The Teamplay Mode As many people know, the team behind Airfix Dogfighter intended to give the game several modes, like the ordinary single player dogfight mode, but also a teamplay mode. Unfortunately the programming of the teamplay mode never was completed by the day the game was supposed to be launched, and this option was dismissed from game in the very last minute. Too bad for all Dogfighter fans. But there are still a few leftovers from this mode, now hidden in the game's darker regions, which after some research and a lot of trial and error, can still be dragged out in the daylight, letting us at least have a scent of a teamplay fight. It's possible to load the teamplay mode, even if we have to face some dysfunctions. I would like to present here what I have found to be the limits and the possibilities, and try to explain how a game can be set up. Further, I would like to add some suggestions on how to play to as fairer game as possible when playing with a team mission map, just to minimise the necessity of chatting a couple of miles prior to fighting.
How to set up and load Teamplay
To run a server (host) for a teamplay game, you first have to change the user.ini file and the line saying:
sets dogfight_teamplay "false"
. You will find this file in the directory where you installed the game. Don't forget to save the change! If you don't find this line: add and save it manually by typing it in, or just cut and paste the line in blue
( sets dogfight_teamplay "true" )
. The game will be set for the game mode
"Allies vs Axis"
. Be careful not to change any other settings at this point! You then start game like you normally would for a multiplayer game.
Now you are ready to try a teamplay, which includes the recognition of team mates and disabling of the autolocking feature of the sight of them and the friendly units. They will be shown in green on radar and vapour trails as well as a greenish surrounding light. Guns (AI's) of whatever kind on your side will be inactive when you are nearby. And remember: it's just the one who runs the game that has to do
the arrangements. The teamplay should load automatically for everyone who joins a teamplay game.
To recognise if the teamplay status of your game is
, and has been properly loaded, you will be notified by the text appearing when you spawn: Normally the spawning line goes-
"xxx joined the game"
, but if teamplay works it would rather say-
"xxx joined the allied/axis forces"
. If the teamplay hasn't loaded, in spite of you just entered the teamplay "true" in your ini file, you have to cancel game, go back check and maybe change the teamplay status once again, then restart the game. Be aware that any change in the multiplayer options settings will automatically set the status to false. For example: if you change the max number of players or time limit you would then have to cancel game and check the teamplay status and start again. A time limit could be nice to have though when you want to use a mission map for instance, but then you will have to follow the procedure of cancel game after entering the time, and go back to the ini file again. This may sound complicated, but if you know it, then it shouldn't be a problem really. Just some more time spent waiting for game to reload.
One drawback is that after some time, or right from the start, your teammate will not see you as a green dot on radar, and his sight seems to lock (showing red) on you. Don't panic, it still works! The friend still can't hit you by mistake since it's just a visual problem. The friend will soon find out that besides the red locking sight, there is a white hairline sight besides the red, and that is what the guns will be shooting for. And even if he doesn't get a white hairline, the guns will shoot straight as if there was.
Another problem I have found is that the text appearing in game when you either spawn or make a special pickup, is that it will
be visible for the person who runs the server. No big deal maybe, but since at least I had the idea that those pickups could be used as indicators to some mission goals, start, finish, capture the flag etc, it means that this feature can't be used as such.
Creating a Teamplay map
I have found a way to set any gun, plane, boat, truck, search light (AI's) to be recognised as either allied, axis or neutral, and it's very easy to set if they will be active or not in the editor when you use the cheat code "extra". To get an allied address for an AI: put in the number '1' in the field for "Team" in the settings window after using "extra", and to get an axis address for it you go for a '3'. Neutral is set by '0', as in default. To get an AI to be inactive, just uncheck the box of 'AI state'. What I have not yet found is a way to get the start positions to spawn either allies or axis only. This is a real petty, since it limits the possibility of having different teams spawning in predefined rooms or zones.
When you have the AI's inactive, you can put in quite a large number without causing too much lag, making them perfect mission objectives as ground units. If you choose to use active AI's, remember that it will cause a lot of lag if not all participants have fast connections. Use with temperance.. If you want to make maps intended for 4 players or more, then try to keep even furniture at a minimum for same reasons. A real shame it is, but the minimalistic approach rules in this game, due to the often heavy lag problems this game has a tendency to suffer from.
Different ways of playing a Teamplay game
As I see it, there are several ways of playing a game with the teamplay feature: Either you can go for a simple team match with whatever map you like, and fight the allies or axis planes as you would in a normal multiplayer, with the exception that you can have team mates to help you fight the enemies. Very straightforward and fun! Or, you can load, or make a special teamplay map with airfields or bases for the different teams, and fly on a mission campaign to wipe out all the enemy units. This at the same time as defending your own territory. First team to take out all units wins. A little trickier to set up, but very rewarding. A nice thing with this type of fighting is that it's enough with two players to keep it going and still fun.
Another way of using the team mode is to use planes from the same side, but still fight each other. The effect is very stunning since you will have a VERY hard time hitting the opponents due to the disabled autolocking sight. So, I can promise it will take some time before you can get any plane grounded. You could for instance go for a map without any repairs and have a kind of 'Deathmatch'. I definitely recommend you to try this one.
Suggested rules for missions
I will here present some ideas and suggestions on how to play a mission in teams with mission maps to get you started. To play a mission fight well, you have to be even number of players. You have to arrange what planes to use, and I hope that everyone understands that when you choose planes with the same capability, the better the game will be. So for a start and ease of getting started I have suggested that the allied side goes for Spitfires (or N. American P-51's), and the axis for Messerschmitt BF109's. But you can try out a combination of different planes on your own, like a fighter plane and a bomber for the team, as long as they are about the same in effectiveness as the other side. Remember, friendly units will be green dots on radar, and enemies red, no matter what team you belong to. If you use a time limit, let the reload always be the signal to line up in the start positions for the different teams respectively. Go direct to these positions.
The main idea is to destroy a number of enemy units or base while you try to keep your own intact. If you use a time limit, let the reload always be the signal to line up in the start positions or base for the different teams respectively for a new game, and then wait for everybody else to do the same. However, find your way to these positions
making any pickups on the way. When you're all ready signal "Go" on each side to start the fight. This is a very critical step, since timing of the start is crucial to even play. One second delay of start probably means you will miss picking up the good stuff like weapons, tech stars etc and your opponent will be loaded to the teeth..
When you have wiped out all enemy units, return to start position and land. To indicate this last event you must let the enemy know it by typing 'I win' or similar. Since this type of game includes destruction of objects, you want the game to start from the top when finished. To make this possible without everyone having to reconnect after a restart, I suggest that you enter a time limit. If you do, the game will automatically reload when time is out, and everyone will still be in game. Then everyone spawns from a start position again by hitting 'enter', then 'space'. You have to work out a proper time for the map you want to use, and for the number of players to take part. As a start you could try something like 12 min.
As a variation from normal playing, I find the teamplay option getting the game a chance to include tactics and cooperation which makes playing a new and different challenge, and of course a lot of fun. If you furthermore go for a mission and a time limit, it gets even better..
Any thoughts about this, feel free to share them!
Enjoy the team spirit:)
Minor editing by Matt
here to download this document as a Word 2000 file.
Last modified: September 13 2016 09:37
©Matt Fletcher 2001-2005