IL-2 Battle of Kuban and follow-ups

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Re: IL-2 Battle of Kuban and follow-ups

Beitrag von I/JG27_Zimmi » Sa 11 Nov 2017, 07:20

Hello everybody,

As you may have already noticed, the huge map of Battle of Kuban comes in three seasons (Spring, Summer and Autumn), so there is no winter one. However there are many existing winter maps in our sim, so we had to update the winter landscape quality to match the new map quality level. In the end, after some experiments, we had to remake the chilly skydome, adjust the color palette and contrast to reflect the winter visibility conditions. The existing lighting wasn't bad, but we have found a way to improve its quality and make it even more realistic to get more contrast, bluish shadows which are characteristic of the chilling weather. The overall color temperature also became colder. All this combined allowed for more 'clean air' and deep visual feel. Of course, it's hard to describe such changes with just words, so please take a look at these comparison screenshots:

Now, our engineer Roman =Gavrik= Kovalenko wants to tell you a bit about the A-20B he will finish working on soon:

A-20B had good flight characteristics, high fineness (wing/drag) ratio and very good aerodynamics. Its top speed exceeded Pe-2 speed even at nominal power mode, it had a good handling and maneuverability. All control surfaces were equipped with servo tabs to reduce the pilots' load. With bombs dropped, A-20B had comparable to fighters wing loading and two powerful Wright R-2600-11 engines allowed for a good power-to-weight ratio. However, aerobatics were forbidden for its pilots and it was advised to dive shallow and recover gently because of the durability concerns (4g maneuver envelope). Nevertheless, the flight manual included some maneuvers like combat turn.

Lend-leased A-20B's were upgraded upon arrival to the USSR: they were refitted to support Soviet bombs, electric bomb dropping gear similar to Pe-2 one was installed, and there were some other minor changes.

it was one of the first mass-produced aircraft with the nose landing gear, making taxiing, taking off and landing much easier. There was a special electric blocker that didn't allow to erroneously retract the landing gear while on the ground and alarm siren that warned the pilot about the retracted landing gear during flight at low throttle. At high speeds, flaps retracted automatically. Overall, this aircraft was very comfortable for a pilot with its spacious cockpit and good view. The only inconvenience could be caused by the engines that weren't equipped with automatic governors of the manifold pressure, just like the P-40 engine.

A-20B bomb load was formidable - up to 16 FAB-100 bombs in the bomb bay and 4 underwing holders that could carry FAB-100 or FAB-250. It is interesting to note that to ease the formation bombing, two signal lights were installed in the aircraft rear that helped the wingmen to open their bomb bay doors and drop bombs simultaneously with the flight leader. In addition to two forward firing .50 cal machine guns, there were two turrets with .50 cal (top) and .303 cal (bottom) MGs, so A-20B weaponry and flight characteristics allowed the bomber to stand up for itself even if it was engaged in air combat.

I hope you'll enjoy the A-20B in the game as much as I enjoyed making it.
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Re: IL-2 Battle of Kuban and follow-ups

Beitrag von I/JG27_Zimmi » Mi 15 Nov 2017, 19:04

Am 17. November um 1200 GMT (1300 loc) soll es Neukgeiten zu den Zukunftsprojekten von den IL2 Devs geben... naja mal abwarten :coffee:
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Re: IL-2 Battle of Kuban and follow-ups

Beitrag von I/JG27_Zimmi » Fr 24 Nov 2017, 11:49

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Re: IL-2 Battle of Kuban and follow-ups

Beitrag von I/JG27_Zimmi » Do 07 Dez 2017, 17:19

Dear Friends!

Today I bring you some more straight talk about Sturmovik development. Unfortunately, the final release of Battle of Kuban is slightly delayed by a few weeks. Completion of Kuban and the large version 3.001 update that will accompany it will now most likely occur before the end of the winter and hopefully much sooner than that, possibly the latter half of January. Please accept our sincerest apologies for the delay. We are just as disappointed as you are. The Holiday season is upon us and it adds to the delay, but the team deserves a break after a hard year of work and I cannot expect them to work during this special time of year.

This delay was caused by several small events over the course of many months like illness, unexpected bugs, unplanned features being added (my fault) and dedication to making some new features better than originally planned. We are a small team and when one feature or department gets delayed, it can cause a bottleneck in the entire schedule. Luckily, we were able to workaround almost all the delays and keep the larger release goal in sight, but development of the Career took longer than planned and this is the last big feature to add before we can consider Kuban ready. However, because the Career system is intertwined with so much content it is impossible for us to release the remaining airplanes before the Career without causing an even longer delay. The upside is that Battle of Kuban will remain discounted a few weeks longer! Please feel free to take advantage. In addition to the discount, don’t forget that you’ll also receive a unique skin for the IL-2 as a pre-order bonus!

To demonstrate how much work has gone into the Career, here are some images of it. As Han has mentioned in the DDs, there are a lot of different types of missions and Viks is working especially hard to make them work well and be interesting. Many on the team have had to pitch in and help push this big task across the finish line. It’s not so easy since we are retrofitting all of our products with the new Career. It’s triple the usual work!

We never stop working to improve Sturmovik and the next couple years will see even more improvements and additions to our engine and the release of new products. Trust that we are working as hard as we can to wrap up Kuban and then focus on Bodenplatte, Flying Circus, Tank Crew and some more Collector Planes.

As Producer, I asked the team to do a lot when we announced Battle of Kuban in 2016. The team has done a magnificent job in 2017 in meeting the development goals I announced. They deserve much respect. Sturmovik has improved by leaps and bounds this past year and we are growing ever prouder of what it has become. So please be patient, it will just be a few more weeks until you can play the new Career, Co-Op missions and a new Scripted Campaign - all while enjoying the new horizon in your P-39, Yak-7 or A-20!

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and Happy New Year to everyone in the Sturmovik community!

Bring on 2018!

Jason
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Re: IL-2 Battle of Kuban and follow-ups

Beitrag von I/JG27_Zimmi » Fr 08 Dez 2017, 11:59

Hello virtual pilots,

Today I have the honor to write a Dev Diary. My name is Evgeny Isaev, I'm the lead map maker. I want to tell you a bit about our work and share some good news.

The Stalingrad map was the first in our project. Time has passed and now, thanks to our lead programmer Sergey Vorsin, we have new technologies, instruments and methods that allow us to reach a new level of quality. In addition, the recent changes in the engine for almost four times visibility distance increase caused visible artifacts on maps that were most apparent on the Stalingrad map. So it was the time to re-visit and improve our first map. This wasn't planned initially, but we ought to find the time for this task.

The main issue was the repeating of terrain textures that was much less noticeable before. Even with very large textures, visible tiling is inevitable with the new far visibility distance. To solve this issue, we used our new tech that was created for mountains on the Kuban map - procedural texturing. This allowed us not only get rid of the tiling but also emphasize the map relief and make each area unique. Nature itself helped us in this task - we used the real-world satellite heightmaps. We ourselves were surprised at the end result.

We read your comments on the forums and know that some of you put up some valid points regarding the maps, for instance, that the Stalingrad area is a steppe and therefore it should have much less agricultural fields. We knew this since we always do a thorough research on the areas we recreate in the game, but this implementation was mandatory. It's pleasant that you notice smaller things. Now, the most part of the updated Stalingrad map will be a steppe, making it more true to history.

Thanks to our increased experience and new methods at our disposal we were able to achieve a much better result - the ground surface became much more vivid, its microfeatures are different on cliffs, ravines and plains, contributing to the feel of the world scale and allowing to estimate your altitude easier.

Summer and autumn seasons of this map will be updated.

You can see some screenshots of the updated summer map below (update 3.001 will include the updated summer and autumn seasons). The old version of the map (but with the new visibility distance and sky) is shown on the left for comparison, while the updated map at the same lighting conditions is on the right.
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Re: IL-2 Battle of Kuban and follow-ups

Beitrag von I/JG27_Zimmi » Fr 22 Dez 2017, 11:24

https://forum.il2sturmovik.com/topic/16 ... /?p=549888
Hello everybody,

The New Year is almost here, and our office is very busy. As Jason announced earlier, BoK release is planned for the last third of the winter and we have a lot to make in time for it. The final part of the work on the Career mode turned out to be a lot more difficult than anticipated - those improvements that we planned to combine the best from RoF and BoS worlds require an astonishing amount of work. The overall work is tripled by the fact that we create the Career mode for three war theatres at once - not only new BoK, but also for previously released Battle of Moscow and Battle of Stalingrad. The amount of squadron histories research, work on preparing the map data for the generator were tripled; this also significantly increased the time needed for unique theatre settings. On the other hand, the final result we expect to get should make up for this hard work and release delay. It is important to note, that last two times (in RoF and BoS) Viktor =FB=VikS Sechnoy developed the generator templates that were significantly limited, this time he makes it as he sees right. Our producer Jason gave Viks the freedom that he asked for. Everything will be changed - mission tasks, mission success conditions, mission progress conditions, the placement of various objects near the front line. For instance, to complete a ground attack mission you can destroy various different enemy targets in the designated area, not necessarily the main target listed in the briefing. There are many other things that should make the new gameplay more diverse and interesting compared to earlier BoS campaign or RoF career.

The new Coop multiplayer mode is almost done. This game mode is much like RoF Coop, but IL-2 Coop will have several improvements compared to RoF one thanks to our GUI programmer Vitaly Tolmachev. It will be possible to form player groups using a dialog window and assign a different route to each. There will be also an option to fly a gunner like in Dogfight.

Thanks to Coop development, we're also improving the game statistics system, which will benefit all the game modes. First of all, stats will become more informative. After making necessary improvements that stats parser tool was designed to support from the start, in the future we plan to further expand and improve the statistics system. Moreover, the entire MP points assignment system will be revised. Difficulty modifier will be gone - on all difficulty settings, players will receive the same amount of points. We do this because it turned out that setting strict rules for set groups of users is not needed for the community, and most MP servers use custom difficulty settings where points are not counted at all. We also won't set the player points to zero if he is killed or captured. Instead, we're adding additional player states the community asked us for some time:
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Airplanes:
Successful Landing at airfield : x 2.5
Emergency Landing at airfield : x 2.0
Forced Landing outside the base : x 2.0
Ditched : x 1.5
Bailed Out : x 1.0
Flight Canceled : x 0.5
Captured : x 0.5
Killed : x 0.5
Friendly Fire : x 0.0

Vehicles:
In Service : x 1.5
Broken : x 1.0
Killed : x 0.5
Friendly Fire : x 0.0


Statistics system isn't the only thing that is changed by adding Coop mode - you'll be able to host a server not only from a separate DServer tool using a different account, but from within a game. You will be able to specify all the required parameters in the game itself and participate in the mission he is hosting together with other players. Such servers will be visible in the servers list just like DServer ones. You'll be able to host both Dogfight and Coop servers this way.
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Speaking of aircraft, we finished the raindrops visual effect on the canopy and restored the old RoF feature with raindrops on pilot's goggles. They both kick in when they should, creating a new level of immersion during rain. When you're on the ground and the canopy is opened, the raindrops will land on your goggles. While taking off, the front glass will protect you from the rain, unless you move your virtual head outside. While the movement of raindrops on the canopy surface and on the pilot's goggles is simplified, it is physics based and changes depending on airspeed and flight direction. Even if there is no rain, the raindrops will appear when you fly through a cumulus cloud or very low above the water. This 5-minute gameplay video showcases this feature: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DTl6PZ8SQGs



Now let's show you something more grounded. Since the graphics improvements for BoK are nearly complete, we started the work on tech required for new projects. The research on Bodenplatte map and scenery has started and we'll tell you about it a bit later, but today we can give you more info on another project - Tank Crew. All tanks will have the detailed exterior and interior (WIP screenshots are coming soon). Right now here's the screenshot of the current Pz. III tank model you already have in the game that shows the new visor tech - prismatic optical instruments and triplex armored glass:


Our partners are making the tank models while we make the necessary new tech for them to look best, for instance, the new tech to make the tank tracks look as real ones as possible. This tech is different to what two most popular tank games are using and is more modern and perspective. It is not heavy on polycount, performance optimized, looks good at different distances, including close up views, and is also convenient for 3D modelers to work with. Our lead programmer Sergey Vorsin not only made all that but also made sure the tracks move in a physically correct way at different speeds.


In addition, Sergey has made it possible to topple trees on the edges of woods, in the wood lines and single standing trees. This option is optimal for game performance (it doesn't adversely affect the performance of the entire game and doesn't clog the bandwidth in the multiplayer) and is also realistic because a tank crew couldn't expect to move right through a forest. Although physics of tree-toppling is very simplified due to the insane amount of trees in the game, it still looks better than in many other projects.

We plan to improve many other technologies for Tank Crew project. In particular, we plan to make landscape mesh 16 times more detailed for smaller, 100x100 km tank maps. This will allow creating the fully-featured multiplayer missions with tanks and aircraft acting simultaneously in one mission (10000 sq.km. are more than enough for fighters and ground attack planes). In the same time, tank players will have very good landscape visuals on such maps.

However, as they say, it is better to see once than to hear many times. So here is 3-minute gameplay video which showcases two new tank features - new tracks and tree-toppling:
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Re: IL-2 Battle of Kuban and follow-ups

Beitrag von I/JG27_Zimmi » Sa 30 Dez 2017, 10:57

Hello everybody,

Today is the last working day of 2017. Officially. Part of our team that finalizes the game bits that are required for 3.001 release will continue to work on holidays. This is a personal decision of each team member and I can only respect them.

Total of 5 new aircraft will be released in 3.001. We still need to texture P-39L-1 cockpit and finish Bf 109 G-6 flight model. A-20B, Yak-7B ser.36, and La-5FN ser.2 are almost done, there are some skins and details left to do.

Cooperative multiplayer mode and new statistics system are being tested. The new Career is finished from functionality point of view, it is being tested, debugged and filled with missions and locations content. We plan to have as many as 40 generated mission types; 20-25 of them will be ready for 3.001 and the rest will be added during the course of the year. Generated missions will have randomized locations, mission route and target parameters, weather conditions and other details, so each sortie will play differently.

Other stuff planned for 3.001 is ready. Today we plan to start 3.001 alpha testing, hopefully our testers will help us finalize all the work we were busy with for 4 last months quickly and effectively.

We, IL-2 Sturmovik Great Battles team, would like to wish you a Happy New Year and all the best in the coming 2018. To make this Dev Diary more visually appealing, here are several A-20B cockpit in-game screenshots and the video showing all five aircraft coming in 3.001.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t1KS9gscY5g
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Re: IL-2 Battle of Kuban and follow-ups

Beitrag von I/JG27_Rollo » Fr 26 Jan 2018, 14:40

https://forum.il2sturmovik.com/topic/16 ... ntry566236
Hello everybody,

The end of Janary draws near and we're finishing the BoK development. The new functionality of the coming version 3.001 is being actively tested and debugged, our volunteer beta tester team helps us in this task greatly. This development stage is hard, but it consists of routine work mostly, not very exciting to tell about. However, there is a development which might be interesting for you to know. Andrey =AnPetrovich= Solomykin finished the Yak-7b series 36 flight model but, being the lead engineer, he couldn't just 'make a new plane'. During this work, he implemented many new features which in time may be applied to other aircraft. In addition, while we have a common flight modeling accuracy standard, this time some characteristics were modeled with higher fidelity.
[...]
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Re: IL-2 Battle of Kuban and follow-ups

Beitrag von I/JG27_Zimmi » Fr 26 Jan 2018, 14:44

Bis dahin hab ich meinen PC hoffentlich wieder auf Vordermann gebracht :coffee:
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Re: IL-2 Battle of Kuban and follow-ups

Beitrag von I/JG27_Zimmi » Fr 09 Feb 2018, 12:24

https://forum.il2sturmovik.com/topic/16 ... /?p=572766
Hello everybody,

Update 3.001 testing is progressing well: almost all the planned functionality is in and ready. We know that you'd like to hear an exact release date, but since this update is shaping up to be the biggest of all, it's hard to pinpoint an exact release date. Nevertheless, as we said before, we're doing our best to release this update before the end of Winter. Major tasks that still remain include P-39 cockpit texturing and completion of 25 Career mission types that will be included in the initial release (after it the work on the new mode will continue to increase the total number of the mission types to 40). Once again, this update is going to be the leader in terms of changes and additions - the change list includes more than 80 items already.


Speaking of the further development, we'll start to disclose various details about it pretty soon. For now, we can say that the work on 3D models of P-47, Spitfire Mk.IXe and Bf 109 G-14 has already started while we're collecting reference documents on Tempest Mk.V. In the same time, we have started adapting the existing WWI aircraft FM for IL-2 Sturmovik: Great Battles engine for Flying Circus project. The work on Tank Crew is also progressing: new track assembly animation tech and increased height map detail are accompanied by the new detailed buildings destruction tech which will be used on 'Clash at Prokhorovka' map; the first two new 3D tank models are in the works as well. We'll tell you about them later, but they are heavies.

To spice up today's diary, here are the official A-20B skins. Important note is that external textures of A-20B are made in 4K resolution:
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Re: IL-2 Battle of Kuban and follow-ups

Beitrag von I/JG27_Zimmi » Fr 16 Feb 2018, 16:21

https://forum.il2sturmovik.com/topic/16 ... /?p=575614

Hello everybody,

Today we have a small surprise for you. But we aren't its authors: it was made by an enthusiast from the Netherlands, Neeraj =BlackHellHound1= Bindraban. Neeraj turned out to be the biggest enthusiast among the Soviet WWII aircraft skin artists since he was the first to finish the entire path of re-texturing an aircraft in 4K. Not only he remade the skins in 4K, he also made many corrections to the base textures of the IL-2 mod. 1943. He started his work as early as June 2017 and finished it only now, since it was a lot of work to redraw all this in 4K to achieve the new level of detail:

- All panel lines, hatches, rivets, etc. in 4K detail
- Dirt and wear layer
- Texture alpha channel that governs matte effect, reflections and glint
- Bump texture that visualizes small surface details
- Bump texture alpha channel that governs the damage visualization
- Damage texture that shows bullet holes, raptures and other visible surface damage
- 15 existing and new paint schemes

Here are some screenshots showing the new look from the IL-2 mod. 1943 cockpit:

außerdem:
Battle of Kuban Release Coming Soon
Battle of Kuban is nearing completion which is scheduled for Q1 2018. That means the time is running out to take advantage of the current discount on its Pre-Order in our webstore. The development itself is currently focused on completing and testing the remaining important features like Pilot Career, Co-Operative Multiplayer and the remaining aircraft like the P-39L. Kuban release will also bring the A-20B bomber and the Yak-7B fighter… but that’s not all we have coming! The Bf-109 G-6 and La-5FN Collector Planes, which are available for Pre-Order now, are finished and will be released alongside Battle of Kuban! That’s 5 brand new aircraft becoming available on the same day.

In addition to new Career and Cooperative game modes, Battle of Kuban customers will also get the historical 'Sea Dragons' Scripted Campaign for free. Similar to the '10 Days of Autumn' and 'Blazing Steppe' campaigns that are already available for purchase in our store. It focuses on historical accuracy of the depicted events and offers more than a dozen painstakingly created scenarios. This time, it's the story of a pilot who joined 47th attack aviation regiment of the Black Sea Air Force after spending almost a year recovering from wounds suffered during the Battle of Moscow.

Battle of Kuban will also usher in some new terrain textures for the Stalingrad map and a new horizon and far terrain texture technology for all maps that are much more realistic. We’ve also re-worked some small details like our tank treads. To track our progress and learn all about new technology and additions we are working on, please keep an eye on our Developer Diaries section.

Pre-ordering Battle of Kuban before the release also gives you a one-time opportunity to obtain a unique 'Dragon' skin for the IL-2 mod. 1943, that will be impossible to obtain later. This skin will be added to your account automatically. This unique skin is a way for us to say 'Thank you!' to our supporters.
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Re: IL-2 Battle of Kuban and follow-ups

Beitrag von I/JG27_Zimmi » Sa 03 Mär 2018, 07:08

Hello everybody,

Today we don't have a lot of news, we just want to tell you that the work on 3.001 update is near its end. We have 20 Career mission types working of 25 planned for the release. The most of the initially found issues are fixed and some tweaks are already in the place.

To give you a general idea of the scale of this update, its change list will contain 90 items, nearly a third of which are significant changes and improvements. The sheer number of these changes means that after 3.001 release hotfixes will likely follow because there could be problems that couldn't be found by the testers. We're sure this teething period will be short.

P-39L-1 cockpit is almost ready, perhaps we'll spend 1-2 days for final 'polishing' of its textures, but we can already show you its overall look.

All other changes and additions planned for 3.001 release are finished. Therefore, we plan to release this humongous update in 2-3 weeks. We want to release it as soon as possible ourselves: all we're doing we're doing for you and your feedback is very important for us. But we need to make a bit more effort to give you the result that will not only be massive, but also good functioning, so these days will be spent on debugging and refinement of the new functionality.
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Re: IL-2 Battle of Kuban and follow-ups

Beitrag von I/JG27_Zimmi » So 08 Apr 2018, 11:35

:horse:
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Re: IL-2 Battle of Kuban and follow-ups

Beitrag von I/JG27_Zimmi » Do 10 Mai 2018, 12:57

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Re: IL-2 Battle of Kuban and follow-ups

Beitrag von I/JG27_Zimmi » Sa 23 Jun 2018, 06:00

https://forum.il2sturmovik.com/topic/16 ... ent=632657
Dear Pilots and Drivers!



We start this Dev Blog with a somber reminder that 77 years ago, on June 22, 1941, German troops, under the control of the Nazi regime in Berlin, launched the largest invasion in the history of warfare. They crossed the Soviet Union border in a surprise blitzkrieg attack obliterating the non-aggression pact signed between Germany and the USSR. This escalation of WWII would forever change the history of the USSR and the rest of the world. Modern history still to this day is divided into 'before' and 'after' the war. The German war machine was powerful, effective, modern and technologically advanced. Its soldiers were highly motivated and exceptionally trained. Operation Barbarossa was planned by the best minds of the German general staff. The plan was for three army groups, 'North', 'Center' and 'South' to smash the USSR in just 5 months with the help of the cavalry of the new age - the air force.



This outcome may have seemed inevitable if not for the tenacity of the Soviet people and military. Surprisingly for the German High Command, as Barbarossa rolled on and early victories showed Soviet unpreparedness, the Soviet resistance began to stiffen and harden with each passing day. The Soviets withstood the initial, most powerful impact of the enemy with grim determination. This determination and composure turned into a shield and spear that would eventually stop and kill the enemy. We all know the price of this victory - there was no family untouched by the war, countries were destroyed, cities turned to rubble, tens of millions of people killed and millions of children became orphans. The price was hideous and we can't forget it because our ancestors live in our memory. We hope such an event never happens again.



This price wasn't paid in vain - the modern world as we know it comes from the great joint victory over Nazis. The victory which wasn't possible without the blood of the Soviet people, which begun on this day, June 22, 1941.

This new project of ours is our tribute to this memory. We tell about the machines of WWII and the fighting in the skies above its battlefields. And starting this year, we'll also tell you about the fighting on the ground. We'll begin with one of the most famous and critical battles of the war - the battle of Kursk. In 1943, the Wehrmacht gathered all available forces, which in 1943 were still considerable and far from defeated and attempted to turn the tide of the war after the setbacks in 1941 and 1942 in one coordinated all-out assault. It can't be said that this attempt was entirely hopeless, the German forces nearly broke through the last lines of defense, but the Red Army held and counterattacked. And with that, the final outcome of the war became clear. The symbol of that battle, of course, is the armored combat machines that defined the battlefield – TANKS! Tanks alone are little more than expensive metal heaps without their human crews. This new project - Tank Crew: Clash at Prokhorovka - is dedicated to the crews who bravely went to battle in them.

The action in Tank Crew: Clash at Prokhorovka will take place in 100x100 km area around Belgorod, including the place where the greatest tank battle of all time was waged, near Prokhorovka village. You can see that the map size is smaller than in our other projects, but we made it smaller on purpose to use our recently developed landscape detail scaling technology. This tech will make the landscape wireframe 16 times more detailed than our usual maps that are designed for aircraft engagements. While being smaller than our other maps, this map size is still unequal among tank sims. We don't do this just to boast about it either - the size of our map makes joint multiplayer with tanks and aircraft possible on the same multiplayer server.
Dateianhänge
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OLt. Zimmermann
Gruppenkommandeur

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