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.
Dear Great War Pilots!
We are hard at work trying to finalize update 4.602 and the Fokker D.VIII is in final testing and implementation. So, this DD is dedicated to that deadly monoplane the Germans sent to the Western Front late in the war. The 'Flying Switchblade' makes it's debut in Flying Circus next week if testing goes well. Enjoy these beautiful images of it in action!
Have a safe and happy Memorial Day weekend to our American community members!
The Sturmovik Team
Today’s DD is pretty straightforward, we’d simply like to show you some shots of content that we have in the works for both Battle of Normandy and Flying Circus: Volume II.
First, we have multiple renders of new objects, vehicles and ships that are being created by a development partner of ours. They are coming along nicely as you can see. They will be fully integrated into the engine very soon.
Next, we have the first shots of the Fokker D.VIII which is development by our friends at Ugra Media. This awesome high-winged monoplane will grace your installs next month assuming everything goes to plan. We plan to release it along with the Typhoon Mk.Ib (which we showed in a DD269) in our next update, which should happen by mid-June. Again, assuming final preparations go well.
Also, our great friend Luke 'Requiem' Campbell has created a very helpful video on how to operate the GAZ-MM 72-K and improve your accuracy when shooting at planes and vehicles. Check it out! Thank you to Requiem for making another great training video!
GAZ-MM 72-K Steam Release!
Additionally, we have added the GAZ-MM 72-K to our Steam store today where it along with the official webstore will have it on discount for another week. You can pick it up HERE.
All other work continues and our efforts to expand the team a bit so we can finish Normandy as planned continues. Stay tuned to our DDs all spring and summer long as we continue to build out BON and FC2!
See you in the skies!
The Sturmovik Team
Our team is proud to tell you that the work on update 4.601 is finished and it is up already. This update brings you three new toys at once. The first one of them is Supermarine Spitfire Mk.XIV Collectors Plane (included in Battle of Normandy Early Access). This late model of the legendary fighter has great fighting capabilities while retaining its captivating charisma. It has several historical modifications that make the Spitfire family in our project even more variable.
The second one is a new Collector Vehicle - Soviet self-propelled AAA - 25-mm 72-K gun installed on GAZ-MM chassis. Recreated with attention to detail, this vehicle is a new object class in our project. The experience you'll get operating it is unique - the life of the low-caliber AAA crews in World War II wasn't an easy one. It comes with a special mission type in QMB mode and new single missions.
The third one is the first airplane of the Flying Circus Vol. 2 - French-made single-seat fighter Nieuport 28.C1 that was exclusively used in US squadrons. This speedy plane with good weaponry for its time was used by the most famous US fighter ace of the Great War - Eddie Rickenbacker. This aircraft had a unique way of regulating the rotative engine power by ignition breaker. All in all, an interesting machine - and it officially starts Flying Circus Vol. 2 Early Access program.
Also in this update are two very important new technologies, one of which is tactical numbers that can be customized before the mission. At the moment, it fully works on all Tank Crew tanks thanks to our partners at Digital Forms. P-51D-15 also got this capability for USAAF and RAF (it depends on the aircraft country specified in a mission) and it works on Nieuport 28.C1 too. Later this year we plan to enable it for all other aircraft (it takes a lot of work).
The second new technology is Dynamic Visual Damage (DVD) that visualizes the hit marks from various projectiles on aircraft and tanks. Please note that is a visual tech that is intended to make the battle damage more vivid. In the absolute majority of cases, the DVD hit marks will properly show the impacts, but there are limitations caused by multiplayer and performance that in some cases can make them inaccurate - the good level of performance is always our priority. Nevertheless, this new feature should greatly increase the damage diversity. Just like tactical numbers, this new tech already works on all Tank Crew tanks and P-51D-15 and Nieuport 28.C1 planes. Again, we plan to enable it for all other 60+ aircraft this year.
Also in this version is a huge update of the graphical effects. This isn't an easy task to do since we not only have to make them look awesome but retain the level of performance. This time we have all-new explosion effects for all HE munitions in the sim with increased variety - now there are clearly visible differences between, say, 50 and 100, 250 and 500, 1000 and 2500 kg bombs. The water explosions became much better and the explosions better light the surroundings.
Martin =ICDP= Catney updated a lot of the external textures he made for us and this time two of the previously released aircraft were updated to 4K - Macchi MC 202 Folgore Collector Plane and Ju 88 A-4 bomber (Battle of Moscow). Please note that soon all the aircraft in our project will have 4K quality external textures. Oyster_KAI continued his work on improving the tremendous amount of aircraft cockpits, namely all Spitfires, Bf 109s, Bf 110s, Ju 87, Ju 88 and U-2VS. All the text above is just the highlights of the new update, you can read the changelist below:
1. Spitfire Mk.XIV Collector Plane is available to all owners of Battle of Normandy Premium Edition;
2. Nieuport 28.C1 is available to all owners of Flying Circus Vol. 2 and the Early Access program for Vol. 2 officially starts;
3. 25 mm 72-К AA gun on GAZ-MM truck is available to customers who prepurchased it;
4. New special mission type for QMB mode and 5 single missions added for AAA guns;
5. Dynamic Visual Damage (DVD) technology is added to the sim, that shows (with some limitations) the hit marks of projectiles on various objects. At the moment it works for all detailed tanks of Tank Crew - Clash at Prokhorovka, 72-K GAZ-MM AAA, P-51D-15 fighter, and Nieuport 28.C1 airplane;
6. Dynamic tactical markings technology is added to the sim, allowing to customize the tactical numbers on aircraft and vehicles. At the moment it works for all detailed tanks of Tank Crew - Clash at Prokhorovka, 72-K GAZ-MM AAA, P-51D-15 fighter, and Nieuport 28.C1 airplane;
7. More detailed railyards added to 19 cities on the Rhineland map (Bodenplatte): Antwerp, Liege, Mainz, Frankfurt, Bonn, Cologne, Duisburg, Brussels, Charleroi, Düsseldorf, Munster, Koblenz, Eindhoven, Tilburg, Nijmegen, Essen, Enschede, Hengelo, Osnabrück;
8. Completely new graphical effects are added for all munitions in the game for ground, water and object impacts and for midair explosions;
9. All F, G and K series Bf 109 fighters got the corrected tail models. Now the sturdiness of their elements are on par with the rest of the fighters and these elements can be shot off individually;
10. 4K quality external texturing added for MC.202 fighter and Ju 88 bomber while all Spitfires, Bf 109s, Bf 110s, Ju 87, Ju 88 and U-2VS cockpits were updated;
11. Spitfire Mk.XIV added to Rhineland Career mode (Bodenplatte) to the following squadrons the player can join: No. 41 Squadron RAF, No. 130 Squadron RAF, No. 350 (Belgian) Squadron RAF, No. 402 Squadron RCAF and No. 610 Squadron RAF.
12. The player flight takes off correctly in the 15th mission of the “Achtung Spitfire!” campaign;
13. An issue that could cause a AI fighter to approach to an air target too close and potentially to collide with it has been corrected;
14. AI fighter correctly attack balloons;
15. AI pilots aiming the MGs and guns at ground targets has been corrected;
16. Less experienced AI pilots engage the ground targets at closer distances;
17. Flying Circus aircraft visibility at large distances has been corrected to correspond to other aircraft in the game (it was 3 times lower);
18. Fuel tank and ammo explosion effects can be observed on other players in multiplayer;
19. An issue with potential fuel tank catastrophic detonation in case of engine(s) fire has been corrected;
20. The power of a fuel tank explosion now depends on the actual amount of ignited fuel or fuel vapors in a partially spent fuel tank;
21. Modeling of the putting out the fuel tank fire by sideslipping the aircraft at high speed has been improved;
22. Multiple ammo storage explosions are now possible (previously it could happen only once);
23. Maximum ATA near the ground level with C3 injection system on Fw-190 A5/A6 has been corrected (increased);
24. Roll shaking at high speed corrected for AI or mouse controlled Sopwith Dolphin;
25. A visual bar on the rotating Fw 190 A-6 spinner removed;
26. Rear formation light corrected on Fw 190 A-6;
27. Fw 190 A-8 small clock hand restored;
28. Added missing luminous paint on some Tempest, Spitfire Mk.IX, Bf 110 G-2 and Ju 52 instruments;
29. P-38 formation lights corrected;
30. Spitfire IX mirror position corrected;
31. Oil from the damaged engine on canopy effect corrected on P-51D-15;
32. A small visual issue corrected on MC.202 (attitude indicator tube);
Player controlled tanks improvements
33. All detailed tanks now have tactical numbers in Last Chance and Breaking Point tank campaigns;
34. Radio antennas on all Tank Crew detailed tanks can be damaged by enemy fire (in addition to damageable radio equipment that was modeled before);
35. Detailed tanks won't 'freeze in the air' after colliding with another object that was later moved;
36. AI gunners will properly burst fire the coaxial MGs of the detailed tanks;
37. An issue with the inability to hit the gun barrel on some tanks has been fixed;
38. Pz.Kpfw.III Ausf.M lower turret armor has been corrected;
39. The missing part of the Pz.Kpfw.III Ausf.M ammo reserve can be damaged by enemy fire;
40. T-34-76 UTZ (1943) coaxial MG can be damaged by enemy fire;
41. Additional external parts of Pz.Kpfw.VI Ausf.H1 like various covers and splashers can be shot off;
42. KV-1 and SU-152 splashers and rear deflector can be shot off;
43. A graphics issue that caused z-fighting of the shadows on certain buildings in MSAA x4 mode has been corrected;
44. External objects like trees, buildings and aircraft drop visible shadows on the player aircraft or vehicle and its cockpit in non-VR mode;
45. Gamma can be lowered down to 0.5 for more comfort in VR mode;
46. A visible city blocks shadow 'border' at large distances has been minimized;
47. A visible city blocks fog 'border' at large distances has been minimized;
48. An issue with certain European buildings glowing in the night has been fixed;
49. A GUI issue that could cause the regiment symbols to disappear from the Career creation screen has been fixed;
50. A GUI issue that could cause the mission start coordinates to reset to 0 on the Career HQ screen;
51. Water explosions of large bombs have dedicated graphical effects;
52. 50, 100, 250, 500, 1000(1800) and 2500 kg bombs now have more diverse graphical explosion effects;
53. Soviet Tank Crew tanks headlamp lens, visor, and mirror textures have been improved;
54. The issues with pilots and tankers animations have been fixed in multiplayer;
55. The bomber group leader will correctly proceed to the next waypoint after dropping the bombs.