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#3960219 - 05/30/14 03:58 PM Dev Update 66  
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http://forum.il2sturmovik.com/topic/168-developer-diary/?p=123482

66





Hi Everyone!



Today we publish answers to the most interesting and important questions of the forum community. Friday game update is still being worked at, and it will be released later today. Don't expect big content updates, it's mostly about bug fixes and improvements.



How will the single-player campaign work? Are we going to play as an abstract or real pilot, or we freely choose where to server and what plane to fly? Are separate missions in the campaign connected?

Our goal is to tell the story of Battle of Stalingrad to as many players as we can. This approach along with restricted development period surely limits us in comprehensive recreation of smaller details. Thus it will not be a single player campaign about a pilot or a squadron. It will be about aircraft and war history.

We'd be glad to avoid endless community arguments on that matter. However, there's a lot to discuss since even historians are not certain about some moments. So we just turn away a bit from these issues and create a game about planes. Let your imagination personalize your gaming experience. We're an unbiased story teller. You are pilots living virtual lives in the sim. Also, this community is quite segmented in its desires, just because you are the loudest, does not mean you are the biggest. A lot of players can't afford to spend more than 1 hour a day in the game while the other group of players is able to play the game 10 hours a day or even more. And we realized that it's not us making the game emotional, it is you. Our part is to deliver necessary conditions for your experience.

IL2:BOS campaign will tell you the story of Battle of Stalingrad from November 19th 1942 till February 2nd 1943. The whole period is split into operations (phases of the battle). Each phase has a realistic template on how ground troops and airfields were positioned. We did our best to be as precise as possible in this and all templates are based on historically correct data and real maps. We divided the battle into several key parts: Uranus, Little Saturn, Aerial Bridge, Winter Thunder and so on.

Meanwhile the player is not limited with anything and the playable character is impersonalized. Each player is going to have their own virtual life and singular, specific experience and emotions. You'll be free to pick any plane, any airfield and any mission that is available at that moment. And this unique experience of yours will build your personal campaign.

Missions are not connected with each other. There's sort of a "groundhog day" within each single phase. Time of a day, weather conditions (within a list of historically correct ones for each period) will vary every time you start the mission. And you play this or that phase as many times as you want. Several successfully completed missions open access to the next phase leaving the completed one available for reply at any time. This is akin to sand-box style gaming.

Players who are looking for precise reconstruction of particular historical events will have community created missions to satisfier their demands. Those missions can tell about specific pilots, events and real combat missions down to historically correct personal skins and battle conditions. But our studio is not able to deal with such amount of tasks right now, that's why community we'll need to provide themselves with those WWII reconstruction missions. And the main campaign will remain available for the wider audience.

Is there going to be an object viewer? The opening screen with the rotating plane is stunning. Really allows you to view the aircrafts details. It'd be great to be able to do that with aircraft and even vehicles and other objects as needed.

We have such tool, but it's been designed for development purposes and that's why its interface is too complex. I hope that we'll be able to make something like it for you. But this may happen after game release only.

Whats the final decision regarding the pilots exhaustion simulation? There was a users poll about it somewhere on the forum.

Well do it if we have time for it. You see, the feature is interesting, but still quite elusive. Its already hard for players to figure out how to play such a complex game where an engine can fail about 10 different ways. So, adding such unexpected elements like pilots exhaustion could turn us into a developer with target audience of 20 people.

How will AI bombers behave in the campaign? A player tries to stay alive, maybe bots should do so as well? Speaking of AI pilots in general - will they try to keep their planes and their lives leaving the battlefield if fuels and ammo run out?

Bombers will not be that impressive as you described, but they do have a fear of death. They try to leave the battle and get back to the airfield by evading a threat. But nevertheless they are game objects only. They wouldnt bring any enjoyment to players if that were not just objects. Imagine that bots would refuse to fly because they saw their battle stats and considered further attempts futile.

When will we have the full mission editor?

This will come after game release. Only those who we have worked with before will have a chance to get their hands on the editor during early access. The editor is too complex. It has reached functionality, but its too hard to learn to use it. Loft is sure that 95% of players dont need it at all. The remaining 5% are actually capable of making something worthy. Well contact these 5% later, and I hope that some of them may offer the community their own user missions by the game release.

When will we actually see Skin templates? Can we have some sort of skin viewer to check if our work "works" properly on the model?

Yes, therell be templates and tools.

Will there be an option to see how many hours your buddy has flown in the game? What modes count flight time for the global stats?

Detailed stats will be done after game release. Were currently creating basics of that stats system. Ones flight time counter can possibly be hacked as any other counter, but who plays with cheaters and liars?

How do you plan to count frags? The last one to hit gets it? Or the one who dealt most damage?

We have system of group victory. The one who deals critical damage gets the frag, other get group victory points. The algorithm is rather complex as well as the definition of critical damage. And we dont have health bars so its impossible to count who dealt most damage.

Question, will we have AI that tries to belly land a damaged aircraft? Currently I see AI only bailing out also at low altitudes.

Yes, AI is currently able to bail out only after getting critically hit. Admit that most players do the same. I hope that well be able to teach bots to land on belly. That would mean making AI more complicated which would scarcely be the wisest decision. Anyway well get back to this discussion later.

How much of the code for BoS will be available for third party folks? Back in the day in IL2 there were several 3rd party utilities that came out from Sturmolog to the DCG and the UQMG etc... Will it be possible to do something like this in BoS?

You dont need code for it. All the tools are in the game as well as full logs and mission editor algorithms. As of yet Im skeptical about it because people would rather talk then do anything. But if somebody from the community actually did something worthy wed help them personally as we have at times done with the ROF community. And please dont compare the game to IL-2 1946. The original IL-2 game lived several years before such creativity came out to the light; were only 16 month old.

Will you give dedicated server to players someday this summer, before the release? Is it possible to control the server remotely?

Yes, wed like to do so and give out the tools. But they are not yet ready and were still working on them. It means that youd require our help and guidance and were currently unable to provide constant support to such enthusiasts. Please, stay patient for a bit more.
And yes, you can operate the server software remotely using any standard remote access software, and therell be no specific tools for it from us. We also use remote access to control the servers and its fine.

#3960745 - 05/31/14 04:23 PM Re: Dev Update 66 [Re: Sim]  
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Originally Posted By: Sim
http://forum.il2sturmovik.com/topic/168-developer-diary/?p=123482

How will the single-player campaign work? Are we going to play as an abstract or real pilot, or we freely choose where to server and what plane to fly? Are separate missions in the campaign connected?

Our goal is to tell the story of Battle of Stalingrad to as many players as we can. This approach along with restricted development period surely limits us in comprehensive recreation of smaller details. Thus it will not be a single player campaign about a pilot or a squadron. It will be about aircraft and war history...

...IL2:BOS campaign will tell you the story of Battle of Stalingrad from November 19th 1942 till February 2nd 1943. The whole period is split into operations (phases of the battle). Each phase has a realistic template on how ground troops and airfields were positioned...

...Meanwhile the player is not limited with anything and the playable character is impersonalized. Each player is going to have their own virtual life and singular, specific experience and emotions. You'll be free to pick any plane, any airfield and any mission that is available at that moment...

...Missions are not connected with each other. There's sort of a "groundhog day" within each single phase. ... Several successfully completed missions open access to the next phase leaving the completed one available for reply at any time. This is akin to sand-box style gaming.

Players who are looking for precise reconstruction of particular historical events will have community created missions to satisfier their demands. Those missions can tell about specific pilots, events and real combat missions down to historically correct personal skins and battle conditions. But our studio is not able to deal with such amount of tasks right now, that's why community we'll need to provide themselves with those WWII reconstruction missions. And the main campaign will remain available for the wider audience.


I find all this highly disappointing. I was waiting for a clearer picture of how the campaign would be developed before deciding to purchase or not, and it looks, for the time being, that it will be a "not" for me.

#3960753 - 05/31/14 04:41 PM Re: Dev Update 66 [Re: Sim]  
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Yeah, that's rather disheartening to read. I was really hoping they'd listened to the ROF community and were going to put more emphasis on the single player experience. Buyer's remorse is slowly but surely kicking in.


S = k ln W
#3960764 - 05/31/14 04:58 PM Re: Dev Update 66 [Re: Sim]  
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I'm disappointed too and will likely wait to purchase, off-liner here...till the game becomes more finished with the FMB


Post composed with speech to text, it woks grape!


Clod
OEM screenshots & videos of Eu release..So I fly the original game because I am a off-liner and the game's AI was broken after the last good patch, game version 1.0.13954
GigaByteBoard...64bit...FX 4300 3.8, G. Skill sniper 1866 32GB, EVGA GTX 660 ti 3gb, Raptor 64mb cache, Planar 120Hz 2ms, CH controls, Tir5
#3960810 - 05/31/14 06:43 PM Re: Dev Update 66 [Re: Sim]  
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To me it sounds very interesting. I like the flexibility to switch around between roles rather than being stuck in one aircraft for the whole campaign. It will be interesting to see how it is implemented but it's a little early to judge before we see how it's going to work in practice. I hope the campaign is added to the early access some time over the summer.


Ian "Prangster" Jeremiah
#3960851 - 05/31/14 09:19 PM Re: Dev Update 66 [Re: Sim]  
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I'll wait and see but groundhog day does not feel too good. The movie is great but for a career .. noooo. I hope there is stuff lost in translation and that they have something great coming up.

-C-


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#3960892 - 05/31/14 11:16 PM Re: Dev Update 66 [Re: Sim]  
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Hmm..sounds just like a normal random battle generator where you choose your plane and airfield then click go rather than an actual Campaign system.

#3960977 - 06/01/14 02:47 AM Re: Dev Update 66 [Re: Charlie_SB]  
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Originally Posted By: Charlie_SB
I'll wait and see but groundhog day does not feel too good. The movie is great but for a career .. noooo. I hope there is stuff lost in translation and that they have something great coming up.

-C-


"Ground Hog Day" was probably the worst choice of words possible.
Makes you think 'repetitive, torturous, maddening, wanting to escape, always the same' etc.
Basically, totally negative. I'm still not sure exactly what this individual was really
trying to say. The general feeling of 'let down' is shared among many it seems.
We wanted in this day and age, at last, something more from an offline campaign.
So getting this announcement that really comes across as a preemptive white flag from the Devs
is disappointing. However, it might be just that - a poor choice of words.

I'm keeping my hopes up. There will be user made content, and maybe someone will step up
and do a "Patrick Wilson" number on the single player campaign. (still not sure why the developers can't)
In any case, I'm glad I bought in. I'm having fun just with the QMB so far.

Last edited by Gambit21; 06/01/14 02:48 AM.
#3961075 - 06/01/14 12:38 PM Re: Dev Update 66 [Re: Sim]  
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In the RoF forum Pat Wilson said it took him about 1000 hours to create PWCG...a daunting task for a free program. But that is 1/2 of a man year, and for a professional software team of 7 (the size of 1C) that is a reasonable project task for a 2 year project (I am a retired systems integration manager) if you think the return is worth the investment. For 1C to not think the return is worth the investment in creating an IL-2 style FMB for an IL-2 branded product they may have missed the broad side of the barn in identifying their potential customer base.

If I were investing in 1C and was told they were going to offer a new IL-2 product to a market that included existing IL-2 customers I would be more comfortable than if they were going to take the IL-2 brand to the arcade market, so I'm surprised by the direction of the BoS project. The reward might be huge or it could turn out like when Coke changed their formula. 777/1C are definitely rolling the dice.


Dogfighting is what you do "after" you drop your bombs and blow something up!
Can you say "JABO!" thumbsup
#3961080 - 06/01/14 12:59 PM Re: Dev Update 66 [Re: Sim]  
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Add to that a lack of COOPs, individual markings for planes and a user friendly FMB and im not feeling very good right now in the direction were going.

Im happy i paid for early access and helped support them, its a great actual sim but long term im feeling a little disappointed.

#3961092 - 06/01/14 01:39 PM Re: Dev Update 66 [Re: Sim]  
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To use the term "groundhog day" to describe the campaign in a historical combat flightsim is just... very, very strange.

Will wait for more info but as someone who greatly enjoys SP campaigns I have to say this doesn't sound too good.


"...late afternoon the Air Tasking Order came in [and] we found the A-10 part and we said, "We are going where!? We are doing what!?"

Capt. Todd Sheehy, Hog pilot, on receiving orders during Operation Desert Storm

#3961141 - 06/01/14 03:23 PM Re: Dev Update 66 [Re: Sim]  
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Sounds worrying however I will give them the benefit of the doubt, as what they have produced so far is above and beyond my expectations.

#3961190 - 06/01/14 05:44 PM Re: Dev Update 66 [Re: Bucksnort]  
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Originally Posted By: Bucksnort
In the RoF forum Pat Wilson said it took him about 1000 hours to create PWCG...a daunting task for a free program. But that is 1/2 of a man year, and for a professional software team of 7 (the size of 1C) that is a reasonable project task for a 2 year project (I am a retired systems integration manager) if you think the return is worth the investment. For 1C to not think the return is worth the investment in creating an IL-2 style FMB for an IL-2 branded product they may have missed the broad side of the barn in identifying their potential customer base.


That is the heart of the matter. I think it would behoove the team to spend some of those man hours on the single player career experience, even at the sacrifice of something else (modelling a plane, for example) that can be added later. Maybe they have research that shows differently, and if that is the case, I suppose I am doomed to disappointment. (However, given the emphasis on "career/campaign modes" in other genres, such as sports and strategy, and given the popularity of role playing games in general, I think I'm in a solid majority, or at least plurality, of customers). Either way, I know for myself, I would gladly by a flight sim that only released with a couple of flyable planes and a single theater, if the career experience was designed to capture the immersion, squadron management, and general feeling of "being there" that EAW and RB3D managed to do.

#3961191 - 06/01/14 05:52 PM Re: Dev Update 66 [Re: Sim]  
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I hope someone will explain a bit more about the campaign (because I guess it's officially not a career now) during next week. I'd like a theoretical 3-mission walkthrough.

Now back to my supply flight from I Bootis.

-C-


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#3961247 - 06/01/14 07:35 PM Re: Dev Update 66 [Re: Sim]  
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So basically "our campaign is not really a campaign, but you can use your mind to imagine all the things that make a great campaign. Also, here are a bunch of fancy words to substitute for actually saying something: words, words, words..." smile

Seriously, just say you are not making a campaign and are focusing on other stuff.

Last edited by akdavis; 06/01/14 07:37 PM.

--AKD

"I hope and I need." -Oleg Maddox
#3961300 - 06/01/14 10:25 PM Re: Dev Update 66 [Re: Sim]  
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This is pretty devastating news if I'm reading it right. I'd more-or-less assumed we would be getting a career mode much like that in ROF (granted, without any evidence). I don't need a fully dynamic, complex campaign like Falcon4, but I do need to feel like I am an individual pilot taking part in the war. If I'm attached to my pilot and his progress in the career, the experience is so much deeper than just generic aerial combat. Suddenly seeing a dozen yellow noses diving toward me out of the sun is terrifying because I have something real to lose, not just the time it takes to restart the mission. Barely making it home after a tough scrape is exhilarating for the same reason.

In short, I need a virtual life to care about as though it were my own. Even a patrol mission where nothing much happens can be exciting because the whole time I"m thinking something *might* happen, and if it doesn't then, well, I've survived another day.

I'll wait and see. I always have trouble understanding their vision for BOS, but I really, really hope it's not just Wings of Prey with better physics.

#3961343 - 06/02/14 12:53 AM Re: Dev Update 66 [Re: Sim]  
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Sim is great so far but I was REALLY hoping for some more immersive experience in the SP portion of the game, which is the one I play. And which has been missing since the early 2000's at best.


Airplanes are now built to carry a pilot and a dog in the cockpit: the pilot's job is
to feed the dog, and the dog's job is to bite the pilot if he touches anything...

- Arlen Rens, Lockheed Martin test pilot
#3961377 - 06/02/14 03:30 AM Re: Dev Update 66 [Re: akdavis]  
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Originally Posted By: akdavis
So basically "our campaign is not really a campaign, but you can use your mind to imagine all the things that make a great campaign.


That's more or less the way they came off, yes.
Hoping that's not the case.

#3961391 - 06/02/14 04:43 AM Re: Dev Update 66 [Re: Sim]  
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Which mission does Yak Girl appear?

#3961397 - 06/02/14 05:39 AM Re: Dev Update 66 [Re: Sim]  
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I'll wait until there is an FMB smile Not looking like much chop at the moment or for a while after release for the off liners.


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