EAW: New Life for an Old Flight Simulator Page 8

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High Resolution Aircraft

EAW fell behind other sims in popularity, largely because of its grainy and blocky graphics, and the community looked for a way out . “Moggy” (Peter FitzGerald-Morris) found ways to produce entirely new game “scenarios” like Dunkirk, the Battle of Midway in the Pacific (“Sighted Main Body”), and so on. “Moggy” runs a private modder’s community at The Gen. and has his own SEAWC award.

“Why not take two views of an aircraft and put them together?” “Moggy” asked. By making another “texture” (color drawing) of an aircraft part, this doubles the number of polygon “points” limited by the .exe and provides extra drawing space for the artist. Even more than two drawings can be used, as “Von Beerhofen” explains it,“using separate textures for each part instead of a single texture for all parts.” And the irritating trick “TK’s” team used of “mirroring ” one side of an aircraft on the other to save computing space could be gotten around. No more backward numbers if seen from the wrong side. “Chompy” made the first proper HR model P-51D, and from that I think my HR P-39 and B-17 were next,” “Col. Gibbon” recalls. “Chompy” disagrees. “Gibbon’sHR B-17 was the first true hi rez aircraft, followed by Kurt’s Lancaster. My P-51D was the first HR aircraft done by splitting up 3dz’s, followed shortly by “Mr.J’s” 109 and 190’s, and then “Col.”Gibbon’s” P39’s and spits.” “Mr. Johnson” also was awarded by SEAWC for work on high-res aircraft. “Capt. Kurt” chimes in: “Moggy” developed the idea of using paste on aircraft sections, and he and I collaborated on making the Lancaster.”“Sandbagger’s” records make it clear Kurt was right: Kurt released his Lancaster in July 2002; “Chompy” released the HR P-51 in October 2002; “Mr J” released his HR FW190A in November 2002 and John released the HR Spitfire and P-39 Airacobra in December 2002.

“HR” aircraft are the standard EAW modder’s goal today. Still not up to Il-2’s standards, but a great improvement.

P-51 "low resolution" in 640x480 from original game.

 

P-51 “low resolution” in 640×480 from original game.

Col. J.Landers' "Big Beautiful Doll" in "HR" high resolution.

 

“Col. J.Landers'” “Big Beautiful Doll” in “HR” high resolution.

“Von Beerhofen” (Roel Bartels) is another name in lights because of his tireless examination of EAW’s .exe code. He has mapped out part of the .exe (executable code) without having the mysterious source code. He also produced aircraft carriers with hulls (“Moggy’s” Battle of Midway ones were flat on the water), examined and produced new color palettes, moving “waves”, and a long list of other small but noticeable changes, as well as a Pacific Tide III game scenario to showcase his work. “Von Beerhofen” is the site-keeper at The Launchpad, the main EAW online flight destination. For fun online, “Von Beerhofen” also created Mars Air War out of the bizarre mistakes and discoveries he made in his .exe research.

Mars Air War "Megopolis" battle scene-Von B.'s experiment to find searchlights.

 

Mars Air War “Megopolis” battlescene. “Von Beerhofen’s” experiment to find searchlights.

The list of other EAW modding toolmakers is long. “RAF_Roy”, “Mr. Jelly” (Tony West), and “Gurney” have all produced tools to move frontlines, move airfields, re-do aircraft performance and many other things. “Knegel” is considered the expert on aircraft performance and armament, and given the community its new standard “flight models” for aircraft, EAWrp2.6

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