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76.IAP-Blackbird posted a topic in IL-2 Series / Pacific Fighters / Cliffs of Dover: NewsDear Pilots, 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. Enjoy! The Sturmovik Team
76.IAP-Blackbird posted a topic in IL-2 Series / Pacific Fighters / Cliffs of Dover: NewsDear Friends, 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.
76.IAP-Blackbird posted a topic in IL-2 Series / Pacific Fighters / Cliffs of Dover: NewsDear friends, The work on the Normandy module is at an early stage, but of course, this doesn't mean you'll have to wait for new updates for too long. Right now we're testing the next update 4.005 which will include a number of improvements for the damage modeling, especially aircraft damage (but it is more general than that, the way weapons affect various objects is also changing). We did a lot of research observing the community opinion on the various aspects of the current damage system that require attention and corrected our priorities basing on it. In the near future, we plan to publish a special Dev Blog issue completely dedicated to this matter. We're also working on further AI improvements, namely on how they dogfight. Update 4.005 will include these improvements. In the future, we'll begin working on its tactical level and on how they follow the commands. 4.005 will also contain new ground vehicles - Soviet and German fuel trucks and ambulance cars. There are many other improvements across the board - for instance, you'll better hear the hits on your aircraft in multiplayer. And today, as we promised before, we can show you the first Work In Progress screenshots of the new Soviet pilot in Summer uniform: