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#121 Han

Han
  • Project manager
  • Posts: 584
  • Location:Moscow

Posted 15 January 2016 - 13:40

119

Hello everyone!
 
The holidays are over and the new year is upon us. This means that Battle of Moscow release comes closer with every passing day.
 
Six out of ten new planes are already available to players and three ones will be ready in a month or so. The tenth and final BoM aircraft is the most complex one: Ju 88 A-4 bomber. Its development process is the most intensive one at the moment,  five specialists are working on it every day. In the same time, mission designers are making the campaign since Moscow area map layout is final.
In the same time, artists are busy making official skins for new aircraft. 50 new skins (half of the required amount) are already finished, 50 more left. We'd like to show you these skins today:
 
I-16 type 24:
__I16t24_01.jpg __I16t24_02.jpg
__I16t24_03.jpg __I16t24_04.jpg
__I16t24_05.jpg __I16t24_06.jpg
__I16t24_07.jpg __I16t24_08.jpg
__I16t24_09.jpg __I16t24_10.jpg
 
Bf 109 E-7:
__Bf109E7_01.jpg __Bf109E7_02.jpg
__Bf109E7_03.jpg __Bf109E7_04.jpg
__Bf109E7_05.jpg __Bf109E7_06.jpg
__Bf109E7_07.jpg __Bf109E7_08.jpg
__Bf109E7_09.jpg __Bf109E7_10.jpg
 
P-40E-1:
__P40E1_01.jpg __P40E1_02.jpg
__P40E1_03.jpg __P40E1_04.jpg
__P40E1_05.jpg __P40E1_06.jpg
__P40E1_07.jpg __P40E1_08.jpg
__P40E1_09.jpg __P40E1_10.jpg
 
Bf 110 E-2:
__Bf110E2_01.jpg __Bf110E2_02.jpg
__Bf110E2_03.jpg __Bf110E2_04.jpg
__Bf110E2_05.jpg __Bf110E2_06.jpg
__Bf110E2_07.jpg __Bf110E2_08.jpg
__Bf110E2_09.jpg __Bf110E2_10.jpg
 
MiG-3 series 24:
__MiG3s24_01.jpg __MiG3s24_02.jpg
__MiG3s24_03.jpg __MiG3s24_04.jpg
__MiG3s24_05.jpg __MiG3s24_06.jpg
__MiG3s24_07.jpg __MiG3s24_08.jpg
__MiG3s24_09.jpg __MiG3s24_10.jpg
 
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IL-2 STURMOVIK development manager


#122 Han

Han
  • Project manager
  • Posts: 584
  • Location:Moscow

Posted 22 January 2016 - 14:25

120

Hello!
 
Today is an important day for the project - we start the beta test of three new Battle of Moscow timeframe planes at once: Bf 109 F-2, IL-2 model 1941 and Pe-2 series 35. If all goes according to the plan, these planes will be available to all owners of Battle of Moscow next week. It's possible that the new update will be postponed for a week because of the large amount of new content, but let's hope for the best :)
 
Bf109-F2.jpg Pe-2-35.jpg Il-2-41.jpg
 
As we said earlier, we started the discussion on what we'll be doing later this year. Long term planning requires long discussion, so we'll be able to give an answer to the question 'what will come next after Battle of Moscow' both to you and ourselves closer to its release. In the meantime, we created a list of improvements for our flight model department we'd like to have in the coming months. It consists of two independent parts that will be worked on in parallel, and the tasks are arranged in the order they will be done (the list is likely to be corrected as the work goes though). So...
 
Complex tasks that require significant changes or research to find their cause:
1. Find and eliminate the cause of invisible planes sometimes appearing in multiplayer (which is very hard thanks to the system complexity);
2. Fix the issue that causes stopped engines to start and stop again for some time;
3. Fix the issue with a plane turret controlled by another player not correctly disappearing after plane crash;
4. Fix the issue with proppeler dust wash effect not disappearing immediately after crash;
5. Damage model imrpovements: make hits to wing roots damage longerons and cause wing fracture;
6. Fix the issue of Pe-2 propeller sound remaining after engine (and wing) loss;
7. Improve engine start procedures on all planes by setting engine control axes to positions convenient for taxiing and take off;
8. Add a button to reset rudder axis to middle position (useful for players who use buttons to control it);
9. Improve flight model control tools that will make development process of new aircraft FMs more efficient;
10. Additional research of airplane sideslip angle influence on plane roll;
11. Additional research of dynamic airflow compressibility and its influence on plane diving and control effectiveness (previously we based FM adjustments on manuals that stated 750 km/h velocity limits, while some test reports contain data of planes achievieing significantly faster speeds in dive, when dynamic airflow compressibility is ought to be taken into account);
12. Mouse control: make the control assist react to small direction changes less vigorously;
13. Fix the issue of BF 109 E-7 - it shouldn't 'squat' when you engage brakes;
14. Fix the issue of several planes: wind can somewhat swing them on the rear wheel while parked;
15. Improve wheels modeling, that will make large planes with low power engines, but big wheels to taxi easier;
16. Improve autolevel flight assist for non-dive bombers (He-111, Ju-88, Pe-2 s. 87 and Pe-2 s. 35) so it will use rudder instead of ailerons for corrections;
17. Add engine detonation affect caused by a variety of causes (wron mixture, high miture temperature, engine overboost, etc. );
18. Add weapon misfires caused by overheating;
19. Develop more sophisticated high-G effects system so it will affect plane crew depending on their weariness, oxygen amount, wounds, etc.;
20. Make bailing out impossible during heavy rotations or other hard maneuvers;
21. Make pilot head movement more realistic by adding a simple spine model;
22. Add united controls for different adjustable stabilizers;
23. Make twin engine coolers on Bf 109 F4, Bf 109 G2 and Ju 87 D3 more detailed (currently always left cooler emits vapor when any radiator is damaged);
24. Add emergency cooldown systems to aircraft where applicable;
25. Make fuel system simulation more complex (more detailed tanks system, allow player to control engine flow and control fuel amount manually, more detailed fuel leaks and self-sealing process, fire probablity based on remaining amount of fuel inert gas pressurization, external fuel tanks.
 
Regular tasks:
1. Check and correct fineness ratios of all planes with their flaps extended;
2. Correct La-5 engine damage model (overheat damages it too fast now);
3. Correct Fw 190, Ju 87 and He 111 engine damage models (engine rotates for a long time with propeller blades bent);
4. Implement MC 202 flaps safety system that retracted them at high speeds to protect them from damage;
5. Correct Bf 110 flaps system to make flaps extension incremental in all cases;
6. Correct He 111 trimmer so it won't stop moving before value reported in technochat reaches 100%;
7. Correct (invert) He 111 trimmer;
8. Add landing gear breakability to all planes where it is missing;
9. Correct 'jumpy' behavior of Bf 109 F4, G2 and F2 to resemble E7 behavior and check other planes;
10. Implement jamming and self-closing of sliding canopies from high speeds and pitching/diving;
11. Correct Pe-2 issue where throttle control assist leads to oscillating throttle value at full setting;
12. Set up different radio frequencies for own and enemy planes;
13. Add tips to technochat;
14. Invert certain values in technochat (for example, trimmers);
15. Manual mode switches on planes with automatic governors should also turn off the corresponding in-game assist;
16. Bf 109 flaps control wheel should also jam when the flaps jam;
17. Planes with powered front armament will have their fire capability blocked after power loss;
18. Add reserve guns reload systems where applicable;
19. Implement smoke generators;
20. Improve hand shake effect to correspond to engine RPM;
21. Improve force feedback effects on FFB capable joysticks (taxiing over bumpy field, ground impact when landing without landing gear);
22. Correct gun fire FFB effect (it shouldn't be influenced by plane speed as it was reported to be the case on P-40);
23. Make it possible to torn off all I-16 landing gear covers in dive;
24. Make it possible to torn off upper Yak-1 landing gear covers in dive;
25. Yak-1 upper landing gear covers should be torn off in an event of corresponding wing loss;
26. Address Ju-87 oscillating engine RPM issue that happens during take off at maximum throttle;
27. Animate radiator control buttons on Ju-87 and Pe-2;
28. Turn off electric thermometers on parking for the planes with powered thermometers;
29. Jam compasses at high roll values;
30. Improve oxygen system modeling on German planes;
31. Correct Fw-190 adjustable stabilizer indicator;
32. Conduct additional research of LaGG-3 and La-5 takeoff ability with strong side wind;
33. Correct Ju 87 engine thermal modeling;
34. Correct 'near stall' audible cue on Bf 110 E-2 (currently these sounds can be heard even with minimal pitch corrections).
 
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IL-2 STURMOVIK development manager


#123 Han

Han
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  • Posts: 584
  • Location:Moscow

Posted 05 February 2016 - 13:30

121

Hello!
 
After 1.107 release, Battle of Moscow project is nearly finished. Ju-88 exterior model, flight physics and armament are finished and we are working on cockpit instruments and audio at the moment. The aircraft fleshes out to be an interesting one:
Ju88A4_1.jpg Ju88A4_2.jpg
Ju88A4_3.jpg Ju88A4_4.jpg
Our artists have finished drawing Battle of Moscow campaign medals:
BoM_Awards.jpg
Scenarios for unique static missions (in addition to dynamic missions) in the campaign were approved, so scripting process started. Such missions were introduced in Battle of Stalingrad summer campaign. There will be two static missions per phase, campaign consists of five phases, resulting in 10 unique static missions in total. Here is the list:
 
01 "The road to East"
Two Bf 109 F-2 pairs cover supply columns along Yukhnov - Gzhatsk road. 
 
02 "Steel snake"
I-16 flight attack enemy mechanized columns in Kurgany-Myatlevo area and assist the ground forces defending Varshavskoye highway to South-West of Medyn.
 
03 "Chained to ground"
Bf 109 E-7 pair goes free hunting in the area of Chupriyanovka and Reshetnikovo railway stations.
 
04 "Dark omen"
Two flights of MiG-3 planes take off to intercept enemy bombers approaching Moscow along Minskoye highway. 
 
05 "Bad day"
Three Ju 88 flights take off to dive bomb Klin railway station. 
 
06 "Breaking point"
Six IL-2 planes fly ground attack mission against enemy forces in Solnechnogorsk area. 
 
07 "Red hydra"
Two Bf 109 F-2 patrol above their airfield.
 
08 "Go West!"
Two MiG-3 flights provide air cover to ground forces advancing in Istra-Buzharovo area.
 
09 "Qui pro quo"
Mixed group of 4 Bf 110 E-2 and 4 Bf 109 E-7 attack Soviet ground forces to the West of Sychevka.
 
10 "Falling star"
A lone Pe-2 goes on a mission to recon enemy trains movement on Rzhev - Vyazma railway.
 
To complete the today's diary we present you several screenshots from BoM campaign scenario missions captured by its author Black Six:
Mis02_1.jpg Mis02_2.jpg
Mis02_3.jpg Mis02_4.jpg
 
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IL-2 STURMOVIK development manager


#124 Han

Han
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  • Posts: 584
  • Location:Moscow

Posted 11 February 2016 - 14:01

122

Hello!
 
Today we're assembling Ju 88 A-4 cockpit consisting of 4 crew stations. Required animations are being made right now. We plan to have working quick mission mode for Moscow map by the end of this month and start campaign beta-testing in early March.
 
There is a plenty of work going on Battle of Moscow, but we aren't forgetting about optimizing the sim as the whole. Some old multiplayer bugs are very hard to reproduce on purpose, for example, a bug with bombs or turrets appearing in a wrong place takes up to 100-150 re-spawns to reproduce it. So we need to choose another approach to find its cause - add special logging to the public version of the game and analyse the submitted results. Next week we plan to release 1.107b hotfix that will include many changes and this additional logging to find the cause of this elusive bug.
 
1.107b version changes:
 
Global:
 
1. We'll add crash dump files saving. There will be a special forum thread for submitting such a file if you encounter a game crash, helping us to find and fix it;
2. Workaround for 'invisible planes' bug added (it doesn't fix the cause of their appearance since it is still unknown but eliminates its consequence);
3. Logging for 'invisible planes' bug added (we'll create a special forum thread about it to collect logs submitted by players);
4. Performance in the first Soviet scenario mission (first, summer, chapter of Stalingrad campaign) improved;
5. Crash that could happen while playing back large recorded tracks has been fixed. Unfortunately, tracks recorded in previous versions of the game won't work, so please consider video capturing your favorite ones if you'd like to keep them;
6. Compatibility with third party overlay software improved (for example, Steam and Teamspeak overlays);
 
Features:
 
7. It will be possible to tell which side controls an airfield before choosing your own allegiance in multiplayer;
8. Multiplayer mission author will be able to specify a range of allowed unlocks, not just individual ones;
9. IL-2 sight can be moved back and forth using Lalt-F command;
10. Light reflection and relief detail improved on thin metal parts of IL-2 model 1941, IL-2 model 1942, I-16 type 24, MiG-3 series 24, Pe-2 series 35, Pe-2 series 87, LaGG-3 series 29, La-5 series 8, P-40E-1, Ju 87 D-3, Bf 110 E-2 and MC.202 series VIII;
11. MC.202 cockpit canopy textures improved;
 
Physics changes:
 
12. Fineness ratios of all planes were re-checked with their flaps extended. Fineness ratio was decreased for LaGG-3 series 29, La-5 series 8, Yak-1 series 69, IL-2 (both) and P-40E-1. Other planes fineness ratios were found to be correct;
13. Twin turret machine guns are now reloaded one after another (not simultaneously);
14. Bf 109 F-2 radiator functioning in manual mode was corrected: it opens fully, but slower. There are contradicting sources available - text one and hydraulic schematic. Text one says "die kuhlerklappen durh den luftdruck geoffnet" which means that radiator was opened by approach flow. However early Bf 109 F-2 hydraulic schematic shows that radiator was manually opened by fixing the valve in 'open' position. After discussion we decided to follow the schematic;
15. MiG-3 cooling system has been corrected: now it requires opening its radiator to degrees similar to other Soviet aircraft, but at higher altitudes (since its power output maxes out at higher altitudes);
16. MiG-3 elevator trimmer won't work if the right side of the elevator is lost (where trim tab is located);
 
Other changes and fixes:
 
17. Selected modifications won't reset after re-entering the modifications screen;
18. Spotters correctly spot enemy aircraft closer than specified distance (with the exception of ground vehicles that can't be detected closer than 3 km);
19. Track playback progress bar corrected;
20. Wingmen correctly drop bombs after leader (player) while carrying out 'do like me' order;
21. AI gunners will fire at any planes, not only fighters;
22. Various graphical bugs caused by crossroads fixed (missing triangles, missing crossroads or road parts, etc.);
23. Airfields and taxi ways pavement corrected for autumn Lapino map;
24. Roads will look correctly in overcast light conditions;
25. La-5 canopy texture mapping fixed as requested by skin authors (it is no longer symmetric);
26. Mission editor won't crash after repeated loading of missions containing many objects.
 
A bit more info about Battle of Moscow. Today we can show you preliminary (there are no trees in the city yet) screenshots of Moscow as you'll be able to see it in the game from the border of flyable area.
Moscow_1.jpg Moscow_2.jpg
Moscow_3.jpg Moscow_4.jpg
Moscow_5.jpg Moscow_6.jpg
As you can see, while the city is effectively a scenery set, its level of detail and accuracy is unprecedented among WWII sims. The city layout of 1941 recreated in the game is historically accurate (different from the modern one), there are major landmarks, all bridges and so on.
We can show you some more autumn Moscow map screenshots as well (it is 90% completed):
Rural_1.jpg Rural_2.jpg
Rural_3.jpg Rural_4.jpg
Rural_5.jpg Rural_6.jpg
Rural_7.jpg Rural_8.jpg
Rural_9.jpg Rural_10.jpg
Rural_11.jpg Rural_12.jpg
Rural_13.jpg Rural_14.jpg
 
 
You can discuss the news in this thread

  • 31

IL-2 STURMOVIK development manager


#125 Han

Han
  • Project manager
  • Posts: 584
  • Location:Moscow

Posted 26 February 2016 - 23:13

123


Hello everyone!
 
With Battle of Moscow project being close to its finish, we have some time to spare on the tasks that were postponed for a long time. In the developer diary #120 we told you about our plans to improve physics and aircraft systems, bomb sights are also being worked on. In the recent update 1.107b we added the more flexible modifications filter system requested by many multiplayer server owners and the additional logging to assist us in the search of hard to find issues like invisible planes in multiplayer and crashes that happen sometimes.
 
Among other things for the next update 1.108 we're preparing aircraft information that will be accessible for each plane in player profile and in full screen map mode during a flight.
 
Collecting the data required for it wasn't that simple since many of the reference values are 'soft data', many depend on an aircraft mass and configuration which are different in different tests performed back then, so it was needed to do ingame tests to measure them. These characteristics aren't specified in the game code: they are the integral result of a really complex physics simulation system. When our engineers build a plane, they set and tune aerodynamic elements and engine parts, aiming to meet the reference data available (such as maximum speeds, climb rates, lift-drag and trim curves, takeoff and landing run lengths when available, etc.). Moreover, the reference data analysis is always a research task, so there could be different cases. In some cases there is not enough reference data available and thorough engineer analysis is required to make an educated guess while keeping other values close to the reference data. In other cases, there could be several contradicting sources and we need to determine which one is more credible.
 
Characteristics presented below were measured in the game, which took almost two weeks of hard work. In the end we've got informative and standardized data for all planes in the game we'd like to present you below:
 
Airplanes of "Battle of Moscow":
 
I-16 type 24
Spoiler
MiG-3 series 24
Spoiler
Il-2 model of 1941
Spoiler
Pe-2 series 35
Spoiler
P-40E-1
Spoiler
Bf 109 E-7
Spoiler
Bf 109 F-2
Spoiler
Bf 110 E-2
Spoiler
Ju 88 A-4
Spoiler
MC.202 серия VIII
Spoiler
 
Airplanes of "Battle of Stalingrad":
 
LaGG-3 series 29
Spoiler
Yak-1 series 69
Spoiler
Il-2 model of 1942
Spoiler
Pe-2 series 87
Spoiler
La-5 series 8
Spoiler
Bf 109 F-4
Spoiler
Bf 109 G-2
Spoiler
Ju 87 D-3
Spoiler
He 111 H-6
Spoiler
Fw 190 A-3
Spoiler
 
 
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IL-2 STURMOVIK development manager


#126 Han

Han
  • Project manager
  • Posts: 584
  • Location:Moscow

Posted 04 March 2016 - 09:19

124

Hello everybody!
Another week passed and the release of IL-2 Battle of Moscow is one week closer. We have work to do on the campaign (three more people are working on it at the moment), Moscow region map is almost final so we'll be able to show you the new screenshots of it next week. We also plan to start Ju 88 A-4 beta testing next week, it's a complex plane and we still have to finalize some minor things.
Moreover, official aircraft skins are ready. We presented you the skins for 5 planes in the developer's diary #119 and now we can show you the skins for remaining 5. Here they are:
 
Bf 109 F-2:
_Bf109F2_01.jpg _Bf109F2_02.jpg
_Bf109F2_03.jpg _Bf109F2_04.jpg
_Bf109F2_05.jpg _Bf109F2_06.jpg
_Bf109F2_07.jpg _Bf109F2_08.jpg
_Bf109F2_09.jpg _Bf109F2_10.jpg
 
IL-2 model of 1941:
_Il2m41_01.jpg _Il2m41_02.jpg
_Il2m41_03.jpg _Il2m41_04.jpg
_Il2m41_05.jpg _Il2m41_06.jpg
_Il2m41_07.jpg _Il2m41_08.jpg
_Il2m41_09.jpg _Il2m41_10.jpg
 
Ju 88 A-4:
_Ju88A4_01.jpg _Ju88A4_02.jpg
_Ju88A4_03.jpg _Ju88A4_04.jpg
_Ju88A4_05.jpg _Ju88A4_06.jpg
_Ju88A4_07.jpg _Ju88A4_08.jpg
_Ju88A4_09.jpg _Ju88A4_10.jpg
 
Pe-2 series 35:
_Pe2s35_01.jpg _Pe2s35_02.jpg
_Pe2s35_03.jpg _Pe2s35_04.jpg
_Pe2s35_05.jpg _Pe2s35_06.jpg
_Pe2s35_07.jpg _Pe2s35_08.jpg
_Pe2s35_09.jpg _Pe2s35_10.jpg
 
Mc.202 series VIII:
_MC202s8_01.jpg _MC202s8_02.jpg
_MC202s8_03.jpg _MC202s8_04.jpg
_MC202s8_05.jpg _MC202s8_06.jpg
_MC202s8_07.jpg _MC202s8_08.jpg
_MC202s8_09.jpg _MC202s8_10.jpg
 
You can discuss the news in this thread

  • 24

IL-2 STURMOVIK development manager


#127 Han

Han
  • Project manager
  • Posts: 584
  • Location:Moscow

Posted 11 March 2016 - 17:52

125

Hello everyone!
 
Today we'll show a bit of Ju 88 A-4. The plane is shaping up and it turns out to be an interesting one. First, it has a rich instruments array. Second, it can carry a huge bomb load, almost as heavy as He 111, but Ju 88 is actually a dive bomber, thus it can deliver its bombs with significantly better accuracy. Third, there are interesting engineering decisions that appear in our sim for a first time, for example, radial radiators positioning around engines or significant armor protecting the gunners. Fourth, this bomber can carry up to 44 50 kg bombs, no other plane in the sim can carry so many. Fifth, unlike He 111 H-6, its turrets are armed with MG-81 belt fed machine guns with high rate of fire that allow a thicker defensive fire curtain.
 
This aircraft will enter beta stage soon, but today we can show you screenshots of its cockpit and the video:
01.jpg 02.jpg
03.jpg 04.jpg
05.jpg 06.jpg
07.jpg 08.jpg
In addition, last week our engineers tested the planes turn time and climb rate, so we updated the Dev Diary #123 with the corrected data. Fw 190 flight model was also corrected (thanks to [I.B.]ViRUS for his cool finding of additional Fw 190 A-4 Lift-Drag curves) so its turn tume and climb rate correspond to the reference better.
 
You can discuss the news in this thread

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IL-2 STURMOVIK development manager


#128 Han

Han
  • Project manager
  • Posts: 584
  • Location:Moscow

Posted 17 March 2016 - 11:11

*
POPULAR

126

 
Hello!
 
Last week was very intensive for our team and important for the project - many important events happened and will happen. Let's go through them step by step.
 
First, our mapping department almost finished the both Moscow maps, autumn and winter one. This is an important step because it's more complex than previous maps and it introduces a number of new things. A new surface texturing method has been used, new town structure and some other new methods. Navigational map was also improved - it was made more convenient to use while retaining the same style as Stalingrad map.
 
Changes:
- Map sectors are designated using a bigger font and their order has been changed. Previously they were numbered one after another and it turned out to be less useful than we thought, so now we're using the approach from real war maps of the time - a checkerboard pattern where first two digits set a column and last two digits set a row. Sector borders color is also the same as on real historical maps.
- Airfield schemes are drawn right on the naviagational map. It was common to have such schemes on real maps. This way you will be able to plan your landing approach to an unfamiliar airfield with ease, it should also help while taxiing.
 
Second, Ju 88 A-4 bomber is ready for beta testing. Crew models and animations are integrated into the plane, its flight model and AI are tuned, the errors that were found at this point are fixed.
 
Third, QMB mode is already working on Moscow map and Battle of Moscow campaign is ready for beta test. The campaign doesn't include videos and scenario missions yet (they are WIP), but the basic campaign structure is there and ready for beta testing that will start before this weekend.
 
Fourth, thanks to the dump files you kindly sent to us, we were able to fix several bugs that could crash the game. All these fixes will be released in the next update.
 
Fifth, we made significant progress in moving to 64-bit executable. We can't guarantee that it will be available soon, but it is looking good. This should greatly increase the sim stability and open the way for increasing texture detail and supporting of VR devices in the future, such as Oculus Rift and HTC Vive.
 
Today we'll show you some recent Moscow map screenshots which are representing almost final result.
 
01.jpg 02.jpg 03.jpg
04.jpg 05.jpg 06.jpg
07.jpg 08.jpg 09.jpg
10.jpg 11.jpg 12.jpg
13.jpg 14.jpg 15.jpg
 
You can discuss the news in this thread

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IL-2 STURMOVIK development manager


#129 Han

Han
  • Project manager
  • Posts: 584
  • Location:Moscow

Posted 24 March 2016 - 10:05

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POPULAR

127

 
Hello everyone!
 
Today we'll tell you how the biggest landmark of the new map has been created - the city of Moscow itself.
 
When we started to plan the work on the map, the question 'what to do with the city?' immediately came to mind. Creation of a big metropolis with many unique objects, complex network of streets, huge factory buildings and world-known landmarks - this is a task we needed to finish in just a year and no one achieved it in a combat flight sim in such time with limited resources available before.
 
We had three ways to choose from:
 
1. Create a city from standard buildings without keeping the layout authentic and add 5-10 unique objects in the center. This approach allows to fly above the city and was used in another modern game about WWII, where main streets stop after Garden ring, layout of the city core is incorrect, the ratio betwen Garden and Boulevard rings is several times wrong, Gorky (Tverskaya) street stops at Garden ring and doesn't continue as Leningradsky prospekt, etc.
 
2. End the map at 20-30 kilometers to the West of the city and don't model it at all. As they say, 'what can't be cured must be endured'.
 
3. Model the historical layout of the city as close to real one as possible using some kind of scenery set so landmarks and city blocks will be recognizable. This means players shouldn't be able to fly above the city, because scenery objects are designed to be viewed from a distance of 5-15 km, but close up they look very simplified, too simple for a modern game.
 
We decided to use the third approach because of several reasons:
 
First, Battle of Moscow without Moscow in any form would be a bit strange.
Second, each new map should add something unique to the game world. On Stalingrad map it was the ruined city. We could create a city and make it reachable because it was in ruins already and it covered significantly smaller area - this simplified the task of creating the city blocks and made it implementable in a reasonable amount of time. On the Battle of Moscow map such object is Moscow itself of course.
Third, it would be the first historically accurate model of WWII timeframe Moscow - it is always interesting to be the first.
Fourth, this approach allowed us to create something valuable for the game and from the historical reconstruction point of view, something that would be approved by the players.
 
After the phase of strategic planning we needed to switch to the tactics level of development. Oddly enough, Soviet data on the city layout at that time is limited, so we used German aerial photos collected by http://warfly.ru/ website. Using these aerial photos, pre-war maps and selected historical photographs we were able to create a specification for the model of the city. We contracted a studio "Ugra-Media" in Khanty-Mansiysk to create it and they completed this task exceptionally well. Later we used this model and aerial photos to texture the city landscape and placed trees and roads.
 
Here are two images showing Moscow in the sim from 6 km altitude close to the border of reachable zone (this is like you would see the city). On second screenshot we designated the major landmarks:
Moscow_2orig.jpg Moscow_2.jpg
 
Since players can fly really close to the city, its western outskirts are actually reachable and there are some interesting objects, so we created a number of unique buldings with good enough quality to be viewed up close. Regular buildings in this area aren't very high, they are of the same type like in nearby towns of Kalinin, Rzhev, Vyazma, Klin and so on, so they can be modelled using the same elements. We'll show you several examples of the detailed unique buildings:
 
Moscow canal locks #7 and #8. Kalinin railway bridge is built above the lock #8. This is a recognizable location which looks almost the same today, with the addition on buildings nearby:
01.jpg
 
Chkalov aeroclub near Tushino airfield:
02.jpg
 
Northern River Terminal at Khimki water reservoir:
03.jpg
 
Water sports stadium Dynamo at Khimki water reservoir:
04.jpg
 
Naturally, the unreachable districts of the city situated close to playable area required more attention than others. These districts are Sokol, Airport, Fili, Voykovsky. There are important infrastructure objects, so they were modeled with middle level of detalization, allowing players to look at them using significant zoom from 1-3 km distance, examples how user can see them are next:
 
Voykovsky and Sokol districts. Moscow Aviation Institute is in the image center, metro depot Sokol is behind it. You can see the halls of the All-Union Agricultural Exhibition to the far left:
05.jpg
 
Sokol and Airport districts. Frunze Central Aerodrome (Khodynskoye pole) is in the image center. At the far border of the airfield, next to runway, you can see a large machine shop of the 1st Moscow machinery works "Banner of Labor", where MiG-3 aircraft were produced among other things. Now both the factory and the airfield are gone, but this machine shop is still there. You can see the distant city outline in the background with various famous landmarks visible:
06.jpg
 
Fili district. Here you can see the airfield of the Aircraft factory #22 where Pe-2 dive bombers where built. This area belongs to Khrunichev State Research and Production Space Center now, but some of these buildings are still standing:
07.jpg
 
In the end I want to say that we think we managed to create something really unique, something that wasn't done before, something that has artistic merit and educational value. Of course, we hope that the result of this work will be interesting to you - you'll be able to assess the results of our work very soon.
 
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IL-2 STURMOVIK development manager


#130 Han

Han
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Posted 22 April 2016 - 10:57

128

Hello everyone!
 
Battle of Moscow open beta is available for BoM owners for three weeks now. Of course, during this time we were busy improving the game.
 
First, the map of Moscow region has been improved, more evergreen trees were added. They weren't simply added to existing forests at random - forest types reflect the real forestation in the area. You can see the forest type map below: violet color for pine, red for spruce, yellow for leaf, blue and aquamarine for mixed forests.
_forests.jpg
__listva_a.jpg __listva_w.jpg
__sosna_a.jpg __sosna_w.jpg
__elka_a.jpg __elka_w.jpg
 
Second, we use the time it takes to finish the campaign cutscenes to improve the campaign missions. Additional story scenarios for the campaign are ready, as well as tactical overlays that show the current situation at operational level:
1.jpg
2.jpg
3.jpg
4.jpg
5.jpg
 
Third, we're making some changes and additions to the campaign. We'll describe them in detail later, but here is a teaser:
_ranks.jpg
 
All in all, our team is adding the finishing touches to Battle of Moscow and we are confident that it will be a worthy addition to the flight sim genre.
 
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IL-2 STURMOVIK development manager


#131 Han

Han
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Posted 28 July 2016 - 13:36

129

 

Hello!
 
While Summer is at its peak, our team continues the work on improving IL-2 Sturmovik. Battle of Moscow will be released on Steam in a couple of weeks, so we're changing the way the content is represented. Among the other changes there is one we think you'll especially like - in the coming version 2.003 you'll be able to connect to a multiplayer server even if you don't own the map it uses. In addition, you'll be able to pilot the planes from Battle of Moscow in Battle of Stalingrad campaign if you own both theatres and these planes saw action there historically. For example, you can use MiG-3 and I-16 in Stalingrad campaign and a couple of Battle of Stalingrad planes in Battle of Moscow campaign.
 
Gunfire sound effects are overhauled, they became more 'alive' and realistic. We also finish polishing the campaign for now - in later versions we'll be extending it, adding new mission types and scenario missions. Several performance improvements will be included in 2.003 as well.
 
By the way, we're working on new aircraft and features we'll tell you about a bit later. Here are a few WIP screenshots for now:
01.jpg 02.jpg
03.jpg 04.jpg
 
And here is the video showcasing a new feature. Some members of our community were asking for it for a long time:
 
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IL-2 STURMOVIK development manager


#132 Jason_Williams

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Posted 19 August 2016 - 13:11

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130

 

Dear Pilots,

 

Today we announce that next week we will unlock all modifications (weapons, equipment, skins) for all planes if you own either the Standard Edition or Premium Edition of BOS or BOM. The Starter Edition, primarily sold in Russia, will not be changed. Unlocking all modifications is the first step in a new direction (or old direction depending on your point of view) for our beloved IL-2 Sturmovik series. More interesting details will follow soon after we finalize our development plan. We value our customers and we have listened closely to your wishes and dreams since the initial release of BOS. We hope to make flying Sturmovik an even more enjoyable experience for you in the coming months and years! The team is as dedicated as ever to this genre and we pray you will continue to support our efforts moving forward as you have in the past.

 

On a different note, sadly, today we are also forced to take action with regards to players using cheat tools. It is unfortunate, but necessary we take action. As we have previously warned, if we detect any player using such cheating tools, we will ban them from IL-2. We have been carefully monitoring usage of such tools since June 10th and some continue to cheat. The overall number of cheaters is very small in relation to our total players, but some violations have still occurred after our previous warning. So, we are banning these players from accessing IL-2 for a period of two (2) weeks beginning today. We have a zero tolerance policy on cheating. If these users continue to cheat, the bans will become more severe and possible permanent bans will be implemented.

 

We are committed to Fair Play for all and cheating has no place in IL-2. Only practice and daring can make you a true ace in the virtual skies!

 

One final note, we will now be encrypting all un-activated key-codes, including Gift codes, for BOS and BOM sold through the official Store. You can still send Gifts to your friends, but they must go to a valid user account where they can be activated safely and securely. 

 

We must also reiterate that BOS/BOM key-codes or user accounts sold on any other website OUSTIDE of the official IL-2 website, Steam, Gamersgate.com, Muve.Softclub.ru or Softclub.ru have likely been acquired by using stolen credit card data. Such stolen keys will eventually be discovered by us and de-activated. Like cheaters, we do not tolerate fraud and theft and we will not re-activate accounts using stolen key-codes even if that user believes he or she bought a key from a legit retailer. If you are uncertain about a specific retailer, please ask us to verify their legitimacy.  And Steam keys found on any discount website for BOS and BOM are also likely fraud connected keys. Do not buy them no matter what the price may be. Credit card fraud hurts everyone in the genre by robbing developers of needed funds to continue working. Please only buy keys from official, legitimate sources.

 

So enough with the serious news! Here are some pics of the WIP Odessa map, Ju-52 and Yak-1b coming soon to Sturmovik! Looking very good!

 

Yak-1b

 

yak1s127_img1.jpg  yak1s127_img2.jpg

 

yak1s127_img3.jpg  yak1s127_img4.jpg

 

Ju-52 Gunner Position

 

Ju52-c2_1.jpg  Ju52-c2_2.jpg

 

 

Odessa Map

 

Odessa_1.jpg  Odessa_2.jpg

 

Odessa_3.jpg  Odessa_4.jpg

 

Get airborne this weekend everyone!

 

The IL-2 Team

 
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#133 Han

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Posted 02 September 2016 - 11:07

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131

 

Hello Everybody!
 
At this moment the Battle of Moscow project is finished and the Yak-1b and Ju-52 are in the works. Thanks to our community we have plenty of skins to choose nine (9) official ones from. We have also started a preliminary work on the next project and its theatre of war - we're systematically collecting historical and engineering data on new aircraft, ground vehicles and the landscape. We'll be able to tell you about the new project soon.
 
But today we'd like to summarize for you what work has been done during this very summer. In the beginning of 2016, in January, we published a list of physics model changes and improvements we wanted to complete during this year. The list was long, but most of it is already done and many additional improvements were introduced. Take a look. We think the list is impressive and worthy to note that we continue to strive to make a great simulation product.
 
Physical Model and systems fine Tuning
 
1. MC.202 series VIII flaps are now forced back by air stream at high speeds, which should prevent their damage;
2. Engines with glow plugs stop faster when turned off;
3. Pe-2 brakes effectiveness corrected (reduced), this should make landings easier;
4. Bf 109 F-2 radiator functioning in manual mode was corrected: it opens fully, but slower.
5. Engine thermal model and thermostat corrected for all Bf-109 planes. Engine temperature maintained by thermostat and radiator effectiveness in relation to a degree of its opening and air conditions correspond to reference data better.
6. MiG-3 cooling system has been corrected: now it requires opening its radiator to degrees similar to other Soviet aircraft, but at higher altitudes (since its power output maxes out at higher altitudes);
7. Flaps release kinematic link calculations corrected on Yak-1, both IL-2 variants and MiG-3 (they are more stable when fully retracted);
8. Yak-1 tail wheel rotation limited to +- 90 degrees when unlocked;
9. Fw-190 A-3 aerodynamic characteristics corrected to meet the now available data (in short, its fineness ratio was reduced a little while its climb rate at high altitudes increased somewhat);
10. Fineness ratios of all planes were re-checked with their flaps extended. Fineness ratio was decreased for LaGG-3 series 29, La-5 series 8, Yak-1 series 69, IL-2 (both) and P-40E-1. Other planes fineness ratios were found to be correct;
11. Critical speed (when rudder and ailerons start to shake) decreased for all Bf-109 modifications (based on German test report and several pilot memoirs);
12. Additional armor plates and armored windshield mass is correctly added to Bf 109 E-7;
13. MG FF mass is correctly added to He-111 H-6;
14. Air drag caused by MC.202 bombs corrected (decreased);
15. Air drag caused by Bf 110 E-2 bomb holder corrected (increased);
16. He-111 H-6 elevator trimmer handle now stops at the same time when techno chat shows 100%;
17. He-111 H-6 elevator trimmer handle animation corrected (it was inverted);
18. Ju-87 engine RPM won't 'stutter' at maximum throttle;
19. A glitch that caused Pe-2 to move with retracted landing gear removed;
 
Aircraft Effects Changes
 
20. Smoke, tracers and exhausts are now affected by wind;
21. Cockpit camera shake effect corrected, it is influenced by engine RPM;
22. FFB effects corrected for MiG-3;
23. Different flight speed won't affect FFB gunfire effects power on P-40;
24. Missing left wheel brake sound added to Pe-2 and He-111 planes.
25. Impact sound can be heard during emergency landing;
26. You won't hear the wheels rolling sound during emergency landing on water or ground anymore;
27. An issue of asynchronous power during engine start fixed for twin engine aircraft;
 
Aircraft Equipment Changes
 
28.  IL-2 sight can be moved back and forth using LAlt-F command;
29. Rocket launch button added to both Pe-2 planes;
30. He-111 bombsight has gyroscopic stabilization effective at small roll angles as it should.
31. You can turn the bombsight left and right in View mode;
32. Bomb sight mode won't reset after leaving and re-enabling it anymore;
33. Back view angle increased for Pe-2 bomb sight in View mode;
34. Bomb sight view won't 'wave' while passing the zero mark;
35. I-16 PAK-1 gunsight corrected (outer ring changed to 0.140 of distance);
36. MC.202 gunsight corrected (dots position);
37. MC.202 gunsight damage corrected;
38. AN-4 compass on Pe-2 bombers is now illuminated;
39. Breathing systems corrected on all Soviet aircraft (altitude indicator);
40. Coolant indicator 3D model corrected for all Bf 109 planes;
41. Fuel switches animation corrected;
42. 'Inverted' canopy opening sound corrected on LaGG-3, La-5 and IL-2;
43. Radiator control buttons corrected on Ju-87, both Pe-2 and MC.202;
 
Aircraft Armament Changes
 
44. It is impossible to fire guns when powered off on aircraft equipped with electric triggers;
45. All non-blowback action turret weapons can be reloaded even if there is no misfire and magazine isn't empty;
46. Twin turret machine guns are now reloaded one after another (not simultaneously);
47. German bomb detonators now function correctly when dropped from extremely low (5-10 m) altitudes;
48. Tracer rounds removed from ShVAK autocannons for Battle of Moscow timeframe planes because they were produced later in 1942;
49. Turret weapons cooling rate during flight corrected;
50. Armor penetration of German 7,92 rounds corrected (slightly reduced at closer distances);
51. Chance of ricochet of aircraft HE rounds removed;
52. An error in automatic bombsight mode that caused He-111 and Ju-88 to drop bombs a bit later that needed has been fixed;
 
Damage Model Changes
 
53. Chance of ammo detonation after ammo racks hit increased for all aircraft;
54. Instrument light can be damaged;
55. Broken instruments in a cockpit show the last value instead of 0;
56. Armored pilot seats now protect from explosion fragments in addition to projectiles;
57. Drifting on rough ground is likely to break the landing gear;
58. Cockpit canopy moves according to physics laws (it can close during dive on IL-2 or La-5 and LaGG-3, it may be impossible to open it at high speeds, etc.);
59. Fuel tank rear armor increased by 1.5 mm for both IL-2;
60. La-5 engine damage time at high temperature corrected;
61. Flaps can be jammed at high speeds on Fw-190;
62. Armor protection on Fw-190 is removed correctly after ditching the canopy;
63. A lost canopy won't erroneously block the ability to bail out;
64. Bf-109 E-7, He 111 H-6, Pе-2 ser.35 and ser.87 damage models corrected (wrong parts were flying off when damaged);
65. MiG-3 elevator trimmer won't work if the right side of the elevator is lost (where trim tab is located).
66. AI pilots will be more careful not to break their engines;
 
Flight Assist Changes
 
67. RPM limiter (helper) on MiG-3 won't wrongly set the throttle to low values at low air temperature anymore;
68.  RPM limiter assist corrected; it reduces RPM if engine can be damaged by a high temperature;
69. Overheat warning message appearance corrected for all aircraft;
70. You don't need to issue manual radiator mode command twice for automatic radiators (radiator assist turns off simultaneously with turning manual radiators mode on);
71. P-40 engine assistant fixed (it won't break the engine at high altitudes);
72. P-40 engine assistant changed, now it allows to reach the maximum allowed power;
73. Pe-2 engine throttle levers won't shake when engine assist is engaged;
74. Engine start procedure updated - control axes remain in correct position after it;
 
Other changes and additions
 
75. Rudder/pedals reset command added (key D by default);
76. Cockpit canopy moves according to physics laws (it can close during dive on IL-2 or La-5 and LaGG-3, it may be impossible to open it at high speeds, etc.);
77. A rare problem that caused the plane to be invisible in multiplayer fixed;
78. A rare problem that caused the bombs or turrets to float next to their aircraft fixed;
79. A turret won't be left in the air after aircraft explosion in multiplayer (a rare issue);
 
Changes we're testing now (they are likely to be included in 2.004 update)
 
80. REVI-12 display reticle corrected (its angular size increased by 12%);
81. Lift force loss and drag increase of a remaining wing after fragmentation of a wing corrected;
82. First optimization task completed: AI controlled aircraft on the ground can be doubled;
83. 'Jumpy landing gear' issue fixed thanks to improved shock strut model;
84. Bumpiness of concrete runways and taxiways reduced;
85. He-111 won't rotate after an emergency landing;
86. Powered temperature gauges won't work when engine is off;
87. Engine heat model corrected for Ju-87;
88. Oxygen deprivation model corrected (its effects are felt at higher altitudes than before);
89. German breathing devices are engaged at higher altitudes (by German flight manuals);
90. Pe-2 fuel gauge is backlit now;
91. La-5 cylinder head temperature gauge is backlit as well;
92. Pe-2 trimmer neutral position indicators work now;
93. Bf 109 E-7 mass correctly decreases with ammo spending;
94. New technochat message added telling pilot that an engine is deselected.
 
In the meantime, the work continues. One of our main goals at this stage of development is a significant increase in an amount of AI controlled aircraft acting simultaneously without a noticeable decrease in modeling quality, keeping realistic aircraft characteristics. The idea is to keep the physics modeling accuracy of an AI controlled plane the same as player controlled plane has and optimize only those modules which impact is only noticeable when you pilot a plane yourself. A significant chunk of time of our lead flight physics specialist and the author of our flight model, Andrey Solomykin, is dedicated to this task. We're optimistic since the early results are good.
 
It is known that one of the physics bottlenecks in terms of the required CPU power was an aircraft behavior on the ground so this was a natural first stop of Andrey's journey to improved performance. And he passed it with flying colors - at this moment we're able to double the amount of AI planes on the ground keeping the same level of performance - simply staying on the ground, taxiing, performing a takeoff or landing. This change will be included in 2.004 update. In addition, as it always happens with a large scale research, this task yielded unforeseen results. By completing it we were able to solve the 'jumpy landing gear' issue.
 
Earlier we stated that implementing additional landing gear dampening is not possible within the confines of the current landing gear model which was already at its computational stability limit. Increasing the sampling rate even more to raise this limit made the performance impact in the 'aircraft on the ground' case unacceptable. But now, with this optimization completed, the landing gear modeling was improved and it gives more accurate results which are comparable to real landing gear testbed data even at a reduced sampling rate compared to the old one. So the 'jumpy planes' issue will be addressed in 2.004 as well. Aircraft behavior on the ground, which was already the most accurate among ALL existing flight simulators, will become even more true to life. It should be noted that thorough research of documentation revealed that Soviet shock struts were designed for much greater load. This is why Soviet aircraft were much more 'jumpy' than German ones in reality. We even found an interesting phrase in Soviet documentation from 1948 mentioning that some pre-war and war landing gear designs, in which shock struts of a stationary aircraft should have been completely extended, were wrong. You'll be able to feel the difference between Soviet and German landing gear designs in the 2.004 update. Some of the effects are visible in this short video:
 
 
To summarize today’s dev diary, as you can see, we don't simply add new content (theatres of war, aircraft, ground objects, etc.) but we're always working to improve the project’s core, be it simulation, rendering or other key components. We hope that all this hard work will allow us to keep the title of the best, most realistic WWII combat flight-sim.
 
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  • 68

IL-2 STURMOVIK development manager


#134 Han

Han
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Posted 22 September 2016 - 09:01

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Hello everybody!
 
The work on Battle of Kuban is officially started - the development plan is completed and approved by all team leads. The map of Kuban and three 3D models of the aircraft are already in the works and we are making preparations for the Career mode. Today we'll tell you a bit about this new game mode.
 
The most important thing is that Career mode is being developed not only for the Battle of Kuban, it will replace the current Moscow and Stalingrad campaigns as well.
 
In general, Career mode will be similar to Rise of Flight career with some changes. The main difference is that the new Career will be divided into phases according to new theaters of war and each phase will contain several chapters highlighting most important events like in current campaigns. Players will be able to select a phase and a chapter where they would like to start a career. After completing a phase, the career can be continued in another theater of war that is set later historically with the same personage. Each player can have several personages for different sides and different phases.
 
Unlike in present campaigns, in the Career mode all missions will be tied to the calendar and time of day, happening successively. Your personage will serve in a selected squadron day by day and the outcome of previous missions will influence the next ones. In general, the tour of duty of a squadron will be close to the historical one. You can choose a squadron to serve in depending on a plane you want to fly. In addition, each aircraft and AI pilot in your squadron will be tracked. Pilots can be lost in action and new ones will join the squadron while damaged aircraft will require time to be repaired. All pilots of the squadron, both player and AI ones, will have a personal combat score and receive new ranks based on it.
 
We can't be 100% sure we'll have the time to implement this, but we want to allow player to begin a career as wingman and become a wing leader and eventually a squadron commander. Squadron commander can plan new missions, correcting a flight path and assigning aircraft and pilots to carry it out.
 
It will be possible to apply for transfer to another squadron, allowing a personage to change his aircraft and combat role (fighter, ground attack or bomber pilot) in the same career. Another significant change is that there will be historical military awards and ranks.
 
Please note that we don't simply copy the RoF career. It will be significantly optimized performance wise to make using it a breeze. While the main idea of the campaign comes from RoF, the mission generator will be an improved version of the current IL-2 one, resulting in much more rich environment and diverse combat situations that were possible in Rise of Flight. In addition, the current work of our engineer department on physics optimizations is aimed at increasing the number of aircraft in a mission, so the new Career will feature more intense and rich missions compared not only to RoF, but to the current IL-2 campaigns as well.
 
This is all we wanted to tell you about the new Career at this point, but there is another matter we'd like to share. In the previous Dev Diary we told you about landing gear modeling improvements that will be published in the next version 2.004. While working on the landing gear further, engineers were able to address a slipping friction modeling situation when a stationary or slowly rotating wheel of a landing aircraft touches the ground at a high speed, resulting in more accurate modeling of two-point landing. Tail-high landing can be performed if you touch the runway accurately, as shown in the video. In addition, an additional lateral friction is applied to a drifting wheel, making an aircraft more stable while taxiing, take off and landing, but also making it prone to roll-over during a strong skid. To summarize, taxiing, takeoff and landing will become somewhat easier and realistic in general, but a mistake during these phases will cause severe consequences. We' re hoping you'll like it.

 


youtube.com/watch?v=mRvn8JNK8cg

 
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IL-2 STURMOVIK development manager


#135 Han

Han
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Posted 29 September 2016 - 10:24

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Hello Pilots!
 
In parallel to Battle of Kuban development, we continue our work on new Collector Planes - Yak-1b (series 127) and Ju-52 3mg4e. Their 3D models will be finished in the next few weeks and work on their physics models is already underway.
 
The Ju-52 controls are somewhat unusual, for example, its wheel brakes are engaged by pulling back the engine control levers while the flaps are operated using the same handle as the adjustable stabilizer. However, it is possible to unlink these controls and adjust the stabilizer without touching the flaps. Other unique features are a tail wheel brake, corrugated fuselage and wing plating, hanging rudders and flaps, fixed-pitch propellers and non-parallel thrust vectors of the wing engines. Its design represents the transitional period between the wars (1920-1930’s) where new designs and increasing technology led to experimentation with some odd results. The Ju-52 was an iconic plane from this period in aviation history and its usefulness kept it flying all throughout WWII.
 
Although from the famous Yak family of fighters, the Yak-1b (series 127) required almost a complete overhaul of the existing Yak-1 (series 69) 3D model. From the development point of view this is almost a completely new aircraft. There are several subtle differences that influence its physics model – a different propeller, automatic tail wheel lock similar to the MiG-3, simplified trimmers (just bendable fins instead of separate trimmer surfaces), improved seals for openings, additional engine exhaust covers, a different engine intake, and, of course, a lowered fuselage spine with a teardrop canopy. All of these changes led to better aerodynamics and performance than previous Yak models. The Yak-1b also had more armor in the front section of the fuselage and it had a different armament package. Armament consisted of a 20 mm ShVAK with 140 rounds and a 12.7mm UBS machinegun with 220 rounds. Designers also removed the underwing rocket rails.
 
Here are some WIP screenshots for more visual impression:
 
Ju 52:
Ju51_1.jpg Ju52_2.jpg
Ju52_3.jpg Ju52_4.jpg
 
Yak-1b:
Yak1_1.jpg Yak1_2.jpg
Yak1_3.jpg Yak1_4.jpg
 
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IL-2 STURMOVIK development manager


#136 Han

Han
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Posted 06 October 2016 - 14:40

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Hello Everybody,
 
As we mentioned in our previous developer diaries, Battle of Kuban is in full scale development. In particular, the map of the new thereat of war is in the works.
 
The Career mode time-frame of the Battle of Kuban will begin April 17 and end October 9, 1943, so the map will include three seasons - Spring, Summer and Autumn. Making a Spring map is a new experience for us and we'll see how it goes. We're confident that its quality will be good, but the difference in color palette should be significant compared to other seasons and we're hoping it will add a nice visual variety to the project.
 
Map borders are already set, as you can see on the attached picture - 416.2 km х 288.4 km fly zone which is 120,032 square kilometers total. Its borders, where you can't fly, ranges from 9.5 to 35 km thick (they are needed so you won't see the map edges). If we count these borders, the total visible area of the new map increases to whopping 165,000 square kilometers. The flyable area of the Kuban map is 32% larger than our Stalingrad map and 20% larger than our Western Front map in Rise of Flight. This is a significant increase in size with many more terrain features. You are going to enjoy it!
 
_134_kuban_2.jpg
 
There are three major cities - Krasnodar, Novorossiysk and Kerch, several sea ports, some of them including unique infrastructure objects, more than thirty airfields. What is important, is that the map contains very diverse landscape types with the ocean, mountains, steppe, forested foothills, estuaries, salt-marshes, the Kerch channel, rocky and sandy coasts. Therefore, you'll see a diverse and interesting environment during three different seasons.
 
At this moment, initial research, map borders and the height map are completed and we can show you a very early WIP screenshot of the new map. There are no land textures at all yet, but it's a start  :)
 
_134_kuban_1.jpg
 
In addition, today we can tell you that our work on the next update 2.004 reached its final stage. The new update is in beta testing and we plan to release it in 2-3 weeks. It already contains more than 45 changes, including changes to physics, aircraft systems, damage models, 3D models, AI, user interface, mission system and ship improvements. The most important ones come from our work on the Battle of Kuban  which is the first tier of physics and AI optimizations, resulting in double the number of AI aircraft on the ground at the same level of performance and 20% physics performance increase of AI aircraft in the air.
 
We'd also like to let you know that while our work on DirectX 11 implementation is not finished yet and the new render isn't ready to be included in 2.004 update, at the moment it grants a huge graphics performance boost, almost a 2x increase or more in FPS depending on the scene. We're hoping to release the new renderer to the public this year and we'll start its beta testing immediately after 2.004 release.
 
Update 2.004 will also bring some early features we're preparing for the new Air Marshal multiplayer mode - the ability to have recon planes in the multiplayer server (the server host will be able to give some aircraft the spotter ability). Joystick ID storing system is improved again, hopefully this would resolve the remaining issues with multiple control devices caused by Windows changing device IDs for those who encountered them. You can see the testing of this system on the picture below  :)
 
_134_joy.jpg
 
And finally we have begun to work on collecting information and content for the new Career mode. Please check the forum for a section called Career Assistance. If you can help us create and gather the needed materials it would be a great help to the team!
 
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IL-2 STURMOVIK development manager


#137 Han

Han
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Posted 13 October 2016 - 09:23

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Hello Everybody!
 
Today I want to tell you about the new features we will add to multiplayer mode in Battle of Kuban. Development of these features is planned for the next year, but we already know what we want to get in the end. The most important feature is the Cooperative (CO-OP) mode. Let’s go into the details about it right away.
 
The current Deathmatch multiplayer mode is a potentially infinite play session (usually its time is limited in the server options, but it can be infinite). A player can log into such server at any minute, choose an airfield and jump into the cockpit of any plane available there. The mission designer can set any goals and targets that can respawn infinitely. Therefore, the player’s plane can’t be a mission target since it is unknown if and when it would take off. Targets in this mode are always static objects or they are controlled by AI. On one hand, this mode gives the maximum freedom to the players, but in scenario missions, where each player has a certain role and task such freedom can be counter-productive.
 
CO-OP multiplayer mode includes the player’s plane in the mission script, various triggers are associated with it and player actions influence how the mission unfolds. Players have their own mission routes, targets and tasks and they can be unique for each player or group of players. The number of players, their starting places, aircraft, mission routes, armament and fuel reserve are defined in the mission (however the aircraft preferences can be changed by players if server rules allow this). Therefore, CO-OP mode gameplay is much closer to single-player campaign missions, but a CO-OP mission contains a different mission for each of the players which they complete together in one multiplayer session.
 
Unlike in Deathmatch mode, in CO-OP mode all players begin a mission simultaneously at a time set by the mission designer and there is no way to restart in the same mission. The mission ends either by meeting certain conditions set by the mission designer or if all players are shot down. There is also a possibility of making missions where players are divided into two opposing teams – one team must complete a certain task and another team tries to not let them do it or both teams must complete their own tasks and attempt to not let the enemy team complete their task at the same time (the so called PvP with AI). It is also possible to have missions where all the players are in the same team and pursue a common goal (PvE).
 
In addition, we plan to make the existing Deathmatch mode deeper for Battle of Kuban. Player actions will become more coordinated thanks to a new major feature – the Marshal mode. At the moment, we have a basic vision how this mode will function and what features it will include. Here’s a rough idea of how it would look from a player point of view:
- If Marshal mode is enabled on the server, one of the players can become a Marshall. We haven’t determined the exact criteria of how a Marshal will be chosen, perhaps it would be a player with most achievements earned or a player from the list created by the server owner as he sees fit.
- A Marshal can’t fly himself, his job is directing others. Each team has their own Marshall.
- A Marshal (and only he) can see objects near friendly spotters, airfields and recon units (recon planes and tanks), therefore he (and only he) can have a complete understanding of the battle situation or as close to it as certain fog of war limitations allow.
- Moreover, the Marshal will have a limited ability of directing the ground forces using special command markers. He will be able to give orders to certain ground unit groups and set their basic reaction to danger (‘fire at will’, ‘return fire’, ‘don’t fire’).
- We are also considering other features to add to this mode assuming development and testing goes well.
 
Beyond that, there will be an interesting event in our project soon, which is not directly related to our work, but it is the result of work and efforts of a team from the community. This team decided to make a multiplayer game mode with unique add-ons over the standard multiplayer design functionality. Team 72AG-DED have made a server with an online campaign in Deathmatch mode using the processing logs of =FB=Vaal, =FB=Isay and tools that we have provided them. This development is notable for its simplicity and originality. They took all the best we offer servers operators and added something new, which is something we have been hoping for.
The project "Random Expert +" uses a flexible mechanism based on the reference points scattered around the map, transitions between them are given under certain conditions, and thus the players on the server directly affect the movement of the front line in different parts of the map. The control program created by 72AG-DED, which is using this mechanism, is automatically creating the mission and sending it to the game server.
According to the results of each mission derived from server logs, progress achieved by players is counts towards and becomes stored on server. Achieved status is displayed on the site of the server in the form of a schematic map with symbols. Of course in the spirit of cooperation we are receiving their questions and inquiries periodically, which are about additional features and things in development, some of them have already been implemented in the game. Server capabilities are limited only by the imagination of its developers and at this stage the 72AG-DED team has big plans for the development. Now the server is at the stage of closed testing, but very soon it will be available to everyone. From our side we wish the team 72AG-DED much success in this endeavor.
 
In the end I would like to highlight that since the CO-OP mode is intended for short missions, we plan to restore the ability to launch a multiplayer server directly form the game and allow a host player to become one of the players on this server. There will be a way to host a multiplayer server either using the dedicated server utility, as it happens now, or directly from the game. Basically this will be like it is now in Rise of Flight.
In the meantime, we continue our work on the project and we’re hoping to give you an important update on game version 2.004 next week. Today we can show you several 3D model WIP screenshots of Bf 109 G-4, He 111 H-16 and Bf 110 G-2.
 
01.jpg 02.jpg
03.jpg 04.jpg
05.jpg 06.jpg
07.jpg 08.jpg
 

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  • 53

IL-2 STURMOVIK development manager


#138 Han

Han
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  • Posts: 584
  • Location:Moscow

Posted 20 October 2016 - 11:40

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Hello Everybody,
 
Several important things happened this week. First of all, we released the new update 2.004 yesterday with many changes and improvements which are listed in detail here:
 
In addition, work on the 3D models of the Yak-1b Series 127 and Ju-52 3mg4e is finished and we are working on their physics models and the new mission types for the Ju-52. We plan to finish Yak-1b Series 127 physics and begin its beta test next week.
 
Moreover, we will begin the tests of the DirectX 11 renderer as soon as this week. This will be an alpha test and if it goes well, we'll add it to beta together with the new Yak. We'll tell you about the new renderer and the possibilities it brings a bit later on. We would like to remind you that switching to DirectX 11 opens the way to full support of VR devices such as HTC VIVE, Oculus Rift and others that will be supported by Valve OpenVR API. Even in its current basic state, the HTC VIVE support in our sim sparked much interest in various people, no matter what age or occupation at a recent public army exhibit in Russia:
Army_01.JPG Army_02.JPG
 
We also begun work on the 3D models of the Douglas A-20B Boston and Supermarine Spitfire Mk.Vb. Perhaps you would ask why don't we use the Spitfire model from 1C's previous project Cliffs of Dover. It turned out that would be near impossible because the old Spitfire model had many inconsistencies in its basic fuselage form, we can't leave it as is and keep the current quality standard of our IL-2 project. All in all it was a good 3D model built many years ago, but its quality level in terms of being accurate to the original plane is obsolete. Therefore, the Supermarine Spitfire Mk.Vb that we create will be 95% new.
Blueprint_Verification_1.jpg Blueprint_Verification_2.jpg
Model_Verification_1.jpg Model_Verification_2.jpg
 
Also, we had an interesting event occur last weekend. Three of us (Han, An.Petrovich and Gavrik) were invited by community members (ROSS_Wespe, Kirill, =MG=Dooplet11, ZloyPetrushkO) to visit Staritsa airfield in Tver region (actually we have this airfield in Battle of Moscow, it is in the middle between Rzhev and Kalinin). There, ROSS_Wespe gave us a ride on a SOCATA Rallye to check how closely several phenomena and effects correspond between IL-2 aircraft and this plane. In spite of difference in planes design, this experience was very helpful and interesting. During the course of several test flights we did the following comparisons between the real aircraft and planes modeled in the sim:
 
1. Aircraft pitch behavior while extending flaps with fixed and released flight stick (it turns out this plane behaves just like aircraft in the sim do);
2. Aircraft reaction to fully pushed rudder pedal with fixed flight stick (the resulting roll on this plane and in the game are the same). Plane behavior while keeping the plane horizontal by ailerons with pressed pedal is the same on some planes in the game and different on others;
3. A delay between sharp flight stick movement and aircraft movement (there is no noticeable delay both on real plane and in the sim);
4. Tree size (average trees in this region and trees in the game have the same height, trees in the game are a bit wider).
 
During the event, we also discussed other questions with our hosts, for example, flap operating procedures on MiG-3, win criteria in game statistics, transmission band of pitch and roll periodic effects on flight stick on light and heavy aircraft, Bf-110 pancaking (straight stall descent) at high AoA, Bf-109 power reserve at low speeds, alternative methods of limiting engine work time at critical modes and navigational lights visibility during a day at far distances. This discussion was quite helpful and productive - sure, we did not agree on everything, but our mutual understanding improved somewhat. Here are several photos from this event:
Meeting_01.JPG Meeting_02.JPG Meeting_03.JPG
Meeting_04.JPG Meeting_05.JPG Meeting_06.JPG
Meeting_07.JPG Meeting_08.JPG Meeting_09.JPG
 
We should also mention the event that will take place in November. AiRussia is a virtual pilots competition, where you can prove you're one of the best. To win, you need to push your skills to the limit. We suggest you participate!
Spoiler
You may to visit http://airussiaopen.ru to register and get more information.
 
In the end of this Dev Diary we would like to show you a set of skins for Ju-52 3mg4e we made for this Collector Plane:
00.jpg
01.jpg 02.jpg
03.jpg 04.jpg
05.jpg 06.jpg
07.jpg 08.jpg
09.jpg 10.jpg
 

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  • 56

IL-2 STURMOVIK development manager


#139 Han

Han
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  • Location:Moscow

Posted 27 October 2016 - 11:15

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Hello Everyone!
 
Let's start the today’s diary with a screenshot. This time you see the WIP model of a German Fallschirmjäger (paratrooper) in summer clothing for the new Ju-52 Collector plane which is now in the final development stage.
 
Paratrooper.jpg
 
Last Friday we began alpha-testing of a new version which includes DirectX 11. First results are promising; FPS has increased significantly even in cases when not all optimizations were included. Of course, some issues have presented themselves, but we have no doubts that debug will go smooth and release will not be too long. At the moment, work on transferring to DirectX 11 has included:
 
- 90 shaders were transferred to DX11 format
- Forest rendering was optimized thanks to using of constant buffers;
- Buildings rendering was optimized thanks to using of constant buffers;
- Complex 3D models rendering was optimized
- Complex 3D models export to game format was optimized, it has reduced model separation during export, in final it provides additional performance in scenes with complex combat;
- SSAO was replaced by TSSAO, this has shrunk expenses for this effect calculation;
- Grass rendering was optimized due to implementation of occlusion check;
- Water reflections were optimized;
- Lighting model was optimized due to using of 5th shader's model, also shadows from point lights (like flare rocket) were added;
- Lighting algorithm evolution to TiledShading 2.5D was performed, it's also due to using of 5th shader's model
- Memory usage on landscape rendering was reduced thanks to new possibilities of DX11, in perspective this allows to increase landscape poly-count by 4 times;
- HDR visual was improved on lower graphics presets.
 
Our work on using and implementation of new abilities provided by DirectX 11 is underway, in closest schedule there is adaptation of several technics to Compute Shaders, realization of Open VR API and other "yummy" things :)
 
So, our transferring to DirectX 11 is going as planned. We plan to finish this work by the end of this year; and Open VR API support should be completed by the end of the January.
 
Beside DirectX 11 news, I would like to talk with you about a part of flight-simulation realism which affects the most important part of the sim – the role of a virtual pilot.
 
To provide a maximum realistic virtual flight at your home on your PC, the developer should create the most plausible, natural and balanced visual picture of the world, airplane and cockpit on the player's monitor as possible. After that, the developer should provide a realistic control system for the airplane and the airplane should respond to this control system on the player’s PC as realistically as possible (this is what everyone calls the Flight Model). Also, the developer should create a realistic sound environment with all the small touches and accents which will make player to believe that he or she is in the airplane. After all this, the developer should create scenarios where the player will perform the role of a virtual pilot. Plus, there is a big bunch of other items which are related to air combat, but they require a separate and a big talk. The assembly of all these factors presents the aviation simulator to the player - a tool, a virtual reality instrument to be plunged into where the player becomes a pilot.
 
But, as in any kind of game, after plunging in the virtual atmosphere of the game world, it is also very important how seriously the player treats his role. Young boys who play war in a courtyard in torn trousers with wooden sticks instead of rifles in their hands may feel a much greater degree of immersion than an adult man playing airsoft in full authentic NATO gear with an authentic copy of an M-16 rifle in his hands. It may feel false because there is talk about work and family around him or jokes or maybe alcohol is being consumed. This does not feel like real combat even if he has authentic equipment and a gun. The intention was to play “army man” right? The same thing may happen in a multiplayer match in a flight-sim. When a player plays the single-player game than he completely determines the atmosphere and the mood which he has when he enters the game. If he has sat down to play the flight-simulator to simply “kid around and play some tricks" than it does not matter how realistic this simulator is - the player will not come close to reality. If he has sat down to play the role seriously - to perform some kind of combat task, to make a transfer flight from one airfield to another, to do some aerobatics, or maybe to perform a training flight in the same manner as performed by real pilots than his level of immersion will be high. But even in this case of a simple, but realistic objective - to perform a simple training mission close to reality - it contains a great challenge for virtual pilot because to perform it he has to find out how it is performed in reality. The question becomes - how to manage plane controls correctly to perform it by himself? To be successful the player has to do it many times before he will start to have success. Maybe after practicing for 1, 2 or 3 evenings he will be able to perform this training flight like it was performed by real pilots.
 
I do not know how many of you I have captured by this long introduction, but if I did, then I'm offering you to try to perform a training circling flight flying the MiG-3 fighter plane. A mission kit, with flight records of the circling pattern in calm winds and takeoffs and landings in strong winds are attached. Also here is a small video-lesson with my comments (I apologize for my English even before you have started to watch it :) ) and a video-example of takeoffs and landings in heavy wind conditions. I invite you to try these training scenarios. The necessary technique of these training flights are explained below.
 
 
 
 
Start at parking area, full fuel and ammo load. Winds calm, weather is clear.
Part 1: Start and Taxi to the runway
- Set altimeter pressure equal to airfield pressure
- set Throttle to Idle, execute engine start procedure
- Engine started: set engine revolutions to 100%, mixture to 50%, radiators to 50%
- Set flaps limiter to 20%, extend landing flaps
- Look around for taxi clearance, set throttle to 50%, start to roll
- Rolling started: hold wheel brakes to check them, release brakes to continue taxiing
- Set throttle to 35...40% to continue taxiing
- Use wheel brakes for sharp turns and to stop
- Do not exceed speed 20 km/h and brake down to 5 km/h before sharp turns
- Taxi with opened canopy, move your head left and right to look forward beyond the nose
- Look around for obstacles and other planes, especially when taxiing to runway
 
Part 2: Takeoff
- Set Throttle to Idle
- Look around for takeoff clearance, close canopy, move view point to the left side of cockpit to have better visibility forward
- Hold Wheel Brakes, push Left Rudder pedal to 2/3 (rotate joystick twist to left to 2/3)
- Hold Rudder at 2/3 to left, hold Stick in center, set Throttle to 80%
- Release brakes, set Throttle to 100%
- Keep take off direction by Rudder adjustments - a little bit more and less than 2/3 to the left
- To keep the takeoff direction: keep your eye on an object far ahead (a tree, a building, a cloud and so on), check runway left/right borders only sometimes
- Continue to speed up with stick in center, keep direction by rudder pedals, plane’s tail will rise by itself
- When speed is more than 180 km/h: smoothly pull the airplane nose up, plane will take off, keep the nose slightly above the horizon, altitude and speed should continue to increase
- To bank use the control stick, smoothly the return rudder pedals neutral position
- When altitude is 20 m: raise the landing gear, keep the nose pointed a few degrees above the horizon
- When speed is 200 km/h: retract the flaps, keep the nose pointed a few degrees above the horizon
- When altitude is 100m: start 90° left turn to course 228°, bank angle should be 30°
- When altitude is 400m: push the nose down to just a little bit above the horizon, keep vertical speed =0 m/s and altitude =400 m
- When speed is 300 km/h: set throttle to 55% and maintain it
- Start second 90° left turn to course 138°, bank angle is 30°
 
Part 3: Circular flight
- When left turn to course 138° is completed: continue in a straight-line maintaining 400 m altitude and speed 300 km/h
- Maintain required speed by keeping the throttle near 55%, speed corrections should be performed by slight throttle deviations from 55%
- Maintain required altitude by controlling plane nose position over the horizon. Keep the nose a bit higher than the horizon, remember it's position which is providing zero vertical speed
- When flying straight constantly check the airspace around you, control landmarks to start 3rd turn in the right place
- To control oil temperature (from 40°С to 80°С) and water temperature (from 80°С to 110°С), adjust the radiator shutters angle if it is necessary
- When range to the airfield is 4...5 kilometers: start a 180° turn to the left for course 318° which will line you up for landing, bank angle is 30°
- During the turn control the airplane’s nose position over the horizon, vertical speed =0 m/s, altitude =400m, speed =300 km/h, landing course =318° approaching
 
Part 4: Final approach and landing
- When 3rd turn is finished: set Throttle to 0%
- When speed is less than 300 km/h: extend landing gear
- Pay attention to vertical speed =0 m/s, altitude =400 m
- When speed is less than 250 km/h: extend flaps to maximum
- When speed is 220 km/h: push the throttle to 80% to maintain this speed
- When runway distance is 2.5 km: set Throttle to Idle, push nose down a little lower than the runway threshold
- Descend to the runway beginning at 210...200 km/h, in best case the throttle should be at idle during descent
- When altitude is 30...50m: start to slightly pull up the nose to reduce speed while the plane slowly sinks towards the runway
- Move your view point to the left, keep your eye on the ground to the left of the nose, feel the altitude slowly decrease
- When altitude is almost zero: keep flying while losing speed and pulling the nose up, but don't allow the plane to climb
- Touchdown: keep rolling straight forward, keep your eye on a point or object far ahead (a tree, a building, a cloud and so on)
- When speed is 100 km/h: pull the stick fully backward, hold your brakes, keep rolling straight forward
- When the plane has stopped: retract the flaps, open the canopy, taxi to taxiway at 20...40 km/h
- Move out from the runway by the closest taxiway, perform taxi to parking area at 20 km/h, turn off the engine
 
Specific flying notes in the case of head wind:
- In case of head wind there is no difference in case of calm winds on take-off
- In case of head wind you got to start descending to the runway a bit later and keep descend aiming point a bit further
- No difference in touchdown and braking in case of calm winds
 
Specific flying notes in the case of wind from the left:
- Take off requires less left pedal pushing in the case of wind blowing from the left, in the case of 12 m/s it's becomes unnecessary to use the pedals to stay straight
- Airfield should be seen to the right from the airplane nose all the way of approach
- There are slower winds at lower altitudes, so wind-compensation nose side-angle to airfield should decrease when airplane is descending
- Airplane should perform a smooth touchdown to prevent circling
- Rudder should be a bit pressed to the right before touchdown to decrease skidding
- If airplane have touched down smoothly than maximum attention should be put on keeping the direction using far-away landmarks
- It's not recommended to land the airplane in conditions of cross-wind more than 5 m/s
 
Specific flying notes in the case of wind from the right:
- Take-off becomes harder in case of wind blowing from the right and requires more left rudder deflection
- It's not recommended to takeoff in right wind more than 5 m/s conditions
- Airfield should be seen to the left from the airplane nose all the way of approach
- There are slower winds at lower altitudes, so wind-compensation nose side-angle to airfield should decrease when airplane is descending
- Airplane should to perform a smooth touchdown to prevent circling
- Rudder should be a bit pressed to the left right before the touchdown to decrease skidding
- If airplane have touched down smoothly than maximum attention should be put on keeping the direction using far-away landmarks
- It's not recommended to land the airplane in conditions of cross-wind more than 5 m/s
 

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  • 52

IL-2 STURMOVIK development manager


#140 AnPetrovich

AnPetrovich
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Posted 03 November 2016 - 09:43

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Hi pilots! :salute:

Today I am honored of carrying our weekly developer diaries duty, and I am pleased to share with you the news about our work on the IL-2 BoS/BoM/BoK physics model.

Usually the "1C Game Studios" engineering department conducts parallel developments on several fronts. This past week has been no exception.

The first news I would like to tell you is that we have completed work on the development of the physics model for the Yak-1b 127 series, and now the aircraft is under internal "factory" testing. We plan to pass it to our beta testers in about a week.

Historically, the Yak-1b ser.127 was the result of systematic refinement and improvement of the Yak-1 during its serial production. The main external difference between 127th and the early series is the lack of fairing and a new teardrop-shaped canopy that provides a good view to the rear:

Yak1b_02.jpg Yak1b_03.jpg

A bulletproof visor was installed to the front of the cockpit canopy. The pilot's back was covered by armored plate and a block of armored glass.

This aircraft got a new propeller - the VISh-105 instead of the VISh-61, which allowed the engine to develop full RPM at low airspeed. It slightly reduced the takeoff distance of the aircraft. Simultaneously, the propeller control changed; instead of a separate wheel it became a handle located next to the throttle handle so that both handles could be moved together with one hand.

To simplify the airframe and speed production, it was decided to abandon the rudder trim and aileron trim. Instead of the trims, adjustment plates were installed. The aircraft became a little lighter and its pressurization was improved. The shape of intake collector was changed. The exhaust pipes were covered by additional plates and the tail landing gear could now be raised in flight. All these changes reduced the aerodynamic drag of the aircraft and increased its top speed by 15-20 kmh. However, the climb rate and the turn time remained almost the same.

Also, the engine cooling system was modified. Now the radiator shutters were able to open wider than the previous Yaks shutters could. The downside of this refinement was an increase of the drag when the radiator shutters are fully open.

In addition, a new scheme of the tail wheel locking was implemented. The manual lock control was removed, and the wheel automatically became free when pushing the pedals more than three-quarter deflection. It simplified taxiing, but the plane became "stricter" on the takeoff and landing.

The aircraft’s armament was also improved: instead of two small ShKAS guns, a large-caliber UBS gun with 220 rounds of ammunition was installed. However, installing rockets into the plane was refused, and only aircraft ordered by the Air Defense Forces were equipped with the landing light.

Lots of minor improvements which appeared in the Yak-1 serial production all together significantly improved its fighting qualities. We hope that as soon as our beta-testing is finished, all the pilots who have already pre-ordered it will come to see that.

Yak1b_01_en.jpg

Coming back to the most important results last week’s work on the aircraft physics model in IL-2 BoS/BoM/BoK, I would like to emphasize the fact that we finally managed to complete an important research carried out under a physics model further development task, announced back in 120th developer’s diary. We were able to establish the root cause of some excessive roll reactions of our aircrafts on the rudder. Oddly enough, we reached the proper behavior of the aircraft through more detailed modeling of the fuselage aerodynamics. By the way, I never cease to be surprised at how bizarre and sometimes non-trivial relationships of aerodynamics and flight dynamics are woven together, when the solution of the problem in the end is not quite where you expected it to be. Nevertheless, we have conducted a number of internal experiments with one of the airplanes, and they showed very good results: the ailerons deviation for slip compensation significantly reduced, the aircraft has acquired the ability to perform deep coordinated sideslip, including at low airspeeds, which is useful on final approach. And when pushing the pedal with the fixed stick the aircraft instead of performing a roll begin to fall into a bank putting the nose down.

The successful completion of this research will enable us to further refine the behavior of our aircrafts on these flight regimes. However, the implementation of this research results for all aircrafts in IL-2 BoS/BoM/BoK requires a lot of time. We hope to have this opportunity during 2017.

Another interesting subject we touched during last week was an additional investigation of the MiG-3 behavior on its landing gear. The work has been initiated after a heated debate in the Russian-speaking community about the safe landing complexity of the MiG-3, especially in the crosswind conditions. As you remember, in the previous diary Daniel gave a very detailed instruction on how to perform an aerodrome circuit-circling flight in the MiG-3, and he even recorded a training video. However, many of our pilots continue to experience difficulties learning this aircraft, and we certainly cannot ignore it.

It should be recognized that average level virtual pilots can land MiG-3 in calm conditions with no problems. However, the series of landings in the crosswind conditions may indeed not always be carried out with guaranteed safe outcome, even when piloted by experienced virtual pilots. I was contemplating whether the real MiG-3 was that difficult on takeoff and landing or the reason lies in the malfunctioning of our physics model? And frankly, I do not have a solid belief in any of these versions. I guess that using MiG-3 at the Air Forces could lead to fairly frequent incidents on takeoffs and landings, and there really is such historical evidence.

Nevertheless, we decided to double-check the landing gear model of MiG-3 again and try to tune the settings (outside of those unknown to us) that could improve stability and control of the aircraft when moving on the ground. In particular, as an experiment, we changed the settings of the tail gear damper. Also, according to the newly found photographs we adjusted the angle of the tail landing gear which determines the angle of the tail wheel turning axis. In addition, we increased the tire pressure of the main landing gears from 3.2 atm to 3.5 atm which provided the parking tires compression of 44 mm while the reference range is 40 to 50 mm. This set of tunings lead to reducing the MiG-3 turning radius when taxiing on the ground, at the same time making "softer" the response of turning tail wheel on pedals deviation. Will it simplify takeoff and landing on MiG-3? We will get the answer to this question after doing some special tests, which we intend to carry out in the nearest future, not excluding the help of our beta-testers.

During the past week we also continued to work on optimizing simplification of the AI operated aircrafts physics model. At the moment, in a test version of the game we have one and a half times more AI aircrafts in the mission. We are not satisfied with the result yet, so the work continues.

In addition, we are most actively working now on the Ju-52 physics model. This aircraft is scheduled to be released in December.

In connection with the completion of work on the Yak-1b ser.127 we have already started to work on the physics model of Bf-109 G4. This is a very convenient moment to respond to the community requests about additional characteristics verification of the propellers used on the various series of Messerschmitt Bf-109. In particular, the Bf-109’s ability to "hang on the prop" causes our concern and we would like to double-check everything attentively.

Therefore, as a part of this task we have a counter-favor to ask our community to help us to find the original German (or any other) sources with the aerodynamic characteristics of DVL series propellers, or VDM propeller particularly. In our work we have been forced to use the DVL propeller data taken from Soviet sources as we did not find anything better. We fully admit that the recalculating of propeller characteristics using our current curves could give incorrect results. Therefore, we very much hope for your help in finding the original DVL (VDM) diagrams like this:

Prop_1.jpg
Prop_2.jpg
Prop_3.jpg Prop_4.jpg

This is, probably, all news for today from 1CGS Aviation Engineer Group. I hope it was interesting for you to have a look into our shop. As for us, we will continue to do everything possible to make you excited about raising digital historical reconstructions of the legendary fighter planes into a virtual sky, and enjoying the flight, just as if it was real.

November has set in and we have the first snow on the ground here in Moscow last week. The smell of winter is clearly felt in the cold air, but it is hot as usual in the "IL-2" flaming skies over Stalingrad and Moscow. And to throw some firewood into the bonfire to make sure our pilots are not getting bored waiting for the arrival of a new war machine to the front, I would like to conclude by sharing with you the official set of Yak-1b 127 series color schemes.

See you in the "IL-2" sky!

Yak1b_skin_00.jpg Yak1b_skin_01.jpg
Yak1b_skin_02.jpg Yak1b_skin_03.jpg
Yak1b_skin_04.jpg Yak1b_skin_05.jpg
Yak1b_skin_06.jpg Yak1b_skin_07.jpg
Yak1b_skin_08.jpg Yak1b_skin_09.jpg
Yak1b_skin_10.jpg Yak1b_skin_11.jpg

 
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  • 58

#141 Han

Han
  • Project manager
  • Posts: 584
  • Location:Moscow

Posted 10 November 2016 - 07:10

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Hello Everybody,
 
This week we started beta testing of version 2.005 that will bring Yak-1b Series 127 Collector Plane. The testing goes well and we hope that we we'll be able to release the new version (and the Collector Plane to those who pre-purchased it) next week. We'd like to remind you that Yak-1b Series 127 pre-order offer is still in effect, including 25% OFF discount and a unique skin that will be available only to customers who pre-purchased it. The Pre-order offer is valid until the release of this plane, so if you considered getting it please don't postpone your decision.
 
Yak1b.jpg
 
Moreover, work on the first aircraft for Battle of Kuban, a new Messerschmidt modification the Bf 109 G-4, is progressing well. Today we are ready to show you the official skins of this plane, which, by the way, were painstakingly created by talented community member I./ZG1_Panzerbar. We valued his advice before and now we decided to try a new level of cooperation:
 
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09.jpg 10.jpg
 
It's also important to note that we finished DirectX 11 alpha testing and the main bulk of debugging work required for this transition and we plan to start implementing the already prepared and tested changes into the main game branch immediately after the version 2.005 release. Therefore, if all goes well, we hope to release version 2.006 in December with DirectX 11 support included. There is a chance that unforeseen issues could postpone DX11 launch, but so far, everything goes according to plan and we hope that nothing will interfere with it. At launch, there will be no real visible difference in the graphical appearance of the product. Any possible future improvements to scene rendering or special effects will have to come later after further research and experimentation. Our most important goal for DX11 was to improve performance of our current scene rendering and support for VR development.
 

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IL-2 STURMOVIK development manager


#142 Gavrick

Gavrick
  • Developer
  • Posts: 42

Posted 24 November 2016 - 08:53

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140

 

Hello Everybody,
 
My name is Roman and I'm one of the Aerodynamics/Software Engineers for the IL-2 Sturmovik project. I create aircraft flight models together with my colleagues. I worked on the Yak-1b series 127 which was just released and now I work on the Bf-109 G-4, but I'd like to tell you about our plans in the medium term regarding the Fw-190. We'll begin working on the Fw-190 A-5 relatively soon, at the end of winter, and when we do that we’ll have a chance to also correct the existing Fw-190 A-3 flight model, taking all the data we have recently acquired into account. 
 
The aircraft we recreate in our sim flew more than 70 years ago and this is a long time. Aviation historians have written many books on this aircraft in general. However, many original documents were either lost or there is no way to access them in government archives where they are kept. That's why such documents are interesting for us and sometimes are found only after the work on a plane in question is already finished. Such documents are needed to correct flight model after release and sometimes when we use data from those documents they introduce significant changes.
 
When we were working on Fw-190 A-3 we didn't have data that could allow us to pinpoint its stall speed and maximum lift coefficient, two directly linked values. We didn't have its wind tunnel data and the maximum lift coefficient calculated from the wing profile somewhat differs from its value on the real aircraft. Also, its stall speed wasn't clearly given in the reports we had. For example, the flight manual mentioned the landing speed with flaps and a rough estimate of its landing speed increase without flaps, but these values can give only an approximate stall speed. The stall speed was mentioned in the British report on captured aircraft flight tests - but the mass of the aircraft, an important parameter for calculating the maximum lift coefficient using the stall speed, was omitted from that report. 
 
Last year some new data appeared on the Internet - excerpts from the Fw-190 Chalai-Meudon wind tunnel data report. We used this data directly and reduced the maximum lift coefficient to 1.17 as it was given in this report. This turned out to be a mistake as some people on our forums suggested. The mistake was verified by the full report, kindly submitted by the community member II/JG17_ SchwarzeDreizehn. The summary graphs of this report did not take into account the flow disturbances and the relatively low flow speed in the tunnel, which lowered the maximum lift coefficient results.
 
At the moment, we continue to analyze the data we have in hand. Our estimate of the Fw-190 maximum lift coefficient is now 1.3-1.4. Increasing the maximum lift coefficient will also increase the maximum angle of attack. Pitch range of the flight stick till stall will be widened, making the aircraft easier to handle.
 
The Fw-190 had an unusual wing warp as proven by documents which were found thanks to the community’s help, however, these documents have slight discrepancies. Changing this warp will result in different stall behavior, it's likely to become 'softer', but only after flying the corrected plane in the game can this be tested.
 
The main performance characteristics - speed and climb rate - should remain the same.
 
We would like to thank all the people who helped us in the search for additional documents. II/JG17_SchwarzeDreizehn, JtD, II/JG11ATLAN, JG13_opcode and all others who kept the discussion polite and constructive - it's a pleasure to communicate with you and recreate the aviation history in our sim together!
 
To finish the today's Dev Diary, we'll show you the corrected and newly added Fw-190 A-3 skins made by paintjob devotee I./ZG1_Panzerbar who we continue to work with:
 
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#143 Han

Han
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  • Location:Moscow

Posted 08 December 2016 - 13:02

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Hello Everybody,
 
Last week was an important one for the project - it was the first week of the new beta version test that includes all the major optimizations tied to the DirectX 11 transition. Our expectations turned out to be true: while FPS in simple scenes (i.e. you're flying alone and there are no other objects around) hasn't changed much, FPS in complex scenes, which were the most problematic from the performance point of view, increased by 2 - 2.5 times. Such complex scenes include dogfights with many planes, taxiing and taking off from crowded airfields with many aircraft and other objects in the scene. This news is really good for us, because now we're confident that the huge resources and effort spent for implementing the newer version of DirectX has paid off in full and brought good results. As Jason said in the TeamSpeak event, we are hopeful the increased performance can allow us to also further improve the visuals over time without a large impact on performance.
 
Now we are finishing the implementation with the help of our beta testers who confirm the results we're seeing. Next, we plan to spend 1-2 months creating new technologies required for the Kuban map - 3D sea, mountain slopes and other features tied to its landscape. After this, but before the end of winter, we plan to release the update with better VR support for Oculus Rift and HTC Vive.
 
This week we also opened pre-orders for our first scripted historical campaign called Ten Days of Autumn. This campaign brings the classic gameplay valued by genre veterans – a historical campaign made of scripted scenarios. The significant improvement from a similar mode presented in our earlier Rise of Flight is that anyone familiar with Mission Editor can create and distribute Campaigns and it will include the ability to use media such as images and videos to tell the story. If anyone wants to create a Campaign and distribute it freely, he or she can do this without our assistance. However, if you have the talent to create a really good, complex and engaging campaign then you can earn money from selling it using the same protection system we use for official campaigns.
 
Our first official scripted campaign Ten Days of Autumn is made by the famous Alexander =BlackSix= Timoshkov, who made similar campaigns that were distributed via discs for IL-2: 1946. Ten Days of Autumn tells the story of a German pilot from 3./JG 52 squadron during the Battle of Moscow and consists of 15 historical scenarios flown with the Bf-109 F-2.
 
The first new plane from Battle of Kuban, the Bf-109 G-4, is almost ready for release. It is also in beta-testing at the moment. We're also finishing the Ju-52 3mg4e as well. The special technologies required for it are being finalized. The air-dropped supply containers are ready. We're creating three additional mission types for the current Campaign mode that will be available to Ju-52 owners - special squad parachute drop behind enemy lines, cargo container air-drop and cargo delivery to an airfield. There is a popular question in the community about whether it would be possible to remove the defense turret from the plane or not? The answer is yes, it is possible to get a civilian Ju-52 by removing the turret modification.
 
Developing Ju-52 required us to improve the special mission object Translator Complex Trigger. It is now fully functional and opens up new possibilities for mission designers. It can track new events like cargo unloading at an airfield and squad or cargo air-drops. This allows for more interesting multiplayer missions.  For example, capture of an airfield may be scripted when enough paratroopers are dropped near it. Or a mission designer can unlock new loadouts for aircraft at an airfield after successful cargo delivery by Ju-52’s or activate AAA batteries or mechanized columns after successful cargo drops in their areas (like vital supplies were delivered). Because of these additions, old track recordings will stop working and to load user made missions you need to delete their binary files (*.msnbin) and re-save them in the new Mission Editor. If you used the Complex Trigger in your missions, you'll also need to replace all CheckEntities entries with CheckPlanes in the .mission file.
 
The Ju-52 3mg4e turned out to be an interesting plane. Its design represents the transitional period between the wars (1920-1930’s) where new designs and increasing technology led to experimentation with some odd results. For instance, the main landing gear wheel brakes are engaged by moving left or right engine throttles back behind low throttle limiters. So, to brake the left wheel you'll need to move the left engine throttle all the way back. Moving the central engine throttle all the way back will engage brakes for both wheels. The plane is also equipped with a tail wheel parking brake.
 
The second interesting feature of this aircraft is that the flaps are operated using the same handle as the adjustable stabilizer. However, it is possible to unlink these controls and adjust the stabilizer without touching the flaps. There is a stabilizer control flywheel in the pilot’s cabin that is always linked mechanically to the stabilizer and the additional flaps link handle that connects the flaps to the same flywheel. Therefore, pilot can either use this flywheel to control only the stabilizer or the stabilizer and the flaps simultaneously.
 
Before taking off, the pilot sets the stabilizer to flight position, engages the link and then moves the flaps to take-off position, simultaneously setting the stabilizer to take-off position as well. When airborne, pilot retracts the flaps, unlinks these controls and adjusts the stabilizer only, finding a balanced position to minimize the control column force. Before landing, the pilot engages the link again and sets both the flaps and the stabilizer to the landing position. It is important to note that it is possible to render the system inoperable by deviating from this order so it won't be able to control either the stabilizer or the flaps. For example, if pilot the pitches the stabilizer all the way up with flaps retracted and then engages the link, the flywheel will be blocked because the fully turned down stabilizer and fully retracted flaps won't allow it to turn either way.
 
The third interesting feature is an unusual manual oil temperature control that works differently than in later aircraft, where the pilot controls the oil radiator shutters hence adjusting the cooling effect of the rushing air. On the Ju-52, the airflow in the oil radiator can't be controlled. The oil temperature is controlled by turning a valve that regulates the ratio between oil going through the radiator and oil that goes through a bypass pipe. This is somewhat similar to water heat regulation designs in modern car engines, but the ratio on the Ju-52 is controlled manually, not automatically.
 
The fourth interesting feature is the cute, but archaic looking design of some of its instruments and controls. Some examples being the engine cowl shutters and oil valves that look like handles for water faucets and the mechanical fuel and oil float level gauges that also look out of place in “high-tech” WWII. 
 
By the way, don't miss out on the 25% Off pre-order special for the Ju-52 which expires upon release! The pre-order offer also includes a special skin. If you are interested in purchasing it don't hold until last minute or you may miss out!
 
We hope that this unique workhorse of WWII will reward you with hours of fun while you learn its peculiarities flying new and challenging mission types. 
 
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IL-2 STURMOVIK development manager


#144 Han

Han
  • Project manager
  • Posts: 584
  • Location:Moscow

Posted 23 December 2016 - 13:29

142

Hello Everybody, 
 
This month was very hard for us, but productive. We managed to release the huge update 2.006 on time and to include all the improvements we planned for it. As we expected, such amount of deep changes resulted in several 'teething problems' but thanks to the team’s hard work and community’s help we quickly solved the most important ones. We'll fix the remaining ones in time.
 
As we announced earlier, today's Developer Diary is dedicated to creating scripted campaigns and how you can do it. A Scripted Campaign is a sequence of missions a player should complete one after another. These missions are usually hand-crafted and not created by a generator. Missions for the campaign are created in the Mission Editor (many of you are already familiar with it) just like regular single or multiplayer missions. A campaign mission doesn't differ from a single mission much - it must contain a special TRA_Objective trigger with player coalition specified and Success property for a Primary Objective. This trigger must be 'pinged' when the player does something you consider as mission success, then the next mission in the sequence will become available to fly. By default, at mission start, this property is not set. By the way, you can set the mission status to failed even after making it successful - you can 'ping' another TRA_Objective trigger with this property set to Failed.
 
The second difference between a Campaign and Single Missions is that the mission type must be set in its properties so it would be recognized as a Campaign mission. You need to set mission type to Campaign so it won't be displayed in single missions list (which islocated in data\Missions\ folder), but will be visible in a campaign missions list (in data\Campaigns\<CustomCampaignFolder>\ folder).
 
In addition, the folder of your campaign should contain these files:
 
1. info.txt - main config file
2. info.locale=***.txt - campaign text description in different languages (*** - eng/rus/ger/spa/fra/pol). If you don't have translation for certain language, don't include the text file for it, simple.
3. campaign.png - campaign cover picture shown in Scripted Campaigns menu (420x420 pixels)
4. **.Mission - mission in text format created by Mission Editor (** - mission number in sequence, for example, 09). These files are optional and you can delete them when you're distributing the campaign.
5. **.msnbin - mission in binary format created by Mission Editor (** - mission number in sequence, for example, 09)
6. **.eng/rus/ger/spa/fra/pol - texts for each mission (mission title, briefing, subtitles, map icon names) in different languages (** - mission number in sequence, for example, 09)
7. **.settings - config files for each mission (** - mission number in sequence, for example, 09)
8. **.png - mission title picture shown on the campaign screen when you select a mission, 940x500 pixels (** - mission number in sequence, for example, 09)
9. **.coalition=*.tactics - (optional) vector image containing tactical overlay for a mission (** - mission number in sequence, for example, 09, * - player coalition, 1 for Allies, 2 for Axis Powers).
 
Now let's go in detail. The main config file info.txt contains these parameters:
 
1. &order=* - campain position relative to other ones in the list (paid campaigns will show up first anyway)
2. &free=* - set it to 1 if you distribute a campaign for free and to 0 if it must exist in player account to be available
3. &tows=* - required theatres of war divided by commas (BoS = 1, BoM = 2, BoK = 3). Player aircraft used in the campaign must be included in these ToWs (for example, campaign that is taking place on Stalingrad maps, but where player should pilot MiG-3, should have this parameter set to &tows=1,2)
4. &planes=* - Collector Planes required by the campaign (player should be able to fly these planes) divided by commas (for example, &planes=luascripts/worldobjects/planes/la5s8.txt,luascripts/worldobjects/planes/yak1s127.txt). This is the current list of Collector Planes:
luascripts/worldobjects/planes/la5s8.txt
luascripts/worldobjects/planes/fw190a3.txt
luascripts/worldobjects/planes/p40e1.txt
luascripts/worldobjects/planes/mc202s8.txt
luascripts/worldobjects/planes/yak1s127.txt
luascripts/worldobjects/planes/ju523mg4e.txt
5. &missionsAmount=* - total missions amount in the campaign
6. &showFutureMissionsNames=* - set it to 1 to show names of not yet unlocked missions and to 0 to hide them
7. &showFutureMissionsDescriptions=* set it to 1 to show descriptions of not yet unlocked missions and to 0 to hide them
 
Config file **.settings allows campaign designer to impose restrictions for each mission:
 
1. &lockAmmoSchemes=* - set it to 1 to allow only the preset weapons loadout or to 0 to allow player to choose
2. &lockPaintSchemes=* - set it to 1 to allow only the preset skin for a player aircraft or to 0 to allow player to choose
3. &lockFuelAmount=*  - set it to 1 to allow only the preset fuel amount for a player aircraft or to 0 allow player to choose
 
It is also possible to create a map overlay for each mission with enemy positions and other info drawn on top of the navigation map:
 
This map overlay is stored in *.tactics files which are basically SWF format files created in Adobe Flash. So you need to create SWF format files in Adobe Flash and then rename them from *.SWF to *.tactics.
They should be named like this: 02.coalition=1.tactics, where 02 is the mission number in sequence and 1 is player coalition ID (1 are Allies and 2 are Axis).
 
SWF file requirements
 
You need to set the size of SWF file area so it will have one pixel per 200 meters on the game map. For example, Moscow map is 281600 x 281600 meters, so you need to create an SWF file with 1408 x 1408 pixels working area.
The file shouldn't contain fonts, they must be converted to curves.
All the lines should be converted to Fills.
Intersecting objects must be made a single object if you don't want for intersection to be visible.
The file may contain groups, movie clips and layers for easier work.
Timeline should contain a single frame.
 
Overlay design recommendations
 
Allied forces are light blue - #006CAB
Enemy forces are red - #930808
Don't use translucency for main objects like front lines, arrows, text, symbols.
Use 9% translucent object to show a controlled area.
Use 13% translucent object to show a special area.
Use PF DinDisplay Pro font for text.
Please take a look at a sample file for Adobe Flash.
Attached File  tactics_sample.fla.zip   762.43KB   108 downloads
 
Tactical map overlay sizes for existing maps
 
Stalingrad - 1792 Х 1344
Lapino - 256 Х 256
Moscow - 1408 Х 1408 
Velikiye Luki - 832 Х 624
Novosokolniki - 256 Х 256
 
Finally, here's how you can distribute your campaign in the community.
 
To distribute a free campaign, just zip the folder containing your campaign (data\Campaigns\<YourCampaignFolder>\) and put it anywhere on the forum, web, etc. Players should unzip it into their data\Campaigns\ folder and they are set.
 
If you want to sell your campaign:
 
1. Make sure you don't give mission files to anyone who can distribute them for free.
2. Make sure your campaign is good enough and other players would pay money for it. 1CGS reserves the right to not sell every Campaign produced.
3. Contact Producer Jason Williams via personal message (https://forum.il2stu...jason_williams/), preferably even before starting the work on the campaign and reach an agreement on all the details required for selling it.
4. Copy protected campaign can be created just like a free one, but requires mandatory testing in cooperation with our team, protecting mission files and adding it to our account system.
5. Copy protected campaign can be distributed like a free one (an separate installer containing protected mission files instead of unprotected ones) or can be included in official updates (this depends on agreement between campaign author and our Producer).
6. All payware Campaigns must be sold through our online store. 
 
A sample campaign is provided in .zip file attached to this post for your reference:
Attached File  Example_Campaign_Extract_To_Data_Folder.zip   4.21MB   373 downloads
 
We plan to improve Scripted Campaign mode in the future, adding ability to playback audio and video files in mission briefiengs, interactive dialogs during a mission and other interesting features. We hope that this new mode will attract talented mission designers to all the community benefit.
 
142_Ju52.jpg
 
 

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IL-2 STURMOVIK development manager


#145 Han

Han
  • Project manager
  • Posts: 584
  • Location:Moscow

Posted 29 December 2016 - 14:24

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Hello everyone,
 
the year 2016 is almost ended. This year was full of news, for our product too. For us, it was hard, but very productive. The main result of this year for us is, of course, the start of the work on the next theatre of war. Update 2.006, which we recently released, was also a big improvement. Right now we are developing the new Career mode, Spitfire, Boston, He 111 H-16, IL-2 model 1943 and Fw 190 A-5 3D models and flight models of Bf 110 G-2 and Fw 190 A-5 (including the flight model correction for Fw 190 A-3 we promised). 3-dimensional sea waves technology is being adopted from Rise of Flight and simultaneously improved. We're also making a new graphics technique for realistic looking steep rock slopes for mountains, while additional objects for Battle of Kuban map are almost done. Today we can show you WIP screenshots of Supermarine Spitfire Mk.VВ:
 
SpitfireMkVb_1.jpg SpitfireMkVb_3.jpg SpitfireMkVb_4.jpg
 
We would like to tell you a short story about how we managed to have a great fun in multiplayer spending only a hour online.
 
Today two of us (Han and Gavrick) decided to light up the grey shades of the pre-New Year Moscow working days and fly a couple of sorties online on Expert difficulty level. We joined one of the multiplayer servers and chose a convenient target - a warehouse some distance behind the enemy lines.
 
We decided to fly two subsequent missions. First one on Yak-1b fighters to recon the target and determine the best bomb load and approach course and then a second one on Pe-2 series 87 bombers to destroy the chosen target.
 
After the first takeoff on Yak-1b fighters we climbed to 2500 meters, continued straight to the target and found out that while the enemy AAA is present, its defensive fire cover isn't too tight and we should be able to bomb the target from medium altitude. We also decided to make a bombing run on 20° course. During this recon flight we kept the speed at maximum (more than 500 km/h) and constantly altered direction to evade AAA fire.
 
Two enemy fighters appeared when we were about to return. One of them engaged wingman Gavrick, while the second one circled at some distance. However since we kept the maximum speed, we managed to sandwich the first fighter and damage it, then we decided to escape ASAP and return to our airfield. It is interesting to note that the second fighter did not engage, which made us think that the main enemy force is on its way. We managed to return to home airfield and suddenly Gavrick kill score increased by 1, meaning that the damaged fighter did not make it.
 
01_01.jpg 01_02.jpg
 
For the second mission we chose Pe-2 series 87 bombers carrying 4 FAB-250 bombs and half of the maximum amount of fuel each. After taking off we cautiously flew far around the main battle area and set a course for the bombing run at 30 km to the target at 4000 m altitude. Wingman Gavrick followed the flight leader Han closely while Han was searching for the target and setting the bombsight. Flight leader dropped 4 bombs in one salvo with 0.25 seconds delay between them and ordered the wingman, who was following slightly behind and to the left of the flight leader, to drop one second after him. This allowed for a wide impact pattern and the warehouse was damaged very seriously. The bombers, each one is 1 ton lighter than before, turned around while descending and begun the home run on full throttle.
 
02_01.jpg 02_02.jpg 02_03.jpg
 
Having achieved 600 km/h speed while descending, we managed to break away from any pursuers, but one Messerschmitt catched us near our airfield when we lost the extra speed. He went for the wingman first, but a joint defensive fire from two bombers forced him to break off. On the second attempt, he engaged the flight leader and scored hits at fuel tanks and left engine radiator. Thankfully, when the fighter was aiming for a final blow, a lucky burst from one of the defensive turrets detonated his ammo.
 
03_01.jpg 03_02.jpg 03_03.jpg
 
Flight leader aircraft, leaking fuel and looking like Swiss cheese, begun the landing approach with the wingman following him at less than 1 km distance. We made it to the airfield, but at the end of the landing approach we saw Yak-1 which was taxiing to runway right before our landing bombers. Fuel was leaking from the flight leader aircraft like Niagara falls and going around could end up badly, so Han shoot the forward MG in front of the taxiing Yak. After another burst the Yak-1 stopped and the bomber pair landed and ended the flight successfully.
 
04_01.jpg 04_02.jpg
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We would like to wish you even more captivating and interesting moments both in multiplayer and singleplayer modes of the sim. We must say that when you try to follow your role and complete a certain tactical task instead of flying right into a dogfight furball hoping to score some kills, the combat flight simming becomes much more interesting.
 
We wish you good and interesting flights in the coming New Year 2017!
 

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IL-2 STURMOVIK development manager


#146 Han

Han
  • Project manager
  • Posts: 584
  • Location:Moscow

Posted 13 January 2017 - 11:59

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144

 
Hello everybody,
 
the holidays here have ended and we continue working on Battle of Kuban. Soon we'll start beta testing the next plane in its planeset, twin engine strike aircraft Bf 110 G-2, and now we can show you its screenshots:
 
01.jpg 02.jpg
03.jpg 04.jpg
 
Our artists are finishing German bomber He 111 H-16 3D model. We must say that its development turned out to be somewhat harder than we expected. Its rear cabin was created anew and there are significant changes in the pilots cabin. But as it is always so, what is harder for us to make is more interesting for you to fly :) Here's one screenshot of its almost finished cockpit:
 
He111H16.jpg
 
Other good news came from AMD and NVidia, they responded to our questions regarding some of their video card models. NVidia confirmed that NVidia 780 driver restarts while using 37x.xxx or newer drivers will be fixed. AMD is investigating the particle issue on newer AMD video cards (which we temprorarily fixed by removing one of the optimization techniques), hopefully it will also be fixed soon.
 
We also want to tell you that we almost finished the physics and AI systems optimization. We succeeded in increasing these AI aircraft flight calculations performance slightly more than two times. Since we already have upped AI aircraft physics performance while on the ground by 3 times earlier, we and you will be able to create scenarios containing twice the amount of aircraft as before. Currently this optimization is planned to be added to the public version in February or March, in update after the next one.
 
We still have almost a year to go, but considering we have met all the milestones in time last year makes us confident that all Battle of Kuban will be released on time as well.
 

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IL-2 STURMOVIK development manager


#147 Gavrick

Gavrick
  • Developer
  • Posts: 42

Posted 20 January 2017 - 18:22

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145

 
Hello everyone,
 
Fw 190 A-3 flight model revision that we promised long time ago is nearly finished.
 
As we pointed earlier, flight model tuning in a sim is always a task of aircraft reconstruction with many unknown variables. Part of the data is missing and some values are just plain wrong, sometimes directly contradicting each other. And sometimes the missing data appears when an aircraft is released, that's why we need to correct FM sometimes. So, what will be changed in Fw 190 A-3 soon:
 
- Wing twist has been changed. The wing root had 2 degrees angle of incidence that was steadily reduced to 0 degrees at two thirds of the wing span. Because of this, stall at high angles of attack will begin near the wing root and not on the entire wing surface at once, resulting in 'softer stalling';
- Aircraft center of mass position has been corrected (it was shifted forward by several centimeters);
- Critical angle of attack and maximum lift coefficient increased. Stall speed of the aircraft decreased to 175 km/h;
- Drag at high angles of attack decreased thanks to lift/drag curve data of a trophy aircraft tests in VVS Research Institute;
- Propeller thrust decreased somewhat. Takeoff run of the aircraft with standard loadout is roughly 500 meters and takes 18 seconds, which corresponds to historical data.
 
Because of these changes, aircraft handling changed slightly. It stalls differently. Spending fuel affects its center-of-gravity position more. A pilot would need to use the entire range of the adjustable stabilizer depending on the flight mode for comfort handling. In the same time, aircraft speed and climb rate remained almost the same.
 
Meanwhile, we continue work on Fw 190 A-5. While being very similar to Fw 190 А-3 visually, it will have significantly different features and pecularities in loadouts and handling.
 
190.jpg
 

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  • 62

#148 Han

Han
  • Project manager
  • Posts: 584
  • Location:Moscow

Posted 27 January 2017 - 18:35

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Hello everybody,
 
another hard working week has passed. Since we finished physics optimizations for AI controlled aircraft, AI revision for all the planes in the game was mandatory. During this revision, their piloting and attack maneuvers were improved in many ways. As the direct result of this, update 2.007 will bring not only the double performance level of AI controlled aircraft (meaning that the same number of AI planes will require twice less CPU time), but also the improved quality of AIs - there will be a lot less jerky movements, AI handling will be more fluid.
 
Fw 190 A-3 physics revision is finished and will be included in 2.007 update as well.
 
Our artists have finished He 111 H-16 3D model and its weaponry is already recreated in the sim, including the German 13mm MG 131 machine gun which is new for our project. You can see the accuracy of its bullet flight modeling on the following graphs:
 
AP.jpg HE.jpg
 
The new He 111 H-16 looks even more interesting and deadly than its predecessor. The main advantage of its defensive weaponry is the fact that all its machine guns (excluding the nose gun) are belt fed. 13 mm belt fed machine gun firing both armor piercing and high explosive rounds is very dangerous for enemy fighters. The bottom fire pit with twin barreled MG-81Z machine gun provides a good defence in the lower hemisphere. Two bomb bay doors allow for a very large payload of small and medium sized bombs. Pilot cabin instrument panel alignment was also changed for a better view of the front hemisphere.
 
01.jpg 02.jpg
 
03.jpg
04.jpg
05.jpg
 
In addition, we finished the Bf 110 G-2 development and start its beta testing today. This means that 2.007 update will bring this plane and other announced additions to your PCs prety soon.
 

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  • 70

IL-2 STURMOVIK development manager


#149 Han

Han
  • Project manager
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Posted 03 February 2017 - 13:01

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Hello everybody!
 
Having released 2.007 update this week, we work on the next one. He 111 H-16 and Fw 190 A-5 flight models are being developed simultaneously. New A-5 model Focke-Wulf turns out to be an interesting platform, primarily because of the abundance of its weapon systems. For once, if you choose twin MG 151/20 gondolas you'll get six 20mm guns firing forward, resuting in a most powerful firing salvo in our sim. In addition, there will be a possibility to select Fw 190 A-5/U-17 strike loadout that includes additional armor protecting the engine and fuselage bottom, four additional underwing holders for SC 50 bombs and, most importantly, boost system that allows 1.65 ATA. Thanks to additional fuel injection into the overcharger intake, the engine can work for a prolonged amount of time in this mode, much longer that it can work in 1.42 ATA take-off mode without boost. However, this boost is effective only at low altitudes (less than 1 km), highlighting the primary use of this loadout as a ground strike craft.
 
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In addition, we developed a tech that allows altering engine modes by selected aircraft modifications - the new La-5 modification that we'll add is M-82F engine that can work in 2400 RPM mode with 1140 mmHg pressure for an unlimited amount of time. The default M-82 engine that was fitted into La-5 fighters before January 1943 can sustain this mode only for 5 minutes with boost.
 
With H-16 and A-5 released, German aircraft lineup of Battle of Kuban will be complete with the exception of Hs 129 B-2 which is a Collector Plane. Soviet and lend-lease aircraft will follow - 3D models of IL-2 mod. 1943, A-20 bomber, Yak-7b and Spitfire Mk.Vb fighters are being made already. This week we finished Il-2 mod. 1943 wireframe model and animations and started making textures, the work on its FM will begin in 2-3 weeks. Today we'll show you several WIP screenshots of this aircraft:
 
il-2_1.jpg il-2_2.jpg il-2_3.jpg
 

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  • 61

IL-2 STURMOVIK development manager


#150 Han

Han
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Posted 10 February 2017 - 12:39

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Hello everybody,
 
While engineer and artist teams work on Battle of Kuban aircraft, our dedicated map department is making the landscape of the new theater of war. As we mentioned earlier, we use Rise of Flight tech as a start, but we spent a lot of resources to make it up to the task. We improved the mountains rendering in the first place, since mountains and foothills occupy 22 thousands square km of the total 120 thousands square km and the mountain coast is 350 km long. Theoretically we could create this landscape using existing technologies, but it would take unrealistic amount of time and we didn't have so many resources to do it the old-fashioned way. Therefore, we spent some time creating the procedural texturing system for mountaneous terrain. Surely, the modern tech requires not only applying the textures, but also choosing correct materials to make the landscape as natural looking as possible, getting rid of unnaturaly straight lines and borders. Here are several screenshots of our first attempts at this tech, which show promising results:
 
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The main data source for this landscape is the height map. Its analysis and processing gives us the slope steepness data that can be used to determine the surface type at any given coordinates - is this a rocky slope, or a patch of soil covered with low grass, or a forested area. The orientation of a slope relative to cardinal directions and a bit of randomness are also taken into account. The snow line (above which snow covers the ground) is also determined using the height map data, but of course it is not a simple height slice - it depends on slope steepness, its orientation (which affects insolation), etc.
 
We almost finished creating special objects for sea ports. This task wasn't trivial either - their layout changed since 1943 very much and it took a full blown historical research to determine how they looked back then. Kuban towns will include the famous landmarks, they are already modeled as well.
 
Our map department is progressing according to schedule and soon we'll be able to show you the early screenshots of Battle of Kuban landscapes and towns that will be close to their final look.
 
01.jpg 02.jpg
03.jpg 04.jpg
05.jpg 06.jpg
 

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IL-2 STURMOVIK development manager


#151 Han

Han
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Posted 16 February 2017 - 08:42

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Hello Everybody,
 
Another productive week has passed. We achieved a good progress in implementing VR devices support via Open VR API - HTC Vive and Oculus Rift. Both devices work in our sim already - visuals work, their parameters are being adjusted and possible performance optimizations are being researched. We used a certain approach to interact with existing user interface in VR environment conveniently. We'll start beta testing of the VR sub-system in the nearest future and it's planned to make Open VR support available to public in March.
 
At the same time, He-111 H-16 and Fw 190 A-5 development is almost finished and we'll start their beta testing this weekend (they will be released in 2-3 weeks). As we mentioned in our previous Dev Diaries, these planes turned out to be quite interesting. Meanwhile, the next Battle of Kuban planes are entering the development phase - today we can show you our first  WIP screenshots of the A-20B bomber. This aircraft is going to be the most expensive in production for us, but it should also be among the most interesting planes.
 
pic01.jpg pic02.jpg
pic03.jpg pic04.jpg
 
There is some progress in developing the new Career mode that we announced together with Battle of Kuban. Jason has formed a team of community enthusiasts to help him to prepare text and graphics for this new game-play mode. Alexander 'BlackSix' has finished research on squadrons which participated in the battles of Moscow, Stalingrad and Kuban and now he prepares their short histories. We hope to show you the first visible results of this work in the coming months.
 

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IL-2 STURMOVIK development manager


#152 Han

Han
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Posted 03 March 2017 - 19:48

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Hello everybody,
 
Today is an important day for the project - we start VR alpha test. It will take 1-2 weeks, then we'll finalize the functionality, perform the beta testing run and then, hopefully, we will be able to release the update with Open VR support before the end of March.
 
VR support turns out to be tricky not because it is complex by itself, but because this technology and API are still relatively immature - there are no beaten paths and in some parts we were moving forward almost blindly. A large chunk of time was spent on finding new ways to optimize performance to make VR experience more fluid, many improvements were made in this field. Another big task we needed to complete was adapting the user interface for VR to make it usable. For a while, we were a bit puzzled how to make optical sights (like Pe-2 lower UBT MG gunsight or tank gunner sight) function in VR realistically, and we decided to show the gunsight only for one eye while another eye should be closed (like in real life). In our opinion, Oculus Rift cv1 has slightly better lenses and more effective usage of the display matrix (pixels in front of you are placed a bit tighter, but overall field of view is narrower). On the other hand, HTC Vive has more advanced tracking tech, slightly wider FOV which feels less like looking through binoculars, much larger possible play area (not like it is useful for a flight sim though) but its lenses have visible peripheral moire effect. In short, both devices have their pros and cons and if you plan to buy one, it would be ideal to demo them both to find out which one suits you better (but be mindful of a possibility of wearing a VR unit in a public place after someone else who may have had red-eye for instance). All in all, we like how VR works in our sim, it's on par or even better than in other sims.
 
News from other departments: our engineers started making flight models for IL-2 mod. 1943 and Supermarine Spitfire Mk.Vb. Our lead engineer has finished preliminary preparations and now works on making behavior of a plane while using rudder or side slipping even more realistic. Meanwhile, our artists almost finished IL-2 mod. 1943 3D model and today we can show ypu its first screenshots in the sim. Its aiming sights were tricky to recreate - in theory they are very simple, but there are very few photos of them mostly taken from prototypes, while these sights on mass produced aircraft were different. It forced our 3D artists to try a completely new and unusual approach for them - model an aiming sight using neither its schematics nor photographs, but a mathematical calculation of how it should work judging by flight manual descriptions.
 
01.jpg 02.jpg 03.jpg
 

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IL-2 STURMOVIK development manager


#153 Han

Han
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Posted 10 March 2017 - 18:15

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Hello everybody,
 
we have new results for you after another development week. Today Dev Diary won't have much text because, as a popular saying goes, 'a picture is worth a thousand words'. Mountain valleys and rivers technology is almost finished and the result it gives is on par with some pure tech demos out there. This is what happens when the technology (represented by our graphics programmer) and art (our mapping department) meet. Such harmony between different teams or individuals is something any development studio tries to achieve.
 
01.jpg 02.jpg 03.jpg
 
In other news, we have finished the first Battle of Kuban ship - type 7 destroyer. We still need to develop new tech for it: torpedoes and torpedo launchers and AI capable of controlling such a fast (up to 72 kph) and a big ship (110 meters long and weights 1600 tonnes), but it looks good already.
 
04.jpg 05.jpg 06.jpg
 

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IL-2 STURMOVIK development manager


#154 Jason_Williams

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Posted 17 March 2017 - 13:05

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Dear Pilots,
 
We continue to work on our VR implementation and it has posed some technical challenges and there will be some small limitations due to incompatibility between the VR API and our engine. It must be said that our engine was never designed to work natively with VR and the VR companies never designed their goggles and tech to work natively with a hardcore flight-sim with a custom graphics engine that includes gunner positions and bombsights. Remember that when it comes to WWII, only Sturmovik products actually have multi-crew aircraft with realistic gunner positions and bombsights - our competitors do not. So, this is new territory for VR in any hardcore sim. Overcoming some of these technical issues would require more time and custom work from us in addition to some new customization options from Valve and Oculus. How these smaller issues are resolved remains to be seen. Overall, we are pleased with what we have accomplished in VR so far, especially flying from the cockpit in fighters and attack aircraft.
 
However, we’d like to share with you what one of our beta testers has said to us about flying and fighting with VR. This person is a big VR advocate and is involved in VR applications in his defense related job. Due to his knowledge of various VR systems and experience we consider his comments to be high praise.
 
I have to hand it to your team, this is HANDS DOWN the BEST VR implementation when it comes to frame rate, FOV, Scale, and just straight up immersion.  I actually reached out to the bar on the canopy to help me turn around in my seat to track a FW190 after a head-on merge!!!  Un-freaking believable!  Please pass on my appreciation! 
 
And No motion sickness AT ALL, I have yet to have a clean feeling after a flight-sim VR experience.  Until now. thanks man!
 
We hope you will have the same opinion. But remember this is new territory and there is likely to be unforeseen issues upon release.
 
Promo Codes for P-40E, Mc.202, Fw-190 A3 and La-5
 
In other good news, we have sent 50% Off Promo Codes to anyone who own either BOS, BOM or BOK that can be used to buy yourself one of these Collector Planes or gift one or more to a friend. They are easy to redeem and use. See our official announcement in the forum for more details.  https://forum.il2stu...5/#entry452062 
 
Development Shots
 
Here are some shots of our latest creations. As you can see more content is coming soon and we continue to follow our detailed development plan. The rest of 2017 is jam packed with new features and content so stay tuned and please continue to support our efforts.
 
01.jpg 02.jpg 03.jpg
 

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#155 Han

Han
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Posted 24 March 2017 - 14:53

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Hello everybody,
 
While we were preparing this Dev Diary, sad news arrived - Soviet test pilot Stepan Anastasovich Mikoyan who fought in the battle of Stalingrad passed away in Moscow at age 95.
It is very sad that such a veteran is no longer with us. We are grateful for his defense of the Motherland and his enormous contribution for aviation development.We are proud that we knew him and he helped us in the development.
 
While our VR implementation is going according to the plan, we have good news from the engineering department and its head AnPetrovich for you. As we mentioned earlier, we decided to spend a huge chunk of time on flight model corrections and improvements on a very important and big task - improving the aircraft reaction to rudder inputs. This is a very complex task since FMs in our project has many physical interconnections which weren't supposed to be altered - when you change any one parameter it affects many things you never planned to change or sometimes even expected to change. The challenge for us was the fact that we attempted to solve this issue several times, but we finally found the real physical cause for it and a possible way to fix it only in the end of the last year. Since the solution for it requires fundamental changes to fuselage aerodynamics calculations, it means that we need to correct the aerodynamics of all the aircraft that exist in the game to this day. Therefore, a total revision of all stability and handling parameters of all aircraft in the game is happening right now. Of course, such significant and fundamental changes affect not only the way a rudder affects an aircraft, but many other things. Base flight characteristics like speed, climb rate, turn time, etc. won't change, but many others will. Here's the short list of improvements we all will benefit from when this task is completed:
 
1. Flight stick movements along the roll axis required to compensate for the roll drift during slide reduced significantly;
2. While a strong rudder input is given, aircraft will tend to 'plow in' while making a barrel roll;
3. Flat turns are now possible almost at any speeds, including near stall situations (ailerons input is enough to keep the aircraft level and the flat turn itself becomes more effective);
4. Forward slip results in more drag - it is possible to use this maneuver to reduce speed and descend more effectively while landing, for example;
5. Aircraft became more stable in the airflow, parasitic oscillations are reduced;
6. Aircraft became more stable during takeoff and landing runs;
7. Aircraft airflow modeling improved at critical flight modes (stall and spin). Stall became more apparent and results in more severe loss of control than before. Recovering from a spin requires more aggressive and confident actions.
8. Aerodynamic hinge moments affect pilot's ability to control flight stick and pedals more. It takes more time to overcome these moments at higher speeds;
9. Bf 109 F-2/F-4/G-2/G-4: roll axis controls became significantly heavier at high flight speeds;
10. Bf 109 F-2/F-4/G-2/G-4: pitch balance and elevator trim effectiveness corrected;
11. Bf 109 F-2/F-4/G-2/G-4: pedal load slightly corrected for the entire speeds range;
12. Ju 87 D-3: propeller backwash affects the aircraft much more severely, requiring increased rudder input during takeoff run;
13. Ju 87 D-3: pitch balance corrected, resulting in less elevator trim effectiveness;
14. MiG-3 series 24: pitch balance corrected, resulting in less elevator trim effectiveness;
15. LaGG-3 series 29: pedal load slightly corrected for the entire speeds range;
16. LaGG-3 series 29: pitch balance corrected, resulting in less elevator trim effectiveness;
17. Yak-1 series 69/127: flight stick load neutral position along the roll axis corrected for non-FFB devices;
18. Yak-1 series 69/127: flight stick load slightly corrected for entire speeds range;
19. Yak-1 series 69/127: pitch balance corrected, resulting in less elevator trim effectiveness.
 
While we correct aerodynamic parameters of one aircraft after another, we will be making additional changes - we'll tell you about each plane in detail.
 
To summarize, we would like to point out that these news don't mean something like 'flight model was wrong and now we're making it to be correct'. No. This is a process of evolving the aircraft physics model, it is endless in fact: one can improve a physics model indifinitely and never achieve absolute accuracy. The real indicator of the flight model quality is how close it represents the characteristics of a real aircraft and its handling in different situations compared to other avia simulators. What we wanted to tell you by this Dev Diary is that while our project is leading in FM department now, we strive not to 'rest on our laurels', but work in advance as much as we can and invest our resources and time into developing one of the critical components of the project - flight physics - further.
 
Thank you for reading this wall of text. For a welcome change from it, here are IL-2 mod. 1943 (which flight model is being developed right now) skins our artists prepared:
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  • 58

IL-2 STURMOVIK development manager


#156 Han

Han
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Posted 30 March 2017 - 17:52

 
Hello everybody,
 
First, let's start with a short overview of the current development progress. We prepare for beta-test of the new version 2.009 release candidate. Implementation of the Open VR API is nearly finished and we're 'polishing' the new features, including some that aren't directly related to VR. In the meantime, engineer department works on IL-2 mod. 1943 and Spitfire MkVb flight models, while artists are making 3D models of Hs-129 and Yak-7b.
 
Here comes the main hero of the today Dev Diary - IL-2 mod. 1943 aiming sight. Starting from early 1943, PBP-1 collimator sights were gradually replaced by simple VV-1 (Vizier Vasilyeva - first) mechanical sights on IL-2s. It is commonly believed that PBP-1 aiming sights caused many injuries during emergency landings that were especially frequent among Sturmovik pilots. While being very simple from a technological point of view, this aiming sight actually was more capable than VV-1 was. For example, it could be used for:
aiming at air targets;
aiming rockets at ground targets from different distances;
low altitude level bombing.
Today we'll tell you how to aim using VV-1 sight.
 
Aiming at air targets using VV-1 sight
There are special markings on the IL-2 mod. 1943 windshield - crosshairs and two special oval rings. These ovals are drawn in a way so when pilot's eye is correctly positioned on the aiming line 0.5 meters behind the windshield, they look like round concentric rings. When at this position, a pilot needs to align the main crosshairs with the bead to hit a target 400 meters away flying at 400 km/h speed (same as the IL-2 speed). This sight can also help to estimate the required lead depending on the target aspect angle:
Target with aspect angle 0/4 behind (pursuit shooting) should be placed at the center of the sight;
Target with aspect angle 2/4 behind (shooting in 45° turn) should be positioned on the inner ring facing the sight center;
Target with aspect angle 4/4 (moving perpendicularly at 90°) should be positioned on the outer ring facing the sight center.
On these two screenshots you can see these lines and how targets are looks like at 400 meters:
01_gun_Sight.jpg 02_gun_Aim.jpg
 
Aiming rockets at ground targets using VV-1 sight
Unlike PBP-1 aiming sight that could be used to aim rockets at ground targets at 800 meters or less, VV-1 includes additional horizontal lines for different ranges. A pilot needs to prepare his ground attack run early to achieve 350-450 km/h speed at 30 diving angle (so he should begin the dive from at least 1500 meters altitude, reduce airspeed to 220-250 km/h and maintain low throttle while diving).
 
To aim, a pilot should decide at what range he will launch the rockets, position his eye on the aiming line, then align the bead with a chosen horizontal range mark and fire rockets when this distance is achieved. You can see the aiming process on the following screenshots:
03_rct_diveangle.jpg 04_rct_DiveAngleProjection.jpg
05_rct_1600.jpg 06_rct_1200.jpg
07_rct_0800.jpg 08_rct_0600.jpg
09_rct_0400.jpg 10_rct_Fire.jpg
 
Low altitude level bombing using VV-1 sight
While usually Sturmoviks dropped their bombs while diving, dispersing large amounts of bomblets required level bombing from low altitudes. A special aiming sight was needed since the aircraft engine cowling blocked a pilot's view to a target. VV-1 aiming sight has special horizontal lines on the windshield and curves on the engine cowling that allow a pilot to determine a moment when he should release the bombs. This is how it works:
 
A pilot should choose a target and determine the approach direction (if he engages a transport column or another extended target, approach direction should be chosen along its length). In addition, he should note a reference landmark at 300-500 meters distance to the side of the target, perpendicular to the approach direction. This landmark is needed to determine when to drop the bombs.
11_bmb_Start.jpg 12_bmb_TargetLocating.jpg
 
A pilot should fly to the point where he will begin the bombing run, 3-5 km away from the target. He should approach this beginning point at a chosen bombing altitude (50, 100, 200 or 300 meters) and 360 km/h speed;
After turning to the approach direction, a pilot should maintain the approach direction, a chosen bombing altitude and 360 km/h speed.
13_bmb_RunInPattern.jpg 14_bmb_Approaching.jpg
 
During the bombing run, a pilot should position his head correctly to aim the bombs: one of the two lines on the windshield should be aligned with a corresponding altitude curve on the engine cowling (PageUp and Insert keyboard keys could be used for this).
15_bmb_Marks.jpg
 
Bombs should be released when the imaginary continuation of this horizontal line passes the previously chosen reference landmark to the side. Here are several screenshots that show the correct pilot head positions for different bombing altitudes and bomb release times.
 
Bombing altitude 300 meters. Lower line on the windshield should be aligned with the 1st (rear) line on the engine cowling:
16_bmb_300_Aiming.jpg 17_bmb_300_Drop.jpg
 
Bombing altitude 200 meters. Lower line on the windshield should be aligned with the 2nd line on the engine cowling:
18_bmb_200_Aiming.jpg 19_bmb_200_Drop.jpg
 
Bombing altitude 100 meters. Upper line on the windshield should be aligned with the 3rd line on the engine cowling:
20_bmb_100_Aiming.jpg 21_bmb_100_Drop.jpg
 
Bombing altitude 50 meters. Upper line on the windshield should be aligned with the 4th (front) line on the engine cowling:
22_bmb_050_Aiming.jpg 23_bmb_050_Drop.jpg
 
VV-1 aiming sight allows to launch rockets and drop bombs with adequate accuracy during calm and warm weather. However, it should be noted that crosswind complicates the aiming of rockets and bombs significantly. In addition, at low temperatures (during winter) and low altitudes the true air speed is significantly less than indicated air speed. There was no universal method to take these errors into account, so bombing during bad weather required a skilled pilot.
24_bmb_Result.jpg
 

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  • 41

IL-2 STURMOVIK development manager


#157 Han

Han
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Posted 06 April 2017 - 16:30

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Hello everybody,
 
While the VR update testing is almost finished, we continue to work on Battle of Kuban aircraft. More than a half of the work on the IL-2 mod. 1943 flight model is done and the Spitfire flight model is in the works as well. 3D models of the A-20B Boston bomber and the Yak-7b fighter are being built according to the schedule and we just started the work on the P-39L-1. All these planes are remarkable, most of them have interesting construction and systems peculiarities. Today we'd like to show you WIP screenshots of the German strike aircraft Hs-129 B-2. The model itself is finished, 3D artists are working on texturing and damage visualization. It's likely you would be interested in the armament of this aircraft, so here it is:
Two fuselage mounted 7.92mm machine guns MG 17, 1000 rounds per each.
Two fuselage mounted 15mm guns MG 151/15, 250 rounds per each. They can be replaced with 20 mm guns MG 151/20 with the same amount of ammo.
30mm drum-fed gun Mk 101 in the gun pod (30 rounds).
30mm belt-fed gun Mk 103 in the gun pod (80 rounds).
Four 7.92mm machine guns MG 17 in the gun pod, 1000 rounds per each.
Two SC 50 underwing bombs.
Four SC 50 underwing bombs.
SC 250 underbelly bomb.
It is interesting that the collimator aiming sight is actually mounted outside a very cramped cockpit. It's also unusual to design a small strike aircraft with two engines:
1.jpg 2.jpg
3.jpg 4.jpg
 
One more good news for this week is that our project Producer Jason Williams have arrived to Moscow. All this week has been dedicated on comparing notes and discussing how "IL-2 Sturmovik" will evolve in the near future. During these conversations some ideas have arose, so if they start to become real than we will share them to you.
 
Developers.jpg
 
This past month marked the Ten Year Anniversary of the founding of 777 Studios which as you know is now part of 1C Game Studios and over the past decade has helped contribute much to our hobby with Rise of Flight and IL-2 Sturmovik. Thank you Jason for your long time commitment to combat flight-sims and our team. And happy 44th birthday from the team.
And here is a short video of Jason checking out VR dogfighting in the version 2.009 release candidate:
 
 
PS.
Also we remind you that we have launched a huge sale in our store and on Steam - this is a good opportunity to get the game at a discount to prepare for VR support release next week!

 

IL-2 Sturmovik: Battle of Stalingrad editions are 50% OFF and Battle of Moscow editions are 40% OFF, while Fw 190 A-3 and La-5 Collector Planes are 50% OFF and P-40E-1 and MC.202 are 33% OFF (at our store and on Steam). And the entire Rise of Flight lineup is 66% OFF (at our store and on Steam). The Steam sale will end on April 10th while the discounts in our store will be active until 9:00 GMT April 15th.

 

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IL-2 STURMOVIK development manager


#158 Han

Han
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Posted 20 April 2017 - 10:35

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Hello everybody,
 
Today we'll tell you a bit more about Battle of Kuban development progress. Let's begin with the graphics engine update.
 
Having finished Open VR API implementation, we started the work on another long-awaited feature - aircraft rear view mirrors. In fact, rendering the mirrors realistically looking and keeping the performance hit manageable at the same time is a complex task.
 
Mirrors in the products made by our competitors aren't flawless. In one of them, mirrors simply function like monitors - image in them doesn't change when you move your head while in another these images look right but very simplified (this is needed to keep good performance). This is complicated by the fact that the mirrors are placed very differently in each aircraft. Sometimes they are fixed, sometimes attached to the sliding canopy, sometimes they are outside the cabin and sometimes they are inside - this makes their rendering more complex. Of course, we hope that we'll be able to solve all such problems. There will be simplifications without hurting their functionality for sure - it's likely that the mirrors won't reflect your own plane and trees to keep the performance high. In short, we'll do our best to make the mirrors among the best in aircraft sims, if not the best of them all.
 
Second, we have made good progress in implementing TacView support (TacView is a great tool to visualize dogfights). It works already and we're working with the TacView developer to solve the remaining issues.
 
Third, we prepared the alternative design approach for field airdromes on the Moscow map. The tests show that FPS hit above the 'new' airfields is lower and there are no 'stutters' which you can experience near current field airdromes when 'Distant grass' option is turned on. We hope to remake all 32 Moscow airfields using this new approach in the near future and solve this issue for good. This is especially important because there will be many similar airfields on the Kuban map as well.
 
In the meantime, development of the remaining Battle of Kuban aircraft is proceeding as planned. Sometimes we encounter difficulties - for example, we needed to correct P-39L-1 schematics significantly after comparing them to photographs and this took significantly more time that was planned. Another example is the lack of data about Yak-7b landing gear kinematics, which forced us to re-engineer the geometry of some parts based on how they should move when the landing gear is retracted or extended. Such problems usually lead to release delays but thanks to re-organizing the workflow we keep the set release dates, at least for now.
 
To make this Dev Diary a bit more visual we'd like to show you the first WIP screenshots of Yak-7b series 36 fighter:
 
01.jpg 02.jpg
03.jpg 04.jpg
05.jpg 06.jpg
 

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  • 50

IL-2 STURMOVIK development manager


#159 Han

Han
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Posted 05 May 2017 - 13:14

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Dear pilots,
 
We have several good news for you today. The first one is that we almost finished the new aircraft - IL-2 mod. 1943. While this is the modification of the aircraft that already existed in our sim, this one will bring many interesting and not easy to implement improvements with it. One of them is the BB-1 mechanical aiming sight we told you about in the past Dev Blog. The second innovation is the new weapon - PTAB-2.5-1.5 anti-tank bomblets. Modeling such a weapon required significant optimizations - this aircraft could carry up to 240 bomblets and drop them all at once. This was a complex task since the optimization must keep the performance hit to a minimum while keeping the drop pattern realistic. We implemented a system where the flight path is calculated for each bomblet if there is a possible target near the projected impact coordinates. If the possible targets are far away, the flight path is calculated for a cluster of bomblets at once, maintaining the realistic calculation accuracy. The third new feature of this aircraft that wasn't available on its earlier modifications is the intermediate flaps stop that allows extending flaps to take-off position instead of full. The fourth feature is the reserve pilot-gunner light signaling equipment that will function in the game in general combat situations. In addition to all this, IL-2 mod. 1943 is equipped with the AM-38F engine that was boosted to 1720 HP at the price of the reduced critical altitude and the defensive turret with 12.7 mm UBT machine gun, which increased weight reduced the amount or rockets that could be fitted on the plane from 8 to 4. It's worth to note that 37 mm gun of the mod. 1943 aircraft is the more compact, lighter and faster firing NS-37 that has 1.25 times more ammo and higher projectile muzzle speed.
 
PTAB_1.jpg PTAB_2.jpg
 
The second piece of good news is that we finished implementing the new graphics feature that is especially important for aircraft from 1943 - the rear view mirrors. It was a complex task even to choose how to implement them. The approaches our competitors use are very different and each of them has significant issues. In one game, the mirrors are like monitors - the image you see in them won't change according to your view when you move your head in the cockpit in 6-DOF using keyboard commands, TrackIR or VR HMD. In another title, your own aircraft isn't reflected in the mirror, visibility distance is reduced and the mirror image has a fixed resolution, which results in a pixelated image if you lean close to the mirror. Our lead programmer chose his own approach for this feature. It gives realistic and good looking results that are compatible with 6-DOF and VR technologies and are free of flaws found in the competing titles. We use optimization techniques for mirror rendering as well, but they aren't critical to the combat sim gameplay, so we can say that our mirrors are the best among the flight sims now. You'll see the rear view mirrors in the upcoming update 2.010 - they will be selectable in the modifications list of P-40E-1 and Yak-1b series 127 (they were equipped with mirrors in stock configuration).
 
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The third piece of the good news is that we fixed the 'hit effects lagging' issue as close as it was possible. You asked us to fix it somehow for a long time and we have found the best solution. Now effects appear at the location of a projectile hit and they have the same velocity vector as the target plane at first, then they steadily slow down. The result is the visual image that looks much more like WWII era gun cameras footage. This solution also fixes the issues were hit sounds sometimes couldn't be heard on your own plane or hits on nearby aircraft were too loud. This short video recorded by our producer Jason Williams shows how hit effects will look in the update 2.010.
 
 
The fourth piece of the good news is that we reworked SLI/Crossfire support that stopped functioning properly after upgrading our engine for DirectX 11. Note that SLI/Crossfire gives a big performance boost if the game running on your PC  is bottlenecked by the graphics card - for example, in situations when your FPS is limited by many light sources in the scene, many particle effects active at once or by an increased screen resolution. If the current scene being rendered is complex and contains many different objects, your CPU is likely to be the bottleneck instead and the performance boost from SLI/Crossfire won't be significant. It is also true that if you have a powerful GPU, game performance will be limited by the CPU already, so adding a second powerful GPU won't give you an FPS boost you want. Therefore, it is reasonable to use SLI/Crossfire in a case of two middle range graphics cards. In our beta version tests, we saw 50-85% performance improvement in the tank mission (where you need to cross the bridge) on SLI or Crossfire enabled PCs.
 
And finally, IL-2 Sturmovik team wants to congratulate you, dear friends, with the coming 72nd Victory Day anniversary. We remember the heroical deed of our ancestors and are thankful to them for the fact that we live in peace today, even if it is fragile. We wish peace and prosperity to all of you. Happy holiday!
 
VICTORY.jpg
 

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IL-2 STURMOVIK development manager


#160 Han

Han
  • Project manager
  • Posts: 584
  • Location:Moscow

Posted 19 May 2017 - 15:06

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Hello everybody,
 
while the German bomber of the Battle of Kuban plane set is already available to customers who pre-purchased the new theater of war, today we'll show you the first screenshots of the Soviet one. This is the US-made bomber A-20B, these aircraft were sent to USSR since December 1942 via the lend-lease program. A-20B had 2000 kg bomb load (up to 16 bombs in the internal bay and 4 outside) and had two machine guns for defense - 12.7 mm Browning M2 .50 and 7.62 mm Browning M2 .30. In addition, it was armed with two forward firing 12.7 Browning M2 .50 machine guns for some offensive capability. Just like P-39L-1, this aircraft had freely rotating forward landing gear.
 
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On these screenshots, you can see Tushino airfield on the Moscow map which differs from the airfield you have in the sim now significantly. That's right - it was made using the new technique which we use for Battle of Kuban, all the airfields on the Moscow map will be remade using it in the next update 2.011. The main goal was to optimize a number of different layers and graphical objects on the airfield to reduce the graphics performance hit which currently can cause stutters on certain combinations of PC configs and graphics settings. New airfield composition gives almost no slowdown on high-end video cards while on middle-end cards like 960 or 1060 the performance hit is similar to what you get near other airfields in the sim, for example, Stalingrad ones. While we started this optimization to improve performance near airfields, the new technique gives a better visual image of them as well. It will be more comfortable to land and taxi on such airfields because the feel of an approaching ground becomes more apparent and natural.
 
We made good progress in Battle of Kuban development across all departments. We'll be giving you regular reports on the work progress during the Summer, and today we can show you WIP screenshot of the Soviet submarine 'Type Sch':
 
Sub.jpg
 

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IL-2 STURMOVIK development manager





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