Falcon 4.0: Interview with Gilman Louie - Page 1/1

Created on 2005-02-02

Title: Falcon 4.0: Interview with Gilman Louie
By: Len 'Viking1' Hjalmarson
Date: 1998-12-11 2076
Flashback: Orig. Multipage Version
Hard Copy: Printer Friendly

An interview with Gilman Louie, Chairman of Microprose.

Thanks for taking the time, Gilman. And a big thank you from our readers, who have really appreciated your presence on our F4 forum!

GL: The forums are great and it's been fun to be there...

One of our writers wants to know: Is that you in the intro movie in F4?

GL: (laughs) Yes, that is me in the intro movie! I went up in the F16 ride and our art department got a hold of the footage.. I'm not sure what I'm going to see happen to me next!

Great.. What was the first sim you flew on a computer?

GL: The first sim I actually flew on a computer was Sub-Logic's flight sim on the Apple II. And the first military sim I flew was that Buckley.. the A7 sim... back in '86.

Wow, its been a LONG time!

GL: Yeah, it has! And I still have that cassette tape! I mean, the most frustrating thing about that sim was trying to get the loader to load the game without crashing the Apple II... (laughs) see, we even had these problems back then!

How long has it actually been since F3?

GL: F3 was 1991. Eight years...

Wow, THAT is amazing!

GL: It's even more amazing that people still play it!

Yeh, isn't it? Actually, I was visiting Chips and Bits site yesterday to see their current price, and they list Falcon 3, Gold I think, for about $15!

GL: It's the most amazing thing. I mean, to get that thing to run on today's systems...it required 604 K in DOS, so people used to run QEMM to get all the features. You have to rub sticks together to get that to run in today's operating systems...

What stands out to you about Falcon 3? What made it a classic?

GL: The most important thing was the campaign. We were sitting around after doing AT, and Bill Stealey had released F15 Strike Eagle. It was the most awesome product at the time, so he had really cleaned our clocks. So we were sitting around the room and thinking... we could see where people were going with these games.. more planes, better missions, improved avionics.

But what could we do that would be different than everybody else.. that would make it special. The concept was: let's start off, instead of building a flight sim, let's build a simple strategy game where the flight sim is a participant in the strategy game. Build that as a framework for both single player and then eventually multiplayer. And that became the foundation for most of Falcon 3 and then the Falcon 4 series.


GL: And I owe it all to Bill Stealey. The part of the story that goes untold is that we were owned by the Maxwell organization, the British publishing tycoon. A couple months before Falcon was to be published, Robert Maxwell died in the middle of the Atlantic, and basically his whole empire, like 3 billion dollars worth, went bankrupt immediately. That meant we had no resources to publish Falcon 3.

It was Bill Stealey who then loaned us the money to get F3 published. That later turned into a contract that he could publish it in Europe. So Bill Stealey had a lot to do with our getting Falcon 3 published, even though we were his number one competitor.

Wild! Quite a story! Ok, is Falcon 3 still your favorite, or has something else taken it's place in your heart since then?

GL: It's hard to say when we look back at all the games we have produced and what others are doing... we look at every game, we break it down to little pieces.. if there is redeeming value in game we look and say, what did it do right, and what did it do wrong?

And it's hard when you create games, because you end up asking yourself more, "What did we do wrong?" than "What did we do right?" It's a very obsessive profession. In your mind there are a thousand things you would do differently.

And you NEVER want your product to be released. If anybody ever offers to a developer, "Would six more months help you?" everyone takes it. But at some point you have to cut it off.

But I think Falcon 3 was a big achievement for all who were involved. Frankly, the Falcon 3 team took a design that we had submitted for a trainer, in conjunction with General Dynamics, and submitted it to the Air National Guard as a design spec. But the ANG came back and said that they did not think we were qualified. They said the spec was overly ambitious and could not be accomplished by the quality of staff we had at the time.

It was the best contract we ever lost. Six months later we built the game, and a year later we published it. And the company that won the contract never actually finished the cockpits!

MiG 21 kill

Wow, amazing. Yeah, it's funny what stands out in my memory on F3. I recall walking into the computer department of a London Drugs store in Vancouver, Canada, and gawking at the hot new seventeen inch monitors. Turns out they were running a demo of this hot new flight simulator: Falcon 3. I was pretty impressed.

The obsessiveness is intriguing too. I think you have to be obsessive to be a sim nut.

GL: Yeah! THe equation of people to flight sims is the same one I use for people and bass fishing. The same level of detail and attention to their hobby and their sport. Think about the guy who goes out and buys the latest hull, the latest composite pole, the latest radar. Just replace this stuff with the latest TNT or Voodoo2, the latest CPU... Just by changing one or two of the words you could confuse one with the other very easily.

Not to mention I guess that in the fifties it was the fast cars, the latest manifold, the hottest carburetor. Now we all sit in front of a monitor and see how fast we can fly, and instead of the new high rise manifold we have our hot new HOTAS.

GL: It's amazing, there are guys out there getting NT beta 2 to run with dual processors and DX6 for Falcon, and the operating system won't be released for another year! (laughs)


Exactly, we're obsessive! ... Were there times when you wondered if F4 would ever fly?

GL: Yeah, let me give you some background. The F4 team is very young, many guys right out of school. The Falcon 3 team had graduated, many from other areas of the company. All these individuals on the F4 team were very talented, but for the most part had no experience in the game industry at all. A couple of programmers were from a military background. The lead engineer, Leon, had done F16 simulators and trainers before. But really no one from the industry, most of them directly out of school.

So they struggled. We told them your first project will be the largest ever to be published in the industry, and you have to get this product out, and it has to follow Falcon 3, and be better than Falcon 3.

So, they did their best effort. There were a lot of good ideas, but no one was really giving them direction that they needed to get the game done. At one point we had discussions of cancel ling the project, and just buying the rights from another game and just publishing that sim. I had just come back from Harvard, and I sat down with the team. The management here asked me to take a look at the game.

So I did, and I came to them and said, "There is good news and bad news. The good news is that I believe we can have this game out by Christmas. The bad news is that I don't know how close to Christmas, might be right to the end. But the game is saveable and will be a great game. But someone has to make some good decisions because this is a very talented team.

So about eight months ago the Board of Directors gave me the green light to take over the project. Kind of unusual, you don't usually ask the Chairman of a publicly held corporation to take over a project. And I took over and brought back a lot of the Falcon 3 people. We found some of the Falcon 3 programmers, and they all worked with the younger guys and built Falcon 4.

Leadership must be critically important in this kind of team.

Yeah, and it was a very large team. Basically, including core engineers, supporting engineers, half a dozen artists, sound people and video people and an army of testers. If you were to take a body count in the building, just look at everybody that's lying on the floor because they've been up four weeks straight, there are probably forty people.

Incredible... maybe the biggest single team ever! Ok, lets talk F4. First up, will we see the high res cockpits in time for the holidays?

GL: OK, the current game that we will ship has the high res modes but you don't get the cockpits. Which means you can't do certain functions. But we got such a big demand on the newsgroups and on combatsim.com... originally, that was something we were testing.. but all our testers and various web sites were publishing pictures and everybody really wanted it... so we put a command line switch that allows access to higher resolutions. So we will support the doubling mode right off the bat.

You can take the 640x480 cockpit or the 800x600 cockpit and double pixel them. So the resolution will still be the same and you will have accessibility to all the panels and controls. But out the window will be the high resolution.

And then we'll start building the higher res cockpit, 1024x768. It literally takes about forty five days to build a cockpit, there is that much art involved. Every switch in Falcon is operable. I mean every switch ... you can flip the switches and do all your procedures. Everything has to be aligned, and each switch has from two to ten animations... and all the dials have to be redone... a lot of work!

Are we going to see cockpits beyond 1024x768?

GL: Later on you will, but it will be in later revs of the game.

Great. One of the questions that I get all the time is this: Will there be a new demo?

GL: F4 has the best screen saver in our building. When everyone goes home we always leave in running in Action Cam view. I don't know if you have tried this, but we wrote it up in the readme.

Take F4, turn on Combat AP in the Settings (Simulation tab.. it's a good idea to turn on Invulnerability too), and then go into the Campaign (usually the third one because action happens very fast), take off, and as soon as you take off turn on AP, and then go to Action Cam view (SHF ~).. it's like watching a movie.

While we're on the topic, it would be great to be able to have a few choices within the Action Cam view. For example, give us the ability to filter for Enemy or Friendly action, and maybe A2A or A2G action. And give us the option to shift to the next object.

GL: Some good ideas, and they would be easy to implement. It's an amazing view in F4. You can have a couple hundred vehicles in the screen at one time. If you have the horsepower, like a PII 450, increase your settings to max and you will be amazed! Radio calls out the wazoo, fifty tanks on the ground, SAMs flying all round, aircraft intercepting aircraft... Just leave it running in that mode. People here are convinced that all we need to do is a stripped down version of just this and put it on a demo disk.

Hm. Cool idea.

Yeah, a great screen saver. It won't let you fly the game, but you can see the war. And that's what makes Falcon 4 special over any other product. There is a full scale war, non scripted, not staged that we link together. You don't even have to fly, it's a great war game. Turn on your labels with SHF L and some of the invisible action will become more visible. It's a huge war.

Yeah, it really IS amazing. And that's also one of the arguments for the higher res modes. It's incredible how some of this leaps into view on a large monitor at high resolution.. visibility of detail is increased and there is SO much happening...

But let's move on and talk about the campaign itself. One thing not really appreciated yet is that F4 completely integrates two independent and fully dynamic wars: an air war and a ground war. Tell us about the thought and method behind this.

Let's move on and talk about the campaign itself. One thing not really appreciated yet is that F4 completely integrates two independent and fully dynamic wars: an air war and a ground war. Tell us about the thought and method behind this.

GL: As I said earlier, what we started off with was a ground war. The basic philosophy is that the air force is used as a means to support the ground effort. But it's the ground war that wins or loses the war. Basically if you don't have an army, it's very difficult to win a war.

So what we did was we had one programmer, Kevin Klemmick, who is the lead engineer on the entire campaign side, he hates flight sims with a passion. Even though he grew up around airplanes and his Dad has a plane and he used to fly with him, he likes strategy games. He was the perfect guy. We didn't want a guy who loves flight sims, we wanted a guy who loves strategy games.

And what Kevin did was build an entire campaign system around the basic five circles doctrine. That is basically the political structure, the infrastructure, moral, your army and air force and all these assets. And he built a complete strategy war game, on par with the best you find from SSI or any of the other classic war games by Avalon Hill.

And that is what generates all the things in the war. We generate physical analysis of outcomes of different kinds of units. We actually have a tool.. say, take all these F16s and MiG 29s, and put them in statistically, what would be the results. And he feeds those datapoints back into the campaign. And the campaign runs the complete war. So that is number one. He writes the ground war, then figures out how the air force would support that ground war. Then he figures out what are the things you would do in an air war to counter a ground war. So he builds that up in layers. And then he bridges that with the simulation.

On the simulation team we have these two terms: aggregated units, and de-aggregated units. Aggregated units are Kevin's problems (laughs); de-aggregated units are the sim players problem. So, you're flying along and you will see a label out there in the distance, and then it will jump a few pixels. When it's jumping it's probably de-aggregating into multiple vehicles, depending on the vehicle type, it will hand off between Kevins units and the sim units.

But what is cool about the ground war is that it is running as long as you are in the game. Unless you turn off time. So the moment you get in and click on campaign and the UI comes up, the war is running. And it's running even as the game is loading a particular mission. You can be sitting there in the load screen and you'll hear an explosion, because your base just got bombed. And you're tossed back out to the interface, and the UI will ask you to choose another mission because your airplane was just destroyed on the runway as you were waiting to fly.

It's the most amazing thing. Time matters in this game, because it was written as a strategy based ground war first, the air war second, and the simulation as a layer on top of that.


And this is the first military simulation on the PC with a full blown ground war integrated with the air war, and both running dynamically in real time.

GL: Yes. Now people will look at the ground war and see some of the flaws, because we had to do trade-offs. For example the ground war doesn't do collision detection, so you may see a tank drive through another tank. But if we had to do collision detection on 100,000 vehicles it would bring your computer to it's knees. You would need a Cray just to run the campaign.

The other thing we gave up was specular lighting. It took too much processing power, so we fake it. We did that because we want Kevin's campaign - outside of the flight dynamics of the aircraft - is the most important thread. And he wrote it on a separate thread than the rest of the game. So when I say you can run this on NT 5 beta 2, you are actually getting the campaign on a separate thread. And that thread will run under NT on another processor. So you can get a 20-30% increase in performance on that system.

Wow, sounds like the basis for some incredible expandability.

GL: Oh yeah! I'm sure when this game comes out that .. on combatsim.com, in the bugs and the features column.. you'll have to keep adding more pages. There is so much in this campaign, so many combinations and permutations of different events, that we just can't track them all. And we believe we caught most of them. But there will be idiosyncrasies and things that people bring up, and our job now is to be as responsive to our customers as we possibly can.

With a game of this complexity that's to be expected, so all we can ask of you guys is that you deal with the issues that come up. The responsiveness of yourself and your team so far is as good as we've seen.

GL: It's funny. We've had a lot of calls about the testing process. The way we used to do it is play the campaign a hundred or a thousand times and then you kill all the bugs. Then you just keep doing this until there are no more bugs.


The problem with Falcon is that to win the campaign you have to fly one successful mission every hour (sim hours). A short war to win will take you six days. A typical war will take you twenty to forty days. So, if the human player actually played the whole game, that's 24 times forty, at an average an hour a mission, that's how long it will take you to complete one campaign. So it was not humanly possible to test out all the combinations. We did statistical analysis in order to test the different components and we had a couple of guys run through the entire war, but it's just not possible to test under the old methodology here.

With that awareness of how long a campaign plays out, we want to make an official announcement that combatsim.com will move into the pizza and coke delivery business wherever Falcon4 is sold…

GL: (laughs) and my Engineers say, "We need some sleep, cause as soon as the game comes out you're not gonna let us go anywhere…"

Gilman, you've kept close tabs on our forum, so what are your current priorities for enhancements?

GL: First is to ensure that any instability in the game is dealt with. Because this is a multi-threaded game, issues of stability will be because of the thread manager. So we're very aware of what those issues are and every rev will make the game more stable.

Ground War

Shots from the ground war.

GL: Issue number two is multiplayer. It's pretty good on the shipping product but not to the point where I would like it to be. So over the next forty five days, every edition will improve multiplayer. We're doing things like compressing packets better, better smoothing algorithm and so on , and we'll put lots of energy behind multiplayer and multiplayer features that people want.

And the third part will be the campaign. Anything that involves improving the campaign, AI improvements, and features that people want.

The most requested improvement at the moment is the high res cockpits, and multiplayer is our big priority.

Another one we are hearing a lot is the whole clouds and weather and wind thing. Will we see cloud layers half way through '99?

GL: The cloud debate in this company is probably the most furious debate among the graphics guys. There's about a dozen different ways to do volumetric clouds, and what I said was… in fact, some of our test suites actually have volumetric clouds, but it's a bit slow.

So what I told the guys to do on the first rev of the game was, "Look, I want volumetric clouds as much as you guys. But.. I want the clouds to have a tactical effect in the world, both in how the AI uses the clouds, and how it effects weapon types…you know, firing heaters through the clouds.. being able to use the environment as part of the context of the game. That was the highest priority.


So what we have is the flat layer thin clouds with about a couple hundred feet of fogging effects on either side of that. But you can still shoot and fly directly through the holes in the clouds, and shoot it clean. And that works very nice, because you can actually spot a plane zipping out underneath the cloud layer through one of the holes, and zip through it and get a missile lock and fire on him as he's going through the hole. Whereas once the bank is between you you won't be able to lock on that target. There are some cool things like that.

Volumetric stuff, we'll have a team messing around with the clouds, and that will be a feature that will probably come up in the summer when I believe that we will have machines fast enough to really support it.


GL: The problem with too many of our end users is that they turn everything on max. And then they complain that the game is only running at 2 frames per second!

Too true. The positive part is that the survey we did showed the average system was a PII 300.

GL: Absolutely. The current weather has the following things: there is a wind pattern and the clouds will move, there is wind in the world, there is a contrail layer in the world. And all that affects the game. If you're up there in the skies the enemy planes spot you at fifteen miles, but if you're down in the dirt they have a very small eyeball range because you get lost in the ground clutter.

Ah, that's why my HUD is drifting all the time! I thought it was my F22 Pro acting up again!

GL: (laughs) Yeah, your Tm stuff shouldn't drift. We wrote code to take out the spikes!

Back to multiplayer for a second, when is the planned release of the server module?

GL: Undetermined as of yet. We're in the design phase. We have to do a costing analysis also. But it's one of the priorities, and it will take a lot of work to do right. Stay tuned. As soon as the design plan is finished we'll get you more information.

What is the current priority for add-on aircraft?

F18 and MiG 29

GL: The MiG 29 and the F18. MiG 29 we're looking at having both the SMT, kind of the F15 variant that has the FastPack gas so it has more range, it has all the avionics, MFDs, vs the old A model. And with that pack we'll also do the A model, so you can fly either a NATO (German) MiG 29 or the Soviet block MiG 29.

When I talked to Tom Nichols a few months back he talked about naval AI expansion along with the MiG 29 game, can you tell us more about that?

GL: We were looking at that, but we're going to reserve that for the Bosnia affair, and we might do a navalized version. But that will probably be a patch that ends up in our F18 game.

What's your guess on schedule for MiG 29?

GL: Under a year, hopefully much shorter but it depends on how we have to allocate resources to support Falcon 4, and any features we add for Falcon 4. We'd like it out before Christmas.

Is F18 concurrent in development with MiG 29?

GL: The Falcon team will split up into two teams: one team will do MiG 29 and one team will do F18. F18 will follow MiG 29, maybe come out three months later.

F18 will be very cool, it will be the Taiwan scenario. It takes place four years from now where the Chinese have been building up a bunch of Su 27s and there is a conflict over Taiwan. Taiwan flies F16s and the US Navy will be heavily involved, maybe even Australia will be involved, both of them fly F18s.



Are we going to see full scale carrier ops with F18?

GL: Yes. And we want to make sure that the carrier stuff is done right.

Would you do the two seat naval version?

GL: Possibly. We're in discussions right now. A lot depends on what data we get. I don't like doing games unless I have solid data on the aircraft. Real data, real pilots, preferably somebody who has been in that aircraft, who continually flies the aircraft so we can check and make sure the declassified stuff is right.

GL: It was really funny because we have a great deal of respect for the Su27 guys. In fact the president of Mindscape is a very good friend of mine who used to work for the Maxwells, who was basically the person responsible for buying my company a long time ago so that we could do the original Falcon. And you know, we laugh and we kid and talk a lot about Falcon and Su27. And it's always interesting to watch the debates online about who is the best.

But the guys on Falcon felt like, "Gee you know, we make very realistic flight models and we never get any credit for that. So they made an extra effort to make sure that all the flight model curves fit all the flight model curves of the declassified data we have for the F16.

And then they gave me a list of stuff!I thought when I was going up for the check ride that I was going to have some fun, but you know my workload was so heavy... I had to do all these things for the programmers. I had to see how fast the accelerations were, take a look at the flight performance curves, the deceleration curves, look at the rudder impact. Poor Pete was going, "God! I take you up for this great ride and all you're doing in the back of the plane is working!" (laughs)

Let's talk about the weapons systems. Any surprises there for us?

GL: Surprises, no, but we've made a great effort to model the systems and tactics realistically. And you won't see any nukes because that would have too strong an effect on the campaign.

But in terms of general issues we also took great care to model the workload accurately. We wanted to model the workload of the pilot in the real F16.

For example, if you try to launch a Maverick in realistic settings you will spend most of your time looking down in your cockpit. And it will require you to spend a lot of time practicing so that you can use it in the campaign. The same with the LGB. Especially when there are MiGs and the whole world trying to stop you from hitting your target!

What online capabilities does F4 offer the guy with the normal 28.8 connection?

MiG 19

GL : Dogfight will be straightforward. He can go in there with three or four players with no trouble. He will have a problem in campaign, and that's the thing we want to work on with the patches, F4 requires a lot of bandwidth for the campaign. If he gets two player up he'll be lucky in the current version, without having ISDN or some kind of LAN.

But my goal over the next thirty days is to solve that problem so that people can play 2 to 4 players in campaign. Not making any promises right now but I think we have a good hold on what we need to get done. But there are so many entities going back and forth in the world, and we have to tune that.

Will that include kali?

GL: No, because we don't support IPX. But we have a team and all they are doing is multiplayer, so you will see leaps of improvement over the next sixty to ninety days.

Has F4 been tried with Roger Wilco or Battlefield Communicator for online voice?

GL: No, we ran out of testing time.

Tell us about the online war as it relates to joining and leaving. Is there still transparent joining and leaving of players in the war?

GL: Yes, if you come in you beam into an AI. And when you leave the AI takes over. We did implement a kind of invulnerability shield as you were beaming in so that people couldn't shoot you, before you have fully arrived in the world. But we want to do a bit of work on this, we may put a bit of a force field around you so that everybody knows that's what's happening. But the debate has been that with this approach everybody knows where to look for the new guys! (laughs) So.. we will test out the social problem here first.

On our forum you wrote that "campaign actions are different than instant action or tactical engagement sorties in which AI pilots never bug out." I assume that that means that AI pilots in short tactical engagements that we create with the TE module have more limited AI abilities. Does that also refer to mini campaigns created with Tactical Engagement?

GL: A couple of things. What you don't get access to in Tactical Engagement is some of Kevin's more sophisticated AI stuff, particularly on the ground. The tool is very hard to use that he uses to create the world. You can tell.. for example, two army units to run and take that city over there, and they will go off and do that. But they won't have the same sort of options that the dynamic generating unit in the campaign has access to.

So it doesn't understand the multiple strategic values of things other than what the player applies to it. There is no overarching doctrine for them to follow other than "you go here and take that." So Tactical Engagement will be relatively simplistic.. from OUR point of view. The average user will say, "wow, this is better than anything else out there in the market place." But what you won't get is the level of sophistication of 100,000 lines of code that is behind the war.

Ground War

Shots from the ground war.

At the AI level, Tactical Engagement which is multiple missions uses the same AI for the aircraft. If you do sorties, which is to design a single mission, then the AI "bug-out" code is turned off, because what a lot of players wanted to do is create a MiG 29 with guns only up against an F16. Well the AI in the campaign would go, "I've only got a gun, there is an F16 with a radar lock on me, I'm outa here!" The problem with that in the sortie design missions is that everyone would complain there is a bug in the game.

So what we did in sortie is say, "You never bug out til you die, or til you kill the enemy." We put that into the brain. It's kind of funny, even in dogfight… multiplayer dogfight or single player dogfight… and have like fifty planes in the air at one time. And make them guns only. So you hear these calls… "I'm outa here," or "RTB," that's the AI pilot wanting to go home. But the code says, "No, you can't go home," so the pilots stay in the fight. It's fun to watch in action view.

That reminds me, will we hear radio calls in action view?

GL: Yes, you'll hear the same calls you'll hear in the real aircraft. We also do distance cuing on the radio calls. So the farther away the call is from you, it will degrade in quality. This is pretty important when you hear fifty radio calls and you can't tell which one is talking to you because everyone is at the same volume level.

Yeh I've heard that. Excellent! All this contributes very nicely to situational awareness. One of the strengths of F4 is that this kind of attention to detail contributes to immersion.. the sense that you are in a real physical world.

GL: Yes. It's a very big product. And again, one of those things we said online…. I know there will be issues with this product, and that's one of the reasons we did the binders. We kept saying to ourselves, "Our most loyal fans are the ones who run out and buy the first version. But the first version is always, despite your best work, has the most issues.

So the marketing department and the development were sitting around and saying, "Can't we create a situation where we reward people for buying the first version?" And that's where the binder concept came out. Let's give them a binder, just like the real air force has, in which people can hot sheet in a new sheet, and they can download changes and additions. It's a cool feature, expensive for us to do, but it's our way of rewarding those who buy early. That led to a 200,000 run on the binders.

A very cool idea. Wouldn't be surprised to see it copied. Then again, if it's very expensive maybe not! But awesome idea for the loyal fans to be sure, to actually have an upgradeable manual. These guys are in for the long haul and I'm sure this is going to be greatly appreciated.

Kind of interesting, as I read the wish lists in our forum I find myself smiling. Many of the atmospheric type features people are asking for are already in F4, we just haven't had time to mention them all.

GL: I know! It's really satisfying to the engineers. They go, "Aha! I already got that!"

heheh! Thanks for your time Gilman. Are there any final comments you would like to make?

GL: Two things I'd like to say. One, players can go to combatsim.com as well as Falcon4.com. Falcon4.com will grow and will be a fully supported site. It's not set up so much for marketing as support and for people who need more information.

But they can get just as much information on your site because combatsim.com is one of the sites that we are going to fully support. We want to get people into places where we can get them all the information. Combatsim.com is the unofficial Falcon4 site, and falcon4.com will be the place for instructional information and patches.

Pete Bonnani writes a lot of columns, and other F16 pilots will contribute columns on Falcon4.com as well. This information will be interesting but also very useful to get the most out of Falcon 4, especially for campaign type missions.

The last thing is, I hope the users will be patient with us, it's a huge product, and we're going to be as responsive as humanly possible.

Yeah, I appreciate that. You guys have set a new standard for support, and Pete's writing is excellent. I've read the first piece and it's helpful. All the best, look forward to the growth of the F4 world.

Falcon 4.0 is produced by Gilman Louie and Steve Blackenship.

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