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Bonkin

TFS Developer Update – October 2018

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Hello everybody.

 

First off, I need to offer an apology for this update coming out a little later than normal. This is systematic of the fact that we are all volunteers working in our spare time. In my case, I’ve been away from home on a couple of business trips and the timing was just bad. The team produces builds/branches that are called “Mod Enabled Versions” (MEV’s) of the game. These have different features enabled or imported which allow the developers to integrate and test as we go. For me, the MEV which had the content I need to show was available when I was not.

 

There is another part of this involving me being out of touch with everybody because rather stupidly I dropped my phone down the toilet… but that is another story which I won’t go into because it is too embarrassing. So, nonetheless, it is a bit rushed, but here it is.

Team
We welcome another new member to the team this month. He is a New Yorker going by the name of “American” and is a 3D modeller who in the past used to create 3D models for IL2 1946 mods.

If you’re wondering why we need more modellers it is because we need the Tobruk environment to be rich and befitting the period. So, whilst existing creations (aircraft) are being imported, we are expanding and improving the number of objects for v5.0. To this end we continue to look for new members who are interested and familiar with WWII Tanks, Vehicles and Ships... with a good background knowledge of specifications and details of weapons and armour. Experience with Blender or 3DMax would be an asset, as well as a knowledge of C# code.

If you think you could contribute with these skills we’d love to hear from you. Also, those accepted would be entitled to a share of any revenue.

Schedule
There are some challenges ahead if we are to remain on track to our internal schedule. The import process is a complex one and it would be fair to say it is a bit of bottleneck because it requires specialist knowledge and skills. Morale is good though, and the new content coming into the MEVs is exciting the whole team.

Progress
Map
I regret that I’m still unable to show you the new map. Work continues but given its importance, the team are understandably sensitive to me showing it too early. What I can say is that being newer to the map team, I had failed to comprehend how hilly parts of the North Africa coastal area actually are. I think there is going to be a lot of fun to be had flying and fighting at low level down the dry watercourses and valleys. Please bear with us on this one.

Aircraft
In all cases (as stated previously), the flight models continue to be tweaked during test and are not specifically reported on. For the sake of brevity, please see this post:
https://forum.il2sturmovik.com/topic/40187-current-status-of-tf-50-tobruk-build/

As an aside, here is a video of work in progress on the MC202 cockpit instruments:


AI
A 2nd release of updates to the AI is in internal testing.

Effects
Audio and visual effect updates continue to be worked on and will be shown in future updates.

 

So now on with a few of your questions from across the different forums (again, forgive me for paraphrasing). Note, the best place to post questions for me to find them is always the latest update thread. Some questions have been asked before so if you can’t find the answer to one of your questions please check the previous updates:

Q1. Are you fixing Grass tiles so that they no longer pop into view and also default markings so that they no longer appear in replays (trk files)? Also nose art working from the menu and finally AI trucks that can cross bridges?
We have built a new version of the grass tiles which displays less popup and we expect with further development there will be improvement on that Alpha.
We think we have a solution to the .trk not showing custom skins. This will be tested further before we confirm.
AI trucks crossing bridges is a well-known problem for which a fix is currently is eluding us. We continue to work on it (and many other documented issues) for inclusion in future updates.

Q2. If TF 5.0 is a commercial success and the development effort can be continued into further updates, will TF 6.0 as well as the carriers be hopefully released before BoX releases a Pacific Theatre?
Whether Team Fusion moves on to develop a 'TF 5.5' or 'TF 6.0' is dependent on how successful 'TF 5.0 - Tobruk' is. This is one of the reasons we are taking our time in releasing TF 5.0... we want it to be an exciting and successful release.

Q3. Roughly how long does the import process take for an airplane?
The import process is a labour-intensive activity which often results in problems being found with the model which require correction. It can therefore go back and forth between the modeller and the integrator several times. The process itself requires every internal and external moving part animation to be handled correctly, establishing correct linkage between the cockpit instruments and the performance model, the damage model to setup correctly for the position of all damageable items and corresponding textures, and finally, the game engine itself to have awareness of the aircraft type, e.g. for the FMB and player missions. In parallel to this we have skinning to do. This requires co-ordination between the modeller and skin maker because the textures have to be mapped into a template the skinner can use. We’re therefore talking about many dozens of manhours.

Q4. Any news on the interim patch that is supposed to be released before TF 5.0? Will it address issues with Bf-110 speeds?
The 110's had their speeds corrected for Cliffs of Dover Blitz edition. The fastest 110 at altitude is the C-4N. The fastest 110 on the deck is the C-4B. We are working on the patch and will be beta testing in the next month or so.

Q5. Are the Mc 200 and SM79 included in the development?
No, the Macchi C-200 is very similar in performance to the Fiat G-50 and therefore the Macchi C-202 was a better choice for our limited resources. The Savoia-Marchetti SM-79 was too large a project to be completed for TF 5.0, but we might see it in the future.

Q6. Is there any news on a SP career mode?
TF 5.0 will include Desert based Single Player campaigns for the major new aircraft.

Q7. Any possibility of being able to use custom skins on stationary aircraft as in IL-2 46?
We hope to include this option.

Q8. Will we ever see clouds more in line with the BoX clouds? How much further can the engine be pushed in the looks department?
Extended clouds are one of the goals for TF 5.0.

Q9. Will the auto-release mechanism be working with the kurssteuerung in "course" mode?
Have you found the reason behind the super annoying aircraft bouncing in mode 22, and will this be corrected in 5.0 ? Will altitude holding of mode 22 be improved so to stop losing 1km altitude before stabilisation? Will the two scales of the gyroscopic compass and the kurssteuerung be tuned to be in line with each other (especially in the heinkel, being off the mark by 15° or so)
We are working on solutions for the 'Mode 22' issues.

Q10. Any news on the Ai recoding and radio commands would be appreciated (stuff that's been done rather than hope to be done) please?
The 2nd rework of the AI changes is in internal testing.

Q11. Can we have navigation lights and flares enabled?
Navigation lights are already part of the game. We discovered that they had been disabled because the AI had a habit of turning them on at inappropriate times – so it is something that is being looked at. We’ve also done work with landing lights – but turning those on also revealed problems which is why they were turned off in the original release. Overall, we are working on a comprehensive revision of the night graphics. Flares are currently not in our plans.

Q12. Is a pre-Christmas release a pipe dream?
Announcing Release dates is not TF's responsibility, however in regards to this question, we can provide some information:
 

We probably could have achieved a Christmas release, but this would mean excluding some of the new aircraft types, a reduction in the number of vehicles and ships, less improvements to the code and AI, and a less polished map. For that reason we decided against rushing to complete on this date. Our experience with TF 4.5 told us it is critically important to have a product which is refined and bug free out of the gate. First impressions are important. And clearly, a substantial amount of new content with an exciting new environment will be a major factor in generating player interest. We will freely admit TF 4.5 did not have the impact we had hoped for... we've learned our lesson and will make sure TF 5.0 has much bigger punch!

So with that in mind, we continue to work hard on creating this new module, and will have it ready as soon as it is done to a standard which we think the community expects in IL-2 products.

Q13. Will Cliffs of Dover and BoX ever become one game?
No. The two have completely different game engines.
 

That's pretty much it for this month. As usual I will finish with a short video…

 

And just before I close this months update here are a few extra snippets for you that didn't make it into the video... enjoy!

Martlet01.thumb.jpg.3abde56bf51cebcd75947884ab931817.jpg

 

Martlet02.thumb.jpg.be89d720970dae911511fd5e88b4f55e.jpg

 

Martlet03.thumb.jpg.61b6cfbf591cca49ce40b2b4d4324f57.jpg
 

Martlet04.thumb.jpg.3a428f14c3d3f7d97a93201ac07fae4a.jpg

 

Martlet06.thumb.jpg.80cc997515b632776e169ef4bda6022b.jpg

 

Martlet07.thumb.jpg.87ce7818de52312fa7936cf5336c9047.jpg

 

Martlet09.thumb.jpg.d183feaa7fca35941d189f8f14fed147.jpg

 

Thank you for your continued support, patience and understanding.
 

For and on behalf of Team Fusion Simulations,
 

Bonkin.

 

 

 

 

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Thanks for the update.  Looking forward to 5.0, hopefully released before spring of 2019.

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Thanks for the update. Lots of great info. Sad though that this means it probably won't see the light of day until June as Jason won't want it to clash with Bodenplatte. Also this means it would be released in the flight sim dead zone when most players are out enjoying the great weather. 

 

All that can be hoped is that the extra time you now have can be used to refine and perfect the product and maybe by next August it will be ready and raring to go with the vast amount of content worked on completed and polished to within an inch of it's life. 

 

Will be worth the wait but hopefully there will be at least more than TFS still around who will be there to buy it 😢

Edited by Mysticpuma
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2 minutes ago, Mysticpuma said:

Thanks for the update. Lots of great info. Sad though that this means it probably won't see the light of day until June as Jason won't want it to clash with Bodenplatte. Also this means it would be released in the flight sim dead zone when most players are out enjoying the great weather. 

 

All that can be hoped is that the extra time you now have can be used to refine and perfect the product and maybe by next August it will be ready and raring to go with the vast amount of content worked on completed and polished to within an inch of it's life. 

 

Will be worth the wait but hopefully there will be at least more than TFS still around who will be there to buy it 😢

I think you will find your speculations as to release date are wildly pessimistic.  :dance:

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Thanks very much for the update, really appreciated.:drinks:

 

Surprising just how much work goes into just texturing the instruments not to mention making them, quite a feat.:salute:

 

Just one issue, sorry to say, hope I am around to see the v5.0 release, I am getting on a bit you know.:lol:

 

 

Wishing you all the very best, Pete.:biggrin:

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This is a great update. 👍 

 

Really looking forward to the P40’s in North Africa. The Martletts are a bonus! I’m gonna have to study up on North Africa...a lot.

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This sim has been a favorite of mine, and it seems that it will be for some time to come. 

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3 hours ago, Missionbug said:

Thanks very much for the update, really appreciated.:drinks:

 

Surprising just how much work goes into just texturing the instruments not to mention making them, quite a feat.:salute:

 

Just one issue, sorry to say, hope I am around to see the v5.0 release, I am getting on a bit you know.:lol:

 

 

Wishing you all the very best, Pete.:biggrin:

Hello Pete

 

We will try to get you in the cockpit as soon as possible.  :pilot:

 

As a way to speed that up, I am offering you a chance to join the Beta Testing team... send me a private note and we can organize the details.    :salute:

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Riley if you want to get exited about North Africa check out an old video called The Desert Dogfighter

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Any chance you will be reworking the pilot image more like the new IL2 offerings?

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2 hours ago, =FEW=Hauggy said:

Amazing content, I can't belive the D.520 is already flying!

The cockpit is in the game as well... but we didn't show it because not all the animations are finished.

 

Gauges are not working, controls don't move, etc...

 

Great little plane... an excellent opponent for the 109's.  :drinks:

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Excellent update Bonkin. Really looking forward to the final release...…...eventually

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15 hours ago, Buzzsaw said:

I think you will find your speculations as to release date are wildly pessimistic.  :dance:

 

Time will tell😎

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Thanks for all the work! Looking forward to this!!

 

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"There is another part of this involving me being out of touch with everybody because rather stupidly I dropped my phone down the toilet… but that is another story which I won’t go into because it is too embarrassing. So, nonetheless, it is a bit rushed, but here it is."

 

 

I misread the above as "flushed" instead of rushed.

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I have few questions as well: 

"Desert based Single Player campaigns"

Will these campaigns be scripted? Is there going to be a real career mode similar to wings over the Reich or BoX, with news paper, stats, units history, events etc?

 

Will there be campaigns (if scripted) for planes like bf110 or ju87?

 

Will we see actual sea battles? Or ships will just swim around and wait for players to attack them. Or maybe it will be done more realistic with uboots swimming around and sinking some ships?

 

Is ju52 possible with transport missions from france or Italy?

 

Were you considering making fully clickable cockpit like in dcs? Where you can click on every button and start a plane in realistic way?

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On 10/22/2018 at 1:43 PM, Bonkin said:

We probably could have achieved a Christmas release, but this would mean excluding some of the new aircraft types, 

That's sounds promising. I, too, am an old timer and was hoping this would come before I was just a memory. It sounds as if we may be seeing this sooner than some think. 

Edited by Poochnboo

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1 hour ago, InProgress said:

I have few questions as well: 

"Desert based Single Player campaigns"

Will these campaigns be scripted? Is there going to be a real career mode similar to wings over the Reich or BoX, with news paper, stats, units history, events etc?

 

Will there be campaigns (if scripted) for planes like bf110 or ju87?

 

Will we see actual sea battles? Or ships will just swim around and wait for players to attack them. Or maybe it will be done more realistic with uboots swimming around and sinking some ships?

 

Is ju52 possible with transport missions from france or Italy?

 

Were you considering making fully clickable cockpit like in dcs? Where you can click on every button and start a plane in realistic way?

We hope to have campaigns for the major aircraft types.

 

Ships will exchange fire if they come into contact... we are looking at changing some of the ship and vehicle routines on engaging in combat.

 

Ju-52 will not be included.

 

At the moment clickable buttons and moveable controls will be limited to those which are required for inflight operation.

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By the way this was probably asked before but just to make sure I would like to ask if you're working on improving the graphic settings as better graphics and less shimmering would help quite a bit for the success of the release imo as we're now in 2018 and graphics have to follow.

Im thinking mostly about the antialiasing options mostly as they were faulty and didn't work as intended and still don't, can we expect some MSAA or something like that and not FXAA which has a tendency to create lots of shimmering.

Can you be specific on what those changes might be exactly? Exept for the new textures and effects that I believe everybody saw.

Also will some of the original issues and bugs with some of the instruments of the original Clod planes will be fixed? The artificial horizon glitches on the spit or the "cigogna" comes to mind.

Also any plans to improve and simplify the interface, menu or in-game?

Edited by =FEW=Hauggy

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32 minutes ago, =FEW=Hauggy said:

By the way this was probably asked before but just to make sure I would like to ask if you're working on improving the graphic settings as better graphics and less shimmering would help quite a bit for the success of the release imo as we're now in 2018 and graphics have to follow.

Im thinking mostly about the antialiasing options mostly as they were faulty and didn't work as intended and still don't, can we expect some MSAA or something like that and not FXAA which has a tendency to create lots of shimmering.

Can you be specific on what those changes might be exactly? Exept for the new textures and effects that I believe everybody saw.

Also will some of the original issues and bugs with some of the instruments of the original Clod planes will be fixed? The artificial horizon glitches on the spit or the "cigogna" comes to mind.

Also any plans to improve and simplify the interface, menu or in-game?

Yes, we hope to improve the AA systems.

 

All the bugs listed in the bugtracker are being looked at and addressed if at all possible.

 

And yes, we will be making changes to the interface menus.

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Excellent.

The interface is one of the worst aspects of Cliffs.

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We'll need more than hope and massive changes to the interface too because those are the main reasons why most people Ive talked to just don't even care about TFS work since they don't want to endure more of the old Clod annoying glitches and features (interface) or missing features (such as decent AA).

 

Edited by =FEW=Hauggy

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51 minutes ago, Leifr said:

Excellent.

The interface is one of the worst aspects of Cliffs.

I agree. You never think of it if you've been around for years but for a new fellow it can be a little befuddling to be sure.

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Haha - just glad there's a YouTube video to explain how to work the turrets....:cool:

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Looking forward to the night environment getting a makeover...... but.....one of the current real issues that makes the day sky and night sky look so bad is the terrible banding. No matter what is done in its current state stars, moon, lighting etc, etc will suffer terribly unless some form of sky debanding work is considered. 

 

These were thoughts of someone regarding possible fixes to make banding less of an issue. 

 

A) have a pre-baked sky backdrop that was generated in deep colour and downsampled to 24-bit colour, on top of which everything else lays (clouds, etc.);
B) increase the bit depth of the on-the-fly colour filters and weather effects themselves, costing serious performance;
C) introduce diffuse noise to the sky surface, costing some performance.

I personally prefer option C.

 

And

 

 

 

By the way, I know there is deband in Reshade..... But as TFS are the devs they should be able to do something with this? 

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18 hours ago, gn728 said:

Haha - just glad there's a YouTube video to explain how to work the turrets....:cool:

Yes. There are lot's of helpful videos out there and the Cliffs of Dover ATAG community is outstanding as far as helping newbies and dum dums like myself.:crazy::salute:

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5 hours ago, Mysticpuma said:

Looking forward to the night environment getting a makeover...... but.....one of the current real issues that makes the day sky and night sky look so bad is the terrible banding. No matter what is done in its current state stars, moon, lighting etc, etc will suffer terribly unless some form of sky debanding work is considered. 


Oh yeah noticed that aswell on the wings in sunlight, depending on the wing curve and angle. I wish I could just increase the color depthbits in the conf.ini file, but it has no effect

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I never used the clickable features in COD , I rather fancy using panels for that. Being able to have instruments on a separate monitor make it somehow more realistic. I really liked the CR 42 and Wellington . they all looked amazing. I am looking forward to this, contains more interesting planes than Bodenplatte in my opinion

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Clickable cockpits is not more "realistic - as some brag, is just more practical, became necessary with Falcon 4.0 and ulterior DCS and their hundred of commands options, that result in complicated "Ctrl+Al+Shit+#" sequences. 

 

And CloD has only partially clickable cockpits, sometimes for placebo functions at cost of others more useful. In the end (Murphy Law) just show a waste of programming resources, don't fully satisfy ones that like this feature and scare many people as "complicated".

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I agree totally, I tried to use click on the superchargers once and ended up inverted about to go into a supersonic dive , provoked by not finding the right place to click

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Maybe for you, i find it more realistic and enjoyable to be able to click on things, at least I can learn and remember what is where and what. In box it's really annoying to put all these buttons for different planes, change bombs, arm bombs, drop tanks and bunch of other stuff you barley use and it creates bunch of combinations to remember. 

 

Not everyone has joystick with 50 buttons. Good thing about clod is that you can map buttons if you like and others can use cockpit if they like. It's good to have options and not complain that cockpit is a waste of resources because you don't like it. I would probably lost interest if there was no clickable cockpits anymore.

 

How clickable cockpit scares people off as complicated? I think looking at 200 options to map on keyboard is what scares people not cockpit. I remember when I got this game in 2011, it was first sim ever for me. And cockpits were great fun, easy to learn and simple. Can't say the same about shock I had after I saw options and all this things there to set up on my keyboard. That was the biggest turn off. 

 

Or I tried free p51 in dcs few days ago. Watched 3min tutorial how to start it. Did not click a single button on keyboard, did not waste my time in options. 3minutes and I could take off and fly without bothering with keys and remembering all this.

Edited by InProgress

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6 hours ago, InProgress said:

How clickable cockpit scares people off as complicated?

 

I doubt that someone has waste time following CloD history like me - UbiZoo, SimHQ, 1C Bananas'drama, Sukhoi, 1C Russian forums, local forums (I write "book's" in these :biggrin:) and I can say for sure that about 1/4 of IL-2 players don't migrate for CloD - some even don't test, due the legend of their "complicated engine start", that at release time are really complicated - but just because are very bugged. Fiat Br.20 are a "haunted house". :lol:

 

I am for clickable cockpits, for me Bo'Series will be more enjoyable, immersive if have this, but hate this partially, placebo 'clickpit' of CloD.

Too don't need be like in DCS wheres they loose time with things that have no real function, e.g. DCS P-51SCR-522 Detrola radio, is clickable, animated, but do nothing in game.

 

Edited by Sokol1

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I don't dislike the clickable cockpits in CloD because they bring a few more interesting things than "Great Battles", of course it's incomplete, limited and so on for the reasons we know but being able to manage your fuel tanks or being able to set the contact altimeter on the Stuka is great imo (hopefully this will soon be in great battles too).

Of course managing engine settings by clicking might be less appealing but it's just a matter of learning where everything is and there's quite a few guides and helpful people out there and yes it is more challenging than pressing 1 button but I think that if I could learn it others can too but they certainly have to want it.

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To me the clickable pits in cod shows the ambitions Oleg had for the game . Together with the complex damage system. I think this is the best of all games . COD got a lot to offer, but to me clickable features in cockpit is a waste of time, I am using it in DCS , because it is needed, and I am enjoying them during startup, this is when it is realistic. But once airborne the click thingy stops being realistic, and become for the most part a pain in the ass. 

COD do not need clickable pits, the systems for startup and light , axis can easily be managed without it

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