• Interview: OBD Software

    OBD Software Interview

    with Mark "Polovski" Rogers

    and Mark "Winding Man" Andrews

    Conducted by Dominic Smith

    Wings Over Flanders Fields     Wings Over Flanders Fields

    Hi Mark, thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to speak with us.

    As many readers will no doubt know, OBD Software is responsible for two of the most atmospheric combat sims available for the PC, Wings Over Flanders Fields (WOFF) and more recently, Wings Over the Reich (WOTR).

    Wings Over Flanders Fields     Wings Over Flanders Fields

    So with that said, could I begin by asking you how the idea of creating WOFF came about?

    Mark Andrews (MA): We both came from enjoying Flying Corps Gold and Red Baron and wanted to experience a fully dynamic and immersive Single Player campaign in a more modern game engine - at the time there were basically no current up to date WW1 combat flight sims available...

    We wanted to create this immersive dynamic single player campaign using excellent AI in a large environment.

    What area of development did you find the most challenging?

    MA: Encouraging people to actually produce what they promised...given our diverse locations around the globe this has been the only real challenge. The rest has been taken care of with lots of passion!

    Wings Over Flanders Fields     Wings Over Flanders Fields

    Is there a particular area of WOFF that you are especially proud of?

    MA: Yes, the realistic AI and the immersive single player Dymanic Campaign systems both set benchmarks for immersion and believability even today as they have been improved over time and are still we believe the best out there.

    Wings Over Flanders Fields     Wings Over Flanders Fields

    How does this differ from campaign modes in other combat simulators?

    Mark Rogers (MR): In one word, hugely. Every generated mission will be completely different.

    In WOFF for example we have many hundreds of historical squadrons to choose to populate the world with. Squadrons selected by WOFF Manager to fly at the time the player flies his mission that day will be sent on their own real missions, or perhaps waiting on a field to take off to intercerpt other flights. In other words they are not necessarily player focussed. They will do missions based on their historical location and role. Depending on settings there could be hundreds of aircraft up on real missions, no magical spawning in front (or behind!) the player.

    Wings Over Flanders Fields     Wings Over Flanders Fields

    Together with the incredible AI it forms a realistic, immersive air war experience. There are complex behind the scenes rules and calculations to make sure it's as authentic as possible.

    We prefer the single player approach to the missions and campaign. Great AI is vital for this immersion and we have that in spades. It also avoids the various issues that can occur in some multiplayer environments - annoyances such as the effort in organising a serious team play session, avoiding team killers or those that ignore the mission or do silly things in the game to spoil it, totally ruining the emmersive experience.

    Wings Over Flanders Fields     Wings Over Flanders Fields

    WOFF includes a huge amount of period liveries and one cannot help but be impressed by this fact! Knowing that many photographs of the time were black and white, how did you go about obtaining all the relevant information?

    MA: Surprisingly there has been extensive research done in this regard by many world experts - but it is mostly in books and text...so of course no color photos no.

    MR: Experts have been able to work out tones to colors using known surviving aircraft, known documented info and from pieces of captured aircraft canvas and materials.


    5 Comments
    1. adger1971's Avatar
      adger1971 -
      Great article Flightsim and OBD,Ive been with these guys for many years since OFF P2 and their sims just get better and better.
      Their attention to detail is second to none,everything from the scenery to the skins are excellent,I have hundreds of hrs in both WOFF and WOTR and I still fly every day. There's a really good modding scene and Pol is always around the forum to answer any questions that may arise.

      As mentioned it's the A.i that sets these sims apart..it's incredible,in both sims you've certainly got to be alert to survive,a fantastic Dev team that put their heart and soul into their sims because their passionate about them. I'm Personnally looking to what the guys can achieve going forwards with WOTR but il certainly be supporting WOFF aswell. If any of you have an interest in either WW1 or WW2 flight sims then you won't go far wrong with OBDS sims. All the very best going forwards guys.
    1. jeanba's Avatar
      jeanba -
      Great article
      I have been playing WOFF for some times, and I appreciate to read how some features of this game were created
    1. Vox165's Avatar
      Vox165 -
      I've played a lot of multiplayer (as far back as "Air Warrior " oldies) and some excellent scripted IL2 single player scenarios. I like them all! But a good single player dynamic campaign is something special. I really can't describe it -Falcon 4.0 players know . A sense of unpredictable open possibilities . Wings Over Flanders Fields (WOFF) dynamic campaign has that something special which keeps me coming back for more.
    1. HornetAircraft's Avatar
      HornetAircraft -
      but the real question is, because it is based off of CFS3, can they bring the shaders used in that sim to FS9? that would be an upgrade worth paying for.
    1. 69Yanks's Avatar
      69Yanks -
      The continued development is great and keeps us coming back for more. The AI is a major factor in the greatness of the WOFF. The total immersion factor with music scheme, historical skins by others, mod abilities, game sounds ect. It really brings you into the era. Thank you for the interview and hoping to see more development past the Platinum phase.
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