Dev blog #332 / IL-2 Sturmovik: Great Battles
Dev blog #332
Dev blog #332

Dear Friends,

Today we had a YouTube stream about the project:

The text below roughly follows its highlights. We'll be able to show you the stuff in development in the next Dev Blogs, while today we will give you an overview of the current work directions.

First and foremost, we're committed to the new project tech that is already in development. At the moment our graphics engine gives us more than competitive visuals and performance. And the progress doesn't stop. By the time it is released, the player's hardware, competitors' tech and game industry standards will be more advanced and we have to keep our place in the vanguard of the industry and the genre. By concentrating on the really important advancements and not spreading the resources thin on hyped things that will be soon forgotten. This is not an easy task but we were able to handle it so far and are positive we'll keep it this way. The direction of the graphics engine improvement we have chosen is massive and fundamental, requiring some new approaches to the content creation routines - therefore they affect not only our programmers but all our artists as well. As a result we'll have a new level of objects and environment quality.

Second, we plan significant changes in the graphical user interface - both its engine and design will be updated. We want to achieve the new level of visual quality by having an interface that will help the player's immersion from the first screen and in all the various game modes. While the new interface design is still being discussed, its engine is already set. The new API allows many graphical possibilities and, which is very important, performance optimizations. All in all, we expect a significant leap forward in this area.

Third, we plan to make significant improvements to the physical models. There will be a revision of the many subtle aerodynamics aspects that accumulated through the years. Our physical models are already very accurate and are among the best in the genre. But there are always things that can be improved. As you know, recently we have tuned the damage modeling and achieved very good results. However, the experience of years of work and optimizations in various parts of the project allow us to make a next step in increasing the detail and variety of the aircraft damage modeling.

Fourth, we have already started the creation of the technical design documents for the new aircraft and one of these aircraft is already in development. The work on new pilots models is already underway. The pre-production of the new map has started - our designers are doing various research on the new area. This work is very extensive and complex because the chosen theatre of war is very interesting and visually appealing. But the reference documents and materials are not easy to come by. In fact, as it was before in our team experience, it looks like we'll not only create a new memorable realistic combat sim, but make a contribution to the history as a science by uncovering new data. At the very least we'll do our part in refreshing the public memory of these events.

Fifth, we're finishing the previous projects. The work on the Western Front 1918 map is nearing its end and we'll release it into Early Access as soon as possible along with Quick Mission mode. The work on the Career mode for Flying Circus is also progressing, the map locations are being prepared for this mode and the creation of new missions will start soon. Player controllable C-47 is almost finished and we hope to start its beta-testing soon. Sopwith Snipe progress is way beyond half of the planned work. Spitfire Mk.XIVe FM is in the works (we have shown you its screenshots in our Dev Blog recently) and our engineers will start the work on the Siemens Schuckert FM in the coming weeks. The IAR-80 visual model has made good progress. In fact, we plan to dedicate the next DD to this aircraft. StuG III will be finished soon - its physical model is ready and the artists are texturing its interior and exterior. In addition, we plan to create several more Collector Planes, which will be the modifications of the various aircraft that exist in the sim. Also we're finishing several Battle of Normandy objects - Bofors AAA on Morris 9C chassis, M8 Greyhound, Sd.Kfz.234 Puma armored car, Universal Carrier and Flight Direction Tender ship.

All in all, after the Normandy release our team did not slow down - on the contrary, we're accelerating on our way to the new, massive goal. This is backed up by the fact that we're significantly expanding - the plan is to increase the team from 36 to 50 people, reinforcing key departments and creating new ones. In spite of the world, industry and our project events the team keeps the spirit and its commitment to results - and the company management is also focused on results so we start our ship acceleration together. The very interesting, unique and compelling goal lies ahead and we're motivated to achieve it. We hope that when we announce it, this goal will inspire you, the community, not less than us, the development team - and perhaps even more.

To add something visual to today's DD, here are the shots of our Fw 190 D-9 model recently added to Artstation - check them out.