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Black Shark Update, 16 September 2007


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16 September 2007

 

I’m afraid that there is not much to report since my previous one. The Ka-50 is just about done at this point and we’re mostly focused on testing and bug-fixing its systems. The big item in work in the mission editor (about 80% complete, the campaign builder interface, new pilot log book, and other various GUI screens. Once we get a testable mission editor, I’ll post a little overview of functionality.

 

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10 August 2007

 

Currently the team is testing build 33 which added a new airfield to the simulation world and increased the height field and texture resolution of large portions of the map (most evident in the mountainous areas). The Mineralnye Vody area has a particularly detailed height field. We’re also been adjusting the world shaders for a more contrasted image. Personally, I think it looks better. We’ve also incorporated the tree edits by our newest test team member, TekaTeka.

 

The mission editor is progressing nicely and I had a chance to take a look at a test build this past week. The new map technology and scripting ability will be a pretty dramatic change from previous Eagle products. Since coming to work with Eagle since my Jane’s F/A-18 days, I’ve wanted to have much better mission scripting tools. This ME is a huge step in that direction. Hopefully within the next couple of weeks the ME will be available to the test team to start banging on.

 

It looks like we’re nearing the homestretch for the Ka-50 modeling. A few items with the fire suppression system, auto-pilot modes and caution/warning system remain, but on the whole things are starting to look pretty solid. The flight model will probably continue to be tweaked but right now it feels very tight.

 

Given the nature of helicopter combat, a great deal of time has been spent working on the helicopter and ground vehicle AI. This work continues, particularly because the AI helicopters now use a much more advanced flight model and this needs to be accounted for by the AI.

 

That’s it for now; I’ll try to do another update in a few weeks after ME and campaign system has been integrated into to the code base.

 

 

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24 July 2007

 

At this time, the beta team is busy testing the 6 DOF cockpit, avionics, flight dynamics, damage model, AI, weapon systems and terrain. Additionally, much of the manual has been written and is in edit now (the bane of my existence the last few weeks). Items currently being working on by Eagle include:

 

1- Finishing on the Ka-50’s INS and INS alignment system

2- Finishing the caution detection and alert system of the Ka-50

3- Debugging some of the Shkval functions

4- Completing the new Mission Editor system

5- Completing the new campaign system

6- Tuning AI aircraft flight dynamics

7- Tuning AI aircraft and ground vehicle AI

8- Need to complete several new AI vehicles like the UH-60 and Mi-17

9- Complete modeling of new and existing terrain with higher resolution elevation matrix and terrain textures—needed for low altitude flight detail.

10- Adjusting network play to work with new Mission Editor functionality

 

Once the mission editor and campaign system have been integrated and finalized, there will be the large task of creating and debugging all the missions and campaigns.

 

As to when the above will be completed, integrated together, fully debugged and available for purchase… it is still impossible to attach an exact date. However, rest assured that the team wants to complete the project even more than any of you. However, we don’t want to rush it out the door in an incomplete state just to have it available sooner rather than later.

 

Regarding the release of all the new Black Shark ground vehicle and helicopter screen shots, most of these vehicles are being done by contracted 3rd party. As such, they have virtually no impact on other product features.

 

Release details will be provided later, but we have every intention to release the product both on-line and through retail (boxed) versions. The method of copy protection has not been determined and is something we are still investigating.

 

The Black Shark project is solely focused on the Ka-50; as such, it will have no impact on the Lock On and FC flyable aircraft. While we still wish to do a final FC patch that will focus on air-to-air systems, we can only do so when the internal resources are freed up to do so. I’m afraid that I just cannot give you an estimate as to when or if this will happen – too many other things influence this.

 

All in all, Black Shark is marching ahead and I believe it will be well worth the wait.

 

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31 May 2007

 

I realize that many of you wish to learn more about the product (happy to see that level of interest), but we're just not at the point yet to discuss the product in detail. There are many features still in development, and until they are actually in the game, we do not want to announce them. Things you announce before they are done have a nasty habit of not getting done (remember the planned dynamic campaign for Lock On?) Unlike years past, we do not have the marketing arm of a large publisher breathing down our necks, so, we're going to hold off on saying more than we already have until the product is essentially feature complete.

 

Probably sometime in July, we'll be making some pretty big announcements with lots of new information. Until then, please sit tight and enjoy the quiet of the next month. It's going to get very loud come July.

 

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05 March 2007

 

Regarding a release date for Black Shark, the original dates have been moved back due to two primary reasons:

 

1- While in years past TFC/Eagle has been primarily focused on the entertainment market, this has changed over the past year. Much of our work now is also focused on supporting military simulation contracts. Some of you may have heard about the A-10C PE Desk Top Simulation (DTS) for the U.S. ANG that we're just finishing up. Due to the demands of this project and others, the bulk of our engineering resources had to be shifted away from Black Shark this year. Thankfully, these resources are now being shifted back.

 

As other projects come up and we have to reprioritize resources, it's possible that Black Shark resources will once again need to be shifted, we just don't know right now. Because of this dynamic nature, trying to pin down the actual release date is problematic and could turn out to be grossly inaccurate. As such, we find it best to keep the release date very loose at this time until the project is close enough to completion that we can accurately predict its ship date.

 

2- Although the original plan for the Ka-50 project was to just add the Ka-50, it has grown substantially greater than this. Be it a new mission editor system, advances in ground unit and helo unit AI, new AI units, etc., all of these have contributed to the time and resource budget necessary to complete the project given a constant-size staff. So, although this has pushed dates back, you will get a much more feature-rich product in the end.

 

Regarding feature details of the project...

 

I realize that many of you wish for a lot more information and I can promise you that it is indeed coming. However, we have a specific publishing plan that will release many details, videos, developer logs at the proper time prior to the projected release (at no charge). Looking back at the experience of Lock On, we do not wish to start this process to soon and be accused of over-hyping the product and promising features before they are in fact in and working in the code. We’ve already been down that road and it was a bumpy one.

 

Much of the team is now working on Ka-50 again and a 2007 release still looks likely. Beyond that we will have to ask for your patience as we move forward.

 

As I get new information regarding the status of the project I will be posting it.

 

 

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Tx for the update, Wags.:thumbup:

Dura (economic) lex, sed lex :smartass:

 

Keep on !

 

too bad we can't get the A-10C. I would also pay for those.

Er... I prefer wait 'til I've an idea of how much did the ANG paid for that before saying "+1" ;)

 

Regards,

Az'

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I apreciated this news very much.

 

Take all the time you need for finish this simulator jewel.

 

We must know that ED are now working in the " future standard" of simulators.

 

The result deserves the wait. Keep working ED, and thanks a lot for your kind support and information

" You must think in russian.."

[sIGPIC][/sIGPIC]

 

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A new mission editor is really good news, as well as AI development.... :thumbup: Thanks Matt for the official update......

 

~S~

 

Blaze

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At least we know what's going on, thanks for the official update, looking forward to the start of the publishing plan.

 

 

Spoiler:

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That's more like it. Don't forget to grossly overcharge the military! We U.S. taxpayers are proving that we will pay for just about anything for the dumbest of reasons. You can use the extra income to make 1.2 really kick ass!

 

Smokin' Hole

Smokin' Hole

 

My DCS wish list: Su25, Su30, Mi24, AH1, F/A-18C, Afghanistan ...and frankly, the flight sim world should stop at 1995.

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That was a highly needed update :D and thank you very much for sharing it with us... much appreciated :thumbup:

 

ps: oh and... what he said:

That's more like it. Don't forget to grossly overcharge the military! We U.S. taxpayers are proving that we will pay for just about anything for the dumbest of reasons. You can use the extra income to make 1.2 really kick ass!

:megalol:

No longer active in DCS...

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Awesome! And I'm sure ED will have few surprises in store for us; they always do.

 

I didn't know Wag was back with ED... Cool! But it seems Stormin has left for good. Kinda miss the guy. Have not seen him around here or any other places at all.

ED have been taking my money since 1995. :P

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Yeah - I saw

a 2007 release still looks likely.[/Quote] and thought "so 2008 is unlikely but possible??? & was a bit bummed...

Still - the announcement was hopeful for the fact that ED must be gaining expertise in the full study sim area through their other work - and accumulating data for their products after LOBS.

Thanks for the update - at least I can let that little bit of hope every time I log onto the forum that someone will announce the release is just around the corner go...

Cheers.

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So we have an A-10 AFM and an WAFM for the A-10 wapons ? ;)

 

Too optimistic you are:)

 

Anyway, we have one good and one bad news:

 

Good one: ED finally decided to give some "real" updates.

Bad one: We will not probably see BS before 2007 year end.

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