If you had been wondering what was happening with Polychop Simulations and their planned release of the DCS: OH-58D Kiowa Warrior and updates to the DCS: SA342 Gazelle, you were not a lone. Rumours spread far and wide and relative silence by the developers lead to serious questions. Now we have an update so let’s dig into it.
Polychop abruptly stopped posting updates about the Kiowa Warrior in May of this year. Little communication was shared with the team although there were some interactions with the community on their Discord server. Little else was said and rumours started to run wild.
We now know some of the backstory to what happened and I’ll let Polychop’s statement speak for itself.
For Polychop Simulations, ever since the second half of 2020 a lot has changed when it comes to productivity in the coding department slowing down considerably for a good while. The reason for this has been a serious medical condition affecting one of our team members. With Polychop Simulations being a very small team (2 people work on the OH-58D), this has had a severe effect on the production cycle of the OH-58D Kiowa Warrior module for DCS World.Polychop Simulations
As much as we can be critical of developers and the modules that they make, it is always worth taking a step back and remembering the humans behind these projects. Naturally, any serious health issue requires immediate action and priority over other commitments. It sounds like this Polychop team member is recuperating so I sent my best wishes and hopes for a smooth recovery.
Polychop has brought on a new team member to help with coding so that will hopefully allow them to resume more active development with the new coder working primarily on Polychop’s other helicopter, the SA-342 Gazelle. Their first helicopter has been criticized for its flight model and this next part of the update looks to be aimed at addressing that issue. The report goes on to say that the new helicopter has been coded to fly by the numbers and feel like a real Kiowa.
Not only to have all values match the documentation but also to capture the actual feeling of flying the Kiowa Warrior as close as we can.Polychop Simulations
No early access?
Polychop are planning to release the helicopter in a feature complete state with no planned ‘early access’ period. We’ve heard this before from other developers where that didn’t work out so I have a bit of skepticism on if this will actually happen. Still, it is laudable that they intend to launch fully featured. Even Deka Ironworks, who shipped a largely complete JF-17, have still tweaked features post launch as part of their early access period for that jet.
There are also some nice bonuses planned although these may come post release. These include the option to add or remove the doors, the mast mounted sight and the rapid deployment gear. These bonus features would represent some of the common modifications for the OH-58D.
The wait for this helicopter has been long and it sounds like there is still a journey ahead of it but it is good to hear from Polychop and learn what has happened and what still is ahead of them. Hopefully we’ll have some more regular updates from them, even if a quarterly format or something similar to that is more appropriate.