017 innovation.


Furthermore, I wanted to more accurately simulate the look and feel of an actual Tornado TIALD attack. As in this Youtube video.

Actual combat TIALD views start at 1:07 in this video.


Back in late 2017, I discovered that by setting a larger TIALD_VIEW.VP_PITCH value, the TIALD view could be angled so that the view becomes be more 3D. I did this modifying the code on line 2893 of TAB.ASM. Specifically changing the value of 384 to a larger value like 400.


Changing 384 (looking straight down) to 400 (looking at an angle) gives a certain perspective
to the look and feel of the TIALD view.

Unfortunately there was a problem which I couldn't solve. The problem was that whenever I zoomed in with Control+HoldMouseLeftbutton, the zoom point was always lower than the crosshairs merge point. Which also meant that the LGBs would always hit the area before the actual target. Today, I decided to revisit this old problem. It took quite a while of poking through the code before it struck me that I didn't need to bother with recoding any of the mathematical and trigonometry logic. All I needed to do was to display the entire crosshair complex lower down the screen.


This code allows the entire TIALD crosshairs and its four right-angled corners to be displayed 25 pixels lower down the screen.

I tested this and it worked just fine. You can detect a difference in the perspective of the view - it has a more 3D feel to it, thanks the change in PITCH value. Try panning the mouse left, right, up and down. The landscape and environment feels more 3D-ish, and more exciting compared to the its top-down forerunner.


The crosshairs are now lowered so that it occupies more of the bottom half of the screen.
Panning around now has a nice 3D perspective to it.

The best thing about this mod is that, from my testing done so far, the laser guided bombs hit spot on at the new location of the lowered crosshairs! Thus the TIALD view has now evolved into a more 3D experience for the Tornado gamer.

Here are two Youtube videos showing this mod in action. Enjoy!

-and-
-and-

Cheers and regards
Frankie Kam
« Last Edit: May 21, 2018, 06:47:04 PM by Frankie »

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Offline Frankie

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Re: Modding Tornado
« Reply #88 on: May 24, 2018, 07:53:25 PM »
62. Vertical height of Drone views (F5/Shift+F5/Alt+F5) can now be adjusted with the 1 and 0 keys

Mod: More exciting Drone Views
By Frankie
Description: Previously Drone view heights could not be adjusted. Below are some standard drone views (F5/Shift+F5/Alt+F5). In the three screenshots below, the views can be slewed right and left with the Z and X keys, and pitched with the drone banked left or right. However in each of the three views below, the vertical perspective could not be raised or lowered.


-and-

-and-



Now with this mod, you can adjust the Drone Views by pressing and holding the "1" and "0" keys. Below are a sample of views and perspectives now possible!


-and-

-and-

-and-

-and-

-and-



I have also added in the Alt+P key which shows a pitched view of the aircraft. For example, see the two screenshots below:


Plane is banking...


...this is what I see when I hit Alt+P.


Here's a video showing the latest changes to the Drone view. Enjoy!

I have attached the latest FLIGHT.EXE executable file in this post. Go ahead, give it a try. You'll never look at the Drone View in Tornado the same again.

Regards
Frankie Kam
« Last Edit: May 24, 2018, 08:36:42 PM by Frankie »

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Online Asid

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Re: Modding Tornado
« Reply #89 on: May 24, 2018, 09:19:59 PM »
Great stuff Frankie  :thumbsup

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