HRCodWar - History

But... how did we get here?, what is the history of HRCodWar?

This section lacks of practical utility and is (and must be) only written as a way of saying thanks to all those comrades who participated in the project and who have sacrificed leisure (and often family) time, to make this project successful. Actually I don't remember the dates and it doesn't matter anyway, but if I remember correctly it was as I write below.

The know by all fiasco of CloD's launch didn't let us analize all the posibilities that his simulator had, mostly when it was impossible to fly for 10 continued minutes. It needed several patches until the famous "launcher" error was solved and allowed to study the incredible potential sleeping behind its numerous bugs.

During this time very few pilots from this squad where flying this simulator, among them one specially disturbed guy called HR_Naglfar. This man, very tedious by the way, insisted on making us fly CloD, something unthinkable when he was getting (at most) 12 fps. After those famous "Los Jueves al CoD" ("CoD's Thursdays") I must admit that I "discovered" this simulator, as in that time his bad reputation, the numerous bugs and the life in general didn't make you feel like investing too much hours to discover it, so sincerely I believe that if not for Nag I don't think that we would have get until here.

After checking the virtues of the simulator (hidden behind the launcher errors) such as complex engine management, aerodynamics, armament, etc..., I inquired more on its mission editor and it was then wen we hit the tip of the iceberg. I don't know how far in the development is C Sharp involved (which was unknown for me until that moment) and who took the desition of using it, but choosing to integrate an API in dlls to access and manipulate objects from the simulator in a desktop programming language accessible by anyone... it was, the less, a genius idea, the feature necessary for the community to keep cooperating as they did with its predecessor, IL2.

A lot of us suspect that being just a "simple" simulator wasn't the destiny of CloD, and having C# running behind and accessing in real time to the mission objects reasserted the suspicions. Its destiny was probably going to be something similar to "Battleground Europe"... but we all know how the story ended, so let's continue with the development.

What where truly the possibilities that CloD was offering?

At the end of 2011 an early approach of a dynamic campaign was developed. All was readed from a database (mysql) and any change was updated in real time, like HRCodWar later, it had a web interface where you could see the ground toops movements and modify their route in real time. Imagine just for a second, the infinite possibilities of this. Sadly, we had to face the reality that chase this simulator until today, it is an unfinished product. The vehicles couldn't cross the rivers, they walk above them like the messiah, they sank in the river like rocks or simply didn't cross at all the bridges. Our hopes where dashed, and just like this that development waited asleep until today, waiting for a patch that never came solving the ground units problem.

Months passed, we are in October 2012, and the long expected patch solving the "launcher" error finally came. Luthier was promising to focus exclusively on the next scenario, so longed for us, again to the eastern front, Moscow.
Yay!, it would be the same engine, the same simulator, why not resume the development idea and think in a SEOW system in real time? ... but the last official patch didn't solve the broken bridges, so the idea was definitely abandoned.
However, the improvement in performance and in general did make us enjoy so much more the simulator and we ended up memorizing the missions of the famous ATAG server (as I'm sure did the rest of the squads).

We lived happy days, we had the hope to reactivate our squad activity (impaired by real life) thanks to the better performance and most of all the stability of the sim, until suddenly... it happened.

The end... or the beggining of a new hope.

The announcement from 777 of buying and closing 1C's CloD developer studio to take out his opponent in the launching of his "Battle of Stalingrad" is known by all. We could debate this point for as long as we want but the truth is it is already history. Our squad was divided by the sadness of seeing the IL2 saga coming to an end and the joy of a new and more real hope of going back home, to the Eastern Front.

The thing was, as much stable as was CloD and as much possibilities as it was offering us... what was the point of losing hours now in an agonizing sim?, we could only keep "killing" time on ATAG until BoS launching.

We are at the beggining of 2013 and the ATAG's workgroup called Team Fusion make his announcement of keep on the development of CloD. Their first update didn't take long and is really good. The things where heating up again.

Months passed and Snafu make his appareance on the scene. Although it was already known by HR_Pingu we ignore it completely :), and it was by that time when HR_BarriPower tired of flying again and again in ATAG decide to take this campaign seriously. At the same time, our tireless HR_Ootoito detects possible improvements on the system, exposing them to the Politburo to get help from some comrades to colaborate with him, as usual.

On the other hand, HR_BarriPower and HR_Colibri are quick to open contacts with other squads to test the new Snafu system, and so the members of Alas de Acero, SG1 and E69 decided to join up and fly the new campaign system with very satisfactory results. It was then when we happily realize that there where many other pilots on the spanish scene that still where flying CloD.

So, why not?

The system made by Snafu was good, but week after week we discover and fix new failures and improvement possibilities, where shuch the expectations that we reached an inflection point. Being able to employ our little free time in programming something of our own that where truly dynamic, were we going to keep losing time enlarging this system?, the answer was obvious.

But the return home was on the horizon and we didn't want to employ more time than the necessary in developing a dynamic campaign for a sim which we weren't very sure that we would keep flying. So we try to simplify its mechanics as much as we could, and we force ourselves not to use a database, at least in a traditional way. It was here when the experience with Lowengrin did make us watch the possibility to save the campaign situation on text files saving them in the server, serving as a database, without installation on web servers nor complex configuration... and fortunately, I think that we made it.

Of course, we had a lot of sources thanks to official 1C forum where scripters help in any way possible, also the use of some external library to handle json files made it a lot easier, saving us a lot of time not having to develop it from zero.

And so, HRCodWar started its development on April and after three months we believe that it has most of the features that this kind of dynamic campaign must have. Since then we have been testing and fixing bugs hoping that it will be ready for the great test that is to fly with other squads with a big number of pilots, we hope that it will be a success.

Our only motivation is to live again those brainy plans lived with the glorious SEOW system for the not less glorious IL2, the strategy and the combat stress, knowing that any thing you do or you do not counts, untill the last bullet.

We want to leave a reliable system, within our means, and leave it to the community, returning in a way, a very small part of everything that we've been taking from it over all this years, a legacy, a tribute to our loved IL2 Sturmovik saga.

And HRCodWar worked.

First days of august 2013, we announce the campaign on the spanish community forums, inviting everyone to try it and fly a test campaign to get used to the system. Our old acquaintances from Alas de Acero, Escuadrón 69, SG1 and some FAE members. Despite disputing it in the middle of august it has a very favorable reception and the first test is a success.

In september, after the holydays of most of the people, it is decided to launch a beta campaign as a final test, a campaign that even though it has a testing purpouse it gives us all those feelings and stress of an official campaign. Is a unique oportunity to implement the last features (despite leaving a lot of them for future updates) and fix some errors found. Finally, it seems that the campaign is stable and functional with almost 50 pilots flying, so we the Halcones Rojos think that we have achieved our target, moving to the internationalization of the campaign (which is finished if you are reading this in english ;)) and its final release.

So who is who in this crazy story?

And the time to say thanks has come.

We can't do this without remember and being infinitely grateful to Oleg Maddox as the visible head of the true origin of all this, to all his team even from the last period, from Ilya "Luthier" Shevchenko to the last programmer hired before the end, because without them, we couldn't even dream all of this, thanks for this saga and for thoushands of hours of fun!.

To HR_Ootoito, because without his concerns some people will still be fighting with the infantry in fields from Poland... and he knows what I mean, but as our Comrade Commisar HR_Slamelov said: "You get nothing crying on the corners".

To the infatigables of CloD who flew it in the dark times not letting it to be forgotten, keeping the little activity in the squad, HR_Colibrí, HR_Pingu, HR_Naglfar, HR_BarriPower and HR_Ootoito. Of course they were more, but these got the medals for being such a disturbed simmers.

To all those comrades that, even being very difficult, made the effort of report to the front when it was needed with Snadu, comrades like HR_Oso, HR_Vadder, HR_Mosca, HR_Stalin y HR_Gybaryan and please excuse me if someone is not mentioned.

To HR_Stalin for his marketing campaigns, the image of the creature and your work as Community Manager ;)

To HR_Colibrí, HR_Pingu, HR_Naglfar, HR_BarriPower, HR_Stalin, HR_Mosca, HR_Ootoito, HR_Oso, HR_Amilcar and HR_Grainovich for your patience and the lost of your free time testing every thursday.

To HR_Naglfar, HR_Vadder, HR_Oso, HR_Pingu, HR_Marvin, HR_Nen, HR_Starky y HR_ZunZun for translating to english all this mess. Without you and your hard effort, the rest of the community would never know about the campaign. Frequently, the most important work it's made in the shadow and nobody is aware, but we are, yes we are... thanks you comrades ;)

But most of all I want to thanks HR_BarriPower and HR_Colibrí because without them, this campaign would never saw the light of day, their work documenting, analyzing the units, objects, armament and most of all testing the program have been crucial to get here, you deserve a monument comrades! Thank you very much!

Again, I'm sorry if I forgot someone or something, making a section like this is always hard, specially without expending enough time.

Well... I think that we almost reach the finish, or the begining... so, enough of talking!, let's take shelter in the battle!

Halcones Rojos.