The cold November is here already and we continue working on our projects. An important milestone for the Battle of Normandy is getting near - its map will be ready to a degree that will allow us to begin the development of Pilot's Career for this theater (meaning that settlements, airfields, roads, rivers and forests will be there). It will be too early to share the screenshots of the map itself at this point since the work on its visual part - texturing and finalizing landscape features, coast and additional detail - happens at the last stage of development according to our workflow. Nevertheless, this stage is not very far away either, since the map overall progresses according to the plan. Speaking of the map, we can say that creation of map objects is finished, including the new city blocks characteristic for Britain, coastal defenses, radar stations, farmsteads for rural areas and, of course, unique landmarks. For creating believable airfields, certain additional airfield objects were created which are characteristic of this theater of war.
The work on various naval and ground units for BoN continues - there are several ship types that participated in the landing, including landing craft and radar-equipped ones, and several vehicles like this British armored car Humber Mk.IV, which is ready for deployment.
The German heavy fighter Ju 88 C-6 and the legendary US fighter P-51B-5 are getting close to release. Progress on the P-51B has been frustratingly slow with several technical delays due to research and software issues. Anyway, it's Flight Model 99% done and only Malcolm Hood visual is on the finish line of production. Please be patient the early Pony will get here we promise! Arado 234, Mosquito FB MK.VI and Me 410 are at earlier stages of development, but they are progressing according to the general plan. In the meantime, the work on the new fuel system is nearly finished and it will make its debut on Bf 109 fighters. As soon as it is ready we'll apply it to all the aircraft of the sim. This new tech will make the fuel system modeling more realistic, damageable in more detail and pilot interfacing with it will be recreated with more fine details. With this new technology up and running, we plan to switch to the development of the launch, guidance and warhead functioning of the V-1 vengeance weapon - its FM and 3D model, including the launch site, are already ready.
There is good progress in Flying Circus Vol. II project is well. The German two-seater recon/strike airplane DFW C.V is the closest one for the release - at the moment its 3D model is nearly finished while its FM is in the works - and we plan to have it in the next update already. Sopwith Triplane should be also released before the end of the year as well as the British heavy bomber Handley Page O/400. Early next year we'll have to finish German bomber Gotha G.V, Western Front map, and two Collector Planes, late WWI fighters.
In addition, there is a lot of WWI-era ground vehicles incoming - for instance, in the next update, we plan to release Jeffery Quad, Benz LKW 1912 and Daimler DR4 in several modifications and tanks - Mark V female, Reno FT and Schneider CA 1. WWI aviators will find their life slightly more complicated due to the addition of the German 37mm automatic AA gun Maxim Flak M14.
All the things listed above are just a fraction of what we and our partners are working on at the moment, so please stay tuned - we'll be able to tell you more about the other development streams in our next Dev Diaries.
The team is on a well-deserved extended weekend and Jason is lost in the middle of America on a research mission, so today’s DD is very straightforward. Behold the jet powered Arado AR 234 B-2 bomber! What sleek lines she has! As you saw last week, the Arado’s unique cockpit is also in development. We are working as hard as we can to make her operational as fast as we can.
The Sturmovik Team
Autumn has arrived in Moscow and Las Vegas and even thought the air temperature is dropping, our work pace is heating up fast. Work on our new cloud tech continues and is making rapid progress. We will make many different “cloud patterns” over time as we mentioned previously, but right now we are trying to create some quality cloud designs that we can put into Beta testing and fulfill the minimum designs needed to get you up and flying with them sooner rather than later. Please enjoy these screenshots and prepare to get lost in them!
Work on the forthcoming P-51B continues and I really wanted to show you a shot of the cockpit with textures, but they aren’t quite ready for public viewing yet. But rest assured that the P-51B work is going hot and heavy. I am “encouraging” Mike as much as possible to get her done.
So, we can’t show you the P-51B cockpit at the moment, but how about some shots of the Mosquito instead! As you can see, it’s taking shape and looking nice! Like our other British birds this one also has a busy cockpit that when finished will be nothing but Royal Air Force awesomeness!
Testing on the new AQMG is progressing well and it should be released in our next update as mentioned last week. The Breguet 14 is also entering its final stages of tweaking before release as well. Work on the next update overall is going quite well so we expect a smooth release of 4.605 this month as planned.
There has also been some good news with some research endeavors Jason has working on. If all goes well It may bring a new warbird to our skies. One that many of you have asked for. Stay tuned for more on that.
And as mentioned by Jason in his recent Briefing Room post we have two Collector Tanks being worked on by our friends at DigitalForms and we will announce those very soon.
The Sturmovik Team
This week we are working hard on the 4.605 update which will see two major releases. First, a French WWI bomber - the Breguet 14.B2 will be released for Flying Circus: Vol. II. The second will be the initial release of the Advanced Quick Mission Generator (AQMG) that adds a lot more mission content to the series.
The Breguet 14.B2 was operated by the French, Belgian and American air forces during WWI and it is quite a powerful machine and successful bombing platform. It was well liked in Rise of Flight and we are proud to bring it to the Flying Circus series. This time around, we have taken the time to improve a couple details of this wonderful aircraft including the addition or Fuel Mixture and Elevator Trim. Both of these details were not included in the ROF version of this plane. Whenever possible, we try to add missing details to our re-born ROF aircraft.
Advanced Quick Mission Generator
The Advanced Quick Mission (AQMG) offers a very fast way to generate Scenario-style missions quickly that offer high quality combat. It’s not a campaign and it’s not the QMB. It’s kind of an in-between feature that lays the groundwork for possibly more detailed Scenario generating (building) in the future. It’s one more way to create combat missions without having to learn the complex Mission Editor. The AQM is more of a “generator” than a “builder “meaning most of the hard work is done by the system and the user does not have to make many inputs to get up and running. The goal is to create a mission that is fun with lots of combat with flexible settings for enemy activity. The AQMG is based on the very old Campaign generator we originally had for BOS that we set aside several years ago (it worked quite well though) to make the Pilot Career mode. We never tossed the code and have now adopted it for Great Battles.
The AQMG is located inside the GUI beside the QMB and you can easily transition between the two features. The AQMG lets you choose several parameters that affect the mission, such as the map, airfield, mission type, starting position, your aircraft, loadout, weather, the time of day and the strength of enemy opposition. A mission is then generated from a historically based mission template that is populated with your objective and other friendly and enemy units that you may or may not encounter on your mission. It just takes seconds to set up a mission and get flying in a well-crafted historically appropriate mission that includes takeoff, ingress, targets, egress and landing. This is a bit more than your typically Quick Mission that is mainly geared for fast action and target practice. The AQMG can create thousands of different scenarios so no two missions will be exactly the same. This means thousands of hours air combat are at your disposal.
Here are a few examples from the Moscow, Stalingrad, Kuban and Rhineland maps. The AQMG is available on all of our main theater maps at time of release. We hope to expand it to other maps in the future.
The AQMG is one more tool in our mission creation toolbelt, alongside the QMB, Scenario Missions, Scripted Campaigns and Pilot Career offering a huge library of single-player content without the need to use the complex Mission Editor.
In addition to all of these options, we recommend you also check out the Easy Mission Generator (EMG) by SYN_Vander and Pat Wilson’s Campaign Generator (PWCG) to have even more options for creating combat missions. Both are excellent, excellent apps! We will continue to explore ways to improve both the QMB and AQMG features in the future as well. Being able to adopt these AQMG missions for Co-Op is also high on our wish list.
Old Clouds vs. New Clouds Video
Work on our new cloud technology continues at a rapid pace. So much so that we can now show you a comparison of how the old clouds and new clouds compare when rendered in the engine. This video demonstrates just how powerful the new cloud tech is and its potential. We can now offer A LOT more cloud cover and not smash the framerate that you are accustomed to. Early testing points to a net gain in framerate even with exponentially more cloud particles and shapes in the scene. The video is a direct comparison of the same track and was originally captured in 4K and reduced to 2k thanks to Jason’s outdated movie editing software. The mission that was flown in the video was an 8 vs. 8 QMB mission on the Rhineland Map with all ground objects like vehicles, flak, trains and ships enabled. The cloud cover in the New Clouds portion is considered “heavy”. The Old Clouds portion is considered just your average ‘cloudy’ preset.
Many of you will ask about how it performs in VR. To give you some idea here is what fellow team-member Jury aka Zeus told me today after testing it with his VR unit. This is a direct quote… and no he was not sucking up to the boss!
Jury, 11:58 AM
@Jason It's absolutely Awesome in VR
On my settings (I did not change it from the release version), I did not notice a decrease in FPS at all in VR
Hardware: I5-9600K overclocked by 4,8Hgz + RTX3070 + WMR "Samsung Odyssey+" in 60Hz refresh screen setting
In all Isay`s clouds test-missions - stable 60FPS in VR in all altitude
In QM battle 8x8 - stable 60FPS in VR in all altitude
IMHO its huge step onforward
like in a fairy tale in VR imagine you fly in a living volumetric sky ... Or even in a huge labyrinth of clouds
We believe this is very good news for VR pilots and all IL-2 fans for that matter. There are still some bugs to work out and there is (as usual ) some issue with Radeon cards we have to solve first. However, we are quickly moving to put these in Beta soon and then work on making many interesting and realistic cloud designs!
P.S. Yes the music in the video is annoying I know.
P.S.S. I mixed up my monitor listing in the video. I know there is no such thing as an ASUS Predator. I meant ASUS 43PGUQ. I also have an Acer Predator monitor.
In today’s DD we want to show you some screens featuring our new cloud technology and renderer. We have been working on new clouds for a few months and we now have some WIP results we can show you. As you can see, they look more natural and have more variety and are larger than our previous clouds. They also have localized rain showers and react well with the lighting creating a beautiful scene. While other teams out there have more resources than we do to make amazing clouds, our new clouds are the work of just two motivated people on the Sturmovik Team (Sergey and Isay). And soon we’ll be working with community member and friend rowdyb00t who has previously made some cool cloud mods with our current technology. This new cloud technology has great potential and of course it will take some artistic talent to make it look it’s best. They should also offer better visuals with no loss of performance over the current technology, at least that’s what we see in early testing.
We think you’ll like these new clouds and we’ll work to get these to you as soon as we can. The technology is being perfected as we speak and we will begin work on making the new cloud content shortly. Then they will go into testing with release hopefully in a few months.
The Sturmovik Team