Q. I subscribe to comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.flight-sim newsgroup and have read many articles comparing WB with AW, one article from Gary "-moggy" Cooper of Kesmai that said, "Warbirds started out, in its rawest form, as a utility for Air Warrior." Is this true? And could you describe the evolution of WB to its current form?
A. This is true. Dale "Hightech" Addink wrote a gun camera utility for AW called "V-Film". This utility evolved into what was called "HT SIM". After that, John "Killer" Mac Queen, Robert "Gunjam" Salinas, Dale, and Bob "Joker" McCarthy decided to create their own online WW2 sim. This was the birth of "Confirmed Kill." They partnered with DoMark and went into closed beta.
After some testing a new graphics engine was acquired from "Graphic Simulations." This is when WarBirds came to life. From there it was adding planes and features all in line with getting to the original goal: The best WW2 air combat sim on the net with the most dynamic feature set.
Q. I read Mo's Warbird's News daily and see that 2.5r3 release will include Squad-wide HL command, a more intuitive gunner interface, trainer page function, refined offline selection menus, analog controlled brakes, new ground modeling, gunnery model improvements, revised special effects, a Japanese Ki-61, new "heavy" bomber (classified as yet), new gunnery effects, and new terrain.. wow! This is all AWESOME. Can you elaborate on what 2.6 and 3.0 will have in store for us?
A. These two revisions will be our last with this current 3D graphics engine. We are going to take it as far as we can with these releases. The stuff on my news page is fairly complete, and I'm taking the stance of informing the community of what we're up to. Beyond the above mentioned stuff we are experimenting with artillery fire, ground vehicles, and steer-able shipping.
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Q. Many I talk to actually enjoy WB more than other sims, but are scared off by the $1.99 an hour pricing, how do you respond to this?
A. Well, this is a tough one. Online game pricing models are still not set in stone, and I don't profess to be an expert on the subject. But I look at it this way: If I'm going to settle in for an evening of entertainment, I have choices on where to spend my money. For a 3 hour stint on WarBirds I'm out $6. To take my sweety to a movie it's gonna be $13 just for tickets…and my sweety eats a lot of popcorn!
Now then, in a community like WarBirds, it's nice to know that everyone around you has made a "$2 commitment" to being there. Without implying that this helps keep the Quakers out... it helps keep the Quakers out.
Q. Do you see WB going to a "flatrate across the board" pricing plan in the future?
A. Again, I'm not an expert on this, but I do know that when I'm flying I can bank on the fact that the guys I'm flying with are serious about this hobby. I have had MANY nasty experiences on flat rate services. The future is unwritten, anything could happen.
But for now IMOL views WarBirds as a "premium" game, and the pricing stucture for the main arena will remain. There has been talk of buying "tickets" for special events such as scenarios that will be a flat rate for the whole event. There will be news on this later in the year.
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