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PatrickAWlson

PWCG DD

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There are three major PWCG projects coming up.  PWCG online for coop, PWCG for BOBP, and PWCG for FC.

 

Flying Circus

PWCG for FC will start in September of 1917 and progress through the end of the war.   It will be geographically much smaller than RoF as it will all have to take place inside the provided map. There will certainly be some juggling of history as the squadrons facing each other will not be entirely accurate but more representative.  German, British, and French will be included. I might toss in an American SPAD squadron.  Because of the limited plane set squadrons, especially two seat squadrons, will be assigned stand in aircraft types.  Still, while not achieving the historical accuracy that is possible with more planes and maps, it will still provide the atmosphere.  Historical accuracy will increase as more planes and maps are added.  Unlike PWCG for RoF, PWCG for BoS will have a moving front, at least from April 1918 to the end of the war.

 

Battle of Bodenplatte

BOBP introduces Americans and British.  American and British careers will begin as early as possible given the map.  Russian careers will still end in early 44.  German careers will be allowed to move from the east to the west, with the possibility of enforced leave for the time gap between the last Russian  campaign and the start of activity in the west.

 

PWCG Online Phase 1

Release 5.0 brought about coop campaigns.  Small problem: only the person actually running the campaign can see anything.  PWCG Online, conceptually ... think of Dungeons and Dragons.  You have  Dungeon Master who runs the show.  Similarly, a coop campaign will have one person who runs the show (this is already the case, except in PWCG the DM can play too).  I will call that person the Campaign Commander.  I am writing servers that the campaign commander can run on his machine.  These servers will allow users to access PWCG from their browsers, which will allow them to interact with the campaign in much the same way  that you can do today. Big difference is that campaign altering events such as leave and new missions will not be available - only the campaign commander will be allowed to do things that alter the state of campaigns.  However, participants will be able to look at the chalk board, see flight logs, top aces, etc.

 

PWCG Online Phase 2

One the basics are in place, phase two can begin.  The goal here is to eliminate the restriction that all human players must belong to the same squadron.  In phase two they can be in any squadron on any side.  This is a massive change that will have to take place over time.  The goal is that, in the end, coop online wars become a reality.  Joe can fly for a fighter squadron, harry can be in a bomber squadron, and Jane can fly fighters for the other side.  When a PWCG mission is made all of these people will be involved, with AI filling in the rest.  They may meet or they may not, but they will be flying.  

 

A note: PWCG is not structured to be massive multiplayer.  This still depends on somebody running the coop campaign and setting up missions.  You can't have a limitless number of people in the air for obvious reasons.  However, it will be great for squadron wars with 40-50 people involved.  It will also be great for flight sim role players that want to  get together and fly through a historical setting, sometimes flying with friends but also possibly meeting human opponents.  There will be a very high degree of flexibility, with the sweet spot being 5-50 participants.

 

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Thank you very much @PatrickAWlson.

Altough not being very vocal on the PWCG thread, our squadron enjoys your tool and flies with it when given the chance. I want to thank you for your work and @Murleen too.

 

This is beyond promising. Online Phase two it's quantum leap on a already more than excellent SP and small Coop campaign. You guys keep the dream alive.

Edited by LF_Gallahad

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All sounds great Pat, thanks so much for all your efforts!

Great to see incorporating FC also!

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Hi Patrick,

 

Thanks for the DD. Very impressive pipeline. Looking forward to it.

 

Just one question that bugs me for quite a while, because apparently BoM is not using the Velikie Luki map for the career mode. Any chance you are going to integrate that into your app? Thanks for consideration.

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1 hour ago, sevenless said:

Hi Patrick,

 

Thanks for the DD. Very impressive pipeline. Looking forward to it.

 

Just one question that bugs me for quite a while, because apparently BoM is not using the Velikie Luki map for the career mode. Any chance you are going to integrate that into your app? Thanks for consideration.

 

Starting a new thread

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22 hours ago, PatrickAWlson said:

I can't promise RoF but definitely Flying Circus.

 

 

Great to hear that Pat! I'm wondering what your plans are for skin assignments in FC. I'm definitely willing to lend any support. Currently I'm going to try to focus on all missing Central squadron defaults. S!

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PWCG Online, PWCG for BoBP and PWCG for Flying Circus definite.  BoBP and FC have to wait for the maps.  I am working on PWCGOnline right now, which is pretty much consuming every spare moment that I have.

 

PWCG Online is currently in progress.  This is a significant project that intends to bring the PWCG coop experience online.  Right now you can already play coop campaigns with multiple players.  However, those players do not have any visuals into the campaign.  Phase 1 of PWCG Online will create a server, run from the Campaign Commander's machine, that will allow other players to log on and see the campaign from their point of view. Phase 1 will also come with a coop admin screen embedded in PWCG that will make maintaining campaign participants an easy task.  PWCG Online phase 1 will only work for coop campaigns in a single squadron.

 

PWCG Online Phase 2 is where life gets really interesting.  PWCG will be altered to keep track of human pilots in any squadron on any side.  Possibilities include:

1. You and your friends are on the same side.  You fly in different squadrons with different roles.  When you fly together you will each have missions based on your assigned roles.  You may meet or you may not, but you will be in the air together.

2. You and your friends fly for different sides.  You play a persona in the war.  The war advances just like PWCG single player does but all of the human pilots are tracked.  

3. Squadron wars.  Only  human players fly.  

 

I am currently working on the core stuff.  Two servers (one Angular, one Node) talking to each other.  The Node server accessing PWCG data files.  I do things in vertical slices, so when I have something it is actually completely done and not a UI mock up.  At the moment I have the new user registration, login, and new pilot request data flows complete.  There is some security work to do to secure the back end server (not telling how :) ).

 

For those concerned with security, I am writing this to minimize security concerns.  The outward facing angular app will never attempt to access the home computer in any way.  The back end Node app receives JSON data and reads and writes JSON files.  It never accepts a file, eliminating the possibility of any unwanted piggybacking.  It does not use any database technology, eliminating any vulnerabilities that that may bring. Transmissions between the front end and back end will be secured such that the back end will accept data only from the locally installed instance.  Finally, PWCG Online will use absolutely no personally identifying information.  Not your name, not your email address, nothing.  Just a handle and a password that you create.  

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Although only offline-player, it sounds cool. But hope the development does not end at PWCG Offline (skins - ferry-flights - new mission types ...).

 

Thanks for a great job.

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Definitely not quitting.  Once the online portion is done future development will benefit both, so BoBP will be usable by the SP and Coop community, skins, mission improvements, etc. - same thing.  For the next six months or so, however, the focus will be making online work.

 

I am not a multiplayer person because I don't really enjoy playing without a context.  I am not a squad person because it is too much commitment.  I could see myself playing in a competitive coop environment.  It will be just like any other PWCG mission except a fair number of the planes will be piloted by people.  I did a online campaign like that in red Baron 3D and it was a blast.  

 

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Pat thank you so much for doing Flying Circus. Greatly appreciated.

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19 hours ago, Luger1969 said:

Pat thank you so much for doing Flying Circus. Greatly appreciated.

 

It's going to be awhile but once I get the map I will start in.  I really have no idea when the map will be available but I need that and I need the two seaters done.

 

Right now I'm plugging away at the coop online component.  Making steady progress.  

 

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Pat, you have set a pretty challenging path for PWCG. Once complete what you will have done takes the program to another level offering unsurpassed flexibility for SP and MP players. Good luck and thank you!

 

Still the only way I play the game. 

Edited by TheSNAFU

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No doubt this is going to take the better part of 2019.  However, there are individual pieces that add value, so it's going to be spread across multiple releases and not end up as one monster release at the end.  Thanks for the best wishes.  I am extremely confident that it will succeed, but it will take some time.

 

P.S.  I even have ideas for more :) 

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1 hour ago, PatrickAWlson said:

P.S.  I even have ideas for more :) 

 

Be afraid. Be very afraid! 😀

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Progress update:

 

Core PWCG: The U2 was added as a daylight attack plane.  That was made available in 5.0.5.  In progress right now is a western front campaign using the Stalingrad map.   All currently available BoBP planes have been added and were released as part of 5.0.5.  Research has been done and squadrons created for BoBP.  A variation of the Stalingrad map with lines reversed (Allies west, Germans east)  has been created.  Squadrons have been located at historically correct airfields.  USAAF and RAF have been added as joinable services.  Ranks and names have been added for US and Britain.

 

Still lots to do:

Medals for Britain and US.

Mapping unavailable planes top available planes.

Getting squadron placement right on the Stalingrad map.

 

PWCG Coop:

I am at the point where the user can log in and see the main page.  That is the minimum usable (by no means complete) product.  Next up is getting the deploy process down to make it easy for a host to stand up and shut down the software.

 

Next up is a mission notification system.  The host schedules (but does not create) a mission.  Players on that campaign will see the mission when they log in and will be able to sign up to participate.  PWCG will then ensure that signed up participants are included in the mission.

 

After that I am going back to core PWCG for a major update.  I have to revamp PWCG to allow human participation in any squadron.  That will be a major update (6.0).  

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49 minutes ago, PatrickAWlson said:

Progress update:

 

Core PWCG: The U2 was added as a daylight attack plane.  That was made available in 5.0.5.  In progress right now is a western front campaign using the Stalingrad map.   All currently available BoBP planes have been added and were released as part of 5.0.5.  Research has been done and squadrons created for BoBP.  A variation of the Stalingrad map with lines reversed (Allies west, Germans east)  has been created.  Squadrons have been located at historically correct airfields.  USAAF and RAF have been added as joinable services.  Ranks and names have been added for US and Britain.

 

Still lots to do:

Medals for Britain and US.

Mapping unavailable planes top available planes.

Getting squadron placement right on the Stalingrad map.

 

PWCG Coop:

I am at the point where the user can log in and see the main page.  That is the minimum usable (by no means complete) product.  Next up is getting the deploy process down to make it easy for a host to stand up and shut down the software.

 

Next up is a mission notification system.  The host schedules (but does not create) a mission.  Players on that campaign will see the mission when they log in and will be able to sign up to participate.  PWCG will then ensure that signed up participants are included in the mission.

 

After that I am going back to core PWCG for a major update.  I have to revamp PWCG to allow human participation in any squadron.  That will be a major update (6.0).  

 

This is a dream come true! Thank you so much PW! :)

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Unbelievable! 

 

Pat, what you create in relative short time is a tribute to your skill. Thank you! 

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50 minutes ago, TheSNAFU said:

Unbelievable! 

 

Pat, what you create in relative short time is a tribute to your skill. Thank you! 

I do agree:salute:

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I am almost there with the Bodenplatte campaign.  Tonight I successfully deployed the PWCG update, created both American and British campaigns, and flew a mission in the P47 and Spitfire Mk IXe.  On the TODO list are cosmetics:  make WWII menu panels, other minor graphics, and set the A20 skins to be American or British.  I will work on that over the next few days.

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Keep up the good work Pat, your stuff is what keeps this sim alive and healthy.

 

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18 hours ago, PatrickAWlson said:

I am almost there with the Bodenplatte campaign.  Tonight I successfully deployed the PWCG update, created both American and British campaigns, and flew a mission in the P47 and Spitfire Mk IXe.  On the TODO list are cosmetics:  make WWII menu panels, other minor graphics, and set the A20 skins to be American or British.  I will work on that over the next few days.

Thanks Pat, looking forward to flying the 47 in your PWCG and thank you for your hard work :salute:.

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Oooo... very cool. I'm going to need to start familiarizing myself with the Stalingrad maps, to potentially get rolling a campaign while we're waiting for the official Bodenplatte map.

 

Spacibo!

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Well Pat, what can I say? You just deserve a medal (or maybe a more realistic recognition by 777 Studios :cool:) for your continuous work from the begining in RoF. Ijust read all this topic today, and your plans cover all I ever wanted back since the days of old IL2 FB with online wars. PWCG Online will be the definitive tool to squads internal campaigns or training , as it is the case of mine (E69). I used several times PWCG to launch small coop missions for sqaud mates in RoF (sometimes re-edited in ME to adapt to our purposes, with all the labour that ME implies :lol:), and realizing now that you're simplifying it all just makes me so excited!

I'm still amazed with your work and dedication to this community, so please keep pushing because we'll keep supporting and enjoying your project :yahoo:

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Bodenplatte campaign is available ... to the extent possible right now.  New planes will be added as they come out.
First skin pack for PWCG has been released.  70 down, hundreds to go ...

 

Now here's what is still on my PC:
PWCG Coop is what I am spending most of my time on.  Again, the goal here is to allow a user to host a coop campaign with participants able to join any available squadron on any side.

For the first time I accessed my Coop web server from another machine ... yay.  The server software is the code that the campaign host would have to run to let participant players access their pilots.  The ops experience that I do have is within the scope of a corporate environment and not releasing a server that people can download and run with a mouse click.  Still working on the best packaging.  If I released today then people who download would have to install NodeJS to run it.  Hoping to avoid that.  I know I can avoid it by packaging it in a docker ... but then people would have to install docker.  In the end there will probably be some sort of condition imposed.  

 

Feedback welcome.  If you are interested in hosting a coop campaign, what are your limitations in terms of installing software?

 

The most trivial, useful version of the coop server is getting there.  You can request to be a player, request that a pilot be created, and view the squadron chalk board.  Corresponding admin screens for the host are already in place inside of PWCG.

 

I just started the task of converting PWCG to allow any player to be in any squadron.  This is going to keep me busy for quite awhile.  Progress to date: refactoring the campaign such that it is no longer tied to a single player.  To do ... everything else that needs to change.

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I'll gladly test it Pat and install the required stuff if you need. Simple is better but, of course, we expect some sort of additional software in order to have the feature working online as it is the case with the il2stat system by Val. I believe that as long as documentation on how to install is provided, I dont believe it will be an issue. Thanks for your hard work! Can't wait to try it :)

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Don't mind installing things to help test the coop campaigns as a pilot, liking the progress and waiting with baited breath

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I am eyeballs deep in the final phase of altering PWCG to support coop across sides.  This is a very, very big change to the core concepts of PWCG.  As you probably know for 10 years PWCG has been build around one pilot, one squadron.  In 5.0 I changed that to many pilots one squadron.  Now it is moving to many pilots many squadrons.

 

I had a moment of clarity where how to do things snapped into place.  I eliminated the campaign as the source of information.  Now it will be a squadron member or a flight.  This disassociation form the larger campaign to a smaller unit of reference - a single player or a fight of planes - cuts across all 100+K lines of code in PWCG.  By eliminating references to the campaign the code immediately told me where it was vulnerable: about 500 places.  Now I am going through those places and changing them to work under the new concept.

 

Examples of things that were closely tied to your flight:

Mission briefing

Inclusion of structures

Inclusion of AI flights

Application of fuzzy logic to assign victories

Combat reports

Weather conditions

... and the list goes on.

 

So lots of work to do, but my design concept has very much solidified.  PWCG can be loosely divided into four sections: core, UI, campaign, and AAR.  Modifications to campaign and UI are mostly complete.  Mission is in progress.  AAR, always the most challenging aspect of PWCG, is last. 

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Salutations,

 

Your great contribution to the IL2 flying community keeps getting better and better. Thanks for all of your continued support and efforts. :yahoo:

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Do you need help with pregenerated groups that you can call for a mission? (Instead of placing objects in a single line)

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4 hours ago, [TWB]Sketch said:

Do you need help with pregenerated groups that you can call for a mission? (Instead of placing objects in a single line)

 

Not sure that I understand.  Do you mean groups in the mission file? 

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Posted (edited)

Yeah.

 

As I understand it, you're just placing individual entities via code, but what if you could place prebuilt groups instead? They'd look way cooler; instead of in a straight line. And it could solve some of "Why is that artillery piece in the river?" Maybe it's just a nice to have instead of need to have...Food for thought though.

Edited by [TWB]Sketch
brain faster than fingers way too often
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 Sorry if i sound like a gimme pig, after all your hard work Pat.

 

But is it possible to generate tank missions, with the 4x we have in game please?

 

Using your excellent campaign generation tool.

 

Mike.

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9 hours ago, [TWB]Sketch said:

Yeah.

 

As I understand it, you're just placing individual entities via code, but what if you could place prebuilt groups instead? They'd look way cooler; instead of in a straight line. And it could solve some of "Why is that artillery piece in the river?" Maybe it's just a nice to have instead of need to have...Food for thought though.

 

They are groups in my code.  If you look at a battle the tanks and AT guns are in front with artillery behind.  Depending on the battle size there are waves of tanks and several lines of guns.  In the case of battles they are line abreast.  Convoys are line astern to keep them on the road.  Both assaulting armor and convoys move, although the trucks often seem to get stuck.  I could do something more interesting than line abreast on the assaulting and defending troops.

 

At the moment I have no idea how to keep things out of water, because I simply do not know where water is.  There is no data available to me that says "this is water".  I have mapped the ocean to some extent on the Kuban map, but not rivers, lakes, and ponds. Mission creation was never meant to be automated.  You are supposed to open the ME, look at the map, and not hand place units into the water :) 

 

1 hour ago, Dogbert1953 said:

 Sorry if i sound like a gimme pig, after all your hard work Pat.

 

But is it possible to generate tank missions, with the 4x we have in game please?

 

Using your excellent campaign generation tool.

 

Mike.

 

Unfortunately, no.  PWCG could be used as a foundation, but realization is thousands of lines of code away.

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Many thanks for replying Pat, i realise it's main focus is air combat.

 

Just something that came into my head, when i was playing MP driving tanks.

 

Pretty sterile as none of the pilots really wanted to give me air cover.

 

Or operate as combined arms.

 

As always your hard work in developing PWCG, is much appreciated.

 

Mike.

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