|MiG Alley Interview
by Leonard "Viking1" Hjalmarson
MiG Alley is based on the Korean War: 1950-53. It was the first conflict that saw major jet v jet dogfights. The conflict also saw some jet v prop encounters. Among the many aircraft included, the game concentrates on the following:
The player will be able to pilot all the above aircraft except the B29.
Q: Who is involved in the production of Mig Alley?
Game Design: Rod Hyde Mark Shaw Lead Programmer Jim Taylor Lead 3d programmer Paul Dunscombe 3d programmer Robert Slater UI Dallas Morrison Comms Andrew McMaster Flight model Andrew McRae ACM Rod Hyde Andrew McRae Lead Artist Andrew McCann Artists Toks Solarin Richard Jones Landscape Data Prep Amanda McCann Chris Jones Ian Hardy Network, hardware, support Dave WhitesideJim actually codes the AI.
Q: When was the idea for this simulation born, and why this period of history?
Rod: The research started in 1995 and the team really got involved at the beginning of 1997 when Flying Corps was finished. 3d card support and the mission editor distracted us a little last year. This year we are focused on MiG Alley.
There are a number of good reasons to choose the Korean conflict:
The Somme is flat and so people think that our landscape engine is flat. It's not and our Korean sim will prove it! In Korea we have mountains in excess of 8000ft with bridges over ravines. Ideal stuff for exciting flying.
The front moved rapidly and so we can have an interesting dynamic campaign based on reality. The player will have an effect on the ground war. When on grunt work, the player will have napalm and rockets as well as guns and bombs.
The conflict had the first jet vs jet combat. There was some jet vs prop stuff as well. We will simulate conflicts where there are over a hundred aircraft from each side in the air at the same time.
Even though the player will be flying jets most of the time, he will still have to concentrate on getting close to fight. There is no air to air radar and no missiles so we will still be able to avoid "shooting at dots".
Compared with Flying Corps we have some new stuff:
Cockpit from MiG Alley
MiG Alley uses a new Rowan engine, and will be our first Windows only flight sim. The user interface is based on MFC.
The landscape engine has been rewritten to allow us to simulate a larger area: 1500km by 1000km. In FC we had two 150km by 150km areas. The flight model has been completely rewritten to allow a more accurate calculation of forces and moments. More details are included, e.g.: effect of damage; suspension on the ground; speeds around mach 1 are simulated; the campaign engine, including a complex supply network, is completely new; cockpit instrumentation and weaponry is modelled on virtual cockpits.
Q: What are the flyable aircraft in MiG Alley, and why were they chosen?
Rod: In MiG Alley you will be able to fly the following aircraft:
The F86 is the fighter. The majority of the most notable air battles in MiG Alley were between Sabres and MiG 15s. The F80 and F84 took the fighter bomber role which included some ground support. The P51 was involved in ground support and truck and train busting.
This is a representation set of the fighter aircraft flown during the conflict. If we attempt to simulate too many then we cannot do individual aircraft justice. However we do need a range of aircraft to give the player a feel for asset-management. In the campaign, the player can choose his strategy to win the war. He will have to manage his assets sensibly.
Q: What other aircraft will we see?
Rod: T-6: for Forward air controllers, complete with smoke rockets to show you where to place your ordnance. YAK-9, Il-10, Il-28, B29 , B26, C54, C47, Po2, Meteor, Corsair, YAK-15, Sikorsky HO2S-1.
Q: What can we expect to see in terms of AI opponents, both in the air and on the ground?
Rod: In the air, team work is the most important thing. The Americans were the masters of mutual support. This is why they managed to take such a toll of the numerically superior MiGs which were slow in adopting such tactics.
In MiG Alley, the Player must learn how to work closely with his fellow pilots. Teamwork ensures survival. There is a lot more to say in the AI and ACM area. Perhaps we can come back to the subject in a month or so.
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Last Updated February 6th, 1998