• Interview: OBD Software

    Moving on to your latest release, Wings Over the Reich, what would you say are the biggest changes, apart from the aircraft and location?

    Wings Over The Reich     Wings Over The Reich

    MA: We made a lot of changes to the AI to handle the aircraft in WW2 in ways that better reflect the way the aircraft were actually used, as well as improving the dynamic campaign to better represent the changes in the way the attacks were co-ordinated over a larger area than in WW1.

    MR: There's extensive changes to allow co-ordinated "timing" of flights and raids to join up at the target or on the way and so on. There are of course many other detailed changes we have added since release, for example much better AI collision avoidance, better landing routines, allowing aircraft to break when already concentrating on landing to defend themselves better and so on.

    Wings Over The Reich     Wings Over The Reich

    The level of detailing displayed in the cockpits is incredibly authentic, so could you give us an idea of how much work is involved in modelling these, and do you have a favorite?

    MR: The Hurricane and the Bf109 took several months overall to make each. Each was the first WW2 craft we had made for its side (German / British). So for example as no dials, or parts, and no textures already existed each single part had to be designed, texture made and applied. The Spitfire was a little quicker as some instruments where therefore already available and compatible. A tedious process but we wanted the cockpits to be excellent even compared to many other sims and I think we have achieved that.

    Wings Over The Reich     Wings Over The Reich

    There are quite a number of World War 2 combat sims available for the PC, so were you at all worried that you were stepping into an already crowded playing field?

    MA: No we believe WOTR presents the player with the best AI and single player Dynamic Campaign systems...this is why we wanted to press on and develop WOTR despite the extensive market coverage - but we have never been about marketing, etc. - it's always been about passion.

    Wings Over The Reich     Wings Over The Reich

    Does that passion come from playing past simulators, or is it more historically placed?

    MR: For me a bit of both I think. Apart from the usual recreating battles with friends as a boy with Airfix models, and reading the 'war comics' of the day my interest in air combat came from seeing the films like the Battle of Britain movie and around the same time getting hold of a Battle of Britain pack that contained copies of real maps, pilot kill claims and all sorts of info and kit dealing with BoB. Eventually games like 'Wings' on the Commodore Amiga, then Red Baron on PC got me hooked. I believe we both started on the early PC sims like other old fogies out there.

    MA: Yeah I think Pol has summed it up quite well - it is certainly the historical aspect together with not really feeling satisfied with combat flight simulators at the time - they generally did not have a feeling of 'being there' so we strove to improve on that.

    You read up on these early aeroplanes and think what was it really like to fly them in war conditions. These dangerous early aircraft flying up high in the cold thin air in an open cockpit, hoping your engine doesn't cut out, whilst scanning for enemies through oil smeared goggles, and maybe heading out over the lines with the bombardments going off below you, the feeling of awe. Basically the fear for your own survival, and being a small cog in a large machine. We strove to achieve a taste of those feelings of fear in WOFF and WOTR - within the limits of a PC simulation of course.

    Wings Over The Reich     Wings Over The Reich

    Both WOFF and WOTR feature highly detailed damage modelling. Could you tell us a bit about how this works, and is it implemented differently from other combat sims?

    MR: We wanted to add higher detailed damage and systems, not only because it would be cool, but also to allow more detailed WW2 systems to be affected - such as showing gun bays when panels blow off and so on. In the Hurricane MKI for example you can now have an aileron slightly damaged and see that component partly broken but still working (with less effectiveness too), then perhaps get more damage to it later in which case it may stop working altogether. This also required much more detailed damage boxes so we can tell exactly where the bullets hit, and more code to allow extra unused systems to be reused in other places. We have now several parts that can be damaged or various panels can be blown off, much more granular wing damage and so on.

    Also for WW2 much more important is to implement things like prop stikes - not only from belly landing which usually bends the props, but again at different levels so clipping the prop on a tree, to total damage when colliding with something at high speed - so the prop can bend or break in more than one way. A lot of new code and modelling was needed to cope with the new requirements, and even belly landing needed to cope with both on land and sea contact - so a lot more complex work was needed to create all these WW2 situations.

    Wings Over The Reich     Wings Over The Reich

    Looking at both WOFF and WOTR, is there anything in the pipeline that you could tease us with?

    MA: Yes we are currently busy with a major WOFF upgrade to bring it in line with the advances in WOTR as well as add some really great new features...and before you ask - yes we expect to release it before year end.

    Currently we have around 40 areas of improvement some of them are quite dramatically better.

    MR: We also have some nice surprises coming for fighter aircraft models - hopefully most of them will be done (a large task as always as we now have around 82 flyables, and yes I have lost count!).

    Wings Over The Reich     Wings Over The Reich

    Many thanks to you both for speaking to FlightSim.Com, and the team and I wish you all the best with WOFF and WOTR.

    MR: Thanks very much to you too Dom, and to Nels for a great job on FlightSim.Com.




    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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