The big push is on now for Eagle Dynamics to deliver the DCS: F-16C into early access and it seems that the team is making impressive progress towards the goal of releasing it. Matt Wagner has filled us in on the latest developments including some impressive features that are shipping on day one. Let’s have a look!
Mini-update reveals latest progress on Viper
Matt Wagner’s latest DCS: F-16C mini update reveals 18 key points where the DCS: F-16C project is making progress on and you can really start to see this module come together. You can read the mini update for the full list but I wanted to draw attention to the top 5 for me:
1- We have Range While Search (RWS) and Single Target Track (STT) working, but work continues the SAM sub-mode and we are cleaning up symbology and functions. We are working on Track While Scan (TWS) mode in parallel with the Hornet, so this will come shortly after release.
A key item leveraged at Eagle Dynamics during the recent early access controversy was that the F-16 is coming and the F/A-18C still doesn’t have TWS. It appears that development on the two aircraft is providing some strong cross pollination here with TWS coming for both aircraft – possibly at the same time.
3- The Litening targeting pod is in and working, even for LGB self-designation. There are several items to still fix and add. Related, the DED laser page for the pod is now working. Please note that the LGB bomb laser code cannot be set in the aircraft.
We waited for months for the Hornet to get the Litening pod but it again seems that cross pollination between aircraft (this time in the other direction) has paid off with the F-16C getting targeting pod and self-designation capabilities right from the start.
5- Tomorrow we should have the underside of the aircraft done with completed textures. With that, Cato will create the launch trailer.
It was a bit surprising to learn how the F-16 model still needed work this close to release and there was even some suggestions that it wouldn’t be complete at launch. Now it seems that they are much closer on that. It’s unknown if we’ll see any additional skins at launch or if we’ll be waiting for those to fill in over time. The F-16 has a great variety of skins, especially for some Allied air forces (I’m thinking of the Belgian demo team)
Cato, better known as “Glowing Amraam,” has done some of the most impressive video work that I’ve seen for any flight sim and so I’m very much looking forward to his latest masterpiece for the F-16. You can see his official trailer for the F-16C just below but it’s the launch trailer where things usually come together and you can really see the jet in action.
7- The Early Access Guide is shaping up well and will be available at release. Bunyap has done a great job with it.
Having a guide right out of the gates is handy and knowing it was done by Bunyap means great things. Bunyap’s A-10C series is still hailed as one of the best tutorials for the DCS: A-10C module so his guidance for getting us started and off the ground in this module will no doubt be excellent.
8- Several interactive training missions will be available at release.
Even better than having a guide is also having some interactive training missions. These can make a real difference for many virtual pilots and having them day one is excellent. That helps get people up to speed quickly and it makes a big difference in the long haul.
Release date mentioned
Matt Wagner reports that next week they will provide the release date for the module mentioning that the current 20% off pre-order discount will disappear after that.
That likely means that we’re not going to see the release of the Open Beta containing the F-16 next week. It does, however, leave October 9 in the running based on the guesses that I made last night. Next week we should know exactly when!