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whistler

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Next Generation MAP (NG-MAP) Mod v3.1
« on: October 25, 2018, 10:30:39 AM »

Next Generation MAP (NG-MAP) Mod v3.1
:: for IL-2 1946 4.12 & 4.13 ::

Featuring the "Actor Viewer"

CREDITS

This mod is built upon the all-time favourite PAL's MiniMap Mod by benitomuso, released at SAS and included in the Visual MOD 9 for v4.12.2 (2016-04-11). Credits to benitomuso for his unique ideas and the original code. THANK YOU benitomuso!

Thanks sas1946.com admins, modders and rest of members for being there.

A word of gratitude to mission4today.com admins for hosting this mod.

FIRST THINGS FIRST
• This mod is certified for 4.12 (SAS Modact / VP-Modpack / B.A.T.) and 4.13 (SAS Modact). It has not been tested in other version or super mod. It should work fine in multiplayer mode.

• You do not need to add or edit any conf.ini settings. NG-MAP works 'out of the box' and it will not conflict with any settings you may already have from other mods. You can switch between NG-MAP and other map mods anytime. The mod saves some settings to the conf.ini file. Make sure your conf.ini is not set to read-only. The following settings are permanent: Icon Size, Map Size and Map Transparency.

• The mod complies with mission/campaign difficulty settings.

To have access to in-game icon features deactivate "Map & Icons" difficulty settings at will (cannot be changed during a mission/campaign):

• Icons & Map > No Map Icons (A)
• Icons & Map > No Player Map Icon
• Icons & Map > No Minimap Path

(A) Enabled? Radars will also get disabled

To have access to the different sections of the Actor Viewer deactivate at will settings from the "Views" difficulty window (cannot be changed during a mission/campaign):

• Views > No External Views
• Views > No Player's Own View
• Views > No Enemy Views (A)
• Views > No Friendly Views (A & B)
• Views > No Aircraft Views
• Views > No Carrier Views (C)

(A) Enabled? The NEUTRAL menu will also get disabled since some actors can spoil the surroundings
(B) Enabled? You can "pin" a location but you will not get to see the landscape
(C) Enabled? Applies to any ship, Aircraft Carrier or not

OFFLINE PLAY

By default, Hostile icons are hidden in the map every time you start a new mission (*). It is up to you to enable Hostile icons using the in-game NG-MAP menu. Knowing enemy positions spoils all offline fun, in my humble opinion.

(*) Since v3.1 you can enable hostile icons by default by adding ngMAPhostile=1 to the [Mods] section of the conf.ini

MULTIPLAYER

Online Squadrons can employ NG-MAP if they wish to do so. While there isn't a foolproof method to prevent friendly (or hostile) cheating we can certainly make it a little more challenging and in v3.0 I tried my best to prevent players from taking any advantage on their own.

A true cheat is when a player takes advantage of a 'feature' others don't have. If all members of the squadron use NG-MAP none will be cheating: all of you will be having access to the exact same set of tools. Online play among friends is about respect and honesty. That's the only way to have good fun.

For online play I highly recommend to at least enable/activate "Views > No Enemy Views" and "Views > No Friendly Views". This move will not only disable most of the external views but it will also deactivate NG-MAP "Targeting System" (View pinned location and lock onto hostile icons).

INTRODUCTION

PAL's MiniMap does not need introduction. It is the mandatory first stop for any player wishing to mod/improve the game. So much good stuff packed in such little mod. I thought I could improve a thing or two and I ended up adding a whole lot of new features to the point that the mod became its own thing, hence the new name: NG-MAP

Besides all map-related stuff, the mod implements an "Actor Viewer": bring up the map, click anywhere on the screen and explore the world around you.

Check below all features and have fun with this mod.

STANDAR MAP, COMBAT MODE and ICON SETTINGS

Right click anywhere on the map to display the NG-MAP menu.

You will notice that PAL MiniMap's "Navigation Map" is no longer available. The airport orientation feature is now included in the Standard Map and the Navigation Map is now redundant.

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By default you are presented with a subtle depiction of the map: a translucent (*) landscape with no grid, no text and no labels of any kind: just the map and, optionally, the icons. What's more, enable your own aircraft icon (difficulty settings) and you will automatically enter in FOLLOW MODE: the map will follow your aircraft, or any other actor currently in view, anywhere they go. How long have we been waiting for this map feature?

(*) You can change Follow-mode transparency with the NG-MAP menu.

Following a river or road, flying along the coast or through canyons, aligning for landing... have never been this exciting! Zoom in and out at will, your aircraft is always in view, and the moment you want to explore your surroundings just grab the map and drag it to exit Follow Mode and expose the full-fledged STANDARD MAP. Practical and simple.

Note: Fullscreen Mode takes you directly to the full Standard Map, with the grid, labels, and everything else. You can also change the full screen map transparency with the NG-MAP menu.

:: MAP LABELS / TERRAIN ELEVATION / BRIDGES ::

Labels surrounding the map have now a bold typeface for greater clarity. Grid line colors have been reviewed and I doubled the time distances are displayed. Speaking of distances, indicators now change from Kilometers to Nautical Miles and then Statute Miles in accordance with the HUD (Waypoint tips change as well). You won't get exact figures when in Miles because sectors are thought in Kilometers and if I had converted the grid lines to miles, sectors size would have changed as well, and the sector size must be fixed.

Daidalos Team introduced in 4.13 terrain elevation in the Ground Attack waypoint label... Nice but, how about knowing the elevation of ANY POINT of the map? Just move the cursor around and you will instantly know terrain elevation in that precise point. You can now bomb pretty much anything with pinpoint accuracy and know beforehand your airfield elevation at night or under bad weather.

The reason why bridges are not visible in the stock map is most probably because there can be many, way many, and the map can easily get overcrowded. But there must be a middle ground, right? You bet there is. Bridges are one of the highlights of the second version of NG-MAP. Just like runways, bridges are properly oriented and good care was put to make sure the icons blend in the map nicely and don't get too much prominence. Furthermore bridges get out of the picture when you zoom out and reach a certain level.

:: SHIP ICONS ARE BACK! ::

Somehow the code did not transitioned well from 4.10 to 4.12 and ship icons were not available for long time. NG-MAP v1.0 brought ship icons back, large and small. In v2.0 I finally set apart carriers from the rest of the ships should you need to identify who is who.

:: NOISE ::

In v1.0 we hid hostile icons by default. Do you want to be spoiled? you tick that option! - that's the point behind the decision, and now we take this concept a step further in v2.0

By default all friendly and hostile icons, excluding aircraft, are now circles. Let's call this: 'noise'. Not only we clear the clutter the original icons produced but this also adds a certain level of uncertainty. What is that? Sure, if it moves slowly over a road, it is most probably a vehicle column... and I don't think I will find trains cruising the seas but hey! We achieve clarity, and ambiguity to a degree.

All possibilities and preferences should be covered with the options at hand in a couple of clicks:

- No icons? Disable Friendly.
- Some icons? Disable the Noise.
- All icons? Use the "Icon Filters" menu.

Icon colors have now a brighter shade of red and blue and you have the 'Large Icons' option if you need to see the BIG picture...

:: COMBAT MODE ::

PALs MiniMap 'Relative Mode' is now called "COMBAT MODE". Horizontal distances and sector labels have been removed. The map also inherits the new icon concepts as well as distances in kilometers or miles.

Waypoints, airfields, bridges and the like are not available in Combat Mode, but the Targeting System is fully functional.

- Excuse me but, the 'Targeting' what?

:: TARGETING SYSTEM ::

Let's put the Actor Viewer to a good use!

To lock on a target just select any item (different than your own aircraft) from the Actor Viewer. Once activated, the targeting system cannot be disabled and it will track the object for as long as the actor is valid or until you select a different target.

This function is independent of the regular View keys. The 'Tracking' icon will be displayed in both the Standard Map and in Combat Mode and regardless of any other icon settings as long as the target icon is visible. The Targeting System is for you and for you only: each mission has its own set of targets/goals/objectives and your fellows will completely ignore the target you are tracking. Don't limit yourself, tracking Friendlies is sometimes useful: your Flight Leader, the Bomber you are escorting...

That's cool but, how do we go about targeting bridges, airfields... ?

Not only you can now track any actor but you can also place a Marker in the map, yes, you guessed it: anywhere in the map. NG-MAP 2.0 renders Static Cameras obsolete, a thing of the past. Gone are the times you had to carefully, and sometimes annoyingly, place cameras all over the map to see what is going on. NG-MAP allows you to view and explore every inch of the map in a couple of clicks.

Open the Standard Map, right-click in the exact place you want to mark or explore and select 'Pin Location' - done! The Marker is placed in the map and you are automatically taken to that place. The external view will always face North by default and the camera will be positioned 50 meters south of the object, actor or landmark to make sure the right spot gets into view. Do you want to use the Marker but don't want to see what is going on in that location and be spoiled? Then place the Marker in fullscreen mode to skip the external view.

Although the Marker can be placed anywhere, remember you only have one. Use it wisely! Once again, this function is independent of the regular View keys and the 'Marker' icon will be displayed in both the Standard Map and in Combat Mode and regardless of any other icon settings. Once the Marker is initiated, it cannot be removed.

How do I go back to the Location I marked? There is a shortcut to the pinned Location in the Actor Viewer: right click anywhere on the screen (outside of the map) and select 'Saved Location'.

The actor/location Targeting System adds a whole new dimension to the game and any mission suddenly has a higher replayability factor. Possibilities are as large as the power of your imagination.

:: INTELLIGENCE SERVICES :: (New in v3.0)

The Static Camera object can be used by mission creators to mark key locations: Open FMB, load or create a mission, insert a Static Camera and set it to the same color of an army. Use this method to mark relevant locations in the map.

When playing the mission, users will see X marks wherever you placed the cameras. As the mission creator, it is up to you to give spot marks a meaning. You can use the briefing to explain what a X mark means. Use grid coordinates to reference a sport mark. Players will only see spot marks of their same army/color. The spot marks will be displayed in both the briefing and during the mission (as Targets).

"Intel Services" will work in any game mode, offline or online. You can use this feature as long as you have access to the mission file. In order to maintain compatibility with any other missions and users with or without NG-MAP, if the Camera army is set to "none" (game default), nothing will happen.

This is as much as I can do to provide new and (hopefully) useful features compatible with any version of the game or modpack. New objects would require dealing with *.ini entries and I want to keep this mod as little intrusive and as easy to use as possible.

:: NEW AND ENHANCED ICONS ::

Both the Standard map and Combat Mode are fully configurable now. Hide or display icons at will: Aircraft, Ships, Vehicles (Trains & Ground Columns) and Artillery (AAA & Artillery). Customize the map to your needs. You can also hide/display your own aircraft, the mission path and/or your targets anytime.

Icons reset to a default configuration every time you start a new mission. In example Hostile Icons will always be hidden when the mission begins. It is up to you to enable them.

The mod comes with enhanced icons edited for greater clarity. I just removed the diamond-shaped signs and cleaned some up a little but oh boy, what difference it makes! There is also the option to enable XL icons should you need them to be larger and I also include less intrusive and very good looking Front Line icons by WxTech.

:: SMALL MAP ::

Since v3.0 you can make the Standard Map and the Combat Mode grid a tad smaller by enabling the "Small Map" option. This parameter is permanent and it is saved to the [game] section of the conf.ini file as MapPadSmall.

:: MAP TRANSPARENCY ::

Map transparency can be adjusted from the map menu. You can change transparency for both the Minimap (follow mode) and the fullscreen map independently. The transparency setting is permanent and it is saved to the [game] section of the conf.ini file as MapPadAlpha and MapAlpha respectively. The previous Mouse right click + Mouse wheel method from v2.0 is now obsolete and therefore no longer available.

:: NIGHT MODE ::

I find night-mode poorly implemented in stock IL-2: for night mode to work it must be 'night' and cockpit lights must be on. Too many requirements for ALL possible situations. NG-MAP gives full control back to the player: enable Nigh Mode anytime you want.

Since v3.0 Nigh Mode is enabled automatically if the sun is below the horizon at the beginning of a mission.

Radars functionality essentially remain the same and will always work regardless of any other setting. I only added some eye-candy such as new, opaque frames and backgrounds, and worked on the grid lines and beams. Distances are again presented in kilometers or miles and indicators now adjust properly to the perimeter. Full-screen mode is no longer available because of background distortions.

Remember radars only detect aircraft and ships, large or small, friendly or foe, and regardless of any other icon setting...

MISSION BRIEF

The Mission Brief is now called the MISSION LOG. The actual brief is no longer available but there are plans to reinstate it in one form or another in the future.

An image is worth a thousand words:

THE ACTOR VIEWER

Bring up the MiniMap and click anywhere on the screen: that simple.

The different sections of the Actor Viewer will be either enabled or disabled in accordance with the "Views" difficulty settings. Refer to the "First things first" section for more details.

The Actor Viewer will not display built-in map objects: it is limited to the objects the mission creator added to the map. Since we must keep submenu sizes in shape, buildings, effects and other non-relevant objects are filtered out but you will still find many interesting objects in the Static submenus.

In "Expert Mode" the viewer will display internal class names. In addition you will have access to some actors that otherwise remain hidden. This feature is intended for mission makers wishing to test or troubleshoot their missions. Bear in mind menus can grow long and large in Expert Mode.

Expert Mode will also grant you access to 'Neutral' static objects. There certainly are interesting neutral objects in some missions but nothing really useful. Cameras were the only object well worth it but since we now have the Map Marker, Cameras are no longer relevant. Activate Expert Mode to enable access to Neutral objects.

Disable and delete any previous version.

The mod comes in one zip but it contains different JSGME-ready versions: ModAct / B.A.T. (v3+) / VP-Modpack. Download the mod, extract it, pick a version and enable it using JSGME.

(OPTIONAL) CONF.INI SETTINGS

[Mods]
ngMAPhostile=0

Some pilots want hostile icons always visible by default. Use the setting above
to enable/disable hostile icons. Possible values are 0 (off - default) and 1 (on).

Changelog:

Code: [Select]
v3.1 - 23/11/2019------------------------ Hostile icons can be enabled by default by adding ngMAPhostile=1 to the [Mods] section of the conf.ini (offline only).- "View Player" menu disabled when player dies.- "LockOn" icon only gets displayed if the target icon is visible in the map.v3.0 - 10/05/2019-----------------------Many changes under the hood and lots of fixes nobody noticed (or reported)!Unfortunately not all fixes were documented. Main features below:- New "Intelligence Services" feature. Refer to the Readme contents.- Bridge icons are now displayed below any other element- Fixed an issue where the camera could get stuck when switching from a (follow) external view to any other actor.- NG-MAP should be now fully compatible with multiplayer/online mode.- The Actor Viewer now complies with the "Views" difficulty settings.- NG-MAP now respects DogFight multiple army colors.- Lighter Blue and Red colors applied to other icons.- New "Small Map" menu option. Make the Minimap a tad smaller by enabling it. This parameter is now permanent and it is saved to the [game] section of the conf.ini file as MapPadSmall.- The "Large Icons" option is also permanent and saved to the [game] section of the conf.ini file as MapIconLarge.- Larger mouse pointer. Get back a smaller cursor by deleting: NG-MAP/gui/game/cursors.tga- The mod is now (hopefully) 4K-ready (and beyond).- Map transparency can now be controlled from the map menu. You can change transparency for both the Minimap (follow mode) and the fullscreen map. The transparency setting is permanent and it is saved to the [game] section of the conf.ini file as MapPadAlpha and MapAlpha respectively. The previous Mouse right click + Mouse wheel method from v2.0 is now obsolete and therefore no longer available.- Simplified "Icon Filters" submenu for a faster unveiling of icons: "Vehicles" refers now to both Trains and Columns, and "Artillery" refers now to AAA and Artillery combined.- Nigh Mode is enabled automatically if the sun is below the horizon at the beginning of a mission.v2.0 - 01/12/2018-----------------------Too many changes to list. Refer to the Readme contents.v1.0 - 25/10/2018-----------------------Initial release!

I hope you have fun with this mod and... See you in the skies! - whistler
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NG-HUD v3.5H | NG-MAP v3.1 | NG-CAM v1.6: https://www.sas1946.com/main/index.php/board,93.0.html

SAS~Skylla

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Re: Next Generation MAP (NG-MAP) Mod v1.0
« Reply #1 on: October 25, 2018, 10:38:02 AM »

Outstanding!

Thank you very much whistler
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When all else fails: read the instructions!

SAS~vampire_pilot

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Re: Next Generation MAP (NG-MAP) Mod v1.0
« Reply #2 on: October 25, 2018, 11:32:59 AM »

very nice!
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DaVa

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Re: Next Generation MAP (NG-MAP) Mod v1.0
« Reply #3 on: October 25, 2018, 12:07:35 PM »

Excellent as always! Bravo Whistler!
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Translated QTranslate, sorry.

SkyHigh

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Re: Next Generation MAP (NG-MAP) Mod v1.0
« Reply #4 on: October 25, 2018, 03:27:52 PM »

Seemingly, the sky is the limit. Thank you for this.
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vonofterdingen

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Re: Next Generation MAP (NG-MAP) Mod v1.0
« Reply #5 on: October 25, 2018, 04:08:21 PM »

Um...Wow!
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csvousden

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Re: Next Generation MAP (NG-MAP) Mod v1.0
« Reply #6 on: October 25, 2018, 06:36:57 PM »

This is the bomb!
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KingTiger503

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Re: Next Generation MAP (NG-MAP) Mod v1.0
« Reply #7 on: October 25, 2018, 08:16:52 PM »

nice one man nice one.

Best Regards KT503
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My Greatest and Best Regards KT503

henkypenky

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Re: Next Generation MAP (NG-MAP) Mod v1.0
« Reply #8 on: October 26, 2018, 04:59:17 AM »

Looking good, very good!
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Flying H

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Re: Next Generation MAP (NG-MAP) Mod v1.0
« Reply #9 on: October 26, 2018, 08:30:13 AM »

I´m beginning to wonder what is NOT possible to do by you modders! I think the limit is a real flying machine that´s downloadable! Great work and a huge
THANK YOU!
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And you can fly, high as a kite, if you want to.........

erafitti

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Re: Next Generation MAP (NG-MAP) Mod v1.0
« Reply #10 on: October 27, 2018, 03:26:34 AM »

Very usseful . Thanks.

Un saludo.
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whistler

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Re: Next Generation MAP (NG-MAP) Mod v1.0
« Reply #11 on: October 27, 2018, 07:53:48 AM »