This week 1CGS elected to update us on their ship physics which looks pretty impressive and a little on what the new career mode is going to be like. The ship physics is a small detail for a flight simulator but the developers have given it some serious attention and career mode is going to be a big change encompassing all three titles in the series. It’s all a big deal in the end!
Career mode update
If you’ve played Rise of Flight then you already have a pretty good idea how the new IL-2 Career mode is going to play out.
Here are the basics: You create a pilot with a rank and even a detailed backstory and image which then joins a squadron of your choice.
The squadrons are historically researched including their emblems. In the case of the Russian squadrons they have special banners instead.
Squadron locations on the map, the types of aircraft they operated and the dates which they appear in those locations are all historically based. Apparently so too is the weather!
One of the planned features of the Career mode are historically correct weather conditions for each day (averaged for the theater of war), squadrons positions and what aircraft they had.
As you increase in rank you gain abilities such as the ability to specify the loadouts for your aircraft and presumably use the additional modifications that are available for the aircraft in the series.
You and your squadron fly missions day by day with other flights flying some missions and your flight flying others. Everything gets tracked with kills and achievements for you and your fellow pilots being listed as time goes on. If a squadmate dies during a mission then he’s listed as killed in action.
Importantly this is all persistent and all tracked. You feel like you’re flying in the war and that your virtual pilot is part of the effort. It has more of a persistence than the current mode which is much more of a random mission generator.
To be fair, I like the idea behind the current system but I would rather see its features ported over to the quick mission builder in some way while this new Career system takes over.
This is the kind of feature that single player IL-2 pilots have been asking for and its coming soon. We don’t know exactly when but October had been mentioned previously as a beta test period and it would be finalized by the end of December when IL-2: Battle of Kuban releases.
This is an important feature to note: This change is not just for Battle of Kuban. It’s also very much a feature coming for both IL-2: Battle of Stalingrad and for IL-2: Battle of Moscow as well. If you own those products then you’re benefiting from the continued development of the series in a pretty big way.
Ship physics, torpedoes
Rise of Flight’s Channel Map was the proving ground for IL-2’s new ship physics. Visually impressive as well as reasonably authentic, ships pitch and roll in higher seas and they behave in a fairly realistic fashion.
The visuals are good to very good but maybe not a perfect implementation. Still, considering that we’re talking about a flight simulator I think the visuals are actually extremely impressive and it goes several steps beyond what we saw in the original IL-2. In the original, the ocean may have been 3D for some using nVidia cards (after Pacific Fighters was released) but the ships themselves still traveled on a flat plane.
Words are great but you can see the whole thing for yourself in this video.
The two ships are the German Schnellboot S-38 (featured first) while the other is the Russian G-5 Series 11. The G-5 is a hydroplane boat so it rides particularly high off the water while the Schnellboot itself seems to ride fairly high as well.
Torpedoes are also a feature as many of the ships were torpedo carrying motorboats. Presumably the work done here is not just a quick pass but a realistic implementation of torpedoes including their damage potential, speed, depth and accurate usage.
No aerial torpedoes, for now
We have confirmation, something that I and many others figured out months ago, that no aircraft in the initial release will have aerial torpedo carrying capabilities but apparently according to Han the technology has been built so that it can work with aerial torpedoes in the future.
This is important for the planned Battle of Midway title but it could also apply if the series gained a torpedo version of the He111, Ju88, or even hypothetically the A-20C, A-20G or IL-4. Three of the former are substantial modifications (no small feat) while the latter two are essentially new aircraft.
The big August update
Version 2.012 is coming along with some pretty big features releasing in it – namely the new Kuban map which we saw a lot of last week. It will also include the completely revised flight model system which importantly will solve some of the roll coupling issues that have been discussed for the last couple of years. Han teases that it will have other big features in it that affect the whole project as well but that its too soon for a complete feature update.
As always. I’ll be keeping an eye. In the meantime head over to the forum to see the latest dev diary with more of those wonderful emblems and banners and updates straight from Han.