The time has come to tell you more about the historical timeframe of Battle of Bodenplatte.
As we said in our previous Dev Blog #192, we're making all four different seasons for this map. Some might think that we'll model only 1-2 days of the actual Bodenplatte operation when the Luftwaffe made the all-out attack on the Allied airfields near Brussels and Antwerp. However, our “Battle of” series is much more than that! The Career mode for this new theatre of war will last from September 17th, 1944 to March 28th, 1945 – 188 days of war in total.
Historically, 11 significant engagements took place in this area during the given timeframe. In the Career mode, you'll see your area of operations, mission types, acting air force units, their home airfields and other details that correspond to the historical data. You'll be flying in and around many famous operations and battles. Of course, we can’t model every skirmish or battle on the ground, but we will have an exciting Career spanning this later stage of the war when the Allies were fighting their way into Germany.
Operation Market Garden (September 17 – 26, 1944)
Battle of Aachen (October 2 – 21, 1944)
Battle of the Scheldt (October 2 – November 8, 1944)
Operation Queen (November 16 – December 15, 1944)
Operation Watch on the Rhine (December 16 – 25, 1944)
Allied Counter-Offensive (December 26, 1944 – January 25, 1945)
Operation Bodenplatte (January 1, 1945)
Operation Veritable (February 8 – March 10, 1945)
Operation Clarion (February 22 – 23, 1945)
Operation Grenade (February 23 – March 10, 1945)
Operation Plunder (March 23 – 28, 1945)
As said above, we won't be able to recreate these ground operations in super detail, but the overall situation, mission tasks, home airfields and mission targets will change as they should historically just as you experience with Stalingrad, Moscow and Kuban. This, along with the corresponding features of the Career mode like pilot biographies, squadron histories, newspaper articles, videos, squadron rosters, medals and rank progression will create an authentic experience of flying on the Western Front during the late war period. The whole timeframe will be divided into 5 chapters:
Chapter 1: Fighting in Holland (September 17 – October 1, 1944)
Chapter 2: Autumn Offensive (October 2 – December 15, 1944)
Chapter 3: Battle of the Bulge (December 16 – 25, 1944)
Chapter 4: Allied Counter-Offensive (December 26, 1944 – February 7, 1945)
Chapter 5: Battle of the Rhine (February 8 – March 28, 1945)
To create this new theatre of war, a thorough research will be done on where the units of both sides were based, their tasks and what aircraft they used day by day. Two new award systems for the US and Great Britain are to be created from scratch, as well as the late war pilot models for Luftwaffe, RAF and USAAF along with their chutes. The Newspaper articles is a huge task on their own and takes several months to complete. If you’d like to help with this contact Jason. We also plan on making additional mission types for this unique location and timeframe. All in all, this will be a lot of work for us, but progress is already being made. For example, we have finalized the map boundaries and the airfield locations. This map is bigger than we initially planned (flyable area is 401 x 324 km - it is 129.900 sq.km) and several compromises will have to be made to make it a reality. It will stretch us to the limit of what is possible in our development schedule, but as with our other maps it will be really cool when it’s done.
You can discuss the news in this thread
There are holidays at the beginning of May in Russia, but to this day we have managed to release the important 3.002 update and its hotfixes. Moreover, we have found a temporary solution for our Russian customers who were affected by the recent mass blocking of the Amazon IP addresses (we use its web services). While one part of the team has been working on the update, others have continued the development of our next big project - Bodenplatte. For instance, we have reached an important milestone in the development of the new map. Evgeny Isaev, our lead landscape and game world artist, has this to say:
It's important to note that the new map will be special and different (once again!). The set development time limits force us to find the ways to optimize our work, simultaneously increasing the quality of the landscape. This means we ought to implement new design methods, namely using digital geodata (with required historical corrections) instead of drawing by hand. This way we can save time, but increase the accuracy of the resulting map.
At the moment, we already have the map with height data, rivers and forests. The result is not final, but it required a lot of work already.
Now we're working on the settlements. It is possible that we'll increase their number in the course of development, but we'll make the decision when we have the major towns and smaller settlements ready. The airfields list is ready and we have collected enough information to make them. In addition, we have a general concept of how we'll texture the landscape for different seasons, but we'll give it a bit more thought.
It is said than one picture is worth a thousand words, how about fourteen:
You can find it here
We are proud and excited to announce that the Battle of Kuban development cycle is completed and Battle of Kuban is officially released! As Producer of the Sturmovik product series it is always a pleasure to announce major milestones to the community and this one is very special. Battle of Kuban was a technical challenge from start to finish, but the team has once again proven why they are the best. When I took over as Producer I promised you a new and improved Sturmovik experience. A Sturmovik with a more hardcore feel with more classic flight-sim features for both single-player and multiplayer modes along with other touches that remind you of past Sturmovik titles while embracing new genre-leading technology. In the past 18 months we’ve done just that and transformed this generation of Sturmovik into a real leader.
As you will see below, the amount of work that has gone into just version 3.001 is huge, not to mention ALL of the enhancements, improvements, fixes and content that was developed for Battle of Kuban and the engine as a whole during this cycle. Every department has worked hard to make this release special. This was months and months of hard work by an extremely talented and dedicated team who spent very long hours trying to make the vision I announced in fall 2016 a reality. If you are a fan of Sturmovik, either old or new, they deserve your continued support. Please tell your flight-sim friends about how much Sturmovik has improved with the Kuban release. Together, the Sturmovik line-up will continue to grow and thrive as our big announcement about Bodenplatte, Flying Circus and Tank Crews this past November shows. We have big plans, but we need your support to make them happen. We have no magic safety net. Your support allows us to expand our team and spend time clearing development bottlenecks or solving long stubborn issues.
As with any major release, many compromises in scheduling and work-flow had to occur. Some features not in our original plan were added (new distant terrain rendering, new shadows, improved flight-models) and some were delayed (Air Marshall, Object Viewer) and some work took much longer than planned (Pilot Career, P-39). As a result, a few new features planned for the Kuban cycle have been pushed to this Spring and Summer and will be part of the Battle of Bodenplatte development cycle. Since our core engine powers all products it really is just one large development cycle. All we need is enough time, patience and support from you and all can become a reality
Let this release be an example of our unending desire to make a better product and do the best job we can with our small team and limited resources. The team has worked a miracle here once again and made me very proud of them as I know my constant demands make their lives more difficult. Please think of them when you fly and enjoy Battle of Kuban.
P.S. I hope to see some of you at the 2018 Flight-Sim Expo in Las Vegas, NV USA taking place June 9-10of this year. https://www.flightsimexpo.com/
And without further delay, here is Daniel aka “Han” with the goodies you have been waiting for…
From Daniel – Development Manager
So, the day has come. Half a year has passed since the last update 2.012 which was, as you remember, quite large on its own and added many new features to the sim. But today the new 3.001 update, sets a new record for our project. We have never released so many additions of different types at once. Sure, it comes from the fact that much time has passed since the previous update. You may ask why it has taken so long - because two fundamental game parts were re-made almost completely.
First of all, the old dynamic campaign is now replaced by the new Career. In this mode we have tried to create the best single-player experience we could. We’ve taken some elements from our Rise of Flight Career mode you may be familiar with and some from the Battle of Stalingrad campaign system and we added tons of new features and abilities along the way. This mode takes a WWII combat pilot experience to the next level and works in any theatre of war you own - Battle of Stalingrad, Battle of Moscow and Battle of Kuban. If you have all three, you can play through all of them with the same character, starting in the cold winter of 1941 and finishing in 1943 on the warm shores of the Black Sea. The AI has been significantly improved to function in this mode as well. It is important to note that we plan to develop it further improving it and adding new mission types and interesting gameplay features in the very near future.
The second hugely improved part of the game is its core. The evolutionary development we started back in 2017 brings fruit right now in the 3.001 update. The biggest change is the increased rendering distance of course. But this fundamental change led to many other additions and corrections, you can read the change list below. Many of these changes were anticipated by the community while some will be a pleasant surprise. The cumulative result of these changes makes our graphics engine one of the best in the genre.
Another important addition is the new Cooperative multiplayer mode. Together with the updated statistics system and other new features, it will give our customers who prefer multiplayer new exciting opportunities.
And of course, the biggest chunk of the 3.001 update is the new content. Five new aircraft including two new Collector Planes and the new historical static campaign 'Sea Dragons'. Also included are many new aircraft skins, the ability to host a game server from within the game client without using the dedicated server executable, 'Mods On' mode and many others. It is difficult not to forget something in this short overview, so here goes the update 3.001 change list:
1. A-20B bomber is added to the project and all Battle of Kuban owners can fly it now;
2. Yak-7b series 36 fighter is added to the project and all Battle of Kuban owners can fly it now;
3. P-39L-1 fighter is added to the project and all Battle of Kuban owners can fly it now;
4. New Collectors Plane: Bf 109 G-6 fighter;
5. New Collectors Plane: La-5FN series 2;
6. New Career single-player mode replaces the old dynamic campaign;
7. The new Cooperative multiplayer mode is available along with the classic Dogfight;
8. New historical static campaign 'Sea Dragons' designed by Alexander -BlackSix- Timoshkov telling the story of an IL-2 mod. 1943 pilot is added to the project and all Battle of Kuban owners can play it now;
9. Now you can host a multiplayer server from within the game client and play on it yourself;
10. New 'Mods On' mode allows modifying the game files. Multiplayer server owners can allow or disallow players with the modified game files to connect;
11. Bf-109 G-6 Collector Plane comes with painstakingly researched paint schemes created by community enthusiasts III/JG2_Gustav05 and I./ZG1_Panzerbar;
12. La-5FN series 2 Collector Plane comes with painstakingly researched paint schemes created by the community enthusiast I./ZG1_Panzerbar;
13. IL-2 mod. 1943 now comes with all of its textures made in 4K quality (default and all official paint schemes, bump, specular and damage textures) created by the community enthusiast =BlackHellHound1=;
14. Terrain visibility distance has been increased from 40 to 150 kilometers with Settings option;
15. New raindrops effect on the cockpit and pilot glasses;
16. Clouds visibility distance has been increased from 40 to 150 kilometers;
17. Heavy cumulus clouds were made more complex, some of the weather variations now have two level clouds;
18. Because of the increased rendering distance, cumulus cloud patterns were reworked for all weather types;
19. Fixed the issue where clouds could drop shadows on the mountains above them;
20. Cloud 'moving' effect when you fly very close to it has been minimized;
21. Large white horizon band has been removed thanks to the new rendering distance;
22. Skydome lighting has been made bluer;
23. Cirrus clouds rendering has been improved;
24. Winter lighting has been tuned for more contrast shadows with a slight blue hue;
25. Completely redone texturing of summer and autumn Stalingrad maps: overall steppe look was made more authentic, fields tiling has been removed;
26. Landscape texture flickering on the big and steep mountains has been eliminated;
27. Tree crowns drop more detailed shadows;
28. Landscape detail change with distance has been made less apparent on Ultra graphics preset;
29. There is a new graphics option that enables or disables 4K textures (when set to On, the game will use 4K textures if available);
30. Player controlled tanks use the new visual tech that simulates prismatic optical instruments;
31. Player controlled tank Panzer III now has a movable prismatic visor and armor hatches that can cover the view slits;
32. Main menu and aircraft settings hangar scene now has a different lighting; welding blinks and sounds were removed;
33. Player controlled tank T-34 now uses the new tech that allows very detailed tank tracks (it will be used for the Tank Crew vehicles);
AI Aircraft and Game World:
34. Damage to large objects from small explosions now calculated more accurately;
35. Some trees (on tree-line, along with the roads, individual ones) can be toppled with a powerful impact;
36. AI pilots evade mountains and hills better;
37. Shallow dive ground attack procedure has been improved for cases with high initial aircraft altitude;
38. AI pilots evade ground objects during shallow dive ground attack procedure better;
39. AI pilots will follow the flight leader even if the wingman player decides to fly elsewhere;
40. AI Hs-129 B-2 takes off correctly;
41. Heavy loaded AI planes take off correctly;
42. All AI planes in the group attack targets if there are enough of them;
43. All AI planes in the group choose targets correctly and won't attack the same target if there are enough of them;
44. AI priorities during the ground attack were updated. Primary targets are AAA, then locomotives, then tanks, then artillery, then everything else. Targets closer to the center of the ground attack area have more priority;
45. Ships damage modeling has been improved, they are harder to destroy;
46. Large ships except tankers have simulated damage control;
47. AI groups taxi to a flight strip faster;
48. Parachutes are correctly modeled in multiplayer;
Physics, Aircraft Systems and Models:
49. Yak-1 machinegun synchronizer C2K-19 has been replaced with C2K-26 that fires three rounds per one propeller revolution instead of one;
50. UB machineguns and ShVAK dispersion on Yak-1 fighters has been corrected using the newly found test data;
51. IL-2 canopies can be fixed in the open position;
52. Ultimate load factor calculations were updated for all aircraft;
53. 'Unbreakable' difficulty option now works correctly - an aircraft won't explode from a powerful impact when it is on;
54. The issue with He-111 engines having different initial throttle control positions after starting a mission in the air has been fixed;
55. IL-2 mod. 1943 instruments illumination works correctly now;
56. Compass locator on all aircraft now works only when powered and won't show strange readings when power is turned on or off or whenever a beacon signal is found or lost;
57. 'Unbreakable' difficulty option now works correctly for Bf-110, He-111, Ju-88, Ju-52, IL-2 and Pe-2;
58. 'Unbreakable' difficulty option now correctly turns flopped over MiG-3 and Hs-129 B2 back to normal position;
59. 'Unbreakable' difficulty option now turns flopped over planes back to normal position without excessive overload and won't cause shaking of aircraft laying on the ground with retracted landing gear;
60. An aircraft or its parts won't kick up a dust or snow hitting a runway or other hard surface;
61. An aircraft losing a small part won't display a debris cloud effect;
62. Damage model issue has been fixed (a fractured part won't break off when completely stationary);
63. Aircraft canopies now break off at correct places;
64. Jettisoned Bf-109 Е7 canopy now correctly adds drag, broken off parts have corrected aerodynamic characteristics;
65. Oil viscosity changes with temperature, causing an engine to be damaged faster when the maximum oil temperature is exceeded;
66. The control wheel of the R-7 constant speed governor rotates much slower according to reference data resulting in much slower propeller RPM switching (IL-2, MiG-3, Pe-2 series 87, Yak-1 series 69 and Yak-7b series 36 are affected);
67. Because of the slower propeller RPM switching on IL-2, MiG-3, Pe-2 series 87, Yak-1 series 69 and Yak-7b series 36, 'Engine auto control' difficulty option automatically lowers the propeller pitch if the landing gear is released and IAS is dropping (to make go-around during landing possible);
68. Ammo counters on Fw-190 A-3, Fw-190 A-5, Bf-110 G-2 and MC.202 ser. 8 were corrected;
69. Metal surfaces on P-40E-1, P-39L-1, A-20B and MC.202 series 8 now rendered differently for polished metal visual effect (others to come in the future);
70. IL-2 mod. 1943 visual damage effects were corrected so fractured parts won't appear hanging in the air;
71. Rear armored glass joints on Yak-1b series 127 now look better;
72. MG 15 reload handle position on Ju 52 has been corrected;
73. Remnants of the aircraft unlocking system in statistics are completely gone;
74. Statistics data in all game modes made more detailed with subcategories;
75. Statistics screen shows secondary objective status in all game modes;
76. Completed and failed objectives can be displayed on the flight map in all game modes if enabled by a mission designer;
77. Victory points are now calculated differently and don't depend on difficulty level;
78. All game modes now share the same flight status system. Point modifiers are changed in Dogfight mode;
79. Pilot capture by the enemy now works in all game modes (if a mission designer has set up the friendly and enemy territories using Influence Area instrument). Tank crews can't be captured;
80. Multiplayer server options now don't depend on the difficulty level;
81. Player ban time can be specified in server options;
82. Players can view Dogfight statistics and vote for a ban in the lobby or during flight;
83. Dogfight servers now recognize Trigger Mission Objective conditions (completing Primary Objective grants a win to one of the teams while completing Secondary Objectives reduces the 'life points' of a team;
84. Mission route on the map made clearer;
85. Single mission lists made more convenient and compact;
86. Campaign designers can now block aircraft loadouts and modifications separately (previously it was possible to block them only simultaneously);
87. Many user interface elements made more compact;
88. New option added: user interface scaling (useful for monitors with high DPI);
89. Credits added to the main menu;
90. The game client won't hang anymore on the very first run during input devices initialization;
'Blazing Steppe' campaign:
91. The campaign has been updated to the current mission design standard;
92. Map tactical overlays are updated to be more detailed;
93. Waypoint following logic has been improved;
94. Take-off is counted when 30 meters altitude is reached instead of 200, making the take-off of large joint groups faster and reducing the possibility of skipping the first waypoint;
95. Text translations are updated.
'10 Days of Autumn' campaign:
96. The campaign has been completely reworked;
97. Map tactical overlays are redone;
98. Waypoint following logic has been improved;
99. Take-off is counted when 30 meters altitude is reached instead of 200, making the take-off of large joint groups faster and reducing the possibility of skipping the first waypoint;
100. Skipping intermediate waypoints won't interfere with the mission progress and landing on the home airfield anymore;
101. Now there are more aircraft in the air at the same time in some missions, somewhat increasing the difficulty level;
102. Text translations are updated.
Please discuss the update in this thread.
Today we don't have a lot of news, we just want to tell you that the work on 3.001 update is near its end. We have 20 Career mission types working of 25 planned for the release. The most of the initially found issues are fixed and some tweaks are already in the place.
To give you a general idea of the scale of this update, its change list will contain 90 items, nearly a third of which are significant changes and improvements. The sheer number of these changes means that after 3.001 release hotfixes will likely follow because there could be problems that couldn't be found by the testers. We're sure this teething period will be short.
P-39L-1 cockpit is almost ready, perhaps we'll spend 1-2 days for final 'polishing' of its textures, but we can already show you its overall look.
All other changes and additions planned for 3.001 release are finished. Therefore, we plan to release this humongous update in 2-3 weeks. We want to release it as soon as possible ourselves: all we're doing we're doing for you and your feedback is very important for us. But we need to make a bit more effort to give you the result that will not only be massive, but also good functioning, so these days will be spent on debugging and refinement of the new functionality.
You can discuss the news in this thread
Hello everybody, Today we have a small surprise for you. But we aren't its authors: it was made by an enthusiast from the Netherlands, Neeraj =BlackHellHound1= Bindraban. Neeraj turned out to be the biggest enthusiast among the Soviet WWII aircraft skin artists since he was the first to finish the entire path of re-texturing an aircraft in 4K. Not only he remade the skins in 4K, he also made many corrections to the base textures of the IL-2 mod. 1943. He started his work as early as June 2017 and finished it only now, since it was a lot of work to redraw all this in 4K to achieve the new level of detail: - All panel lines, hatches, rivets, etc. in 4K detail - Dirt and wear layer - Texture alpha channel that governs matte effect, reflections and glint - Bump texture that visualizes small surface details - Bump texture alpha channel that governs the damage visualization - Damage texture that shows bullet holes, raptures and other visible surface damage - 15 existing and new paint schemes Here are some screenshots showing the new look from the IL-2 mod. 1943 cockpit: ... new damage look: ... and new skins that you'll get together with a ton of other improvements and additions in the update 3.001: Neeraj became a trailblazer in converting the entire set of aircraft textures and skins to 4K resolution and encountered difficulties all the pioneers face. He managed to overcome all these difficulties and hopefully other enthusiasts will follow, helping to take the visual clarity of various aircraft to the new level. You can discuss the news in this thread