As you of course remember, one of the key new features of Battle of Kuban is the new gameplay mode - Career. In this mode, you'll build your character, a military pilot. His career will develop day by day in the chosen theatre of war. Each morning (except the days with non-flying weather), the plan for the day is set and the outcome of an each sortie influences your squadron (the pilots can be wounded, lost, the aircraft can be damaged, etc.). The player character will participate in some of the sorties, while the results of other ones will be generated automatically based on the overall frontline situation, how experienced the AI pilots are and which aircraft with what armament they have, weather conditions and so on.
In this Dev. Diary we'd like to share with you many never before seen screenshots of the Kuban map as it nears completion. It's simply awesome and sets a new standard for Sturmovik map making. We hope you enjoy them. And progress continues as we continue to work on and testing and implementing the FM changes and new shadow technology mentioned earlier. The screens below show our old shadow technology for now.
We have a couple new shots for you based on this week results - boats and ships on the Kuban map. The work on the flight model improvements continues and is now at its final stage - we're teaching the AI how to control the aircraft with the new FM and implementing mouse controls for it (as you may already know, both the AI and our mouse controls in our project use the real thing, full FM, not a simplified one).
We're happy to announce that we just released the update 2.011. The main addition of this version is, of course, the Supermarine Spitfire Mk.VB Collector Plane. They were sent to USSR via the lend-lease program and took part in the Battle of Kuban. The aircraft is quite interesting and unusual, our engineer who worked on its flight model wrote a detailed article about it earlier: Dev Blog 162. We can also add that this plane highlights the pros of our flight model. Spitfire is neutrally stable along the pitch axis. Piloting this plane is quite different to piloting classic, statically stable aircraft. This is especially noticeable during intensive maneuvering when instead of moving the flight stick backward and keeping it this way during the maneuver the quick double movement backward and then forward is required so the aircraft will begin the maneuver and stay in it. This effect is especially noticeable during a landing when the landing flaps are extended. It should be noted that these peculiarities don't cause a discomfort, they just make the piloting more interesting and give you the feel of control when you understand what is happening. To summarize, this aircraft should have a significant advantage in a low altitude and slower dogfight thanks to its very low wing loading and high power reserve at low speeds.
I have been in Moscow all week with the team working on many things both current and future. Before I head home to California I want to share some images of the Spitfire cockpit and our new shadow tech. You heard right, our shadows have been re-worked and they look awesome!! They are sharper, your plane projects its own shadow on the ground while in the cockpit and objects such as trees and buildings and vehicles cast their own dynamic shadows on everything! We’ve also increased the distance at which shadows are drawn. This makes the scenery like villages and ground combat environments looks even more realistic. And shadows in cockpits will also be sharper with all details casting shadows. When everything is in motion is just looks great.