A Q&A with IL-2’s Jason Williams

Earlier today, Jason Williams, the current Producer for IL-2 took to the official TeamSpeak server to talk all things IL-2 related including Battle of Kuban and future features and titles. At the Q&A were approximately 50 people all signed in asking questions and listening to the answers from Jason.

The crowd was an international one with users from China, the UK, Germany, the United States, Canada, and elsewhere all signed in to listen and get information about the future of IL-2.

Jason has been a spectacular communicator with the community. He has been extremely busy on the forums in the last few weeks in particular and the Q&A session today gave us some very interesting information and an insight into the development process. We heard about some of the great things coming as well as some of the challenges that the team faces.

You can listen to the entire Q&A (minus a couple of minutes at the end) via YouTube or check out some of my summarized notes.

UPDATE: Thanks to Jade Monkey who was able to record the last segment that I missed we now have a complete recording to listen to on my YouTube channel.

Q&A Summary Notes

General thoughts from Jason

  • It’s been a roller coaster ride over the last three years with successes and failures, good things happening and challenges too
  • If there was an unlimited budget, the team would like to do the entire war but as there is a limited budget and a small team it will take some time to get to some of the big areas of the war
  • The IL-2 team is a small one that has grown and shrunk over the years
  • There have been changes so far and more changes coming
  • The team wants to build something in the spirit of IL-2 1946 with many aircraft and theaters covered, but it will take time to implement

General Features

  • Possibility to increase the 10km visibility bubble/radius?
    • There is currently a limit as to how far out the map can be rendered
    • Currently not a proper horizon (game world is not modeled on a giant globe)
    • Many compromises to make for performance
    • Would like to increase 10km radius, not sure what can be done but will look into it
  • Could there be a dedicated player as Bombadier?
    • Would like that feature but is not in the current plan
    • Would require a lot of netcode changes – give a second player control in flight
  • Will there be Chinese or Japanese localization
    • Currently investigating
    • It’s a lot of work to do localizations
    • Not against localizations, it is difficult to do especially with the matching the GUI with different alphabets
  • What is the status of DX11?
    • It’s still very early, shaders need to be re-written
    • Team wants VR support as part of this
    • Hopefully will enable larger textures and higher performance
    • What about DX12? Should be easier to go from DX11 to 12 later on
  • Kuban map
    • Jason not sure if it will have 2, 3, or 4 seasons
    • Spring and summer most likely
    • Question to be answered later
  • Tanks
    • Had the idea to build more tanks
    • Cost didn’t look to be profitable
    • Decided to improve core technology first
    • No way right now to do it the way it should be done
    • Two tanks were built quite a long time ago, ended up being a fun test
  • Canopy reflections
    • Possible, would need to add to the list of other effects that are being worked on
    • Not in the current plan, but could be time to try something later on
  • Squadron markings/decal system
    • Open to it
    • Also adding a layer on the model for fuel and oil leaks possibly
  • Aircraft viewer
    • Wants a screen where you can load up the aircraft, skins, armaments, and change the backgrounds
    • Let you see the aircraft and maybe even tanks and other objects
    • Separate screen
    • Above and beyond the current viewer
    • Probably start to see improvements and content next spring and summer

Multiplayer Features

  • Question on multiplayer server size player number increase
    • Dover has 120-person access and IL-2 is currently limited at 84 players
    • Would like to increase the ammount but there is currently no resources available to dramatically increase the number of players on the server
    • 84 players is still a good amount of players
  • Optimizing for more AI is on the table, for MP and SP
  • Resupply technology for online war
  • Some would like to be able to increase supply counts at bases using transport aircraft (Ju 52 for example)
  • Features kind of work, have problems
  • Co-op system is returning, might help with a coop style campaign as has been done before
  • Will adopt the RoF Co-op
    • Set parameters, host server, choose mission, fly
    • Jason wants to improve in the future
    • Hyperlobby like interface in the future (not BoK)

Air marshal/Field marshal technology

  • Someone acting like a central HQ or Ground Control
  • Similar to command features found in ARMA
  • Will be able to direct people via comms/messages to organized squads or individuals
  • Will be able to relay information on enemy forces in grids (i.e. enemy fighters spotted in a grid or ground forces moving into a town)
  • Will be a special screen for multiplayer with one (or two) player on each team, possibly with ground and air control
  • Fog of war will be important here
    • Info restriction makes things interesting
    • Makes recon flights very important
    • Also ground recon
  • Will be optional for MP servers and will hopefully become more complex over time
  • Feature is planned for Battle of Kuban
  • Naval ship control is unlikely

Aircraft questions

  • Why has the team picked the Bf109G-4 over the G-6?
    • The G-6 was either not available or only minimally available during the battle, most were flying the G-4
    • Possibility to add it later?
      • Would like to make two other planes before leaving Kuban as Collector Planes
      • G-6 and La-5F weren’t on the original list but they could happen
  • Existing plane modifications like RoF?
    • Unlikely to happen in the same way as RoF

MOD Support

  • Not a lot of official appetite to release source or open the game up to FM or engine mods
  • It’ll be like RoF, textures, sounds, any other file that doesn’t affect the aircraft fly or aircraft systems

Future plans

  • Plans for Battle of Midway
    • Scenery is fairly straightforward with the ocean, stars of the show are the ships and carriers (gigantic steel islands)
    • The battle itself was short, but it was a pivotal one and aircraft and technology are very evenly matched on both sides
    • See’s this as a high fidelity simulation of the Miwday battle and should have a lot of playability
    • Carrier and ship technology is going to be a significant part of this battle
      • Would like to see some life to the carriers especially from AA guns and crews, other deck crew might be difficult to do
      • Could have working elevators and then the  aircraft gets pushed into place for takeoff/landing
    • Will look into building in ship AI so ships will evade attacks
    • Carriers will likely pitch and roll, Rise of Flight has pitch/rolling ships already
    • Hoping that having an ocean won’t cause a huge hit on performance
    • RoF already has very good ocean technology that will be ported back into the engine for IL-2
  • Possible North Africa campaign?
    • Jason think’s its a fascinating area, however, its not planned
    • Team Fusion is going there with Cliffs of Dover
    • Team doesn’t have a lot of information the Med theater right now but has a lot on the East and on the Pacific
  • Future plans beyond what’s announced?
    • Difficult to say what will happen 6-9 years’ out
    • Still interested in Kursk, more Pacific, something on the West
    • There are so many theaters, would love to hire a huge army to make all the assets to build WWII quicker
    • The team needs the community to support by buying
  • Yak-1B, Ju 52/3m will be here by end of December

Hopefully all of that gives you a good understanding of what comes next.

Think I missed something? Let me know in the comments!

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