While, as you know, we're working on several projects at once, today we'll tell you about our the current main one - Bodenplatte. The most important new tech we're developing for it is the FM improvement to take into account the air compressibility and its influence on the aircraft stability and handling that is noticeable at high speeds. The late war aircraft are a pinnacle of the piston engine technology and they can approach the sonic barrier, especially in a dive. And of course this new tech is paramount for our first jet - Messerschmitt Me.262 'Schwalbe'. You may have wandered will the new tech work for the existing aircraft released before - it certainly will, we always update all aircraft to take advantage of the new tech so they all have the same modeling fidelity.
Meanwhile, our artists are working on several 3D models simultaneously (some are nearly complete and the work on others has just begun): Bf 109 K-4, Me 262 A-1, P-47D-28, Fw 190 D-9, Hawker Tempest Mk.V and P-51D-25.
We also decided to improve the recently released Fw 190 A-8. It will be able to carry 1000 kg SC 1000 bombs with reduced ring stabilizers and "M8 Panzerblitz 1" HE rockets and you will be able to remove the nose-mounted 13 mm MG 131 machine guns, resulting in four different modifications of this plane:
Fw 190 A-8 (fighter)
Fw 190 A-8 Sturmjäger (better armoured interceptor)
Fw 190 F-8 (attack plane)
Fw 190 G-8 (fighter-bomber)
So, while it may appear we have only one Fw 190 A-8 in the sim, in fact, you'll have 4 different modifications. This is also true for many other aircraft - in one of the coming Dev Blog releases we'll compile the complete list of aircraft including the possible modifications.
Since the words are best followed with visuals, today we can show you the WIP screenshots of Messerschmitt Bf 109 K-4 'Kurfürst', Republic P-47D-28 'Thunderbolt' and Focke-Wulf Fw 190 D-9 'Langnasen-Dora':
Our map designers also have something to show you today. In Dev Blog #193 we presented the early European map prototype. At the moment, th designers are working on the road network and settlements. The total amount of settlements will be around 300 including so many towns we have never modeled on one map before. To be able to finish this work in time while modeling the general layout of the cities and towns the special settlement block designer tool has been created. This is a small teaser, a Western European town made using this approach (this is not a particular historical town, but a test layout):
You can discuss the news in this thread
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
after the release of 3.001 of Il2 Series, there is a good in depth review at Stormbirds. For all who is interested in an up to date and very detailed WW2 sim, should read it and maybe, try it out.
I hope you guys enjoy the reading and if you have any comments or questions, just post them below. I will read them all.
Have fun and have a nice weekend
After releasing 3.001 update and going wild with the celebration - having 5 work days in a week instead of 7 - we continue the further development.
Thankfully, 3.001 release went ok and didn't require any urgent critical hotfixes, which is strange for such fundamental changes, to be honest. Anyway, at this moment we already have around 40 changes and enhancements we plan to release in the next 3-4 weeks. Graphics, Career, AI, multiplayer and some other stuff will be addressed.
In parallel, we're developing the next big thing, Bodenplatte. The work on the map, buildings and its first planes has already started. We have a huge task in front of us, but we already got used to big plans and we know how to follow them. Soon we'll tell you about the other projects of IL-2 Great Battles series - the work is going on them as well.
Meanwhile, today we can show you the first WIP screenshots of Spitfire F/LF Mk.IXe and Bf 109 G-14 fighters from Bodenplatte aircraft list - we're working on their 3D models and FMs. We plan to start the Bodenplatte Early Access program when they are ready.
And here's some "insider's bonus" for you:
You can discuss the news in this thread