Russian language YouTube channel ‘GENA PILOT’ has released an interview with members of the Eagle Dynamics team in a wide ranging interview that covers everything from current projects underway as well as some notable news about the F-4 Phantom (*sounds of everyone sitting up in their seat*), talk about the WWII Marianas map and more.
UPDATE: This post was updated at 7:52 am on September 6, 2021 with new information about the F-4.
UPDATE 2: This post was again updated at 1:35 pm on September 6 with new attribution information for the source of the translated information and more F-4 comments.
Wide ranging interview
A post on the r/Hoggit subreddit by Unknownboi1 alerted me to the interview and contains some great point form notes about what was said in the interview. Let’s have a look at this information first and then asses what it means.
Obviously, that’s a lot of information to absorb so I want to try and focus in on some key things.
UPDATE: The source of the information above comes originally from DCS World forum user Minsky. The post can be found here.
F-4 Phantom thoughts
The F-4 Phantom has long been sought after. Belsimtek initially started work on an F-4E Phantom II before it was reabsorbed back into Eagle Dynamics and the team members started working on other projects. Undoubtedly, that knowledge and work has not been lost and it sounds like it may be one of Eagle Dynamics next projects. Although there are scant details, this is new information after a couple of years of community mangers NineLine and BIGNEWY reporting that there was no movement on the F-4.
As always, it may be possible that while programmers have been busy with the F/A-18, F-16, Mi-24, Mosquito, AH-64D and others, the artist team may be mixing their time between the finishing work on the Mosquito, AH-64D and perhaps starting the F-4.
If “and soon” means that the project is already well underway, I would make a guess that it could be teased during a likely DCS World 2022 and beyond video released at the end of this year or start of next year with an early access release by fall of 2022. Pure speculation and conjecture but it does fit the typical schedule that we’ve seen from Eagle Dynamics.
UPDATE: A comment from Community Manager BIGNEWY suggests that Eagle Dynamics are not doing the F-4 and that the translation is not wholly accurate. This can be an issue when jumping between languages. The news may not be all bad as it may be that a third party is tackling the project and has not yet gone public.
Second update: Forum user Minsky, who did the initial translation, wanted to clarify that he did not make an error in translation and wanted to point out that Eagle Dynamics never explicitly stated who is doing the F-4, writing:
Since this part got a lot of attention (and even accusation of me being a “bad translator” ), I must clarify that ED haven’t specified who’s creating the Phantom (ED or a 3rd party). I made a literal translation of Kate’s words (“Он будет точно в DCS. Достаточно скоро”), without adding anything from myself.Minsky on the DCS World forums
Cargo aircraft project
This one has me interested as well. Although the commentary suggests that this may be a WWII type (a C-47?) I think it’s still worth considering the possibility that a more modern type will be introduced instead or in addition to.
A C-130 mod project is already out there (check out Skyward Flight Media’s recent coverage for more on that) and positive reception to that may have prompted Eagle Dynamics to consider a transport aircraft of one type or another.
It would potentially add some interesting gameplay opportunities and if its the C-130 that is selected, there are a whole host of options including a KC-130, AC-130, and more conventional C-130 options out there. Some more shadowy variants of the C-130 even have some limited air-to-ground weaponry so there’s a wide range of options out there.
WWII Marianas Map
Of interesting note is the work on the Marianas Map which, as the note says, is not going to be defined by a date range but rather will be its own separate map. Appropriate vehicles, ships and planes to be released for the map is once again something that has me sitting up and taking note.
Nick Grey has previously mentioned wanting to do a Hellcat and that would fit with a Marianas scenario nicely particularly around the events of the Battle of the Philippine Sea and the “Great Marianas Turkey Shoot” where attacking Japanese A6M5 “Zero”, B6N “Jill” and D4Y “Judy” were met with well armed and trained US Navy pilots flying the F6F-3 Hellcat. The TBM Avenger and SB2C Helldiver would also be likely candidates if Eagle Dynamics focuses their Pacific WWII efforts more than they did with the European setup.
As it is, details on some of these aircraft make it difficult to see if we’ll get a full slate but an A6M5 Zero seems possible according to various sources and of course the US Navy types are extremely well documented.
This will very likely be a multi-year project with the map helping to lead the way.
Apache and infantry
It was interesting to note that Eagle Dynamics has 15 subject matter experts (SME) working on the DCS: AH-64D project and that this is several times more than is usual. There not being any delays anticipated and the general upbeat nature of this comment suggests to me that this project is moving along well. The teaser from last Friday seems to suggest the same.
Also of note was the comment about paratroopers and infantry movement of which the second part seems important not only for DCS World in general but also for DCS World’s many helicopters all of which have more infantry interactions than most jet aircraft. New animations, pathfinding logic, (and hopefully damage model considerations) would be of great importance to troop carrying helicopters but also to helicopters like the Hind and Apache when they are doing battle with infantry.
It’s good to hear a bit more about the dynamic campaign and although there isn’t much more on offer right now, it is always reassuring to hear that they are fans of Falcon BMS’ campaign system which remains the gold standard in the industry and the campaign system that all others have been compared to since its release.
All of this information is interesting and there’s a lot that I didn’t talk about including the MiG-29 and Black Shark 3 comments (although we already knew about that) but it is nice to have an updated big picture of what is going on over at Eagle Dynamics and what directions DCS World is going in.