Lead engineer departs Great Battles team (updated)

Normally HR moves don’t attract a lot of community attention, however, there is a higher profile departure from the Great Battles team that has attracted some attention. Andrey (An.Petrovich) Solomykin is leaving the IL-2 Sturmovik Great Battles team.

Updated: This article was updated at 8:21 pm EDT on September 12.

Lead engineer

A post made by Andrey on the IL-2 Sturmovik forum just a few hours ago contained a lengthy message from Andrey (An.Petrovich) Solomykin indicating that some things were changing for him and he was moving on to a new studio in a new country. Here’s what he had to say:

Life does not stand still, and I am entering a new stage: leaving the IL-2 development team and going to work for another studio in another country. It is important to me to personally tell you about this, because we have spent a lot of time together in engrossing discussions on this forum. Furthermore, one way or another, we are connected by a lot: by our love for flying and airplanes, by dedication to the sky, and by our passion and commitment to simulators which our team has been working on and continues to work on.

Solomykin seemed positive about the future of 1CGS projects expressing faith in the other engineers that are working on the project.

In case anyone was concerned, the development of flight simulators will certainly not stop here after I leave the studio. Among the IL-2 staff there is a strong team of engineers, and the guys will continue the work. I am sure that many interesting projects from 1C Game Studios await you.

AnPetrovich as we knew him on the forums has been with the team since the Rise of Flight days and has been, as I understood it, a key factor in the series flight models. Many in-depth discussions on flight physics have been had between him and the community over the years.

Although I’m sure this departure will be felt, I also don’t want to speculate on what a singular departure can mean for the series. A project like this is always a team effort so I’m sure other engineers on the team will be able to bring their expertise to the fore as well.

I would like to thank Andrey for the hard work and enjoyable experience that he helped to bring to the series. Wishing him all the best and good luck in future projects!

Read the full forum post here.

Updated: A move to Asobo!

As many of you have already gathered, we’ve learned from Andrey’s LinkedIn profile that he has made a move to none other than Asobo Studio under the title of Senior Gameplay Programmer.

Hiring someone of Andrey’s calibre surely means that Asobo Studio and Microsoft intend to continue to be very serious about Microsoft Flight Simulator’s development over the short if not medium term.

26 Comments Add yours

  1. Mel says:

    He’s going to Asobo Studio in Bordeaux, France.

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    1. ShamrockOneFive says:

      Is he really?

      Like

      1. Mel says:

        His LinkedIn profile says Senior Gameplay Programmer, Asobo Studio, Sep 2022.

        Liked by 3 people

      2. ShamrockOneFive says:

        Yeah, that’s interesting!

        Like

  2. Mel says:

    ..coding pathfinding algorithms for rats ;).

    Like

    1. ShamrockOneFive says:

      Uh huh 😊

      Like

  3. Stewmanji says:

    I’m curious if he’s moving on to another flight-related project or a new genre entirely.

    Please come fix the DCS core engine Andrey! Although we might need to clone you into an army to make that happen, haha.

    In all seriousness, best wishes to him!

    Like

    1. ShamrockOneFive says:

      I’ve learned since posting this (update is forthcoming) that he is heading to Asobo. So, that’s interesting!

      Like

  4. Urgent Siesta says:

    Soooo……

    MS Combat Flight Simulator v4.0…? 😉

    Given MS/Asobo’s antipathy for even the display of weapons, probably not for MSFS – as it stands.
    But could it potentially be something along the lines of Reno Air Races, where it seems to be a sandbox of sorts?

    Good info. IMO, industry news like this is very interesting.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. harryvoyager says:

      Maybe they’ve got him working their VR and kinematicks integration?

      Flight sims are a difficult enough genre to get into that I suspect improvements in MSFS will benefit everyone. Just this weekend we had some relatives over and I ended up showing them they could fly over her folks’ house. She was really frustrated she didn’t know how to fly and really interested in figuring out more.

      Given we’re talking only a Series S and gamepass, that’s not a big barrier to entry either.

      Like

    2. ShamrockOneFive says:

      It may be that they are continuing to draw in expertise in this area. MSFS gets a bad wrap for flight model but they are moving so fast.

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    3. marcocom says:

      I think thats an interesting thought! MSCFS was really a good seller in its time. I have always appreciated how MS kept the two platforms seperate, even if very closely linked in codebase. The problem is destructability of ground assets. The more you do that , the more your world-engine will resemble DCS
      Dont think of Asobo or even MS as a cohesive monolith. its a studio full of people and those people will get cycled in and out (especially so with our kinds of titles that exist for years and years, instead of being shipped and then spun-down like most game software) and a software’s direction is actually alot more pliable and apt to wind-change than you probably might think.
      Just a reminder too that MS/Hololens just delivered a 20Billion dollar solution for the US Military, and so there could very well be segments of business being done for PVP/Training needs that could trickle over perhaps!

      Like

    4. Guy says:

      We can only hope 😉

      Like

  5. 1_Robert_ says:

    Also a reminder just how delicate this niche genre is. One engineer could possibly have a major effect on a developer’s work. I hope this doesn’t change much with the GB series as I’ve come to depend on them for a stable and consistent platform.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ShamrockOneFive says:

      I hope and suspect that it will not have a huge impact but I hesitate to speculate. Most of us don’t know what the internal HR situation is.

      For now, we’ve got a big success with Normandy having been delivered so that’s a good thing!

      Like

    2. harryvoyager says:

      Well, any area where you are pushing the bleeding edge of what is possible will be defined by a small number of highly motivated experts. Remember how long John Carmack dominated FPS games? And that was not a small genre.

      But here, because MSFS is so much of a base foundation to flight sims, I really suspect their success will be the rising tide that lifts all boats.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. t5s_blanco says:

    I would suspect/imagine that the flight sim industry is pretty small as a whole, and people move within a fair amount, especially code developers like this who have specialized expertise. Modelling is more transportable to other games and genres – a good game artist/texturer/modeller could work in film, etc. Asobo is a newer entry into the market, and evolving quickly, and they have money to spend. So good on them and for us. IL2 will go on I’m sure. Normandy just releasing recently probably is part of the set up here. Finish line and transition period for some folks. Fair enough – life has to go on – for these guys and gals, this is after all also, a job, not just a thing for fun.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ShamrockOneFive says:

      Absolutely. I think at the end of a big project or after a prolonged period of time you often want to reevaluate and potentially move on to something new. I’ve faced that in my professional life and after you spend a decade somewhere and turn in some major pieces of work you often find yourself thinking about a move.

      I hope that IL-2 won’t be unduly affected. I think it will be fine for the record. But I also appreciate the need for a transition.

      It’s definitely a job for them. Fun for us but someone has to do the hard hours.

      Like

  7. Redglyph says:

    Ouch, it will hard for 1C to replace this combination of pilot (flight instructor even), flight dynamics engineer and lead programmer.

    I understand the temptation to find an equivalent job outside of Russia though, but it’s a drastic change (I didn’t see other locations for Asobo, only France). And I see that 1CGS is officially located at Cyprus now, like other Russian developers. I suppose they have a way to transfer money to their employees from this location, otherwise they would have gone under by now.

    Like

    1. marcocom says:

      If you have a senior talent for long-term and have not surrounded them with the support-staff and juniors to learn from them, you deserve failure. doing so is both enriching for your team and future and their personal career-paths, while ensuring you dont completely fall apart if the talent should leave (or who knows, get hit by a bus, or sick or just retire). Lastly, it makes life easier for the senior talent and decreases their burnout.

      Like

      1. Redglyph says:

        In theory, perhaps. In practice, it’s an illusion. It’s very demanding for a busy developer to train other people, believe me, I’ve been there. And it’s not a talent everyone has. Besides, there’s often a turn-over that doesn’t motive them to spend too much time training new recruits who will take the knowledge to find another better paid job in a bigger company.

        In this case, I doubt that he would have been able to train anyone in flight dynamics because it’s a complex course that requires a high level of math proficiency. It’s not the typical profile that game companies can afford to hire, though I don’t know about 1C. But it’s the combination of that knowledge and programming skills that produces efficient algorithms in flight sims.

        Finally, there’s the reality of a small developer company, where there’s no such thing as an ideal environment. It’s a lot of work, difficult-to-achieve deadlines and not enough resources. Those people are always at the edge and it’s very difficult to find quality time to nurture everyone properly.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. marcocom says:

        thank you for the insights.
        I have to admit im in california with our big studios and market here and cannot relate to the very select pool of resources available, especially for this unique expertise.
        I tend to rant and evangelize this point around the net because, as a senior myself, its upon us (if not us, whom?) to sell executives/stakeholders the monetary-damage possible of running too lean. They wont figure it out on their own until its too late! good luck and fight the good fight, brother 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Blue 5 says:

    Best of luck to him, hope it works out

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ShamrockOneFive says:

      I do too! It’s a big change but sometimes you have to make those to get on with the next stage in life. Wishing him all the best!

      Like

  9. Witt says:

    A smart move, given the upcoming mobilization…

    Like

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