CloD, as you all know, is still in "progress" so to speak. The months following the release have been quite turbulent in regards to the community around IL2 series. Many of us have been more than dissappointed about the state in which Cliffs of Dover was released. Maddox Games have continued to work with the game in different areas and from what we have learnt lately they are working hard with a completely new graphics engine (!!) amongst other things.

It was said that a patch was to be released before Christmas focusing on graphics, but due to events (unknown for us all), it has been delayed. Luthier have been kind enough though to answer questions from the community, which can be read below. Of course his answers were ... hrm discussed... so much that he had to make some new comments. Clear is though that we can look forward to upcoming patches that focus both on flaws but also on "working features" in the game. We can also look forward to an upcoming sequel  - not officially promoted - but as far is we have understood this sequel will bring us back to the eastern front again; Battle of Moscow.

Questions asked:

1. Are you planning multiple simultaneous cockpit cameras for use on multiple monitor setups, such as U-shaped forward-left-right views, as they existed in the original Il-2?
At a later time, yes. Have to warn you right away though. Each camera is processed individually. Two simultaneous cameras roughly slice the FPS roughly in half. Three cameras divide by three. This was not a huge deal in the original Il-2 since there were lots of FPS to divide. With CoD – when we have enough FPS to cut in three, we will.

2. Will you reenable cockpit shake that existed in the earlier versions?
We actually removed it because the fans requested it.

3. Will the dynamic stall be implemented in the Flight Model?
Yes, it’s one of the things the new FM programmer will work on.

4. Are there any plans to add a new aircraft or modifications, equipment and other objects to Cliffs of Dover before the sequel?
Only new modifications of existing planes – of which there are very few left. Completely new aircraft or flyable versions of currently non-flyable planes are not planned for CoD.
New ground or other objects will not happen due to the fact that our previous attempts to add them were met with a universal “we don’t need this crap, why don’t you give us xyz instead” from the community. The ground modeling staff and myself have subsequently made the fully switch that department to the sequel.

5. Will there be a working siren on the Ju-87?

6. Is there any news about the Su-26?
You’ll get to fly it.

7. Will the maximum altitude of the planes (ceiling) be raised to the historical values of ~10-11000 m? Today it is 7-8000 m for most planes, and much less for the Fiat G.50
Yes, it’s one of the things the new FM programmer will work on.

8. Will the performances of the poor G.50 be upgraded to be closer to the real historical values? The G.50 maximum speed today is ~350 kmh at sea level against 407 kmh found in books and online references. The G.50 ceiling in game is some 5000 m, against 10500 m found in various sources.
Yes, it’s one of the things the new FM programmer will work on.

9. Will the damage of a radiator by bullets produce a damage to the engine? Today you get the message "radiator leak" but the engine continues to run.
We’ll need to look into this.

10. Will the AI crews of bombers be programmed to do their jobs? Will navigators navigate? Will bomb aimers guide the aircraft into the bomb run? Will observers report air and surface contacts etc? Or are the current crew statues considered to be adequate?
We are planning major improvements to the crew members for the sequel.

11. Do you plan on adding bail animations and/or first person bailouts with the ability to look around when in a parachute?
We are doing a lot of animation improvements, including reverse kinematics, for the sequel. First-person bail out camera has been in the game for some time.

12. Can you guys give us access to the AI programming functions, to can over-ride/improve them in 3rd party code (dll's)?
This would be a great step forward, as we have many users around here with good programming and flight sim AI development experience in order to start things moving in this direction.

Not at the moment. Need to have stable, easy-to-read code for AI first, otherwise I can’t even imagine the things we and you will develop in parallel.

13. Will the UBI intro .wmv video issue be finally corrected? Today it clocks down the ATI cards to 2D-power saving mode, and gives really poor performances to the users that do not delete or rename it. That is most of ATI users I guess.
Can we have a static pic of the Ubi-logo instead of the video? That would save us from clocked down ATI-cards and you from programming a workaround.

We’ll have to look into this.

14. Will the track recording be improved? Today the main issues are: need to exit from flight to start recording, need to manually type a track file name, need to exit again from flight to stop the video, frequent crashes in the procedure, frequent crashes when trying to record an avi from a track.
Low priority at the moment. Serious changes, especially changes to the overall procedure, are only possible in the sequel.

15. Will the ghost dots issue be corrected? It's a actual ghosts or the disappearing of real targets online? Today in online servers you see far contacts which disappear when you close in. This can be fixed by MeshShowLod=1 but performance suffers. Will this be fixed?
We didn’t get to this yet. The dots are drawn by the part of the graphics code that’s been completely rewritten. We didn’t get to look into this particular issue with the new code yet.

16. Will the GUI be optimized, to be less clumsy and more ergonomical (today you need several clicks to do simple things).
Yes, for the sequel. We’re currently moving to a new GUI platform that’s much easier to work in. We’re redoing everything.

17. Will we see the coop mission in CloD, as it was in the old "IL-2"?
Don’t understand the question. The way we see it, CoD already has Il-2-style co-op. We are certainly not planning any major changes to online modes, GUI, or anything like that.

18. Are you planning to assign precise control point of view (zoom) button or axis, as it was in the old "IL-2"?
We have tons of plans for improving cameras and views.

19. Are you planning to transfer the new graphic effects (eg, weather) from future sequels into Cliffs of Dover?
We’ll work along the model similar to the old Il-2. There’s a single progression line from version to version dotted by sequels.
For example, we never released a patch for Forgotten Battles that contained new code from Pacific Fighters. The way to get it was to buy PF and merge it into FB. That’s exactly how it will be with CoD.

20. Does Luthier understand how disappointed we will be if the sequels cannot be merged to give core improvements to earlier releases of the series?
Of course.


Luthier's additional comment

Hey folks,

I see that these answers led some folks here, and most of the folks on my favorite, to read between the lines and see my answers to specific questions as indications of larger-scale abandonment of the project.

That's not the case at all.

I answered specific questions and didn't touch on the larger effort. It remains the same. Sped up graphics, launcher errors, improved FM, etc, all of that is in progress as previously stated.

We are trying to pull off a very difficult balancing act with developing a new game and supporting an old one at the same time. Pretty much no one does that. Most large developers simply release games, support them for a month at the most, and then switch to new paid content regardless of the state of the game. We are however trying not only to patch up major issues, we're working on improving things that generally work - and we're doing that for free seven months after release. We are doing that by trying to parallel tasks as much as possible and improving CoD while developing a sequel.

That is however simply not possible with some features. In some cases that's a question of limited resources. We cannot make a new flyable for CoD because that means one less flyable for the sequel. With other tasks it's simply a matter of time. Some of the changes we're making are so sweeping, they're scheduled to be completed very close to the sequel's ship date. The animation for example is such a huge task with so many facets that we can't just take it, turn it into a half a gig patch, and release it for CoD a month before the release of the sequel.

And to make sure to drive my main point across. We are still working on improving CoD. No one's abandoned it. There will be patches. My answers about things in the sequel were meant for those specific features. Please don't try to read between the lines!

Original thread here.