New details are coming out from Heatblur on their continued development work for the DCS: F-14 Tomcat slated for release sometime this winter. Although the module is looking pretty good, its not quite ready yet and Heatblur has a few things that they still want to tackle before they release it to the world. There’s also some cool new videos coming out that you may want to watch.
The latest from Cobra
Heatblur developer Cobra847 dropped a message on the DCS World forums yesterday with the latest information on what the team is working on and how hard they are pushing towards launch.
Some of this information is similar to what I reported in my DCS World news round-up but with more detail:
– LANTIRN completion. Our LANTIRN integration will be very complete on day one of early access, instead of having large gaps in functionality. This system has been very complex and has taken us a lot of time to implement, but will make the F-14 a much more potent strike platform on day one.Cobra847 on the DCS World forums
– JESTER improvements across the board – we’ve been adding new functionality to jester, such as injury and incapacitation states, improving various callout functionality and more. If we are able, we hope to add some initial JESTER functionality for controlling LANTIRN before EA, but this may not be possible.
– Completion of the RIO cockpit integration. We’re now integrating the last of the RIO cockpit components together in our main development branch. This is one of the last steps before we’re “done” and build our first release candidate.
– Buuuugfiixeeees! Opening the Tomcat up to more content creators and drawing in a few more testers has yielded some great feedback and swelled our internal issue tracker. SMEs continue to weigh in on every aspect of the aircraft which continuously helps us refine our systems and FM modeling.
– Manuals, training missions, etc. It’s still unclear of how much content we will launch with; but we’re trying to squeeze in as much as possible on day 1.
Of course the big question is still when and Heatblur is not quite ready to announce when that will be. Still we get some more details here:
More than anything, we’re looking forward to stopping your suffering and finally releasing. This will give us a chance to breathe (and live!) a little while we set out on our EA to Release roadmap.Cobra847 on the DCS World forums
In summary; we’re at the height of our release push now and we’re working literally night and day. Release candidate 1 is just around the corner. We know it’s been a long wait- so thanks for sticking with us.
I am personally encouraged by word that Release Candidate 1 is just around the corner. That says to me that they are working towards a content complete (at least for early access release) release candidate that they will then begin to test over a number of weeks and if all goes well that candidate may then become what is first pushed to the public.
Of course, if there are problems along the way (there are always problems along the way), then that first release candidate becomes a second release candidate and on we go until its ship shape.
The wait is difficult but I think it will be worth it! Although I had not initially been all that excited for the DCS: F-14… I’ve changed my mind and I decided some weeks back to do the pre-order (treat to myself). So count me in as a Tomcat pilot and I can’t wait to see what Heatblur’s work has been building up to.
Some cool videos
Chuck Owl’s YouTube channel has started to become populated with a few short F-14 videos and they explore some cool details that haven’t been touched on as much by the other videos you may have seen.
How does the canopy sound when you lower it? Find out here:
You’ve seen carrier launches but it remains one of the most visual spectacular thing you can do in DCS World:
Chuck also explores the wing physics of the DCS: F-14 as you can see the wings retract and bend as he puts the F-14 through several maneuvers.
Finally, Carrier Air Wing Eleven has a 2-hour long interview between their regular members (made up of ex-service members including some who worked with the F-14) and the developers at Heatblur. Worth a listen!
Updated (Jan 22, 2018)
More content keeps coming out but I wanted to share with you three more pieces.
First, schurem from the comments section here on the blog pointed out that Chuck Owl guest contributed to Mudspike.com with an F-14B Tomcat preview. It covers a lot of ground and I think it’s a great read. Check that F-14B preview out here.
Second, Magz has released his second major video for the F-14 and it’s a great example of using the AIM-54 in a combat situation.
Third, Jabbers on YouTube also did a great video going in-depth on the AIM-54 Phoenix.