Flight and dog - a questions thread

AstridRedfern

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I've been researching dog and flight recently, so that I can add information to the "SGI Dogfight" Wikipedia article and remove "Citation needed" tags. I've got quite a few questions to ask, and while I would like to start a separate thread for each of them, I'm worried that that might be seen as "spammy" - and might also crowd out other software questions.

So I've decided to start a unified thread, and add questions as I go - unless/until someone is able to advise on whether individual question threads would be OK.

1.) This thread post is mostly a "When/in which version were these planned features added?" post.

In 1994, Rob Mace posted in this thread (https://groups.google.com/g/comp.sys.sgi.misc/c/LadYR1qr_p8/m/9dHQUsp-G_kJ):

Flight/dog is not my main job. It is mostly a spare time project for me.
Where as I am always glad to hear feed back, I can't promise anything.
However, you will be seeing a few changes in the version that will be
coming with Irix 5.2. I have combined the two versions of flight that
had diverged between high end and low end graphics. Flight now decides
how to draw based on the graphics version that it is running on. In doing
this I have combined in a number of features that were in only one version
or the other. The radar program is also back for those of you that can
remember back to the 3000 days. I hope you enjoy it.
  • Did Irix 5.2 indeed ship with a new version that could decide whether to use the higher-end graphics or the more basic ones? Or did this end up having to be delayed/abandoned for any reason?
  • Where Rob states "In doing this I have combined in a number of features that were in only one version or the other." - does this mean that the F-14D and Boeing 727 became available on machines that pre-dated the GT/GTX/VGX? What other features might have been "combined in" like this?
  • Specifically, I know that the SAM threat cones had been modified in 1991/1992 so that SAMs actually WOULD BE fired at the plane. In Usenet posts on this, Gary Tarolli stated that he had only added this feature to the low-end version for PI (Personal Iris?) and Indigo. Was this feature made available for higher-end machines in the combined version?
  • What exactly was the "radar" program? Why/when was it removed?

2.) In an earlier thread from 1992 (https://groups.google.com/g/comp.sys.sgi/c/IBfMvDa-Xv8/m/nzve39V68QcJ) Mace mentioned that he was working on the "unified" version as mentioned above. He also mentioned other features that he hoped to add at some point - these being:

  • Computer-controlled enemy aircraft (thus allowing a single-player game of dog to be played.)
  • An option to use more realistic - but possibly less fun - weapons.
  • More landscape/scenery.
Were these features ever added?

In a later post in the same thread, Rob added:

I recently fixed a bug with viewing airshow files that make
them work correctly. The read of the file was not being time corrected
for the frame rate of the original recording verses the frame rate of the
viewer. With this fix it is now relatively easy to fly in formation with
recorded planes and it is much better practice for dogfighting. I also
added VCR type(fast forward, slow speed, reverse, pause) features to
shadow when using an airshow file. I am not sure what release this will
get into yet.
3.) In this thread:
Rob also said that he would "probably" add a stealth fighter to the set of available planes. Did he ever do this? Does anyone have a screenshot?
 
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AstridRedfern

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Next question:

From 1:53 on in this Youtube video we see that looks like the flight simulator - or at least a flight simulator - with a twin-engined fighter plane flying (slowly) through a texture-mapped canyon. It shows up a couple more times - 2:21, 3:26, 3:29.

Is this indeed flight? If it is, which of the twin-engine fighters is it? The F-14D, F-15 or F-18? I'm by no means an aviation buff, and they all look near-identical to me.

EDIT: According to the manpage, the F-15 model looked like an F-14 with its wings swept back. I think this means an F-14 in delta-wing mode. Since the F-15 was not a swing-wing plane and was not a delta-wing either, this would have been inaccurate. So the plane would probably have been either the F-14 or F-18.
 
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CiaoTime

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Jan 15, 2020
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Vancouver, BC, Canada
Next question:

From 1:53 on in this Youtube video we see that looks like the flight simulator - or at least a flight simulator - with a twin-engined fighter plane flying (slowly) through a texture-mapped canyon. It shows up a couple more times - 2:21, 3:26, 3:29.

Is this indeed flight? If it is, which of the twin-engine fighters is it? The F-14D, F-15 or F-18? I'm by no means an aviation buff, and they all look near-identical to me.

EDIT: According to the manpage, the F-15 model looked like an F-14 with its wings swept back. I think this means an F-14 in delta-wing mode. Since the F-15 was not a swing-wing plane and was not a delta-wing either, this would have been inaccurate. So the plane would probably have been either the F-14 or F-18.
'Eyo! Local aviation nerd here. I'm not currently in a position to load up a super old version of dog on my VGXT Crimson at the moment, that system's still kind of a nightmare to get running properly, but I can at least give you some anecdotal answers to some of your questions.

That youtube video you'd linked at the end there does not appear to be dog: to my knowledge, no version of dog for any system came with texture-mapped terrain like that. My guess is that it was just an in-house demo reel, or -maybe- an early project by an outfit like Paradigm Simulations, but 'plane running through random geometry' graphics tests were all the rage in the early 90's. Even the N64 development SDK had one! The aircraft in the video is definitely an F-14.

I need to do a reinstall on my I2 IMPACT anyway: when I do that, I can fire up the final version of dog on IRIX 6.5 to answer some of your earlier questions in full clarity, as opposed to running off of memory.
 

AstridRedfern

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Sep 20, 2022
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That youtube video you'd linked at the end there does not appear to be dog: to my knowledge, no version of dog for any system came with texture-mapped terrain like that.
I think dog actually did have such terrain in at least one version - and even if that's not dog I think it's using the same 3D model for the F-14.

Take a look at http://www.simulationfirst.com/ein5255/08_NetVR_Evolution.pdf - and in particular the second slide on the first page, showing either dog or flight. Note the green texture mapped hills, and the way they contrast with the flat-shading for the ground and distant purple hills.

Also - going back to the plane in the video - I'd draw your attention to the black tails and yellow stripes at the top of the tails. I'm pretty sure the F-14 in dog had tails like that with a skull+crossbones logo.

Finally, I *have* seen texture mapping in *dog*/*flight* mentioned before. Take a look at:


'plane running through random geometry' graphics tests were all the rage in the early 90's.
Ooh - now you've got me interested! Can you recommend any good videos of these on Youtube or similar?
(Especially if you know where I can find a vid of AHI's "Aviator" for the old SPARC workstations...)
(And I didn't know there was one for the N64 SDK.)

I need to do a reinstall on my I2 IMPACT anyway: when I do that, I can fire up the final version of dog on IRIX 6.5 to answer some of your earlier questions in full clarity, as opposed to running off of memory.
When you do that - would you be willing to take screenshots of some of the planes? I'd very much like to see what the Boeing 747 and the P-38 looked like.

Thanks!
 
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