When did you start developing for flight simulators and what got you interested in it?
Most of us have been flying, if not developing for them, since the days of 'Wings' and the original 'Red Baron' on the PC and Amiga in the 1990's! Heck, some of the team even go back beyond that, to Flight Simulator 1 and 2.
What made you decide to focus on WW1 aviation?
Mark Andrews and Davo Payne, I believe, had the original urge and desire to create a simulator based around World War 1 aviation. Then I believe Paul Norris joined and then people joined from various places. Some came on board from the SWWISA group ("Society of WW1 Sim Artisans") a group that created some of the best enhancements for the Red Baron Series. The basic premise to build a sim in three phases or parts was born and pretty much cemented.
What do you find to be the most challenging aspect of a project?
The most challenging aspect of a project surely has to be the sheer amount of things that need doing, and how it totally eats up your time. Another part of a project that takes up a great deal of time is testing. Not only does it take a lot of time, it's also extremely boring! Normal life was on hold for some of the core team during the whole of this development process.
What have been your favorite aspects of WOFF?
Seeing the final results, and knowing that even as 'sometimes' burnt out developers, we can still be amazed and immersed for a moment in what we do. Nothing beats the feeling of satisfaction and the knowing, that you've done something right as a team.
What were the benefits of using elements of CFS3?
We used elements of CFS3, mainly because of its fantastic mod-ability and also for its huge room for expansion. The original developers of CFS3 did a fantastic initial job on the simulator, considering its scope, and you could see what they were trying to achieve, but it was given a bad rap on initial release due to a few glitches and performance issues on the, then current, hardware.
But now (with a lot of hard work, mind you!) and improved hardware that can really push its potential, WOFF really benefits from incorporating this engine. We have also added and changed a tremendous amount to CFS3, so as to make it unrecognisable. Also one other huge draw of the CFS3 engine, is the fact that it covers a vast area of Europe, and unlike many other combat sims, you aren't restricted to a small area. Considering it is now 2014, we are really proud of how well the graphics in WOFF stand up!
What software packages and tools do you use for development?
The team uses various programming tools, such as C++, Visual C+, Gmax, 3D MAX, Photoshop, and Marin Wright's D2XBmp tool. We also use various CFS3 tools and quite a few internally developed apps to adjust the terrain and scenery. The XFM tool is used for FM design and AI training (each AI gets to learn to fly aircraft to the best of their ability) and also tools to adjust terrain/scenery.
How many people work with you or your team?
In total, there are eight members but at the core there are three who are full time, with the rest being mostly part time. We also have quite a few invaluable contributors to assist us in WOFF development.