Wings of Honor
Wings of Honor Title Wings of Honor

Fighter Squadron W.W.I

What is the Fighter Squadron W.W.I Project?

by Sv

Welcome to Fighter Squadron W.W.I! A new art has been born - an art that combines form, function, physics and style to create some of the most beautiful machines created by man, flying machines! Climbing on the invisible air… graceful sails tamed by rugged rigging, the tall ships of the sky! And inside, the cockpit yields control of this wondrous vehicle to its master, the ace. In there it looks like a renaissance scientist’s lab, tubes with pressurized gases maintain the engine’s life support system while gauges trimmed with brass measure airspeed, pressure, and magnetic heading. Also in the ace’s control is the trigger, regulating the distribution of the most precious payload on board, bullets, each one having an enemy aircraft on its mind. Fokkers, Spads, Albatros, Neiuports… each machine with its own strengths and weaknesses, each with a spirit given to it by its creator, the aircraft designer.

And as each pilot struggles against the enemy trying to gain the upper hand, so struggles the aircraft designer against his enemies: weight, drag, frailty. And as each pilot develops his own style, so each plane comes to form - shape, line and color back up performance, strength and stealth. The ace flies his machine, but the machine’s creator flies with them; the pilot revels in the challenge of flying, but the creator revels in the challenge of flight. Who wants to create? Who wants to breathe life into these works of art?

Fighter Squadron W.W.I, where it comes from

OpenPlane is a combat aviation simulator engine with an open architecture owned by Inertia Games. Published by Activision, "Fighter Squadron: The Screamin’ Demon’s over Europe" (SDOE) is Inertia’s first OpenPlane based simulator. SDOE was released about a year ago along with the OpenPlane demo and OpenPlane documentation.

OpenPlane, what is it?

There are two facets to OpenPlane, the game engine and the open architecture standard. As its name implies, OpenPlane was built to be an engine that supports updates and add-ons. Furthermore, Inertia seems dedicated to creating more OpenPlane based simulators such as the R/C simulator they are currently working on. These simulators are called "OpenPlane Ready" simulators. The OpenPlane engine implements the behavior of OpenPlane objects such as missions, squadrons, terrain, vehicles, ground targets, and aircraft. All of the physics modeling is done by the engine based on the properties of the objects. The engine also generates the final graphics you see on the screen. The OpenPlane objects that the engine implements are stored in a special documented open file format that is described in the OpenPlane documentation. This allows for most every object of an OpenPlane based simulator to be customized!

It is important to note that OpenPlane is a standard, not an editing environment. Allowing users to directly create objects is not the usual purpose of a file standard, rather it is to enable tool designers to develop applications that will let users create and edit the objects. Over the year since SDOE was released this is exactly what has happened. Right now there are great tools such as OpenPlane Studio that help to manage the process of creating and editing OpenPlane objects. The 3d modeling can be done in a commercial 3d editor of your choice, but right now the OpenPlane tools support 3Dsmax and AC3D. These two 3D editors are supported by plug-ins though, so anyone can build plug-ins for the 3D editor of their choice!

The OpenPlane objects themselves hold the properties that will determine their flight model and damage model. The flight model includes weights for each piece of the aircraft, aerodynamic properties, detailed airfoil data, engine performance data, and control surface properties. Each part of the aircraft has its own properties and will have its own physics modeling should it break off. A plane can be made of any number of parts. The damage model consists of part tolerance to damage, what happens at various levels of damage, how strongly parts are connected together, etc. Smoke trails can be attached, fires can erupt, and the textures can be changed to show bullet holes and even more serious damage like broken spars and exposed ribs! The "spring" modeling in OpenPlane is especially cool, any aircraft part can be connected to its parent by a "spring." The spring can bend and rebound, bend to far and deform, or bend even further and break! This allows wings to deform or fail under load, and landing gears to break off on hard landings.

Fighter Squadron W.W.I, made for W.W.I

What does OpenPlane have to offer to Fighter Squadron W.W.I?

  • How about historical terrain with real 3D trenches and barbed wire?
  • Intimate low altitude terrain details like small hills, riverbeds, and raised roads/railroad tracks. Fly through puffy white clouds, you can almost feel the mist on your face!
  • Full 3d virtual cockpits with working gauges and moving control sticks, you can even see them from outside of the plane!
  • Aircraft rigging using alpha textures that result in a smooth anti-aliased look.
  • Stunning 3d engine models, with a rotary engine that rotates!
  • Glass windscreens with reflections that shatter when hit!
  • Multi-crewed aircraft: finally take control of that rear gunner to take out the bad guys!
  • Squadron based on-line flying.
  • Subtle realistic flight models, not predictable table driven models.
  • High detailed damage models, shoot holes in wings, take out radiators, or aim for the pilot!
  • Cool crashes, watch your wheels break off and roll around, spinning like a quarter until they drop.
  • Pilots that look about, curse on command, and drop bombs over the side of the cockpit.

These planes just feel alive! They have weight, even taxiing can be great fun! Take off and landing is always a thrill.