We’ve got a big update from Jason Williams, Executive Producer for the IL-2 Sturmovik: Great Battles Series, with details on what the team are working on, challenges they face and a rough idea when some of the next aircraft (and tanks!) are coming to the series. Let’s have a look at what’s coming up and plot what looks to be the course for the future.
Coming up next
Coming in October are two new pieces of content for the IL-2 series. First, AQM (Advanced Quick Mission Builder) is a new feature that will become part of the quick mission builder letting you generate different mission profiles using period specific aircraft. The system uses the old Campaign generator which some of you may remember and it’s a really good way to generate a complete mission very quickly within the IL-2 series without needing a third party software package (excellent as they are) or generating a whole new career mode to do it.
Jason also mentioned in the update that he’d like to be able to utilize the AQM to generate co-op missions in the future. Cool!
Also coming in October is the Breguet 14.B2 bomber which will be the largest aircraft we’ve seen in the Flying Circus series yet and our first real bomber aircraft.
Then in November the team are planning to release the P-51B/C Mustang. This type, according to Jason, has taken longer to deliver than planned but the good news is that the community has been able to dig up some references for the Malcolm Hood modification.
Work on the ‘twins’
Battle of Normandy has four twin-engine aircraft and work on them is progressing. According to Jason, the Mosquito and Me410 which are highly anticipated will probably come in Q2 2022. The Ju88C-6 and AI B-26 Marauder have unknown ETA’s.
The Ju88C-6 already looks quite advanced so I’m speculating that it may arrive before the end of the year but it’s hard to say of course.
New single player content
Alex aka BlackSix is working on a single player campaign called His Majesty’s Griffons which is planned to be a free campaign that they will release later. The campaign is a first for the 1CGS team in that it will utilize a Normandy Collector Plane while being set on Bodenplatte’s map.
Jaegermeister, a community member, is also working with Jason to build a set of Flying Circus Vol 1 scenario missions a couple of free campaigns. Jaegermeister is also apparently planning a payware Scripted Campaign for the P-51. Haash, another community member, is also working with the team to provide some additional scenario missions for all collector planes. So, quite a bit of single player content is coming down the pipeline!
Jason reports that the Normandy map is well underway and that the map team has “expanded a bit” so hopefully that means that the mapping team will be doing a bit more with the Normandy map.
Ugra Media are reportedly working on the new maps for Flying Circus and that the process is tough going. The new western front map may be delayed in release although at this point the expectations for it’s release window have been fairly nebulous so I had no real expectations myself. Jason reports that they want this to be a good one and indeed new maps and new seasons will have a big impact on the Flying Circus series on the whole.
This is a feature that I have envisioned as being a potentially significant change in the way that we approach multiplayer scenarios. The feature has been in testing and Jason reports that it remains a difficult process and that it’s release is not 100% certain.
Notably, Jason says that he wants to make multiplayer features more fun regardless of what happens with Air Marshal itself. So that is interesting indeed and speaks both to the IL-2 team wanting to do more with multiplayer and possibly also the challenge of implementing a major feature into it. Will have to see how this shakes out over time.
Jason also reports that the team are busy with a bunch of other content. The USAAF crewmember/gunner model will be followed by Italian and Romanian fighter-pilot models. Radio calls in those languages is also apparently planned which will be a nice step forward (possibly also hinting that the campaign mode will be eventually updated to support Italian and Romanian units).
Speaking of Romanian aircraft, progress is coming along on the IAR80/81 project by Ivan, a 1CGS partner. Jason reports that progress is moving along well and he is encouraging pre-orders which may hopefully spur on some additional aircraft development by the same person.
Further on down the road are the new clouds, the new fuel systems and drop tanks, and news that the team will be taking another pass at damage models after that. There has been a few changes recently but I know many of you want to see overall effects of AP and HE bullets examined.
Finally, Jason left us with a new tantalizing detail. Two new Collector Tanks are also in production with Digital Forms with a projected release date of Q2 2022. They will be offered up for pre-order soon and until then we’ll be left guessing as to what they are. Community calls for some tank destroyers have been loud previously which suggests to me that the StuG III and Su-76 may be up for development. We’ll know soon!
A few pieces of content were not mentioned today but I wanted to point out that they are also on the way. The C-47 Collector Plane is in development and up for pre-order already so obviously that project has already reached and since past the initial stages that the team needs to offer something up. It’s ETA is unknown but hopefully will be here soon.
The Li-2, Sopwith Snipe and Siemens-Schuckert are all also planned for future inclusion.
Jason reports that the team have faced challenges this year riding on a similar rollercoaster to the one that I think everyone else has. The pandemic has affected people, supply routes and caused untold disruption everywhere so it’s hardly surprising that Jason is reporting that the team too has struggled. Hopefully we’re on the recovery now and that is good news for all of us and for one of my favourite development studios.
Looking forward to all that IL-2 Great Battles has on offer now and in the future!