Today’s DD is not long, but wanted to say that in addition to working on many aircraft, features and improvements, we’re also making some moves internally with the addition of, and search for, new personnel while adding responsibilities to others. This adds overhead costs to our operation which we hope will pay for itself in time, but we ask that you continue your financial support of Sturmovik throughout this spring and summer and al of 2021 by purchasing new content and buying gifts for your friends, family and squadron-mates. And please remember, purchases made directly in the IL-2 Official Webstore benefit the team the most!
Without further delay, here are the first pics of the work-in-progress Nieuport 28.C1 for Flying Circus: Volume II. The N28 drafts the U.S. Air Service in the war and her slender lines make her a real beauty. Also notice our new Tactical Codes technology is present. The damage model is next up for her as well as DVD adaptation.
…. Geronimo!!! No invasion of Normandy can be complete without paratroopers! These guys will be jumping from our C-47s later this year after they are properly animated.
Enjoy your Easter weekend if you celebrate it and see you in the skies and the battlefields!
The Sturmovik Team
As some of you who frequent our forums already know, Jason has recently announced that we're developing a new tech called DVD and invited you to guess what that actually means. There were different guesses and some of them were near misses. The answer is, DVD means Dynamic Visual Damage. In a nutshell, it places an impact mark where a projectile hit.
Among the many neat possibilities this tech brings, the size of the mark corresponds to the caliber of the projectile and/or explosive power of the shell if it was of the HE variety. They also look different depending on the material the projectile hit - whether it was armor, thin metal, or not a metal at all. There are also separate marks for ricochets of high caliber armor-piercing rounds. The look of these marks is thoroughly prepared by our partners at Digital Forms and is based on real-world photos of combat damage on different objects. The marks placed by this tech are not simple 2D textures - thanks to modern graphical techniques they have visual depth. Even the penetrations can look different such as near penetrations when the armor (barely) stopped a projectile. We concentrated on making these marks as realistic looking as possible.
All in all, we think this new tech would make the visual part of the damage system much more interesting and appealing both for aircraft and tanks. Tanks will be adapted first and then aircraft. It is a long-term project that will take several months.
Please be aware though that this tech is visual, it doesn't affect the physical interaction between the projectiles and aircraft and tank parts or systems. We're working on the improvements in the physical damage system as well, but we'll tell you more about that later.
Speaking of this new DVD tech, we must note that due to ever complex issues of graphics performance and network traffic and stability, there are some limitations to what can be done. This may be apparent in some rare cases, but we have to mention them. In certain 'critical' cases the mark may not appear or a wrong mark type may appear (like a visual penetration when there was a near penetration in fact). There is also a limit to the total amount of marks that can be placed on the object. In multiplayer, you'll see the marks on your aircraft or tank, but you'll only see the marks on other player aircraft or tanks that appeared when they were in your view. To alleviate this limitation, we added a special transmission of the most recent marks to other players even if they were looking the other way.
Because of these compromises, the DVD tech doesn't replace the current visual damage system completely. The current system of visual 'damage levels' guarantees that every player in a multiplayer environment will get the visual cues on how badly a certain object is damaged. DVD is designed to enhance the existing visual damage system and we made every effort to make them work harmoniously during its development. Nevertheless, in multiplayer you'll see the marks on your aircraft and the marks on your opponents’ aircraft - which is the most important and critical application of this tech. If you saw the hits of someone else projectiles on another player, you'll also see these marks.
The limitations listed above, however, won't undermine the improved visual look of the damage system the new DVD tech will bring. We hope we have found the sweet spot between visual quality with the least impact on graphics performance and multiplayer. To illustrate the new system, we would like to show you these WIP in-game screenshots.
Another week has passed and our work has moved another step forward. The Collector AAA vehicle, 25-mm automatic gun installed on the chassis of the GAZ-MM truck will be finished soon - the physical model of the truck is ready, as are the automatic gun animations and functioning, all animations of the chassis and the crew as well as gun ballistics and damage model are also done. The correction system for the gunsight that turned out to be incredibly complex kinematically is in. The unique audio and more detailed tech of the tires visualization and deformation are icing on the cake. All these elements have something new and are believed to be interesting for the end-user to familiarize with and learn something new. At the moment we're improving the visual look of the new vehicle, the texturing of the gun, and apply the new DVD tech we talked about in our previous Dev Blog to make the result the best.
Meanwhile, a part of our mapping department works on improving the railyards on the Rheinland map (Bodenplatte project). They aren't the most striking or shiny detail of the numerous cities on this map, but they do improve the overall visual look of the scene and make the landscape more realistic. This time we can show you the screenshots of the railroad structures in the cities of Cologne, Brussels, Bonn, Duisburg, Liege, Mainz, Frankfurt am Mein.