A short message from Jason about IL-2’s future, plus more speculation

As much hype as there is about Il-2: Battle of Bodenplatte’s next big patch and the release of the P-51D Mustang, P-38J Lightning and Tempest Mark V (plus the Rhineland map – probably), there’s also plenty of talk about what the series is going to do next and where they want to go. Today we got a short message from Jason Williams, IL-2’s Lead Producer, talking a little about what they want to do, what struggles they have right now, and what their plans are for what’s next. It’s a valuable read and I wanted to share it plus some further ideas for speculation from around the community.

What’s next and some very real world considerations

With so much speculation going on about what theatre and why I guess it was time for Jason to bring some of his own thoughts to the table. This isn’t a reveal of any kind but I think it’s an interesting message and there are some cool tidbits on future plans.

Guys,

I love ALL aspects and theaters of WWII. I would love to do them ALL assuming it was possible. My job is to create an achievable, marketable and compelling product that most current and new users would be interested in buying. I’ve diversified our product line a bit with FC1 and TC because as we keep moving forward, tough decisions on what or what not to build will become harder to swallow if your favorite theater isn’t built. Deciding what to build is not easy. And deciding to not make something is even tougher because  you know someone will be disappointed.  A lot of planes are impossible to make flyable simply because we don’t have the references or data to make them accurate or even close to accurate. I think the general public underestimates how hard it is to make a plane to our standards, and our standards, well visual standards at least, are not even as extreme as some other products are. Our other standards are quite high and some of the highest ever in a sim so don’t take that the wrong way. And some maps are almost impossible to make too due to distances or just general lack of playability or lack of info. 

I have a plan for our next product and if we execute it as I hope, I think it will [be] pretty awesome. The current dev. cycle stretched our ability to the max. and we have endured many unforeseen delays and issues out of our control. It’s not been easy. I hope the next round is easier. One of our team members recently was in a bad car accident, and now he has a hematoma on his brain causing us to scramble for the next update. Very scary.

Eventually we will need to build a new engine, when that actually happens is not necessarily known yet. I don’t believe in building from complete scratch these days. The biggest work would be in the area of visuals and terrain of course and graphics in general. That part may be from scratch. Everything else would be an evolution of sorts. That is the safest bet for us to stay alive for a long time.

Jason 

Jason Williams on the IL-2 forums

I wanted to say that I am wishing all the best to the IL-2 team member that was injured in a car accident. A hematoma on his brain is no laughing matter and I wish and hope for a very speedy recovery!

As for the rest, I think there is a lot there that is similar to the kinds of messages that we’ve heard in the past. But they sometimes bear repeating. Modeling aircraft at high simulation levels as we’ve come to expect is not easy and it can mean that some aircraft are out of reach.

Jason is also interested, as we’ve known for a while, in covering as much of WWII as possible. He’s got a strong caveat there in that he needs to be able to market, sell, and build something engaging that people will enjoy. So far the team has succeeded from my perspective as the series is seemingly growing and maturing into something great.

Jason’s comments on eventually building a new engine are also interesting. There are elements of the IL-2 engine that have bugged players for a long time and they include spotting distances which seem to be getting solved and more graphical issues like cloud rendering with aircraft in front. Jason and others have said that a full engine re-write would be needed so solve some issues like that so it’ll probably be something that comes down the line.

Reading a little between the lines, a new engine will probably be more like the jump from DCS World 1.5 to 2.5 in that all of your familiar aircraft are still there but they are part of an enhanced engine experience. PBR texturing, 4K cockpit textures, more 4K aircraft textures, enhanced terrain mesh and scenery… the list goes on as to what the team might be able to do in the future.

IL-2 is no slouch in the visuals department but clearly Jason and team want to keep up as time goes on. Of course the engine can be used to enhance more than just visuals and other elements will surely improve too.

Further speculation

The rumours are speculation continue to run rampant. I did my own guesses om where the series can go next not that long ago and Magz from MagzTV just posted his own take on it recently. His take offered a couple of other unique takes on this that I hadn’t considered and I thought they were worth sharing.

Both Battle of France and Battle of Sicily offer some interesting options and gameplay possibilities. Sicily would offer both familiar and new aircraft variants to the mix and help fill out the Western Allied aircraft line-up while also having the potential of bringing more Italian fighters to the mix. Battle of France would do the same with some earlier German types that we don’t yet have along with unique French and British aircraft.

I add those to my Battle of Normandy suggestion that I feel would help connect with the Bodenplatte aircraft line-up.

More speculation on Collector Planes

Further comments have been appearing on Facebook and on the IL-2 forums surrounding the news of what the new IL-2 Collector Planes might be. Rumours continue to point towards the Hurricane Mark II and Yak-9 as the next two additions to the collection. Additionally, word is that both will feature multiple modifications with the Hurricane possibly sporting the IIA, B, C and D armament loadouts along with some of the Russian field modified options. The Yak-9 would come with the 9T and maybe even 9D and 9K options too.

If this is all true then we’ll get a fairly good bang for the buck on these aircraft with a wide variety of options and gameplay possibilities. I’ve heard from many people that they are very excited about the Hurricane – fewer in the west are as excited as I am about the Yak-9 but the type is very popular with fans in the east so things seem to balance out.

Again, while these are credible rumours, they are not yet confirmed and we’re waiting on something official before we know for sure. That could come as soon as this Friday (they seem to be on a two week dev diary update cycle) but they may also wait several more weeks.

Stay tuned!

22 Comments Add yours

  1. CheckSix says:

    I know that said they would stay away from the Battle of Britain which I agree CloD upset to many but a cross channel pre invasion air war would be great for Tanks and aircraft, I would like to see Sicily and Italy, I really hope that dont revisit something like the Soviets advance on Berlin for some time. But the Yak 9 has me worried.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. ShamrockOneFive says:

      I don’t think the rumoured Yak-9 should have you too worried. If they were going for a full Battle there they may have kept the Yak-9 for a regular aircraft.

      Jason’s well in tune with the community and knows they have to deliver something for their Russian fans but also for everyone else.

      I think whatever the next battle is – it’ll be somewhere beyond the eastern front. Fingers crossed!

      Liked by 2 people

    2. harryvoyager says:

      As I understand it, they are staying away from it for now, but could return to it later. Also, at the moment they can’t really do a heavy bomber campaign until after a significant AI or engine rework, so even without them leaving room for CLOD it’s probably still off the table for a long time

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Checksix says:

    Upto and included post invasion I should clarify,

    Liked by 2 people

  3. bigalrico says:

    I wish the team member a good recovery!

    As far as the “situation” is concerned, the stone doesn’t seem to roll anymore. Regardless of which scenario will be presented to us, Jason has apparently decided. What is good and okay for me at least we will find out with a lot of luck in the next time where the journey is going.

    As far as the possible scenarios are concerned I tend to agree with Magz. At least a 43/44 Italy scenario would create a bridge to some German types, allow the last and best types of the Italian Air Force and of course bring in American and British variants. I did not give up my hope for the Pacific, but it was dampened by this news.

    France on the other hand I think is rather unlikely, because besides French types the Hurricane would be a good candidate for the allied set there and, if the rumor/leak is true, it would take itself out.
    All in all, I also hope that as you’ve already written, an engine update would be about the same as DCS. It would be a pity and stupid if e.g. titles were not connected anymore, which would take the attraction out of the Great Battles Series. But I guess that’s a little fear talking.

    Rico

    Liked by 2 people

    1. ShamrockOneFive says:

      Certainly a lot of possibilities where the series could go next.

      The Italian planes would certainly offer something different and there’s a great amount of possibility there. Normandy has less although for the Allies there’s some key bridging types that would benefit Bodenplatte as much as it would Normandy. Sicily or Italy could provide the same potential.

      I don’t think Pacific is out but it may not be next.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. bigalrico says:

        That’s what I think too. A scenario with Italians would probably be more appropriate than Normandy. At least as far as I understood it, there would also be types like the Mosquito, Typhoon etc. represented. Whereby I would also find Normandy extremely great to see in the Il-2 series with a proper flying set.
        But as long as I get a razorback P-47 (and maybe 51), I am happy.

        Like

      2. ShamrockOneFive says:

        No Typhoon unfortunately (Magz was incorrect about that). The other types are possible though!

        Liked by 1 person

      3. bigalrico says:

        Thanks, I didn’t know that. It’s a pity, but even without you I would be happy. (Especially since the Tempest already receives bombs and with a lot of luck also the RP3 missiles)

        Liked by 1 person

  4. TexasWarbird says:

    Early Korean War!

    No but seriously. It does seem they’re leaning that way – in terms of aviation data for that conflict, there’s plenty data on both sides. I can speculate it’s the more likely choice between the two. The question is – if they integrate it with IL2 or release it as new title.

    I feel like it’d be a good move on a strategic level as well as a great opportunity to have the team branch out work in a different capacity. Maybe good for the team as well as the investment return would more than likely benefit. No way we’d know though until they let us know. Pure speculation..

    Liked by 2 people

    1. ShamrockOneFive says:

      Korean War is certainly there as a possibility. The technology is in place as you say. It’d be different and exciting for many.

      I don’t think it will break away from the current sim. There’s a big investment here and that’s a strength that helps sell the whole series. I can’t see them pushing for the integrated approach and then suddenly break out. It’d hurt a lot.

      Like

    2. Aaron C White says:

      I always thought Korea would be a good one for them to do at some point. It seems like it could provide a few things for them:
      * I would assume resources are more prevalent for things from that time period, in terms of documentation and visual stuff, like pictures and video.
      * It would give them the ability to take advantage of all the work they’ve been spending in building the Me-262 and the high speed flying, without abandoning the prop world.
      * It would represent a market that is often overlooked, though that could also potentially be a negative, as the resources used for a Korean War might not sell well outside of the US.
      * They could also use it as a jumping off point for carriers before tackling the pacific. They would be able to potentially work in planes like the A-1 or the F9F into the game for carrier flights, or even some of the FAA planes for the Royal Navy.

      It’s definitely something that I could see being appealing to the current crop of pilots, and maybe some Korean War fans who already feel underrepresented, but at the same time, I can see how a company might balk at tackling a war known as The Forgotten War.

      Liked by 2 people

  5. Huckle says:

    If I can’t have the Pacific, I’d love a MiG Alley remake – also with 1950s carriers and rescue chopper action

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ShamrockOneFive says:

      That does sound pretty awesome Huckle!

      Like

  6. Michael Dwyer says:

    Now that is something I had not even thought of, early helicopters in IL-2…that would be cool.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Francesco Kasta says:

    I was intrigued for a second there about a future engine overhaul.
    Then I read it will be mostly a graphics update and felt disappointed.
    I guess that auto-start/stop function will always be there.

    Like

    1. ShamrockOneFive says:

      Having talked with a lot of flight sim fans it seems that opinions are divided on that. While a few certainly want the more detailed startup procedures to be available to them manually, a good number seem to enjoy IL-2 doing it the current way. It’s a distinguishing feature from DCS World which favours doing the deep system modeling required to make that work.

      I don’t think we’ll see this change. Not to say that other core features couldn’t use some more depth such as radio, more sophisticated AI governing everything from flight to AAA batteries, etc. An engine update could bring those kinds of features with it too.

      Like

      1. bigalrico says:

        I can only agree. I mean a more detailed startup would be nice, but like in DCS it’s like 10 times fun and after that only one more procedure like pushing “e” in Il-2 (even DCS has an option like this). I think there are other features that could be improved a little bit more, like the fuelsystem or the ammo belts (like in CLoD for example).
        Or maybe a new system for the Clouds to get rid of this nasty disappearing of planes in front of them.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Jordan Thomas Bishop says:

    So does this more or less confirm that they’re postponing the pacific?

    Like

    1. ShamrockOneFive says:

      I don’t think it necessarily goes either way here though I wouldn’t be surprised at a postponement.

      Any disappointment I feel around that is mitigated by the fact that I know they want to do it (Jason in particular) and that I want them to do a great job at their usual high standards.

      Whatever they come up with next, Pacific or otherwise, I hope it’s great. My fingers are crossed!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Battle of France would also open option for Finnish Continuous War, with the new aircraft created;

    Morane-Saulnier M.S.406
    Hawker Hurricane Mk. I
    Curtiss Hawk 75A
    Bristol Blenheim
    Dornier Do 17

    You only have to build the most important plane Brewster Model 239 as a collector and thats it! All the VVS planes needed are already done + Bf 109 G2/G6 for the Finnish side. The joy of fighting with Curtiss Hawk against La-5´s….!!

    Liked by 1 person

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