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    Part 1: An interview with Jason Williams and Daniel Tuseev, IL-2: Great Battles Series
    76.IAP-Blackbird
    By 76.IAP-Blackbird,


    Good day my friends, part 1 of 4 of a great Interview is released on Stormbirds. 

    Im proud to see the interest in il2 is growing in our community.
    So let me present you some great new infos about this great Adventure, called Il2.

    Best regards  Martin


      It’s my great pleasure to introduce a four part series featuring two members of the 1C Game Studios team: Jason Williams and Daniel Tuseev. Jason Williams is President of 777 Studios and Executive Producer at 1C Game Studios and hardly needs introduction to regular readers of this blog. Jason’s one of the driving forces behind the current direction of the IL-2: Great Battles Series and a frequent presence in the community. Daniel Tuseev has been a Project Manager and is currently the Technical Producer at 1C Game Studios and has been involved with the IL-2: Great Battles Series stretching back to the very beginning of the project. This first part of this interview is focused on IL-2: Great Battles in 2019 with questions on everything from hardware and VR to new content and new features for the series. There are three more parts planned on specific topics covering everything from IL-2: Battle of Bodenplatte, Tank Crew – Clash at Prokhorovka, and Flying Circus Vol 1. We’re also going to talk about the future of the series so look out for follow up segments coming in the next few weeks! Part one: The IL-2: Great Battles Series in 2019 Let’s start by talking about your history with flight sims. How long have you been involved with flight sims and what were some of your old favourites? Jason Williams: “Oh wow…this could be a long answer, but I’ll try to give a short one. My first exposure to a proper flight-sim was F-15E Strike Fighter at a friend’s house when I was a kid. I think it was on an IBM PC with a monochrome screen. A computer teacher of mine also demonstrated the very first MS Flight Simulator in class one day. That was 7th or 8th grade. Later in the early 90’s my uncle had one of the first Falcon games. Then my family got a 386 PC and I played F-117 Stealth Fighter which I got as a Christmas present. In college I bought my first PC and started playing other sims/games including all the titles in the Jane’s series like ATF, USNF, Longbow, WWII, IAF etc. and anything else that piqued my interest including European Air War. In 1997 I worked as a legislative intern at the state capital building. All the staff was invited to the Governor’s mansion for a big party. They would be hob-knobbing with the Governor and other powerful political people who could give them jobs after graduation. I was like meh… I want to go home and play my sims. After college I played Jane’s USAF and then Falcon 4.0 quite heavily. I also played Flanker a bit, but it didn’t grab me like Falcon did. I remember sitting in a cubicle at a big law firm I worked at in Silicon Valley just day dreaming about going home and playing my sims. Then in 2001 I dove into the original Sturmovik and that was a life changing event for me. My passion for the hobby became an obsession.” Daniel Tuseev: “While my Grandfather was an aerospace engineer in USSR (he have participated in S-75/SA-2 SAM and “Shkval” torpedo development) and I’ve spend many time in talks with him about aviation in times even before school – aviation is my hobby and my love as far as I can remember myself. Flight sims was my first love in gaming from the moment I’ve received my first Sega Mega Drive. My first sims were F-117, LHX, Janes ATF. And always I’d love not only just to play them, but to investigate the sim world, do something unplanned, study how the things works. My first “adult love” in flight-simming was Flanker 1.0. I’ve decided to study for an aviation engineer while I’ve played it. This game have allowed me to start to understand how the combat aviation works. After that, when I’ve started my study in Moscow Aviation Institute, I’ve spend many times in study of aviation in LO:MAC and MSFS. These days were awesome.” The IL-2: Great Battles Series has expanded in scale and scope significantly over the last two years bringing a lot of new ways to play. What are some of the standout new features that you think are drawing new players into the series and at the same time satisfying the veterans of the series? Jason: “I think our move to abandon the original design and go back to the classic formula of QMB, SP and MP content without unlock gimmicks has helped and the addition of great new content like Kuban and other improvements in the graphics department and good VR support. The Career has also been a popular addition.  The big survey we did a couple months ago helped to clarify what attracts virtual pilots to our sim. It’s a wide mix of things that bring people in, but we got some useful data. Thanks to all who took it seriously and participated.” Daniel: “I’m sure that the reason is consistent with the fast evolution of the project. We have performed several huge steps forward like switching to X64, moving to DX11, VR support, several major improvements in aeroplane physics and damage model, improvements of landscape model, adding Career, Cooperative and Scenario Campaigns game modes. All this was done so rapidly and with so good result that this have really addicted players attention and interest. Plus huge changes in gaming strategy – moving back from leveling system to classic sim gameplay – it is also have bring many positive from our community.” What kinds of improvements are you hoping to see from PC hardware (GPUs, joysticks, etc.) that might make your job easier? Jason: “Good question. Better VR goggles are on everyone’s list and I’d like to see large monitors with higher refresh rates for a reasonable price. How about a 32, 35 or 43 inch 4K 240hz monitor that is not just a stripped down television? And the video card prices are ridiculously high. There are a few joystick makers that really could benefit from committing to the North American market in a more serious way. All of their supply problems could be solved by now and sales would be enormous relatively speaking. The creativity is there that is for sure, just not the business vision. I have some experience in this department, which I won’t get into, but until they move west in a more serious manner their ability to grow will be limited and supply will continue to be an issue. I don’t want to see Thrustmaster be so dominant in this space forever simply due to supply and logistics issues.” Daniel: “IMO one of the great misses on controllers market is lack of medium-cost reliable joysticks and rudder pedals with force feedback. In previous times there was a great choose of FFB joysticks on the market – now we have too lack of it. Of course it would be great to have 4K VR devices with wide field of view which will allow you to use your peripheral vision. Also, I believe that there will become a time when 6-D moving seat platforms combined with VR will be standardized and will have acceptable cost to be widely used in flight-simming. So as you see – all my dreams are around player sensoring and feedback systems.” VR has become a selling point for serious combat simulators like IL-2. What do you see in the future for VR? Jason: “I predict higher res units, but difficulties with framerates. I hope, hope, hope there are some tricks we can use to boost framerates at higher resolutions.” Daniel: “As I’ve said above – for VR it is very important to have wider field of view which will allow you to full-use of peripheral vision. Also, virtual gloves technology is a great perspective.” Are there areas where you’d like to improve performance or add additional features to VR within IL-2? Jason: “The key to VR nirvana is higher FPS at a higher resolution. How we get there is still a bit unknown. With a custom engine like ours and a small team, solutions take longer to figure out.” Daniel: “I’d like one day to have VR gloves support in IL-2. It is the main one.” The team has been implementing new network related code over the last few patches. Are there plans to keep working on that area? How difficult is it to find and fix some of the issues that players have reported over the years? Jason: “Yes, but it’s difficult. We have a small team as everyone knows and re-writing and improving netcode is pretty complex. Our only option is incremental changes, gather feedback and then tweak more or dump the changes. It’s not ideal, but it’s what we are forced to do. We agree it can be better and we are working slowly, but surely in that direction.” Daniel: “Yes, we will not stop our work on that issue. It is very difficult area for debugging because most of the issues which we have fixed and improved I the recent past are related to situation of high population of game server. This fact has put serious restrictions on variety of methods which you may use for investigation and debug. In these circumstances the statistics and analysis become the main tool of the finding the reasons, this why these issues can’t be improved rapidly and requires time for develop.” The issue of cheating occasionally comes up (and has again recently) in the IL-2 multiplayer community. What is the team doing to try and prevent some of these efforts? What can the community do to help report the few that decide to cheat? Jason: “First, if we see concrete evidence of cheating, we ban the player, which we have done already to some. Second, we have built some experimental tools to try and stop more advanced cheating, but they need more testing. And finally, we have already plugged some exploits that most of the public didn’t even know about. Cheaters are assholes who don’t just stumble upon cheats. They create them and it forces us too divert resources to that instead of building the product you want. And “off the shelf” anti-cheat tools don’t necessarily work in a custom engine like ours. Remember, we have a custom engine built from scratch. I hate this subject with a passion because it’s complete intentionally caused destruction of our product. It’s malicious and wrong. Just play the game fair and square.” Daniel: “While flight sim with complex flight model and 80+ players on one game server can’t be developed in the way of shooter (where all physics, weapons and damage are calculated on game server) – this problem can’t be solved “once and forever”. In this case it always will be a competition of the sword and the shield. And as you know, sword is always is on the step ahead. But in combine with administrative methods we doing good job in moderating such cases. Also, of course we work on methods of cheating detection and cheating prevention – but methods which we’re using can’t be told to outside because this will give new arms to hands of cheaters. So what I can really say – we continue our work on that.” The ‘Havoc over the Kuban’ campaign is the first community created Scripted Campaign sold on the IL-2 store. Are more campaigns like that planned in the future?  Jason: “Yes, I hope so, but the quality needs to be there. That can be hard to judge sometimes and Scripted Campaigns take a long time to test and development can take a while. But I have two more that I know will happen, but for now I’m taking a break from greenlighting any more. And don’t forget there are some AWESOME free ones out there posted on our forum. Check them out! Some very talented mission makers in our community.” Daniel: “Of course. The main reason of developing the Scripted Campaign game mode was to open the way for community to develop to distribute their result to players. Also, we are working closely with guys from community who doing really serious job on campaigns development helping them sometimes with advices and sometimes with specific changes in the game.” The U-2VS was the first aircraft developed by a third-party developer. Are there plans to continue with that model in the future? Related question: Is the Li-2 (or C-47/DC-3) still planned? Jason: “Yes, that is correct. The U-2VS was built by our friends at Yugra Media. They have a contract to build the Li-2 and maybe a C-47 if that works out, but we’re a long way from that at the moment. The U-2 was a very intensive process that took more of our own time than we had hoped. I’m still hopeful the Li-2 will happen as planned, but until I know for sure I can’t say more. Yugra is also making our Flying Circus planes and they are still learning how to make them efficiently and with high quality. Making planes from scratch or revising older ones up to our standards is a challenge even for an experienced team like Yugra. But they are making real strides. And don’t forget our tanks are made by DigitalForms and that was an entirely new type of machine to for us to support technically and gameplay wise. Daniel, Mike and Sergey have done a tremendous job making tanks possible along with DigitalForms who are giving it there all. It’s been fun to watch the progress.” Daniel: “Yes it is. We working hard to open our doors for everyone who is capable and interested to create content for IL-2 Great Battles. At the moment we have two studios in collaboration with us, we hope that after time it will be more. So, anyone who interested and capable in this – contact to us, we waiting for you. Of course, it is still requiring some work from our side because control, implementation and physics model development is on our side anyway, but this is means that anyone can be calm about quality and accuracy of the result.” Fans of the series have also wondered about future Collector Planes that continue to add to the Eastern Front experience (the Yak-9/9T, IL-4, Tu-2, I-153, Hs123, Bf110F and others come up frequently), are there any plans to do those or work with a third-party team to build those in the future? Jason: “Probably not third party for any of those. Those would be best built by us due to the subject matter. We do hope to make more collector planes in the future and we still like the Eastern Front. I’d like to see all those planes flying one day. Out of all of those the Yak-9T would be the most likely one.” Daniel: “At the moment only ideas are kicked around, it is too early to say what exactly we or our partners will do next. But yes, some of these planes are inside of the circle of possible variants.” You’ve talked about building an Air (and Ground) Marshal feature for a couple of years. How is the planning for that mode coming along and what are you hoping players will be able to get out of having a feature like that once it’s complete? Jason: “We’re in the initial stages of development now. We’ve agreed to a design and begun optimizations of the GUI which was needed before we start the main building process. The design, if it works, has been improved from my early concept into a really neat system. Our hope is that it will make MP more interesting and increase teamwork as it was in real life. It will be an optional feature for servers if they don’t like it. It could be a game-changer for online wars and all forms of MP if the community takes such a feature seriously and tries to fly like a real coordinated air force.” Daniel: “Marshall mode design is established and it is already in development. It will be a huge gameplay feature, comparable to Career by complexity of development. If everything will be good – this feature will be done before release of Bodenplatte. This feature also requires many GUI based improvements and optimizations, some of them you will see in 3.010 as a “bonus” from Marshall mode development which is still in progress. In result players on populated multiplayer game servers will have a new layer of gameplay and cooperation. First of all – this feature should bring an obvious and dynamically changed vision to each player of what multiplayer mission objectives are and what is the player coalition strategy and current tactical tasks. Also, it should bring a new proximity to immersion of real aerial battle to the players.” You’re currently working with Pat Wilson and his PWCG software to add a co-op career experience for players but you’ve also talked about building the IL-2 Career mode into Co-op as well. Is that a long range goal or something you’re hoping to add in 2019? Jason: “No, it’s a long-range goal for us. Pat is a very smart guy and when he said he could do this in a reasonable time frame I jumped at the chance to have him try and I’m confident he will succeed. For us to do it inside the game will take some serious time and right now we have other goals and things to build for MP. Fingers crossed Pat hits a home run with his implementation. Remember he has been working with his code for years now which is different than how we work. Sometimes, it takes one guy with a singular vision and a lot of time to build something super special. “ Daniel: “It is a long-range goal as Jason has stated. Our engine is designed around a central core and different modes of gameplay all share the same basic architecture, so different features of SP and MP can share things to make such hybrid features possible. It will be mostly a question of lobby and GUI design when we eventually focus on such a feature.” Improving the multiplayer lobby is one of the goals that you’re hoping to tackle this year and you’ve previously said that it won’t be easy. What kinds of features are you hoping to have and how much of a challenge is it to build this in? Jason: “I can’t say right now what the exact shape it will take. Obviously, people want chat and a lobby of some kind. Everyone remembers old Hyperlobby and how that worked. So, something that can make match-making easier, but with features users want. We haven’t sat down to draw a final design yet, but that time is coming soon. We briefly mapped it out over a year ago, but it was just to understand the resources we would need to do it. And yes, everything about MP is difficult. A very tough crowd to please. “ Daniel: “While exact design is in development now, now I can only say what we want to have there. We supposing to have common chat, chat rooms, friends, server pre-start lobby where players will bring together and start server when they will be ready and so on.” The team is going to be very busy building a lot of previously announced content in 2019. Are there any surprises we should be watching out for this year? Jason: “Mmmm… if I told you it wouldn’t be a surprise? Time will tell if there are any surprises. Right now, I don’t know of any… or do I. Hmmmm………” Daniel: “I think you will have some.” Three more parts coming I hope everyone enjoyed reading part one of my interview with Jason Williams and Daniel Tuseev. The next three parts are currently in the works and I hope to be able to share them with you very soon!

    Original link:

    https://stormbirds.blog/2019/02/06/part-1-an-interview-with-jason-williams-and-daniel-tuseev-il-2-great-battles-series/?fbclid=IwAR3xdunpO0sDtf0I6iG6DQEOB71I6yU_meKoSGH1aI5_4d-6A86CPFCeMBk
     

    Il2 DD Update Dev Blog 215 "Tanks"
    76.IAP-Blackbird
    By 76.IAP-Blackbird,
    Hello friends,   This week was a hard one - we had to let you play during the weekend without problems, so we released another update that continued the work started in 3.010. The majority of the changes are in the GUI and are required for the new Marschal multiplayer mode that is coming this Spring and will concentrate on the interaction with the map. Other important improvements were made for tank weapons and damage calcualtions. We hope that now the basic damage model is adequate and we'll start working on more particular tasks in the tank systems and combat damage department next week.   This week we finished the map of the Southern part of the Kursk salient while two next tanks, M4A2 and PzKpfw III Ausf.M, will follow soon. The new tanks and the map will be released into Tank Crew Early Access after beta testing. Today we can show you the first in-game screenshots of them taken near Prokhorovka:       You can discuss the news in this thread

    Battle of the Battle of Britain sims!
    33LIMA
    By 33LIMA,
    Campaign contrasts - Battle of Britain II and Cliffs of Dover Blitz Edition For one reason or another, I've found myself running single player RAF campaigns in parallel in these two Battle of Britain sims. As indeed you may have noticed, from recent mission reports. So I thought it might be moderately amusing to describe where I've got to in each, side by side. And share some more of my thoughts - for whatever they may be worth - on their respective merits, based now on a little more than first impressions. Starting with Battle of Britain II - Wings of Victory. It's the morning of 18th July 1940. Watching 'the plot' on the campaign map, I hear the a WAAF announce that a new raid is forming, over northern France. Time acceleration automatically slows from 300x to 20x and I watch the raid's marker nudge its way north, towards the Thames Estuary. As it comes, its size is revised upwards to seventy-plus and I can see at once that its likely target is either of two convoys, one off Felixstowe, the other further north near Great Yarmouth. Both are protected by a single fighter patrol, in squadron strength, put up by the campaign AI. The raid drifts past the Felixstowe convoy and I accept AI recommendations to scramble three squadrons to intercept it. Confirmation comes that Convoy Weasel, up off Great Yarmouth, is the likely target. In the meantime, the intercepting squadrons have been tracking across from the west and Douglas Bader's 242 Squadron is the first to report spotting the bandits. BoB2 asks me if I want to fly this mission and I accept, choosing to fly as Green 3, in one of the rearmost 3-plane vics in 242. The mission loads, and I find myself in Hurricane LE-L, at just over 16,000 feet, now heading nearly due south. Up ahead is the enemy - some of them, anyway. There look to be about thirty of them. They're not contrailing, so it's hard to work out their heading. You can just about make them out, right of top centre, in the pic below. From up ahead and to my left, Douglas Bader is saying something important on the blower, but I'm more interested in what the rest of the formation is now doing. Wings are waggling nervously and I'm suddenly concerned about keeping in formation. I'm also thinking, this was supposed to be seventy plus, where are the rest of the Germans? The answer isn't long in coming. Suddenly we are swamped by a shower of Messerschmitt 110s, which fall on us from above. I pull up and around in an effort to avoid being shot down, and maybe even come around onto their tails. In doing so, I realise I'm on my own and have lost the others - in such a situation, it seems to be each man for himself. I look up briefly to see if it's clear above me, before coming back down after the 110s.  I get another shock. Waves of aircraft, which could only be Huns, are sailing past up there. The lower ones might be Ju88s; the paler ones above them could be more escorts. Others again, I can only see by their contrails. Crikey!!! If only the bloody Controller had told us to put on a bit more height, we would not be in this mess, bounced by 110s with the rest of the raid now having a clear run to the convoy. We can only hope that having stripped away some of the escorts, other squadrons will manage to get the bombers before they get the ships. Did anybody buy it in that first pass? No time to worry about that now. I roll over onto my back and go down, after the Messerschmitts. ...to be continued!

    DCS Weekend News: 1 February 2019
    MigBuster
    By MigBuster,
         DCS World Lunar New Year Sale Save 50% off on most DCS World products until 14 February 2019! The DCS: F/A-18C Hornet and DCS: Persian Gulf Map are available for 25% off. Take advantage of this great opportunity from here. Exceptions include recently released and pre-order titles: DCS: Christen Eagle II by Magnitude 3 LLC, DCS: F-14 Tomcat by Heatblur Simulations, and the A-10C Enemy Within 3.0 Campaign by Baltic Dragon. DCS World Open Beta Update This weeks Open Beta update changelog can be found here. Highlights include: Updates to the recently released DCS: Christen Eagle II and MiG-21bis by Magnitude 3 LLC Updates to the C-101EB and C-101CC by AvioDev Hornet updates like corrected LAU-61 rocket weight, AIM-7 guidance without radar lock, and updated BRA and A/A Waypoint color and BRA selection Updates to several campaigns The Enemy Within 3.0 Campaign by Baltic Dragon This week Baltic Dragon’s latest A-10C campaign was released that can be purchased here. The Enemy Within 3.0 is a complete remake of the critically-acclaimed The Enemy Within campaign for the A-10C Warthog. This story-driven campaign puts you in cockpit of the Warthog as part of a small, 6-ship US detachment sent to Georgia. Your mission is to help contain a growing threat from a terrorist organization calling itself the "Caucasus Liberation Army" (CLA). As the story unfolds, you will be faced with a variety of challenges, including close air support, precision strikes, combat search and rescue, anti-ship strikes, and even air to air combat. Striving to be as realistic as possible, the units featured in the campaign are based on their real-life counterparts. It also uses a sophisticated radio control system, meaning that you must tune your on-board radios to the correct frequency to hear the more than 2000 custom voice overs available throughout 21 missions.Compared to the original campaign, version 3.0 offers following great additions and changes: 20 out of 21 missions have been rewritten from scratch. This includes the course of action, dialogues, briefings and background information More than 2/3 of the missions take place in different locations than the original ones, and most feature different challenges and enemies to provide a completely new experience, 3 entirely new missions that are designed to complement and extend the storyline The 8 pilot and 3 commander characters featured throughout the campaign have almost 4x more custom voice overs (over 2100) Additional documents and custom kneeboard pages are available for each sortie DCS: F/A-18C Hornet Update Our Hornet team continues their hard work on the cockpit systems, sensors and weapons of the F/A-18C. The current focus is on: Target of Opportunity (TOO) and Pre-Briefed (PB) HARM modes. Once complete, we will start work on the Litening II targeting pod for the Hornet; the ATFLIR will come at a later point in early access. Note that US Marine Corps Hornet’s operate the Litening II pod. However, this is not a simple copy and paste from the A-10C Litening II pod; this is still a significant amount of work, but it will allow us to bring a Hornet TGP into the game faster than the ATFLIR A huge amount of work is ongoing with the data link (D/L). This is probably the most complex system for the Hornet given the network sharing and new code that needs to be created. We are making good progress, and it will be a “game changer”. This will also address a new system of IFF in which locking an aircraft is no longer required to IFF interrogate it. The Hornet can operate on a D/L network and receive and correlate data from other Link-16 equipped aircraft (F/F) and surveillance aircraft like E-2 and E-3 AWACS (SURV) In additional to cleaning up the DUD and fuze logic / pull-up cue and break X for HD bombs, progress has been quite rapid on JDAM and JSOW. Like D/L, this is also a rather complex task that will take time. Like HARM, these GPS-guided weapons have both TOO and pre-planned modes with many attack options Work is ongoing on the Latent Track While Scan (LTWS) and Track While Scan (TWS) air-to-air radar modes. This will in turn tie into the D/L We expect to see several of these items available this month. New DCS World Features Available now in the Open Beta and coming soon, are two new features for DCS World: Wake Turbulence. Just like the wake behind a ship, an aircraft also produces a turbulence wake behind it, with the strongest forces coming off the wingtips as vortices. DCS World will now be modeling these as an option and will add a new level of realism and challenge when flying formations, aerial refueling, and air-to-air combat. Battle Damage Assessment. Displayed along the left side of the screen when a target is damaged or destroyed by the player, these notifications appear. A red notification indicates a destroyed target and a yellow notification with a percentage indicates a damaged target. When in the cockpit, it can often be difficult to know if a target was hit and damaged. This optional feature is provided to remove that mystery. DCS: MiG-19P Farmer Update The MiG-19P was originally planned for a release in January, but after an extensive review of the MiG-19, we and RAZBAM have decided to postpone its release until a few items are resolved. These include some needed improvements to the flight model and documentation. It’s RAZBAM’s desire to release the MiG-19P in a finished state so it will need just a little more time in the oven to meet this expectation. Sincerely,
    The Eagle Dynamics Team

    Il2 DD Update Dev Blog 214
    76.IAP-Blackbird
    By 76.IAP-Blackbird,
    Hello everybody,   The year has just begun, but we're already preparing the new update for you. Version 3.010 will be focused on improving the functionality of several modules of the sim and some of the changes are long-awaited and important. In the meantime, the work on all the Early Access projects progresses according to the schedule and many new things will be ready shortly after 3.010 release, in Q1 2019.   Our map designers are finishing the map of the Southern Kursk salient that includes Prokhorovka. As we announced before, it will utilize the higher detailed landscape wireframe and higher detailed buildings damage. When it is finished, the work on the scenario campaigns for "Clash at Prokhorovka" will begin. The campaigns will recreate the large scale historical events of July 1943 to the South-West of Prokhorovka. Today we can show you several screenshots of this map:     We plan to show you the new tanks soon - M4A2 Sherman, Pz.Kpfw.III Ausf.M (to be released at the end of the Winter) and T-34 mod. 1943 and PzKpfw IV Ausf.G (to be released at the beginning of Spring). We also started the implementation of the major feature - animated tank crewmen. This is a very laborious and time-consuming task since each tank has 4-5 crewmen and each one of them has his own unique pose and animations (many can also lean out of their hatches). This forced us to find new technical approaches for character animation that open new prospects not only for the Tank Crew but also other projects:     For "Flying Circus" project we're making the map of 100 km front line near Arras (Spring 1918). It will be made using the same techniques we're using for the creation of the large Bodenplatte project map, so it should also be a step forward visually. Here are first in-game screenshots of Sopwith Dolphin and Fokker D.VII which will be ready soon:     For our main project, Bodenplatte, we're preparing the next wave of the new aircraft. FMs for P-51D, Fw 190 D-9 and Me 262 A-1/2 are already in the works, while artists create 3D models of Hawker Tempest Mk.V, P-38J-25, P-51D-15, Me 262 A-1/2 and B-25 Mitchell-II (non-playable). Here are some screenshots of Me 262 A-1/2 (its paint schemes and cockpit are nearly ready):     You can discuss the news in this thread

    Cliffs of Dover - Hurricane campaign
    33LIMA
    By 33LIMA,
    The gentlemen versus the players versus the Germans! Until a few days ago, having no interest in multiplayer, I had steered cleared of Cliffs of Dover. Until recently, I didn't have a system anywhere near the minimum spec of the current version on Steam, the Team Fusion 'Blitz Edition' (although it turns out to run smoothly, so far, at good-looking settings on a 1.5Gb GTX580, a lot less that the minimum 4Gb stated). So, how come this mission report? Well despite reports of poor AI, broken radio commands and limited single player content, I got it cheap enough to mitigate the limited satisfaction which I was resigned to expecting. First forays with my new toy confirmed the presence of several things I didn't like. Dispersion of effort into planes with little or no role in the Battle of Britain proper, which must be at the expense of something. Hedgerows replaced with 'tree-rows' and rather strong terrain colours (if not as cartoon-y as early versions). Over-weathered Hurricanes looking like ex-Japanese Army Airforce stock. Reasonable levels of radio traffic, but with some howlers like the boss being described as the Commander, instead of the Leader. Radio comms menu present but seemingly, much of it non-functional. Key commands a chore to set up, partly thanks to confusing duplicate labels in the settings table. Aircraft very hard to spot, without labels. RAF squadron codes vary from unit to unit, but are in too round a font. And that was before finding out whether the doubtless delectable but totally silly Spitfire Girl was still lurking in the wings (pun intended). However... ...if you can get over some quirks, the visuals are pretty good, especially the cockpits, and as I said performance was surprisingly smooth. I tried a few of the included single missions for the RAF, and found them passable fun, again apart from some more quirks mentioned here. So I decided to have a look at the current CloD single-player campaign, despite not having every last key properly set up, and in particular not having worked out how CloD's padlock works (I use mouselook but don't like head tracking systems). I soon found that the SP campaign is for an RAF fighter pilot, and apparently consists of a set of scripted missions, of unknown number so far. They have imaginatively-written briefings, which remind me of the best to be found in user-made campaigns for IL-2 '46, such as Blinding Sun and Faltspinman's Willi Jedermann series. Except that the briefings, creative though they be, are in some places bit twee - how do you say it in the US, 'cheesy'?  The back-story is that you are a working class boy, or perhaps lower middle class, recently signed up in the RAF and posted to your Hurricane squadron, which is based at Tangmere, close to the Channel coast, at about the time the Battle of France ends. Your squadron is fictitious, but nicknamed the Fat Cats Squadron, because its pilots are basically rich kids. In this respect it sounds a bit like 501 Squadron, Royal Auxiliary Air Force, which really was like that, being known as 'the millionaire's squadron'. In this CloD equivalent, the first briefing puts you firmly in your place, socially-speaking. But you are taken under the wing of a friendly flight commander with a similar 'limited background' to yourself, also from the Manchester area, a 'northerner' not a proper chap from the jolly old Home Counties. Your first mission with this less than friendly lot involves a scramble against a sudden, low-level raid by three Dornier 215 bombers which catches you on the ground, followed closely by a larger wave of maybe another nine. Second time up, you are scrambled to protect a Channel convoy against an attack by a large-ish bunch of Stukas, apparently unescorted. There are some screnies and brief notes on both missions in the post linked to above. Tolerably good, I found both, and the briefings link the missions together quite well. This report is from mission number three. The briefing begins with you and your friendly flight commander having a rather sad bitching session about the toffs who won't accept the likes of you and he into their circle, and ends when he breaks off to point out a damaged German bomber he's just spotted, apparently making for the coast on its own, in an effort to get back to France. 'Our planes are ready to go, let's go get him and orders be dammed!' is the gist of what he says next. So here we are. The mission has loaded and I'm sitting, engine running (no complex engine management mouseclick madness for me), in FC-A, with my new-found friend-for-life the flight commander in FC-M. The Fat Cats probably have personalised number plates on their MGs and Aston Martins, so I suppose it's no wonder they have their own fictional squadron code. The grass colours are really a bit dark but the airfield detail, as you can see, is fairly decent. It includes moving vehicles, notably some idiot racing around at about 50 MPH in a fifteen hundredweight truck or the like, fortunately well clear of any aircraft. Probably, it's some bored fat cat whose MG is in for a service. But where is the Hun? No-where to be seen, is the answer, so, slightly deflated, I wait for something to happen. ...to be continued!

Portal by DevFuse · Based on IP.Board Portal by IPS


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