The team from 1C Game Studios hosted a live stream earlier today answering some questions and talking about the future of the IL-2 series. We’ve learned some things about how the future is going to play out but not quite everything. Let’s dig into it!
An announcement but not the announcement
Going into the stream this morning I was expecting to get some announcements on what the plan was going to be in the future of the series. We did get some indications of it but we didn’t get an out and out announcement either.
The stream started off with Albert Zhiltsov telling us not to worry about the future of the IL-2 series because it is definitely continuing. So, that’s good news to be sure.
We’ve learned that the team is expanding and is going from 36 to 50 people. The expansion is enabling the team to work on what they are calling “new project tech.” New graphics, flight model, new GUI, updated damage visuals and modeling, and so forth.
It sounds like a new product although I don’t think they explicitly said that it was. Still, with so many core changes I suspect that we’re now going to reach an end to Great Battles and a new platform will spring up.
We’ve also learned that the first airplane for the new sim is being worked on right now utilizing the new technologies that they are developing.
Some Great Battles content still on the way
We did get quite a few updates about Great Battles despite the apparent news that the series might now be in its twilight era. The C-47 is first up and is almost finished. It is expected to come by the end of November.
Flying Circus Vol 2 is almost finished with the western front map coming “very soon” and the career mode for Flying Circus coming in February. The Sopwith Snipe and Siemens Shuckert is having its flight model created now.
There are also more vehicles and ships for Normandy still coming and the StuG III, IAR-80/81 (the focus of the next dev diary), and Spitfire XIVe bubble canopy are all on the way.
We’ve also learned that two, early war, Collector Planes are also being developed right now. We don’t know what they are but I expect that they will enhance one of the current scenarios. If I were to guess these will probably be aimed at the Battle of Moscow/Stalingrad period but I don’t know for sure of course. Feel free to speculate away!
Tank Crew and Flying Circus?
We don’t know what the future of Tank Crew or Flying Circus is beyond the next few months. We’ve got the already announced content on the way but it sounded to me like the team is starting to focus on the new technology and that there may or may not be follow ups to these.
Flying Circus Vol 3 seemed to me to be almost a certainty when Vol 2 was announced with the map and different sectors being setup for the future. I think that’s doubtful now as we’ve certainly had no confirmation.
I do think Vol 2, once completed, will be a good place at least with a roster of good aircraft that cover much of the 1917-18 period. But it’s a bit of a shame if it doesn’t complete the roster or at least pick up a few additional fan favourites along the way. Nieuport fans, I feel your pain.
Tank Crew has a bit more of a chance with news that the 1CGS team are heading to St. Petersburg soon to talk with Digital Forms. Tank Crew could continue with the current sim or if they may be discussing content plans for a future title.
I was expecting a bit more out of today with a more complete discussion of what the series would be doing. Yes, we know that new technology is being worked on and that the team is expanding. So that’s good! But I was also hoping that we’d know a bit more certainty about the current slate. I think the answers around that were a bit ambiguous which leads me to conclude that IL-2 Sturmovik: Great Battles, aside from the content that is already promised, is ending.
Community questions seemed to be focused on more specific pieces such as issues with time dilation (the sim slowing down when there are many AI at once) and problems with wing durability on WWI aircraft. Interesting to some but in light of what was discussed seemingly less relevant to the bigger picture. What I really wanted out of today is to know where we are at with the whole series – and for that it sounds like we’ll be waiting until they are ready to reveal more of their new project.
One other thing jumped out at me. 1CGS seem more interested now than ever to find or encourage third party developers with art skills to create content. One example is the IAR project which is being done by a third party artist. Many of their answers for if we’ll see aircraft like the B-25 and B-26 seem rooted in the same desire to have artists do these and for them to then do the technical integration.
So, the long and short of it is that Great Battles has some new content coming but it looks like we’re nearing the end of an era and the beginning of another with new technology. That’ll take some time to digest.
If you want to watch the live stream it’s available on YouTube.
There is also a developer diary summary here that you should definitely read.