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TFS Developer Update – September 2018

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TFS Developer Update – September 2018

Postby Bonkin » Mon Sep 10, 2018 6:54 pm

Hello everybody. Time seems to be accelerating so much. It doesn’t seem like more than a week since I put the last update out! The team has been very busy though and there seems to be more going on than I can fit in to a single update. So much so that it may be necessary to start doing a few mid-month updates! So without further ado, let us proceed…

Team
We welcome two new members to the team this month. Emeren works as a freelancer in the 3D industry and will be working on existing and new 3D models. Daveod06 is a map creator and will be bringing his experience of producing several maps for IL-2 1946 into the map team.

To me it feels like there is a certain buzz going on within the team. For so long team members have been working their spare time on various labours of love – but now, much is being shared as we progressively move out of the modelling phase (i.e. stand-alone 3D models and textures), and into an integration phase (i.e. importing the new data items into the game). For many, it is the first time we’re starting to see completed work in all its refinery and there is a lot of positive feedback going on.

Schedule
We remain on track to our internal schedule and confidence and morale remain high.

Progress

Map
The team continue to stabilise the Map Editor and have done some tremendous work. The all new Tobruk map has been imported into a development build and we’re starting to fly around above it. The sad news is that I’m not going to show it off in this release. Why? Well we want to refine the textures and get some more objects populated on it before we showcase it e.g. airfields and buildings. There is also the matter of the sea… which needs to be changed from mucky English Channel colours to lovely rich Mediterranean blue.

Aircraft
In all cases, the flight models continue to be tweaked during test and are not therefore specifically reported on. This includes the various Mk variants, e.g. Spitfire VB would cover both the +12 boost and +16 boost types as well as tropical mods. This is the current status:
- CR42 cockpit 3D and textures complete. Importing almost complete.
- Bf-108 3D and textures complete awaiting import.
- Bf-109F-1, 2 & 4 imported and awaiting cockpit texturing re-work.
- Spitfire IIa 3D and textures complete, import complete. Internal animation and test in progress.
- Spitfire IIb 3D and textures complete, import complete. Internal animation and test in progress.
- Spitfire VA 3D and textures complete, import complete. Internal animation and test in progress.
- Spitfire VB 3D and textures complete, import complete. Internal animation and test in progress.
- P-40B/C Tomahawk 3D modelling almost complete. Texturing phase has started.
- P-40E Kittihawk 3D modelling almost complete. Texturing phase has started.
- Macchi C-202 cockpit 3D modelling almost complete.
- Macchi C-202 external model 3D modelling underway.
- Dewoitine D.520 3D and textures complete, import in progress.
- Gladiator II completed.
- Hurricane IIA 3D modelling and textures complete, awaiting import.
- Hurricane IIB 3D modelling and textures complete, awaiting import.
- Hurricane IIC 3D modelling and textures complete, awaiting import.
- Beaufighter Mk IC awaiting import.
- Wellington IA turrets 3D, texture complete and imported. Cockpit/Bombardier positions 3D and textures almost complete, awaiting import.
- Wellington IC turrets 3D, texture complete and imported. Cockpit/Bombardier positions 3D and textures almost complete, awaiting import.
- Wellington IC external 3D details underway.
- Martlet III external, cockpit 3D and texture just about complete, awaiting import.

AI
Work is underway with re-writing the AI command GUI to fix the errors and mistakes which were there. In addition, work is currently be done on addressing certain AI combat routines.

Notable Fixes
- Bug #749: Overheated cooling system shouldn't blow the radiator.

So now on with a few of your questions from across the different forums (again, forgive me for paraphrasing). Note, the best place to post questions for me to find them is always the latest update thread:

Q1. If v5.0 is a success and a v6.0 is planned will there be aircraft carriers?
A. We would like to introduce Carriers in TF 6.0 yes, but it does depend on the success of TF 5.0 and whether we can continue our development efforts.

Q2. Do you have an idea of the price range?
A. Not at this time. Pricing will be determined by 1C.

Q3. Can the next update maybe show some new effects and maybe a selection of new aircraft, especially as there are so many to choose from?
A. The video updates so far have deliberately been cinematically styled but do take a long time to produce. The video’s will continue to feature new aircraft as they are imported into the game engine but as we approach the testing phase it may not be practical to focus on one aircraft each month. How the PR updates are provided will therefore be re-considered and we will attempt to show more than just one aircraft. From a practical perspective it may be easier to show pictures rather than video for example. Regarding effects, these are always be refined – both for the visual aspects and the graphical overheads. Here are a few images to illustrate work in progress:

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Q4. Why are you including a Bf-108 Taifun?
A. We include the Bf-108 Taifun because it was one of the first test attempts by TF to get new aircraft cockpit into the game prior to us signing with 1C and receiving the source code. Since we had already done the work, it made sense to include the aircraft in TF 5.0. It will stand as an intermediate trainer and can be flown by two people online. In addition, it was used by Rommel as a “Desert Taxi” so could be used for some interesting missions.

Q5. Can we have a bigger map area that have a navigation challenge?
A. At the moment there is a size limit for maps of approx. 400 km X 400 km. (we may look at increasing this for later maps) The map we are creating for the TF 5.0 "Tobruk" is based around the November 1940 to May 1942 period and covers the major areas where combat occurred.

Q6. Pilots in 109s had the option to close the right or left radiator flap manually with a cable down at the right and left leg. Could this ever be an option?
A. Pilots flying 109F's will have option to use either manual or auto rads. They will also be able to shut off one rad completely if there is a leak in that rad... this will keep the fluid in the other rad contained.

Q7. Any chance of a work in progress video of how the modelling work is done for a ground vehicle/object so people can appreciate how much effort is required in making one from the ground up?
A. Certainly. This video show Yotheguy at work on the Macchi C-202 cockpit. Even though it is sped up it hopefully illustrates just how complex and time consuming this aspect of the work is. Where we don’t have original drawings, additional work is required to determine accurate object measurements and sizes from photos.



This is obviously just one part of the development process. A huge amount of effort also goes into ensuring accurate high-fidelity flight models, damage models and ballistics.

Q8. Any plans to improve the sound quality?
A. Yes, among other improvements, new engine sounds are currently being worked for Daimler Benz, Hispano Suiza, Pratt & Whiney and Allison engines. Also, on the subject of sound, with the introduction of flyable French and Italian aircraft we are also recording new voice packs.

Q9. Regarding the movement of the Spit and Hurri on the ground whilst taxying, would it not be important to rectify the existing problems now (and try to instil some confidence in TF5), rather than wait until TF5 I released?
A. Doing additional releases does take up additional effort and there is always the question of where we would draw the line. There is much work to be done and our focus needs to be to deliver TF5. As stated previously, we continue to work on the flight models all the way to the point of release to deliver the most accurate simulation we can.

Q10. Will future updates to Blitz be free or will it require a purchase of TF5 to get updates?
A. To fly the Tobruk map and the new planes will require you to purchase TF5. Patches and fixes made to the core game engine, (for example, improvements to AI behaviour) will be available to existing owners of TF4.5/CoD-Blitz free of charge.

Q11. TFS has been promising so much yet nothing seems to be forthcoming. Can we see some improvements to Blitz now – even if it is to show the customer base are being listened to?
A. We hope that through these regular updates you can see what the team are working on, but otherwise the response to question 9 also applies to this. Through these updates I do hope to show that the team is listening and responding as best it can. If for example there is something specific you want to see, I can try to capture it and show it within these regular updates.

Q12. The law in Germany is changing which means that swastikas are to be allowed. Does this mean that v5.0 will be able to use accurate markings featuring swastikas?
A. To ensure the game can maintain an international distribution (e.g. Russia), it is necessary to continue to avoid the use of swastikas in all aircraft markings.

Q13. How hard would it be to implement Nvidia Ansel?
A. It would need to be assessed. Right now it is not in our planned scope of work.

Q14. Have the coding team been able to do any work on Anti-Aliasing options?
A. Yes. It is something we are working on as part of game engine improvements.

As usual I will finish with a short video…



Thank you for your continued support, patience and understanding.

For and on behalf of Team Fusion Simulations,

Bonkin.
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Re: TFS Developer Update – September 2018

Postby Barone » Mon Sep 10, 2018 7:11 pm

Really appreciate your effort in keeping a positive PR. really like the new cinematic type of videos.
It's a nice update, however, I personally hoped you were far more in advance with the 3D modelling. The base player seems to be almost gone and the more TF5 waits the more people are lost.

I dunno if you can answer me... but you plan to release TF5 within this year?

cheers
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Re: TFS Developer Update – September 2018

Postby Admin (Reddog) » Tue Sep 11, 2018 7:11 am

Good to see the IIa, IIb, Vb in game.

As I said elsewhere I really hope that 1C don't say "thanks. We aren't releasing it" when you finally get to a release state. Which given the work seemingly left to do won't be in 2018 guess it's rushed out and poorly tested.
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