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PostPosted: Wed Dec 12, 2007 5:10 pm 
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BDG
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Location: South East Texas, USA
The BDG (Battle of Britain Developers Group) and A2A's Relationship

You the customers of BOBII may have noticed the new text on some people’s post. You will see BDG or BDG & A2A. The differences are:

1. The BDG tells you that this person is not employed or has ever been paid by A2A. It also tells you that person is a member of the BDG Beta Testing Forum at A2A where the BDG works.
2. The BDG & A2A tells you that this person has received pay from A2A. This person is also a member of the Beta Test Forum.

The roles and responsibilities of the BDG and A2A are also clear.

1. A2A is a for profit business that sell Fight Simulation products including BOBII. A2A has many business interests other than BOBII.
2. The BDG is all volunteer freeware group that provides support, maintenance, new features, and fixes for BOBII. The BDG's only interest/focus is BOBII.

We want to keep it very clear that the BDG is doing your BOBII update work and the BDG is a all volunteer unpaid Freeware group.

However, the other key thing we want everyone to understand is that both A2A and the BDG still have much in common and it is not and never has been money. It is the Merlin Engine (the guts of BOBII).

The BDG and A2A will still share code. A2A gets my code for free, and the BDG will get some A2A code free. The newest example is the 2D Gauge System that was done at A2A's expense for Air Battles and provided to the BDG. Hopefully the BDG will improve the 2D gauge System and return some benefit to Merlin and A2A.

We now have a truly wonderful and integrated community. We want nothing to happen to that community. Both A2A and the BDG have super community relations and an excellent customer support track record. We want to continue to build on our wonderful and integrated community and continue with our excellent support.

The BDG does not want to move to a new forum location as it would end up hurting both the BDG and A2A and we would loose our community integration and Merlin focus.

Remember A2A will doing new games (which is happening now) in the future and will be adding many features, fixes, and capabilities to the base Merlin engine which may be a perfect fit for BOBII. The BDG of course would love to have these new Merlin features for BOBII.

It is the BDG current intent to remain here on the A2A forum and continue working on the Merlin Engine until A2A decides to build a new engine or use another base engine. When A2A gives up on the Merlin Engine then it will be the correct time for the BDG to move on, IMHO. At that time I will be the first to recommend that BDG move to another forum and stay focused on Merlin/BOBII for our loyal customers.

Right now the A2A and BDG relationship is still a very good marriage where both the BDG and A2A partners benefit significantly.

Although it is true that A2A has no direct responsibility for the quality or maintenance of the BOBII updates, the BDG does not see this as a significant problem. The Updates are free to our customers and the BDG supports the Update as best they can as we have for years.

BOBII is the best bargain in Flight Simulation History, IMHO.

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Last edited by Buddye on Sat Dec 20, 2008 12:53 pm, edited 6 times in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 12, 2007 5:39 pm 
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BDG
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Location: Bletchingley, Surrey, UK.
Buddye wrote:
It is the best bargain in Flight Simulation History, IMHO.


Absolutely.
Given the purely financial returns of the combat flightsim business, this is a great arrangement, and one that is alive and well.



One quick note for anyone that has not followed the BDG for the years that we've been around:
it is an abbreviation of Battle of Britain Developers Group.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 14, 2007 12:33 pm 
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Joined: Sat Oct 08, 2005 5:27 pm
Posts: 161
This type of dual co-operation can only make the great better. As far as a new or improved BOB that is sold or shared, I have no problem paying for such. Everyone wins. Personally I like paying for improvements as it helps keeps the wheels of progress going. Hats off to this community and supporters, my respect and thanks goes to all.


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 15, 2007 4:35 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jul 08, 2007 5:35 pm
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Buddye wrote:
The BDG and Shockwave will still share code. Shockwave gets my code for free, and the BDG will get some Shockwave code free. The newest example is the 2D Gauge System that was done at Shockwave expense for AB and provided to the BDG. Hopefully the BDG will improve the 2D gauge System and return some benefit to Merlin and Shockwave.


What is the "AB" that you reference above? Is this a new title in development by Shockwave?

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 16, 2007 6:32 pm 
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BDG
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Posts: 12314
Location: South East Texas, USA
Lepton wrote:
Buddye wrote:
The BDG and Shockwave will still share code. Shockwave gets my code for free, and the BDG will get some Shockwave code free. The newest example is the 2D Gauge System that was done at Shockwave expense for AB and provided to the BDG. Hopefully the BDG will improve the 2D gauge System and return some benefit to Merlin and Shockwave.


What is the "AB" that you reference above? Is this a new title in development by Shockwave?


Air Battles, a Novice or casual player budget game that is out on the market based on the Merlin engine.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 20, 2007 2:17 pm 
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Joined: Sat Nov 11, 2006 2:05 pm
Posts: 8
Location: New Jersey
Buddeye,

I want to compliment all participants of BDG and Shockwave on their attitude and relationship. You don't see this very much anymore in the modern world. I thank all of you and wish you all an oldfashioned Merry Christmas and a Happy and Prosperous New Year.

Kofschip.

PS I did spend Thanksgiving in your area and had a great time. -- K.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 21, 2007 1:58 am 
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BDG
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Location: Newton Abbot, Devon UK
Very informative post Buddye :) May this be a long and happy marriage!

Can I just add, for those that maybe don't know, that without the original BDG Members, Osram, Bader, PV and the others (I cannot remember them all at the moment perhaps you could list them please?) there would be no BoB2. It is they who took Rowans' BoB and through their love, skill and dedication transformed it from a very good but dated sim into something the equal of any of todays products and provided a cornerstone for Shockwave to build upon.

How about a BoB1/BGD history lesson, I for one would like to hear the whole story. :)

Keep up the good work! :D


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 22, 2007 12:15 am 
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BDG
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Joined: Sat Nov 13, 2004 8:21 am
Posts: 4404
Location: wet coast, Canada
Well, I posted this link a while back on the Beta forum; this is the original SimHQ post announcing the creation of the BDG:

http://www.simhq.com/forum/ubbthreads.p ... Post752312

(I wasn't there at the time. I had just discovered SimHQ at that time, and it took another year before I registered and made my first post. I was absorbed into the BDG as a terrain modding volunteer in about june 2004.)


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 01, 2008 8:16 pm 
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Joined: Mon Nov 15, 2004 6:37 pm
Posts: 490
Location: Florida, U.S. of A.
Perhaps it's time to get the old BDG website back up, but link it to this forum instead of using its forum. It was most certainly a more attractive website than Shockwave's page for BoBII.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2008 10:45 am 
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Senior Airman
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Shockwave and BDG = a great relationship

I think the initiating spirit of the whole thing was Rowan putting out the source code for future development. A very unselfish act that has resulted in a very good relationship, between everyone developing and using the BOB.

This relationship should be a model for other products that actually could have a future, if the original devs would just release their source code.

I continue to look forward to releases on a great air combat flight sim, and I'd sure appreciate to buy more Shockwave products. I just am not into flying warbirds in MSFT Flight Simulator. If Shockwave would take some of their warbirds and covert them to MSFT CFS2 they would find a market for their products. CFS2, another dead sim for the developer, but very much alive for a vibrant CFS2 community of users.

Everyday there is a new third party release for improvement to CFS2, and the source has never been released. Now that is a dog that will hunt as well, if MSFT would release the source.

The CFS2 was the most succssfult air combat flight simulator ever sold. I remember the IL2 boards and there was very little interest in the IL2. The interest jumped far and beyond the quality of the game
when MSFT released the CFS3. There was and still is a very viable community of people that in enjoy combat flight sims, and they're going to use whatever they can to satisfy their penchant for CFS action.

The new BOB SOW from Oleg is probably just going to be more of the same with better graphics. The ONLINE game is going to be the priority, because it is so much easier to code than and OFFLINE game. The AI performance doesn't need anything like the MERLIN engine for users to enjoy the game, afterall the players are human. So, whatever humans are going to do.. they're going to do. The MERLIN engine is artificial intelligence integrated into the game to simulate human response, which Shockwave has "proved" can be done.

My hat is off to Shockwave for creating the Merlin Engine, and their cooperative spirit with BOB II users and BDG. I anxiously await new things coming...

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 18, 2008 1:14 pm 
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BDG
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Location: South East Texas, USA
Here is an old post that some of our new customers may be interested in.

How the BDG (BOB Development Group) works?

First, the BDG (BOB Development Group) is an unpaid, part time, and all volunteer group that works on BOBII development, maintenance, and support.

It is exciting to be able to welcome all the new BOBII customers. This is a good time for BOBII and we are excited about BOBII’s future. This effort goes back to BOBI when it was published by Rowand as some of you already know.

The BDG team is a small highly motivated “unpaid” team who love history, aircraft, and air combat. This team believes that BOBII is a very special game so we have devoted our precious hobby time to improving it. We do not expect all our customers to share our passion for BOBII but of course we love it when they do.

Our two technical leaders are Osram (our lead GFX coder) and Bader (our lead tester, landscaper, modder, and MultiSkin developer). These two guys go back over 7 years now when they set up the BDG (BOB Development Group). They are also BOBII’s heart and soul. I came along in 2003 and worked on BOBI. I then worked on BOBII starting in Nov. 2005 (BOBII’s dark period after its Release) to help Osram fix bugs and to get BOBII back into the “light”. I think we have accomplished that goal.

We love to get ideas and feedback from our customers. We /have acted on customer feedback and ideas in the past but being a small team we can do only so much and maintain our quality. We also listen to our Beta Testers (always looking for more Beta Testers). The BOBII beta Testers are the key in managing our quality and completeness so we give priority to their ideas and concern.

We work off a priority list of work items using skills and past experience. Priority #1 is stability fixes and problems that effect game play. BTW, we are always looking for new coders (C++) as we have very few coders.

The BDG has always provided our BOBI and BOBII players free updates in the past and we plan to continue that procedure as long as we have manpower and motivation to plan, develop, test, and document BOBII updates. We try to do a major update every 6 months but we also release smallers updates when needed.

Now that I have bored you to death with the BOBI/BOBII/BDG background, the bottom line is that we can not address all the player's request for fixes and features as we simply do not have the resources (skills and manpower). However, we will try our best to do what we can for our players within our constraints.

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Intel I7 920 processor (2.66GHz, 8MB cache), 6GB DDR3 Triple Channel @1333MHz, 1.8GB NVIDIA GeForce GTX 295, Sound Blaster X-Fi PCI Sound Card, Windows 7 Home Premium 64 Bit , CH Fighter Stick & Pedals ,TrackIR4 Pro thanks to BobII crew.


Last edited by Buddye on Sun Dec 21, 2008 9:23 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 04, 2008 10:35 pm 
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BDG
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Location: South East Texas, USA
Another old post which some may find interesting:

We know that every customer has his own special list of favorite features. Everyone is different in his favorite item to be fixed or implemented. Everyone has their hot buttons. Everyone is an "expert" on what is required in a "perfect" simulation.

I think this is just human nature.

The BDG loves to get ideas and feedback from our Players. We will/have acted on customer feedback and ideas, however, we are a small team we can do only so much and maintain our quality. The BDG is limited by past experience, skill, and manpower. We also listen to our Beta Testers (always looking for more Beta Testers). The BOBII beta tester is the key in managing our quality and completeness so we give priority to their ideas and concerns.

We work off a priority list using skills and past experience. Priority #1 is stability fixes and problems that effect game play for the customers. We consider bug fixes and features based on priority, skill, risk, schedule, manpower, experience and BOBII's future needs. BTW, we are always looking for new coders (C++) as we have very few coders.

We have provided our BOBII players free updates since BOBII was released and we plan to continue doing this as long as we have manpower and the BDG stays motivated (BTW, the BDG all have real life problems, day jobs, work only part time, and are not paid by anyone).

The work required on BOBII is very significant as BOBII is a major software project with over 1 million source lines of code (just think about the problems in finding something in a undocumented 1 million page book and then changing, integrating, testing, system testing, documenting and supporting with a part time workers from all over the world).

Now that I have bored you to death with the the BDG problems, procedures, and background, the bottom line is that we can not address all request for fixes and features as we simply do not have the resources (experience, skills, manpower, and knowledge). However, we will try our best to do what we can for our players within our limited resources.

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Intel I7 920 processor (2.66GHz, 8MB cache), 6GB DDR3 Triple Channel @1333MHz, 1.8GB NVIDIA GeForce GTX 295, Sound Blaster X-Fi PCI Sound Card, Windows 7 Home Premium 64 Bit , CH Fighter Stick & Pedals ,TrackIR4 Pro thanks to BobII crew.


Last edited by Buddye on Sun Dec 21, 2008 9:32 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 19, 2008 7:51 pm 
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BDG

Joined: Mon Aug 22, 2005 6:54 pm
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Location: UK, Leicestershire
Interesting. I always thought you guys got paid, especially budeye. I mean, the way you guys keep saying `customer` had me convinced.

Well, that`s what i call dedication.

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 19, 2008 9:05 pm 
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BDG
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Location: South East Texas, USA
I have never taken a penny for my BOBII work. I have been offered many jobs to work on flight simulation games but I have always said no. My days of answering to a boss because he pays me are long over. I only answer to wife of 43 years.

I am retired and the BOBII coding is one of my hobbies. I simply do it because it is fun to me. I guess I will stop either when I do not enjoy it anymore, poor health, or the BOBII players do not enjoy the code I can provide.

I use "customer" because "user" at least in the US is a person with a drug problem. I have started using "player", however.

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Intel I7 920 processor (2.66GHz, 8MB cache), 6GB DDR3 Triple Channel @1333MHz, 1.8GB NVIDIA GeForce GTX 295, Sound Blaster X-Fi PCI Sound Card, Windows 7 Home Premium 64 Bit , CH Fighter Stick & Pedals ,TrackIR4 Pro thanks to BobII crew.


Last edited by Buddye on Sun Dec 21, 2008 9:35 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 19, 2008 9:50 pm 
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BDG
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Location: Oahu, Hawai'i
Buddye, you mean abuser.
I know, I been there.

"I used to be all fakked up on drugs,
now I'm all fakked up on computers!"


We BDG guys do not get paid. We each do this, for many years now, for different reasons.
The main reason is that it is our hobby.
Also, creating or fixing something that other USERS enjoy
gives a man a good feeling.

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