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Old 12-18-2015, 04:49 PM   #1
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Default Development Update December 2015

Hey Guys,
I can't believe we are one week away from Christmas, where has this year gone??!!!

It's certainly been a challenging year to say the least with a lot of ups and downs, a lot of learning, a lot of disappointment but also a lot of joy.

I for one am so exited to be flying around in Nevada and in DCS 1.5 despite the amount of problems we have had converting the aircraft to the new engine.
The good thing is that there are a lot more features in both of these versions which allows us to develop more advanced features on our aircraft, stuff that wasn't there in 1.2.16
This has hampered certain things like the P-40 engine not sucking enough air in to keep running and the Hawk pilot on EFM greying out at 27000ft needing a rapid descent for oxygen.
Both features we have resolved along with others we are working on as new features.

I am very proud of the team we have (nearly 40 now) working on different projects and pulling together to help solve problems when they arise and with all of these lessons learnt you will see quite a few modules from us in 2016.

Finally, before I talk about the projects, I'd like to thank you, the community, for your continued support. Without your valuable feedback, assistance and patience we wouldn't enjoy what we do half as much as we do.
I will remind you though that DCS is also our hobby, which is why we get agitated sometimes with the same old questions having to be answered, it takes up our sim time.

So, on to the project updates...

Hawk has come on leaps and bounds since the last update posted in November.
I've been enjoying flying it around in Nevada testing the EFM down low and dirty as well as mission designing. This map gives so much more possibility for mission designing and I for one am loving making them, which will be out in 2016.
The EFM is almost complete. We have had valuable feedback from the real life Hawk pilots and we have given them a couple more weeks in the New Year to really push Hawk to the limits.
As you can understand their day jobs do sometimes get in the way of "play time".
I have set a team deadline for work to start completing the refined EFM at the end of January.
I am very confident that the tweaks we need to do are minor but with any software development until we do them, who knows.
Therefore I will not commit to releasing a deadline but we are very close.

If you haven't seen the latest EFM promo videos Chuck has made, go watch them here and look our for some more in the New Year.

EFM flight in Nevada map:

EFM flight overview:

Even the boss has problems landing it:

With the current military tension we have been unable to get on to base to record the sounds, for obvious reasons. Therefore we will "simulate" the engine, GTS, cockpit, etc. sounds and when we can get on base next year to record them fully we will simply swap them out.
Work has already started on these which will be released with the EFM.

Cockpit textures are well underway and I think you guys will like what our amazing artist has done with them. I'm not going to post pictures but simply patch them in when they are completed and see what you think. Texturegate may finally be over soon!!!

Radios have been partially released in 1.5.2 and soon in the upcoming 2.0 patch. You can now use the comms menu to talk to the ground crew.
I received updated code only this morning which should allow me to talk to the ATC, wingmen and other aircraft by tuning the radio frequencies but I have yet to test it.
You can see a video I posted up testing the "easy comms" version of this:
As I've said before, as soon as features are fixed we will get them out to you, not wait for a final big push.

We are still bug hunting on a few things, namely missile lock tone amongst others that you and our testers have reported.
I'm afraid focus has been on getting the jet working properly in 1.5 and 2.0 so focus had to be on this. In the New Year we start again in earnest to get all bugs fixed.
Some things will naturally be fixed with the EFM that are associated with the SFM, like weapons not dropping when you lose a wing, Etc.

My aim is to have Hawk complete and out of Beta when the EFM is released to you.
There are a few features we will still work on after Beta, but these are added features to the original dev plan, more on those in the New Year.

The external 3D model is almost complete and work on the new cockpit model is ongoing. I'm excited to get the new models into the sim to integrate the other work we have been doing.
We have a new developer on the team who has vast experience is digital displays for military and commercial aircraft and he is making great strides on the advanced systems of Typhoon.

Here is an example of the work we have to do to make things interactive in the cockpit. Please note this is using our demo model until the new one is complete.

Adding click points and animations to each MHDD button, whilst having the ability to change the text that is displayed on the button depending on what screen you are on:

The Typhoon has very complex systems behind a very simple pilot user interface. We will replicate that functionality making it easy for you to fly whilst managing all the advanced systems. We will exactly replicate, where we are allowed to, those systems and will simulate others but for you as DCS pilots you won't notice any difference unless you're actually flying a Typhoon, which to be fair is unlikely.
Our main objective is to make it feel and fly like a Typhoon and I can guarantee it will.

Secret Project
Nothing to see here, move along...these aren't the droids you've been looking for....

I soooooo want to fly an X-wing in DCS!!!
Enjoy the film if you're going to see it. I have to wait until Christmas Eve and can't wait...

I will be having my children from tomorrow until Christmas Eve so will be taking a short break to relax and recharge ready for the challenges ahead.

I wish you a Merry Christmas and a very prosperous New Year and some great things to come in 2016!!

(Oh and don't tell Pete, but I added in some screenshots straight from my pc below as a little treat...shhhhhh)

And as usual a few words from Pete on the spinny old things....

Hey Guys – Time for my update for December!

Well it’s been a bit more positive this month with the development progressing nicely on the P-40F; we have managed to squish a couple of the more critical bugs with our engine and EFM code and I am happy to confirm the our engine model is now running in DCS 1.5.2 and DCS 2.0!

So what does this leave us to do? Well still a reasonable amount unfortunately. With the release of 1.5+ and 2.0 it brought a lot of changes to the way we have structured our code, especially bug hunting with the engine model. It will be a surprise to no one that it has caused delays, yes I know, I hate typing it as much as you hate reading it!!

The cockpit texturing is nearing completion, the ASM is having a lot more of the advanced features implemented at a daily rate. The damage model is also progressing really nicely (see below).
All being well I’ll get you some screenshots in the first week of the new year over Nevada. A lot of our guys are taking a well-deserved break over the holidays.

Chuck is chomping at the bit to do you guys a P-40F video or two so I think I will unleash him early in the new year and let him produce a couple of videos showing off the Kittyhawk.

For now, here are some early development shots Chris took of the P-40 damage model testing whilst in air combat and testing against ground units.
Of course these are Work-in-Progress from a few months ago and raw from the sim (DCS 1.2.16) on Chris' PC on his default graphics settings (not prettied up)...

In air combat:

Taxiing back with bullet damage on the rear panels:

Ground testing the different levels or states of damage:

This last in-sim image is checking for all states of the damage model and if they are present down to final destruction, including fire position testing. As you will point out I'm sure, there are two pilots, something Chris forgot to disable, but you get the picture.

And finally an early render shot showing the different damage states being worked on although they have improved since this was taken:

In other projects; Wildcat is shaping up nicely and the mesh is now complete for both variants. Rock is now hard at work on the external textures on those while Gibbage is doing the internals.
I am hoping to be doing some cat landings with this pup around Easter.

Bearcat before you all ask is having heart surgery at the moment, this aircraft is proving to be a real challenge due to the differences in reference material available, both drawings (even from Grumman) vs photos vs other drawings. Nothing is ever simple lol.

Meteor and Vampire I hear you ask? Well more news on those next month…

Spitfire is also shaping up rather nicely with the external pretty much done and the cockpit well on it’s way, another piece of excellent work from Kevin Miller.
Chris twisted my arm to let you see a grey box render of our XIV below.
More news on this one in the New Year.

2016 is shaping up to be the year of props and I for one cannot wait!

No Pete, big grey noisy things all the way!!!! (Chris)
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Old 12-18-2015, 05:14 PM   #2
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Great update guy's, thank you all very much.

Here's wishing you all at VEAO and your families a very Merry Christmas and a prosperous (and productive ) New Year.

Like you said it's shaping up to be a great 2016 for DCS and partners

and that Spitfire.........boy oh boy she sure looks good.
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Old 12-18-2015, 05:15 PM   #3
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Great work team, and wait to the 2016 news about that "secret" project...... some Terrain following aircraft?
More news to the front

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Old 12-18-2015, 05:20 PM   #4
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Thanks for the update, Chris and Pete!

Last edited by Aginor; 12-18-2015 at 05:27 PM.
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Old 12-18-2015, 05:22 PM   #5
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Thanks for the update Chris and team
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Old 12-18-2015, 05:23 PM   #6
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All very good to hear guys. Thanks for the update.

Have a relaxed, and happy Christmas, and a very prosperous, and bug free new year!
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Old 12-18-2015, 05:26 PM   #7
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Great news! Looking forward to the EFM and new cockpit textures for the Hawk.
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Old 12-18-2015, 05:26 PM   #8
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Wow that P40 damage model is amazing so much gore!!!! You guys are great VEAO!!
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Old 12-18-2015, 05:30 PM   #9
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Exciting times
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Old 12-18-2015, 05:32 PM   #10
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I'm sure you are all aware of this, but I'll state it anyway. ALL the grief and consternation that comes with the jobs you do, is so far surpassed by the real enjoyment we out here in "SimLand" get from those efforts. It's a no brainer that flight simmers are not the most patient people to deal with, but as few of us can even comprehend the talent and work it takes to provide us with our "fix", you take the time and provide it to us when YOU feel it reflects YOUR standard.
Hope everyone enjoys their short time during the holidays and look forward to all the "goodies" coming in 2016 from VEAO. Merry Christmas and an oh so Happy New Year!!
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