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Gazelle 2019 / 2020 / 2021 updates


Polychop Simulations
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Dear community,

 

As part of our effort to keep the community informed about the progress, this thread will provide you with a periodical status report on the development of the Gazelle in 2019 and onward. Although this thread will be locked and only Polychop developers will be able to update it, we’d like to stand by our earlier statement that we will try our best to be more receptive to your suggestions and feedback. A dedicated community coordinator has been assigned to streamline communication between the community and Polychop and to make sure the items discussed on these forums will reach the development team.

 

SITREP 09-30-2019

 

It has been a week since we have decided to change our business strategy to developing the Gazelle in parallel with the new unannounced module. A new programmer has been assigned to work solely on the Gazelle. The new programmer has been set up with the SDK and has been working hard on getting the first bugfixes out and incorporate some features requested by the community. Setting up the SDK was completed on 09-28-2019. It will take some time for him to have a complete understanding of the complex SDK environment but the first results are there already and will be implemented into the public builds after they have been tried and tested.

The past two days have been spent on the following fixes and changes:

 

RWR

The RWR has been updated to incorporate 3rd party modules and show the correct symbology for them. Furthermore, as requested by the community, the RWR symbology for the Su-27, Mig-29, Su-33 and J-11 has been changed to show up on the RWR scope as a 29 symbol.

 

Sounds

Thorough inspection of the source code has revealed that an API (Application Programming Interface) in the DCS World engine has become redundant and has been replaced with a new version, incompatible with the way sound events are coded for the Gazelle. With the source of the sound problems now discovered, work has begun on rewriting the sound code. In the end this will solve the missing sounds such as the mistral tone, RWR, fuel pump and many more.

 

Mistral missile

The mistral missile has long been an item of discussion. A community member has supplied us with an altered version of its Lua configuration. This configuration will serve as a base for future adjustments of the mistral missile performance as this configuration seems to be a configuration most people agree on. A first version will be implemented soon and includes amongst other changes, the removal of an apparent “ghost stage” and the addition of a smoketrail.

 

Keybinds

Work has begun on adding and correcting a number of keybinds as requested. This process will continue over the next few weeks. Magnetic brake and trim keys have been fixed and keybinds for the flare dispenser system have been added so far. The changelogs that will accompany the updates to the public versions will go over this in more detail.

 

PBR textures

Work on a complete PBR texture overhaul has been ongoing. We hope to show you some of the progress in one of the next reports.

 

 

RWR symbology:

rwr1.png

rwr2.png


Edited by Polychop Simulations

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SITREP 10-07-2019

 

This week we felt like we were short on time. Borchi_2b and yours truly attended Flight Sim 2019, a show all about flight simulators in Cosford UK where we met with some people of the community and a lot of flight sim developers who shared their insights and experience with us. We think this feedback will help us in our strive to be the company you’d like us to be. This doesn’t mean the Gazelle team has been sitting on their hands in the meantime.

Work has continued on the following:

 

RWR

The implementation of the RWR changes mentioned in the previous sitrep has been finalized and has been tested to make sure it won’t cause any new bugs. The code changes have been sent off for final review and submission to ED. This means that it should show up in one of the next open beta updates. The F-16C Viper has been added to the RWR code as well.

 

Sound

Now we realize this Sitrep is already sounding a bit repetitive as both the RWR and sound issue have been mentioned in the previous iteration. The soundbug however requires a significant amount of code to be written from scratch to work with the DCS World core engine. Every “device” has to be updated to be compatible with the way DCS handles sounds now. We’re getting close to squash this issue once and for all though.

 

NVG’s

A few months ago we’ve posted a poll on these very forums to get feedback on extending the capabilities of the different Gazelle versions in DCS by adding night-vision goggles (NVG). The L and Mistral versions were not capable of flying missions at night because they lacked these NVG’s. Although this was modelled after their real life counterparts, they never got the upgrades to make the cockpit NVG compatible, the community has spoken and we’ve decided to add the first iteration of NVG’s to the L and Mistral versions. We’ve written the code and keybinds and created the visual models and animations needed to implement this feature. It’s up to the user right now to decide whether to use them or not. If there’s demand for it, we could look in to making the use of NVG’s on the L and Mistral version an option in the modules special options tab.

Although the screenshot below shows the nightvision goggles in the up position, they are animated and will slide in front of the eyes of the pilot and WSO when in use.

 

Mistral Missile

The past week we’ve been in contact with subject matter experts on the Mistral missile. The configuration file for the missile that was sent to us by members of the community has been cleaned up and the code for a smoketrail has been added. The behavior of the missile should now be more like its real life counterpart and you will see the first implementation of it in one of the next open beta. The feedback and information we received on the mistral missile and the way it actually works or worked on the Gazelle will ensure ongoing development on this matter. Expect a number of improvements over the next few open beta updates.

 

PBR Textures

Work has continued on the PBR textures as well. A lot of work is going in to the normal maps at the moment. Many details such as rivets, dents and bumps are painted in by hand to ensure compatibility with any of the custom liveries created by the community.

 

sitrep2.png

sitrep2_1.gifsitrep2_2.gif

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SITREP 10-14-2019

 

This week we're glad to say we have finished rewriting the sound code from scratch. The code dependencies for all the sounds except the base engine sound had been replaced by ED to allow for more customisation. This resulted in most, if not all of the sounds of the Gazelle to be non-functioning.

 

With this gamebreaking bug out of the way we've started testing the bugfixes and additions mentioned in the previous sitreps. If all goes well we hope to send the new files to ED for implementation in one of the next patches.

 

 

What we expect to bring you in the first patch:

 

Sound

 

As stated above, this issue has been our main priority as it was a game breaking bug. We wanted to have this done before releasing the first patch. Testing has showed no new bugs so far and this bugfix will be included in the first patch.

 

Mistral missile

 

We've adopted the new more advanced missile script structure to create a more true to life version of the Mistral missile flight model. The new script structure allows for a more realistic implementation of drag which in turn provides a more realistic speed and flightpath for this short range missile. The aim has been to make the missile have a max speed of ~mach 2.6, a range of ~3.5Nm. You will find the missile is no longer overpowered and the "ghost phase" is gone. We consider this release the base for further development of the missile and we're open for any feedback on this matter.

 

sitrep3_1.png

The big (and unrealistic) drop in speed after the initial boost is inherent to the missile system in DCS world as it is now. All missiles seem to suffer from this.

 

 

HOT3 missile

 

While rewriting the Mistral code, we've decided to also bring the HOT3 missile up to the new coding standard. Even though you won't notice many changes here, making full use of the code allowed us to get the values more on point.

 

RWR

 

The RWR has seen some development changes in the past week as well. With the release of the F-16C, we noticed the values used by our previous fix had been changed in the core engine code, essentially breaking the new RWR again. To prevent this from happening in the future, the RWR code has been rewritten to adapt to any changes and to make it easier to update the RWR in the future.

 

NVG's

 

Both the code and 3d models needed to bring you night vision capability in the L and Mistral variants have been finished and implemented. This new feature has been tested and is ready to be included in the first patch.

 

Keybinds

 

Another time consuming job has been to straighten out the keybind files. Some errors snuck in to these files during the previous updates causing double and inaccurate binds as reported on the forums here. Some buttons and switches were not doing what the description indicated they should be doing and by cleaning the files up we've paved the way to add new keybinds as per request.

 

When all of the above proves to be stable and no new bugs are discovered, we are ready to move on to the next chunk of bugfixes on the list. Hopefully we will be able to address them in the next sitrep.

 

sitrep_3_2.png


Edited by Polychop Simulations

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SITREP 10-21-2019

 

This week we've spent most of the time finishing up, testing and compiling the bugfixes and additions mentioned in the previous sitreps.

 

Patch 1 of many

 

Some last minute finetuning was done and the first batch of fixes have been sent to ED for implementation in one of the next DCS updates. We'll go in to more detail on the fixes and additions included when the update is out. One of the things fixed by this patch is the sound bug that required us to code a new sound system from scratch.

 

What is next?

 

With the first batch of fixes done, we will move our focus to another number of fixes and additions. We'll also take in to account any feedback on the contents included in patch 1 and make any necessary changes if the need arises.

 

We're not blind to the comments on the flight model and we understand you want to see the new flight model implemented as soon as possible. We share that desire with you but we want to be transparent on the fact that a new flight model will take time. We consider the flight model to be the pinaccle of the Gazelle updates but we will be releasing a number of patches to fix other important and maybe less important issues the Gazelle currently has in the mean time.

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Sitrep 10-22-2019

 

Yesterday the first fixes were released with the open beta update. The following fixes have made this first patch:

 

-Fixed not working sounds.

Sound code has been rewritten from scratch. Seeker tone, RWR, fuel pump, rotor blade slap and many more sounds now work as they should.

 

-Fixed duplicated controls entries.

This will serve as a clean base for any key binds added on request.

 

-Fixed RWR symbols.

RWR now shows correct symbology. This means that the Su-27, Mig-29, Su-33 and J-11 show up on the RWR scope as a 29 symbol for example.

 

-Added NVG capabilities to SA342L and SA342Mistral.

After a community poll showed there was a demand to gain night vision capability on the L and Mistral version, this feature has been added. This feature greatly enhances the usability of the module.

 

-Corrected Mistral missile.

By using the new more advanced missile script, we’ve created a base from which we will expand the mistral missile behavior. Sadly the proximity fuse function didn’t make it in the first patch. This has been a mistake from our side and will be rectified as soon as possible. The focus on this first iteration of the “new” missile has been to get the speed and range right.

 

 

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  • 5 months later...

Sitrep 03-31-2020

 

What's new?

 

Work continues on the new PBR textures and flight model while we're also hard at work fixing bugs introduced by DCS core engine changes. In the latest release of DCS Open Beta we have fixed the misalignment of the gun on the Gazelle L and also took the opportunity to release white phosphorus rockets and a combat mix for the L's 20mm gun, which should make it more effective against a wider range of ground targets.

 

Mistral, again

 

The Mistral missile, while it was updated to use a more modern flight model script, is still being fine tuned internally. It will be more agile and have an accurate proximity fuse when done. Work on the Mistral missile has been on the back burner for a while as the dedicated Gazelle coder ran in to problems with the SDK software but work on this has now been picked up again.

 

Landing light animation

 

As reported by you, the community, the landing light broke with the 2.5.6 patch. DCS now uses a method to animate the axis of the landing light that turned out to be incompatible with the method used on the Gazelle. The old method is being replaced.

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  • 2 months later...

Sitrep 06-07-2020

 

With the engine lighting changes that were introduced by ED some patches ago, the cockpit lighting was in need of a complete rework. The lighting changes made the panel lights light up like laser beams. This not only caused aesthetically displeasing effects, it also severely reduced the effectiveness of the NVG's. The lighting of the cockpit has now been completely redone and pending the results of internal testing will be part of one of the upcoming patches.

 

The same goes for the external lights. Due to the lighting changes of the core engine, the red lights somehow turned purple, and the green became turquoise. This also has been resolved.

 

The retractable landing light that serves as a search light as well was no longer animated and fixed in one position after patch 2.5.5. This issue has been resolved.

 

As stated above, pending the results of internal testing, these fixes will find their way in to one of the upcoming patches.

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  • 1 month later...

Sitrep 07-09-2020

 

The fixes to the cockpit and external lights have been sent to ED to be released in the upcoming Open Beta patch. The issues were caused by a change to the lighting system of DCS in general that increased the intensity of the lights by.. a lot. All 4 cockpits have had their lights adjusted now. In addition to the cockpit lights, the changes to the lighting engine also impacted the colors of the navigation lights and anti collision lights. They changed from green and red to turquoise and purple. This also has been fixed and should be back to normal.

 

A few updates ago the animation system was changed, causing the retractable landing light that also serves as a search light to be no longer animated. We've implemented a new landing light that is animated again.

 

The fixes mentioned in this update might not seem like much, and we wish we could have implemented more fixes and additions, but the COVID-19 crisis has had a severe impact on the teammembers. Those of us with essential jobs have been strained by the demands and changes that came with the lockdowns and quarantine. Things are slowly getting back to normal now though.

 

In the next update, amongst other issues, we hope to address an issue with the new shader that causes the gunsight and Mistral sight to blind you when using NVG's. This will be done by making the intensity / brightness of the sight adjustable using a dial.

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  • 1 month later...

Sitrep 09-14-2020

 

NS430 integration

 

In the upcoming open beta patch, integration of the NS430 module in to the SA-342 Gazelle is completed. Whether the SA-342 NS430 module will be released around the same time is up to Eagle Dynamics. Even though the Gazelle features extensive navigation avionics in the form of the NADIR, the NS430 offers among other things a more visual experience. With the 3D implemantion the NS430 is VR compatible.

 

PC_ns430_small.png

 

 

People not interested in the NS430 module will not notice much of a difference except for visual mounting brackets on top of the instrument panel hood.

 

PC_Brackets_small.png

 

Adjustable gunsight brightness

 

With the lighting engine changes by Eagle Dynamics, the gunsight reticle as well as the Mistral reticle became radiating laser beams that would burn your eyes while using night vision goggles while they became hard to see during the day. The brightness can now be adjusted from 0% to 100% brightness using the brightness dial on the weapons panel.

 

SA342_GS_Brightness_Small.gif

 

Gunsight glass opacity fix

 

Somewhere along the line of many updates the glass of the aiming system had become super reflective. We've fixed the issue but sadly didn't make the deadline for the period in which we are allowed to submit files for the upcoming patch. This fix will be in the next but is also available as a downloadable hotfix on the Polychop Discord.

 

sight_opacity.png


Edited by Polychop Simulations
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  • 2 months later...

Sitrep 11-04-2020

 

 

4th of November OB patch.

 

In the OB patch released today the following fixes are included:

  • Fixed RWR symbology
  • Fixed TV targeting symbology
  • Fixed laser rangefinder symbology

All mentioned systems should now be functioning as they should again. Further work is being done together with ED on getting rid of some graphical bugs that appear on the glass surfaces of the Gazelle in certain light conditions. ED developers are analyzing the model and textures at this moment.

 

NS430 integration

 

Even though we finished integration for the NS430 module quite some time ago, the actual Gazelle specific NS430 module has only recently moved on to the testing phase by ED's internal testers. This is due to the fact we had to create a new testing build of the whole module to support this process. We hope now that the NS430 is in the actual testing phase, ED can release the module very soon.

 

Slow progress

 

I'd like to apologize for the slow progress over the past 2 months. For me a lot has changed in my personal life. I transferred to a different unit in a new function and I have been blessed with the birth of my daughter. It has taken me some time to adjust to both these life changing events and find the correct balance. Rest assured though that things will speed up especially after the release of the Kiowa when the whole team can and will spend time on bringing the Gazelle up to the level where we want it to be.

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