IL-2’s Lead Producer, Jason Williams, has responded to some questions on the forum surrounding the future of Flying Circus. With more squadron groups organizing events in Vol 1, there’s a core community that has built up around this release for the IL-2: Great Battles Series but it’s future in the form of a Vol 2 is still somewhat in the air. Jason wasn’t able to tell us everything but he does respond to the question about as directly.
Is there a future for Flying Circus?
The burning question right now is if there will be a Flying Circus Vol 2 and if so, what will it entail. First, Jason answers about as directly as he can on the issue of if there will be a second volume of the series.
No decision has been made yet. Infer from that what you will, but I cannot get into confidential info, my bosses would get quite angry. My desire is to always make more products, I create products, that’s what I do. Any new products have to make business sense for not only us, but our partners who share in the work. The concept of FC1 presented an opportunity to take a larger than usual gamble and do an experiment.
Flying Circus was an unexpected announcement back when it was announced as nobody expected anything World War I for quite some time. Now it’s here but clearly it’s been a gamble and it seems unclear if that gamble has paid off just yet.
The biggest drag on Flying Circus I think was the lack of single player content although that has already changed since release with a single player mission package, a 6-mission mini campaign (for both Sopwith Camel and Fokker Dr. I), and utilities like Pat Wilson’s Campaign Generator, and the Easy Mission Generator by Vander available to fill in plenty of content. Look no further than Wolfpack345’s mission 1 of the Kaiserschlacht Campaign playthrough to see how good that experience can be.
For 1CGS’ part, more may be coming and some incentives to buy Flying Circus may come eventually, but it sounds like the future is, at least in part, in our own hands:
I can add some more non-Career SP content (which I have stated already) and adjust the price when I can, but the question becomes how bad does the community want an FC2 to happen? The only way that it will get a green-light is if FC1 proved there was an appetite for more WWI. And even if we say yes we want it, does our partner want to do it? Do I have the resources to make what the community says they want after FC1? So there are many moving parts to this.
There’s more to Jason’s statement which I encourage you to read in full, however, I want to highlight one last piece.
As I said many times, this was my only option to do anything WWI related any time soon, so I went for it and thought a lot of flyers who owned ROF or owned IL-2 would be interested. No matter what happens, I don’t regret it, FC turned out very nice and it’s fun to fly. Everyone worked hard on FC1, so I hope I can move forward with another one. Time will tell. Please don’t ask me when. It could be next week or next year, I really don’t know right now.
In summary, no Vol 2 right this moment but Jason hasn’t ruled it out and it could come any time or it might never happen. I have some thoughts on that too.
Where we go from here?
I’ve been reading between the lines on these comments and others from Jason and 1CGS in general over the years. One that I didn’t have to really read between the lines on was that they knew that the Rise of Flight community strongly desired to be brought up to speed with the latest technology and that Flying Circus was their way forward to do that. The biggest of the killer features, VR, is just not something that the old Rise of Flight can do and so this was Jason’s way to try and make that happen for the community. While many in the Rise of Flight community have come over and more and more are running events with their multiplayer squadrons, it’s clear from the comment today that either not enough bought in or it’s on the edge as to whether there was enough.
I’ve seen comments as recently as this week that some folks are going to stick with Rise of Flight because there are more aircraft, it has a bigger map and more campaigns. That of course is all true and if Rise of Flight, as is, satisfies your WWI flying desires, then that’s not a bad thing and I always advocate for options. More than that, I keep an open mind to choices of everyone to buy and fly whichever sim they want to fly and to spend or not spend as they wish – nobody should pressure anyone into making a purchase they regret. I wrote a while back that Rise of Flight was in some ways ahead of it’s time and it still makes for a compelling package.
For me, however, the improved AI, the visuals and enhanced performance benefits of the new engine, plus the integration with the rest of the IL-2 series all make it hard for me personally to go back. I acknowledge that the initial release has a weak spot for single player content but I also have attempted to point out all of the great ways that this flaw can be mitigated and I firmly believe that over time it will further diminish as more people create single player content for the title.
It’s also true that the title has only 10-aircraft, although that’s more than what Rise of Flight started with, and so, just was with IL-2, it’s very hard to compare old with new when 10-aircraft goes up against over 100 as in the case of IL-2: 1946. Given enough time and releases, Flying Circus can have just as many as Rise of Flight … but that needs the community to buy in.
There’s a chicken and egg phenomenon at work here. If not enough people get onboard with Flying Circus, it may not have a follow-up. If Flying Circus isn’t compelling enough in Vol 1 then not enough people are going to buy it. It’s a conundrum and one that I hope gets worked out… because I really want to see more aircraft types, bigger maps, and more of everything from Flying Circus. But that’s just me and I’ll leave it at that.
18 Comments Add yours
I personally believe all the (FC 1) nay-sayers will never be satisfied, whatever 1C does. Having more planes (than 10) is always nice of course, but that surely is not the reason they complain about FC … I think they simply like to stress the fact they can’t/won’t spend more and/or already have RoF.
Jason’s comments on FC1 feedback/sales (?) does not look too positive to me but I hope I am mistaken.
Anyway, I would/will buy FC 2 for sure … whenever it surfaces eventualy !
BTW yet another great article Shamrockonfive, thanks.
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You cited a “lack of single player content”, and there is truth to that.
The weakness of the QMB and the painful complexity and awkwardness of the Mission Editor means limited player content creation. For that reason alone I did not pre-order BoN nor would I pre-order FC2.
We’re going to end up with a dozen modules, gorgeous maps and planes, and a tragically poor player content creation interface. Honestly, I don’t understand it.
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It’s true that out of the box single player content is an issue. Missing Career mode was perhaps a bigger issue than Jason expected.
I am also worried that people are glossing over how good an experience they can have with scripted campaigns (1 excellent one now available) or the single missions pack (1 now available) or the two missions generators available from the community. I’ve done my best to note these whenever I can because it can transform the experience.
Agreed. This is IL-2’s critical weakness, and one of the few areas that DCS has a major advantage over IL-2.
The thing that bugs me is that there are so many great planes in IL-2 that are so fun to fly, but if I want to fly a P-38 in sp with something other than a Fw-190 or Bf-109 as an opponent I need to go through this incredibly complex editor, or do the insanely restrictive QMB.
There must be a higher margin on selling single player content (i.e. static campaigns) than on adding new aircraft and something like a dynamic campaign generator, and there’d be far less effort or risk.
I never understood why there are so few static campaigns available then the benefit is two-fold: an additional revenue stream and filling the simulator environment with stories and life. DCS also suffers from this drought to a lesser extent (with the exception of A-10C and UH-1H).
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I would think that to be true as well. But I have no idea.
The problem for me (and presumably many others) is FC vol.1 simply isn’t worth it in its current form.
All the other instalments in the series come with Career mode, a big map and new planes. FC has none of these but costs just as much.
If it were cheaper then the lack of features would make more sense, and more people would probably buy it to see what the fuss was about.
But charging premium prices for much less content? No wonder people aren’t interested.
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That’s fair. Everyone has to make the value decision for themselves.
How does a 25% sale discount announced today measure up?
Personally I look at what you get for your money. I know the effort that was put into this, nich markets are not cheap, but really WW1 planes are not that complicated. Wether they directly ported the models over from ROF or started from scratch, they are still not overly complicated to do. They didn’t invent any new tech or come up with some new terrain tech to do the trenches. Even at $60 it’s still asking a premium, I would have bought this day 1 on steam if it was in the low $40s. I think the best way to describe it is shallow.
That might make it more appealing to people who don’t already have it.
It’s still priced too high for what it contains – at $50 customers wouldn’t feel short-changed, there would be more sales = more money = more future content.
As it is, it’s hard to see that 1C haven’t shot themselves in the foot with this a bit… if it’s not profitable there won’t be more work on it, but if they don’t add a career and copy across more Rise of Flight planes they’ll lose a lot of goodwill.
And if they drop the price the early adopters will feel even more hard done by.
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I think what we’re really paying for in FC1 is VR support. I can’t think of any other reason why this would be better than RoF. Except maybe performance; DirectX 11 is much faster while RoF is still DirectX 9.
It goes beyond that for me. The overall graphical appeal is far higher, though Rise of Flight is a good looking sim to this day, but the new engine is far in advance for both visuals and frame rates (thanks to DX11) as you mentioned.
I also think the sounds are better and the aircraft fly “better” although that’s entirely subjective.
There’s also something to be said for being able to fly everything from just one sim. I fire up IL-2 and I decide what I want to do today.
I have bought both FC and TC and, playing in VR, don’t regret it.
However for anyone without VR, I can understand their reluctance to buy the product in it’s present form for the same price as all the other BoX titles.
Hopefully the 25% sales discount will have some positive effect on overall sales for the devs.
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I really really hope they do a two. Right now there are some very iconic ww1 planes missing. Most of all the entire nieuport line, and having bombers in missions would also add a lot of variation to the dog fighting.
For my my general experience in IL-2 has been amazing, don’t really want to go back. mainly because of VR, but also the flight model just feels right. (I don’t know how much changed) and the AI improvements of course.
I’m a 3D modeler myself, and I wonder if I deliver them a fully modeled and animated aircraft game ready, if they would buy it off me and just put it in?
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It’s $80!!! That is the most obvious reason for it not selling. No amount of rationalization is going to obfuscate that. It is not selling because it’s $80!!!
What price do you think something like Flying Circus Vol 2 should sell for? Also worth bearing in mind that Flying Circus Vol 1 did end up selling enough copies to justify an expanded Vol 2 as I mused may happen in this Jan 22, 2020 article. Now a year later it’s happening.