Has there been any thought on BIS' part to include a tool with OFP2 that would auto update an OFP1 installation?
It would perhaps be difficult, but the benefits would perhaps outweigh the technical difficulties.
I would love to be able to continue to play with OFP1's islands, missions, and standard units after ofp2 is released, in the ofp2 engine, with other ofp1/2 dual owners. As ofp1 files are to be compatible with the OFP2 engine, it seems that once ofp2 is released it will only be a matter of time until someone either A) Updates the original ofp1 content and releases it, or B) Releases a tool to do the same.
However in multiplayer games, as OFP1 has consistently proven, the majority of players only play with ofp1's standard content. If a tool post-ofp2's release were distributed as an addon, only a select few would be able to enjoy ofp1 in the ofp2 engine, as the majority of ofp2 players would not bother to update ofp1 themselves via a third party download.
That is why I propose a BIS tool to be included with the OFP2 installation to automatically update and include all of the OFP1 content up through either ofp 1.46 or res 1.91. This way, mission makers and ofp players could continue to play both the older game and the newer one, along with a substantial user base.
There are many thousands of players who bought and played OFP1, and have since left the community. Such a bundled tool would bring them not only into the world of ofp2, but back into the first game as well.
Recently, there seems to have been a renaissance in the ofp1 community, with a select group of complex mission and addon projects reaching completion, many of which rely on elements in the ofp1 engine. The players that are left in the community are the only ones left to enjoy these well done compilations, which would be lost, in whole or in part, upon ofp2's release, as the remnants of the community move on to ofp2.
If, through an official BIS tool, the content of operation flashpoint 1 were officially updated to be compliant with the operation flashpoint 2 engine, the benefits would be many:
A) There would be a single unified OFP community, instead of a separate community for each game, a la Tribes and Tribes 2, AVP1 & 2, or the hordes of other successful games and their sequels.
B) Those who would like an updated ofp1 engine but love the modern setting, and would perfer ofp2 to not be in the 70's would be appeased
C) Addons that are compatible or only feasible with 1985/modern equipment would have an easy updating process (IE, even if ofp1 addons can be updated to ofp2, some would seem out of place)
D) Addons that rely on code or inheritances from ofp1 would have few problems in both running, and updating (The supposed bis addon updater would have or alter inheiritances, or place restrictions on what has to be written in the cp to allow updating, or require the author to update the addons and rerelease them)
E) End users would be able to update or keep using addons, rather than requiring the ofp1 addon authors to repackage and redistribute the addons
F) Addon and mission sprojects that are currently flourishing in the ofp1 engine would be able to be enjoyed to the fullest extent by the entire ofp2 community.
G) The ofp1 multiplayer community wouldn't dwindle as players moved to ofp2, because ofp1 missions/addons would be playable in ofp2, resulting in a larger multiplayer community
H) OFP1's content, setting, and missions would benefit from the bundles of new features included in ofp2 (Clipping, multiplayer stability, combat, etc) while still retaining OFP's 1985 charm.
I) Sales of OFP: GOTY edition would increase, as ofp2 players would buy the original game at a low price to be compatible with the ofp1 community's converted projects. (Look at half life sales: People still buy the game because the community keeps churning out new work). OFP: GOTY's sales weren't huge because the majority of people that had would have bought ofp1... already bought it. There wasn't much reason other than low price to buy ofp:goty. If new ofp2 players had a reason to buy the goty to *enhance their ofp2 experience*, they no doubt would.
J) OFP2 will no doubt be well done, but a huge number of ofp1 vets will no doubt have ofp1 nostalgia, and will long to go back to playing ofp1, even though ofp2 will have more features, and ofp1 will still have its shortcomings. An auto update tool would cure the nostalgia to some degree.
K) Seamless integration of ofp1 into ofp2: Many game sequels have a period of turbulence as the community switches into the new game, and the old community dies. This conversion would eliminate the turbulence, and keep the community strong.
I do not know what the technical difficulties would be in writing such a tool, but it seems that only the cpp heirarchies, sounds, unit pbos, islands, missions, and campaigns would need to be converted, not the code or exe's themselves. Even if the tool required a gig of hard drive space as the tool copied and updated the old files, many would free up the space required. (Hell, I'll free up another gig to play ofp1 in ofp2...). As ofp2 is an evolution of the ofp1 engine, the content of the former should update with few kinks. And, since it would be bis updating their old content, they would no doubt know which kinks to fix.
Overall, I feel that the BIS development team made a brilliant choice in updating the ofp engine instead of rewriting it, and they should take advantage of this opportunity to update their old content, to both unify their community and even boost ofp sales.