After the recent release of the update 3.102 many of you wondered "why there are no new Bodenplatte planes"? There is nothing strange about it: the remaining three player-controllable fighters and AI-controlled bomber are the most complex and difficult to produce objects in the entire history of our team. But the more difficult is the task the more interesting is the result. At the moment we plan to make all these four planes available to you in the next huge update at the end of September that will also bring the important new features we're working on at the moment. Here's the rundown on their current statuses:
- P-51D-15: cockpit texturing and flight model is in development.
- P-38J-25: cockpit texturing is nearly finished, the flight model is finished, it will go to beta testing soon.
- Tempest Mk.V ser.2: 3D model is finished, the flight model is nearly finished, it will go to beta testing soon as well.
- B-25D (Mitchell II): 3D model is finished, we’re working on the last bits of texturing and turret animations, the flight model is in development.
The work on the Rhineland map for Bodenplatte is also progressing well and we'll show you some of it in one of the coming DDs. We're working on the new Career timeframe 'Battle of Rhineland' in parallel. Now let's list the features that are at the final stage of development at the moment:
- Switch to the newer F-MOD API version which we hope will fix the disappearing sounds issue right away or in the near future.
- An advanced model of pilot physiology that includes complex fatigue modeling that takes into account G-overload fatigue, overload frequency, alternation of positive and negative overloads, wounds, having a G-suit, lack of oxygen and oxygen supply system. The model will also simulate a loss of consciousness and ability to control an aircraft after experiencing too sharp or too severe overloads. The algorithms it is using are based on the research of various institutes. The introduction of this model is likely to change the flow of air combat, especially in multiplayer. However, those who find it too difficult and unfamiliar will be able to switch it off as realism option (it will also be a server setting).
- Air Marshal mode that is being developed especially for multiplayer will also enter the testing stage soon. When this happens, we'll dedicate a special DD to it.
- Improved AI maneuvering in a dogfight. Our new programmer is working on this (the recent formation keeping improvements are his work), but remember there is still a long way to go in this area.
- Improved visibility distance of planes and ships. The main difficulty in the development of this feature was making the dynamic objects show at great distances without a steady stream of data reporting their position and orientation. Another important thing is to model the lighting of the airplane even at long range - we discarded the idea of having just black dots at these distances, where the visibility of an object is determined by the position of the sun, brightness and hue of the sky, haze, etc. All this is impossible to model having only a black dot. The distant planes flying at high altitudes will have contrails and ships will have visible wakes. It is also important to have more or less equal terms for owners of different monitors. Having completed all these tasks, we'll increase the maximum visibility distance for planes and ships from 10 to 100 km and the resulting visibility distance will realistically correspond to the lighting and weather conditions.
As you can see, the Bodenplatte project is at the final stage and nearing release. Numerous changes and additions to be seen in the final version are more or less close to being finished. Therefore, the update 3.102 included the content that was ready and a minimal amount of changes - at the final stage nothing should divert the team from the main target. We don't want our words to sound empty or unfounded, so today we can show you the in-game exterior shots of the P-38J-25 Collector Plane (that is included in Bodenplatte Premium, only version you can get at the moment), the cockpit of the British Tempest Mk.V ser.2 and the new German pilot in Summer 1944 uniform: