On Wednesday, 1CGS released patch 3.102 for the IL-2 Great Battles Series and while the new tank and two aircraft for Flying Circus were welcome, a great many wanted to know more about how the Bodenplatte content was coming along. Not enough info on Bodenplatte? 1CGS replied with a “hold my beer” and delivered some great new information this week including a possible release date (yes singular) for the four remaining Bodenplatte aircraft, new AI updates, new visibility updates, new pilot fatigue modeling details and … yeah let’s just get into it!
Bodenplatte’s four remaining types coming in September?!
If everything goes as planned, the four remaining aircraft for IL-2: Battle of Bodenplatte will be coming this September in a single massive patch that will dramatically increase the number of flyable aircraft.
Here’s the latest word from 1CGS’ Han on the release plans for these aircraft:
After the recent release of the update 3.102 many of you wondered “why there are no new Bodenplatte planes”? There is nothing strange about it: the remaining three player-controllable fighters and AI-controlled bomber are the most complex and difficult to produce objects in the entire history of our team. But the more difficult is the task the more interesting is the result. At the moment we plan to make all these four planes available to you in the next huge update at the end of September that will also bring the important new features we’re working on at the moment.
And now on to the status of each with the following being reported:
- P-51D-15: cockpit texturing and flight model is in development.
- P-38J-25: cockpit texturing is nearly finished, the flight model is finished, it will go to beta testing soon.
- Tempest Mk.V ser.2: 3D model is finished, the flight model is nearly finished, it will go to beta testing soon as well.
- B-25D (Mitchell II): 3D model is finished, we’re working on the last bits of texturing and turret animations, the flight model is in development.
The more I cover flight sim development the more I’m reminded that development is often a non-linear process and sometimes we have situations here where it seems like we’ll get one aircraft after another but sometimes everything seems to just come together at once. That seems to be the case here as 1CGS presses forward towards finishing the project.
Though the Mustang is a little further behind in development than I think we had all hoped, it seems that the other types have also progressed and are coming sooner than expected. I’ll take that as a good thing though I know the wait is painful for many of you.
Today we’ve got some great new screenshots of the P-38 fully textured!
And also the Tempest V cockpit fully textured and a new German pilot model for summer flying!
The Bodenplatte map and new features
Another key piece of content that I’m really excited to finally see is Bodenplatte’s new Rhineland map. It, together with the new Career that 1CGS is now calling the “Battle of Rhineland”, is still in development. We’ve see plenty of images over the last several months showing urban centre development, textures for four seasons, and more but we haven’t seen it all quite come together yet.
This update mentions that work is ongoing. It may be one of the last things to release for the title.
Several other major features are underway and are apparently entering into the final stages of development:
- The F-MOD sound engine will be getting a version update that will hopefully solve the issue that some players have with their sounds disappearing.
- An advanced pilot physiology model that will take into account G-overload fatigue, G-suit support, oxygen supply, etc.
- Air Marshal mode is about to enter testing and will get a future developer diary
- Improved AI maneuvering in a dogfight
- Improved visibility of aircraft and ships boosting possible visibility ranges from 10km to 100km (!) depending on lighting and weather conditions
Nearly all of these are very exciting features to see added to the series. While F-MOD is mostly about solving glitches the others are genuinely adding some significant layers of depth to the IL-2 experience.
I think many of us are very curious to see what the pilot physiology modeling is going to be like in practice while I think almost everyone is universally excited to see the AI maneuvering be improved. Improved visibility is also a big desire for the community to see and so this is another item on the checkbox. Fans of other flight sims may sit up in their chair at the mention of this one too!
Finally, Air Marshal is the feature that I’m very excited to see but I also don’t really know very much about. I have a basic idea in my head on how this is going to work but I don’t really know all that it can do – there’s a possibility that it will be transformative for IL-2’s multiplayer scene and by extension the Flying Circus and Tank Crew scenes as well.
Other thoughts on the dev diary
It’s been a bit rocky this week for the IL-2 community with some possibly over-exceeded expectations. The idea that the Mustang was definitely due to arrive this month ended up being a little too good to be true. It was seeming less likely with each passing week that it would come with no images of the new cockpit or liveries to come with the aircraft that usually precede a release.
This developer diary targets I think the subjects that most of us are desperate to know more about and I think the details have been filled in just about as well as possible at this point.
1CGS has an ambitious goal of launching four new aircraft by the end of September. I might not hold them too tightly to that as big releases like this could easily slip into October – but I think the message is clear that this fall we’re going to see most of Bodenplatte’s content arrive. And that’s huge! Three of those are flyable while the B-25 AI project is still significant and will hopefully lay the groundwork for another future flyable bomber.
What I’m still hoping to see is post release of these four aircraft is and during the development work leading up to the map release is things like new ground objects. Tanks, jeeps, trucks, and the like that will help fill out the rest of the project. I’m also cautiously optimistic that a couple of Bodenplatte oriented Collector Planes are produced… I’m still gunning for the Ar234 jet-bomber and the Spitfire XIV as two fun additions to the list.
The wait is not quite over but we’re getting there folks! This September/October is going to be a lot of fun!