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TFS Developer Update – December 2018

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TFS Developer Update – December 2018

Postby Bonkin » Mon Dec 24, 2018 3:55 pm

Hello everybody,

Season's greetings and a very festive "Yo! Ho! Ho!" to you all. I can't believe we're almost at year end again. Does time accelerate as we get older? It certainly seems that way. There is quite a lot to cover this month so I'll get straight on with it.

We've had some new members join us recently. These are predominantly members with mission building skills who will be using their talents to develop single player missions. Other than that the team numbers remains stable and the motivation high. There are things going on (which I can only tell you about in the new year), which have got many of us, myself included, extremely excited.

Although things are ramping up it is inevitable that at this time of year there will be a natural pause. On the whole, the project maturity is a little short of where it was predicted to be at this point in time, mainly due to the complexities of the import process and the integration between modeller, coder and skin maker required.

We gave you a sneak preview in the last update which illustrated one part of the map and the terrain elevations. Still lots going on - particularly in texture refinement since North Africa has a larger variety of terrain than some may think. Regrettably, from some of the feedback received, a few people didn't understand what we meant by "alpha" texture. To be clear on this, an "alpha" texture by our definition is a first pass texture which represents, roughly, the terrain texture. It has not undergone a detailed refinement (to look good at any altitude) and does not represent the final look.

Are mostly complete and either imported or still in the import process, with the following exceptions still in the 3D modelling stage:

• Bf-110C Tropical versions (minor air intake changes)
• Ju-87B Tropical version (minor air intake changes)
• Ju-88A-4/A-5 including Tropical version.
• Ju-88C-1/C-2/C-4/C-6 including Tropical version.
• Heinkel He-111H-6
• Macchi C-202 Series III and VIII
• Wellington IC

Audio work (alpha update) is in test. Visual effects are being further refined.

Alpha work has been in test for a while now. Mostly positive feedback but further refinements are necessary.

So now on with a few of your questions from across the different forums, which I've grouped as best I can. As always, forgive me for paraphrasing:

Q1. Any idea on VR support?
Yes technically it is possible, but only post v5.0. Our primary focus has to be on releasing v5.0 before we add new capability.

Q2. "Desert based Single Player campaigns". Will these campaigns be scripted? Is there going to be a real career mode similar to wings over the Reich or BoX, with newspaper, stats, units history, events etc?
A. We will be adding single missions and dynamic campaigns.

Q3. Will there be campaigns (if scripted) for planes like Bf110 or Ju87?
A. We are aiming to have campaigns for the major aircraft types.

Q4. Are you working on improving the graphic settings, e.g. anti-aliasing (MSAA and not FXAA which has a tendency to create lots of shimmering.)?
A. Yes. It is something we are working on as part of game engine improvements.

Q5. Will some of the original issues and bugs with some of the instruments of the original Clod planes be fixed?
A. All the bugs listed in the bugtracker are being looked at and addressed if at all possible. We would encourage all to use it to report bugs or feature requests.

Q6. Any plans to improve and simplify the interface, menu or in-game?
Yes we will be making changes to the interface menus.

Q7. What is up with the textures of the Tobruk area in your last update?
A. As stated, they are alpha textures, e.g. a first pass place holder on which to build and refine. The area in question was Derna. If you search for Derna, Libya on Google maps, and go to the satellite view, you will see the area we are showing in the map update.

Q8. BOS has implemented rain and condensation in a masterful way. Are you going to do the same?
A. Clouds/weather are being looked at and is work in progress.

Q9. Are you doing anything with the track recording system so that you can move freely through the recorded track?
A. There are no plans to change the track recorder for v5.0.

Q10. I understand that getting vehicles to follow roads and cross bridges has so far been an intractable problem. Will having new roads and bridges on a new map make it any easier to solve?
A. We have spent some time getting the original developers map making toolset to compile and execute without instability issues. This particular issue lies within the core of the game engine and is not addressed with the fixes to the toolset.

Q11. Any chance you will be reworking the pilot image more like the new IL2 offerings?
A. Not at this time no.

Q12. Is Ju52 possible with transport missions from France or Italy?
A. No the Ju-52 will not be included.

Q13. Will there be a bomb carrying Beaufighter as well?
A. Yes, as shown in the September update. The 250lb and 500lb bomb racks for the Mk1C have been completed.

Q14. Were you considering making fully clickable cockpit like in DCS? Where you can click on every button and start a plane in realistic way?
A. At the moment clickable buttons and moveable controls will be limited to those which are required for inflight operation.

Q15. How much of the Wellington's cockpit will be selectable / functional?
As artists, we can add "collision" type boxes to any switch/lever we want to allow a mouse click to operate it, as long as we set each pivot point and note how far/what angle that object should move. That is the easier part but is time consuming. Then the developers have to code in the mouse over text for each object as part of the import process to make it actually animate. This is a lot of work. Then those systems have to be integrated with the functionality they link to, e.g. to make sure that switch X actually does what switch X is supposed to do.

Everything is dependent on time. For instance, if the team get the formation/nav/landing lights corrected in game, then they have to go through each cockpit and add (if missing) the boxes and pivots, then the developers have to do their work... and so on. In short, we plan for the Wellington to have the same amount of interactive cockpits as existing aircraft, e.g. to match the systems which are already modelled in game.

Q16. Will anything be done with the implementation of Force Feedback (FFB) joysticks?
A. FFB can be adjusted in the operating system. We are looking at the possibility to dial down some effects.

Q17. One of the current real issues that makes the day sky and night sky look so bad is the banding. Are you doing anything about it?
A. Short answer is no. Longer answer is that weather will address cloudless skies and this is an are that is being looked at.

Q18. Will we see actual sea battles? Or ships will just swim around and wait for players to attack them. Or maybe it will be done more realistic with U-Boats swimming around and sinking some ships?
A. Ships will exchange fire if they come into contact with each other and we are looking at changing some of the ship and vehicle routines on engaging in combat.

Q19. Why are you spending effort building ships that never passed the Straits of Gibraltar? You need aircraft carriers as well... noting that there are no current combat WW2 flight sims that have carrier ops and that would be a real point of difference, a commercial game changer in fact.
A. Our focus in TF 5.0 is Libya and Egypt in 1940-41. The German ships are included in case players wanted to simulate an Operation Sea Lion/Seelowe type of mission on the Channel map in 1940 and represent the types which might have been available. The Royal Navy ships represent the types which were generally available in 1940 at the time of a potential invasion as well as 1940 and 1941 off the Libyan and Egyptian coasts. There were no significant Carrier Ops off the coast of Libya and Egypt so Carriers are not included. The Regia Marina committed very few ships to the Libya area... because they had suffered large defeats at Taranto and Cape Matapan. We have included some Italian types typical of convoy missions and one Heavy Cruiser for some variety. Most of the naval action was in the way of shore bombardment, convoys to and from the ports or harbour defence. We are including a rich variety of models to flesh out the environment as much as we can. There are also much bigger plans, and TFS members, understanding the greater context would rather be productive than idle. In the September update we did say that we would want to introduce Carriers in v6.0.

Q20. With all those ships are you going to add ways to sink them? Any updates on torpedoes for example?
A. We had mentioned previously there would be no torpedoes for the Beaufighter IC in TF 5.0 as we cannot confirm their use at this point. The following aircraft will however have torpedoes in TF 5.0: (as an option in addition to various bombs)

- Heinkel He-111H-6 (dual)
- Wellington IC (dual)
- Wellington IC will also have many additional bombs added to those present in the original game, including 1000 lb General Purpose and 2000 lb Armour Piercing types.

We will also introduce depth charges for various types. The He-115 (AI) will of course, continue to use torpedoes. The German Dive Bomber types will also be effective versus ships as will the Fighter-Bomber types. Players will need to be cautious getting near enemy ships though. AAA will be historical and a single aircraft attacking one of the larger types could be considered as a suicide mission. Teams of aircraft attacking will have much better chances of success.

Q21. With those German capital ships, what you really need is a Fairy Swordfish isn't it?
A. The Fairey Swordfish is a potential addition in later expansions... but was not really active off Libya and Egypt in 1940-41. It is on the list for v6.0. As always, whether we get to do it depends on all of you.

Well I think that is enough for this year so I would like to close this post with a couple of videos and a huge thank you to all of you who continue to support the team and provide us with questions and feedback. The first video is a regular update video but with a bit of a Christmas theme to it. The second is demonstration video which features the Dewoitine D.520 - so that you can see the cockpit work in progress.

We wish you all a very merry and peaceful Christmas, and we look forward to the coming months where we can share even more of the incredibly exciting things that are in development as we push forward for a public release of v5.0. Happy New Year everybody.

For and on behalf of Team Fusion Simulations,

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Re: TFS Developer Update – December 2018

Postby Admin (Reddog) » Tue Dec 25, 2018 12:36 pm

Merry Christmas to you too Bonkin. All the best.

I'm guessing then that the TF4.54 patch isn't going to be dropping this year. 10mths since the last patch.
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