We continue to work on our VR implementation and it has posed some technical challenges and there will be some small limitations due to incompatibility between the VR API and our engine. It must be said that our engine was never designed to work natively with VR and the VR companies never designed their goggles and tech to work natively with a hardcore flight-sim with a custom graphics engine that includes gunner positions and bombsights. Remember that when it comes to WWII, only Sturmovik products actually have multi-crew aircraft with realistic gunner positions and bombsights - our competitors do not. So, this is new territory for VR in any hardcore sim. Overcoming some of these technical issues would require more time and custom work from us in addition to some new customization options from Valve and Oculus. How these smaller issues are resolved remains to be seen.
We have new results for you after another development week. Today Dev Diary won't have much text because, as a popular saying goes, 'a picture is worth a thousand words'. Mountain valleys and rivers technology is almost finished and the result it gives is on par with some pure tech demos out there. This is what happens when the technology (represented by our graphics programmer) and art (our mapping department) meet. Such harmony between different teams or individuals is something any development studio tries to achieve.
We've moved one step closer to Battle of Kuban release and present you the new version 2.008 today. It brings new content for BoK while other improvements are prepared for all owners of the game, as usual. The main addition is the new aircraft - He 111 H-16 and Fw 190 A-5 - which Battle of Kuban owners can fly right now (all others can see them in multiplayer or assign them to AI in singleplayer).
We also added a new modification for existing La-5 fighter - you asked us about it many times. M-82F engine, which went into production in early 1943, can work in boosted mode without a time limit.
Our community members also contributed to this update. Juri_JS and Coconut created new Battle of Moscow scenarios while talented skin maker Qi created historically accurate skins for Fw 190 A-5. We would like to thank those enthusiasts, you can admire their work as soon as your game install updates to 2.008.
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.