Another week has passed and our Bodenplatte development progressed neatly during this short time. First, we have finished reworking the graphics effects system we told you about last week:
1. Fire effects improved for aircraft and ground vehicles, more dynamic and detailed;
2. Fuel leak effects improved (less noticeable, but more realistic);
3. Damaged engine exhaust effects improved (less noticeable, but more realistic);
4. Tracer smoke effects improved (more smooth and realistic);
5. Wingtip trails effects improved (more dynamic, less apparent beginning);
6. Water hit effects improved (more realistic);
7. Aircraft and vehicle hit effects improved (more difference between AP and HE ammo, more realistic, added debris);
8. Bomb detonation effects improved for 250kg + bombs, additional flash effect;
9. Water steam effects added for twin water radiator aircraft (Bf-109, Ju-87, Spitfire Mk.IXe, Pe-2);
10. Water steam overheating effects added;
11. Wrong mixture exhaust effects added;
12. Wood hit effects added for WWI aircraft;
13. Gunfire smoke effects added;
14. Oil leak effect adjusted;
15. Fuel leak effect on the ground added;
16. Water steam effect on the ground added.
Second, we have revisited the gunfire dispersion model and performed additional research on the historical documents covering the fire dispersion depending on the gun mounting. There are no new sources, but we have re-analyzed our approach and one problem became apparent - some sources provide fire dispersion data for single shots while others have data for short bursts. For some aircraft, the sources provide dispersion data for both cases - this allowed us to build a statistical model for single/burst fire dispersion ratio. Having updated the dispersion model, we're now able to tune the fire dispersion separately for single and burst fire. Of course, we've taken into account the fact that even when you fire a burst, the first projectile has the fire dispersion of single shot while the subsequent ones deviate more because they are modeled as shots in a burst. The fire dispersion increases with the gun temperature as before.
In the most cases, the fire dispersion has been already modeled using the burst fire data, so the changes in these aircraft will be hardly noticeable when firing in bursts, but the single shot dispersion will be lowered greatly: 2-2.5 times. On the contrary, the Soviet fighters were set up using single fire data before so now their fire dispersion will be increased 2.11-2.86 times depending on the gun and aircraft (this isn't that much at the effective fire distances though, see below). In addition, thanks to this research, the single fire dispersion of the heavy 30 mm and 37 mm guns has been slightly lowered while the burst fire values stayed the same.
It should be noted that all these changes (applied to each aircraft independently) gave the overall effect of reducing the difference in the fire accuracy among the different planes (for fuselage mounted and wing mounted guns that are close to the fuselage). Excluding the rare exceptions, the fire dispersion for non-overheated guns is 0.66-0.95 thousandths of distance. At the effective fire distances, this results in the fire pattern of around 1 ft or slightly more.
Surely, we have worked on the other parts of the sim as well. One month ago we could show you the 3D model of Me 262 without textures and a couple of weeks ago you saw the cockpit of P-47D that was untextured too, but today we present them to you in the game engine - the artists haven't finished the texturing and materials yet, but they are almost done. What can we say - while P-47D-28 cockpit is a bit overwhelming with all the details, instruments, controls and various information plates, the jet aviation pioneer Me 262 looks strikingly beautiful in the air. Here they are:
You can discuss the news in this thread
Today we'll tell you a bit about what awaits us (and you) in the near future.
First, we plan to publish the new update soon, at the end of this month or at the beginning of October, that will bring numerous fixes and improvements for the existing stuff - Career fixes, multiplayer stability in tank missions, corrected German bombs for 1944 timeframe and new Fw 190 A-8 modifications we have covered in the previous Dev Blog. In addition, our programmers managed to improve the collision detection between various vehicles and objects without compromising performance and fix bugs, also, trees will stop or divert/slow projectiles. The graphics will get the attention as well - you can see some of the reworked graphical effects on the following screenshots:
New Bodenplatte aircraft, Bf 109 K-4 and P-47D-28, will be released to Early Access later this Autumn. New Po-2 Collector Plane and two WWI aircraft for Flying Circus Early Access, Pfalz D.IIIa and Sopwith Camel, will follow before the end of the year, provided we don't run into unexpected problems. Meanwhile, we're also working on the new Marschal mode for multiplayer which should make it more interesting and refreshing for all multiplayer oriented users of our projects.
New tank models take a lot of time to develop, so Tank Crew customers will get their new toys early next year, but it looks like they'll get a lot of other stuff in a short time frame starting with the map of the Southern part of the Kursk salient (see Dev Blog #195) and continuing with animated tank crew members (ETA: Spring) and their AI capable of controlling the new playable tanks (the work on it has already started). This will make possible to create the missions where the player tank will be a part of the unit fighting against the enemy tanks s which will have the same high level of modeling detail. The main tank systems and damage modeling should be finished before Summer. The work on the additional UI for tank and unit commanders has started too. And of course, there will be new tanks - our Saint-Petersburg based partner, Digital Forms, plans to have 4 of them ready before Spring:
Lend-lease M4A2 Sherman; T-34-76 mod. 1943 made by factory #183 (most probably, we're still researching the exact variant); PzKpfw IV Ausf.G made during Spring 1943 with additional armoured sheets (Schürzen); PzKpfw III Ausf.M also with additional armoured sheets. Today we can already show you the early WIP screens of it:
You can discuss the news in this thread
The time flows and significant changes in our main project, Bodenplatte, are on the horizon. Lead engineer Andrey Solomykin has started the huge chunk of his planned work - air compressibility modeling at high speeds which is a must for the late war period when the aircraft speeds approached the sonic barrier.
At the same time another engineer, Roman Kovalenko, is modeling a new device type in our project - turbosupercharger. The main difference between a turbosupercharger and other superchargers we already modeled in other aircraft is the fact that it is powered not by the engine shaft, but by the turbine which is rotated by the engine exhaust. Therefore, the manifold pressure created by the turbosupercharger at different engine modes has a much more complex formula and requires a much more complex physical model. The first aircraft in our sim that will have this device is P-47D-28 Thunderbolt.
In the next update, we plan to improve numerous aircraft graphical effects and make minor improvements to the netcode. Meanwhile, Pfalz D.IIIa and Sopwith Camel are being developed for Flying Circus Volume I, the work on new WWI pilots animations has also started.
For Tank Crew, M4A2 "Sherman" and Pz. IV Ausf.G are in the works. Both of these tanks have interesting peculiarities and we hope to model most of them in the sim. Today we can show you the first WIP screenshots of one of them. In addition, the work on the detailed buildings for Prokhorovka map will be finished soon. We begin the AI development for player controllable tanks and will start the work on implementing additional tank systems and their damage modeling, tank commander functionality and tank radio communications.
You can discuss the news in this thread
After months of preparation and planning following our big announcement this past Fall, we are proud to announce the Release of version 3.005 and launch of Early Access for both Flying Circus- Volume One and Tank Crew - Clash at Prokhorovka. They are now both available for purchase in the IL-2 webstore and making a purchase gives you access to new content as we roll it out and before the product is final.
Flying Circus – Volume One
Let’s first talk about Flying Circus and what the Early Access includes. As of now, you’ll get the SPAD 13 and Fokker Dr.1 to fly and fight one another in. The Lapino maps are acting as a stand for the future French map for now and both planes have been re-built and re-mastered by our partners at Yugra Media from earlier less complex models. This means improved mesh, textures, damage and other small enhancements of the same aircraft from previous products. However, you must remember that FC content is still a work in progress and more work will be necessary before WWI aircraft are fully supported in IL-2. As with all our Early Access periods more flyable aircraft will follow in the coming months. Time to get the goggles and scarves out of the closet!
Flying Circus Early Access can be ordered HERE.
We’d also like to take this time to explain our discount plan for special Rise of Flight users who purchase FC and qualify for a special discount code. We have chosen to give those ROF users who supported us in our darkest, most difficult days some special recognition with an additional discount. Without this support we would not be here today and is a small way to say thanks to those that supported us when it mattered most. Some customers really went above and beyond in their financial support and that is reflected in the discounts below. We only wish economic reality would allow for it to be more.
First, everyone who orders during the Early Access period gets a $10 discount off regular MSRP no matter what. Second, if you are an existing ROF customer and meet certain criteria you qualify for an additional discount. The criteria are as follows.
Anyone who purchased content for ROF between it’s launch in 2009 to Jan. 1, 2013 from our website or a boxed or digital copy from an official retail partners (Excluding STEAM. ROF was not available on STEAM during this period) during that time frame will receive an additional discount.
If you spent between $0.01 and $70.99 you will receive an additional $5 OFF. If you spent between $71.00 and $200.99 you will receive an additional $10 OFF. If you spent greater than $201.00 you will receive an additional $15 OFF. The special discount period ends September 15, 2018.
To get your special discount you’ll need to access your ROF user account on the ROF website and retrieve a promo code we have placed in your user profile. Then return to the IL-2 website and place your order for Flying Circus. Enter your discount code at check out. The additional discount will be reflected in the final amount.
Tank Crew – Clash at Prokhorovka
Next, we are excited to begin Early Access to Tank Crew and the initial release of our first two tanks – the mighty Kv-1s and the fearsome PzKpfw. VI Ausf.H1 "Tiger "
Tank Crew Early Access can be ordered HERE.
Due to development and gameplay considerations we have decided to create a separate AAA vehicles add-on featuring the GAZ-MM + 72K and Sd. Kfz. 10 + Flak38. We will prepare them as a separate product to be released later and work to make them a more interesting addition to IL-2 Sturmovik Great Battles then initially planned.
In addition to the two tanks released today, over the next 14 months we will release the full line-up of tanks included in Tank Crew. Ten tanks in total will be created.
T-34-76 model 1943 KV-1s M4A2 “Sherman” SU-122 SU-152 PzKpfw. III Ausf.M PzKpfw. IV Ausf.G PzKpfw. V Ausf.D "Panther" PzKpfw. VI Ausf.H1 "Tiger" Sd. Kfz. 184 "Ferdinand" In addition to the tanks we will be creating our specially designed Prokhorovka map and releasing that once it is finished. In the meantime, we are including the Lapino maps as stand ins.
We have also added drivable tanks to the QMB including the new Kv-1s, Tiger 1 and existing T-34 and Pz. III tank models. Please note that the existing T-34 and Pz. III tanks are the original models previously released. Tank Crew will eventually include updated versions of these tanks.
And the Kv-1 and Tiger tanks now support custom skins. Templates will be along soon for skinners.
And we’d like to take this time to introduce you to our talented development partners at DigitalForms in Saint Petersburg, Russia who have taken on the task of building these amazing tanks for you. They have worked tirelessly since our announcement last year to put you inside some of WWII’s most deadly and fearsome weapon systems. They have helped us re-invent our tank technology and built some truly stunning tank exteriors and interiors. They hope you like their work!
Fw 190 A-8
We continue our work on the coming Bodenplatte project and this time its customers get a new toy - German fighter/bomber Fw 190 А-8. It comes with many modifications: 30-mm Mk 108 guns, additional armour, bomb holders capable of carrying up to three 250 kg bombs, heavy rockets 21cm WGr. 42 and up to 12 anti-tank rockets R-HL Pblz. 1 "Panzerblitz". This makes the airtcraft the most packed one among the other Focke-Wulf models.
Battle of Bodenplatte can be ordered HERE.
In addition to FC and TC Early Access we have spent some time working on minor improvements to ground AI, bullet damage calculations, small graphical corrections to the He-111 H-16. A-20B, Spitfire Mk. IX and Bf-109 G-14. And of course, many other small enhancements, fixes and changes, which are too many to list in this post.
Please discuss the update in this thread.