If it flies, it dies™.
May, 2019 marks the 10th year anniversary of what was once called Fun Mod for World in Conflict (later renamed to MW Mod around 2010 during beta development). In 10 years of modding World in Conflict, MW Mod had come a long way since its nascent years.
Some of the biggest achievements during MW Mod’s 10 years include:
Yes! To celebrate the 10-year anniversary of MW Mod, we’re currently working on the next release (version 5.5), known as “Starscream” for development name. We’re introducing the following new features and units to Starscream/5.5:
5.5/Starscream is about 55% finished, and expected to be released around summer time.
Looking back through past 10 years, 2013-2014 was the most pivotal period for MW Mod – that is the time when FLINT reached version 4.0. FLINT 4 introduced significant backend features that were necessary to mature the mod to where it is today: features such as velocity-verlet integrator, linear interpolation (lerp) and introduction of execution environment for FLINT modules were all crucial to advancing the mod development forward.
Recently, FLINT and mod development have been going through a new round of improvements:
First of which is the improved interworking between FLINT scripts and server-side environment (known as WICG and EXGame), that allows us to create map-specific scripting and implement scripted missions or AI logics. In 5.5, we’re introducing very basic rudimentary scripted conditions (static unit emplacements in preset locations), but the future (MW Mod 6.0?!?) holds many promises – including an AI player interpreter that allows us to add more dynamic instructions (such as movement, Machine-Learning Reaction (mx.RE) system, etc) to gradually enhance the vanilla game’s bot AI, and allow room for scripted missions.
Second major development as of lately, is what is happening with air & missile defense (IAMD) component. Since the past year, we began migrating away from the legacy Patriot and IADS script code, and started moving to a single unified command & control (C2) system simulation, inspired after the US Army’s IAMD Battle Command System (IBCS) development in the real world, where air defense units could simply “plug in” to the network on demand (plug-and-fight capability).
In implementing C2 functions for the new IBCS system, what used to be a simple set of shooter scripts for AA has now turned into a Virtual Machine (VM) runtime environment running in Python, simulating a machine. The new IBCS Python modules now provide the following basic functions:
A recent fun example of the VM runtime environment is the new Counter-Battery Radar. When a counterfire radar is joined into the IBCS, a new “process” (called ‘jfired’) is started and dispatched accordingly by the VM scheduler.
Note that the VM scheduler lives inside the C2/EOC node (e.g. Fire Control Radar or Patriot site). If the current master EOC node is killed, VM scheduler & dispatcher functions are passed onto the next surviving EOC node. If all C2/EOC nodes are killed, VM runtime environment shuts down completely, and all IBCS units and processes cease functioning.
As we look toward MW Mod 6.0 and beyond, the above recent developments will allow the following:
The challenge to all of this is time and motivation. Back in 2009-2011, MW Mod development was churning out new changes and units on almost biweekly basis at peak, monthly basis on average. Nowadays, getting anything new implemented in MW Mod often turns into over-engineered development hell. In some ways, MW Mod and FLINT are a victim of its own success over the past 10 years – with much heavier dependence on programming side of things, getting a unit added nowadays requires weeks for coding, testing and integration, thereby making things way more over-complicated than ever before. But it does look nice for sure!
We’ll see how the mod development continues in the future (6.0 and onward). But it seems rudimentary introduction of ships to a very few select maps is increasingly becoming likely.. We shall see.
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