FJP podcast interviews Simon Pearson from ED on future of DCS

Eagle Dynamics’ Business Director for DCS World, Simon Pearson, appeared on a live stream put on by the Fast Jet Performance podcast. We’ve learned some useful nuggets of information during the podcast that everyone might find interesting. Let’s have a look.

Link and summary

The interview with Simon Pearson has plenty of chit-chat and banter, however, it also gets into some interesting

  • Working with the A-10C’s and F-16C’s in the USAF, with the RCAF and the Hornet, the RAAF, with the French Air Force with 50-60 players, and working with the Norwegian Air Force with their mechanical students with the UH-1, F-5, and others
  • Notes the requests for the Jaguar, Lightning, Tornado in the chat and says that ED probably won’t do the Tornado because its a two seater
  • Notes the disparity between the DCS WWII aircraft, they are going to do more early war Battle of Britain era types later
  • After the Mosquito, the team is intending to head to the east to Japan with the Essex and Akagi carriers and aiming for early 1944
  • Working on real world dynamic weather is higher on the priority list than ATC at the moment
  • Central European map (‘Fulda gap’) is on the list to do
  • Proper high fidelity Russian aircraft they are interested in doing and want to do that right when the time is right
  • Mosquito intended to arrive before Christmas, in Q1 the Mi-24 Hind P is coming
  • ED would love to do another Hawk trainer, but it’s not on the list right now
  • It takes about $1.5-2 million USD to develop an aircraft
  • Full fidelity tank module is something they want to do in the future
  • Simon is excited about the F-4 Phantom coming sometime in the future
  • There will be big announcements coming in Q4
  • In 2021, the dynamic campaign will come to DCS and so will Modern Air Combat
  • Electronic warfare and electronic support is 5-years off

There’s plenty more covered in the show so give it a listen if you have some time.

16 Comments Add yours

  1. Stewmanji says:

    Great recap! Thanks for putting this together.

    I’ll admit to being disappointed that they are prioritizing real-world weather over a proper ATC setup. Flipping those strikes me as a much better decision for both immersion and for setting itself apart in this genre. The decision to lead with weather just strikes me as needlessly chasing a MSFS feature.

    Looking forward to those Q4 announcments!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ShamrockOneFive says:

      Both ATC and weather are weak points of the simulation. We’ve seen ATC take a step forward for supercarrier although I think they can go further. I do wonder if we’ll see a supercarrier-esq implementation of not only ATC but more ground operations and crew operations as well. If that’s the overall goal then it may take some time to do.

      Clouds is perhaps more critical than some know. DCS’ cloud/weather system has a couple of key weak-points: it doesn’t do VR well and its not network synchronized. With a growing VR userbase, improving clouds is going to be important for immersion and not having network synchronized clouds is definitely having a big impact on multiplayer servers. See my recent podcast with Philstyle on how much of a problem that was and how they decided to just put weather in anyways knowing full well it was hurting WWII aircraft tactics.


  2. 1_Robert_ says:

    Great recap Shamrock. $2 million to develop an aircraft? I don’t understand at all. Isn’t it a few programmers writing code over several months? I would have guessed low 5 figures in a dollar amount.

    I’m obviously very ignorant on this, what am I missing?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ShamrockOneFive says:

      It’s all of the overhead of having an employee or multiple employees. My understanding is that whatever you’re being paid by a company, keeping you on is about twice and expensive when you factor in the perks and benefits and the like. Plus the overhead, research and maybe even licensing costs as I think Eagle Dynamics licenses or at least comes up with some sort of agreement with the aircraft they are representing.

      It does get expensive!


  3. schurem says:

    A single programmer costs 2500 a month (very low estimate) that makes 30k a year. You need at least five of those for more than three years. No I don’t think they overestimated the costs of building a plane. It takes years, not months.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ShamrockOneFive says:

      There’s also things like benefits and overhead. My understanding is limited here but I’ve heard that for every employee you have about another employee worth of overhead when all is said and done. That’ll start to add up.


  4. Michael Thomas Dwyer says:

    The mention of the Pacific is very interesting, but they might need to do more homework, Akagi sank in 1942. I know the team that is doing the F-4U is working on an Essex class carrier so I don’t understand the duplication, unless he is including that 3rd party’s work.

    The Mossy in December sounds like Christmas to me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ShamrockOneFive says:

      Hey Michael! Yeah the Pacific talk is interesting and certainly a new development. I assume that their talk about the Essex class is with the knowledge and understanding that Leatherneck is already doing the work there. The mix of 1942-1944 talk is also a bit confusing but then DCS seems to have struggled with getting a time period settled on for all of their modules.

      Mosquito in December does sound like Christmas! 🙂


    2. Blue 5 says:

      I also thought that. Possibly an F-4U and an Essex against…. a CV class that never faced them. And no Japanese aircraft. Well, welcome to the most one-sided Marianas battle that you ever saw.

      Again, can DCS moderate their 3rd party content with at least half an eye to utility?

      Liked by 2 people

  5. MacTiré says:

    Disappointingly this just confirms that Eagle Dynamics have no idea what they’re doing.

    – adding early ETO Battle of Britain and 1944 Pacific aircraft plus carriers to the mish-mash of mid-war US and late-war German WWII types;
    – acknowledgement that ED can’t make a working multicrew aircraft, which is the reason given for not considering a Tornado;
    – dynamic weather is an attempt to chase MSFS and I’m not aware of it actually being a particularly desired feature for DCS;
    – a full-fidelity tank model, which will piss more resources up the wall on a deviation that adds nothing to core gameplay (and why not work on bringing Combined Arms up to an acceptable standard?);
    – electronic warfare is five years off… if they have a rough idea of a roadmap extending out to five years, then their vague aspiration to do a full-fidelity Russian aircraft ‘when the time is right’ means this won’t happen in the next half-decade at least. And saying the Hawk ‘is not currently on the list’ is meaningless;
    – disappointed to see that Modern Air Combat is still taking up resources – I’d hoped, given the lack of news, it had been quietly shelved but obviously not;
    – and more talk of ‘big announcements’ – their plate is so full with unfinished projects right now that I don’t want them to do anything new anymore. I no longer have fair in their ability to deliver a product in a working state, within a reasonable timeframe.

    It’s all a real shame. I’ve invested so heavily in DCS over the years and I’m watching it die in front of me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ShamrockOneFive says:

      Thanks for the comments! DCS’ development is definitely more on the scattered side than I’d like to see as well. A few more thematic areas to focus development around both internally and externally would help them I think but they don’t seem to be too interested in that – at least not yet.

      While MSFS has changed the conversation on weather and cloud systems for DCS World, I want to remind too that we’ve been asking to see the system updated for a long time. Proper network synchronization of clouds is definitely an issue for modern jets but even more-so for WWII flyers. It was a point of conversation for myself and Philstyle in our recent Podcast episode and how it affects the Storm of War server. So I think this goes deeper than my be initially seen.

      I’m warming to the Modern Air Combat plan if it goes the way I think it will go. While hardcore pilots won’t get much of anything from it, DCS World on the whole probably will. If its accessible and marketed well then it’ll help bring people in who want the next big thing after War Thunder which seems to be the farm team for more serious simulation. We need new people to get into the hobby all the time… and it’s a primary goal of mine at Stormbirds to try and speak to those new players as much as the grizzled veterans like ourselves.


  6. Michael Thomas Dwyer says:

    I have to disagree about weather, I do want them to improve it. The issue for me now is that clouds, and less importantly trains, are local not network objects. So what I see for clouds is not what my buddy sees in our online mission. It makes things difficult and rather disjointed.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Blue 5 says:

    I wonder somewhat where their ETO a/c strategy os based on letting IL-2 GB beat them to release then as players begin enjoying the aircraft to hover on the sidelines and whisper: “Yes, but our identical and wholly-unintegrated module has a clickable cockpit!”

    Their USP on anything before mid-50s stuff is borderline non-existent. As CEO I would have wrapped this up years ago and hit 1951-onward as an untapped market and have done with it. Why they keep half-doing this is beyond me.

    Liked by 3 people

  8. Gretsch_Man says:

    I can confirm that the clouds in VR look pretty pure – it’s weird when clouds are turning together with your head movement.

    And as a VR user one other thing I would have liked to hear about is the performance optimization, e.g. the introduction of Vulcan.

    Otherwise, it was a very nice podcast indeed.

    Liked by 2 people

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