We’ve just learned about 1CGS’ plans for the future of the Flying Circus series within IL-2: Great Battles and there’s an impressive amount of information that has dropped today that should have World War I flight sim fans sitting up in their seats and have a look. Let’s dig into everything announced!
The next two volumes!
We were expecting news about Flying Circus Vol 2 after last week’s announcement, however, what we didn’t know at the time was that 1CGS and series Lead Producer, Jason Williams, also had plans to reveal to us what their longer range plans are. Volume 1 was a test to see if the concept would work and be financially successful enough to get to the point where a Volume 2 and beyond would be viable. This is exactly what happened and I’ll let Jason William’s Briefing Room thread post fill in some of the blanks.
…I created the plan for Flying Circus: Volume I even though I knew it would be a hard sell and a gamble. The bottom-line is we had to start somewhere. I trusted the ROF and IL-2 community would want WWI product development to start up again and would get behind FC1. And over time, you did, even if it was slower than we would have liked. However, today, enough FC1 has been sold and the community has grown to a size to warrant an FC2 and then FC3 and if we’re lucky an FC4. With every new volume, Flying Circus becomes less of a gamble.Jason Williams on the IL-2 forums
The announcement today covers not only Volume 2 but also news that Volume 3 is essentially a certainty as the team seeks to re-build their excellent Rise of Flight series into the new engine. They are doing it together again with Ugra Media who built the map and the aircraft in Volume 1.
There are ten aircraft planned for Volume 2 including the following:
- Spad 7.C1
- Airco DH.4
- Sopwith Triplane
- Nieuport 28.C1
- Breguet 14.B2
- Handley Page 0-400
- Pfalz D.XII
- Fokker D.VIII
- DFW C.V.
- Gotha G.V.
Volume 2, through this list alone, is clearly a bigger scale and scope than Volume 1. Two heavy bombers, three light bombers, and a good selection of scouts opens the door to more gameplay options and opportunities. Compared to the list that I put together a few days ago, this is close to my best guess although I didn’t quite get everything right. Of note, Jason and team have elected to include one more Entente aircraft with four German, three French, and three British aircraft making up the mix. Fans of American forces in WWI should also note that the Nieuport 28 and Airco DH.4 were both well used by that service.
Expanding map plans
Jason’s post today also covered their plans for maps and there’s good news for fans of the series because we’re seeing a significant expansion. Each volume will cover a significant portion of the main sectors of the Western Front of WWI. Development in Phase II will see a second version of the Arras Sector map for Vol 1 owners expand to encompass more territory. Volume 2 will also get the Verdun Sector map. Volume 3 is planned to cover the Reims Sector.
Every sector map will include Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter variants so we should see quite a bit more variety.
In addition to the official announcement, Jason Williams made a post in his Briefing Room and here are some key points from that.
- A Career mode will be included as part of Vol 2 and 3 development as well as new Scripted Campaigns but work will only commence on the Career mode after Normandy’s career mode is done
- Additional mission content for Flying Circus Vol 1 is planned
- Pat Wilson’s PWCG and Vander’s EZ Mission Generator will be supported
- 1CGS will be working with Ugra Media to produce a couple of new Collector Planes which are being researched and haven’t been announced yet as references are sometimes hard to come by and they don’t want to over promise
- Zeppelin’s would be a great thing to have and Jason says its on his long term list of desires for the series
- Damage model controversies have been noted and the team will be revisiting damage models
- Special bullet types like incendiary are hoped for but not planned just yet (these may be part of an overall improvement for the whole series if it does happen)
Sale and pre-order
There’s a pre-order discount price of $20 off MSRP at $59.99 USD for Flying Circus Vol 2 from now until January 15th, 2021. During that time, Flying Circus Vol 1 is also on sale.
It’s been a very good day for fans of the series and I can’t wait to see the first new content arrive into the sim. Much more to say on all of this coming soon! In the meantime, check out the announcement here and Jason’s thoughts on the news right here.