- Written by SvAF_Admin
As we mentioned in our previous developer diaries, Battle of Kuban is in full scale development. In particular, the map of the new thereat of war is in the works.
The Career mode time-frame of the Battle of Kuban will begin April 17 and end October 9, 1943, so the map will include three seasons - Spring, Summer and Autumn. Making a Spring map is a new experience for us and we'll see how it goes. We're confident that its quality will be good, but the difference in color palette should be significant compared to other seasons and we're hoping it will add a nice visual variety to the project.
Map borders are already set, as you can see on the attached picture - 416.2 km х 288.4 km fly zone which is 120,032 square kilometers total. Its borders, where you can't fly, ranges from 9.5 to 35 km thick (they are needed so you won't see the map edges). If we count these borders, the total visible area of the new map increases to whopping 165,000 square kilometers. The flyable area of the Kuban map is 32% larger than our Stalingrad map and 20% larger than our Western Front map in Rise of Flight. This is a significant increase in size with many more terrain features. You are going to enjoy it!
There are three major cities - Krasnodar, Novorossiysk and Kerch, several sea ports, some of them including unique infrastructure objects, more than thirty airfields. What is important, is that the map contains very diverse landscape types with the ocean, mountains, steppe, forested foothills, estuaries, salt-marshes, the Kerch channel, rocky and sandy coasts. Therefore, you'll see a diverse and interesting environment during three different seasons.
At this moment, initial research, map borders and the height map are completed and we can show you a very early WIP screenshot of the new map. There are no land textures at all yet, but it's a start :)
In addition, today we can tell you that our work on the next update 2.004 reached its final stage. The new update is in beta testing and we plan to release it in 2-3 weeks. It already contains more than 45 changes, including changes to physics, aircraft systems, damage models, 3D models, AI, user interface, mission system and ship improvements. The most important ones come from our work on the Battle of Kuban which is the first tier of physics and AI optimizations, resulting in double the number of AI aircraft on the ground at the same level of performance and 20% physics performance increase of AI aircraft in the air.
We'd also like to let you know that while our work on DirectX 11 implementation is not finished yet and the new render isn't ready to be included in 2.004 update, at the moment it grants a huge graphics performance boost, almost a 2x increase or more in FPS depending on the scene. We're hoping to release the new renderer to the public this year and we'll start its beta testing immediately after 2.004 release.
Update 2.004 will also bring some early features we're preparing for the new Air Marshal multiplayer mode - the ability to have recon planes in the multiplayer server (the server host will be able to give some aircraft the spotter ability). Joystick ID storing system is improved again, hopefully this would resolve the remaining issues with multiple control devices caused by Windows changing device IDs for those who encountered them. You can see the testing of this system on the picture below :)
And finally we have begun to work on collecting information and content for the new Career mode. Please check the forum for a section called Career Assistance. If you can help us create and gather the needed materials it would be a great help to the team!
- Written by SvAF_Admin
In parallel to Battle of Kuban development, we continue our work on new Collector Planes - Yak-1b (series 127) and Ju-52 3mg4e. Their 3D models will be finished in the next few weeks and work on their physics models is already underway.
The Ju-52 controls are somewhat unusual, for example, its wheel brakes are engaged by pulling back the engine control levers while the flaps are operated using the same handle as the adjustable stabilizer. However, it is possible to unlink these controls and adjust the stabilizer without touching the flaps. Other unique features are a tail wheel brake, corrugated fuselage and wing plating, hanging rudders and flaps, fixed-pitch propellers and non-parallel thrust vectors of the wing engines. Its design represents the transitional period between the wars (1920-1930’s) where new designs and increasing technology led to experimentation with some odd results. The Ju-52 was an iconic plane from this period in aviation history and its usefulness kept it flying all throughout WWII.
Although from the famous Yak family of fighters, the Yak-1b (series 127) required almost a complete overhaul of the existing Yak-1 (series 69) 3D model. From the development point of view this is almost a completely new aircraft. There are several subtle differences that influence its physics model – a different propeller, automatic tail wheel lock similar to the MiG-3, simplified trimmers (just bendable fins instead of separate trimmer surfaces), improved seals for openings, additional engine exhaust covers, a different engine intake, and, of course, a lowered fuselage spine with a teardrop canopy. All of these changes led to better aerodynamics and performance than previous Yak models. The Yak-1b also had more armor in the front section of the fuselage and it had a different armament package. Armament consisted of a 20 mm ShVAK with 140 rounds and a 12.7mm UBS machinegun with 220 rounds. Designers also removed the underwing rocket rails.
Here are some WIP screenshots for more visual impression:
- Written by SvAF_Admin
News from the IL2-team:
The work on Battle of Kuban is officially started - the development plan is completed and approved by all team leads. The map of Kuban and three 3D models of the aircraft are already in the works and we are making preparations for the Career mode. Today we'll tell you a bit about this new game mode.
The most important thing is that Career mode is being developed not only for the Battle of Kuban, it will replace the current Moscow and Stalingrad campaigns as well.
In general, Career mode will be similar to Rise of Flight career with some changes. The main difference is that the new Career will be divided into phases according to new theaters of war and each phase will contain several chapters highlighting most important events like in current campaigns. Players will be able to select a phase and a chapter where they would like to start a career. After completing a phase, the career can be continued in another theater of war that is set later historically with the same personage. Each player can have several personages for different sides and different phases.
Unlike in present campaigns, in the Career mode all missions will be tied to the calendar and time of day, happening successively. Your personage will serve in a selected squadron day by day and the outcome of previous missions will influence the next ones. In general, the tour of duty of a squadron will be close to the historical one. You can choose a squadron to serve in depending on a plane you want to fly. In addition, each aircraft and AI pilot in your squadron will be tracked. Pilots can be lost in action and new ones will join the squadron while damaged aircraft will require time to be repaired. All pilots of the squadron, both player and AI ones, will have a personal combat score and receive new ranks based on it.
We can't be 100% sure we'll have the time to implement this, but we want to allow player to begin a career as wingman and become a wing leader and eventually a squadron commander. Squadron commander can plan new missions, correcting a flight path and assigning aircraft and pilots to carry it out.
It will be possible to apply for transfer to another squadron, allowing a personage to change his aircraft and combat role (fighter, ground attack or bomber pilot) in the same career. Another significant change is that there will be historical military awards and ranks.
Please note that we don't simply copy the RoF career. It will be significantly optimized performance wise to make using it a breeze. While the main idea of the campaign comes from RoF, the mission generator will be an improved version of the current IL-2 one, resulting in much more rich environment and diverse combat situations that were possible in Rise of Flight. In addition, the current work of our engineer department on physics optimizations is aimed at increasing the number of aircraft in a mission, so the new Career will feature more intense and rich missions compared not only to RoF, but to the current IL-2 campaigns as well.
This is all we wanted to tell you about the new Career at this point, but there is another matter we'd like to share. In the previous Dev Diary we told you about landing gear modeling improvements that will be published in the next version 2.004. While working on the landing gear further, engineers were able to address a slipping friction modeling situation when a stationary or slowly rotating wheel of a landing aircraft touches the ground at a high speed, resulting in more accurate modeling of two-point landing. Tail-high landing can be performed if you touch the runway accurately, as shown in the video. In addition, an additional lateral friction is applied to a drifting wheel, making an aircraft more stable while taxiing, take off and landing, but also making it prone to roll-over during a strong skid. To summarize, taxiing, takeoff and landing will become somewhat easier and realistic in general, but a mistake during these phases will cause severe consequences. We' re hoping you'll like it.
- Written by SvAF_Admin
September 15th, 2016
LAUSANNE, Switzerland & NEWARK, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Logitech International (SIX: LOGN) (Nasdaq: LOGI) today announced that it has acquired Mad Catz Interactive Inc.’s (NYSE MKT: MCZ) Saitek® brand and the Saitek line of flight and space simulation game controller assets for $13 million in cash.
"We’re pleased with this tuck-in acquisition of the Saitek product portfolio. The Saitek product line complements our market-leading portfolio of Logitech G gaming products, including simulation products like our G29 and G920 Driving Force steering wheels, and expands our leadership position at a very exciting time for gaming."