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Fortress: Battle of Schweinfurt


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Concept: build a battle with only the B-17 as a new aircraft, but supporting campaigns using other appropriate aircraft in the series. It would include a new map of the southern German industrial region, and links to maps of the channel and southern England and potentially the Bodeplatte region.

 

Pricing would likely be significantly higher than for a collector's aircraft, but potentially lower than a full Battle. Collectors planes could include a pathfinder Mosquito and an Me-210 or other German bomber to night fighter conversion, or could simply go down the P-51C/Bf-109G-6 Late route

 

Core focus of the mod would be the AI work necessary to allow larger aircraft formations, and 4 engine bombers, long duration missions, and potentially the crew management to handle managing a large multi crew bomber. Other additional features may include mechanisms for mid-mission state saving to allow breaking up longer missions between sitting.

 

Basically, 4 engine heavy bombers are big, complex, hard to model, and a niche within a niche. Further, there are some significant game engine work that has already been said would need to be done to handle heavy bombers or the strategic bombing campaign. Yet, we're rapidly filling out the single seat fighter roster for both sides needed to cover major parts of that campaign. So, I'm thinking one possible path would be to use a famous, significant, 4-engine bomber as the focus point of the effort. The B-17 alone has enough depth to stand alone, and has done so successfully when well implemented, and in the context of the Great Battles game space, would have significant value, even for those of us who would never likely fly the plane itself.

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Not going to happen. The reasons why have been discussed to death on here many times - about once a week as a rule. Basically, this game engine can't handle it.

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2 hours ago, 216th_Cat said:

Not going to happen. The reasons why have been discussed to death on here many times - about once a week as a rule. Basically, this game engine can't handle it.

 

The point is use that as a way to rework the game engine to handle it. A B-17 doesn't take eight times as much work as a single engined fighter would, but rebuilding the parts of the engine to support strategic bombers could easily do so. 

Edited by Voyager
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1 minute ago, Voyager said:

 

The point is use that as a way to rework the game engine to handle it. A B-17 doesn't take eight times as much work as a single engined fighter would, but rebuilding the parts of the engine to support strategic bombers could easily do so. 

 

That’s great news!  If it’s so easy you should have a great B-17 sim ready for us soon.  Can’t wait to buy it!

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32 minutes ago, BraveSirRobin said:

 

It’s ancient.  I’m counting on you to create a new game.  I hear that it should be easy.

Do you really want to get into a discussion of cost estimation and level of complexity guestimates? 

 

We're talking about a four engined aircraft with the usual NACA studies and a number of flying examples. Yes, that is more complex than a single engined, single seat fighter, but do you have justification of why you deem it more than 4x the modeling level of complexity? 

 

Further it has previously been started that the dominant problem with large aircraft operations is now the aircraft models themselves, but rather the AI modelling involved. Thus the proposal to do a solo outing, that likely a less complex aircraft model than the combined plane set of a typical Great Battles game, to smoke available budget that would usually be dedicated towards aircraft R&D and focus it instead towards expanding the AI limitations. 

 

Or you can just do the crab bucket thing. 

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21 minutes ago, Voyager said:

Do you really want to get into a discussion of cost estimation and level of complexity guestimates? 

...

 

How about we leave the cost estimation and 'guestimates' to the people actually in a position to at least make a sensible guess - the developers. They know we'd be interested in heavy bombers if they were practical. They know (or can at least estimate) how much it would cost to add them.  So far, they have made it clear enough that they aren't in their plans. And they aren't going to change their mind based on endless repetitive threads from people who clearly aren't in the position to tell them that they are wrong.

Edited by AndyJWest
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10 hours ago, Voyager said:

Do you really want to get into a discussion of cost estimation and level of complexity guestimates? 

 

Not really.  The developers have already said that it's not going to happen.  So now it's up to you to make that game.   You can have that discussion with your investors.  I'm sure they'll be very impressed.

Edited by BraveSirRobin
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If we ever are going to see heavy bombers I think the most realistic scenario would be the battle of ruhr since they can reuse the bodenplatte map, edit it to an 1943 timeline and extend it westwards so they can include britain, they even could potentially reuse parts of the arras map for the westward extension which all would be less work then an entire new map.

 

Another reason for ruhr would be that the lancaster has less gunners and was flying in smaller formations compared to the b17.

 

 

Sadly as has been pointed out some of the mayor issues why we won't see it are :

 

Difficulty of finding all data (like all turret positions) for the bombers.

Much more work needed compared to most current aircraft.

Game not being able to handle many gunner positions with multiply aircraft which already is an problem with large groups of he111.

10km visibility limit.

Questionable popularity to the general public compared to other aircraft/campaigns which makes it an costly high risk.

 

 

Just to be clear I am not against heavy bombers, I actually am even more interested in an b17 or lancaster then the p51 or me 262 but I don't see it happening in the next few years, far future through who knows alot can happen by then.

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So imo we have 3 options when it comes to getting 4 engine heavies in-game.

 

Option 1: A fully flyable and crewable heavy bomber. This option is least likely and is probably the least possible with the current engine limitations. It would require full interior modeling along with all the gunner positions. It would also require a full detailed flight model and ai.

 

Option 2: Make the Heavy Bomber AI only with full flight model. This option is also unlikely due to the fact that it requires a fully detailed flight model and ai.

 

Option 3: The most logical and possible option would be to create a simplified FM for heavy bombers and produce a simplified AI for gunners in order to take up less performance load.

 

I honestly don't know why they haven't went with option 3 as this is the most logical and possible way to have heavy bombers in-game.

Unfortunately the Devs aren't willing to compromise as far as I'm aware when it comes to FM or AI.

 

Heavy Bombers with 1946 level of AI/FM would fit perfectly in Il2 BoX, and would add the immersion and playability of Bodenplatte aircraft.

Edited by Legioneod
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Option 3 seems a no-brainer, but I doubt we’ll see it.

 

The devs aren’t capable of making this work and the engine isn’t sophisticated enough to pull it off. 

Even if research could be done and there was a big enough potential customer base, having player-controlled, complex FM four-engined bombers with detailed crew positions and interiors is too much for the Great Battles series to manage, so it won’t ever happen. 

 

This isn’t even taking other considerations into account; whether flying for five hours on a constant heading at 30,000ft only to be hit by flak and die before reaching the target would make for compelling gameplay; what the impact of low-level divebombing B-17 gunships with AI gunners might do to multiplayer balance; or whether flying a single B-17 with a fully-human crew of eleven over the village in the Tank Crew map would set anyone’s processor on fire. 

 

 

It’s a shame as heavy bombers could be cool, but not now, and definitely not here. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

I would be happy, if they would make a B-17 AI-only, as flying mission objectives that are either to escort or to destroy.

 

I hear the problem is that the engine cannot support 4 engines. I was thinking about the possibility to model a pair of engines as a single engine with the thrust vector being a combination of two vectors from two engines. So that you basically have 2 virtual engines, that are graphically displayed as four. The damage model would have to interpret "one of four engines destroyed" as engine damage of some sort, that reduces the power of the virtual engine of that side to 50%.

 

With an AI-only plane, it could be something like the announced B-25 with the looks of a bigger plane. When nobody can really check from the cockpit what engines are damaged and what exactly is happening to the planes engines in detail.

 

But yes, i don't know enough about the setup of the il2-engine. 

 

Its just a pity with almost all german late war fighters being dedicated heavy-bomber-interceptors!

Including all the fancy loadouts and deadly 30mm cannons, which is basically an AA-grenade launcher to kill heavies.

And then the Mustang, which was designed to escort heavy bombers high up.

 

... but then you have no heavy bombers. 

 

I guess we have to be ok with B-25...

 

 

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5 minutes ago, KB-Kriechbaum said:

I would be happy, if they would make a B-17 AI-only, as flying mission objectives that are either to escort or to destroy.

 

I hear the problem is that the engine cannot support 4 engines. I was thinking about the possibility to model a pair of engines as a single engine with the thrust vector being a combination of two vectors from two engines. So that you basically have 2 virtual engines, that are graphically displayed as four. The damage model would have to interpret "one of four engines destroyed" as engine damage of some sort, that reduces the power of the virtual engine of that side to 50%.

 

With an AI-only plane, it could be something like the announced B-25 with the looks of a bigger plane. When nobody can really check from the cockpit what engines are damaged and what exactly is happening to the planes engines in detail.

 

But yes, i don't know enough about the setup of the il2-engine. 

 

Its just a pity with almost all german late war fighters being dedicated heavy-bomber-interceptors!

Including all the fancy loadouts and deadly 30mm cannons, which is basically an AA-grenade launcher to kill heavies.

And then the Mustang, which was designed to escort heavy bombers high up.

 

... but then you have no heavy bombers. 

 

I guess we have to be ok with B-25...

 

 

 

Well, I don't think this will happen - at least not with the current engine we have. Sorry mate, but this is simply a fact and not only because of 4 engine airplanes not being supported,

the game's engine is already at its limits, if you read all the comments and observations about performance in single player career mode or frequently used multiplayer servers.

 

Imagine a heavy bomber formation with some decent escort and now add some heavy flak defence like it obviously happened over Schweinfurt (large industrial city!) - even with

the most decent and best configured system, this will not only turn out in a stutter fest, no, you will have nice slide show. Sorry.

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51 minutes ago, -IRRE-Therion said:

Imagine a heavy bomber formation with some decent escort and now add some heavy flak defence like it obviously happened over Schweinfurt (large industrial city!) - even with

the most decent and best configured system, this will not only turn out in a stutter fest, no, you will have nice slide show. Sorry.

 

We did this in IL2 with B24s (or was it Aces High?) No escorts as there were none at Schweinfurt but there there was lots of flack plus enemy fighters attacking on the egress.

That was not an argument for either side,  just reminiscing 🙂

Edited by 56RAF_Roblex
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Yes, the 500 bomber - formations would be overkill.

 

But say a 10 Bomber formation with 10 escort would already be a cool thing that will give you the same kind of fighting, just scaled down. On beloga you have like 40 planes within a 5k circle and its not too bad. It works with A-20s atm, so... idk.

 

What i cannot fully understand at the moment is, why are heavy bombers an "impossible load" but with tactical bombers its totally doable? 

Does the FM change so dramatically with a bigger plane (that has also two wings, flaps, ailerons und a tail)?  Except for the four engines i cannot see why a B17 is a huge deal, but a HE-111 is not except for the engines.

 

Not argueing, just asking out of interest :)

 

 

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36 minutes ago, BraveSirRobin said:

The problem has nothing to do with engines.   It is the number of AI gunners.

 

90 percent true but one of the developers did say the B-17 was exponentially more complex to model than a single or twin engined aircraft. Building it would take the design cycles to complete a full set of fighters and is not worth it ecconomically. (Second sentence is paraphrased as I don't remember if this was printed or a live conversation I had with a member of the team.)

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35 minutes ago, II/JG17_HerrMurf said:

 

90 percent true but one of the developers did say the B-17 was exponentially more complex to model than a single or twin engined aircraft. Building it would take the design cycles to complete a full set of fighters and is not worth it ecconomically. (Second sentence is paraphrased as I don't remember if this was printed or a live conversation I had with a member of the team.)

 

I’m just referring to the in-game issues.  I’m sure that there are also plenty of development issues as well.

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3 minutes ago, II/JG17_HerrMurf said:

Fair enough. Just wanted to paint a fuller picture as we address this approximately every ninety days (minutes?) in these forums.

 

I can just imagine the conversations if we ever get to the Pacific, and people start clamoring for a flyable B-29. 😐

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I remember there was a project once to have fully manable B17s and make it multiplayer ('Bombs Away'?)  and I loved the idea.   I would happily have joined up with 4 or 5 friends to man a single bomber  then gone online to meet up with similar groups of people and fly a two hour mission to Germany.  If I remember correctly,  there were no human fighters but there were AI enemy fighters to make sure everyone got to see some exciting action.     Unfortunately they realised they could not make it MP and just ended up releasing it as SP.

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5 hours ago, 56RAF_Roblex said:

 

I remember there was a project once to have fully manable B17s and make it multiplayer ('Bombs Away'?)  and I loved the idea.   I would happily have joined up with 4 or 5 friends to man a single bomber  then gone online to meet up with similar groups of people and fly a two hour mission to Germany.  If I remember correctly,  there were no human fighters but there were AI enemy fighters to make sure everyone got to see some exciting action.     Unfortunately they realised they could not make it MP and just ended up releasing it as SP.

 

That was B-17 Flying Fortress: The Mighty Eighth. Pretty darn good single-player options (at least for the B-17; for the fighters it was bare-bones), but yeah, MP was nixed. 

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Are aircraft in IL-2 really DCS levels of simulation? I personally doubt it and I think people make too big a deal about " how complex X would be to model" etc etc.

 

If data is unavailable, what's wrong with making conservative, educated guesses?

 

Yes, I know its a slippery slope. You give them an inch they'll take a foot. We have nice quality aircraft today and we have World of Warplanes levels of aircraft tomorrow.

 

I'd be about 40% fine with this TBH. As long as it means we just get the aircraft and we get the theaters.

 

So if it turns out the Pacific theater isn't possible for example because information on Japanese aircraft is hard to acquire? Then what? 

 

Just go "oh gee wizz" and accept it (even though dozens of other flying games have been able to do it reasonably in the past)?

Or do we maybe accept the compromise that the Japanese aircraft may be a little less accurate to some extent than some of the others?

 

I would...

 

I'm curious to know what exact information about the aircraft is required in order to model an aircraft currently. And why if some of that information is unavailable just err on the side of caution and makeup what you would be conservative values.

 

1.jpg.3935887b62e3aca68875df197ce0a079.jpg

Edited by Motherbrain
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On 4/2/2019 at 3:36 AM, Royal_Flight said:

Option 3 seems a no-brainer, but I doubt we’ll see it.

 

The devs aren’t capable of making this work and the engine isn’t sophisticated enough to pull it off. 

Even if research could be done and there was a big enough potential customer base, having player-controlled, complex FM four-engined bombers with detailed crew positions and interiors is too much for the Great Battles series to manage, so it won’t ever happen. 

 

This isn’t even taking other considerations into account; whether flying for five hours on a constant heading at 30,000ft only to be hit by flak and die before reaching the target would make for compelling gameplay; what the impact of low-level divebombing B-17 gunships with AI gunners might do to multiplayer balance; or whether flying a single B-17 with a fully-human crew of eleven over the village in the Tank Crew map would set anyone’s processor on fire. 

 

 

It’s a shame as heavy bombers could be cool, but not now, and definitely not here. 

 

Pretty much why the bombers should be ai only. I always find it funny that people say the engine can't handle it when an engine 20 years old pulled it off. If bombers are ever to be added then there needs to be compromises, even DCS made compromises to have B-17s in the sim.

 

I'd honestly be happy if they just took the FM from 46 and put it in BoX in order to have bombers, doesn't matter to me if the FM is as high detailed as modern sims. I also don't really care if they are flyable or not since I really just want a better reason to fly high and escort/attack aircraft.

 

Edited by Legioneod
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