MiGMan’s Flight Sim Museum

MiGMan’s Flight Sim Museum

F-22 Air Dominance Fighter

Len "Viking 1" Hjalmarson remembers F-22 ADF

In December of '97 DiD released F22: ADF. Virtually every area of game play was expanded or improved beyond EF2000.
The graphics component improved terrain, objects, effects and damage textures and even added multiple cloud layers. Lighting effects weren't up to Longbow 2, but missiles glowed and explosions were spectacular.
However, F22: ADF lacked a dynamic campaign, which appeared in Total Air War. As a result the missions lacked some life, and many players complained that the goals were unrealistic and keyed too closely to waypoints.
What had happened was that the project became too time consuming and had been split into two components. This provoked quite an outcry, since many gamers felt that DiD had gone back on a promise. But the economic realities were pressing.
Although the missions in ADF were scripted, the environment was very active and generally "felt" dynamic... ... (at least until you had flown the same mission a half dozen times). Air and ground action abounded, showcased beautifully by the Smartview system which was upgraded to supply voice interaction simultaneously.
But what really surprised many was the AWACS component, an entirely new direction for this level of simulation design, adding a component of immersion not previously seen in the genre. The AWACS component was a gods-eye strategic interface that was a percursor to the Theatre Commander mode of Total Air War.
My personal interest in ADF didn't last that long, though I had a lot of fun with the AWACS component.

... what really surprised many was the AWACS component, an entirely new direction for this level of simulation design.

The most frustrating part of the experience was that this F22 didn't seem all that stealthy. It wasn't until the complaints began to roll in and the first patch arrived that Digital Image Design actually gave the F22 something approximating real stealth. The simulation changed quite dramatically, and in the meantime Total Air War was nearing completion.
The total package of F22: ADF was innovative enough that DiD scooped TWO Top Games Industry 'Oscars' at Milia d'Or Awards Ceremony in Cannes, France in February. F22: Air Dominance Fighter won the 'Best Simulation' award and went on to win the 'Grand Prize Game' award. This was the FIRST time that Milia d'Or awarded first prize to a military simulation.
By Len "Viking 1" Hjalmarson, 2000
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