The folks over at Drydock Dreams Games have been busy working away on their naval combat simulator – Task Force Admiral and the latest updates show all kinds of promising efforts starting to come together. With so much of this sim centered around aerial combat and with plenty of cross over between fans of flight sims and a sim like this – I thought it was well past time to write some sort of update on what the team has been doing. Let’s have a look!
About ships and the aircraft that fly from them
The Pacific theater is one that we’re all longing to return to someday in a flight sim. Until then, Task Force Admiral might help fit the bill for a serious and modern sim title covering the subject. Task Force Admiral puts you in charge of the fleet and of the air operations with its 1942 oriented naval combat between the United States and the Empire of Japan.
Their latest developer diary focuses on a range of items that have been updated over the course of development. In this video below you can see their USS Yorktown carrier sailing along in relatively calm waters and in the following gallery you can see the latest updates on the 3D model and texture work for the same ship.
In another developer video, we can see some of the details on how Task Force Admiral goes beyond just simulating the ocean and ensures that there are all of the historical landmasses, atolls and islands that all played a major role in the combat in the Pacific. The video assures us of all of the main locations for naval battles in the first part of the war will be there.
From the visuals and overview to the nitty gritty. Another update video shows us what the air operations manager, or at least an early prototype, looks like. Managing the loadouts, the missions, and the time spent preparing the deck, launching the aircraft and then recovering them again later.
Lots of ships
The latest update provides us one of the clearest overviews of the ships coming with TFA with this showcase of American, Australian and Japanese naval power. The developers have done extensive research on each class and each ship in far greater detail than I think the rest of us may appreciate fully but the attention to detail is always appreciated.
Looking through all of these ship types, even if you don’t know ships like you do the aircraft that were flying over them, it’s abundantly clear that Task Force Admiral will not only have some really detailed 3D ship models but plenty of them as well ensuring that every task force and every naval engagement will have just the right historical look about it.
Of course the aircraft themselves are of interest (this is a flight sim blog afterall) and it looks like Task Force Admiral is doing that justice too. The latest updates are focused on the visuals and on the AI of the aircraft.
In one development video below, we can see how the developers are programming their AI aircraft to behave in a realistic fashion and use realistic tactics. For example, we can see the famous ‘Thatch Weave’ being employed by two Wildcat fighters working in tandem against an A6M2 Zero.
The aircraft are also getting historically researched paint schemes and markings. You can always tell attention to detail with something like the A6M2 Zero as it was painted with an off white scheme that is more cream coloured than pure white. A detail some have missed but in this case has been fully realized. Also below are some images of a B5N Kate torpedo bomber – again with historical green paint scheme.
Finally, the other item of note is the flexibility that the folks building Task Force Admiral seem to have structured in. In these last developer images, we see the USS Hornet with the B-25’s of the Doolittle Raid lined-up and ready for takeoff. Not sure if we’ll be able to employ that kind of strike in a different context but it does open the door to all kinds of what-if scenarios if possible.
Regular updates on DevBlog and on Twitter
The folks putting together Task Force Admiral have their own developer blog which they update semi-regularly but if you’re really interested in getting the regular updates, Drydock Dreams Games update all the time on their latest efforts on Twitter. Take this latest update for example with a great video showing their latest efforts on the carrier wire arresting physics.
I’ll be checking in time and again to see how this project is going and I hope to provide some more gameplay and review content once its out. From the perspective of a flight simmer of course! No release date is available and it may be a while still before this is ready to go. I’m excited for when that does happen. More to come I’m sure!