It's been a while since the last dev diary update so apologies for that and you'll read below why that is.
No news is good news right
The team have been extremely busy over the past few weeks getting a Beta release ready for the beta testers to have a play with and I think judging by the feedback we're getting they are loving the improvements to the jet.
We've had a couple of bugs running around the system; things like HUD not working and weapons unexpectedly not firing from one wing but they are under control and will be fixed in the next patch for the testers.
We also had a good multiplayer test last week and all jet slots in the mission were filled with testers lining up to get some flight time. Thanks to Snoopy for organising that and it went very well. It was also very humbling to see over 9 Hawk's flying around in the same airspace, and not all doing aerobatics.
And now to talk about something we haven't really mentioned before; the Damage Model.
We've kept this a very closely guarded secret and for good reasons.
Crow has done some amazing work on the damage model and break down of the collision model ready for the February release which will then be further worked on during the public Beta phase.
The aircraft has been broken down into "cells" which are specific to certain parts of the airframe, and systems within them.
When a cell gets hit by a bullet as an example, the part of the 3d model within the cell will show damage but we're not stopping there.
Within each cell we know what "system" is affected, be it hydraulics, electrical, etc. and that system will either degrade over time or outright be non functional upon the hit. This will have knock on effects to other systems that the damaged system is tied into.
One simple example could be that a wire leading to the nav light, within a wing section is damaged. The nav light may work perfectly for an amount of time before ceasing to function.
This is the level of detail we will be going into throughout the Beta stage.
I'm not going to reveal any graphics, renders or screenshots just yet but let me throw some numbers at you.
So, to the numbers. Here is a breakdown of the amount of cells for each section of the aircraft:
Front section - 12 cells
Mid section - 12 cells
Aft section - 19 cells
Wing section - 17 cells
Total damage cells - 60
That's a whole lot of damage to be taken on specific sections of the aircraft and the systems within them that can be affected, I hope you agree.
The model has been updated to incorporate these cells and like I said some of the cells have had the damage 3d model applied to them. Blondie is re-texturing the main skins to take account of the new 3d model and Snoopy is looking at the US skins as well.
Once we put all of the pieces back together again and into the mod and released to the testers I'll post up some screens.
To the Future
We are still on track for a release at the end of February.
Ed have done some updates to core DCS World for us that affects multiplayer capability, I.e. if you don't have the mod installed, you can't get in the aircraft and we'll be testing those out over the next couple of weeks.
We're working on our backend and frontend payment and licensing process, with integration into ED's own website system, module manager and of course Steam.
So the next four weeks for the team are going to be our busiest I think to get this amazing product out to you.
Once again thank you for all of your support and enthusiasm, it is amazing!!!
Chris and the team.