Translations for our friends around the world.

Click on banner for Tornado website

Click.gif Save

Author Topic: Modding Tornado  (Read 100781 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Frankie

  • Moderator
  • *****
  • Posts: 1413
  • From Dogs of War to Pipes Of Peace
    • Frankie's Moodurian
Re: Modding Tornado
« Reply #240 on: June 10, 2019, 05:22:14 PM »
127b.  Muzzle Flash and Firing Effects Of Soviet Anti-Aircraft Weapons - Part 2
Mod: Added firing effects for ZSU-23-4 and ZRK ZOMB (SA-8) - Solved the 'DosBox hang' bug of Mod#126 and Mod#127.

I managed to solve the bug which hung your DOSBox if you ran the FLIGHT.EXEs of Mod#126 and Mod#127. The corrected FLIGHT.EXE retains the "Reworked splash effects used for JP233 explosions and craters." found in Mod#126.

This latest FLIGHT.EXE also re-centres the ALARM countdown clock in the full-screen FLIR mode (Shift+D) (a coordinate bug which went unnoticed, until today that is!).

Most importantly, the game now NO longer hangs during your ALARM runs against enemy Shilkas. See attached the remedy FLIGHT.EXE.
« Last Edit: June 10, 2019, 05:43:51 PM by Frankie »

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

Offline Frankie

  • Moderator
  • *****
  • Posts: 1413
  • From Dogs of War to Pipes Of Peace
    • Frankie's Moodurian
Re: Modding Tornado
« Reply #241 on: June 14, 2019, 02:07:59 PM »
128.  Restored the Fuel Indicator Counter to the Pilot Panel (Cockpit)
Mod: Fuel Weight Counter ala Tornado 1.0E

In Tornado 1.0a, the fuel gauge looked like this:

Technically and design-wise, Digital Integration was spot on with the gauge. The real one looks like this:

The analog fuel gauge that Digital Integration modeled did not tell you the exact amount (actually the weight) of fuel left. You needed to hit an external view key (F1, F2, F3, F4 or F5) to see the fuel counter at the status bar. So perhaps for this reason, Tornado 1.0e modified the look of the Fuel Gauge to display the Fuel Indicator digits. Since the Tornado source code is Tornado 1.0a, the Pilot Panel (cockpit) sadly lacks the numeric fuel weight counter that made its debut in Tornado 1.0e. Too bad that one would need the services and expertise of Dr Indiana Jones to track down the source code of Tornado 1.0e! The good news is that with very little work and effort, you can have that counter back where it rightly belongs! Just follow these three steps.

Step#1. Get the right PILOTPAN.BT2 file
  • Download the file PILOTPAN.BT2 (see the attachments section below!)
  • Copy the file PILOTPAN.BT2 to the D:\TORNADO\TORNADO\FLIGHT subfolder

Re-compile PILOTPAN.ASM, and link a new FLIGHT.EXE executable. Your Pilot Panel will look like this:

Where are the digits of the Fuel Weight Digital counter? All I can see is a black rectangular void. Almost there! On to Step#2.

Step#2. Modify the PILOTPAN.ASM source file
Open the source file D:\TORNADO\TORNADO\PILOTPAN.ASM and go to modify the rpm$ definition from this.... this:

Now after you have saved and compiled PILOTPAN.ASM, and linked a new FLIGHT.EXE executable, your pilot panel will now sport the much missed Fuel Weight Digital Counter.

At last, the fuel weight digital counter is restored.

You may download the latest FLIGHT.EXE file. Now the modded Tornado is even more complete! Many thanks to Mandjare for requesting this mod.

Frankie Kam
« Last Edit: June 15, 2019, 08:22:28 AM by Frankie »

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

Offline Frankie

  • Moderator
  • *****
  • Posts: 1413
  • From Dogs of War to Pipes Of Peace
    • Frankie's Moodurian
Re: Modding Tornado
« Reply #242 on: June 15, 2019, 07:06:02 PM »
129.  Restored the LookUp View (Pilot's Cockpit) with improvements
Mod: Improved LookUp View and some other bug fixes

In Tornado, hitting the Home key twice yields the Lookup view. Here is the default Lookup view of out-of-the-box Tornado.

In Mod#124 I removed this default Lookup view! I thought it was 'useless' since it seemed to me
more suited for Tornado ADV missions, what with its total emphasis on the sky.

Recently, I have been informed by Mandjare78 that "this function was very useful for a real Tornado pilot in low flying, as to predict the next turn between hills and mountains." I never knew that! I always thought the second Home key was for air-to-air (Tornado ADV) combat, which was pretty useless to for me, since 90% of the time I am flying the Tornado IDS! 

So now that I've been informed how important the view is, I've restored the original "sightpoint above the canopy rail" feature. With FIVE improvements.

(1) I raised the horizon a bit so that now you will see majority of sky with some earth. This should help orientate the gamer.

You can see an unobstructed view of the horizon, with a status bar to boot!

(2) The Lookup view now comes with a status bar. More information to the gamer. I had to modify the LoadFramePan procedure of the  FRAMEPAN.ASM file so that the status bar is flicker-free.

(3) I have made the free-style external view (see the third screenshot of my previous post here) as the third Home key press.

Hitting the Home key a THIRD time gives you this nice external view of Mod 122-124.
You can pan this view left (z key) and right (x key), and pitch up (0 key) and down (1 key)

(4) A fourth Home key press will cycle the gamer back to the PilotPanel view. A slight inconvenience of having to toggle/cycle through three Home key screens, but balanced by the increased functionality and gameplay made available.

(5) Fixed a graphics bug where hitting Control+F5 (Change Drone Type) will cause a screen anomaly in many views (Pilot View, Lookup View, etc.). I modified the MODEL.ASM and VIEWS.ASM files for this.

Hit Home once  - Pilot Panel (cockpit) view
Hit Home again - Modified Lookup view with status bar
Hit Home a third time - the freestyle external view which is fully adjustable
Hi Contrl+Home anytime to return to the Pilot Panel (cockpit) view

Six seconds away from the target. Trees are whizzing by at 420 knots, 150 feet above ground.
The Lookup view in gorgeous green Night Vision colours

See the latest attached FLIGHT.EXE.

Cheers and Happy Father's Day
Frankie Kam

Update on 16th June 2019 (Father's Day in Malaysia) - Control+Home key added (shortcut to Pilot Panel view)
A problem feature with this mod is that it takes 3 hits of the Home key to return to the Pilot Panel view. This can be tedious if, let's say, from the Pilot Panel view, the gamer jumps into the Navigator Panel view with the PgUp key, and then decides to revert to the Pilot Panel view. Not possible! Hitting the Home key at this point will show the Lookup view. Another hit on the Home key will bring up the Freestyle External view. So the gamer has to hit the Home key THREE times to get the Pilot Panel view! A usability problem indeed.

So solve this frustrating problem, I added the Control+Home key combination to shortcut back to the Pilot Panel view.  This key immediately brings the gamer back to the Pilot Panel view.

The Control+Home key will shortcut to Pilot Panel view

No matter which view is currently active, Control+Home will show up the Pilot Panel view immediately! So there is no need for the user to hit Home three times to return to the Pilot Panel view. In my humble opinion, this is a 'finesse' move, to borrow a chess term.

I've removed the previous FLIGHT.EXE upload. In its place, I have UPLOADED the latest 'finesse' FLIGHT.EXE. I have re-uploaded the latest modified VIEWS.ASM and MODEL.ASM source code. The latter two files are uploaded just in case I may need to refer to them in future.

« Last Edit: June 16, 2019, 02:59:20 PM by Frankie »

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

Offline Frankie

  • Moderator
  • *****
  • Posts: 1413
  • From Dogs of War to Pipes Of Peace
    • Frankie's Moodurian
Re: Modding Tornado
« Reply #243 on: June 20, 2019, 02:40:43 PM »
130.  SPILS manually turned off with cell cue; missile bug fixed; less irritating rumbling
Mod: Added SPILS on/off light cue on Navigator's Damage Panel and other bug squashes/improvements:

SPILS stands for "Spin Recovery and Incidence Limiting System". In Digital Integration's Tornado simulation, the Navigator's Central Warning Panel "off light" for the SPILS is only active if the SPILS is damaged, for example by a SAM or AAA hit. In the game, you can hit Control+I to toggle the SPILS on and off. However, as stated in the Tornado game manual on page 202, "be careful when you do this: just hit the key once, because the control toggles SPILS on/off and there's no indicator apart from the one on the warning panel in the back (Navigator's position), which only illuminates when the system fails due to damage, and NOT when you switch it off deliberately."

The actual SPILS hardware

In reality, there is a SPILS light that turns on when the Tornado pilot deactivates the SPILS by hand (in the sim with the keys "Control + i). Unfortunately this light is positioned on inside-right side panel of the pilot cockpit. DI's Tornado does not model the Pilot's right and left panels.  The Pilot's side panel contains a two-way switch to activate and deactivate the SPILS system. It also contains a push button to self-test and/or reset the SPILS system. When SPILS is manually deactivated with the 2-way switch, the pushbutton will light up.

Simplifying the whole process. Hit Control+I to toggle the SPILS cell indicator on and off.
If the SPILS is damaged by enemy fire, the cell stays lighted in red.

The actual SPILS system is be modeled in this game. In 1993, DI's Tornado was complicated enough! Besides, there was no memory left to fit in all the data and graphics of a comprehensively-modeled Tornado cockpit. We're talking about 620Kilobytes of conventional memory here! However, with this mod I have abstracted the actual two-way switch and the self-test/reset push button. When you hit Control+I to deactivate SPILS, the SPILS cell on the Navigator's Central Warning Panel, lights up in red. See the screenshot above. Hit Control+I once more (to reactivate SPILS), and the SPILS cell light turns off. Finally! After 26 years, there  is a visual cue to indicate that the SPILS has been turned off manually.

Previously there was a persistent bug where when allied missiles were close to the target, the morse dot sound would play. This was very puzzling to me. I mistakenly thought that only enemy SAMs would trigger pseudo SAM close-proximity alarm sound. With this mod, this bug has finally been squashed and removed. The morse dot warning will NOW sound (play) ONLY when enemy SAMs are in close proximity to the gamer's Tornado.

Over the past one year, I've had at least three Tornado enthusiasts point out to me that there were too many random rumblings (in-game shakings). Manjare78 told me "is there a way to deactivate the 'rumble effect' (shaking) when one's own missiles or other own weapons hit something? I ask because its a bit annoying if a rumble starts even when a LGB hits a target 20000 feet below me or an Air to Air missile hits a IL76. In my opinion Digital Integration did already a very good solution to give a rumble feedback only when hit by own weapons fragments ... for example, when flying to low when doing bomb runs. Otherwise every time in such a situation Tornado pilots could think they are hit by something and check in the navigator cockpit for damage."

In view of this, I had a re-look at my modded WEAPONS.ASM and realised that I had added too many SHAKE code to it. This cause too many rumblings (shaking) in the gameplay. So I tailored the WEAPONS.ASM  more closely to the original 1993 WEAPONS.ASM source code. The result is gameplay more true to the 1993 original which results in MUCH LESS irritating rumbling. If you play Tornado from the DOSBox command line with C:\TORNADO>FLIGHT /sh then you will see some shake effects. Otherwise, playing Tornado from the menu-driven Tornado 1.0E will result in a better shake-free gameplay.

See attached FLIGHT.EXE with the latest improvements.

Frankie Kam
« Last Edit: June 21, 2019, 07:48:47 PM by Frankie »

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

Offline Frankie

  • Moderator
  • *****
  • Posts: 1413
  • From Dogs of War to Pipes Of Peace
    • Frankie's Moodurian
Re: Modding Tornado
« Reply #244 on: June 22, 2019, 08:24:18 PM »
131.  Auto-Thrustreverser (THR)
Mod: Thrust Reversers automatically kick in upon landing

In Tornado-out-of-the-box, you can only activate the Thrust Reversers (THR) manually, They can be turned on and off by holding down and releasing the Backspace key. In reality however, for all Tornados, the THR system can be pre-selected when preparing for landing. Both left and  right Thurst Reverser buckets will apply automatically when the front/back wheels sense a certain force upon hitting the runway.

The Thrust Reverser buckets in action, up close and personal

In this mod, I have integrated this automatic function with the manual THR system. I have modified the MODEL.ASM so that the THR will engage upon touchdown. I have also implemented a safety feature in this 'automatic mode' - the THR will automatically disengage when the Tornado's speed, after landing on the runaway, reaches 25 knots. This is to prevent your Tornado's engines from "re-ingesting their own exhaust, which will do them no good at all" (Digital Integration's Tornado Manual, page 145). After the THR has automatically disengaged at 25 knots, you may re-engage the THR manually by hitting the Backspace key.

The left and right Thrust Reversers indicators are shown on the left of the Pilot Panel.
Both are engaged as shown by their orange lights

In fact when the THR engages automatically upon touching down on the runaway, you may hit the Backspace key to cancel (disengage) the THR. You can then control the THR manually by pressing and holding and releasing the Backspace key. Just careful not to press the Backspace key once your speed on the runaway decelerates below 25 knots! This is still work in progress as I have not fully tested the automatic THR in all simulation use-cases.

Skip to the 3:10 mark to see the Thrust Reverser buckets in action.
They make a nice whirring 'Transformers'-like sound when activated.

See attached latest FLIGHT.EXE with this automatic Thrust Reverser.

Frankie Kam
« Last Edit: June 23, 2019, 01:32:08 PM by Frankie »

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

Offline Frankie

  • Moderator
  • *****
  • Posts: 1413
  • From Dogs of War to Pipes Of Peace
    • Frankie's Moodurian
Re: Modding Tornado
« Reply #245 on: June 23, 2019, 01:34:07 PM »
132.  Added a Auto-Thrustreverser (THR) selector
Mod: Control+Backspace toggles the automatic Thrust Reversers on and off. Light indicator for the auto-THR as well.

Now you can choose to land your Tornado with the THR system automatically kicking in upon landing, OR you can decide to control the THRs yourself with the Backspace key. To select the auto-kick in THR system hit the Control+Backspace key. I've taken the liberty to add my own indicator light as a reminder to the virtual Tornado pilot that the THR is in automatic mode. Too bad 640Kb wasn't enough for Digital Integration to add the Pilot's side panels with all their instrumentation, gauges, lights and switches.

When Control+Backspace is hit to select the auto-THR mode, this light indicator turns on.

If you ask me, DI did a bloody good job simulating the many aspects of the Tornado in their amazing simulation. So in the absence of the actual model of Pilot's right and left panels, I've added the THR auto-mode light indicator just next to the THR indicators on the left of the Pilot's cockpit. incidentally, this is very close to where the actual indicator is located! At any time you can deselect this automatic THR mode by hitting Control+Backspace again. If you do manage the THR yourself, do be mindful NOT to keep pressing Backspace once your Tornado hits below 25 knots on the runaway!

Latest FLIGHT.EXE is attached below.

Finally, a shoutout to DOWVU user Mandjare78 (Andre "Dede") for suggesting the features that make up Mods#128 to #132. And also for his technical input into these June 2019 mods. Cheers, Mate!

Frankie Kam
« Last Edit: June 23, 2019, 03:59:51 PM by Frankie »

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

Offline Asid

  • *
  • Posts: 21539
Re: Modding Tornado
« Reply #246 on: June 23, 2019, 03:06:51 PM »

Finally, a shoutout to DOWVU user Mandjare78 (Andre "Dede") for suggesting the features that make up Mods#128 to #132. And also for his technical input into these June 2019 mods. Cheers, Mate!

Frankie Kam


I stand against Racism, Bigotry and Bullying

Offline Frankie

  • Moderator
  • *****
  • Posts: 1413
  • From Dogs of War to Pipes Of Peace
    • Frankie's Moodurian
Re: Modding Tornado
« Reply #247 on: June 23, 2019, 08:31:54 PM »
133.  Added a Auto-Thrust Reverser (THR) more 'accurate and realistic' selector
Mod: this improvement on Mod 133 introduces a better selector, visually and behaviour-wise

Hi All

After 26 years, Tornado finally has a REAL THRUST REVERSER system and a REAL reverser Indicator switch.

I've attached the correct FLIGHT.EXE to test the THR automatic and manual engagements.

1. It's an accurate (as per real life) THR selectable manual/automatic switch indicator; See the "before hitting Control+Backspace" and "after hitting Control+Backspace" screenshots below.

THR selectable manual/automatic switch indicator is turned off (position is down).
This means that upon landing the thrust reversers have to be engaged manually with the Backspace key

THR selectable manual/automatic switch indicator is turned on (position is up) with Control+Backspace.
This means that upon landing the thrust reversers will engage AUTOMATICALLY!

2. The THR selectable manual/automatic switch indicator turns on (Control+Backspace) with a subtle, yet noticeable movement of the switch 'moving' its position;

3. Now the THR selectable switch indicator stays in place unless Control+Backspace is hit again; If auto-THR mode is on, hitting Backspace (to enable THR) has no effect - hope this is correct;

4. I've tested it on auto-THR mode when landing - the THR system is turned on when the Tornado hits the runaway (not tested thoroughly). Both engines go into reverse thrust mode.

5. I've tested it on auto-THR mode when landing - when speed on runaway is less than 25 knots, the switch indicator turns down (off) automatically and THR system will stop;

Hope this version is closer to how the THR in manual or/and auto mode should behave.

Frankie Kam

Update: 24th June 2019. If you find that you cannot switch between Cannons and Sidewinder with the semicolon key (;), please re-download the attached FLIGHT.EXE. I solved this bug and re-uploaded the correct FLIGHT.EXE file. Enjoy!  :P
« Last Edit: June 24, 2019, 02:27:30 PM by Frankie »

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

Offline Reds

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 183
Re: Modding Tornado
« Reply #248 on: June 24, 2019, 12:54:01 AM »
I really love your dedication to modding this sim it must be alot of work , I always enjoy reading your latest mods . Keep up the good work Frankie .


Offline Frankie

  • Moderator
  • *****
  • Posts: 1413
  • From Dogs of War to Pipes Of Peace
    • Frankie's Moodurian
Re: Modding Tornado
« Reply #249 on: June 24, 2019, 01:10:41 AM »
Many thanks for your kind and encouraging words, Red.

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

Offline Frankie

  • Moderator
  • *****
  • Posts: 1413
  • From Dogs of War to Pipes Of Peace
    • Frankie's Moodurian
Re: Modding Tornado
« Reply #250 on: June 25, 2019, 06:01:13 PM »
134.  Auto-Thrust Reverser (THR) revisited.
Mod: Mod 133 gets more realistic.


Actually there is NO automatic disengage mode for the Thrust Reverser when in pre-armed mode and when the Thrust Reverser is successfully deployed. In view of this I have removed the automatic disengage function when reaching 25 kts speed. Instead, I have replaced it with a manual disengage via the backspace key.

I've modified the code to reflect (I hope) what is mentioned above.

Try this FLIGHT.EXE: (same as the attached FLIGHT.EXE)
This FLIGHT.EXE will meet these basic requirements of:

1. Auto THR mode, upon landing, can be deactivated by hitting Backspace key

2. Auto THR mode, when active, will NOT automatically cut off the THR system once landing speed is < 25knots,

3. Manual THR mode, with Backspace held down, may damage the engines when ground speed is < 60 kts and engine status is NOT IDLE, possible danger through reingestion. Usage of the THR system below 60 knots is possible when engines in IDLE position. Also the 60 knots speed starts the audio alarm.

  • If while flying you hit Control+Backspace, then the Auto THR mode is selected;
  • Upon touchdown on a runway, since Auto THR mode was selected, the THR system is automatically started;
  • Hit Backspace to deactivate the Auto selector switch off - THR will also switch off;
  • If at this point you hit and HOLD Backspace key the THR will switch on.

Frankie Kam
« Last Edit: June 26, 2019, 06:00:33 PM by Frankie »

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

Offline Frankie

  • Moderator
  • *****
  • Posts: 1413
  • From Dogs of War to Pipes Of Peace
    • Frankie's Moodurian
Re: Modding Tornado
« Reply #251 on: June 29, 2019, 06:10:51 AM »
135.  Added Scroll Lock key to the Control Summary (Keyboard commands)
Mod: One new keyboard key added to the list

One of the hardest things to do when modding Tornado, is to assign a key to a new commands or mod feature. This is because almost every part of the keyboard has already been mapped to a specific function. For example, I created the key-stroke combination of Control+Backspace to enable the "Auto Thrust Reverser (THR) Selector Indicator" switch. Finding available single keys to use in Tornado is very hard.

In fact there are only THREE keys on my keyboard that are unassigned (not utilised) by Tornado:
(1) The Grave Accent (`) key
(2) The Scroll Lock key
(3) The Front Slash (/) key

Today's post is significant because I have finally found out how to make use of these three hitherto unassigned keys in Tornado. A new mod or feature that doesn't have a key assigned to it is like having a Ferarri but without the ignition key. So now if I have three new mods that require a single press key to activate, I can easily assign the above three keys to them.

List of Scan codes

From the URL above, the hex scan code of Scrolllock is 46 hex. Hexadecimal 46 (base 16) is equal to decimal 70 (base 10). I.e., 70. So if you look at the list below, you will see that I added this line: K_SCROLLLOCK EQU 70
That's how I got the Tornado simulation to recognise my keyboard's scroll lock which has never been used in Tornado, until today.

;* scan code equates from C:\TORNADOS\LIB8086\KEYS.INC file in Tornado source code

K_ESC        EQU   1
K_SPACE    EQU   57
K_DEL1      EQU   14
K_DEL2      EQU   83
K_DEL3      EQU   75
K_SYSREQ       EQU   84
K_CTRL      EQU   29
K_SHIFT       EQU   42
K_SHIFT1       EQU   42      ;mapped to K_SHIFT2
K_SHIFT2       EQU   54      ;mapped to K_SHIFT1
K_ENTER      EQU   28
K_ALT      EQU   56
K_TAB      EQU   15
K_PLUS      EQU   13      ;mapped to K_PAD_PLUS
K_MINUS      EQU   12      ;mapped to K_PAD_MINUS
K_HASH      EQU   43

K_PAD_INS   EQU   82
K_PAD_DEL   EQU   83
K_PAD_PLUS   EQU   78      ;mapped to K_PLUS
K_PAD_MINUS   EQU   74      ;mapped to K_MINUS

; ? 41 = Grave Accent = `
; ? 53 = Front Slash = \
K_HOME      EQU   71
K_END      EQU   79
K_PGUP      EQU   73
K_PGDN      EQU   81

K_CRSRLF       EQU   75
K_CRSRRT       EQU   77
K_CRSRUP       EQU   72
K_CRSRDN       EQU   80



K_AMS_JOYF1   EQU   120
K_AMS_JOYF2   EQU   119


K_1      EQU   2
K_2      EQU   3
K_3      EQU   4
K_4      EQU   5
K_5      EQU   6
K_6      EQU   7
K_7      EQU   8
K_8      EQU   9
K_9      EQU   10
K_0      EQU   11

K_F1     EQU   59
K_F2     EQU   60
K_F3     EQU   61
K_F4     EQU   62
K_F5     EQU   63
K_F6     EQU   64
K_F7     EQU   65
K_F8     EQU   66
K_F9     EQU   67
K_F10    EQU   68
K_F11    EQU   87
K_F12    EQU   88

K_A      EQU   30
K_B      EQU   48
K_C      EQU   46
K_D      EQU   32
K_E      EQU   18
K_F      EQU   33
K_G      EQU   34
K_H      EQU   35
K_I      EQU   23
K_J      EQU   36
K_K      EQU   37
K_L      EQU   38
K_M      EQU   50
K_N      EQU   49
K_O      EQU   24
K_P      EQU   25
K_Q      EQU   16
K_R      EQU   19
K_S      EQU   31
K_T      EQU   20
K_U      EQU   22
K_V      EQU   47
K_W      EQU   17
K_X      EQU   45
K_Y      EQU   21
K_Z      EQU   44

Frankie Kam
« Last Edit: June 29, 2019, 05:03:18 PM by Frankie »

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

Offline Frankie

  • Moderator
  • *****
  • Posts: 1413
  • From Dogs of War to Pipes Of Peace
    • Frankie's Moodurian
Re: Modding Tornado
« Reply #252 on: June 29, 2019, 04:29:40 PM »
136.  Modelled Central Warning Panel (CWP) in the Pilot's front station (cockpit)
Mod: Pilot's Central Warning Panel

After 26 years, DI's Tornado finally has a more complete Pilot's cockpit like its real-life counterpart Tornado GR4 - a working Central Warning Panel (CWP) inside the front station!

If you surf to you will see a magnificent 3D rendering of a Tornado's Pilot cockpit. At the right side of the image, you will see the Pilot's CWP.

A pannable and zoomable cockpit.

The pilot's CWP which mirrors the exact same red and amber warning cell lights as the Navigator's CWP. Zooming in, we can see the CWP more clearly....

Zoomed in closer.

...and this is what the actual component looks like:

Due to memory and space limitations, DI's Tornado modelled an incomplete Pilot's cockpit. One that is missing the Pilot's lower left and right panels. The Pilot's CWP, which is located in the Pilot's right panel, is not modelled in out-of-the-box Tornado. On 27th June 2019, Mandjare78 requested if I could add the Pilot's CWP in the front cockpit of DI's Tornado simulation. He asked if it were possible to create the Pilot's CWP as a window overlay - one that could be toggled on and off with the push of a button. Ideally a single key press instead of a Control+keypress or (God forbid!) a Control+Shift+keypress.

After much hard work and sleuthing around, plus a great deal of serendipity and luck with the code, I managed to do this:

Pilot's CWP - A DI Tornado first!

I managed to figure out how to toggle on and off the 'floating' Central Warning Panel (CWP). I used the Scroll Lock key to toggle on and off the CWP. The CWP stays put until I toggle it off. My mind is lazy and doesn't want to recall what the CWP looks like if it appears and vanishes. So by staying put, it allows me time to look at the warning cells and to process the information. Less hurried, LOL, never mind that the plane is being shot to pieces, I like to take my time to look at a static window with flashing red and amber cells, LOL again.

The CWP is triggered by Scroll Lock and it is PERSISTENT. Meaning it will show on top of ALL and ANY view (even the Splitscreen and Map views!), until and unless you hit Scroll Lock again to toggle it off. The only view it doesn't show up is when you are in the Navigator's cockpit (after you have hit PgUp key) because the Navigator can already see the CWP at the lower-right corner of the screen.

Pilot's CWP in split-screen action

The BIG picture is that now that I know how to copy a certain section of a cockpit with the gauge readings that accompany that section of the cockpit, it is VERY POSSIBLE to reproduce any section of the cockpit anywhere in the game. The only limitation would be the code stack memory (memory space allocated to keep the compiled source code) when the source code grows bigger given each additional new feature like this toggled on/off CWP.

What's the effect of the CWP overlaid window? As in the real Tornado pilot (these days in Germany, Italy and Saudi Arabia), with this extra information at hand, it provides a BIG PLUS to the tactical awareness of the virtual DI Tornado pilot. If you were to do a ground strike mission, one where there is heavy AAA and SAM-inflicted damage on your Tornado,  it will be great to have all that damage information directly displayed in the front station. So this is an example of a mod born out of 'necessity' which greatly enhances the situational awareness of a flight sim, leading to enhanced gameplay.

Here is the latest FLIGHT.EXE, together with the key source code assembly language files that I modified.

Many thanks to Mandjare78 for his idea of the Pilot's CWP. From his idea we now have this mod which makes DI's Tornado even more realistic, fun and immersive.

Cheers to all DI Tonka fans!
Frankie Kam
« Last Edit: June 30, 2019, 07:49:25 AM by Frankie »

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

Offline Frankie

  • Moderator
  • *****
  • Posts: 1413
  • From Dogs of War to Pipes Of Peace
    • Frankie's Moodurian
Re: Modding Tornado
« Reply #253 on: June 29, 2019, 08:30:12 PM »
137.  Reinstated HOME key as immediate Pilot Panel View, Forward slash key (/) to cycle among Home views
Mod: Switching between Pilot and Navigator stations is now more intuitive and FASTER

Previously in Mod#129, I used the key combination of Control+Home to bring the user back to the Pilot's station. The main reason for this 2-key combo was because I could not find any available single keystroke. However, now that the front slash (/) key is available, it is high time to utilise it! Using the Home key is so much easier, intuitive and faster, compared to a two-finger operation like Control+Home .

HOME is where the heart is. Wherever I lay my hat, that's my HOME.

Therefore, I have now modified the code so that it now behaves as such:
1. Hit the Home key to IMMEDIATELY go to the Pilot's station, no matter what screen you are at!
2. Hit the Frontslash key (/) to cycle among the 3 Home views (Pilot's station, Lookup view and Freestyle view) whenever the need arises. Control+Home in no longer in use, but can still be used in future as and when the need arises.

The latest FLIGHT.EXE file is attached. You should NOW experience an immediate ease-of-use compared to all versions of FLIGHT.EXE since Mod#129!

Frankie Kam

I believe that this will simplify the gameplay because you can intuitively switch between the Pilot's and Navigator's stations by hitting Home and PgUp keys. The frequency of accessing the Pilot's station outstrips the number of times one accesses the Lookup and Freestyle views.

Update, Sunday 30th June 2019, 8:00am GMT8:
Actually the key combination of Control+Home for immediate switch to Pilot front station and the Home key to cycle through the three Home views may actually be the preferred choice of keys. Especially during the hectic and frantic last few seconds of a bomb-run or some other stressful situation. In view of this, I am making available two FLIGHT.EXEs just in this post - both are inside the attached FLIGHT_two_exes.ZIP file:
#1. FLIGHT_HOME_CTRL_HOME.EXE (uses Home and Control+Home)
#2. FLIGHT_HOME_SLASH.EXE  (uses Home and Front Slash)

For future mods, I will be sticking to #1 choice of keys. I.e., Home and Control+Home
« Last Edit: June 30, 2019, 07:33:51 AM by Frankie »

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

Offline Frankie

  • Moderator
  • *****
  • Posts: 1413
  • From Dogs of War to Pipes Of Peace
    • Frankie's Moodurian
Re: Modding Tornado
« Reply #254 on: July 01, 2019, 08:01:52 PM »
138.  On-Demand Radar Warning Receiver (RWR)
Mod: Added the RWR to all screens except the in-cockpit Pilot and Navigator stations

Hit the Grave Accent (`) key on your keyboard to toggle the RWR on and off.

Location of RWR is fixed to the right edge of the screen, centred vertically. I thought the RWR would come in useful in the external views, especially the split-screen with HUD view. Like the one below when the action gets fast and furious.

A little help from the RWR goes a long way to knowing where the threats are.
As you can see, all the threats are at six to twelve o'clock of the HUD.

A moment later and my Tornado is in BIG trouble.

Running the gauntlet of AAA fire coming from my three o'clock.

Finding the location to place the RWR was tricky. I chose a location that was unobtrusive and which I think is suitable for split-screen action. The centre of the right edge of the screen. If you don't like the position, you can always toggle off the RWR with the Grave Accent key on your keyboard. If your keyboard doesn't have the Grave Accent, then let me know and maybe I can think of a solution. The problem is that this Grave Accent key is the last unused single-press key on the keyboard! Tornado as a simulation has been brutal on the keys usage of the standard keyboard. All single-press keys have now been used up. The final three that I added to Tornado were the Scroll Lock, the Front Slash (/) and the Grave Accent (`) keys. Possible other keys exist, but they'll have to be the dual key presses like Control+key, Alt+key or Shift+key variety. Not ideal, but still useful.

Most Tornado gamers fly from the Pilot and Navigator stations, not the external views. That being said, IMHO, the RWR adds a situational awareness factor to the simulation. It may not be entirely realistic for all scenarios, but I hope you enjoy the addition of the RWR as you find creative ways to utilise it in the missions and campaigns.

Attached is the latest modded FLIGHT.EXE.

Frankie Kam
P.S., the FLIGHT.EXE of this mod works for IDS and ADV Tornados. Tested and working.
« Last Edit: July 06, 2019, 10:32:08 AM by Frankie »

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