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Warbirds: An Interview

by "Phantom201," Warbirds "rowgue," AirWarrior "Fhntm."
A brief introduction is in order. I started flying Air Combat sims back in about 1986 on a Commodore64. My first game was F-15 StrikeEagle by Microprose, and soon I moved on to Microprose's F-19 Stealth-Fighter followed by Gunship2000.

Then came the day I purchased a "real" computer: a 386SX/16 w/4 meg RAM and a 40meg HD and started in on games like Birds of Prey, Falcon AT, Origin's Wing Commander series and Strike Commander. After many upgrades to the 386 (now a 486DX/100), I moved on to games like Jane's US Navy Fighters, ATF, Fighter's Anthology, Microprose's 1942 PAW, and LucasArt's Xwing.

Moving to Kali I've played DiD's F-22ADF, Jane's F-15, Graphic Simulations F/A-18 Korea, Novalogic's F-16/MiG-29 and Falcon4. After-burned out on jet sims, I moved on to props in Air Warrior 3 (AW3), after trying a free demo disk included on a PC gamer's mag.

I downloaded the complete Imagic Warbirds/Dawn of Aces and Air Warrior 3 games online for free, but later I purchased the "boxed" version of AW3 for the offline missions and mission editor. Finally, last Christmas I purchased WW2 Fighter's, but I freely admit I prefer Warbirds (WB) to any of these.

Test Machine:

  • PII 300 w/96meg RAM
  • 6.4gig HD
  • 56k-x2 modem
  • 8meg Voodoo2 3dfx/Nitro 3d video cards
  • MS Force Feedback joystick
  • Win95, DirectX 6.1

I have an online account with WB and AW3, both of them at the $9.95 a month plan. I maintain my AW3 account only because I belong to a squad that fears the $1.99 an hour structure in WB, even though they all like WB better than anything else. I fly mainly in the Air Combat Arena which is $0.00 an hour so I do not incur any added expense.

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Recently I was able to email Chris "--MO--" Sherland a few questions about Warbirds and where it is headed. These are his responses.

Q. -Mo-can you give us a brief BIO and some background on how you became involved with Warbirds?

A. I was invited to bring my squadron to the ICI beta of then "Confirmed Kill" in 1995. Early on I was simply a player and tester, lending my "humble" advice and pissing off PYRO J From there I made trainer in 1997 and trainer of the year that same season, then CM.

Shortly after Con '97 I was invited to take a position assisting PYRO with game management of WarBirds. I accepted and started with IMOL in February of '98. PYRO had been going at it for 3 solid years, and as WarBirds manager helped make this sim the best on the net. He eventually found a desire to move on and in his final weeks he tried to impart his wealth of experience to me. Since he has left I have been swamped with work and engaged in a very steep learning curve…but I love the work.

Q. Being in production must be very challenging, and I understand a move is in the works. How do you manage to find time to fly online?

A. I don't fly as much as I'd like. I do have a "secret" account that I fly when I don't want to be "online" as myself. But flying as "-MO-" is important to me, and I believe it's critical to my job. Without the player's point of view I feel that there is a danger of derailing a product so well supported by this community. I fly with my squad mostly, but I try to get into the main arena at least 3-4 times a week to answer questions, and then to kill as many customers as I can!

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Last Updated April 1st, 1999

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