Update 5.002: Churchill, Tac Codes, DVD, Propellers, etc.
The huge update 5.002 was just released - it contains both new content and a lot of improvements for all released modules at once.
The heavy British infantry tank Churchill IV is released - it is already available in the game for everyone who has purchased it. The tank represents a Lend-Lease program vehicle on the Eastern Front. There is a thorough description of it in the Dev Blog #328 - we recommend you to take a look since there are many interesting features.
The update contains really important improvements for ALL aircraft of our projects — now you can customize their tactical numbers. The style of tactical numbers for each aircraft corresponds to the average historical practice: in reality, the numbers were applied with huge differences even on the same model of aircraft, however, the style we have chosen reconstructs historical prototypes well. Unique "fonts" have been created for each country, and the user can choose not only a symbol, but also its color. The available selection depends on the aircraft model according to historical data. In addition to being customizable by the player, in the Quick Mission, Advanced Quick Mission, and Pilot's Career modes the AI-controlled aircraft also have correct tactical numbers.
In addition, the technology of dynamic visual damage (DVD) is now applied to ALL aircraft in our project. Essentially it makes the impact marks appear exactly where they should, not just in a general area like part of the wing. You are already familiar with it - earlier it was working on tanks, Flying Circus Vol.2 aircraft and some Battle of Normandy aircraft. Now the new system is used everywhere. It should be noted that since the position of these dynamic marks must be transmitted in a network game, an optimization was in order to avoid a decrease in the performance of the network module: in a multiplayer game, only hit marks from bigger rounds are displayed, bullet hits aren’t due to their number. In single player mode hit marks from all calibers are present.
In the version 5.002 ALL aircraft also received a completely new visualization of the rotating propeller. Its appearance is now based on the physical principles and the image is matched to how it looks on video recordings, taking in account interference and strobe effects. The 3/4 view of the propeller corresponds to the direction of its rotation, forming a "crescent" pattern according to how the blades are facing the observer at each place of the propeller disk. The side view at the propeller depends on the propeller pitch. When viewed from the front, there is an effect of scratches flickering in the sun. In addition, the blurred propeller texture changes according to the paint scheme.
A long-standing problem related to the excessive visibility of aircraft navigation and formation lights was also resolved. On all aircraft, the visibility of such lights is reduced to a common denominator and in accordance with historical data.
There are well over 60 improvements and fixes waiting for you in this update. For instance, three new cargo ships were added for the Battle of Normandy. The full list of changes can be found below.
Take a look at the last item on the list - the story of how it made it into the update is very interesting. After the release of Normandy, a gentleman who saw our trailer on YouTube recognized his father’s Typhoon by its tactical number (!), and wrote about it in the comments. He offered to provide more information and send photos. Of course, we updated the information (it is in the description of the paint scheme ‘Collins’), and we have found an excellent use for one photo. As you know, in our sim you can place a photo in the cockpit of aircraft and tanks - by default it is a woman corresponding to the era and country, but the player can replace it with an image of their own loved ones or even put some notes there. Now the Typhoon by default will have the real photo of the wife and child of the 245th squadron leader Jack Collins, who has been killed in action over Normandy - exactly the photo that he would have placed himself in the cockpit of his aircraft in 1944.
This is a kind of a digital monument, a tribute to the memory of the pilot and his family. We want to extend this practice to other aircraft and tanks in our simulator - if you happen to know relatives of a pilot or tank crew member who fought in one of them, and they still have wartime photographs showing his family, please tell them to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Player-controllable detailed tank Churchill IV is now available to its customers;
- All Great Battles aircraft have new rotating propellers visualization tech;
- All Great Battles aircraft now use user-defined tactical numbers. The tactical number format for each aircraft reasonably corresponds to historical prototypes and varies by country. The font of numbers for each country is different and was chosen as the most commonly used from a historical and technical point of view. Additional paint schemes that are compatible with customizable tactical numbers are added;
- All Great Battles aircraft have the new tech of navigation and formation lights visualization, their visibility range became more realistic;
- All Great Battles aircraft use the DVD (dynamic visual damage) technology that was previously applied for tanks - the impact marks from bullets and shells are placed in the impact location (not just in a general area like part of the wing). The size and appearance of the marks is consistent with the type and caliber of the projectile, as well as the material of the skin at the point of impact;
- Bayfield-class assault transport ship added;
- Liberty cargo ship added;
- 12,000 ton cargo ship Design 1013 added;
Normandy Map Improvements
- River borders in some French port cities corrected;
- Rivers near railway bridges and landmarks corrected;
- Churches in some areas were replaced with more historically suitable models;
- Coastal cliffs positions corrected;
- Many railway bridges were replaced with ones more suitable for specific locations;
- Mulberry A and Mulberry B port plans corrected;
- Windmills, water towers and production workshops positions corrected throughout the map;
- Some leftover trees removed from airfields;
- Several French port layouts corrected according to the new historical data;
- Fixed a problem with fortification objects partially hanging in the air;
- Fixed a problem with houses, barracks and production shops partially hanging in the air;
- Road network refined on the entire map;
- Manston airfield texturing adjusted;
- A-20 cockpit canopy reflections adjusted when viewed from the outside;
- Bf 109 spinners won’t visibly “turn 180°” when viewed from a distance;
- Red underwing smoke generator works correctly on SPAD XIII;
- Colliding with certain houses won’t cause tanks and other ground vehicles to be pushed in the air;
- Player controllable detailed tanks won’t stuck on the ruins of some houses;
- Rotating a ground object view camera won’t cause it to freeze or jump to the coordinate root in certain situations;
- MLRS won’t sometimes ‘creep forward’ when firing;
- Fixed an issue with the wingmen progressively falling behind in altitude when flying in a formation when the leader is climbing;
- The V-1 cruise missile autopilot ability to recover from a push has been reduced, making it easier to knock off course;
- V-1 engine flame effect looks correct from a distance;
- IL-2 airframe sturdiness has been corrected (now its tail is more resistant to damage);
- In Quick Missions where you control an AA gun the skins of target aircraft are set in accordance with the side, season and theater;
- Career: fixed an issue where the flight leader could taxi back to the last taxiing point on the runway before starting the takeoff;
- Career: fixed an issue that caused an empty bridgehead cover mission generation when choosing to start in the air;
- Normandy Career and AQM: a car on the runway and a parked plane near the control tower on the Thorney Island airfield were removed;
- Normandy Career and AQM: signal fires were removed from the airfield A1 Saint-Pierre-du-Mont taxiways;
- Normandy Career and AQM: static aircraft were removed from the edge of the runway on the Plumelot airfield;
- Normandy Career: now your character can be captured when landing or bailing out over enemy territory;
- Mission Editor: fixed an issue where changing the model of a detailed building in a mission could make it indestructible and generate script errors;
- Mission Editor: fixed the assignment of an object script for detailed buildings after changing the building model via the Properties > Model dialog;
- Mission Editor: Properties > Model dialog for Artillery, Buildings, Blocks, Blocks Detail and Firing Point object types now contains only the objects of the corresponding type;
- Mission Editor: the ability to link the objects in different groups has been restored due to a popular demand;
- Mission Editor: logical objects were removed from the Normandy map templates (this caused a large number of error messages during mission integrity checks, but did not affect the game functioning in any way);
- Mission Editor: the “/” symbol in the path to the object skin will be read correctly;
- Historically correct single-barreled 40-mm Bofors guns and the rangefinder post are added to the LST landing ships;
- Now the amount of time an AI aircraft can spend in a negative G maneuver is limited;
- Camouflage colors of the Pz.Kpfw.IV Ausf.G tank and the Flakpanzer IV Mobelwagen self-propelled anti-aircraft gun were fixed;
- A disabled detailed tank won’t incorrectly remain a group leader (previously damage to the vehicle could be incorrectly taken into account);
- AI wingmen execute commands "Attack air targets", "Attack ground targets" and "Attack air and ground targets" better;
- AI pilots engage brakes on the runway when waiting for the takeoff;
- Ar 234B2 drag parachutes and the SB 1000/410 bomb look correctly from a distance;
- Improved display of translucency of camouflage nets at a distance;
- Fixed graphical bugs in wagon models, due to which some of their parts began to “glow” in the dark in distant views;
- Fixed a graphical bug in the airfield barracks model (arf_eu_barrackblack) that caused a destroyed building to look like an intact one at a medium middle distance;
- Fixed display of balloon cables in multiplayer;
- Fixed an issue with the visual disappearance of the ammo belt and a false message about reloading when correcting a misfire in a bow (forward firing) machine gun on German tanks;
- The M2 commander's machine gun on the M4A2 tank can overheat and misfire;
- In multiplayer Dogfight mode a mismatch of tactical codes has been fixed;
- Fixed a game crash that could occur when a detailed SPG is following Attack Area - Attack Ground order;
- P-51B-5 some parts of the landing gear won’t "glow";
- The size of HE shell DVD hit marks on thin metal and non-metal was increased by 3 times;
- The M8 Greyhound and Morris C9B combat vehicles have been temporarily removed for revision;
- Fixed a game crash for a guest commander when the owner of the tank exited the mission and there was an active order to move or attack;
- Fixed switching to the visor view when the tank is below a certain height above sea level;
- Last but not the least: the default photo in the Typhoon cockpit has been replaced with a real photo provided by the family of the 245th squadron leader, Jack Collins, who was killed in action over Normandy.