Another productive week has passed. We achieved a good progress in implementing VR devices support via Open VR API - HTC Vive and Oculus Rift. Both devices work in our sim already - visuals work, their parameters are being adjusted and possible performance optimizations are being researched. We used a certain approach to interact with existing user interface in VR environment conveniently. We'll start beta testing of the VR sub-system in the nearest future and it's planned to make Open VR support available to public in March.
At the same time, He-111 H-16 and Fw 190 A-5 development is almost finished and we'll start their beta testing this weekend (they will be released in 2-3 weeks). As we mentioned in our previous Dev Diaries, these planes turned out to be quite interesting. Meanwhile, the next Battle of Kuban planes are entering the development phase - today we can show you our first WIP screenshots of the A-20B bomber. This aircraft is going to be the most expensive in production for us, but it should also be among the most interesting planes.
While engineer and artist teams work on Battle of Kuban aircraft, our dedicated map department is making the landscape of the new theater of war. As we mentioned earlier, we use Rise of Flight tech as a start, but we spent a lot of resources to make it up to the task. We improved the mountains rendering in the first place, since mountains and foothills occupy 22 thousands square km of the total 120 thousands square km and the mountain coast is 350 km long. Theoretically we could create this landscape using existing technologies, but it would take unrealistic amount of time and we didn't have so many resources to do it the old-fashioned way. Therefore, we spent some time creating the procedural texturing system for mountaneous terrain. Surely, the modern tech requires not only applying the textures, but also choosing correct materials to make the landscape as natural looking as possible, getting rid of unnaturaly straight lines and borders.
Having released 2.007 update this week, we work on the next one. He 111 H-16 and Fw 190 A-5 flight models are being developed simultaneously. New A-5 model Focke-Wulf turns out to be an interesting platform, primarily because of the abundance of its weapon systems. For once, if you choose twin MG 151/20 gondolas you'll get six 20mm guns firing forward, resuting in a most powerful firing salvo in our sim. In addition, there will be a possibility to select Fw 190 A-5/U-17 strike loadout that includes additional armor protecting the engine and fuselage bottom, four additional underwing holders for SC 50 bombs and, most importantly, boost system that allows 1.65 ATA. Thanks to additional fuel injection into the overcharger intake, the engine can work for a prolonged amount of time in this mode, much longer that it can work in 1.42 ATA take-off mode without boost. However, this boost is effective only at low altitudes (less than 1 km), highlighting the primary use of this loadout as a ground strike craft.
We reached another Battle of Kuban milestone and present you 2.007 update. The main addition is Bf 110 G-2 that can carry a variety of strike weaponry. The result of the long work of our engineer department is also in: AI aircraft physics optimizations that allow to create more intense missions containing more AI planes. In addition, this update includes Fw 190 A-3 flight model corrections that were announced earlier (the result of additional available data analysis and historical references comparison). The full list of changes follows:
The new He 111 H-16 looks even more interesting and deadly than its predecessor. The main advantage of its defensive weaponry is the fact that all its machine guns (excluding the nose gun) are belt fed. 13 mm belt fed machine gun firing both armor piercing and high explosive rounds is very dangerous for enemy fighters. The bottom fire pit with twin barreled MG-81Z machine gun provides a good defence in the lower hemisphere. Two bomb bay doors allow for a very large payload of small and medium sized bombs. Pilot cabin instrument panel alignment was also changed for a better view of the front hemisphere.