Thursday, 3 January 2013

What ever happened to immersion?

As you may know my interest is primarily in WW2 simulations, modding and film making, you name it and I probably have it somewhere in my collection. One might expect to have yesterday's games gathering dust on the shelves having been replaced by newer shinier offerings but my experience is the exact opposite.Looking at the games on my shelves it is the more recent titles that have failed to deliver any lasting appeal whilst previous incarnations still reside on my hard disks.

Things have certainly changed, the trend in recent years seems to be to produce more eye-candy at the expense of long-term appeal and worst still, historically inaccurate, unfinished "abandonware" type games. There was a time before the internet when everyone was a single-player, or in today's terminology, an offline player. The better games had dynamic campaigns, more atmospheric interfaces and, as a result, infinitely more immersion but things have changed. The modern assumption amongst game/simulation developers seems to be that there's no need to include anything other than a handful of, (sometimes poorly) scripted missions and state-of-the-art graphics which, once played, leave one with a hollow, dispassionate, detached feeling and, worse still, if one is interested in online gaming, they sometime fail to include an online option at all! .So in such cases one is expected to play it and throw it away unless one can find or develop mods to breath a bit of life back into it.

Maybe I'm just out of step with time and we all live in a "give me a bright and shiny throw away toy to play with for a week" society but I firmly believe that, especially within the single-player/offline WW2 gaming/simulations community, containing many of the same age-group as myself, there are many who share my view that newer isn't, in the vast majority of cases, better and that flashy graphics and online game play doesn't guarantee a more enjoyable gaming experience. Personally I have never really enjoyed online gaming, not to say that others don't enjoy it and that's fine and dandy. For me gaming is all about "escapism", "immersion" call it what you like, something to take one's mind off the mundane realities of life for a while and feeling a part of something and not a disjointed, disconnected, sterile and quite frankly, disappointing experience which seems to be my experience of the most recent generation of games.

With the above firmly in mind, maybe it is time that "I hung up my boots" so as to speak as my interest in the genre has diminished to such an extent that it has long since ceased to provide believable satisfying entertainment.




Thursday, 20 December 2012

Thank you to all the folks at SubSim

Hi folks,

Something very nice and totally un-expected happened yesterday. The kind folks at SubSim awarded my "Super Turms/Super Pens" mod a "Best of SubSim 2012" award. For those of you that don''t know SubSim, it is "the" place to go for Submarine Simulations information and mods. I joined back in 2005 after buying Silent Hunter III and I visit there frequently. It is a very friendly, knowledgeble and helpful website and there are many there that have greatly encouraged me and supported me in producing my mods for SH3. I'm delighted and proud to be honoured in this way and would like to thank all my fellow SubSim members and Staff of SubSim, "thanks guys and gals"  and wish everyone a very Happy and Peaceful Christmas Season.

Adventures with DirectX Shaders.

Over the last few days I've been experimenting with using a program called SweetFX which some of you may be familiar with and the "SweetFX Configurator" to "tweak" some settings in some of my favourite simulations, some example pictures below". You can download the program from this link and I have so far produced presets for Steel Fury and BoB2 - Wings of Victory which you can download from my Mediafire page.

Wings Of Victory (Battle of Britain 2)
Silent Hunter 5
Steel Fury

Wishing everyone a very Happy and Peaceful Christmas and New Year.

Kind regards


Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Now for something completely different...

As Monty Python would have said. Well not completely different but maybe sufficiently different.

I have a "guilty secret" weakness for SciFi type games. Years ago I enjoyed the Wing Commander series and I recently learned that a group of fans have created a free game called "Wing Commander Saga: The Darkest Dawn". Apparently the game has taken 10 years to make and has had more than 50,000 downloads.

Check out their website: for details and there are trailers such as this on YouTube:

Just  goes to show what fans/modders can achieve.

Much Kudos to all involved!.


Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Aces' Artwork YouTube Channel and Blog Updates etc..

Hi folks,

I spent a bit of time yesterday giving my YouTube Channel a new "lick of paint" to spruce it up a bit and I've also been working a little on the design of this blog. I've also added an RSS feed link to all of my mods on Mediafire which is intended to provide and aid for folks to keep up to date with my latest mods and back catalogue of mods which, incidentally, include the final version my old IL2-MAT Manager aircraft markings program as well as my old Pilot Skins both of which are for the IL-2 Sturmovik series games.

Unfortunately my extremely short of state-of-the-art PC is getting rather old and has recently developed a frustrating habit of shutting itself off when I do anything CPU-intensive, sadly that's mostly modding, mod testing, movie-making etc.. It's probably a cooling problem but lack of funds right now and the fast approaching Christmas season prevents me from doing any computer upgrades right now so I've been forced to put my modding and movie-making activities on hold for a while.

Kind regard Aces

Monday, 19 November 2012

Adventures in 3D (Version 3)

I've been experimenting over the weekend with 3D video. I produced a new "Short 'n Fast" version of my Modding Showreel video in 3D. You will require red/cyan(blue) 3D glasses to see the effect and also select "HD" in the player options for best effect. I'm going to continue to experiment with this. You can of course turn off 3D and view the video in 2D if you wish. Actually I wear reading glasses for VDU work and the paper 3D glasses that I have don't work very well with them, they don't sit right so I've ordered up some "clip on" red/cyan glasses so that I have the best of both worlds I hope. At the moment for me it's either 2D sharp focus, 3D blurred focus or pseudo-3D sharp"ish" focus :) NB. This is a first test, I need to refine my technique somewhat. I used a script for AVISynth to convert 2D video into 3D video and then VirtualDub to convert the output for the final video.

NEW - Version 2 uploaded.
Select "side by side" in 3D settings and 720p HD resolution.

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Making of the Jagdtiger Mantlet

So, my first post in here. And i decided to show how i did the mantlet on the Jagdtiger i made for Steel Fury a few years ago. I decided to rework it a bit with a new mantlet etc.

And the pictures:

 Maybe this can be confusing but as it is a rework half the mantlet was already finished.

Here i have applied MSmooth on the vertices at the back and also applied FFD 3x3x3

And a front view of it!

 And this is the result after i am done with the FFD and smoothed.

Up to this point i didnt care about the symmetry for left and right half, And i was most happy with the left half so i sliced it and removed the right one.

And here i applied a symmetry modifier on the left part and weld them together.

Attached the cylinder at the front i removed earlier and also attached the hookpoint thingy.

And this is the end result of the mantlet on the Jagdtiger!

Monday, 29 October 2012

A little more about my mods (past and present)

My most recent modding showreel featuring some of my latest mods and also my un-finished movie "Alte Nachrichten" (Old News) on my Youtube channel

Mods shown in the latest showreel include MAT Manager for IL-2 Sturmovik, my Multi-skin bombers for Battle of Britain II Wings Of Victory, Super Turms v6, Super Pens v5.1 (St. Nazaire) and Crew on Deck mods for Silent Hunter III. Sdk.Fz. 251 re-model and multi-skins mod, Radio Kubelwagon mod and German Infantry uniforms and equipment mods for Steel Fury.

My un-finished movie (60 mins) feature scenes captured from many WW2 simulation games and is set in the theme of a German wartime "Deutsche Wochenschau" newsreel. I spent more than two years making the movie and I have just recently re-started work on the movie aften a three and a half year break with a view to finishing it sometime next year. 


More mod videos on my YouTube channel

Welcome to Modders United

Welcome to the Modders United Blog. for those with an interest in modding WW2 military simulations, 2D artists, 3D modellers, coders, amateur historians whatever your interest ALL are most welcome.

We also have a group on Skype, if you are interested in joining us and sharing ideas and chat with others with a like interest then please send me a contact request on Skype to "aceshigh123". Once you have joined you might also be interested in authoring "rights" to this blog and showcase your work and exchange tips and information with others.