F-14A/B DEVELOPMENT UPDATE #1 – 21/03/2015 - ED Forums


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Old 03-21-2015, 03:46 AM   #1
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Default F-14A/B DEVELOPMENT UPDATE #1 – 21/03/2015

Dear All,

First off, thank you all for your kind words of support and positive attitude to our announcement.
It is a great motivator to put in those long hours when you know you've got such a great community behind you.
Sincere gratitude from the entire team. Also a big thank you to those of you who have gone above and beyond to spread the news of our announcement.
While it's still relatively early in the development process, it's good to get some awareness out there right off the bat.

We've been kind of quiet lately, but not to worry; it is simply an effect of the large workload placed on each and every member of the team.
Ambitious plans require hard work and much of our focus lies on attaining planned development sprints.

Unfortunately, a byproduct of this is that many of your questions about the F-14 have gone unanswered. I've been gathering many of these and they will be answered in the FAQ section of our new F-14 site section coming next week.
Therein you will also find a lot of information on various features of the aircraft and our design goals for e.g. JESTER AI.

We're due for a monthly update, which will have some information about other developments and the MiG-21.
Thus, I'll be keeping this F-14 specific update fairly short.

Art Development

We're now essentially feature complete on both exterior and interior models for the F-14, including the majority of integration work and animations.
Thus, preparatory work for diffuse, specular and normal map texture creation has begun.

With the F-14, we're pioneering several new techniques based on the tried-and-tested industry standard sculpting and baking workflow.
We've already put this to good use for our other unreleased, in development aircraft, but we're hoping to take it that one step further for the F-14.
We hope we can further enhance the realism of both our exterior and interior textures and the initial results are very promising.

It's very exciting for us as artists to have the opportunity to apply years of accumulated knowledge to a project such as the F-14. We hope to capture every minutiae detail, down to the touched up lumps of paint.

Something many of you have concerns about is performance. We're taking a very pro-active stance on ensuring that performance is optimal at release this time around.
We very much wish to ensure that the F-14 will perfectly on the vast majority of systems, and approaching things more carefully from the beginning will make it easier for us to make adjustments in the future.

Attached below you can see some Work in Progress renders of the cockpit.
Do note that these images have flaws, so take them with a few pinches of salt.

Codebase Development

Not counting the Radar and HUD (two big systems in themselves), the Tomcat contains, by our count, roughly 67 Major systems, of which 37 are related to Flight and Flight Controls.
In addition to this, one must take into account the size and difficulty of both the JESTER AI system and the External Flight Model. Noting that the F-14 is a massively difficult undertaking is putting it mildly.

Currently, heavy focus lies on creation of the AICS (Inlet Control System), Hydraulic System and Electrical System.
These systems, together with the Engine and grouped control systems lay the basis for the construction of the swing-wing EFM that will capture the spirit and real performance of the F-14.

There is yet a long road ahead, and many difficult tasks to complete, but we have absolutely no reservations about our capabilities nor our choice of aircraft.

We look forward to sharing more progress with you soon.
Thank you for your support,

Leatherneck Simulations

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Nicholas Dackard

Founder & Lead Artist
Heatblur Simulations


Last edited by Cobra847; 03-21-2015 at 03:51 AM.
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