A little over a week ago, Jason Williams teased a new feature with three letters. DVD. Turns out that it stands for ‘dynamic visual damage’ and its a new visual damage system that propels IL-2 forward in yet another category. Let’s have a look at what’s in the update and pull out a few details in the update too.
Tanks and airplanes visual damage overhaul
Right off the bat, both aircraft and tanks are part of this overhaul of the visual damage system. The new system will place a damage decal on the spot where the bullet or cannon shell impacted it. So when you hit that Bf109 with a 20mm Hispano, you’ll see the spot where it impacted. When you blast that T-34 with a 7.5 cm KwK 40 L/43, you’ll see the blast mark on the spot that you hit the tank.
I’ll let the dev diary do the talking for this next part because it’s worth repeating!
Among the many neat possibilities this tech brings, the size of the mark corresponds to the caliber of the projectile and/or explosive power of the shell if it was of the HE variety. They also look different depending on the material the projectile hit – whether it was armor, thin metal, or not a metal at all. There are also separate marks for ricochets of high caliber armor-piercing rounds. The look of these marks is thoroughly prepared by our partners at Digital Forms and is based on real-world photos of combat damage on different objects. The marks placed by this tech are not simple 2D textures – thanks to modern graphical techniques they have visual depth. Even the penetrations can look different such as near penetrations when the armor (barely) stopped a projectile. We concentrated on making these marks as realistic looking as possible.
That sounds amazing. Essentially there’s a library of effects that can be applied depending on the material hit, the impact type, and all of the other usual calculations that go into things like ricochets and more. This is also yet another time where the whole of the Great Battles series is benefiting from technology that has been developed for Tank Crew first and supported by third party developer Digital Forms.
The effect won’t completely replace the old system as the team has opted to make use of both systems in order to preserve performance – especially in multiplayer. Essentially, in the most obvious of instances when you can see the damage being done or are in close proximity, you’ll see the effect. If, however, you come across another damage aircraft it sounds like the system reverts to the older style location damage. Seems like a fair compromise and I applaud 1CGS for revealing that.
Here’s some of the screenshots released today! Note: Also check out yet another screenshot of the new decal system for squadron letter markings on display as well.
Other damage model updates
A lot has been said about damage models recently as conversations around the .50cal continue in the WWII side of the community while the WWI community continues to debate issues around wing shedding. This dev diary is focused on the art team side of things while the engineering side of the team is busy working on some other enhancements. However, damage model updates on the engineering side are not entirely off the table either.
Please be aware though that this tech is visual, it doesn’t affect the physical interaction between the projectiles and aircraft and tank parts or systems. We’re working on the improvements in the physical damage system as well, but we’ll tell you more about that later.
Of course it’s always good to hear that further refinements are in store. Jason Williams, IL-2’s Lead Producer, has indicated that its not a major overhaul (one happened last year after all) but it still means that their team is looking to improve the model further. Be that tweaks to specific weapons, or the additions of features like hydraulic damage, or perhaps an integration of the damage model with their forthcoming fuel tank system overhaul. Whatever the case, IL-2 continues to move forward and this visual update of the damage system is just one piece of it – one that looks extremely cool.
For all of this and more, visit the latest IL-2 developer diary.