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I remember the first time I started playing Cliffs of Dover that one of the most annoying things was sorting out my windows ingame, tweaking them every time I realised I needed some more info at critical times during flying. Here are some settings to act as a start for new fliers.
For those accustomed to flight simming the ingame windows is just part and parcel of learning a new flight sim or game so please note this tutorial is probably not for you. It is for those players who may have never flown a flight sim or have little knowledge of online gaming such as Cliffs of Dover. It is designed to ease new blood into this Sim that we think so much of.
Also note that this is meant to be a base for people to start from and not the definitive version of window management. Once you have the basic know how to use these windows you can change as much or as little as you need.
Ingame windows are an integral part of any Flight Sim. They must provide vital information about your vehicle in the form of management and damage, and ingame chat for online play. They should be there for you when you need them and not a hindrance by blocking in game visuals that put you at a disadvantage to the enemy. Big windows with lots of information will clutter your screen and in a flight sim such as Cliffs Of Dover where it is imperative that you be constantly scanning your environment for enemy contacts it is critical that you have no more windows than you actually need onscreen at any one time.
Important windows for 'Vehicle Damage' should be kept separate as is a window strictly for the chat. This means that important damage information is on your screen in a specific area where it is less likely to be ignored. It also means that it is NOT governed by the chat ie. if an important damage information is on screen at the same time that there is many chat inputs by players then it will not be on your screen long and could be easily missed and scrolled away by chat inputs. Also important information should be brightly coloured so as to demand your attention and not to blend in with ANY of the environment inside or outside of your cockpit. Lesser important information can afford to be softer on the eye and tucked away in corners of your monitor so choose your colours with this in mind.
All windows should be in their own areas on screen and not overlapping at all.
IMPORTANT - Changing the windows ingame can be tricky for new players as it is not altogether intuitive. Put in place is a procedure that will help stop you accidently influencing any of the windows on your screen. None of the windows on your ingame screen can be influenced or manipulated without first opening a new window and then closing that window. Therefore at any point during any of the procedures below you accidently click to a vacant part of your screen you will loose the ability to change anything in that particular window until you have opened and closed yet a new window. Bear this in mind if at any time you are clicking on items or windows that are not responding.
A Short Tutorial video by Phillstyle of 92 squadron on the 'Grey Box issue' and Creating, Deleting, Moving and Resizing Info Windows.
ALL information below is done from the point of view of someone in game and sat at their virtual cockpit.
To create a new window first right click on the screen in a vacant area. This will bring up a small window. Then left click 'New Info Window' and you will notice your new window will appear in the top left of your screen. The new window should be slightly transparent and grey. This new window can now be manipulated by right clicking on it and left clicking on the 'Customize:Info Window' tab. This will bring up a new window with information about what changes you want to make to your new window which will be explained later in this tutorial under '4) Customizing a Window'.
To delete a window we must first make it active by holding 'Alt' and left clicking the window we want to delete. Now Right click on this new window and left click 'Close Window Info Window'. You can then right click on the initial window you wanted to remove and then click 'Close Window Info Window'. Sometimes more than one window is created in the same area and you will have to use this procedure in order to delete all of them.
Again before we can manipulate an existing window we must first open a new window and close it using the procedure above, 'Creating a new window' and 'Deleting a window'.
Once a new window has been created you should be able to hover your mouse over the top of it until it turns to the 'hand' pointer. You can then left click, hold and drag this window where you want it to be.
A window can be extended or condensed by moving your cursor over the edges of a window until it turns into the 're-size' cursor. You can then left click, hold and move to manipulate the window to the required size.
Once a window has been created you can right click on it and hit 'Customize: Info Window' to bring up the 'Custom Info Window'.
The top option in 'item' will always be 'Window'
To change the window options left click 'Window' in the 'item' pane. The customizable options for the window should now be in the left pane. you can change these options by clicking on them in the left pane under 'value'.
The central area 'Items' is the inventory of the items that you want to be displayed in this particular window. you can move items from the 'items list' and back again by left clicking on them and hitting the arrow keys in the window. Once you have the required items to be shown in this list you can click on them in the 'items' pane and the options for that criteria will be in the left pane under 'Property' and 'Value'. You can now customize each property by changing its 'Size', 'Colour' and 'Layout'. Not all items have these options.
Click 'SAVE' at the bottom of the window to save and close it.
Ingame chat is not just chat between players but also chat to the online server and from the online server giving information to players. Ingame chat will be continually scrolling and can be quite fast, for this reason it is best to keep this window for chat ONLY so that if it does move quickly you do not miss important ingame data such as vehicle damage etc.
Chat is best kept to around 6 - 8 lines for most players. Any more and it can start to encroach on your screen. Bear in mind when deciding how many lines of chat you want, how long chat is usually on screen for and how many lines you want to read at any one time. Keep it to the minimum if you can.
The Net stat window is only for online playing. It gives you a list of the players ingame at that moment, their scores, deaths, which side (Army), Aircraft they are flying and ping. To bring up 'Net Stats' one can right click the screen and see the option for 'Net Stats' or another idea is to dedicate a key in Options on the Main Menu screen as follows:
Main Menu > Options > Controls > Keys > Chat > Toggle Net Stats
The Net Stat window is a window that you will only want to read when you are not in immediate danger ingame, for this reason you can afford to make the window as big as you want (best full screen top to bottom) and put it where ever you want.See image below.
Now that we have the ability to customize windows ingame below is a basic setup that you can use or as a basis to start from. You can keep it asis or change it to whatever criteria for your own personal requirements.
I hope this tutorial has been of some help.