This week the 1CGS team’s developer diary was squarely focused on Tank Crew and some of the details behind both the single player experience as well as what the map, the newest vehicles, and the crews themselves look like. Let’s check it out!
A new map for ground and air
Tank Crew is introducing a new map to the IL-2: Great Battles Series in the form of the 100x100km Belgorod map. Representing the southern flank of the Kursk salient, Belgorod and surrounding areas became some of the most hotly contested ground in 1943 (and perhaps in the whole war).
The Russians layered defenses of artillery, mine fields, tank counter attacks, and anti-tank weaponry helped ultimately stem an immense German force that was meant to break the Russian army and drive straight on to victory. It didn’t happen that way.
Kursk is remembered as being one of the largest tank battles in history and choosing it to be the setting for what will hopefully be just the first of many outings for the Tank Crew series is a smart one.
Now, we have our first look at what the new map looks like. This is special too because 1CGS has used the smaller scale of the map to their advantage technologically.
The new landscape scaling tech has been developed specially for this map – by reducing the total size of the map from 400×400 km to 100x100km we were able to make its heightmap 16 times more detailed.BlackSix 1CGS Developer Diary #212
A more detailed height map allows for greater subtlety in the terrain and while that doesn’t appear to be immediately evident here, I think it will become more clear when we start to see smaller details up close.
Let’s have a look at the three new screenshots!
Apparently all of these images are taken near the Belgorod city area and while it looks unmistakably part of the IL-2: Great Battles Series engine, it also shows off at least a hint of the more subtle height mapping that this map supports.
Incase there was any concern, we have been repeatedly told that the map will have historical airfields on it and that these airfields are fully usable for pilots interested in participating in Tank Crew battles. This helps encourage the prospects of combined arms simulation and it’s one of the things that I’m most excited about!
New crew and new tanks
We have some very detailed renders of the work in progress T-34-76 mod. 1943 as well as the PzPkfw IV Ausf.G. Both of these tanks should provide useful counterpoints to each other and are expected to be the next two tanks to arrive into Tank Crew sometime in 2019.
We also have some fantastic renders of what the Tank Crew crew members look like. Though we’re told that they are still being animated, they certainly already look impressive enough to me and are at about the same level of the new US, UK, German, and Entente pilots being used in IL-2: Battle of Bodenplatte and Flying Circus Vol 1.
New single player campaigns detailed
Unlike the conventional flight simulator approach where you play a campaign as a single pilot, Tank Crew is taking a more ensemble approach featuring different units and different parts of the July 6 to July 17 battle. This allows the team to maintain realism while letting the player experience some of the pivotal moments and participate in them.
Two 10 mission campaigns with approximately 5-hours of gameplay each focused on the T-34-76 mod, 1943, KV-1s on one side and PzKpfw III Ausf.M, PzKpfw IV Ausf.G, PzKpfw VI Ausf.H1 “Tiger” on the other is what 1CGS is planning.
Unlike the IL-2 series, Tank Crew (for now anyways) has a Scripted Campaign only approach. No doubt this is due to the complexities of starting up the new series, but it does put some pressure to get these campaigns to be as engaging as possible and it’s my hope that they can do that.
Single missions will also surely be available, however, it seems like the real exciting part of Tank Crew is when you hop into multiplayer and have multiple players crew a single tank into battle while other similarly equipped tanks battle for control of the map and while pilots fly missions in the skies.
While you wait, go check out the new Tank Crew update on the 1CGS Developer Diary.