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### AuthorTopic: IL-2 Random Skies Mod v2.7 ~NEW VERSION~  (Read 38721 times)

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#### whistler

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##### Re: IL-2 Random Skies Mod v2.1 (02-Jan-2017)
« Reply #84 on: February 03, 2017, 06:34:15 AM »

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#### PO_MAK_249RIP

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##### Re: IL-2 Random Skies Mod v2.1 (02-Jan-2017)
« Reply #85 on: February 04, 2017, 02:30:59 AM »

Sad news hope they can get it sorted - sounds like a mega task!
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#### whistler

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##### Re: IL-2 Random Skies Mod v2.1b (03-Feb-2017)
« Reply #86 on: February 04, 2017, 07:44:58 AM »

M4T downloads are finally back and it seems all data is still there... congrats guys.

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#### whistler

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##### Re: IL-2 Random Skies Mod v2.2 (09-Mar-2017)
« Reply #87 on: March 09, 2017, 09:01:13 AM »

B.A.T. users will certainly welcome this latest update!

v2.2 introduces a combobox that will be enabled only when the launcher detects more than one mods folder. Use the dropdown list to quickly switch between modules or game types without having to run the IL-2 Selector (you still have to run the IL-2 Selector to play the 'Stock Game' type and change other advanced settings). The Launcher reads the data from the SAS ModAct il2fb.ini and it changes one single key: the game type.

Dear Mike aka SAS-Storebror, this version is dedicated to you. Kudos to you and your IL-2 Selector that has provided us with so much these years. I by no means pretend to replace any feature found in the Selector. On the contrary it is a shortcut to a feature that is quite common and necessary now in B.A.T.

The dropdown list has been carefully designed to mimic the IL-2 Selector behavior. I understand the IL-2 Selector must have its own life, and as such, this mod will (try to) keep up with any direction you decide the IL-2 Selector must take. Thank you!
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#### Korrigan

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##### Re: IL-2 Random Skies Mod v2.2 (09-Mar-2017)
« Reply #88 on: March 09, 2017, 11:31:57 AM »

Brilliant update, thank you very much Whistler . I've tested it on my modact 5.3, VPModpack and BAT installs and everything work flawlessly. For Avast users, you will have false positive malware reports, ignore them, the files are perfectly safe.
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#### whistler

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##### Re: IL-2 Random Skies Mod v2.2 (09-Mar-2017)
« Reply #89 on: March 10, 2017, 07:58:27 AM »

Cheers Korrigan, thanks for confirming all is good!

C.U.P/B.A.T. already implement tbauchot's skies but...

Every IL-2 map comes with its own sky - ALWAYS the same sky for that map.
No matter if it is summer or winter, Monday or Thursday, day or night... ALWAYS the same sky.
You run a campaign on the same map across days, months or years and you ALWAYS get to see the same sky.

All that changes with Random Skies. B.A.T. players must make sure the following mods are enabled in JSGME:

DEF-SKIES_#DOF2
DEF-SKIES_#JTW2
DEF-SKIES_#TGA2
DEF-SKIES_#WAW2

Otherwise you'll keep ALWAYS getting the same sky again and again...
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#### Kelso

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##### Re: IL-2 Random Skies Mod v2.2 (09-Mar-2017)
« Reply #90 on: March 26, 2017, 03:30:12 AM »

Thank you for the great app!
Is there a possibility that when running IL-2 Random Skies Launcher.exe does not start the program window, the game immediately started? Is there an entry in launcher.ini?
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#### whistler

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##### Re: IL-2 Random Skies Mod v2.2 (09-Mar-2017)
« Reply #91 on: March 26, 2017, 04:11:35 AM »

Hi Kelso, you can do without the launcher/executable. From the first post and the Readme.txt:

You do not have to use the executable if you do not want to, magic takes place in the "Random Skies\Files\Random.bat" batch file. You can manually run this file and get a random sky the same. I provided for your convenience the file "Random Skies\Files\QuickLaunch.bat" that you can use instead of the executable. It is set by default to change the skies and run IL-2, but you can instruct it to run the IL-2 Selector instead. Open the batch file with a text editor to see possible options. Create a shortcut of the batch file to your Desktop and run IL-2 from there.

Contents of the QuickLaunch.bat:

Code: [Select]
:: IL-2 Random Skies Mod by whistler@echo offcall "Random.bat":: call "Random.bat" light:: call "Random.bat" medium:: call "Random.bat" heavy:: call "Random.bat" custom:: call "QMB_Fix.bat":: start "" "..\..\..\IL-2 Selector.exe"start "" "..\..\..\il2fb.exe"exit
Lines starting with two colons [::] are NOT executed. Open the file with Notepad and set it up to your needs...
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#### Kelso

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##### Re: IL-2 Random Skies Mod v2.2 (09-Mar-2017)
« Reply #92 on: March 26, 2017, 04:35:42 AM »

Thanks. All clear. Works as I wanted. Regards...
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#### whistler

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##### Re: IL-2 Random Skies Mod v2.2 (09-Mar-2017)
« Reply #93 on: May 21, 2017, 11:00:44 AM »

25.05: v2.5 - Stay tuned!
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#### whistler

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##### Re: IL-2 Random Skies Mod v2.5 (25-May-2017)
« Reply #94 on: May 25, 2017, 08:33:00 AM »

IL-2 Random Skies Mod version 2.5

This last version packs a bunch of cool updates and new features!

Launcher 'Images' folder has been reorganized a little to be more 'visually meaningful'. Be careful when updating to this new version if you customized the Images folder... If in doubt, delete the Images folder before applying this update.

:: General changes and updates ::
• Auto.bat

The Launcher will run the file "Files/Auto.bat" every time you run IL-2. The file Auto.bat is not included with the mod (you must create it yourself). Use the Auto.bat file to perform any operation or run any application before launching IL-2. In example (if you know how to do it and what you are doing) you can set the Auto.bat to run your head-tracking or video capture software before launching IL-2...

In example, I use Auto.bat to run opentrack if it is not already running:

qprocess * | find /i "opentrack.exe" >nul 2>&1 && goto :eof || start "" "C:\opentrack\opentrack.exe"

• New Screenshots shortcut entry in the top menu
• New Skin Management entries in the top menu:

1) Create missing skin folders: the script will read your air.ini(s) an create all missing folders from the aircraft slot names.
2) Delete empty skin folders: the script will delete all empty folders.

Since these operations are totally safe you will not get any warning messages.

:: Multiple User Profiles ::

Modular installs such as B.A.T. share the 'Users' folder to store information about your pilots, controls, settings, campaigns progress and other details across eras. The Launcher implements a Profile Manager that allows you to have dedicated profiles for each module/era/game-type.

The Launcher takes care of everything and the process is completely transparent to you and it does not require any management or maintenance. As long as you ALWAYS use the Random Skies Launcher all changes will only apply to the module you are playing. You can now have as many pilots as you like for each different module and you will never lose progress of any campaign again! How cool is that?

In example in B.A.T. we can now have dedicated D.O.F. pilots and run several D.O.F. campaigns:

And switch to J.T.W. (with its own modern-day pilots) and keep playing Jet campaigns:

The implementation worked so well during development that all "Profile Management" options and most info messages were removed from the final release. I will explain here how it works in detail.

*** First time use ***

Multi-Profiles are automatically enabled when the Launcher detects multiple modded folders. A window will alert you that Multi-Profiling is enabled.

Run once each module to make sure your current profile replicates to all modules. Exit IL-2 and run the next module. Do not change anything yet. Once you have ran all eras, run each module again and setup each profile to your liking: delete campaigns from other eras, rename or create new pilots...

Remember, you must always use the Launcher from now on to run IL-2. Otherwise the right profile will not load and you risk mixing profiles and losing campaigns progress.

Always run IL-2 from the Launcher. Use the IL-2 Selector to change advanced settings only, do not use the IL-2 Selector to change modules and do not run the "Stock" game (have a separate install for that).

*** How it works ***

On first run the Launcher will backup your current 'Users' folder to 'IL-2 root/Profiles/Users ORIGINAL'. This backup will remain there, untouched, until you uninstall the mod. The new 'IL-2 root/Profiles' folder will be used from now on to store backups of all your different user profiles.

On daily use, when you run the Launcher, it will copy (backup) your current 'Users' profile to 'Profiles/Users LASTMOD' (LASTMOD being the last module you played the last time you ran IL-2). Then the Launcher will delete your 'Users' folder IF it finds in the 'Profiles' folder a backup of the mod you just selected to play. Otherwise this 'Users' folder will be used as your new profile for the module selected. If the Launcher finds a backup, in example Profiles/Users THISMOD', it will copy its contents to your 'Users' profile.

The game always uses the 'Users' folder, but the Launcher makes sure your last profile gets backed up and the next profile gets loaded. Do not mess with the Profiles folder! Just run the Launcher and enjoy multiple dedicated profiles.

*** You messed up? ***

Not a problem: got to Help - Uninstall, follow the instructions and start over. You will have the chance to restore your original 'Users' folder.

*** Do not want to use this feature? ***

Not a problem: set the setting below in the 'Random Skies/launcher.ini':

MultiProfiles=No

:: Sky Randomizer: changes and updates ::
• Compatible with DGen Pack (#DGen mod folder, tested on v2.0.1)
• Compatible with UltraSpain 2017 (#USP mod folder)
• Sky textures can be disabled with a minus character (-texture.tga)
• "Random" option no longer selects textures from the Custom folder, only from the Light, Medium and Heavy folders.
Before moving on, UP3 players please make sure your il2fb.ini contains these lines:

[Modtype_00]
Name=Stock Game
Mods=none
[Modtype_01]
Name=Classic Mod Game
Mods=MODS
[Modtype_02]
Name=SAS Modact 3
Mods=#SAS
[Modtype_03]
Name=UltraPack 3
Mods=#UP#
[Modtype_04]
Name=Dark Blue World
Mods=#DBW
[Modtype_05]
Name=Dark Blue World 1916
Mods=#DBW_1916

UP3 comes by default with an old version of the IL2 Selector and this mod relies heavily on the settings above.

Allow me also to remind that B.A.T. users must enable the following mods in JSGME:

DEF-SKIES_#DOF3
DEF-SKIES_#JTW3
DEF-SKIES_#TGA3
DEF-SKIES_#WAW3

Otherwise you will always get the same sky.

v2.2 introduced a dropdown menu where you can select the module you want to play. This feature has proven pretty solid and the Launcher is now aware of the module you use. It is time now to optimize the scripts and add some experimental features.

A faster, more efficient script

The Launcher did not know before what module you were about to use and it had to copy textures to all potential modules you could use. The script to copy the skies has been greatly improved in this new version and it is now more efficient then ever: the mod will now only copy textures to the module you select. This gets done pretty fast and very efficiently:

- In B.A.T. only one texture and one noise will be copied to the era selected (covering 100% of the maps).
- In any other setup 3 textures and 2 noise files will be copied to the era module (covering 90% to 100% of the maps).

90% to 100% you say? Yes, most of the non-stock maps use the default stock sky textures but a minority of maps will use other textures, and that is why I provide an additional "Extended" support.

If you want to have 100% compatibility for your mod-pack, go to "Files/Extended" and enable (by removing the preceding minus sign) the Extended compatibility for that mod-pack. You must be aware that in order to cover all maps many textures will be copied to your modded folder each time you run the mod.

I do not recommend using Extended compatibility, especially if you plan to use the Sky Timer.

:: The Sky Timer ::

The IL-2 Selector moves to the new "Tools" top menu entry and it gets replaced by the the new Sky Timer. From our dearest tbauchot back from when this mod was born:

I also noticed that it was possible to make a return on the desktop, change a sky with the command :"Random skies.bat" and continue a campaign with a new sky ! Very funny !
Tested with Dgen and QMB... however, it is necessary to quickly load a QMB mission using another map before getting changes on the previous map. But, no need to restart the game.

Version 2.5 introduces the Sky Timer. The Timer will run in the background and it will change the skies every 10 minutes (by default). Sky textures change in the background but you will see no difference until you play your next mission. Moreover you must use a different map to see new skies: somehow IL-2 caches the map somewhere and the engine completely ignores new textures unless you play a different map. The Timer takes little resources and it will quit and delete all sky textures copied as soon as you exit IL-2.

Use the Timer if you plan to play a long session and many missions, you won't notice it is there! I ran tests where new textures are copied over every 5 seconds and I did not notice any skipping, lag, stutter... nothing. Missions played smoothly.

*** Technical ***

Applications running in the background create controversy. All details about the Timer implementation are found below. If you do not like the Timer, do not use it!

The Timer use native commands of the command-line interpreter on Windows operating systems. It is fast, reliable and takes up very little system resources. The batch file "Files/Timer.bat" will run hidden in the background (cmd.exe process). The Timer will check every X seconds (10 by default) if il2fb.exe is running and the script will end as soon as you exit IL-2.

Note: Windows XP does not come with any native sleep/timeout commands and I found ping to be the best replacement. This command will ping localhost (thus not generating network traffic) to emulate a timeout. Windows Vista and newer Windows versions will use the built-in command Timeout.

Tip: There is a hidden setting that will enable you to see the Timer and the randomizer in action. Open the 'Random Skies/launcher.ini' and set TimerHidden=No

Final thoughts: is the Sky Timer worth using it? Probably not, I created it for myself as proof of concept but the fact remains that it works perfectly well and it is now out there... The Timer is not hard coded in the executable and the possibility to run something in the background while playing is now available. Who knows if someone, some day, will figure out a new use!

The End?

No! Go to the first post, grab your copy of the mod and keep playing and modding IL-2!

That is all for the moment folks, hope you enjoy this new version. See you in the (random) skies
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#### Zoran395

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##### Re: IL-2 Random Skies Mod v2.5 (25-May-2017)
« Reply #95 on: May 26, 2017, 05:35:45 AM »

Thank you Whistler, I have to try the timer, a very interesting feature for my use. I run the same mission over and over (say over 45 minutes...) so a change in sky texture will be very welcome !
You could also have a mission with a refuel/pick up something or someone (like the latest official U-2 missions) and have a different sky on the way back. I am sure you could find a way to time it with CY6 Random Weather/Stormfront for great effect...
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