Our first official developer update for the IL-2: Great Battles series in 2019 is wide ranging, far reaching, and it hints at lot of stuff happening behind the scenes for the series. Let’s have a look at what we’ve learned today!
Me262, other developments
Six aircraft are yet to come for IL-2: Battle of Bodenplatte and quite a lot of that project is still ahead of us. The “easier” aircraft to develop, those created as versions of earlier types (i.e. the FW190A-8 from the A-4/A-5, Spitfire IX from the Spitfire Vb), are behind us with many more unique types lie ahead.
First thought to be slated as last in the line-up, the Me262 is coming to the series along with the FW190D-9 sometime in the near future. Both the 262 and D-9 are still being worked on with the D-9 having what appears to be a completed cockpit (from the last December update) while the 262 is yet to be finished. Still, we have our first look at the current state of the cockpit.
Meanwhile, the skins or liveries for the 262 are also starting to come along and we got to see two new skins today including a very cool prototype skin along with a more conventional one.
According to today’s update, the flight model of the P-51D is also currently being worked along with the Me262 and FW190D-9.
Jason has indicated previously that the P-51D-15 is slated for launch in June so there is a ways to go on it yet and that puts the Tempest Mark V, P-38J-25, and the AI model for the B-25 Mitchell II a little further out from there. Alternatively, we may have a Battle of Kuban situation where the final aircraft come together all at once. The art team is already working on these aircraft so we will hopefully see more of all of these in some kind of work in progress state in the near future.
Fokker D.VII, Dolphin, Arras map come together
Slated to be the last map released, we haven’t yet seen anything of the Arras map but today is the first we’ve heard about it in a while and it sounds like it should be pretty good looking.
For “Flying Circus” project we’re making the map of 100 km front line near Arras (Spring 1918). It will be made using the same techniques we’re using for the creation of the large Bodenplatte project map, so it should also be a step forward visually.Han, IL-2 Project Manager, Developer Diary #214
The 1CGS team has steadily pushed their map technology forward with each release (and retroactively gone back and improved older maps such as the Stalingrad re-release) and so we shouldn’t be surprised that Arras and Bodenplatte’s maps will be up to at least the previous standard.
Arras is being done, at least in part, by Ugra Media who is a third party studio that seems to be involved in both IL-2 and DCS World development. It may be that Ugra Media’s expertise has cross pollinated as their work on the DCS: Normandy map was quite good and the recent work in progress images of the new DCS: Syria map are impressive. We may have to wait for it but I have high hopes that we’ll see some great things from the Arras map.
Today we also saw work in progress images of the Sopwith Dolphin and the Fokker D.VII. These two aircraft were among the last to be put into service in WWI and represent the peak of WWI fighter design. They each have their quirks and that makes them an interesting set being added to the already colorful line-up of aircraft.
New tank crew details, map images
Were you a little let down by the previous Tank Crew map images? If you were a little uncertain how the upgraded mesh for the Prokhorovka map for Tank Crew would come together I think we now have much better illustrations of what it will be.
Seen from the ground and seen from the air, this map features an enhanced 3D mesh that has more points of detail per square meter on the map than most IL-2 maps. That results in far smoother terrain variations that make it more suited to tank battles and, as you can see from the images, it also looks great from the air.
This update also tells us a fair bit about what the series is working on right now and that’s the crew animations. Far from being lifeless, it looks like 1CGS wants the tanks and the crew inside of them to be “alive” with the crew carrying out their tasks and being able to pop the hatch and have a look around.
The latest diary indicates that the M4A2 Sherman and Pz.Kpfw.III Ausf.M are due next and due before the end of winter. That puts us around the March time frame and I would suspect the end of March.
Read the developer update
Check out the latest dev diary for more information and more screenshots and look out for my analysis of what’s coming next to the IL-2 series.