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MigBuster

Combat Air Patrol 2 preview

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Mudspike have published a preview of CAP2 which it seems is the follow on to the early 90s sim CAP on the Commodore Amiga which was really good for the time.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ok, let’s do a quick experiment. We’ll need a measuring rule, a bucket and (optionally) a towel. I’m going to list some things from a new PC flight sim coming out in 2015 (yes you read that right, this is like ‘Bigfoot Found In Walmart’ breaking news) so let’s set up the experiment:

Place the towel on the floor. Position the bucket beneath your lower lip.

Here’s the features of this new flight sim:

  • AV-8B Harrier II with 3D clickable cockpit using TrackIR and HOTAS support.
  • Single Player emphasis, with Multiplayer Co-op available, including drop-in play.
  • Dynamic Campaign engine.
  • Flight and Naval Strategic fleet battles.
  • Carrier Ops. Wingmen, Helos, Civilian traffic in shipping lanes.
  • Realistic campaign map set in the Straits of Hormuz using 250,000 sq km satellite imagery and modern graphics.
  • Dynamic Campaign engine. Yes, I just said it again.

Ok, now let’s use the ruler and see how much drool just entered that bucket. I’m betting a good couple of inches, so feel free to use the towel now and go rehydrate.

 

We haven’t had the chance to get our hands on this title as yet, but Sim155 reached out to Mudspike and we set up this short Q&A to see what’s up:

Q1. What’s the balance between single and multiplayer content in CAP2? Is this primarily a Multiplayer game?

I’d say it is 50-50. For single player there’s a collection of training missions, single missions then an open ended dynamic campaign. For multiplayer there’s quick start dogfight, fleet defense/attack and fleet vs fleet. In addition any player in a campaign can invite players to join in a mission and take the place of AI controlled wingmen.

Q2. What’s a good comparative title for CAP2, it seems similar to Gaijin’s Apache Air Assault – is that a fair comparison in terms of sim fidelity and gameplay? Fun and action more than hardcore simulation?

I’d say we lean more towards a simulation than AAS. CAP2 has a strategic element in campaign mode which I don’t think you’ll find in many titles.

Q3. I’m old enough to have played Combat Air Patrol on the Amiga 500 (great game btw), what would be the main advances Ed and the team have been able to feature in CAP2 on today’s more powerful hardware?

Glad you liked it! With CAP I developed a 3D engine in 68k assembler as we didn’t have GPU’s. With a CPU running just over 7Mhz you could see the impact of just a few extra polygons. Now we’re pushing millions of polygons per frame we can draw pretty much anything we want. Terrain in CAP was limited to a few blue water polygons, CAP2 has over 250,000sq km of geo accurate terrain. Shaders allow us to render complex atmospheric lighting, water, shadows and post process effects.

Reference material is one of the biggest differences between developing CAP2 vs CAP. Back in the 90’s I wrote to the DoD asking for material on CVN-71 and actually received info & pictures a few weeks later. Today you’ve got a thousand images/movies/schematics available in seconds so things have changed massively.

Thanks to Ed and the Sim155 team for taking the time to answer our questions. We can’t wait to find out more, especially on the dynamic campaign side. For those that loved the gameplay fun of Strike Fighters and IL-2, this looks like a really nice ‘fidelity middle ground’ with a mix of tactical fleets mixed in. Awesome.

 

More here http://www.mudspike.com/combat-air-patrol-2-preview-interview/

 

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No. F. Way. 

 

I'm a former Harrier mech and I seriously longed for a chance to at least try the simulator before I got out. I didn't but a good Harrier sim would make me feel better :)

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Devblog here: http://devblog.sim155.com/

 

 

In hard difficulty level, when you attempt a vertical landing on a pitching, crowded deck, managing your throttle, nozzle position whilst monitoring the windvane you get an idea of just how skilled real life Harrier pilots are. It's tough but that's the point isn't it? Playing with TrackIR or a VR headset should help in this mode so I'll post on this once those features are added.

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I wish it all the best. And do not even try to posting here somethign akin to "but why not to make it for DCS"

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I suspect so...........you never know though........such a poor result.

 

I guess everyone is happy with SF2 & DCS etc - or just aware that even after decades of development the sims are lacking what they want.

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Hi MiGBuster.. don't mind my asking but you said SF2, DCS and etc... Which sims are you referring to in 'etc'?

 

I really wish DCS would focus on 4.5 & 5th Gen fighters...

 

P.S.: Please don't mind what I said above.....But.... I mean...Isn't it monumentally disappointing when developers showcase / promise something new and revolutionary and all of a sudden what they promised ends up as Vaporware....First Iris with Their Tomcat, Strike Eagle & Raptor modules for DCS and no Sim155 with CAP2... now new combat flight simulations seem to be coming on the horizon.....

 

We're living in really sad times.....

Edited by SkyStrike

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etc - There are WWII and WW1 sims still going and Falcon 4 is still being developed by BMS as per my sig.

 

It is basically the time these things take.........peoples lives and circumstances change. 90% of the time I suspect they are genuine but just cant pull it off for < insert reason here>............some people get burnt out and fed up..........it is humanly impossible to keep doing the same thing for years.

Also the level of quality DCS demand is way beyond what sims were in the 90s golden era.........the dev time goes through the roof.

 

SF2 doesn't demand that quality level thus you have pretty much everything........any aircraft/weapon terrain. Would you like to estimate how many decades it would take to get the same level of content in DCS?

 

 Lets take Falcon.........the latest flight model is probably the best in the public domain.........the data available allows this for the F-16 - however just the flight model by itself took 8 years!! 

 

DCS has gone full blown realistic so that rules out modern jets because there is just not enough relevant info available. However IMO doing modern jets for FC3 could be done.........wouldn't be realistic but would probably bring in good sales.

 

 

My personal take on CAP2 if it was ever released it would be very basic regarding content and just be another sim that has to be built up over the next xx years by devs or modders. However it would need to be supported by.........whoever is still left.

 

You have to make the most of what you have unless you fancy the thankless task of developing your own modules.

Edited by MigBuster

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hmmm... From the outlook it seems as a 'FC3' level Harrier with CV Ops and dynamic campaign. The idea is quite solid imo! I mean I don't really need extreme hi-fi FM or an avionics suite a direct copy paste from the pilot manaul.. as long as it's fun to fly, which CAP2 seems to be about.

 

I guess a lot of KS campaign has so little going, if they spend more time developing the project before showing them to the public it might have more pull, especially in CAP2 as they claim to have other funding. ...Or maybe I just dont get the spirit of KS..eh.

 

Another explanation... it is a bit similar to SF2NA no? Notice that TK got burnt by NA pretty bad.

 

Personal thing, not a lover of the harrier that much. It's a bit 2nd tier/alternate for me. Ofc lots of ppl love it, but surely the numbers can't compete with say the hornet.

 

Anyway I still hope they stick with it, it does sound like a fun sim and could become its own. Just the dynamic campaign part can be a life saver, if the ppl moaning and complaining with DCS/Bos has any genuity that is!

 

(heck, want dynamic missions? Don't buy russian! See, avionics and flight modelling, it's just research, or more plainly, about copying. It's just spending time and money to get the source material, the best original so "your sim is realistic" or, the copying is accurate! Missions and campaigns... Now this takes genuine creativity. There's NOTHING for you to copy from. The russians get the copying part pretty down pat, they can get right down to every tiny detail -- if the real thing had a toilet in the back, we put toilet in back! But creating mission generation and campaigns.... You live in a collectivitity for so long man.. it leaves a toll on your individualism and thus, creativity. Tis perhaps something the western people have difficulty imagining. So, the "russian" solution is either no auto mission generation at all, or just pit the humans against each other. They are unable to invent something like that. It is not who they are. --- My personal realization since 2009.)

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From what there is I thought it was more FC3 level than SF2...........a fair bit of detail on operating the Harrier.

 

Eagle Dynamics develop professional flight simulators so that could be why their policy is more driven to avionics and flight modelling.

 

 

Also be careful please regarding generalisation of race.....it's 2015!

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CAP2 is getting released anyway and the kickstarter money was for affording some extra features the team wanted. It's not vaporware yet.

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I've been following development of Combat Air Patrol 2 for sometime, and am really looking forward for this title.

I actually like a lot the AV-8B Harrier II, and the Strait of Hormuz scenario seems very interesting to me.

 

Good post by Do335

No doubt, there's a lot to like in "super-accurate-harcore-sims" (say, the intricate DCS modules, or F4/BMS), but then there are aspects that are also important which those are lacking.

The scalabilty is usually severely compromised. There is no middle ground, usually just two opposite extremes.

You either have the full-on "simulation mode" which is really complex and with huge depth (for which both these titles are obviously designed for), or a really crappy simplified "arcade mode", which is simply uninteresting and making no sense for the concept. 

 

This is why, for example, titles like StrikeFighters 2 (note: with mods) make all the sense to me.

It delivers a good level between "simulation" and "game". Meaning, it's fun and accessible, neither "ludicrous arcade" or "nerdy hardcore".

Flaming Cliffs is also freakin excelent as middle-ground but, TBH, and for reasons that I can't really explain, it always felt "cold" to me (plus, no dynamic missions).Whatever FC iteration, it just doesn't grab me like SF2 did and does.

 

While I still love DCS (I absolutely adore the A-10C!), I find myself spending as much time with SF2 (lately the Vietnam module).

Strange as it seems, I would love something in-between SF2 and the DCS (and with dynamic missions + campaigns). The former just strikes me as a tad too simplistic at times, and the latter requires sometimes too much study and adaptation.

 

If Combat Air Patrol 2 is the type of sim/game I've been looking for remains to be seen, but it's looking like a day one purchase to me. 

 

 

PS: I hope the developer(s) consider some sort of modding support for CAP2, as limited as it may be. With it, the chances of becoming a cult/classic title increase exponentially (IMO).

Edited by LucShep

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guys if this is released and moddable -I am all in

eh my thought exactly. But latest update seems like bad news

 

 

Early access coming spring 2016

 

WHAT THE DEVELOPERS HAVE TO SAY:

Why Early Access?

“We have been using community feedback to help develop CAP2 since getting the Greenlight over 14 months ago. We are now eager to generate actual player feedback as early as possible. This way players can contribute to the dev road map and shape the final game.”

Approximately how long will this game be in Early Access?

“Our current estimate is around 9 months. However, our dev roadmap has a player reaction focus so the amount of time spent in EA largely depends on players.”

How is the full version planned to differ from the Early Access version?

“Much of the development will be based around EA player reaction and feedback, however the key areas we will be implementing are:

 

Satellite Imagery

We intend to enhance the terrain with satellite imagery and more bespoke 3D assets. We have polished and populated certain areas of the terrain so EA players can get a feel for how the full version will feel.

 

Pro Voice Recordings

We are intending to add radio chatter which will massively increase the feeling of immersion. In addition, professional voice recordings will increases the quality throughout.

 

Multi-player

Our intended multi-player game modes include:

- 'Fleet vs Fleet’ where you’ll have the option of playing co-op against an AI fleet or against other players.

- In campaign co-op mode, you’ll be able to take part in other players campaign missions or ask for help to complete missions in your campaign.

- You'll also be able to send a request to friends or have an open invitation.

 

VR support

One of our highest priority updates is VR support. We realised a massive improvement in immersion adding TrackIR so we are itching to add full VR. We already have our Oculus DK2’s and are waiting patiently for HTC's Vive :)”

What is the current state of the Early Access version?

“CAP2 will launch as a single player game with fully immersive simulation and strategic gameplay. All of the listed features will be present, perhaps not all 100% polished (after all its EA!) but enough to give players an idea of where the game is heading.

 

Features

Campaign Mode - Dynamic open ended campaign, set in the Straits of Hormuz

Naval Simulation - Civilian traffic transit shipping lanes, enter and leave ports

Control your fleet and air assets, plan your mission waypoints and target ingress/egress together with your fleet formation, route and speed

Training modes - Flying and deploying weapon systems

Detailed 3D cockpit with selectable articulated controls

3D environmental audio

Over 250,000 sq km of geographically accurate terrain

Geographically accurate environmental lighting based on longitude, latitude, date and time and accurate star map

Multiple controller support: Flightstick, hotas, rudder and MFD panel support, gamepad mode

Track IR support

Supports very wide screen aspect ratios

Will the game be priced differently during and after Early Access?

“We plan to gradually raise the price as we add new content and features.”

How are you planning on involving the Community in your development process?

“We will launch into EA with a work in progress roadmap - work in progress because we expect to iron it out using your feedback. We'll do this by conversing through and observing the community forums, hubs, blogs and social media channels - our plan is NOT to respond to EVERY query or bug report, we've already learnt that's impossible! But rest assured we will be observing, we will answer through improving the game and communicating what we've done!

 

We are building a communication plan around major updates which will provide opportunities for player reaction that will feed into the updates themselves.

 

Ultimately, EA players will be our key beneficiaries and - we're shaping the game around you. Join the crew!!”

Available: Spring 2016

Reading between the lines. I don't think modding will be supported. This above basically says both "we wanna make a kickass game" and "we wanna incorporate and make lotta $$". Zero prob from me for good dev making good dough. But it also usually means no modding.

Or am i reading too much?

Edited by Do335

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above basically says both "we wanna make a kickass game" and "we wanna incorporate and make lotta $$"

 

nothing bad with that if we want the genre to progress mate

 

I have no problem with EA model, in fact I have alot of the EA titles I don't even play anymore lol

 

only thing I have problem with, as with any other titles recently is the "well, wait a bit longer as we add VR to it" -this isn't that valid given the current VR/ORift numbers among the users, I'd liek to have a survey how many simmers use Track IR in fact

Edited by Stary

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VERY good point about VR stary! It is quite sierra hotel atm in the buiz world, but I also doubt it is close to wide spread use even within the gaming scene. (Is it possible that they use this to secure more funding as a marketing line?...)

 

also my original meaning: about games, i've learnt that modding does not promote sales. As a customer, should I buy this? So you ask, does it look good, is it fun to play etc. But, "does it allow modding" is not one of the questions.

Modding helps customer experience after sales, i.e. you find out it can use mods, "oh it was a great buy"! But this is only after you made the payment.

Secondly more free mods equals less commercial add-ons. So if you are fangs out for profit, it is natural to close the game from mods.

Thirdly as they're adding MP especially player vs player mode it is less likely as modding --> cheating in the multiplayer world.

 

we all like to mod here, and is great to see you take modding into account when deciding if "in" or not. I've also realized that I wouldn't really like a game if it can't be modded. So as a customer I'd like to ask myself, "can it be modded", before I buy it.

Edited by Do335

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      Here's the intro screen for the torpedo training mission. I really like Atlantic Fleet's artwork and the general design:
       

       
      Load the mission and you get a little scenario, here a Royal Navy destroyer steaming alongside a hapless German merchantman. You click your way through a series of topic boxes, to learn the lesson. You can toggle the topic box on and off, for a better view. They each do a very good job of taking you through the relevant drill.
       

       
      This is where you may first get to see the Atlantic Fleet mode of gameplay, and its most prominent feature is that it is turn-based, like a wargame. The sequence is: You move-You shoot-The enemy moves-The enemy shoots. We'll see how this works in more detail, later. Continuous gameplay would be better, and certainly more simulation-like, but it is what it is, and I soon got quite comfortable with it.
       
      Jumping ahead to the last menu option, we come to 'Options/Help', and here's what you get:
       

       
      As the menu title suggests, some of the things listed on the right of the screen above are options screens, others are help. The 'home' screen, above, lets you tweak various gameplay and difficulty options, as you can see. The 'Default controls' screen lets you re-map keyboard commands, like this...
       

       
      ...while the 'Damage Report' is a help option and looks like this:
       

       
      I find it all very well-presented and impressively thorough, very well up to the standards of PC sims and better than many I've seen, including the very best.
       
      My main interest in a WW2 naval sim or game is the ability to re-fight historical or hypothetical battles, and it's that option we will look at next. Here, we will see how Atlantic Fleet's gameplay comes together, when the shells, torpedoes and bombs start flying.
       

       
      ...to be continued!
    • By MigBuster
      Brought to you by Sim155 Ltd, Combat Air Patrol 2 (CAP2) is a flight and naval combat simulator game for PC (Steam/Windows) where you pilot the AV-8B Harrier II.  The trailer above is in-game footage.
      The AV-8B Harrier II is a battle proven powerhouse of the US air force. With its history, iconic look and it’s ability to hover and land vertically it requires no explanation as to why it has become a widely used military aircraft and trusted by scores of highly trained pilots. Here is your chance to become one of those pilots!
       
      https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1413102387/combat-air-patrol-2
       
       
       
       
       
      Might be worth getting some more info on this before deciding to back.
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