Status - June 13 2014
The NTTR map is essentially done. We are now waiting for EDGE to be incorporated into DCS and set up the a new file structure that will be required to support multiple maps.
Why develop a map centered on the Nevada Test and Training Range (NTTR)?
The map originally started as a third party project with no input from Eagle Dynamics. However, as we started to develop DCS: A-10C, we realized that this map could serve as a great location for the A-10C training missions. To make this happen, we officially partnered with the third party team to help make this happen. We were so confident in this endeavor that we included a very early version as part of the original A-10C beta.
Unfortunately, due to several reasons, the third party team dissolved and Eagle was left holding the bag of a promised NTTR map to customers that had purchased it as part of A-10C. After taking over the project, it soon became apparent that the current TFCSE engine was incapable of running the map at the desired quality levels vs. performance. In order to realize this map as first envisioned, an entirely new image generator would be required... this later became a key element of the Eagle Dynamics Graphics Engine (EDGE).
Building a new IG is never an easy or fast task and EDGE has proved no different. However, the NTTR map as provided an excellent test bed for the new map rendering technologies of EDGE. So, all that being said, the NTTR was developed for the following reasons:
1- For training missions of western aircraft.
2- To honor A-10C beta purchases.
3- Allow creation of Red Flag type missions centered on the NTTR.
4- EDGE technology test bed.
NOTE: None of this is 100% official. This is me helping you putting information into one spot.
What is EDGE?
EDGE, dubbed internally, Eagle Dynamic Graphic Engine, is a new Image Generator (IG) built from the ground up that allowed for numerous benefits to the DCS environment.
What is the Image Generator (IG) people keep mentioning?
An Image Generator (IG) is another way of describing what EDGE is. Image Generator (IG) is a generic term for something that generates the images on your screen. EDGE a self coined term by c0ff to describe the Image Generator (IG) and is simply an acronym.
When will EDGE be released?
Since EDGE is built from scratch, it will take time to incorporate all the elements that are needed to make it playable at acceptable frame rates.
What are the benefits to EDGE?
EDGE allows for Direct X 11 support
Dynamic shadowing of the terrain and mountains
Higher object count
Higher resolution ground terrain mesh
More detailed tree models
Better graphical effects
High resolution road textures
Ability for road signs and light signals
Additional ground clutter (rocks, cactuses, etc.)
Will the Black Sea map in its current form work with EDGE benefits?
Somewhat. Since the technology behind EDGE is dramatically different, down to the tools that create it, terrain needs to be built with the EDGE benefits in mind. This is a HUGE undertaking and not an easy task to redo something. HOWEVER, it has been stated that the Black Sea map is not going anywhere. It will still work with EDGE, just not gain all the benefits that a newer map create with EDGE might.
Are there maps in progress that take advantage of EDGE?
Yes, the first map to take advantage of EDGE is Nevada. The developers of DCS: WWII have said their map will take advantage of EDGE technology.
How far along is the Nevada map?
It has been stated that the Nevada map is mostly done but work remains to finish the underlying EDGE engine.
If the Nevada map is mostly done, why not post some screenshots to the community?
EDGE is the underlying core of the Nevada map. If EDGE is in a state where it is not capable of running or showing off its potential, (bad frames, no anti-alisting/ ‘jaggies’, etc), screenshots might not be possible.
How big is the Nevada map?
At present, the current public information is that the map will be 360 x 360 km that will include Las Vegas, Groom Lake, Nellis, Lake Mead, and Hoover Dam.
- Info on the map size - http://forums.eagle.ru/showpost.php?...41&postcount=4
What is the texture resolution of the Nevada map?
Per an official update post: "The immediate areas around the three airbases use 1 meter texture resolution. The outlying areas of the map are 16 meter resolution, and the areas in between are between 2 and 4 meter resolution."
Will EDGE/ Nevada cost anything?
EDGE is rendering engine, so no. It has been stated that the plan is still for the Nevada map to be free for users who pre-ordered DCS: A-10C Warthog beta.
So what will Nevada cost if I did not pre-order?
How will I switch between maps?
When creating a new mission, the authors can specify what map to use. This feature is already implemented but there is only the current map.
Typical questions that do not have answers:
Will trees be collidable?
Are the creation tools going to be made available to the public?
What is the cost of Nevada if I did not pre-order DCS: A10C?
When will new screenshots be posted?
When will it be released?
Work On New Rendering Technology Continues
The new Image Generator (IG) technology is currently in development and will be introduced to DCS World when it is ready. Elements of the new IG include:
- More detailed terrain.
- Better graphical effects
- Dedicated server
- DirectX 11 support
- Skeleton animation for infantry
A few items to reiterate:
1- Much of the Nevada map is done, but aspects of it could certainly change between now and release.
2- The original effort was done by a third party, but for various reasons, that effort did not work out and the Eagle team basically had to re-start it from scratch.
3- Due to the massive number of ground objects, elevation mesh detail, and texture sizes, a new image generator (IG) had to to be created in order to run it at more than single digit frame rates. Creating a new IG is a huge undertaking and it takes a lot of time. More so than anything else, this has been the reason behind the delay.
4- There has been no change in our plan to make this map available for free to those that purchased the A-10C beta.
5- Given the nature of the map, I would imagine that most missions will revolve around training, but certainly large Red Flag type campaigns are also possible.
6- We have no ETA at this time.
New Cloud Options for EDGE:
When there is a change to any of the above, there will be official news of it.