Today we have a very straightforward Dev. Diary for you. We’d like to show you 4 aircraft that we have under development. Two from the Great War and two from WW2.
First, we have the Spad VII.C1 which is under development by our partners at Ugra Media for Flying Circus Vol. II. She’s coming along nicely.
Second, we have the powerful Airco DH.4 that gives Flying Circus some more two-seat bomber options. Such a great looking airplane.
Next, we have the B-26 Marauder that will be flown by the AI in Battle of Normandy. This is one of Jason’s favorite aircraft because his Grandfather John served in a B-26 unit in England and France during the war.
Finally, we have some pics of the Ar-234. Looks amazing!
We continue to build other planes including the Mosquito, Me-410 and the P-51B/C and we continue to test Air Marshal. Also, our new more complex Fuel System modeling is finally entering the Beta stage. It will first be installed and tested on our Bf-109s.
So, work continues on all fronts even as team members take hard earned summer vacations.
The Sturmovik Team
Today’s Developer Diary has two cool items to announce.
First, you can’t stage a Normandy invasion without some dashing British gents jumping out of airplanes. So, we built some.
Next, we are excited to announce that our next payware historical Scripted Campaign is coming soon and it’s called – Steel Birds!
Pre-orders will begin next week!
Created by our master mission-specialist Alex “Blacksix” Timoshkov, Steel Birds focuses on Fw-190 A-5 operations in the Kuban theater in late spring 1943. You'll take on the role of the newly appointed flight commander in 5. Staffel of the II./Sch.G 1. Under the command of Hauptmann Frank Neubert this Gruppe has just completed a retraining program and has relocated to Anapa airfield to support the operations of the German 17th Army.
The campaign is set from April 14th to May 16th, 1943 and is centered around the struggle for a bridgehead at Novorossiysk (Operation Neptune), and two major Soviet offensives in the area of Krymskaya, which ended with the withdrawal of German troops to a new line of defense in early May.
The sharp increase of the Soviet air strength in the Kuban led to one of the largest and fiercest air battles ever on the Eastern Front. In this difficult situation, you have to strike artillery batteries, transport and armored columns, airfields and battle formations of enemy advancing troops.
We’ll have more about Steel Birds next week when we formally launch pre-orders for this historically bases campaign. Release is scheduled for August.
Some images from Steel Birds are below.
And finally, we have some images from the new Advanced Quick Mission interface that is coming later this summer. We saved our old “campaign” system technology and have laid it over the existing QMB to give you added depth for missions that can be created quickly. We think this will be an entertaining new feature that will allow you to fly missions with more structure, but not be as big a commitment as the Pilot Career or as simplistic as the QMB battles. This new AQM, alongside our other mission-making tools such as the existing QMB, Pilot Career and Mission Builder, plus all the great third-party apps like PWCG by Pat Wilson and EMG by SYN_Vander gives the Great Battle series an amazing number of options for creating entertaining mission content.
The Sturmovik Team
Summer is here and it’s very hot in both Moscow and Las Vegas, but we soldier on still working mostly from our flats and homes. This week’s DD features just a couple items, but one is quite a surprise as you will see. But first, let’s admire the upcoming 4K skins made by our steadfast ally and partner Martin “ICDP” Catney. The ugly duckling has become a swan with these new textures wouldn’t you say?
With the new skins for the Hs-129, we are rapidly closing in on ALL planes in Great Battles being upgraded to the 4K standard. The Yak-1b should be next and eventually the Ju-52 will also get a refresh. The entire 4K upgrade has been a huge effort on Martin’s part as well as the previous contributions made by Francisco “BlackHellHound” Bindraban. Please join me in thanking them for their awesome contributions! A shining example of talented community members helping the developers and an effective international partnership.
And now a surprise that came about very recently, but one that has a its roots in Rise of Flight history and one that should end in a positive result for Sturmovik. Today, we share extremely early WIP shots of an important fighter design that saw action against both Soviet and American air forces and late in the war, alongside them. Can you guess what plane it is? There are very few types that have this distinction.
Hide contents That’s right, the Romanian designed and built IAR-80/81 is under development by a third party that we feel has the skills to make it a reality. This will take some time, but we are confident it will come to fruition. Please enjoy this little tease and when we the mesh is further along, we will offer it for pre-order as we always do.
Why the IAR-80/81 exactly? Well, believe it or not, there is a lot of good reference information on this plane, so it is one that is possible to build by a single qualified modeler. A lot of what we do as a sim developer, can be described as the “art of the possible”. The IAR is indeed possible to make, so let's do it. And it’s a nice departure from our usual plane-set and is often overlooked in the history books. It will be sold as a Collector Plane, but it will certainly add some more historical flavor to the Battle of Stalingrad theater. There are some other planes we are working looking into finding a way to make. Your continued financial support is most important when we try to make new aircraft.
And we continue to work on the new AQM feature, fuel systems with drop tanks, Air Marshal and even improved cloud technology. All of which I hope to show you pictures of in upcoming Developer Diaries.
And Jason continues to work with talented mission makers on new mission content and Campaigns which we hope to have localized and released soon.
On a serious note, the pandemic really slowed us down as we are prevented from being on our office and seeing each other face to face. Working from home is not always ideal for a collaborative effort like developing Sturmovik, but we continue to do our best and fill irritating personnel needs as soon as we can. We had hoped 2021 would bring a quick return to normalcy for us, but sadly it has brought a whole new set of challenges for us as a team beyond the usual technical ones as the pandemic sticks around. So please have patience with us and know that the team is doing their very best under less-than-ideal circumstances.
See you in the skies and on the battlefield!
The Sturmovik Team
This week we are showing a Dev. Diary a little early because we have some vacation and Covid-related holiday time that interferes with our normal routine. So, before we take a little time off, here are some quick shots of the German Sd.Kfz. 10/5 Flak 38 in the actual game engine. As you can see the textures are not anywhere near ready, but it is starting to become functional including some of the damage model and the gunsights. Once again, our partners at DigitalForms have done a terrific job on the model.
In the images below you can see how a machine gun from a Soviet armored car shot up my engine and ended my mission. The sights on this German gun are quite different from the Soviet 72-K and maybe it’s a bit more user friendly? You’ll have to be the judge when you try it, but it sure is fun trying to knock down planes with either gun!
Again, the textures are not done and this is just an early Beta example and we wanted to show you that progress is being made. The Sd.Kfz. 10/5 Flak 38 will be ready for action later this summer.
In WWII aircraft news – the P-51B/C is scheduled be the next aircraft released as we work on other things like the V-1 ‘Buzz Bomb’. The P-51B/C will be released late summer; the exact date is unknown at this point, but we’ll have updated pics for you just as soon as we can.
In WWI aircraft news, Ugra Media is hard at work on several FC2 planes and the map, but the closest to release is the Pfalz D.XII. She will be ready for our next update.
Recently, when I collected the USAAF squadron emblems for BON, created once again by our friend Isaac ‘Solidkreate’ Chavira, I was inspired to make another poster. This time for the P-47D-22 with all the USAAF Ninth Air Force squadrons that will be a part of the Battle of Normandy Career. There are quite a few that flew the Razorback during that period.
….. and finally, a shot that you have been waiting a long time to see. A Bf-109 with something new under slung its belly. Functional drop tanks are being worked on for several planes, but it will take time to retrofit the aircraft that need them.
The Sturmovik Team
Today we’re releasing another update, 4.602, that brings to you two new aircraft at once. British Hawker Typhoon Mk.Ib is the first and it is available in Battle of Normandy Early Access now - this powerful, fast and heavily armed machine could handle a variety of combat missions. New tactical numbers and dynamic impact marks technologies already work for it and it has a wide array of modifications - another engine, propeller, gunsight, additional armor and dust filter.
The second star of the day is the late Great War German monoplane Fokker D.VIII, which also supports the new tactical numbers and hit marks technologies. Having the same engine as Fokker Dr.I triplane, but a much better aerodynamical profile, resulted in a significant boost in combat characteristics. The only wing of this airplane had an unusual design for its time - it had load-carrying skin made of plywood instead of fabric. Being a late war plane, Fokker D.VIII could be equipped with Oigee collimator gunsight and was armed with two 7.92 mm LMG 08/15 Spandau. It is now available to all owners of Flying Circus Vol.II.
Moreover, there are 20 new AI-controlled objects added in this update - they were developed for the Battle of Normandy. They are British in origin mostly, but there are additions for the US and Germany as well. Some of them are new types in our project - radars and reinforced concrete bunkers.
In addition to all that, 4.602 addresses a lot of things - many graphical and audio effects are improved, there are several fixes for aircraft and ground vehicles AI, a significant improvement in ballistics, etc. The detailed change list follows:
1. Hawker Typhoon Mk.Ib fighter-bomber is now available to all owners of the Battle for Normandy;
2. Fokker D.VIII monoplane is now available to all owners of the Flying Circus Vol.II;
3. American paratroopers have been added to the project and can be dropped from C-47. The corresponding missions will be added to the Career mode later;
4. New graphical effects for various armor-piercing shell and bullet impacts added;
5. Improved graphical effects of burning ground vehicles and balloons added;
6. Fixed “jaggedness” of some shadow edges in cockpits;
7. Restored canopy glass sun effects;
8. Single AI plane takeoff fixed (in some cases the takeoff run was delayed for too much);
9. Aircraft AI bug fixed which could cause it to ignore points of the airfield taxiway;
10. Fixed visibility of P-51D-15, P-38J-15, Ju-52, He-111H-6, B-25D, Il-2-42 and Il-2-43 at distances over 1 km (they appeared smaller relative to other aircraft);
11. P-51D-15 weapons and chassis can be damaged by collisions;
12. Missing luminescent illumination on the watch bezel in Bf 109 K-4 cockpit added;
13. Pe-2 series 35 propellers won’t visibly disappear at medium distances;
14. Hurricane landing lights won’t visibly disappear at medium distances, creating holes in their niches;
15. Bristol Fighter's Lewis machine gun casings ejection location has been corrected;
Player controllable vehicles changes
16. Pz.VI commander cupola wall armor thickness has been corrected (it was doubled before);
17. 72-K AAA: an incorrect operation of the automatic gunsight kinematics at intermediate elevation angles has been corrected (with zero corrections the sight axis appeared much higher than the barrel axis);
18. 72-K AAA: technochat messages will correctly appear in multiplayer for other players that joined its crew;
Career mode changes
19. The player can join new squadrons: 587 BAP in Stalingrad and Kuban careers and 46 GNBAP in Kuban career;
20. New targets for "Railway junction air strike" and "Railway junction bombing strike" mission types added in Rhineland career (Bodenplatte): Antwerp, Liege, Mainz, Frankfurt, Bonn, Cologne, Duisburg, Bruxelles, Charleroi, Dusseldorf, Munster, Koblenz, Eindhoven, Tilburg, Nijmegen, Essen, Enschede, Hengelo and Osnabruck railyards;
21. Typhoon Mk.Ib added to Rhineland Career mode: No. 175 Squadron RAF, No. 197 Squadron RAF, No. 247 (China British) Squadron RAF, No. 440 Squadron RCAF, No. 609 (West Riding) Squadron RAF and 16 more AI squadrons;
22. Formerly AI-only 587th BAP in Stalingrad Career can be joined by the player;
23. Formerly AI-only 587th BAP and 46th GNBAP in Kuban Career can be joined by the player;
AI-controlled objects changes
24. Simple AI ground vehicles correctly leave trails on unpaved airfields;
25. Simple AI wheeled vehicles correctly collide with static objects;
26. Simple AI tracked vehicles won’t make too sharp turns;
27. Sd.Kfz 251 1C half-track correctly leaves a trail;
28. The antenna of the airfield locator beacon now always stands vertically, regardless of the surface slope;
29. 10.5 cm Flak 38/39 anti-aircraft gun has been added for the Battle of Normandy;
30. QF 3.7-inch AA anti-aircraft gun has been added for the Battle of Normandy;
31. 40 mm Bofors L60 rapid-fire anti-aircraft gun has been added for the Battle of Normandy;
32. 3,7 cm FlaK 43 rapid-fire anti-aircraft gun has been added for the Battle of Normandy;
33. Ordnance QF 17-pounder anti-tank gun has been added for the Battle of Normandy;
34. BL 5.5-inch gun has been added for the Battle of Normandy;
35. Bren Mk.I machine gun in two variations (for firing at ground and air targets) has been added for the Battle of Normandy;
36. AMES Type 7 mobile radar station has been added for the Battle of Normandy;
37. SCR-584 mobile radar station has been added for the Battle of Normandy;
38. FuSE-65 Würzburg-Riese stationary radar station has been added for the Battle of Normandy;
39. British 150 cm anti-aircraft searchlight has been added for the Battle of Normandy;
40. M1-VLA low-altitude balloon has been added for the Battle of Normandy (for now it can’t be bind to a ship);
41. M3A1 half-track has been added for the Battle of Normandy;
42. Sd.Kfz. 222 armored car has been added for the Battle of Normandy;
43. Dodge WC-54 ambulance has been added for the Battle of Normandy;
44. Austin K2 / Y ambulance has been added for the Battle of Normandy;
45. H 634 machine-gun pillbox has been added for the Battle of Normandy;
46. H 630 concrete machine-gun pillbox has been added for the Battle of Normandy;
47. H 272 concrete gun pillbox has been added for the Battle of Normandy;
48. Batterie Todt concrete heavy artillery bunker has been added for the Battle of Normandy;
49. Enemy aircraft that appear in AAA QMB during winter should have a corresponding winter skin;
50. Missing preview images added for various objects in the mission editor;
51. Ballistics of bullets, shells, bombs and rockets now take into account the decrease of the air density with altitude;
52. Heavy anti-aircraft artillery ballistics were corrected;
53. Heavy artillery ballistics were corrected (at large distances the flight time and the height of the projectile trajectory correspond to the barrel elevation angle quite accurately);
54. In multiplayer, the jittery turning animation of gunners was corrected.