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Old 12-22-2007, 07:22 PM   #1
Wags
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Default DCS: Black Shark - Dev Updates - 09 July 2008

DCS: Black Shark Update: 09 July 2008

After a longer than expected delay due to some new build problems (accurate track file reproduction), I have a new DCS update for you. As last time, most of the DCS: Black Shark effort is focused on identifying and fixed the many bugs that are still in the code. Given the increased complexity of the Ka-50 over previous aircraft we have modeled, the likelihood of bugs creeping in grows dramatically. Additionally, the new Mission Editor, new campaign system, re-vamped multiplayer, and new GUI interface has certainly brought a new set of testing and debugging challenges. We realize that a few of you are a bit grumpy about the delays, but please understand that we wish to release a quality product and not put it out the door with known, significant bugs.

In addition to testing and debugging, a lot work continues on missions. These are sub-divided into the single missions, campaign missions and training missions. While there is still a lot of work to do on this front, some of the missions are already in test and this is proving a valuable tool in identifying bugs in other areas of the code.

Here are a few items that have worked there way into the code base since my last update:

- Track file reproducibility problems have been resolved

- Multi-monitor support has been added. Now you can set, i.e. standard view + Shkval view on 2 monitors

- New TrackIR support is added

- NATO mission editor icons have been added, in addition to new Russian style military icons

- English caution/warning lamps have been added to the Ka-50 cockpit

- Mission editor keyboard commands have been added (Del, etc.)

- Icing and de-icing of blades and pitot tube has been added

- Turbulence has been added

- Engines icing has been added

- Dust influence on engines has been added

- Engines deterioration and failures by exceeding normal operational conditions has been added

- Hydro system and brakes have been adjusted

- Autopilot sensors are adjusted to be more realistic real

- Control system channel failures have been added

- Triple-head support has been added

- Trigger coalition rule has been added t Mission Editor

- Weather presets have been added

- New GUI music has been added

- Installer has been added

- Cloud density has been adjusted

- Start and end mission string is added to debriefings

- New system of preloading resources has been implemented. This may result in objects not appearing right after changing views to a not previously displayed object. This may also give more FPS on not top-line PCs when terrain preloading is set to 80km, but this will probably not cause any FPS changes with terrain preloading set to 20km.

- Flatter effect for blades is added (human FM)

- Ceilings are tuned (human FM)

- This of course is in addition to a long list of resolved bugs.

In addition to the 550+ page Ka-50 flight manual mentioned earlier, we have also now completed the 160+ page DCS manual that covers all the GUI elements to include such pages as the Mission Editor, Campaign Editor, Multiplayer screen, etc.

So, in a nut shell, that is where we are with DCS: Black Shark and we are still shooting for a release sometime later in 2008.

As for after DCS: Black Shark, work continues on other aircraft modules. Although these are certainly works in progress and hardly complete, I have attached a few development cockpit images of the F-16C and Mi-24. To reiterate what was mentioned before, we have a list of aircraft modules that are currently in development and one stage or another; however, that does not mean that we will not consider other aircraft if we have the proper data and feel the aircraft fits well within our entertainment and military simulation lines.

Thanks,
Matt

----------------

May 16 DCS Update

Since the last update, not much has scientifically changed from a new task point of view. This is primarily because we are in feature freeze and are focused on content iteration and debugging. Most of the work on DCS: Black Shark (now on build 46) has been focusing on the following areas:

1- Campaign generation
2- Training mission generation
3- Bug testing with a focus on multiplayer (lots of work to still do)
4- Editing and tweaking of Ka-50 the flight manual (currently 533 pages)
5- Writing of the DCS GUI manual (will be around 200 pages when complete)
6- FPS and RAM usage testing
7- General bug fixing (yes, there are still quite a few)

While we realize that many would just wish for us to release it now (particularly after some of the recent videos), we simply cannot do that given all the items listed above. It's too easy to release a buggy and incomplete product when being pressured by consumers and publishers to "just release it". Please be patient. Given that this will be our first self-published product, we want to do it right.

With the creation of larger missions in a near-complete mission environment, we are also now tuning and adjusting the simulation for increased frame rates and minimize RAM usage. Mostly given the 6 DOF cockpit, the higher population density or ground objects (buildings, trees, etc.) and the higher elevation mesh detail, DCS will require more system resources to run smoothly. However, we are taking steps to minimize this as much as possible. When complete, we should have a good idea of minimum and recommended system specs that will be realistic and not low-balled.

The GUI is just about done with the integration of the Options screen that allows you to set up separate Input options configurations for multiple types of aircraft. So, as we start to add more aircraft to DCS, each aircraft can have its own unique of input command profiles (keys, axis, etc.). Personally, I do all input controller programming now within the DCS Options GUI and I no longer use external profile programs (although that is still an option).

Select members of the Sim-Mod team are still working on some terrain enhancements and we hope to have final versions of the Spring and Fall textures soon. Additionally we hope to be updating additional airbase before release. Once complete we can integrate into the DCS code base.

The Mission Editor is just about final and just being debugged now. Two nice additions added near the end was the ability to set rules and actions for not just groups but each individual unit within a group and the ability to assign a mobile area trigger that is attached to a moving unit/group. Also, when creating multiplayer missions, each side will now have their own unique text and image briefings. Also, each side can be assigned unique goals. While this will not be a significant feature for Black Shark, which will likely focus on cooperative missions, this will be a welcome feature as we add additional aircraft to the DCS mix.

As for what happens after Black Shark, the team has several aircraft modules currently in development (this could include development of 6 DOF cockpits, avionics or flight dynamics). While the A-10A Suite 2 module will still likely follow the Black Shark, the following aircraft are also now planned for DCS in development at one stage or another:

1- A-10A Suite 2 (latest version of A-10A in active use)
2- A-10C Suite 3 (we now able to develop an entertainment version of the simulation we developed for them. We are very happy and excited about this).
3- AH-64A Blk. 49A
4- Su-27
5- F-15C
6- Mi-24V
7- F-16C
8- MiG-29A

Naturally, release of aircraft like the Su-27 and F-15C would coincide with integration of advanced flight model for missiles, advanced seeker logic and advanced air-to-air radar logic and modeling.

Attached a few very early images of the 6 DOF cockpits for the Flanker and Eagle.

The actual order of release is still up in the air. For all of these aircraft, we now have all the needed data to model them properly to DCS standards (very important a big factor of what does and does not go into DCS as a flyable). It is important to remember that all of these aircraft will be modeled to the same level of detail as the Black Shark in DCS. As I hope many of you realize after reading and seeing more about Black Shark, this will be a daunting task but will provide the most comprehensive and realistic simulation of flying these aircraft within a combat environment on the PC.

Thanks,
Matt

Last edited by Wags; 07-10-2008 at 01:52 AM.
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Old 12-22-2007, 07:28 PM   #2
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Thanks for the update Wags, keep up the good work.
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Old 12-22-2007, 07:42 PM   #3
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Thank you for keeping us informed
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Old 12-22-2007, 07:46 PM   #4
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Thank you sir
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Old 12-22-2007, 07:53 PM   #5
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Very Nice, cant wait for this release...
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Old 12-22-2007, 07:56 PM   #6
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Thank you very very very much!.
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Old 12-22-2007, 08:07 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wags View Post
In addition to the work cited above, the biggest task remaining is mission and campaign creation. Right now we plan on two campaigns: a more realistic counter-insurgency campaign
If this is well research it will be very neat.

Will we be able to have voice overs while operating the controls (during the training missions)?
Anyway, I'm very patient ...Hind for 2014!?
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Old 12-22-2007, 08:46 PM   #8
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This will be THE release of 2008 IMHO.
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Old 12-22-2007, 09:47 PM   #9
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Thx for the update
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Old 12-22-2007, 09:55 PM   #10
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ED Working hand in hand with a modding talented artists team!! the outcome is gonna be awesome!. DCS will be the best sim ever. Thanks ED for being open to the community help.
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