It so happened that Friday dev blog is now the most special part of the entire project able to distract you from both game and forum wars. That’s why I’d like be ahead of your questions about the releases date - you’ll know everything next week. Meanwhile you can keep on playing, fighting and bombing while early access is steadily approaching the release date.
Some may have noticed that it’s been a few days since we’ve finally received a new Oculus RIft. It’s more than the freshest version of the device - it is the public version, just like the one you can buy officially. The gadget is finally capable of headtracking, like TrackIR or others. So there’s a rather small task that remains to be completed - the final compatibility check. We’re now sure that Battle of Stalingrad will be released with complete compatibility with Oculus RIft VR.
Speaking of today’s updates and improvements - yes, we have some for you. Firstly, it is now possible to set up convergence for fixed armament. The screenshots below show what it looked like visually. On the left picture - horizontal convergence at 200m, on the right pic - vertical convergence at 800.
Well, of course you we were flying and fighting without this setting for almost a year. But we were been listening and I it was decided to implement this minor but still useful feature. Convergence for turret guns is going to be added later.
Note that all you’ll be given only tracer ammo for the machineguns for the up-coming week. We need it this way to properly check this new system and make sure no bugs interfere.
Other changes include only interface and AI improvements with only one exception for Bf 109 update (manual radiator control was fixed, animations added as well). Update log includes:
HUD gauges will work in accordance with the actual difficulty setting;
technochat has been significantly improved with bug fixes and adding new previously missing messages;
it’s now possible to use the “Engine limiter” option in the Normal difficulty preset;
dynamical markers on the map can now be turned off along with the HUD gauges with the “i” key;
new GUI element added - an aiming helper for rockets.
That’d be all for today’s update. The weekend is coming up, which means that a lot of exciting flights are awaiting, multi player battles included - and again I use a chance to say thanks to those who runs the BOS MP servers during early access. We’ll limit the number of extra dservers from now on and until the release date so we could have enough players on the official battlegrounds. But anyway what we have now in the server roster is more than enough.
And another thanks goes to players who make and publish their IL2BOS fan-videos. Here are three recently published videos that we liked most this time - dear makers, you have our respect!
Today we give you the single player campaign for the Early Access. This is the most complex game mode we have in BOS. It utilizes our mission generator logic, AI technologies, and all the content we’ve made. We’ll keep working on the Campaign for a time, adding new types of missions, applying some more scenario elements and improve the existing systems. Because today’s release is the very first public version of the Campaign, you’ll probably find bugs in it. We’ll notify you about the most important ones that are discovered and, of course, fix them.
And yes, we need some extra time to finalize the project and make some important corrections. This is mostly related to the key features of the flight-sim i.e. engineering and programming. It may seem that now that the Campaign is going to be available we’d have all the time in the world for the rest of the work. Despite modern trends we do not want an endless beta for our game. That’s why when some necessary “polishing” is done IL2:BOS will be officially released in the beginning of November 2014, which is one month from today.
Today’s update will be one of the most significant of the entire Early Access period. Because of that, the first thing that you need to know is that you’ll need to perform a clean install if you have the non-Steam version. We apologize for that, but it is necessary. Uninstall the game completely (and a system reboot is recommended after that), download the updated game client from your profile and run the installer. Steam version owners won’t need all that as the update is going to be automatic. The second thing we want you to pay attention to is that the in-game progress logics will be enabled. In other words, all modifications on your accounts have been locked and you’ll make them available by playing the Campaign. Also, we’ve updated the Founders’ hangars with exclusive skins and other little things that we promised to all participants of the pre-order program.
We want to thank the community for their patience and understanding as we have progressed through the Early Access period. Overall it’s been a pretty pleasant experience we believe, hopefully the new Campaign will work as it is supposed to. As we enter the final stretch we are pleased to see some innovative MP servers and some really awesome videos that have been created to help demonstrate how awesome BOS is. We appreciate the efforts of all involved to support the BOS community and this hobby.
I’d like to start today’s dev blog with a few quotes from Loft’s recent posts on the forum where he replies to a player who has completed the entire Campaign (MK.MrX) and shared his thoughts with us.
“Thank you for the information and thank you for the critics. We know about all flaws of the single player campaign and we realise all demands (about its insufficient variety and non-linearity) that you have.
We’ve successfully made the base for the game and completed the system in general however we haven’t had enough time to fill the universe. We have detailed and described plans for improving the campaign, and it’ll take from 6 to 12 months to make them reality. Those months have been spent on providing early access. So we hope that you, our actual and future customers will give us time to accomplish our goal.
Meanwhile we’re making missions that involve escorting and intercepting assault planes, also some existing templates are being remade. New content is being added as well: ground objects, vehicles, AA artillery, specific colors of signal rockets for different regiments are to be added soon, etc.. After that new missions will be added including aerial domination, for example. These will be followed by intercepting transport aircraft and protecting them accordingly. There’s a possibility that Ju-52 may become available in the game as a non-flyable plane in transport escort/interception raids.
Some time later a special page with all pilots stats will be published. You’ll be able to check your progress on the game’s web page and also see your friends stats. In the future the system of achievements may also be developed for the multiplayer as well.
Yes, we still have a lot to do. That’s why we’ve came up with this decision to create a solid system that could be easily expanded, saturated and upgraded.”
The first week with single player campaign on your PCs was rich in stormy discussions on the boards. There was quite a lot of fierce debates in our studio too if you ask. But the work is on as well the life on the forums, still constructive, positive and promising. Absolutely brilliant briefings were suggested by Feathered_IV and FlatSpinMan. Their ideas of immersion into the atmosphere of frontline routine and ruthless battles could be a great addition to the game missions. But I believe there are a lot of talented pilots on the forums who would be happy to share their creative approach with the community. That’s why I suggest you all to write and publish your creative briefing descriptions for any type of IL2BOS mission in this specific section. We’ll be checking it regularly to pick the ones that we like most and the best of them will be added to the official game build.
Also preparing the forum for the release we want to reorganize the subforum called Tutorials and Manuals. There you’ll be able to post your own video guides, manuals and descriptions for the in-game vehicles and discuss control set ups for your planes.
Traditionally the update for early access version is to be deployed in the evening (Moscow time). I’ll post the change log as soon as the update is available.
Yesterday I asked Vander for an interview and luckily he agreed to answer my questions. You know Vander if you’ve ever played on Syndicate’s servers. But if you never did then you definitely should try one in BOS as soon as you can, and I bet you’ll figure out why it’s so popular.
1) Please introduce yourself
Hi, my name is Pieter aka SYN_Vander. I live in the Netherlands and I'm 45 years old. I have been interested in flight simming for a long time. My first flight simulator must have been "F-15 Strike Eagle" on the Commodore 64 in the late eighties! After a period of racing I returned to flight sims when I found out about the original IL2 game and I had bought my first TrackIR.
2) Tell us who's behind the SYN server idea? Who's actually making this greatly popular server?
The Syndicate squadron is now 15 years old and started as a small Irish "clan" playing FPS games online. One of the original founders, SYN_Jedders is still an active member and does a great job of keeping the squadron together as well as feed us with new ideas. When I joined the Syndicate in 2010 the server was already running missions for "Rise of Flight" but pretty quickly I was heavily involved in mission creation and server maintenance. Back then we had to learn a lot of stuff the hard way! Nowadays I'm happy to say that we have multiple members running our server and making missions: SYN_Blackrat does an excellent job keeping both our servers running for Rise of Flight and Battle of Stalingrad (which is not always easy if the software is still in beta!). SYN_Haashashin has learned to build missions for RoF which he now puts to good use for BoS and SYN_Per manages our donations and keeps track of costs since without money there would be no server. Of course the list is not complete as we have several other members that help with organizing events and occasional fund-raising.
3) The service you're providing is of really impressive quality. Is this anything like you're doing for living? How much time does the SYN server take from your daily spare time?
In real life I work in IT as an enterprise architect so yes I have a good knowledge of computers and networks, but most of the stuff I need for running the server I have learned along the way. Luckily the internet is an excellent resource for anything IT related and you can always find helpful individuals in our community. In the early days the server took quite some time to manage, but nowadays we have a lot of automated scripts running; to automatically restart the server for instance.
4) What do you personally enjoy most in your project? BTW do all SYN members fly on their servers and play these missions?
As soon as I realized the great potential of Rise of Flight with its Digital Nature engine and high fidelity simulation of flight, I hoped to one day see WW2 era aircraft in the sim. Although I must admit I have become quite attached to the WW1 era of flight and it's unique atmosphere, a WW2 flight simulator potentially has a much larger scope, both in number of aircraft types and theaters of operations. The number of interesting mission scenarios you can create is huge!
Most of our SYN member fly BoS as well as RoF. Others are waiting for it to be finished first.
5) Describe your perfect multiplayer mission? What is it like and do you think, can it be created?
I have always tried to focus on team based game play. Nothing beats flying online together with and against organized groups of people. It really brings a flight simulation to life as you get a brief glimpse of how it may have been in real life. Although you may be sitting safe and sound behind your computer, as soon as you meet an enemy flight and "mix it up" the adrenaline will start pumping and your hands get sweaty! Something I never experience when playing single player missions.
My perfect MP mission is when groups of players are working together to achieve realistic goals, preferably set in a historical scenario. Ideally, the mission goals should be part of a larger online campaign with a persistent environment. Think of having not a number of independent servers running totally different missions, but one "campaign server" and several connected servers that offer missions from a central mission pool. The results of the individual server missions will then decide the direction of the campaign.
Because I have a busy job and a family I find it difficult to commit to scheduled, longer missions. So ideally, some sort of match making logic should be present where you can sign-up for a particular flight and sortie. This also to make sure not everyone is flying on his own, but is always part of a flight having one clear objective. I think the tools and technology are already there to achieve this, but we need some talented individuals working together to make this a reality.
6) What improvements are coming to the SYN BOS server next? What should players be expecting?
I think we just scratched the surface really. Just as the game itself is still in development, so are our missions. Most of the missions are us testing various aspects of game play: Are the airfields to close together? Is there enough AAA? Are the targets visible from the air? etc. Our short term goals are as follows: For weekdays, when we expect not everyone has a huge amount of time to play, we want to create a simplified "online campaign". This means we'll have a set of pre-defined missions, each with a specific objective for one of the factions, e.g. capture airfield "A". The actual outcome of the mission will decide which mission will be loaded next. This will give the player an idea that the mission goals are actually worth achieving and we should see different missions every night. For weekends or special occasions we want to create more historical mission scenarios. Players will then have to prepare more and have to be willing to participate in organized flights. This is something we have done several times for Rise of Flight and in a sense is what we are doing every Sunday with our "Vintage Mission" night. I would like to stress that anyone who has created an interesting mission can always contact us and we may run it on a weekend!
7) Is there anything you'd like to suggest other players who are eager to be involved in mission creating? A couple of advice from a SYN pro.
A lot of people keep saying that the mission editor for RoF / BoS is too complex to use. I will admit that it may be daunting at first, but I think once you have overcome the first hurdles and understood the basics it is actually pretty straightforward. It just needs some patience and determination. There are several youtube tutorials (for RoF) to help you on your way.
But getting to grasp with the various functions in the editor is not the hardest thing of mission making. You need to design the actual game play. Anyone can make a simple dogfight/dual mission where everyone meets up in the middle of the map. But how to create objectives that actually motivate players? How to give the player a feeling that he is part of something bigger, part of on-going battle? What conditions should be met to achieve victory? How long can the mission last before it gets boring? All these questions are actually quite hard to answer. The good thing is that creative people in our community can already think about this and share this in our forums without understanding the editor at all. We will most certainly listen to any interesting idea!
Despite the long-known tradition we’re not going to update this Friday. So, everyone who planned to complete another chapter in the campaign, or take part in a new multiplayer community event should feel free to start any time because there won’t be any temporary interuptions for updating.
The next significant update that we’re preparing for is going to happen next week. We plan to enable the command system. Yes, it was partially enable some time ago but it’s finally getting proper interface which makes the entire feature more valuable and more easy to use, of course.
Tho system consists of three categories: gestures, commands to wingmen and commands to gunners.
The name of the first category speaks for itself, and these commands don’t actually play any significat role in gameplay. The other two are on the contrary usefull and will serve you in many occasions. Commands to wingmen grant you full control over your flight partners, from tactical re-formation to engaging specific targets. Of course, you can always just tell the bots to return to the base, or make them try to do exactly what you do and to searh for firing solutions identical to yours.
The last but not least category - commands to gunners on planes with crew. You’re able to control their actions and set specific reaction patterns at any moment. Attempt to fly through a dangerous area or wreck havoc upon the enemy - it’s all much easier with the new GUI. Speaking of stealth tactics, that should really be possible now. Since enemy AI is not able to see through clouds and sees very badly in the night time, your control over gunners’ behavior is particularly handy and can save your plane in a critical situation.
You’ll get your hands on the new command system next week. That’s when the update with a bunch of other nice improvements is going to be deployed to the public version.
Meanwhile I’ve started this topic for players who might want to host a new dedicated server in the North America, for US and Canada mostly. Looks like many pilots really need it, as a training server particularly. That’s why I ask everyone who’s ready to start and maintain a multiplayer server to tell me about it. Then I’ll pick one pilot who’ll then get access to the necessary software for one week. If this server gets good feedback from users, the host will keep for another week, and so on until dserver.exe goes public.
As you could have noticed already, we switched to a more regular schedule of weekly updates. New versions are released in the middle of each week, but Fridays remain to be the special time when we are ready to share some interesting and important news with you.
It's one of these days today. First of all, we are going to change the limit of players on dedicated servers and make it 48 pilots per server. During a test period, hosts will be sharing the performance data with us, and the future of this setting is going to be determined by these results. I hope that this extra capacity will help the mission makers to create even more exciting experience for all pilots.
Secondly, we are working on the unflyable Ju-52, so here're 3 screenshots with it for you below. Obviously, it's not complete yet. We'll keep you informed about the progress of its development during winter.
In case you've missed the news on Wednesday, we completed a full scale data base update. Thanks to that fact all in-game and forum nicknames has been synchronized. Finally you can be yourself both on the forum and in multiplayer battles.
Also, the page with Campaign statistics was launched. Although it's not the final version of the system, and multiplayer stats page is still WIP, however it already grants you access to your personal Campaign progress data, and it can always be accessed from your internet browser. Stat system is currently running in test mode so it's updated once in two hours only at this stage and also may have some flaws, which will be removed with upcoming updates. http://il2sturmovik....stats/campaign/
And some special good news from Veteran66, who has completed his campaign made with BOS editor and shares it with everyone in the community. Feel free to DOWNLOAD and try it, and leave your feedback on the forum.
A note from the creator:
"The Chir Front Missions have a special game mode which needs no waypoint, the player needs to navigate, check radio calls and bring home his combat Schwarm"
I’m glad to report that the 1C gamedev studio has successfully returned to duty in the year 2015. The celebrations, luckily, brought no casualties. And the first quarter of 2015 looks very promising speaking of updates, even major ones. You’ll find some of them very expectable, but others may be truly surprising - time will tell.
And while we’re working at the upcoming updates for BOS (and realizing the ROF improvement plan announced last month) I’d like to offer you a more educational variant of our dev blog.
Today we’ll examine the technochat. We’ve tried to make those icons fully intuitive and unambiguous. But since every map in the world has a legend, the technochat, likewise, must offer it’s own decryption. You’ll find the following table on this very page every time you need it, or you might just download it and keep within reach on your PC or tablet.
In the future dev blog posts we’ll take a closer look at commands to AI pilots, we’ll discuss some inobvious and definitely curious elements of the DM system, etc.. But since such informational content is created particularly for the players, I suggest you, the virtual pilots, to speak out and tell us in the comments: what gameplay and flight sim elements of BOS you would like to be explained in details? Both beginners and pro players could be interested in how things actually work. I will try to find the answers to most of these questions and shape them in a clearly understandable form.
February 2nd, 1943 is when the Battle of Stalingrad was over after the surrounded 6th Army capitulated. In the memory of that date we want to share with you at least a part of the plans that our team is currently working at.
Let’s start with what is already complete. On Monday, February 9th we’re going to deploy a small update to the official website. As a result, a new item will appear in the premium account profiles - “Activate modifications” button.
Owners of Premium accounts will be able activate all modifications without unlocking them in Campaign mode. You have a Premium account if you bought Premium edition, or Standard edition plus both additional planes: La-5 and Fw 190 A-3. Activating modifications cannot be reverted so you must make a considerate and thoughtful decision before you click the button. Note that this button doesn’t activate unlockable plane skins which remain obtainable through the Campaign.
What else is coming to BOS this spring? Of course, I’m talking about full mission editor and dedicated server software which will become available to every player. We’ve overcome some temporary difficulties, and now we’re working actively on the user version of FME. It should be ready this spring, in April or May 2015. And as the development goes, Loft and I will be sharing the most interesting details about it with you.
And now a few words about what is coming to BOS within the next few months. Keep in mind, that I’m about to tell just a part of current plan that the team is working at right now. I’m keeping some good news for the next announcement.
We are going to add 2 new versions of the Stalingrad map - summer and autumn maps, and also new campaign chapters telling the history of earlier phases of the Battle in the 3rd quarter of 2015. The maps will be available to all current and future owners of the game in all possible modes. The level design team now includes the author of the Velikie Luki community project map Zeus--. In less than 18 months after he launched the ROF mission editor for the first time, in August 2013, Zeus- with the help of a small team of enthusiasts managed to professionally recreate a huge location without any specific support from us. Well, the new maps are definitely in good hands now with this guy on board.
The progress in making those maps with definitely be shown in the future blog updates. And the nearest ones are going to be devoted to sharing the further IL2BOS plans with you. So, keep in touch.
Last Friday we brought to most of you some good news - allowing owners of the Premium Edition to bypass the unlockable modifications instantly. To help those that might also want this option, but don’t own the Premium Edition, we are launching a sale for Standard Edition owners that will last from February 13th till February 20th and will give everyone an opportunity to purchase Premium aircraft (La-5 and Fw 190 A-3) at a 50% discount. The sale prices will be available on both our site and the Steam page. Make yourselves a bit happier with these new planes and new opportunities, and don’t be shy to buy them as a present on St.Valentines Day!
Meanwhile, we keep rolling with big news about IL-2 Sturmovik’s future. Starting with the fact that the series is actually going to have a future. Last December, for instance, nobody including us was certain about what would happen next. But good fortune has blessed our hard work and we now know what we will do next.
We are proud to announce that the 1CGS team has started to work on the next title in the the series - IL-2 Sturmovik: Battle of Moscow. The next stage of this project is set to begin this March - that’s when we’ll be ready to reveal the details and tell you more about the new game’s compatibility with BOS, Early Access Plans and other important details. And now we present you the list of planes that Battle of Moscow is going to feature:
I-16 type 24
Bf 109 E-7
Bf 109 F-2
IL-2 model 1941
Bf 110 E-2
Pe-2 series 35
Ju 88 A-4
And the iconic Р-40 E-1 and MC.202 Series VIII aircraft are going to be offered as Premium planes. Remember that our Premium Planes are an opportunity for us to build interesting and popular aircraft that had a presence on the Eastern Front, but not necessarily a regular combatant.
MC.202 Series VIII
Later, in March 2015 we’ll start the pre-order program for BOM and will publish all necessary info about the future editions. We do understand that you have endless questions, and we’ll answer them in up-coming developer blogs which are going to be posted during Pre-Order and Early Access stages.
Note that Version 1.009 for BOS is coming really soon, bringing you over 40 additions and fixes. This update is going to be deployed in the end of February. And of course we’re already working on the Summer and Fall Stalingrad maps which are going to distributed freely among all BOS players in Q3 2015. And work on the Dserver and Mission Editor continues.
This is just some of what we’re preparing. We don’t want to spill all the beans today. This Spring is going to be quite promising for all combat flight sim fans.
Next week we’re going to have a scheduled update V.1.009.
Along with pretty highly awaited dedicated server and full mission editor, fixes of sounds in multiplayer and several DM improvements, the update will feature the oxygen system simulation. I’ve asked one of our engineers, known as Gavrick on the forums, to tell more about this feature.
Every aircraft in BOS, except IL-2, is equipped with an oxygen system. It’s designed to provide normal breathing for a pilot on high altitudes. Flying higher than 3000m with a malfunctioning oxygen system or without one is dangerous due to chances of falling unconscious and lowered tolerance to overloads.
Soviet planes are equipped with KPA-3bis open type oxygen devices. He 111 have similar systems while all other German planes in our game have lung-governed oxygen feed devices. The first type delivers pure oxygen directly while the automated lung-governed systems mix oxygen with the surrounding air and feed it for breath-in only. Accordingly, such devices spend different amount of oxygen on different altitudes.
Oxygen is stored highly pressurized in special tanks. Every plane has a manometer to control the use of oxygen. Normally there’s enough oxygen to gain altitude and maintain flight on reached altitudes for a long time; some planes have so much oxygen on board that it’s basically impossible to spend it all on one fuel tank.
In case if the oxygen system is damaged it is highly recommended to avoid high-g maneuvers and descend to 3km and lower.
Well, here it is, the full change list that describes the up-coming version 1.009 which you’re going to get early next week:
1. Oxygen system added. In case when it’s damaged or when runs out of oxygen, the pilot will suffer more severe overloads on high altitudes;
2. Fixed rudder wobbling when control rods are broken;
3. The stick doesn’t wobble when shooting any more in a plane parked with its engine off and at calm weather;
4. The bounce of the stabilizer that used to bother pilots tuning it for Bf 109 was fixed;
5. Default yaw trimming for Yak-1 was fixed; the plane is now trimmed for combat flight speed;
6. The approach to default roll and yaw trimming changed: it is now working as trimming with rods that should return to combat speed position when released to neutral position;
7. Fixed tabs on Bf 109 and Fw 190 were tuned so that the default stabilizer position is now more convenient;
8. Yak-1 and IL-2 flaps are now influenced by the incoming airflow as the speed increases (at about 250km/h)
9. Landing flaps can now stuck or break off at speeds that exceed the normal speed which these elements are supposed to withstand;
10. Plane is now shaking and can get it’s landing gears broken away when flying at high speed with the gears down;
11. Open bomb hatch should now affect the air drag;
12. Flap control lever on Yak-1 was fixed: it should not be shaking at high engine revs and should not return to neutral position when the flaps are down;
13. He-111 trimming range corrected, it is now possible to trim the plane for horizontal flight at any speed;
14. Excessive jumping behavior of Pe-2 tuned to bet the same like in reference videos;
15. Fixed the issue with engine not starting at all after a failed attempt to start;
16. The bug with transparent elements attaching to ripped off parts of He 111 was fixed;
17. It is now posible to shoot off wheels from the landing gears of Pe-2 and He 111;
18. The lag between hits and visual effects of impact was minimized;
19. HE and fragmentation ammo influence on armoured elements fixed: they are now properly protected from low caliber hits;
20. Armour penetration ammo has also been more precisely tuned;
21. Ground crews are now running away correctly from exploding vehicle;
22. An issue with ground vehicles placed near each other not exploding in Multilayer was fixed;
23. Airframe durability has been tuned and increased in most of the cases adding more resistance to direct hits;
24. Fixed abrupt blackouts that pilots of Bf 109 experienced when using flaps while the slats are out;
25. Fixed abrupt blackouts when putting up the gears right after takeoff;
26. A rolling gear wheel aerodynamics fixed. This should decrease the chance of nose over and as a result make landing a bit easier;
27. Excessive snow dust effects created by a falling wheel removed;
28. All radial engines in the game got their durability incresed;
29. An opportunity to extinguish fire in the fuel tanks on flight. To do that increase speed and sideslip;
30. Gun spread was recalculated. German fixed weaponry got horizontal spread decreased by 50%;
31. MG/FF cannons on Fw 190 A-3 and He 11 H-6 got their horizontal spread decreased according to the reference;
32. Horizontal spread of turret guns in case of overheat has been increased;
33. Several Campaign and Dserver crashes have been fixed;
34. Engine and wind sounds shouldn't clip and disappear when played simultaneously with numerous bullet and shell impacts;
35. AI bombers should now correctly drop the bombs after the Do Like Me command;
36. AI will not bail out instantly but with a random delay;
37. Significantly improved the situation with hit sounds in Multiplayer;
38. AI stay in formation when an enemy fighter is spotted;
39. Invisible tracers fixed in Multiplayer;
40. AI dive bombers Ju 87 and Pe-2 will do vertical dive bombing only if the need to spend not more than 2 minutes to gain the necessary altitude; next dives the do will be flat ones;
41. AI should now return to the home base if damaged or leaking fuel;
42. AI that go to home base because of low ammo or minor damage should now be going on max speed;
43. AI that was damaged, or has low fuel or zero ammo will now perform evasive maneuvers on its way to the home base;
44. Light BT-7M tank added;
45. La-5 canopy framing was slightly corrected;
46. In Campaign and Quick mission, a transport convoy will move off the road and spread if attacked from the air;
47. Full player list on the server added;
48. It is now possible to vote to kickban a player (for 24 hours by default);
49. AI controlled Ju 87 are now using flaps correctly on takeoff;
50. Excessive wobbling on roll axis that appeared during dive maneuvers on Ju 87 was removed;
51. AI planes will start engines again if they fail to do that at first attempt;
52. It is now possible to mark players on the server; marked players have purple icons;
53. Ground target markers are now shown on all the objects, not their group leaders only;
54. Distance is now shown on markers of ground targets (3km and less for group leaders and 1km for each object);
55. Full mission editor added <game_folder>\bin\editor\STEditor.exe;
56. Dedicated server added <game_folder>\bin\game\DServer.exe;
57. Remote control console for the dedicated server added <game_folder>\bin\console\;
58. It is now possible to set a pool of missions to put the to rotation on a ranked server. To add a mission to the pool you need to contact us;
59. Two multiplayer missions created by DED team added to this version to begin testing of the ranked servers system;
60. HUD is now turning red when the plane is near stall, or suffering from flatter;
61. The issue with bomb fuses turning off before landing was fixed;
62. Ranked server are now marked with red badges in the server list;
63. AAA should now cover transport convoys in Quick Mission;
64. Snowy ground textures improved;
65. When the bomb hatch is open the wind noise can be heard.
While the team is busy on version 1.010 which already includes over 40 fixes and improvements I’d like to tell you a couple of words about one of the new features. I’m talking about the full event map that describes the entire mission in details. You’re going to see the whole route that you’ve been following and a net of markers showing all events that took place. Not only time and coordinates of kills and deaths are marked there, but also a lot of other curious facts such as:
death of your fellow gunner;
death of a gunner on an enemy plane;
AI plane taking down another AI plane;
AI tank (artillery unit, light armor unit) taking down another AI-controlled ground vehicle;
death of the pilot in case if he loses control over the plane without any “help” from the enemy.
All events are going to have their own specific icons so you could easily read the map when the mission is over. The screenshots you see here are just WIP images, and what testers will see this weekend will be much closer to the final variant.
Among other nice new things, the 1.010 version will include several DM fixes, AI behavior improvements, on Bf 109 and Fw 190 in particular, some neat improvements in the interface, etc..
We’ve addressed the relatively new issue with the airfields not properly seen on the updated terrain texture in version 1.009. So, the upcoming update, as we believe, will mostly fix this issue and will allow pilots to distinguish the airfields from larger distances.
Microstutters that used to bother a some multiplayer fans were removed. Also a few new features were prepared for server hosts and mission makers: a topographic map which is way more convenient than the white one was added to the mission editor; a pretty handy zoom setting was made for those who spend a lot of time in the editor; the ping filter at last works properly in dedicated server settings, etc.
And while you’re waiting for the new version to be released next week, and while of dear testers are checking if we haven’t spoiled anything by adding new stuff, I suggest you some useful files to take a look at. These are the award tables that show what you can get by playing the Campaign. There are all awards here except 2 that are given for completing the entire Russian and German campaigns, and the Grand Battle of Stalingrad medal - these 3 are shown separately under the tables.
Have a good weekend, pilots! And keep in mind that the sale is still on, get 50% off until March 9th both in the IL2BOS store and on Steam.
Today's dev blog is a bit late but, hopefully, it doesn't make it less interesting.
Of course, the team is working real hard at the next update, version 1.011 which is going to feature the long-awaited Ju 52. Tante Ju will become the first AI-only aircraft in the project.
Another pleasant news that I'm about to share with you are related to the creative work of one of BOS enthusiasts (and our collegue already) - Zeus. Yes, I'm talking about the Velikie Luki map, 165 x 100 km size. This April (that's when v.1.011 is going to be published) the map will become available to all Battle of Stalingrad pilot for free.
The up-coming update will bring a lot of fixes and improvements, however it's too early to talk about specifics. Still, I believe the change log will be traditionally impressive. Keep in touch! News about BOM are coming up too...
Today we're going to show you the first screenshots of a plane that will be released as a part the Battle of Moscow project and after that will become available to all BOM (and BOM + BOS) pilots. This plane is the premium MC.202.
Furthermore, I suggest you to get to know this machine closer. The note below was written by our engineer known as Phenazepam here on the forum, who's kindly agreed to steal a minute from FM tuning and to share his first impressions about Macchi.
The plane’s going to be pretty interesting, with it’s specific advantages and drawbacks. Both are full of controversies. Macchi combines rather moderate external dimensions of Messerschmitts and robustness of Fockewulf, aerodynamically clean centerbody but powered by an outmoded Alfa Romeo RA1000 engine...
Still, this aircraft will definitely have its fans, and not exclusively Italians. Primarily because Macchi has a tough framework boasting an all-metal construction (except the rudders) of the airframe and two-spar wings. If Bf 109s are known for their asymmetrical rudder profile, the Macchi’s peculiarity is asymmetrical wing panels: left wing is 20 cm longer than the right one. Those wings don’t have slats. Landing gear is generally similar to the one on FW 190, it’s quite wide and serviceable. There’s a stabilizer on the elevation rudder, and no trimmers on other surfaces.
Overall approach to the framework design seemed a bit surprising to me: on the one hand the aircraft is aerodynamically clean and correct, on the other hand both of its radiator cowlings look raw and ill-placed. Apertures in the canopy behind pilot’s seat are another questionable decision - both from aerodynamics and pilot’s comfort points of view.
Speaking of flying MC.202 I’d say that there’s going to be very few surprises to Messerschmitt fans. The engine is an export version of DB601Aa that was also used on earlier Bf 109 models. But unlike other Bf 109s in our game, this one doesn’t have a good old automated constant-speed unit. Macchi’s CSU only has two basic positions: 2200 and 2400 rpm. All other modes are up to the pilot to set up and maintain by controlling prop pitch manually. Water and oil radiator controls are manual as well.
In a word, just wait for this bird to appear in the game to test in out personally. And keep in mind - Macchi’s throttle is inverted
And a couple of more announcements.
We've deceded to move all FM discussions to a special section. FM discussion in all other parts of this forum that violate p.18 of the Rules will be a subject to moderation.
Also I have news about the servers formely known as EU BOS official MP servers. They are now controlled and maintained by the guys from DED squad. They will run more interesting missions, listen to your feedback and build some decent MP experience. More details will be available later in this Dserver discussion section
Spring brings new life to the nature. So it does to our project. A whole lot of new features is being cooked these days in our engineering kitchen, version 1.011 in particular. Work on BOS and the new content for BOM is going at full speed. Thanks to that fact I have another great content to show you in our dev blog. This time our 3D artists shared a few screenshots with Bf 109 E-7 fighter that is due to be included into Battle of Moscow plane set.
And of course we’ve got news about our progress in improving BOS. Later this month we’re going to release a version update which, along with dozens of improvements and fixes, will feature the Ju 52 transport aircraft and the Velikie Luki playable map. These two are the key elements of version 1.011, the rest of the change log will be announced later this month.
The ongoing development of summer and autumn maps for IL-2 Sturmovik: Battle of Stalingrad already has some partial results we could show. The screenshot below does not represent the final quality but anyway it’s so good to finally see summer.
Thanks to the community testers, version 1.011 will be released a few days later than planned So, let's wait just for the next week to bring Ju 52, Velikie Luki map and many improvements and fixes to the game.
Also we're currently working on a whole new feature that would allow everyone who purchased the game during Early access and Pre-order periods to transfer their licenses to Steam, if they want. So those who bought the game until October 22nd, 2014 will be able to transfer IL2BOS to Steam saving their game progress. We'll make an announcement when this option is publically available.
And today - another glipse at what is coming next in our project. This time it's Bf 110 which will be included into the planeset for Battle of Moscow. the screenshots below show the plane's 3D model.
We've started this Friday with an announcement of the very first screenshot contest for Battle of Stalingrad pilots. If you're interested in showing off some impressive screenies and winning up to $200 in each category visit this topic.
The main news of this week of development is version 1.011, of course. We hope that all those updates, the new transport plane and a huge map are bringing you some fun.
Along with improving BOS, the team is busy creating the series' continuation and BOM's harbinger - summer and fall operations of the Battle of Stalingrad.
We haven't found any new planes for you this time, but there are two gunboats instead! When you meet them above Volga you better watch out, they are surprisingly well-armed.
After a three week break our developer blog is back, dear pilots! Fresh BOM content is regularly added to the project at this stage, which means that we'll have a lot of nice images to share with you in the up-coming weeks.
This time we've prepared a pack of fresh screenshots with I-16 type 24 that were made in the game. In 6-8 weeks the plane will be available to everyone who's already pre-ordered Battle of Moscow on our site.
Each and every day is getting us closer to the Early access program of BOM. The time has come to decide what camo patterns each plane gets (in total at least 100 skins will be released, 10 per aircraft). Last year's cooperation with players turned out to be fruitfull, so we'd like to invite you to join us in selecting those skins for planes in Battle of Moscow. Your knowledge can actually help us to choose better content for the game.
Starting the 98th dev blog post, the 98th report about the work that has been completed you realize how massive and complex flight sim development is. And the anniversary is really close - the 100th Friday post in last 2,5 years. It's more than a fancy tradition, or a public relations trick - it's somewhat a natural event. There are dev blogs ergo there is IL-2 Sturmovik.
Meanwhile the team is busy creating the project's future. New chapters of the Stalingrad campaign are to be released along with two extra seasonal maps that will be given out for free to all BOS players in a few months. At the same time we keep working on technologies that will improve gameplay in many aspects. Such enchancements are often very hard to describe and even harder - to show, however there's one of the those which you'll probably notice on the last screenshot below. And please remember that BOS and BOM are sharing all of our technological and creative achievements, it's a united project and we care about both parts of it equally.
Here comes the DD's most popular part - fresh screenshots. This time we're revealing the looks of P-40E-1, textured and flying in BOS. Note that the plane may probably get some extra polishing before going to early access.
P.S. let me remind you that BOS screenshot contest is about to end. But you still have time to share some pics from the game and try to win.
Even though we love our Bf 109 E-7 cabin and screenshots with summer scenery, new rivers and old trees, we just could not give this dev blog number 100. It's just not cool enough for an anniversary of our diary. Besides we have some really good news for you, coming up next week.
Without a further adieu I name thee Dev Blog #99.99!
And this blog presents you the model of cockpit in Bf 109 E-7 (there won't be a mod with transparent wing coating).
Also our map artist have generously shared us screenshots with a test version of new river technology that is being developed for the summer Stalingrad. The territories are huge, the rivers are many, the trees are incalculable - unlike the PC's traditionally low performance limits. That makes the job of recreating natural beauty on vast virtual territories a pretty hard one.
And yes, a few hours ago the big sale for all editions and additional paid content for Battle of Stalingrad started. Those 50% discounts are really rare, and it's unlikely that they may happen again before the BOM Early access begins. You can buy BOS for half-price in our official store and on the game's page on Steam.
DD #100 is here to bring good news which it does! Let’s start with Battle of Stalingrad.
First of all, BOS is becoming more affordable as soon as the sale is over. Starting June 22nd the Standard Edition will cost $49.99 and $79.99 for Premium. The next big thing is that BOS will get a map expansion this Fall. It will contain seasonal maps for the earlier stages of the battle along with corresponding Campaign Chapters. So you can see that we are actually are working on the two projects heavily. Furthermore, BOM development allows us to retroactively improve BOS. Upcoming features and changes we will be revealed in future dev diaries.
Meanwhile, we’re announcing the start of BOM Standard Edition sales. You’ll be able to pre-order a Standard for $49.99 starting June 22nd - the day when Operation Barbarossa was unleashed on the Soviet Union in 1941.
Early access to BOM is scheduled to begin in July. We’re doing our best to follow this plan precisely. If everything goes as planned, BOM pre-order owners will enter the Early Access stage inside the virtual cockpit of the I-16 also known as the “Rata”.
Note that owners of the BOM Standard Edition will get their early access invitations a little later in October, according to the current plan. And here’s what to expect from the first months of early access:
July - I-16 Type 24
August - MC.202 Series VIII
September - P-40 E -1
October - Bf 109 E-7
November - Bf 110 E-2
Release dates for the other 5 planes will be published later during the early access period.
This summer will be a fruitful one for Sturmovik simmers!
Check out these screenshots of the I-16 interior – Premium owners will be hopping into it in just a few weeks!
This diary, as many of you requested, is devoted to the new things coming to our game. Version 1.101 will bring a lot of cool features along with important fixes for the old ones. You've asked for some of them pretty eloquently. We are listening. We do care.
Version 1.101 is the major preparation to the Early access program for Battle of Moscow. So, here's what we're preparing for you and what out testers will get to check first in a couple of days (or even less):
1. I-16 fighter is now available to pilots who preordered Battle of Moscow. Players who don’t have it will be able to fight with it;
2. HDR can be turned off;
3. SSAO can be turned off;
4. Terrain Texture Draw distance can now be increased with a dedicated setting option;
5. New Choose plane screen added to Quick Mission builder;
6. F11 free camera is now available;
7. Your plane's camera should be shaking because of explosions nearby in external view with Cinematic Camera turned on;
8. Improved sun visuals on dusk and dawn;
9. More precise (realistic) calculation of the earth's curvature;
10. Max number of players per server increased to 64;
11. An automated chat warning about insufficient server performance capabilities added;
12. Variations of bomb aerodynamics added for more realistic bomb spread;
13. Bombs can now ricochet if dropped at a low angle;
14. Snap view settings can now be reset with the Reset user settings option;
15. Bombing tips added to the bombsight mode, press “?” to show them;
16. Ammo counter for the hand signal pistol added to GUI;
17. The following rules are now applied to server names:
first 3 letters of the name must be latin;
first 3 letters cannot be a single letter repeated 3 times;
names that include text from the config file are prohibited;
names that consist of latin letters, numbers, spaces and ( ) - / . , : = only are allowed;
a letter cannot be repeated more than 3 times in a row (aaa - okay, aaaa - not okay);
names can be not longer than 128 symbols;
symbols (not letters or numbers) can be repeated 2 times in a row max (== - okay, === - not okay)
18. Added cameras attachable to objects:
call in the currently selected object - LAlt + F2;
customisable configs are available here: <game_folder>\data\LuaScripts\WorldObjects\fixcameras
Take a break from reading for a second:
And we proceed with the list of Fixes:
19. Watching game recordings should no longer cause game crashes;
20. Abrupt lightning changes at sunset time were fixed;
21. The issue with the camera jumping to a map corner instead of showing the player’s plane when crashed was fixed;
22. Wind correction setting for bombsights was changes. Now, when all settings are correct the target should not move in the sight when the wind is blowing;
23. The issue with bomb falling through the ground with no explosion fixed;
24. Heavy AA guns will be using contact fuses when shooting ground targets with HE rounds;
25. Pilots gestures in MP fixed;
26. Pilot’s heavy breathing should no longer be heard on the external cameras;
27. Incorrect drag caused by bomb holders on Fw 190 was fixed (thanks to the report submitted by Ze_Hairy);
28. Config files responsible for weather settings was changed (they are now divided adequately to different seasons. Missions that were made before this update must be reconfigured using the new weather config structure;
29. Airfield choice should no longer be instantly reset with a click on the map in Campaign;
30. Server list will not shake when scrolling it;
31. A rare issue with text lines in the list of scenarios only showing when under the mouse cursor was fixed;
32. The issue with the Start button unavailable for some time after entering an MP match as a gunner was fixed;
33. The gunner icon was fixed in MP;
34. The distance controlling element of the He 111 bombsight was fixed (it doesn’t jump anymore);
35. The bubble is moving smoother now in the Pe-2 bombsight (partially because we have one similar device in the office);
36. Spontaneous bomb release in Auto and Scope bombsight modes on He 11 fixed;
37. The issue with NaN values shown on the dashboard right after a start in MP fixed;
38. The bug with chat message colors in MP fixed;
39. The 3d marker showing the center of an attack zone was fixed (swords instead of a yellow border);
40. The exploit of avoiding navigation markers with a map on/off trick in MP was fixed;
41. Resetting control settings should also reset inverted axis;
42. Several bugs related to inverting axis (including those bound to mouse) were fixed;
43. Scroll bars in the GUI are now working in a more traditional way.
In this diary I'd like to tell you about how we're changing the Campaign in the nearest future.
We've been thinking a lot about improving this game mode and making it more like the campaign you wish to have. We are 100% aware about all drawbacks and weeks spots of what we have right now (including fictional awards that annoy some of you too). But trust me when I tell you that with the time limits and budgeting that we had for our project we've chosen the best opportunity possible. And now, a year after release we're going to answer the question if anything can be done to make the campaign better.
A whole lot of ideas have been considered including those gathered on the forum (oh yeah, all that feedback doesn't just vanish in the cold dark catacombs deep below 1C's office, as some of you believe). Unfortunately, we've always been under the pressure of limited resources - primarily human and time resources that we can use for this or that development task. I believe you've read about it many times in the past in devs' answers to community's questions. But I had to mention it again because it's important.
Among the ideas that were abandoned there was old IL-2 static missions. I understand that it could sound really disappointing to some pilots but such missions would be an impossible task for the team. The significantly more complex editor and massive briefing texts that need to be translated properly into several languages make creation of 2 campaign with at least 20 missions each a really big problem. Speaking of time, we'd need up to 10 months for that. But as always you need them "yesterday", and new content for BOS is in works, and BOM is scheduled for release next year...
As a result, we've approved a quite interesting idea but first things first.
As you know, we'll be releasing a major addon to Battle of Stalingrad this fall. It will feature new summer and autumn seasonal maps and a new single player campaign that will tell the history of military operations and battles from late August till mid November, 1942. And before you start asking - yes, the campaign starts at noon on August 23rd when the city had already suffered from Luftwaffe's massive bomb raids. Why are we not starting Chapter I in July 1942? Well, you already know the answer: we don't have enough resources to build a copy if the city with undamaged buildings within the time limits.
Alright, beck to the campaign. It will consist of three chapters and will inherit the general structure of the campaign that we have now (and that was completed entirely by so many of you). However this time we have a chance to experiment and try new things. And since the addon is going to be released quite soon, we'll have enough time to get your feedback, examine it, and make necessary corrections it our plans for the bigger campaign in BOM.
This long prolog was needed to explain the situation we're in and give you an idea why this or that decision is being made.
Well, here's what comes to the game with the major update in Fall, 2015:
1) The video cutscenes will be different. In fact, all key events of the Battle of Stalingrad were shown in short videos that come with the vanilla campaign. There's not much sense in showing the same events again. Also the time limits doesn't allow us to give full and comprehensive backgrounds for tactical steps of both armies. So we decided to let the numerous films and books do the educating part. This time our video cutscenes will be telling history with some more art and emotional approach in them.
2) Difficulty levels will be tweaked for both new and old campaigns. Of course, it doesn't involve the CFS veterans or those who's level-capped already, but it should really help the rookies. The curve will be less steep: enemies' numbers and mastery, AAA's precision and reaction speed, gunners' accuracy, etc.. We expect that to make campaign easier which is good because we'd like to show all of you those new targets, like Volga fleet's gun boats and others.
3) And the last but the most important feature - changes in the very mode's structure. Since we don't have resources for a big static campaign, we've approved an idea to borrow separate elements of it and add career missions to every chapter.
Here's how it'll work. In the beginning you'll be offered 1 mission per side that you'll have to complete to advance further. Of course, we are not making the campaign more difficult with this. Completing career missions will not be a problem.
These missions will have long briefings telling the unique stories, and special hand-made mission scenarios. Writing these stories I attempted to deliver a gradual change of mood and spirit of both pilots as the battle evolves. As for Luftwaffe it was the feeling of absolute domination and even a bit of despise to the enemy which are being replaced with annoyance caused by lingering attack on Stalingrad. As for the Soviet pilot it was pessimistic and partly panic state of mind caused by tragic events that happened by the end of summer, but still a phantom hope to overcome all odds appears by late October 1942.
As a result, with this new campaign you're getting 6 career missions. In theory we'll be able to increase their numbers in future letting you play them in each newly opened chapter. This time everything depends on your feedback about this feature. Meanwhile it's just an experiment that we (not without risk, BTW) can afford.
So let's wait for the autumn to finally try the new stuff! By that time we sure will be working hard to make it happen. See you!
P.S.: we've practically finished work on the summer map.
Today's diary should be particularly interesting to those who tracks the Battle of Moscow development.
As you already know MC.202 Series VIII is the next aircraft in our list of early access releases. I finally have a few fresh screenshots showing the plane's cockpit. It's almost complete, and the August is coming in a couple of weeks already, so you won't need to wait long to get to try it.
Also we've started changing pilots' outfit. The German pilot already wears his summer gear.
MC.202 entered the final stage of beta-testing. And it’s coming to the game really soon. Both visual and flight models are ready, and we’re testing them as a part of the version 1.102 release candidate. Speaking of the plane itself we can’t but share some of our observations, especially these five particularly interesting ones:
Macchi is quite a well armed plane. It’s to high caliber machine guns are surely effective especially for taking down enemy fighters;
A very good dive speed. The reference documents confirm that during flight tests the aircraft reached 765 km/h with no problem at all. This presumes that you can run this bird as fast as 850 km/h or even faster.
Surprisingly its G-limit according to the original docs is 15.6;
Impressive differences between specific planes within the same model and production series;
Quite peculiar construction features such as: different wing size, reversed throttle controls, a designated marker drawn directly on the sight reflector and a fold-out metal back sight to be used with it, etc..
We hope you’ll like your first date with this Italian beauty. Here are a few pics with the Macchi for you, pilots. It’s coming really soon to Il-2 Strumovik: Battle of Moscow early access program.
We really hope that you enjoy flying Macchi which was released a week ago. But there's still a lot to do, both for BOS and BOM, and here what we're working at now:
- autumn map for the free add-on to Battle of Stalingrad. We'll be glad to show the WIP screenshots as soon as possible;
- new Campaign mission for the Early Battle of Stalingrad which will be set in summer and autumn settings. A few days ago these missions entered the testing stage;
- the engineers are working at flight models of MiG-3, Bf 110, Bf 109 E-7 and P-40;
- our artist team is making 3D models for MiG-3, Bf 110, and P-40. Soon we'll be able to show you screenshots of Bf 110's cockpit since the model is almost ready;
- all the vehicles need to have appropriate summer camo, so we're painting them green, brown, etc. Some of P-40 skins are also ready, and we'll present them later to you.
- also we're making new Multiplayer modes but it's a bit too early to disclaim the details.
Today, a few days after the version 1.102 release we're not ready to show any new planes, but we've got a lot of square kilometers of summer Stalingrad map - why not to share some of its images with you!
Fall is coming! The new seasonal map will soon be complete, and today we're finally ready to give you a sneak peek at what we've got. The rest of the development is going as planned, so let's keep fingers crossed for the BOS add-on to be published in time. That's up to us to make this possible, and everyone in the dev team is doing their best to make it happen. Also we've started to work on the Moscow map - right in time according to the project plan, so soon we'll be sharing some WIP screenshots from it as well.
And today - a few fresh screenshots from the autumn Stalingrad.
First news about Bf 110 has arrived. Our FM engineers started flying on it. This means that a big part of the job is done. But two-seaters and bigger planes are particularly difficult to develop for a flight sim. The way how the crew interacts and coordinates their tasks, specific features of gunner positions and other details are always quite original for every aircraft. So of course we faced several difficulties developing Bf 110. But still those odds won't get us out of the schedule, and the plane will be available for early access in time, in November 2015.
Bf 110 turns out to be a really interesting machine. For instance, it had impressive armament similar to one that Pe-2 had on board. Also its cockpit was equipped various devices including the autopilot like on He 111. Another interesting design decision was the way MG FF were mounted. They were put in the center of the frame, they had magazine feed and were reloaded by the gunner/radio officer.
In a word, Bf 110 is shaping up as a nice aircraft promising a lot fun for players.
P-40 is coming really soon. The team is finalizing the textures and the flight model as this dev blog is being posted. The plane turns out to be pretty specific and definitely interesting to fly. And it's particularly notable for the armament - six Browning machine guns. Yes, it may not be enough to intercept a heavy bomber fast and easily, but a fighter won't last a moment against their massive firepower. The effectiveness of two .50 cal machine guns have been introduced to you in the previous update that featured another premium BOM fighter - MC.202. This time you're about to equip at least three times more of the firepower. At least - because the Brownings are also notably more advanced than the Bredas.
Also you'll surely notice that P-40's dimensions are outstanding - it actually looks huge comparing to German and Soviet fighter planes. Maybe Americans just prefer everything big and comfy vehicles. On the one hand it gives the pilot some extra room and provides for more armored elements, on the other hand - these dimensions sure make you an easier target. So stay vigilant and check your six more often.
I'm glad to inform you that Autumn has came! The development of autumn and summer Stalingrad maps is almost complete and we need to finish only "Battle of Stalingrad, part 1" campaign. This new campaign includes several new cool features like new mission types "Attack river ships", "Cover river ships", "Attack river crossing" and new story missions at the beginning of each campaign chapter.
In addition, the development of Bf 109 E-7 fighter is close to finish, the only tasks that remain are flight model fine tuning and teaching AI how to fly it.
All these features are planned to be included in 1.104 update that is scheduled for end of October. We hope that we will complete this objective
Today we have some good news: version 1.104 is ready for beta testing, it includes a German fighter Bf 109 E-7 for Battle of Moscow project, summer and autumn Stalingrad maps and the new campaign Battle of Stalingrad: part 1.
We worked on some additional optimizations of the physics code and plan to increase the maximum simultaneous players cap on one multiplayer server to 84 persons. In addition, while making physics changes for summer season we improved the ground contact modeling and added more surface types, I'll tell you about this in detail in our next update.
To make your waiting for 1.104 less boresome, today we're presenting new screenshots of the new campaign, new fighter and a little surprise. In addition to screenshots there are two videos; one of them shows aerobatics abilities of upcoming Bf 109 E-7 (it may be interesting to compare its capabilities with Bf 109 F-4, which aerobatics video we published earlier); the second video is a little surprise too.
We're glad to tell you that our work on update 1.104 is nearly finished. Completing the beta stage, today we begin the testing of release candidate version. We plan to publish it in the middle of the next week and hope that nothing will hamper these plans.
Today we'll show you a couple of new screenshots of the new Stalingrad campaign set during Summer and Autumn of 1942. And there is additional video showing new level of ground contact modeling between wheels of an aircraft and different terrain types:
We hope you enjoyed update 1.104 and Bf-109 E-7, summer and autumn maps and the new campaign it brought In general we have positive responses to all changes and additions and this is really good. We'd like to say 'Thank you!' to all players who dropped a positive comment on our forum, Steam, Facebook, etc. - your positive reviews are very important.
Meanwhile we continue our work on Battle of Moscow project, there is significant progress in the map department, we'll be able to show you first screenshots of it soon: placing buildings and bridges, setting coordinates of roads and rivers, mapping the settlements and airfields are almost done. For Moscow map we use a new approach for landscape texturing which should make it even more realistic looking and impressive.
Of course, there is also progress in creating new planes for Battle of Moscow. Tomorrow we release Bf 110 E-2 for beta-testing. Main chunk of work on its visual, damage and physics model, flight model, teaching AI to fly it properly is done and we need to check it before releasing the plane to BoM owners in version 1.105.
Another plane we plan to release before the end of this year is MiG-3 ser. 24. Take a look at these MiG-3 WIP screenshots and a short video about Bf-110 E-2:
Today we want to tell you several news from IL-2 Sturmovik project.
First, we finished two-seat fighter Bf 110 E-2 flight model and start working on physics of another aircraft, Ju 88 A-4. Development of twin engine aircraft, all of which have sophisticated array of instruments, isn't easy, but we keep up as planned so far and think it will be ready on time. In parallel, its 3D model is being made, here are several WIP screenshots from 3D editor:
Second, while preparing playable tanks for the beta test, we made significant improvements to the ballistics and armor modeling, mainly improved interpolation of a damage inflicted between reference data values. Here we need to go in some detail Since there is no universal formula that lets you calculate how much damage a round would deal after piercing a certain armor sheet knowing its impact speed and angle, we use reference data (like it pierced 54 mm at 30 degrees) and sometimes additional reference points calculated using the empiric De Marre formula. Between these points you need to interpolate the results (like how much would it pierce at 34 degrees and at higher speed). Optimization is also needs to be taken into account, since one 12.7 bullet can impact dozens of various systems and parts after entering an aircraft. Problem was, armor penetration was right when close to reference points described above, but its interpolation between them was rather rough (usually resulting in higher armor penetration values). However we found a way to improve the 2D 'speed-armor-damage' interpolation without sacrificing performance, which greatly reduced these errors between the reference points. Here you can see 2D interpolation graph we used to monitor the effectiveness of this function (previously it looked like step pyramid of Djoser in Egypt):
Third, we observe the discussion 'how far can you reach from the cockpit in the flight' on the forums for a long time and obviously the current implementation is not satisfactory for the community. It is clearly a very subjective since it depends on whether a pilot tied his safety belts or not, how much can he endure the wind blasting at his head and body while keeping the ability to see anything, does he wear a mask and many other things, but we decided to make a more universal approach. Previously we calculated the air pressure force that forced pilot's head back into cockpit (it started to effect the pilot roughly at 300 km/h, reaching maximum effect at 500 km/h), but now we made it a bit more detailed:
0 - 30 km/h: you can stand up and lean your body outside (50 cm to the sides and 20 cm up, as it was before). This may be useful for taxiing.
30 - 50 km/h: you get back into cockpit, it's like you tighten your seat belts.
50 - 200 km/h: you can peek your eye a bit to look what's going on.
200 - 350 km/h: gradually you lose the ability to lean out completely.
Above 350 km/h you have the same head limits like in a closed cockpit.
For a bit of fun and first-hand demonstration, we made an experiment to learn how far you can lean to the side without moving the lower part of your body, the result you can see on the picture below. It depends on your height and general weight, but:
1) If cockpit sides are not too high (WWI era planes), you can easily lean up to 40 cm to the sides;
2) If a cockpit is narrow and its sides are on the level of your shoulders, it's difficult to lean more than 20 cm to the sides;
3) You need to watch your weight (compare the head size of our PM Han to head size of pilot model used in the game)
And the fourth thing today is the one we've been asked about many times. Player controllable tanks. Now there is a small story that consists of different parts.
Part 1. How did they appear in the first place
Tanks in our engine appeared even before we committed to Battle of Stalingrad project as a demonstration of its capabilities for simulating various machines. A tech demo has been created to showcase this, including a sophisticated (especially for that time) physics modeling engine for ground vehicles. Modern tanks were chosen for this demo and you may have saw it already since we published it in the developer diaries, but here it is in case you've missed it:
We found that developing this in our engine has great potential; at the same time we considered the possibilities of increasing map detail at the cost of reducing its total size to better suit ground warfare and the results were good as well. All in all, it was a very interesting experience and we learned how we can use the engine for different tasks. After that, we started Battle of Stalingrad and the work on ground warfare prototype has been suspended until the base of IL-2 sim has been released.
Some time ago it turned out that we have a spare time in 3D modeling department (there is usually a fine balance between the tasks of 3D and Engineer departments which works on FM, but creating FM takes more time, so sometimes 3D modelers have spare time) and we decided to use this opportunity to try player controlled ground vehicles in Battle of Stalingrad. High detailed 3D models of T-34-76 made by Stalingrad Tractor Factory and PzKpfw III Ausf. L were created. The technology has been upgraded somewhat as well to make handling and damage modeling more realistic, since in the modern tanks prototype shown above a more casual approach has been used. At the moment, controllable tanks are in beta state and will be added to the game in 1.105 if everything goes well.
Part 2. Degree of realism and handling
Base engine lets us to create reasonably realistic tanks. At this stage, everything has been tuned to correspond to the references. Here are some highlights:
1) Engine and suspension. Engine physics model, transmission, tracks/ground friction, movement modeling - all these things are modeled at the same level of fidelity our planes are, resulting in believable tank behavior during its movement, reached speeds, acceleration and braking, turning and gradeability limits.
2) In spite of the advanced physics model, tank movement can be controlled with just 4 cursor keys or a joystick thanks to control system that translates these limited signals to forces applied to gas, clutch and brake pedals, gearbox selector and steering clutch levers (it's like driving a vehicle with a robotic gearbox).
3) Armament: main gun and coaxial MG for now. Ballistics, armor piercing capabilities, rate of fire - all such things were modeled with the same detail level as for a plane. There are two types of shells currently modeled: AP and HE.
4) Armor model includes all main armor sheets placed at correct angles.
5) Tank is considered destroyed when ammo racks are hit. It can also be immobilized by damaging engine or tracks and the crew can be knocked out.
6) You can control a tank either single-handedly (switching between driver and gunner) or with another player who will occupy gunner seat.
7) Gun sights are modeled to a reasonable degree of realism, including their field of view, authentic reticle marks, sight adjusting (vertical for both tanks, T-34 sight also has the horizontal adjustment ability), correct optics. At this stage, gunner sight can be considered minimally adequate.
Part 3. What we want to achieve and the future possibilities
You may have noticed that modeled tank systems are reasonably realistic, however not everything has been created yet (although there are some things not to be found in other recent projects about tanks). This can be explained by what we want from adding the tanks to our sim.
We made basic functionality to show potential possibilities of controllable tanks in our project and understand the player reaction to them. Mainly, would you like them? We demonstrate our approach (realism over balance, cooperative play in one vehicle, detailed systems modeling) in some kind of a Kickstarter-esque manner. If the existing community and new players would like the new toys, we'll assign more resources to improve and expand on the basis we have now, adding new systems, more detailed damage modeling, other features, and new vehicles.
The end of November is near, and the beta-testing of the next update, 1.105, is near its end as well. Today I'll tell you about what our team prepared this time. It's hard to pinpoint a biggest feature, so lets say there are three main and interesting additions to the game:
1. German two-seater fighter Bf 110 E-2 which has been developed for Battle of Moscow project. This aircraft turned out to be very interesting. First, it has rich instruments array, almost as good as on bombers. Second, it is capable of carrying very diverse and huge bomb load. Third, it is very charismatic and leaves a striking impression in handling and visuals. Fourth, its gunner station is somewhat unique with holders for spare magazines both for MG-15 turret and for nose MG-FF guns (you need to reload the cannons each 60 rounds). All in all, I think that getting acquainted with it will bring many interesting moments for you.
2. Player controlled tanks. I told you about them in detail in our previous developer diary, so today let's talk about gameplay. Currently, we release them for multiplayer only, so 'detailed' player controlled tanks have no AI and can't follow commands set in mission editor (they are supposed to be controlled by one or two players). However it's possible to create a user scenario where a player controlling a tank can participate in a large AI battle with ground and air forces involved. We can add the best of such scenarios created by players to the game (by author permission of course).
There will be two multiplayer missions with tanks at 1.105 release:
- First mission is a territory capture that can be played on tanks and planes simultaneously. Tanks need to capture enemy tank spawn points designated by flags, getting closer to the enemy airfield. Players who prefer air power can take off from the airfield either on ground attack planes to support their own ground forces or on fighters to counter enemy air. To capture a flag, ground forces must preserve numerical superiority in its vicinity for a short time. After capturing a couple of enemy flags, tanks can move further to the enemy airfield and wipe it out for good, winning the mission.
- Second mission is simpler, but can be more hectic. Players on tanks can participate in the endless AI tank battle (roughly 2 vs 2 tank companies with artillery support) to turn the tide in their favor. Here you immediately jump into the heat of battle. If many players participate in this mission, it can grow up to battalion vs battalion size. Supporting your side from the air is also possible.
A tank is controlled by the following commands (they can be changed in input settings):
"E" - Start engine
"Cursor Keys" - Movement (the game automatically translates these simple direction commands to pushing pedals, switching friction clutches and changing gears).
"RAlt-C" - Close/open hatch (riding with open hatches is obviously more dangerous).
"LCtrl-C" - Switch to gunner and back to driver seat.
"Mouse Wheel" or "LShift - Mouse Wheel" - Zoom in or out
"T" - Set turret to stowed position / Take control over the turret
Please note that tanks are considerably slower in the field, especially Pz III, use roads for faster movement.
AP rounds of these tanks penetrate roughly 68 mm (German one) and 77 mm (Russian one) armor at 500 meters.
- 60° (relative to vertical) armor slope almost doubles its effective thickness at short distances;
- If a tank is positioned at 45° to the firing gun, it increases effective armor thickness by additional 40% (try to fire as perpendicularly to the armor sheet as you can);
- If an armor sheet almost stopped a projectile, damage it inflicted to inner modules will be much less than in case of clear penetration;
- To destroy a tank, fire at its ammo racks, which are located under the turret and partially in it. Hitting other parts of the tank can kill the crew or immobilize it (engine, tracks, ...);
- If a tank looks damaged outside, this doesn't necessary mean it is no threat anymore;
- It can be useful to learn the enemy tanks construction to know their weak spots.
"T-34-76 made by Stalingrad Tractor Factory, model of 1942" and "PzKpfw III Ausf. L" will be available for all owners of our project.
3. Mouse controls. There was a long time dilemma in simulation genre caused by the fact that realistic flight physics mean that a newcomer should have a certain level of initial knowledge and skills (understanding basic principles like 'flight is speed', 'don't turn the flight stick to its limit', 'be more attentive at lower altitudes', etc.) and have controller equipment of a certain level (namely a joystick that is much less widespread gaming device today than it was ten years ago). This sets a pretty high entry barrier for newcomers who want to try the sim genre.
On the other hand, adding simplified flight physics (where a plane can be flown using just cursor keys on the keyboard and where it can't enter uncontrollable spin caused by rough handling for example) to accommodate new players leads to unsolvable problem - this won't give a player the feeling of realistic flight at all, robbing him or her of the very reason of simulation. Is there any point in playing a simplified physics flight in a sim which is all about realistic flight? In addition, this divides the community between those who fly using simplified and full physics modeling since they can't fly the same multiplayer mission.
The answer to this dilemma is a special 'advanced helper' that receives 'I want to do this but I don't know how to' commands from a player and translates them to real plane controls input, not touching physics level at all. This comes with a price however, as everything in life - the helper chooses optimal 'right' trajectories, which simultaneously prevents a player from critical errors and limits the extreme maneuvers the plane can perform like Barrel roll, Snap roll, Hummerhead, Sideslip and others. This enables players who use a mouse and players who use a joystick to fly together and don't have a clear advantage caused by their control device. Winning a fight requires tactical positioning and understanding the composition of air fight, what, we feel, is the goal in this situation.
To make this 'advanced helper' we chose a mouse pointing control, where you tell it 'I want to fly or shoot there' by moving the mouse cursor to that direction. This principle is fairly common in modern aviation games, our team wea one of pioneers of this feature when in 2008 in Rise of Flight sim we have developed plane turrets with complex kinematic mounts and controls where controlled by the helper that translated a simple pointing of mouse cursor to movement of various elements of a turret assembly, pointing the gun to the direction in 3D space designated by player. This principle allowed to model realistic handling and angle limits of gunner turrets in a simple way for a user; it is used for IL-2 turrets as well.
It is important to note that mouse control helper governs only pitch, roll and yaw. Controlling engine, flaps, brakes, armament and everything else is the same as on joystick. This allows mouse controls to be used in Normal and Expert modes just like joystick - differences (and difficulties) are the same. Here are general mouse controls:
"Mouse movement" - Aiming the 'advanced helper' pointer
"Mouse wheel" - All engines throttle
"Left mouse button" - All guns fire
"Right mouse button" - Hold it to look around without changing the direction of the flight
"F1" - Default view from cockpit
"F4" - External view with mouse controls (available only at Normal difficulty since external views are disabled on Expert)
"LShift + mouse wheel" - Zoom view or sight
Please note that several commands will be automatically remapped when you switch from joystick to mouse and vice versa:
Zoom is either "Mouse Wheel" or "LShift + Mouse Wheel"
Chase view - "F4" or "LCtrl-F4"
Furthermore, in case a part of the community feels they want to play only with players who use a joystick, we added a special option to dedicated server configuration that allows a server owner to restrict the control scheme to joystick. However we hope that thanks to the approach described above such restrictions will be enforced by hosters only in limited cases. Why?
To finalize our announce, we need to explain why we introduced this feature in the first place and what hopes we have for it. We hope that adding this basic control method that is available to anyone regardless of special equipment or skills will allow to taste the aviation sim for all these people who stopped at the doorstep before, realizing that they need to buy a special equipment just to take off and fly around the airfield. With this barrier gone, they can try the flight, the feel of the sim and play single player modes like scenarios, quick missions and campaign. When they learn a bit, these new players will try multiplayer. And finally, a part of them (hopefully a major one) will decide that 'it's worth it' and will buy a joystick to feel the joy of flight as close to real life as possible. Like you already do.
To end our today's diary, I want to show you the list of the new additions and fixes that are ready for 1.105, so you won't think that we 'burn our time for ridiculous tanks and mouse' Work is progressing at the same rate as before, we prepared player controlled tanks and mouse controls for a long time, so these new additions did not affect the project plan for Battle of Moscow and improvements for Battle of Stalingrad.
1. German two-seater Bf 110 E-2 is available for all customers who pre-purchased Battle of Moscow. All other players can set is as AI plane in skirmish or scenario.
2. Player controlled tanks Pz III Ausf L and T-34-76 STZ (Autumn 1942 series) can be added to multiplayer missions. They can be controlled by one or two (driver and gunner) players.
3. Mouse control scheme added (experimental). Flight model is the same as with joystick control scheme (player points the mouse cursor in a direction he or she wants to fly and a special helper adjusts control surfaces to fly in that direction). Server owner can restrict control scheme to joystick if desired.
4. New flag object added that can be used in multiplayer missions for capturing objects and territories.
5. Planes made for Battle of Moscow are added to Battle of Stalingrad campaign as AI controlled planes based on their real life participation in the battle (they appear in certain time periods): La-5 ser.8, MC.202 ser.8, Bf 109 E-7, Bf 110 E-2, I-16 type 24 and P-40E-1. This makes the campaign more interesting and its chapters more diverse.
6. Head movement in cockpit limitation system changed:
0 - 30 km/h: you can stand up and lean your body outside (50 cm to the sides and 20 cm up, as it was before). This may be useful for taxiing.
30 - 50 km/h: you get back into cockpit, it's like you tighten your seat belts.
50 - 200 km/h: you can peek your eye a bit to look what's going on.
200 - 350 km/h: gradually you lose the ability to lean out completely.
350 km/h and above: you have the same head limits like in a closed cockpit.
Improvements if physics and systems modeling:
7. ATA limiter removed from P-40E-1 since there was none on this model. You can increase pressure above 45.5 for a limited time. If in-game engine helper is switched off (Expert mode), it won't return to normal values automatically after spending time limit, potentially breaking the engine.
8. Bf 109 F-4 and G-2 thermal balance corrected using 'African' reference: larger and larger radiator opening yields less and less cooling increase, which leads to necessity of opening radiator more at higher temperatures and during climb.
9. Bf 109 G-2 engine reacts to throttle axis in a more convenient way.
10. La-5 can no longer can be destroyed by engine shake.
11. La-5 can be landed without landing gear.
12. I-16 can be landed without landing gear.
13. Fw-190 can be landed without landing gear.
14. Pilot won't always die after nose-over.
15. Yak-1 pneumatic flaps extension speed increased (~80° per second while stationary, less at high speeds) based on learning video for Yak-15 with the same flaps system.
16. IL-2 pneumatic flaps extension speed increased (~33° per second at 200...220 km/h speeds) based on restored IL-2 flight video.
17. Bf 109 tail reinforced to make it more resistant to taxiing over rough ground.
18. Bf 109 G-2 ATA gauge shows correct information after starting a mission in air.
19. Bf 109 G-2 auto level works correctly at 2 km altitude and 500 km/h speed.
20. Damage system has been reworked (more accurate armor penetration calculations).
21. Tracers are randomized while shooting several MGs at once (this was an issue on P-40).
22. Ammo mass is reduced correctly while shooting several MGs or cannons of the same type.
23. Aircraft ground impact at high speeds now correctly causes a detonation (in previous version it could survive a shallow impact at 500+ km/h speeds).
24. Message in technochat about extending or retracting flaps is not displayed when they are fully extended or retracted.
25. Technochat symbol showing that engine assist is on is restored for Bf 109, Fw 190 and MC.202.
26. Bf 109 F-4 and Bf 109 G-2: technochat symbol restored showing that game radiator control helper is on. On-plane automatic radiator control symbol changed in technochat.
27. Gunner turrets rotate more smoothly.
28. Turret rotation smoothness tuned for large zoom values.
29. Mechanical aiming sight corrected on MC.202 ser.8.
30. Contrail appearance altitude now depends on season (temperature). Contrails are intermittent at the altitude of their appearance.
Artifical Intelligence improvements:
31. Ju-52, He-111 and Pe-2 take off better (course oscillating reduced at take off start).
32. AI controlled fighter carrying bombs or rockets now behaves like ground attack plane and doesn't enter combat on its own. If attacked, it will drop the bombs and engage.
33. The simulation will no longer crash while attempting to delete an AI controlled Ju-87 during its bombing run with siren switched on
34. Fixed issue when impact angle wasn't calculated properly for ground vehicles.
35. AI controlled tanks armor structure made more detailed, they have correct armor angles and they can't be destroyed by hitting secondary parts if the main armor body is intact.
36. Target destruction messages ('player destroyed something') are visible only for the player coalition in multiplayer (so they won't reveal the player position to the enemy).
37. After capturing an airfield in multiplayer mission its symbol is updated properly.
38. DServer stability improved, it shouldn't crash after prolonged periods of time.
39. Wrong chat colors in multiplayer fixed.
30. Trees along the roads added to summer and autumn maps.
41. New feature: ability to automatically login and load a certain mission or replay. Use config file <game_folder>\data\autoplay.cfg.
42. Game log in time reduced.
43. Object textures in mission editor update after changing the map preset to another season.
You may to discuss about part 114 of the Developer Diary in this thread
We hope you enjoyed the release of 1.105 last week. The work continues and today we start the beta-testing of the next version 1.106, which is planned to be released later this month. In addition to Soviet fighter MiG-3 series 24 (for those who pre-purchased Battle of Moscow), it will contain numerous improvements for many systems of the sim. Many of them are multiplayer enhancements, for example, the way the victory is achieved will be changed, the victorious side will recieve more points, etc.
There will be armor modeling improvements for the tanks, including more detailed suspension modeling making possible to hit the side armor of a tank directly, between its wheels. Pz III will benefit from additional protection granted by the spare track attached to the front hull.
We should also mention that today, thanks to efforts of Jason, his friend David and the DED team the new multiplayer server is now available in the US: American eagles 1cgs official. It is similar to european DED server which is rather popular among the players. Big thanks to them!
Of course, the work on the Moscow map and the rest of the new aircraft for Battle of Moscow (Bf 109 F-2, IL-2 mod.41 and Pe-2 ser. 35) continues, we'll tell you more in the next developer diary. And now we present you a new short video showing one of the MiG-3 first flights:
This week the new plane, MiG-3, is being finalized and beta-tested. Today we'll tell you about this new addition to the sim in detail. In short, MiG-3 fleshes out to be an interesting, if stubborn, aircraft.
1. It can reach high speeds - with boost it lags only 10 km/h behind Bf 109 F4 in combat mode, and if you close radiators you have a chance to catch an F4 before the engine temperature becomes critical.
2. MiG-3 has good flight capabilities at high altitudes, it is a first Soviet fighter in the game that can compete with German ones high above thanks to achieving high speeds there.
3. It has many armament options, there are three options of nose-mounted weaponry alone (see screenshot below).
4. It offers a rich instrument array, including artificial horizon (it's the first Soviet fighter in our sim that has it).
5. It has an unusual tail wheel control. At present, we have several tail wheel control systems in the sim:
Free tail wheel which is drawn to the center position by springs (LaGG-3, La-5, Pe-2, He-111, Bf-110);
Tail wheel that can be locked from cockpit (Yak-1, IL-2, Ju-87, Bf-109, MC-202);
Tail wheel that can be locked by pulling the flight stick (Fw-190);
Tail wheel linked to pedals by spring rods (I-16);
Tail wheel linked to pedals by spring rods that automatically unlinks at significant pedal application (P-40);
Tail wheel linked to pedals by spring rods that automatically fixes at neutral position at small pedal application (MiG-3).
6. MiG-3 has a very unusual flaps control system. Here are the various flaps systems in the sim to this date:
Mechanical flaps moved by pilot himself by a winding engine, screw or worm gear that allowes any position (I-16, Bf-109);
Hydraulic flaps control that allows any position (LaGG-3, La-5, He-111, MC-202, P-40);
Hydraulic flaps control that allows three fixed positions (Ju-87);
Electric flaps control that allows any position (Pe-2);
Electric flaps control that allows three fixed positions (Fw-190);
Pneumatic flaps control, fully extended or retracted positions only (Yak-1, IL-2);
Pneumatic flaps control with a special mechanical limiter that allows any position (MiG-3).
In the game, flaps extension and retraction on MiG-3 happens similarly to Yak-1 and IL-2 (press "F" / "LShift+F" by default). In addition to this, flaps limiter setting is changed by holding these buttons. For example, if the limiter is set to the maximum angle by default and you need to change its setting for a smaller flaps extension, press and hold "LShift+F" to move it to the required position first, and then briefly press "F" to extend the flaps to the new limit. If you have the limiter set to an intermediate position and you want to deploy the flaps to the maximum angle, you can press and hold "F" to release the flaps and simultaneously move the limiter to open more.
7. MiG-3 engine boost was engaged in somewhat unusual way. AM-35A engine installed on our MiG-3 enters bosted mode when you move the mixture control forward to the limit. To engage boost at expert difficulty mode, you need to set maximum propeller RPM ("RShift and +" key), set pressure to maximum by setting throttle ("+" key)to maximum, and then set mixture to richest setting ("RAlt and +" key). At normal difficulty with engine assist turned on you just set the throttle to maximum (>98%). It works the same on IL-2.
8. It has peculiar aerodynamic characteristics and propeller wash, leading to a significant right roll motion after taking off.
9. MiG-3 mass balance changes significantly depending on the remaining fuel amount, so the required flight stick pitch movements change from tiny at full load to large when almost empty.
10. Powerful propeller wash makes MiG-3 difficult to keep steady during takeoff roll.
11. One-piece windshield and teardrop canopy give the plane the best view to the sides among the Soviet aircraft in our sim. However, a wide engine cover and back pilot position significantly hamper the view forward.
12. MiG-3 is really beautiful!
MiG-3 will be available to all Battle of Stalingrad owners who have Battle of Moscow as well.
Of course, we continue Battle of Moscow development at full speed. 3D models for small towns, permanent airfields and bridges are ready. Placing buildings of Moscow city itself is underway. Roads, forests, rivers, heights are mapped and towns and airfields are marked. We plan to show you close to final screenshots of the new map as early as January. Right now we can show you the WIP map of the area:
We also finished additional AI controlled ground units required for Battle of Moscow scenarios:
Soviet heavy tank KV-1 made by Ural factory UZTM in 1941. It differs from KV-1 made in Chelyabinsk in 1942 that is already in the game by a riveted and welded turret (turret sides and back on later KV tanks were cast as a single piece);
Soviet medium tank T-34-76 made by Stalingrad factory in 1941. Its welded turret had rounded corners, while later tanks had more angular turrets because of the simplified war-time production process;
Soviet light tank BT-7M with 45 mm gun;
Soviet armored car BA-10M, armed with 45 mm gun as well;
Soviet 57 mm AT gun ZiS-2;
German medium tank PzKpfw IV Ausf.F1 with short barreled 75 mm gun KwK.37;
German medium tank PzKpfw III Ausf.H with 50 mm gun KwK.38;
German SPG StuG III Ausf. C with short barreled 75 mm gun StuK 37/L24;
Tomorrow beta-testers will start checking version 1.106 release candidate, which we plan to publish next week. Today we'll tell you about another addition you'll see in the new update - redesigned airfields / tank spawns screen. We received many requests to get rid of the 'radar rings' around the bases that show enemy and friendly units and decided it's better to remove this legal cheat, simultaneously making the airfields design a bit more user friendly and fitting for the scenarios game server owners host. The initial idea of a 'radar' was to make ground control personnel transmit the nearby situation by radio, but it quickly became clear that this ends in an endless stream of situation reports, so the current 'radar' representation won. However it appeared too abstract for many players. That's why we remove these 'radar rings' and replace them with special marks: 'under air attack' and 'under ground attack'. Moreover, in many multiplayer scenarios created by players some airfields and tank spawns are really close to each other, making selecting them a bit tricky, so we redesigned their symbols to be more compact. Here are some screenshots showing the changes in the multiplayer airfield selection screen:
How it was:
How it will be:
We told you about the upcoming plane, MiG-3, in our recent developer diary. After this one, we'll make four more planes available during January and February to owners of Battle of Moscow, whish is planned to be released in March: Bf-109 F-2, IL-2 mod. 1941, Pe-2 ser.35 and Ju 88 A4. Some of them are almost (70%) ready.
Bf 109 F-2
This German fighter looks like its descendant, F-4. There are only two significant visual differences: angular landing gear bays and smaller radiator intake. However this aircraft is 100 kg lighter, it have less caliber nose autocannon MG-151/15, and has another engine, DB-601N, that requires more complicated management at limited time modes:
2300 RPM, 1.15 ATA - unlimited;
2400 RPM, 1.25 ATA - 30 minutes combat mode;
2600 RPM, 1.35 ATA - 3 minutes emergency mode;
2800 RPM, 1.42 ATA - 1 minute boosted mode.
Its flight characteristics are on par with its later version, so it will be a most dangerous adversary in Battle of Moscow time frame.
IL-2 mod. 1941
This is the Soviet sturmovik in its initial design, not yet hampered by metal and armored glass shortage. Unlike later models, this early one has metal wings and fuselage and weight compensators (special extending weights that move together with ailerons and the rudder). Back cockpit is made of plexiglas and armored glass, allowing for the great view back and up, arguably the best view in this direction among all single engine planes in the game. Its armament is similar to 1942 model with the exception of Sh-37 gun. In addition, we couldn't find a photograph or any document proving that VYa-23 guns were installed on planes with early back cockpit, so choosing these guns makes the back cockpit metallic like on 1942 model.
Pe-2 ser. 35
Early Pe-2 had more complex gunner cockpit design, which could be closed to not interfere with the plane aerodynamic characteristics in normal flight. Under attack, the gunner opened it by sliding the back part into the fuselage, and fired his machine gun. Unfortunately, only 7.62 mm ShKAS was installed there, not 12.7 mm UBT like on later model. Moreover, the cockpit of this early models allows for a much better view forward and down. This plane was equipped with M-105RA engines, which are weaker than M-105RF used in Pe-2 ser. 87.
Work on the Moscow map is proceeding as planned. As we said earlier, it won't be possible to fly over the city itself, but you'll be able to fly right next to it. In addition, some buildings at the western ountskirts, including unique ones, can be reached, so they have an increased detail level. For example, Moscow Northern River Station:
We'd like to finish the today diary by telling you one story - as example how we work on aircraft flight model and various dynamic effects analysis. Some time ago several customers, who have real life experience of piloting light planes, asked us: "Why in real life an aircraft pitches down after extending flaps, but in the sim it pitches up?" We started by checking momentum data on La-5 and comparing it to wing tunnel test data of a real (full scale) La-5 (it comes from Central Aero-Hydrodinamic Institute, wing tunnel T-101):
This means that a plane without flight stick input will be rebalanced to a lesser angle of attack level after extending flaps just like it happened in real life. But there is a reasonable question - since in real life a plane pitches down, why this doesn't happen in the game, although the angle of attack change caused by flaps extension is correct?
1. Pitch down momentum caused by flaps extension leads to trim angle of attack decrease at the same flight stick position;
2. The increase in ascensional force from flaps is much greater than its decrease caused by diminishing angle of attack;
3. The resulting ascensional force increases, causing positive g load and increasing the flight path angle between the velocity vector and the horizon plane;
4. The plane pitch (the sum of the flight path angle and the angle of attack) drops sharply at first, while flight path, being more inert, is not yet increased enough. In the sim you experience this as a brief pitchover like a car brake dive;
5. Later the plane trajectory pitches up significantly and the flight angle increase is more than angle of attack decrease. It happens because the decrease of angle of attack is limited by the new trim angle of attack, while the increase of the flight angle is not limited by anything while velocity and ascensional forces are not decreased yet.
It is very important to understand the forces affecting the flight stick and what happens to the plane with the same flight stick position. We just discussed what happens with a plane. What happens with the flight stick? It tries to move from you forward, to dive position, because the air flow is changed after flaps extension, it now moves further down after leaving the wings. This affects the elevator, pushing it down too, which affects the flight stick linked to it. So the flow downwash caused by extended flaps affects the elevator, which in turn affects the flight stick, trying to pitch the plane down.
These are theoretical conclusions, so it would be great to perform an experiment on a real plane that is similar to WWII era fighters modeled in the sim. Thankfully, an old friend agreed to help us with this experiment in the cause of science: flight instructor and professional aerobatics pilot Konstantin Borovik.
Konstantin is experienced aerobatics pilot who has many awards and who got silver medal in Russia championship this year in Yak-52 class, so there is no doubt in his professional expertise. For example, here is the video of one of his training flights on Yak-52:
When Kostya agreed to help us to perform our little experiment, we asked him to do the following:
- Fly level at the same speed when you need to extend the flaps before landing.
- Fix the flight stick in the position that allows for balanced level flight and then release the flaps.
- Force the flight stick to remain in the same position for several seconds regardless of the forces affecting it after that.
It was necessary to note three things:
1. How the plane pitch changes during these several seconds;
2. How forces affecting the flight stick change;
3. What climb indicator shows.
Next day Kostya was at the airfield and did what we asked during a routine training flight. Here is his brief report:
1. At initial 170 km/h speed flaps extension leads to sharp speed drop to 120-110 km/h
5. This leads to speed loss and downward pitch, which in turn leads to speed increase.
The most precious result of this experiment is that we have the video Kostya kindly recorded:
This small experiment shows that plane behavior in the game after landing flaps extension is much like real plane behavior with a similar airframe and flaps. Two different effects happen simultaneously: the force affecting the flight stick pulls it from pilot while the plane, because the flight stick is fixed, pitches up. If pilot won't compensate for the stick movement forward, the plane will pitch down. However, in the game you don't have this feedback caused by downwash and joystick won't move by itself as it should, causing the plane pitch up instead. It's a limitation of not 'feeling' the simulated plane like you would do a real one.
The only issue remains is that the effect that pulls the stick from you isn't modeled on Force Feedback joysticks, we plan to address this sometimes in the future. Kostya - thank you very much!
IL-2 map department is proud to show you the first Moscow map screenshots. This is a kind of summing-up for us in this year.
Most part of the work is done at the moment. Forests, rivers, fields, roads, settlements and airfields are already on the map in almost final form. Of course there will be finishing touches, as always.
A couple of comments about several things. Most of the airfields flight strips and structures are placed according to historical documents when such data was available. We analyzed the data (air photographs and other documents) we had to determine a typical airfield layout in this area and created the rest of the airfields using it. There are concrete and unpaved landing strips, but there are temporary airfields without visible landing strips at all, a little more than simple grass fields with little infrastructure. Each type of airfield have numerous different configurations.
Two-track railroads are much more common in Moscow area than near Stalingrad, where they were mostly single way.
There are five big towns in the area (in addition to Moscow itself which will be visible, but not reachable): Vyazma, Rzhev, Kalinin, Klin and Serpukhov. They were made huge thanks to the new technology. Its basic idea is to use standardized landscape textures, which allows to make as many cities and towns as needed (unlike Stalingrad map that has only one). The cities and towns were created using WWII aerial imagery, so their layouts are correct for 1941. We can increase the number of cities for future maps if needed without any strict limits.
Other departments are also finishing they work for Battle of Moscow, so our second project in IL-2 Sturmovik world is almost done. Here are WIP screenshots of Ju 88 A-4 bomber. We hope you'll enjoy them as well.
Dear pilots, we'd also like to wish you a Happy New Year on behalf of the entire IL-2 development team!