So, here is the new year 2021! Like anyone else, we're going to hope that it will be better than the previous one. However, for IL-2 Great Battles, the last year was quite positive in spite of all complications. We hope that we'll build on this success this year - the plans are quite extensive. Let's start with the first in-game shots of the British fighter Hawker Typhoon Mk.Ib which is being developed for the Battle of Normandy. As you can see, it looks nearly complete, but in fact, there is still a lot to do - a hefty chunk of work is left on its cockpit instruments and the flight model. Nevertheless, we're expecting to finish everything before the end of this Spring and release it to all Battle of Normandy customers.
Speaking of the Normandy map, the layout of the towns on its continental part is complete for the first iteration. A bunch of landmark buildings and a significant part of AI-controlled ground vehicles planned for Normandy are already done. We're researching the data for the Normandy Career mode.
Meanwhile, the AAA trucks are also showing good progress - the GAZ-MM with the 72-K gun will be ready first. Its chassis is ready both in terms of the 3D and physical models while the crew animations and audio are being worked on. We've managed to find the authentic firing tables prepared by the Main Artillery Directorate of the Red Army and printed by the military publishing house of the People's Commissariat of Defense of the Soviet Union in 1943 and made the ballistics of the 25mm rounds and their armor penetration ability in various cases as close to the real thing as possible according to this data. We still have to research and recreate the really complicated correction system for the gunsights, that's what we're working on now while our partners at Digital Forms are creating the complex 3D model of the AAA gun itself as you can see on the screens below:
Less than two weeks (wink-wink) have passed since the previous update and we just released another - 4.503. It doesn't contain so many changes, but it adds a new aircraft to the Battle of Normandy Early Access - Bf 109 G-6 late. With the MW-50 injection system engaged, it was a formidable machine capable of confronting the Allied fighters of that time. Normandy map and Battle of Normandy Career are still in development according to the development plan, but you can already use the new addition in the Rheinland career - we've added it to the five groups that have been using this Bf 109 during the Rheinland career timeframe historically.
Also in this update, 4K external texturing for the German heavy fighter Bf 110 G-2 (Battle of Kuban) is added. As with other updated planes, this change is a big visual improvement. There are several improvements for Tank Crew as well in anticipation of its official release. The full changelist follows:
1. German fighter Bf 109 G-6 Late is available for Battle of Normandy owners;
2. Bf 109 G-6 Late added to the following Rheinland Career mode (Battle of Bodenplatte) groups the player can join: I./JG 3, II./JG 11, III./JG 26, III./JG 27 and II./JG 77. It is also used by AI-controlled groups III./JG 1, III./JG 4, III./JG 53, I./JG 76 and III./JG 300;
3. German heavy fighter Bf 110 G-2 has 4K quality external textures created by Martin =ICDP= Catney;
4. Pz.Kpfw.III Ausf.M player controllable tank now has a lower armor plate under the rear overhang modeled;
5. All player controllable tanks now have bulkheads (made of regular steel) between the fighting and the engine compartments;
6. M4A2 tank commander animation corrected (due to an error he could be wounded by enemy MG fire when inside the tank);
7. AI-controlled ground vehicle tracks are resistant to combat damage similarly to player controllable vehicle tracks
8. Combat damage resistance has been corrected for several player controllable tank tracks;
9. The maximum speeds of the simple AI-controlled tanks now correspond to the detailed ones;
10. Tracked and wheeled vehicles move up the hills faster and more realistically;
11. Recently released Tank Coop missions were improved;
12. Tank gunner AI prefers APHE ammo when it estimates that the target armor can be penetrated with different ammo types at the current relative position;
13. Tank driver AI has been improved, resulting in less jerking while driving backward;
14. Oxygen mask breathing sound has been toned down a bit;
15. Bf 109 G-2, G-4, G-6, G-14 and K-4 wheels texturing has been improved;
16. Hurricane Mk.II compass now has fluorescent needles;
17. A rare issue with generating a new day in the Career mode has been addressed.
We would like to congratulate you on the very important holiday - 75th Anniversary of the Victory in Europe! On this day 75 years ago the hard and long road to peace, that cost millions of lives, has finally come to its end at the European theater of the world war. The people of all nations got a second chance to live. Let's remember the heroic deeds of our ancestors and be thankful to them - even though that today's crisis and problems are significant, they can't be compared to the gravity of the situation and the hardships of those years of war.
The life that was given to us by the heroic deed of our ancestors continues. Coincidentally, this is a small anniversary for our project, which is entirely dedicated to the World War II events, as well - you're reading its 250th Developers Blog. Our work on the sim also continues - in 2 or 3 weeks we plan to release the next update 4.006. It will bring not only the new player controllable machines - Yak-9 and Yak-9T Collector Planes and SU-152 assault gun for Tank Crew - but also the fundamental changes in the graphics engine: the renderer will be switched to Deferred Shading. At the moment this update is already in the beta testing and our team is working on debugging and finalizing it. The changelist will be a long one once again, it already includes more than 50 changes in different areas of the sim. To illustrate what these renderer changes add to the visuals, we want to show you the in-game screenshots of Yak-9T, which is a good aircraft to display the new graphical capabilities:
Another pic we want to show you the WIP model of the early war German pilot which will be used in BoM, BoS and BoK timeframes. It's going to appear in the project a bit later, but it won't be a long wait:
225 Dear friends,
The Summer is in full swing and we're working on finishing the Bodenplatte project. P-51D, P-38J, B-25 and Tempest 3D models are nearing completion, their textures are being made right now. Today we can show you the cockpit of Hawker Tempest Mk.V:
As we announced before, all Bodenplatte planes will have 4K external textures. Here are Bf 109 G-14 shots that show the texturing made by Martin =ICDP= Catney:
In addition to the models, we're working on the important features like more detailed pilot's physiology effects. Fatigue caused by a high G stress, (in)ability to bail out and other such things. After that, we'll get to repairing, refueling and refitting the aircraft on the ground.
At the moment we're moving to a newer FMOD version and our sound designer converts all the sounds to the newer sound engine. The main result of this work should be a fix of the disappearing sounds issue after playing for a while that was caused by having too many of them. We also started the research on making the aircraft and ships visible from several times farther distances. This task is very complex since it involves many various parts of the project - we can't make it at the cost of a significant performance loss in the graphics and network subsystems.
The work on the Bodenplatte map is nearing completion and we'll be able to show you the screenshots showing the result of this tremendous work soon. This also means we started the work on the Career mode for it that will be called Battle of Rheinland. Starting on September 17th, 1944 and ending on April 1st, 1945, it will include several new mission types characteristic for this timeframe on the Western front. All the required information - squadron histories and emblems, pilot biographies, awards, news, etc. - was accumulated with the help from our community members and we're very grateful to those who participated in this task.
Another important thing we must tell you is that American, British and German infantrymen models for Bodenplatte project are finished - they will man the guns, drive the vehicles and appear as airfield personnel. And here's the model of the Royal Air Force pilot for Summer of 1944:
Now let's talk about other our projects. For Tank Crew, the next update will bring Pz.Kpfw.IV Ausf.G that has autonomous electric turret turn mechanism for instance. And in September we plan to release the two scenario campaigns for Tank Crew - Breaking Point and Last Chance, telling about the fighting near Prokhorovka. Players will be able to participate in the battle from both sides. Today we can show you the title art for these campaigns that were created using in-game tank models and the screenshots of Pz.Kpfw.IV Ausf.G in the sim.
The next update is planned to include two - actually four - new aircraft for Flying Circus - Halberstadt CL.II, Halberstadt CL.IIau, Bristol Fighter F2 Falcon 2, Bristol Fighter F2 Falcon 3. After that, to complete this project we'll have to release Amiens-Arras-Lille map that will come with improved visual models for ground vehicles. Here are the screenshots of the coming planes:
You can discuss the news in this thread
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