Red Baron II Ad Blurbs (Windows)

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Advertising Blurbs

Red Baron With Mission Builder (UK):
    Red Baron II: Technical Supplement

    Throughout history, the great battles of the world have been won through a combination of talent, intuition, perseverance, strategic intelligence, superior technology, good timing, and sheer luck. How appropriate that the development of the most highly-regarded combat flight simulation comprises each of these characteristics.

    Red Baron II, the sequel to the most successful combat flight simulation to ever hit the market, is one of the most anticipated software titles to be released since the original Red Baron in December of 1990. In an industry where flight simulations riddle the skies, how is one company able to fly so high above the rest? It has been a combination of superior technology and talent. Several companies have pooled their formidable talents and resources to create the Red Baron II team. But first, a little history.

    Dynamix, Inc. was founded in 1984, in Eugene, Oregon, USA, and was the developer of Red Baron. Back then it was a small shop, operating with only a handful of employees and even less cash. But the founders had a vision, as they began work on a flight simulation which was not only historical in content, but made history for the fledgling company as well as the entire flight sim industry. Within three years of its release, Red Baron was inducted into the Computer Gaming World Hall of Fame, one of the highest accolades a game title can receive in the United States, and an honor that no other flight simulation has ever achieved.

    Superior Technology

    Of all the elements required for success in combat, the creators of Red Baron relied mainly on superior technology. Their technological edge: 3-Space, which is a component of the graphics rendering system developed internally by Dynamix, although the term is generally used to mean the entire rendering system and all its associated tools.

    First developed in the dark ages of DOS, when PC's were literally PC's, and XT's and AT's were virtually unheard of, 3-Space went far beyond the mysterious, bit-twiddled, voodoo rendering modules which were all too common among the small companies of the day. Rather, 3-Space was a well thought out, well designed, and well engineered system, complete with easy-to-use support tools and development methodologies.

    Much credit goes to the original founders of Dynamix, Jeff Tunnel and Damon Slye, along with Lincoln Hutton, the original 3-Space engineer, for their foresight and investment in a truly powerful and sophisticated graphics rendering system - a system which had no small part in the phenomenal success of the original Red Baron product, and which, in enhanced form, propelled Dynamix into the future by providing the graphical foundation for the entire "Aces" series of flight sims.

    3-Space was recently updated for Windows '95 and Direct-3D. It takes special advantage of the Pentium architecture, and interfaces with powerful front-end tools like 3D Studio Max. The most recent incarnation of 3-Space provides the graphical heart and soul of the all-new Red Baron II, as well as the new "civilian" flight sim product, Pro Pilot, by Sierra On-Line. 3-Space is the system which takes stunning terrain, beautiful aircraft, authentic cockpit displays, and awesome special effects beyond mere bits and bytes, to vibrant, screen-filled color.

    Truly Intelligent AI

    There are quite a few other fascinating tech tales surrounding the development of Red Baron II. Among them are the operation of the AI which was developed by Gary Stottlemyer, the designer of Red Baron II. His approach was to use autonomous entity AI, along with additional cooperative AI. Autonomous entities do not rely on "scripts" and limited AI primitives. Rather, each entity is endowed with sophisticated AI which allows it to act and react autonomously. Obviously, there's an initial investment required to develop this kind of AI for each type of entity, but once, for example, a Flak Gun behavior is created, hundreds or even thousands of Flak Guns can easily be created. Also, once the AI for target searching, selecting, tracking and aiming (ballistic trajectory compensation) is developed, it can be used for any or all other entities. In fact, in the Flak Gun example, the targeting AI in question was already required for basic aircraft vs. aircraft dogfight AI, so there was actually very little additional effort required to endow the Flak Guns (and many other entities) with such capability. The approach becomes very feasible, provided there's a reasonable economy of scale.

    But economy of scale is a double-edged sword. With hundreds, or even thousands, of entities in the world, the entity AI would either have to be very fast, or less than truly sophisticated, to prevent the frame rate from bottoming out. This is where the virtual world comes to the rescue. With this approach, entities are actually associated with parent entities (and even grandparents). For example, individual aircraft are associated with a flight, or ground units are associated with a company, which is, in turn, associated with a brigade. When the player is far from these parent entities, their children do not actually exist. Rather, the parent has its own autonomous entity AI, but their AI operates at a much higher level of abstraction (i.e., less complexity or lower "fidelity"). Because there are far fewer parent entities, and their AI is much less costly to process, the frame rate is kept very high. Only if the player approaches a parent entity will it dynamically create its children (which the player can actually see and interact with.) But once the player leaves the parent's area, its children are aggregated, with minimal state information retained, so if the player returns to the same area after destroying a tank, for example, the tank will still look and behave correctly (it will not have converted to a pristine state). Given such dynamic creation and subsequent aggregation, the actual number of "high-fidelity" entities in the world is a very small number. Effectively, there is a "bubble" around the player inside of which the simulation runs at a very high state of fidelity, but outside of which there are only parent entities running very efficiently. The frame rate remains high, and the player can literally go anywhere in the world and encounter hundreds or even thousands of entities, each having its own highly sophisticated AI.

    Red Baron II comes with a slewable cockpit. This means the player can switch to a view from the pilot's seated perspective, surrounded by a full 3D cockpit. This cockpit may not be as visually pleasing as the 2D fixed-perspective cockpit views, but the 3D cockpit allows the player to rotate and elevate the view perspective and look in any direction, just like a real pilot can by simply turning his head. The fully slewable perspective can aid the player in scanning his surroundings, which greatly enhances his overall situational awareness and assists with target detection and identification. In addition, while using this view, the player can actually lock onto a target and the perspective will automatically follow the target, allowing the player to maneuver his plane for the kill without losing sight of his prey. This is most critical, and there's even an old fighter pilot saying "lose sight, lose the fight" which speaks of its importance.

    Everything about Red Baron II is state of the art. The graphics rendering, the terrain, the virtual world, the seasonal changes, the time of day changes, the clouds, the stars, the flight models, the weapons, the ballistics, the adversary AI, the cooperative AI, the target and vehicle AI, the damage modeling... everything. They're all present in a single, balanced package, and they're all superbly executed.

    The Talent Red Baron II has a whole new list of talent on the development team, as well as the foundation of a few holdovers from the "old days." Gary Stottlemyer is the game designer and visionary. He came on board Sierra in 1994, bringing with him a successful career in the flight sim industry, including a stint at Spectrum Holobyte where he worked on Falcon 3.0, Operation Fighting Tiger, MiG-29 and Hornet: Naval Strike Fighter. Spectrum Holobyte was already developing its own terrain and graphics rendering systems, so Stottlemyer concentrated his efforts on designing and engineering the actual simulations, as well as designing mission planning and multiplayer aspects of the sims.

    "As for my specific engineering contributions, the major components I wrote were the flight models, and literally all of the simulation AI/systems, other than the Cockpit Displays and Weapons models, which we borrowed and upgraded from the previous CGA and AT versions," he said. "Basically, if it flies, moves, attacks, defends, dogfights, explodes, talks, cooperates, traps, locks on, shoots or simply goes down in flames, I wrote the AI that makes it happen. The same is true for Red Baron II."

    It has been said that the products Stottlemyer has worked on in the past have "raised the bar" significantly for flight sims. "I suppose that's true," he responds modestly, "but I've just tried to build true flight simulations, not just pretty games which happen to have airplanes in them. I believe the customers want to be real fighter pilots and they truly want to know what it was or is really like. It's something we all dream of being, but which very few people can ever be or experience. Hence, a true flight simulation has to be believable. It should have accurate flight models, avionics, tactics, ballistics, damage, collisions, and more. It should also have a large world, filled with entities that possess dynamic, active and reactive AI. AI which allows them to have their own objectives and react to the player's actions."

    Stottlemyer believes "the bar" has slipped in recent years. He blames poor flight models that are being hyped as real, but are actually highly controlled and pre-scripted missions that take place in ultra small or nearly empty worlds.

    "With these games, the player can't believe they're a real fighter pilot flying in a real world because so little attention has been paid to the authenticity of the basic experience. That, or they're placed in an environment which is so limited, as to be totally unreal. For example, if the player doesn't do exactly what the mission scripter intends, he finds himself alone in an empty world or facing highly scripted entities behaving very strangely because the player did something unexpected. Scripted missions are like a play with a script. But if the main actor skips two pages ahead, and then back four, the play disintegrates, becoming confusing and anything but enjoyable.

    "Players want to do the unexpected. They want autonomy so they can accomplish their mission objectives the way they think best. That's what keeps them active, rather than passive. That's what holds their interest and gives them a true sense of challenge and accomplishment. That's what is entertaining. Yet, many products can't even get their avionics on an instrument panel where they belong. Floating MFD displays? After that, I suppose customers don't even expect a realistic experience. Just wait for Red Baron II."

    A Work of Art

    The opening AVI sequence, the screen collages in the shell, and the simulation imagery of Red Baron II are all visually stunning and create an authentic historical atmosphere. Much of the credit for the look goes to the Art Director on the project, Jarrett Jester. He is one of the holdovers from the original Red Baron where he provided the line drawings found in the print manual. His contribution to the sequel, however, has vastly increased.

    To develop the desired artistic quality, Jester and his team of five other artists, used sepia-toned collages and photos from the period. They combined these with 3D animations of the planes to set the historical ambiance. But to avoid a monotone look in a multicolored gaming environment, Jester overlaid a number of images (plane books, pilot log, medals) with color, so that whatever period a player happens to be in, has a highlighted color effect.

    The collage screens of the shell help the player identify events or features that take place in a designed room. For example, the personnel room shows medals, pilot log, etc. The team created a series of books to identify planes and their specifications; and dossiers to identify pilots (aces) and their medals, kills, and habits. The plane books have three plane views that were created from high-detailed models by 3D artist, Ron Clayborn. The dossier books were created using photos from the National Archives in Washington, D.C., and the information about the Aces was gathered by Dynamix historian, Dennis Kilgore.

    According to Jester, one of the best rooms in the shell is the intelligence room. This is where a player receives an intelligence movie, with text and voice over, that reflects the current status of the war front. This room displays historical video footage from the period, and is brought to life with palette tricks used by Senior Programmer Hugh Diedrichs, who created a flickering old projector display. There is even a projector sound in the background as text scrolls up from the bottom of the screen.

    Diedrichs assisted in porting the original version of Red Baron over to CD back in 1994. His contributions to this version include most of the graphics rendering, interfacing with the libraries, and most machine-related and Windows 95-related programming tasks. He has also programmed portions of the shell including the vehicle preview, paint plane section, all the books, and the intelligence reports. He is also responsible for organizing and rendering all 3D shapes.

    Animations in the shell were produced in video post production using 3D Studio. Actual historic footage was digitized in the Dynamix video department. The shapes in the sim were produced in 3D studio at different detail levels, then converted for acceptance into the 3-Space engine. The ground detail was generated from old maps that were converted into gray scale depth maps. A series of bitmaps were then generated and placed according to where specific ground features would have been (rivers, mountains, etc.). The cockpits have a lock-down view, and are slewable as well, which allows the player to have a 360-degree view. The cockpit view was also built in 3D Studio with the camera, or point-of-view, set at the height of an average pilot.

    Red Baron II has a total of 22 flyable planes. Each plane, however, may have different textures because of squadron markings and/or colors. Each plane also has different levels of detail. The farther away the point of view, the less detail is rendered. In the early stages of development, a number of planes were scrapped because of technology issues. The slewable cockpit, for instance, was a big technology jump that required a huge amount of research and development.

    Source: Red Baron With Mission Builder (UK) (1997) - /RedBaron 2/Making of/Tech.txt

    Contributed by piltdown_man (151518) on Jun 30, 2018.

Red Baron With Mission Builder (UK):
    From the moment a player first views the opening movie when starting Red Baron II, he is instantly captivated by the drama of early aviation combat from the Great War. This meticulously-crafted AVI sequence depicts the thrill of the dogfight and the ultimate doom of one of its participants. It is accompanied by a haunting score that sets the mood for the forthcoming adventure. Red Baron II makes use of vignetted, black and white movies throughout many of the setup menus, which are all framed by black white stills of the era.

    Although the first option from the Main Menu lets you get right into the heart and soul of the game, flying a mission, a user would be remiss in skipping the setup screens, as this is where the experience of a company that has developed three award-winning historical flight sims really shines. From the Main Menu, the user can review over 60 pilot dossiers from the British, German, French, and American services in an "electronic hard-cover book" format. The dossier book appears with a thud sound, and other sounds accompany the flipping of pages that are so real, they give the feel of aged parchment between the fingers. A brief dossier of each pilot is displayed along with a list of their victories, some requiring several pages.

    There is an Object Preview center where the player can inspect German and Allied planes, from the Handley Page 0/400 heavy bomber, to the superb Fokker D. VII fighter. A variety of ground force elements (trains, tanks, observation towers, artillery guns, etc.), and over 30 structures (hangars, bridges, factories, bunkers, etc.) can be examined here in a 3D virtual reality format. A control pad allows the user to rotate objects about a 360-degree axis and allows unlimited magnification. For even closer examination, a specifications area provides textual detail on every object. After spending a couple of hours in this section, a player may eventually move into flying a campaign or a single mission. Either way, the thoroughness of the pre-flight preparation is an indication of the effort that went into the game to recreate an authentic simulation experience.

    In a campaign, the first order of business is a Pilot Log, where the player enters vital personal stats such as name, rank, and enlistment date. This log keeps track of hours flown, victories, and medals earned. In the Squadron Ops. area, dossiers are available for all pilots in your squadron. A Kill Board that tracks all squadron victories, and other information such as squadron insignia and aircraft, is available from the Local Squadrons book. A book of personnel transfers between squadrons is kept here, and there is an option for ranking pilots to customize their planes.

    The Intelligence area provides a list of the top aces, a book of ace profiles, a listing of local enemy squadrons, and intelligence reports on enemy and friendly squadrons operating in the region. The Intelligence Room even features flickering black and white film footage that makes us forget we are viewing it on a state-of-the-art personal computer.

    The Sim Comes To Life It is 8:15 in the morning as members of Escadrille Sp. 154 (French Fighter Squadron) assemble in the briefing room of the Auve Aerodrome in northern France. Our mission is to escort a flight of bombers that are attacking infantry formations 37 km further north. However, our flight plan will cover 80 km one way, taking us in a u-shaped pattern so we approach out of the morning sun directly from the east. Our flight leader, Capitaine Coiffard, reviews the waypoints we will follow. We will depart at 0830 and climb to an altitude of 500m AGL (above ground level). Along the way the escort will eventually climb to an altitude of 4500m MSL (mean sea level). Our bombers will remain at 2500m where they will unleash their payload. As Coiffard speaks, we all mark our maps with the planned route. We then review our en route formation. I, Sous Lieutenant Charles Boulet, am flying the 3rd position, 45 degrees behind the left wing of the lead. My squadron and I are flying in six Spad VIIs. Finally, we review available reconnaissance information and photos before we make our departure for, perhaps, one more successful mission, or possibly, never to return.

    Red Baron II evokes an emotional response from the historical flight sim aficionado, to the point where participation becomes a personal experience. No matter where in the world you sit at your computer with joystick in hand, Red Baron II instantly transports you somewhere just behind the front lines, into a time of trench warfare, where, on the ground, soldiers wallowed ankle deep in mud as they attempted to advance in Three Rank Napoleonic Formation toward the enemy. But it is overhead where the skies are filled with black bursts from the flak guns below. Where tracers arc upward from enemy emplacements. Where you pick your way along a river route, banking east as you reach the second bridge waypoint on your way to reducing an enemy factory to rubble.

    There are several ways to fly in Red Baron II. Select a single mission, participate in an entire campaign, or challenge the top aces of the day in a head-to-head duel. In single mission mode, you choose which mission to fly. There is an option to edit the service and squadron in which you fly. Fly alongside the Red Baron himself in the Jasta 11 squadron, or hunt Zeppelins with the famous 56 Squadron. A historically authentic map allows you to select the targets for the mission. You might, for example, decide to run a bombing raid on an Allied aerodrome or heat up your machine guns on German infantry depending on the priorities you set.

    Red Baron II provides a living world with historical squadrons, aerodromes, cities, factories, supply depots, and more. Missions are determined with the campaign artificial intelligence every time a mission is called up. What this means is bomber squadrons will be able to find the best target within range (best being determined by how well it's defended and what it provides for the enemy), and fighter squadrons will decide to fly escort missions, ground attack missions, or combat air patrols (to name a few). Targets that have been destroyed and squadrons that have been shot up affect who will fly against what each time a new mission is required.

    Campaign mode puts you into Red Baron II for the long haul. Enlist early and, assuming you're good enough, watch your list of victories and medals build. As you progress through a campaign, you will be assigned to missions appropriate for your squadron. As a member of one of the elite air fighting organizations of your country you will be called upon to risk everything to accomplish that mission - whether it is escorting bombers or attacking enemy recon craft.

    It is easy to get carried away during the action of a dogfight. It is also easy to forget the physical limitations of aircraft built over 80 years ago. But you'll soon be reminded as you hear the creaking of a wing strut undergoing the strain of a steep bank. If your plane is hit while flying through the Archie (British slang for anti-aircraft fire), you'll hear the realistic impact of metal tearing through the skin of your fuselage.

    This is not to say that your aerobatics maneuvers will be dull. Quite the contrary. With enough practice, you will learn to confuse an attacker with a barrel roll, or go on the offensive with an Immelmann Turn. The loop, retournment, and split-s are all part of the repertoire. It is important, however, to appreciate the specifications of each airplane and fly within its capabilities.

    There are also the physical limitations of the human body which are depicted in Red Baron II. Pull too many G's in a steep climb and you'll start to black out. If you happen to take a bullet in the body and still live, you'll notice a loss of vision as you fade in and out of consciousness. Hopefully you will manage to stay alert long enough to reach a safe landing strip. If you fly directly into the sun, the glare will temporarily blind you. Sorry, no tinted goggles are available. However, you can use the sun to your advantage, just the way the crack pilots used to.

    There is no more intense experience than that of dogfighting action. In Red Baron II, all of the sounds and graphics combine to make this experience as real as possible. The adrenaline first begins to pump when an enemy airplane, no bigger than a single pixel on the screen, first appears in the distance. Then two, three... five, six pixels appear, and as they near, you begin to hear the low droning of their engines. You know you've been spotted when they break formation and each plane begins an individual tactic intended for your squadron's demise. As bullets fly from your machine gun, they trace a perfect arc through the air. If they are on target and you're close enough to see, they trace a perfect arc across your enemy's fuselage. If your plane is equipped with two forward-facing machine guns, the bullets will meet about 100 feet in front of your plane. If your plane is equipped with incendiary devices, you'll see the trails of smoke they leave behind. You will also hear their impact even after they are long out of sight.

    Red Baron II has been a long time in the making, but, according to the game's Producer, Neil Haldar, it should be well worth the wait. "Over 35,000 man hours of art, programming, design, and research have gone into the development of Red Baron II. More than 20 people have been involved in the direct development, with many more acting in support," he said. "The primary goal is yet to be realized, but is well on its way... that is, to create the best combat flight simulation ever seen for the personal computer... and to actually make a game that is even better than the original Red Baron."

    Red Baron II stands unique in the flight simulation market. Cutting edge technology gives it an unparalleled look and feel. The flight model was written by an actual aerobatics pilot (Gary Stottlemyer - the lead designer for Red Baron II), making it the most authoritative system in the industry. With the latest tools and a design based on years of extensive research, Dynamix has produced a truly exceptional simulation. So boot it up, go take a spin and learn what it was really like in those turbulent, terrifying years when the Knights of the Sky rode steeds of wood and fabric.

    Source: Red Baron With Mission Builder (UK) (1997) - /RedBaron 2/Making of/game.txt

    Contributed by piltdown_man (151518) on Jun 30, 2018.

    "Красный Барон 2" - авиасимулятор, действие которого происходит в то время, когда зародилось само понятие воздушного боя. Первая мировая война. Лёгкие, уязвимые самолёты, невысокие скорости, полное отсутствие радаров, самонаводящегося оружия и прочих радостей современного пилота. Только вы, ваша машина, небо - и противники, не знающие пощады. Кому улыбнется удача? Кто знает...

    • "Красный Барон 2" - авиасимулятор, славящийся высокой степенью исторической достоверности.
    • В игре смоделировано несколько реалистичных моделей самолётов времён Первой мировой войны.
    • Игрокам доступна обширная энциклопедия, дающая информацию о пилотах-асах Первой мировой войны.
    • Вам доступны несколько разных режимов игры - "Быстрый бой", "Одиночная миссия" и "Кампания", а также конструктор миссий, дающий широкие возможности по созданию собственных заданий.

    Contributed by Klaster_1 (57980) on Mar 05, 2011.

1997 Blizzard/Sierra game catalogue - Windows (Germany):

    Tollkühne Männer in ihren fliegenden Kisten

    Erleben Sie mit der Fortsetzung des berühmtesten Flugsimulators des ersten Weltkriegs die legendäre Epoche, als die Luftfahrt noch in ihren Kinderschuhen steckte. Gelände mit einer Ausdehnung von über 40.000 Quadratmeilen wurden originalgetreu wiedergegeben. Tausende von minutiös reproduzierten Gebäuden und Objekten geben dem Spiel einen bislang noch nie erreichten grafischen Reichtum. Korrekte physikalische Modelle wurden als Vorlage des Flugmodells verwendet, an dem sich jede realistische Darstellung wird messen lassen müssen. Für die letzte Abrundung sorgt eine revolutionäre künstliche Intelligenz, die auf der Grundlage historischer Fakten alle feindlichen oder alliierten Aktionen im Zusammenhang mit Ihrem Geschwader steuert. Dieser lebendige und flexible Rahmen läßt jede Ihrer Missionen einmalig werden. Sie müssen über sich selbst hinauswachsen, um dem Roten Baron die Stirn bieten zu können.

    NEU - Winter 97/98

    • 40 originalgetreue Flugzeugtypen des ersten Weltkriegs
    • Über 10 Missionstypen in 4 verschiedenen Armeen
    • Ein Missions-Editor ermöglicht Ihnen, eigene Missionen zu entwerfen
    • Duelle gegen die Asse des ersten Weltkriegs
    • Einrichtungen, mit denen Sie Ihrem Flugzeug einen persönlichen Anstrich geben
    • Multiplayer-Modus über Modem, lokales Netz oder Internet

    "Detaillierte Grafiken und realistische Soundeffekte sorgen für stilechtes Flugvergnügen." PC ACTION


    Contributed by MZ per X (3020) on Oct 22, 2010.

Print advertisement - PC Player 10/1997:
    Fliegen Sie mit 22 detailliert modellierten Flugzeug-Legenden.

    Mehr als 60.000 km² Echtzeit-Terrain dank der 3Space™-Technologie.

    Eine KI der Extraklasse sorgt für eine völlig realistische Umgebung.

    Red Baron II

    Zwischen ihm und Ihnen ist ein As zuviel.

    Je höher Sie fliegen, desto mehr bringt die dünne Luft den Motor zum Stottern. Die leinenbespannten Flügel ächzen unter den extremen Flugmanövern. Kugelhagel erschüttert den Rumpf Ihrer Maschine. Im Sturzflug schaffen Sie es kaum, den Steuerknüppel festzuhalten. Die Flak donnert und Kirchenglocken schlagen Alarm. Züge, Panzer und Infanterie ziehen an der Frontlinie entlang. Gegnerische Flugzeuge stürzen urplötzlich aus den Wolken. Bevor Sie jedoch Kommandant der Elitestaffel Ihrer Armee sein werden, müssen Sie sich gegen die Allerbesten behaupten.

    Werden Sie sich einen Platz am Himmel der Legenden erkämpfen?

    Contributed by Patrick Bregger (205268) on Apr 16, 2010.

Advertisement in PC Games, December 1997 (German):

    Zwischen ihm und Ihnen ist ein As zuviel.

    Je höher Sie fliegen, desto mehr bringt die dünne Luft den Motor zum Stottern. Die leinenbespannten Flügel ächzen unter den extremen Flugmanövern. Kugelhagel erschüttert den Rumpf Ihrer Maschine. Im Sturzflug schaffen Sie es kaum, den Steuerknüppel festzuhalten. Die Flak donnert und Kirchenglocken schlagen Alarm. Züge, Panzer und Infanterie ziehen an der Frontlinie entlang. Gegnerische Flugzeuge stürzen urplötzlich aus den Wolken. Bevor Sie jedoch Kommandant der Elitestaffel Ihrer Armee sein werden, müssen Sie sich gegen die Allerbesten behaupten.

    Werden Sie sich einen Platz am Himmel der Legenden erkämpfen?

    Contributed by Xoleras (66813) on Mar 02, 2005.