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76.IAP-Blackbird posted a topic in IL-2 Series / Pacific Fighters / Cliffs of Dover: NewsHello everybody, The last month of Autumn has begun and we're preparing the next update for our three projects. We plan to release it in two weeks (doh!) or so and today we'll tell you about the upcoming additions. Of course, the stars of the show are FOUR new aircraft, two for Bodenplatte and two for Flying Circus. USAF P-47D-28 Thunderbolt is one of the biggest, powerful and menacing single-engine fighters of WWII. Its radial 18-cylinder engine with turbocharger, intercooler and water injection boost system enables this monster to reach 700 km/h at 7000 m altitude. Eight 12.7 mm M2.50 Browning machine guns with 3400 rounds total give a new meaning to the phrase 'spray and pray'. In addition, for strike missions, this fighter can be equipped with six unguided rockets and up to three 500 and 1000 pound bombs (225 and 455 kg). Being a late war aircraft, it has many interesting design peculiarities you'll be able to experience in the near future. Luftwaffe Messerschmitt Bf 109 K-4 "Kurfürst" is a glaring example of the inconsistency of the late war aircraft production in the Third Reich. This plane combines the newest weapon and engine technologies with maximum possible simplification and cost-cutting of the secondary systems. Its engines are a pinnacle of DB-605 line - standard DB-605 DB with water-methanol injection system and DB-605 DC with higher boost and power - and both of them will be available in our sim. Armed with 30 mm MK-108 gun and 13 mm MG-131 machine guns, it could also carry 250 or 500 kg bombs for strike missions (this is the first Bf 109 modification in our project that can carry a 500 kg bomb). It is interesting to note that this modification could retract its tailwheel to reach higher speeds - up to 715 km/h at 6200 m. Royal Air Force Sopwith Camel was one of the mainstay fighters of World War I. It was a contradictory machine, but in the right hands, it could face any foe. Carrying 168 liters of fuel (a very big reserve for its time), it could go on long patrols. This amount of fuel hampered its performance and made it hard to control and inert in a dogfight while full, but with about a half of fuel spent, the aircraft got a second breath and its horizontal and vertical maneuverability became on par with the best fighters of that time. Its two 7.69 Vickers Mk.I machine guns (late modification with the rate of fire increased to 750 instead of 500 and 745 m/s muzzle speed) were linked belt fed instead of fabric ones, reducing the misfire chance. It could also carry four 20 lb Cooper bombs. The Deutsche Luftstreitkräfte Pfalz D.IIIa was a second line fighter mainly used for escorting bombers and attacking the enemy balloons. It had very simple cockpit instruments because of the cost-cutting. Its one-and-a-half plane airframe (a design previously adopted by the French) was sturdy enough to sustain higher loads during sharp turns and dives. Its armament is standard for a late WWI German aircraft - two 7.92 mm Luftgekühltes Maschinengewehr LMG 08/15 (based on the original design of Hiram Maxim) with 650 RPM rate of fire and muzzle speed of 825 m/s, fabric belt fed. This fighter had an advantage of an excellent field of view, especially in the upper hemisphere. For Tank Crew - Battle of Prokhorovka project we plan to release 4 new player controllable tanks and the map of the southern part of the Kursk salient, but it will happen early next year. However, you'll see the new functionality being developed for this project earlier - it should be noted it will benefit not only the tankers but pilots as well. For instance, in the coming update, you'll experience the higher fidelity damage modeling for AI controllable ground objects such as trucks and tanks. Before, there was no difference where you hit a truck, but in the new system, each 'simple' vehicle has many types of simulated parts - wheels or trucks, engine, ammo rack, fuel tanks, driver, turret, main gun. By hitting a simple AI vehicle at these parts you can immobilize it or render it inoperable by damaging a turret or main gun if any. Statistics system will consider it destroyed if its ammo, explosive cargo or fuel tanks detonated or its crew was killed or its engine was destroyed or its suspension has been rendered inoperable (at least two wheels or tracks damaged). All this not only makes the tank missions more interesting but also increases the simulation accuracy of the ground attack missions for pilots. We also develop two scenario campaigns (USSR and Germany) for Tank Crew, each one containing 10 missions set in the second week of July 1943 near Prokhorovka. Another important change in the upcoming update is the adjusted logic used for scoring a kill. Previously, an aircraft was considered destroyed and a kill was awarded for it if it was damaged enough to prevent it from continuing the mission (for example, heavy damage of the controls, no fuel left, engine damage). Now, the 'aircraft lost' and 'kill awarded' events will be separated and their logic will be adjusted. An aircraft will be considered lost if its fuselage or wing at the base is broken, its pilot is killed or ejected. The victory, on the other hand, will be awarded if the scored hits were followed by the mission exit or disconnect in multiplayer, 'aircraft lost' event or the landing far from an allied airfield. Thus we motivate multiplayer players to try to reach a friendly airfield even if their aircraft is heavily damaged - even a hard landing there (as long as you don't break a wing at its base or fuselage) won't count your aircraft as lost and your enemy won't get the kill. We'll have other multiplayer improvements in the coming update as well: we have managed to find a way to synchronize weapon fire events on different multiplayer clients better, minimizing the total time of the delay to the total client-server-client ping and optimize the net delay compensation routines for transmitting aircraft positions and orientations. Server ping calculations will be also corrected - this is required for further improvements in the multiplayer lobby. Of course, we never forget about the singleplayer experience too - in the same update, we'll add 2-3 new mission types for Career mode, including Cargo airdrop and Free hunt. You can discuss the news in this thread
76.IAP-Blackbird posted a topic in IL-2 Series / Pacific Fighters / Cliffs of Dover: NewsDear Friends, Today I would like to tell you about what we plan for Flying Circus – Volume One and show you some WIP screens of our first two aircraft which are ready for Early Access release this month! But first let’s take a minute and talk about how we came to make Flying Circus and the challenges that we face in developing it. Of course, Flying Circus is going to essentially be our spiritual sequel to our ground-breaking WWI simulator Rise of Flight: The First Great Air War. ROF was the first product we ever made and over the course of several years we greatly expanded its content and created some really cool features for it, many of which were ported or updated to work in Sturmovik. We have not lost our affection for WWI and we have always hoped to be able to bring WWI combat to our updated Digital Warfare Engine. When we eventually ended work on ROF and shifted our focus to WW2 many WWI fans were disappointed. At the time, we had no intention of abandoning ROF or her fans, but the requirements for WW2 overwhelmed us and we had no resources to manage two projects at the same time and the technology we developed for WW2 was extremely difficult to retrofit back into our WWI engine without causing major delays to Sturmovik. Retrofitting WWI would have required an entirely new team of developers that we could not afford. So, we marched forward with WW2 hoping to someday find a way to come back to WWI and do a sort of parallel development. That opportunity has finally become available thanks to some creative planning and so we decided to create Flying Circus – Volume One with the help of our friends at Yugra Media. Yugra employees have been training with our team learning how to re-build our WWI content and make maps with our current technology. This has taken several months already, but our plan is to get WWI up and running as quick as we can and get WWI content brought up to our new standard. We hope to generate new revenue to fund more WWI development and general development of the common engine which benefits all of our products. We also wanted to give WWI fans something to cheer about after a long drought of development. Now it should be said that trying to bring all content and features of ROF to Flying Circus in one fell swoop is impossible. This will be a marathon, not a sprint and new features or old features found in ROF will take time to make in the current engine. Bringing WWI to our current engine which has been re-worked and modified for WW2 is a big challenge and some things can be ported relatively easily and others require all new work. As with Tank Crew, several months of work behind the scenes has already taken place laying down the foundation to support Flying Circus. This will take much time, but we will endeavor to make Flying Circus just as awesome or even more amazing than ROF ever was. However, for that to happen we need your support! Both Flying Circus as well as Tank Crew are experiments and first steps in working with qualified and trained third parties on new content and gameplay features that users have asked for or we feel have potential to help our overall cause. Our team is still small, relative to our competitors and we are still a self-sustaining team. Meaning, we sink or swim on our own, there are no bailouts if we fail regardless of who our benefactors have been in the near past. So, if you like anything about Flying Circus please support us by buying a copy. We want to make WWI great again inside the Sturmovik universe. So now that you know the background of how Flying Circus came to be, let’s take a look at the actual product. As you have previously read in other announcements here are the planes that will be included in Flying Circus – Volume One. We have decided to choose a plane-set that represents the period of April-May 1918. This period offers some great planes that will provide lots of fun match-ups. Planes: Spad XIII Sopwith Dolphin Sopwith Camel RAF S.E.5.a Bristol Fighter Albatros D.Va Fokker Dr.1 Fokker D.VII Pfalz D.IIIa Halberstadt CL.II. The first two planes off the assembly line and into Early Access will be the venerable SPAD 13C.1 and the Fokker Dr.1 triplane! All of the planes in Flying Circus have their roots in ROF, but the models have been re-worked by Yugra Media to be brought up to our current visual standard. That means improved mesh and new 4K textures. Map and Technologies Included will be a map that is approximately 100 km x 100 km that has is generally centered on the Arras sector of the Western Front. The map will include towns such as Arras, Cambrai, Lille, Amiens and St. Quentin and the dreaded No-Mans-Land along with several airfields to fly from. This map will be created using all our latest map making technology that is found in current IL-2 Great Battles products. It should make WWI a much more beautiful experience scenery wise. Matter of fact, Flying Circus will benefit from all current and new technologies in our updated engine. This means more than the graphical updates, but also improvements to AI and of course our amazing VR support is included! The difference from ROF will be quite remarkable. The plan is for future volumes of FC to include larger maps like we had in ROF. Exactly how big, is yet to be determined. For us to bring WWI to you in any reasonable amount of time, we have decided to use the Flight Models from ROF for our Flying Circus planes. We have done this for a couple reasons. First, we have spent a lot of time researching and building these FMs over a period of several years and unlike the 3D models, they stand the test of time and there is no reason to toss them and start over. Second, these FMs were built for an engine that was created solely for WW1 speeds and maneuvers etc. It was more prudent to build support for these FMs in the current WW2 focused engine, then to completely re-make these FMs with an engine designed for heavier and faster aircraft in WW2. In essence, we’ve been able to make both regimes co-exist side by side within the same environment without compromising the feeling of flight or their unique characteristics. Our engineering team as done a marvelous job building this support in just a few months! Without this work, Flying Circus would not be possible. Our Flying Circus planes will still have all the interesting quirks and characteristics that many of you know and love from our previous title. Finally, I must mention one of the driving motivations for making Flying Circus at all - VR support! There was simply no way to retrofit VR support into ROF properly. So, to bring our awesome VR support to the WWI battlefield we had to work on a new title with the tech already included. The end result did not disappoint, we really like how our open cockpits look in VR! This will be a really awesome experience for those that love VR. Features As I mentioned above, getting WW1 up and running again takes a lot of work, so Flying Circus will initially include support for the Quick Mission Builder and our Mission Editor. We will also create and include some custom single-player missions as we near completion of FC and if Volume One proves popular and we move to make future volumes, we will introduce the Pilot Career to FC. And Scripted Campaigns can be built for FC by anyone using our Mission Editor just like in IL-2. If you are concerned about the Pilot Career, please know this. We can’t support the Pilot Career for FC yet because we are still building support for WW2 and other general features and mission types it needs. Remember, it’s still new tech for the Great Battles series and we have to build this support in-house so we cannot place this task with a third party. We also have to build support for WW1 style missions and this will take time. If we include support for the Pilot Career in say Volume Two of Flying Circus, it will of course become compatible with Volume One. That is the beauty of our one client approach. All of our Flying Circus aircraft will come equipped with all field and factory mods that we used to sell as separate items way back when. This also includes pistols, scarves, streamers and special gunsights like the Aldis and collimator style gunsights. And last but not least, our pilot models for Flying Circus will be completely new and they will look really cool in our updated aircraft. They of course have yet to be animated, but the finished pilot models look to be really great! We hope this overview of Flying Circus is helpful and gives you a good idea of the great effort we are undertaking to bring WWI development back to our amazing WWI fans who enjoyed Rise of Flight so much. So please enjoy the following images of Flying Circus. Remember this is still a Work-in-Progress and the maps is obviously not WW1 France. For Early Access we will be including the Lapino map as a substitute until the French map is ready. You can discuss the news in this thread
76.IAP-Blackbird posted a topic in IL-2 Series / Pacific Fighters / Cliffs of Dover: NewsHello everybody, After releasing 3.001 update and going wild with the celebration - having 5 work days in a week instead of 7 - we continue the further development. Thankfully, 3.001 release went ok and didn't require any urgent critical hotfixes, which is strange for such fundamental changes, to be honest. Anyway, at this moment we already have around 40 changes and enhancements we plan to release in the next 3-4 weeks. Graphics, Career, AI, multiplayer and some other stuff will be addressed. In parallel, we're developing the next big thing, Bodenplatte. The work on the map, buildings and its first planes has already started. We have a huge task in front of us, but we already got used to big plans and we know how to follow them. Soon we'll tell you about the other projects of IL-2 Great Battles series - the work is going on them as well. Meanwhile, today we can show you the first WIP screenshots of Spitfire F/LF Mk.IXe and Bf 109 G-14 fighters from Bodenplatte aircraft list - we're working on their 3D models and FMs. We plan to start the Bodenplatte Early Access program when they are ready. And here's some "insider's bonus" for you: You can discuss the news in this thread