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TFS Developer Update – August 2018

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TFS Developer Update – August 2018

Postby Bonkin » Mon Aug 06, 2018 7:28 pm

Hello again everybody. I can't believe it has been a month since my last update. Time is certainly flying by. Sadly we have lost two more of our Battle of Britain veterans since I last wrote. Wg Cdr Tom Neil passed just days before his 98th birthday, followed shortly afterwards by Sqd Ldr Geoffrey Wellum. We also lost the ever-glamorous Mary Ellis, a trail blazer for female aviators and an original member of the Air Transport Auxiliary (ATA), responsible for delivering fighter and bomber aircraft from the factories to the front line. She was 101.

A big highlight for those in the UK was the Duxford Flying Legends event - and it was great to be there to meet up with friends and enjoy the sights and sounds of so many warbirds gracing the sky. Unusually for the UK we had some glorious weather as well! I'm looking forward to next year's event already!

So for this update let me first start off by thanking you all for your supportive messages - they are all very much appreciated. I'll first provide some details of progress over the last month and then I'll try to answer a few of the questions I have seen being raised across various forums.

Team
We welcome 69th_Zeb to the team. Zeb is an experienced 3D modeller who's day job is in the aviation industry. In his opening post he joked that he would look forward to polishing fig trees and sandbags. In reality he is hard at work on building assets for the new map.

Schedule
As was eluded to in my last post, there is an internal schedule the team are working towards but we cannot forecast release dates. Given the progress made, there remains confidence that everything remains on track. It is fair to say that there are challenges in a couple of areas but there is some contingency so in this regard, things are no different to any other task based project.

Progress
Map
The Team has continued to work on the Map Editor in order to get it into a stable development environment. This has not been without problems but it is good to report that the bugs are being fixed and it has been possible to use it to start fixing game map issues. What this means is that the map development process is simplified and no longer requires manual coding, e.g. it will improve the speed of map creation and development.

In addition, a huge amount of work has been undertaken to create desert versions of all the ground vehicles and objects. This work maybe doesn't get the credit it deserves but take a look in the FMB at the amount of objects there are and you start to get a feel for the effort that is needed to change the textures and re-colour everything. Here are just a few pictures of some of the objects:

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Aircraft
- CR-42 cockpit import and animation continues and the FM is being refined.
- Bf-108 modelling complete and ready for import.
- Bf-109F-1,2 & 4 import (with placeholder cockpit and textures) is complete and the FMs are being refined.
- Spitfire IIa import is complete. This contains the enlarged oil cooler on the left wing and replaces the old MkIIa model.
- Spitfire IIb modelling complete and ready for import.
- Spitfire VA modelling complete and ready for import.
- Spitfire VB modelling complete and ready for import.
- Hurricane IIA modelling complete and ready for import.
- Hurricane IIB modelling (including tropical and fighter bomber) complete and ready for import.
- Hurricane IIC modelling (including tropical and fighter bomber) complete and ready for import.
- Martlet III modelling complete and ready for import.

Notable Fixes
- Beaufighter cockpits glass problems in fog now fixed.
- Blenheim MkIV Late gunner position now load faster in game.
- Bug #759: Fiat BR-20 engine control levers numbering texture has the "7" and "6" reversed.
- Bug #943: Querqueville airfield aligned incorrectly.

So now on with a few of your questions (forgive me for paraphrasing):

Q. What is happening with fixes for the Ju88A-1 aircraft systems and controls - will anything be fixed for v5.0?
A. At this time we cannot say what will or won't be fixed. As reported last month, we have increased the number of coders in the team and this creates opportunities to address certain issues. We will of course be providing a full list of bugs fixed with the release and expect to continue to address issues in patches.

Q. What is happening with Virtual Reality implementation?
A. Although some trials have been done in this area to prove the concept, the team recognise that it is not an insignificant amount of work to implement and that therefore, attempting to do it now would only delay the release of v5.0 - which nobody wants. For this reason, it has been decided to defer VR until a v5.X release, e.g. post v5.0.

Q. Do you have the option to upload any of your videos in 2K/4K resolution?
A. Sorry but not at this time. I often use 4K for capture so that I have better framing options when editing. If I had a new rig then I might consider it.

Q. Will anything be done about the time it takes to get a Beaufighter airborne (about 4.5 mins)?
A. The engine cooling/overheat modelling for all aircraft will be revised for TF 5.0.

Q. Can the excessive movement of the Spit and Hurri on the ground whilst taxying be rectified?
A. We continue to revise and edit the FMs of all aircraft all the way up to the point of release. The environment weather effects also have a part to play. At the moment though our focus is on completing 3D modelling and importing.

Q. Will a map tool or SDK be available for the community? How can the community be more involved?
A. We love to get your feedback (good and bad) because we are committed to making the best simulation we can - so we do want community involvement as much as possible. Expanding the Map Creation Team to allow the map tool to be used for multiple map builds simultaneously is certainly something we will consider post the v5.0 release. Individuals and groups who are interested will be able to approach us at that point. For now we would encourage bugs and feature requests to be made via the BugTracker tool. Also, I will try to answer questions I see in the forums within each monthly update.
Note: One area we are working on is new voice recordings. As such we are looking for French nationals who would be interested in lending their voices to the game. See this post for more information and how to get involved:
https://theairtacticalassaultgroup.com/ ... post317587

Q. When will it be ready?
A. Unfortunately we just cannot provide a forecast date because we're are a bunch of guys working in our spare time and real life often gets in the way of us doing the stuff we're passionate about. Hopefully with these updates you can start to draw your own conclusions regarding the progress of the project. Work has never stopped.

Q. In the pictures of the Bf109-F there were shell cases being ejected during gun firing. I thought the engine mounted guns did not eject cartridges so what is that about?
A. This is an integration bug. The MG-151/15mm and MG-151/20mm weapons mounted in the V of the engine did not eject cartridges outside of the aircraft like the MG/FF's on the wings of the 109E. This was because the cartridges could get sucked into the radiator intake and damage it, or into the intercooler. Right now there is an animation below the 109F nose when the gun is fired showing ejected shell casings. This will be resolved as part of the ongoing import work.


Well I think that is enough for now. I will leave you with this short video which shows off the team’s early work with the import of the beautiful Bf109F-2. Do remember that this features a placeholder cockpit and textures. The reason for this placeholder is that we decided to import an early version of the 109F cockpit in order to provide some of our new coders with import work, and also to give the FM/DM modelers a chance to get started early with a flying model of the 109F. It has the added advantage of giving the skin makers the opportunity to do their work.

This early cockpit version has very much lower resolution textures than we will use in the production release and some of the elements are also missing. Please bear this in mind when watching the video. What people will get in the release version is a cockpit completed to the standards they see in the aircraft currently in 'Blitz'.

So why are we showing it then? Well we thought you would be happy to see some progress with one of the most requested types... with the import process underway other aircraft will also be out shortly... these will have completed cockpits. Hopefully it will give you a flavour of the work being done by the team and the commitment that we all have to provide the very best detailed and faithful re-produced products we can.



For and on behalf of Team Fusion Simulations,

Bonkin.
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Re: TFS Developer Update – August 2018

Postby Admin (Reddog) » Tue Aug 07, 2018 7:39 am

Nice to see something finally in game properly even if it's not a final version, its taken long enough.

I'm not sure what you're gaining with the talk about schedule. If you're not prepared to let us in on the secret of the internal deadline, then it shows you're not comfortable in your ability to hit same, so it's a guess not a schedule. And when you've got Captain calamity saying things like "sooner than you expect" then it's just stoking the hype train and you can see by the diminishing impact and views and comments each update that people are not buying it. Those of us who have been objective all along in our expectations know it won't be before December/Christmas (or I hope to God it isn't otherwise it will signal another beta testing debacle) at the earliest.

It's also not entirely clear from the aircraft section what the movement from last month is, rather than just summing up the state could we have some indication on what has been achieved on it in future updates?

It's good news that the map tool has been found and is being fixed although I'm a tad confused what its utitlity is since Colander (the coding genius) had apparently created a map tool over 18mths of work involving several rewrites and false starts and that was what was used to create the Africa map we saw videos of, oh, a year and a half ago or so? Surely that tool did everything required?
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Re: TFS Developer Update – August 2018

Postby Admin (Philstyle) » Tue Aug 07, 2018 7:56 am

Admin (Reddog) wrote: "sooner than you expect"


In 2016 you'd have been pillioried as a "hater" for suggesting a release date in 2018. . . So "sonner than you expect" must mean some time in early 2017?



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Re: TFS Developer Update – August 2018

Postby Admin (Reddog) » Tue Aug 07, 2018 8:12 am

Lol. In 2016 I was pilloried for being a hater for calling out bad decisions and poor management and highlighting the deficiencies. Oddly enough, the people who did so never came to apologise and acknowledge I was right. Funny that. :lol:
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Re: TFS Developer Update – August 2018

Postby No.85_Cam » Wed Aug 08, 2018 9:42 am

Bonkin said:-
Q. Can the excessive movement of the Spit and Hurri on the ground whilst taxying be rectified?
A. We continue to revise and edit the FMs of all aircraft all the way up to the point of release. The environment weather effects also have a part to play. At the moment though our focus is on completing 3D modelling and importing.


Would it not be important to rectify the existing problems now (and try to instil some confidence in TF5), rather than wait until TF5 I released? I for one, would have no confidence in spending good money on something that will be released at some time this century and needs fixing NOW on some promise that it will be fixed in the future. Does that make sense?
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Re: TFS Developer Update – August 2018

Postby Admin (Reddog) » Wed Aug 08, 2018 10:02 am

According to a post on Il2 forum I made yesterday and the official reply before the thread was locked, future updates to Blitz will be free and will not require purchase of TF5 etc for example. So I would take that as official that they will be fixing all the existing issues within the game right now and when they do, you'll benefit from the patch for free.
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Re: TFS Developer Update – August 2018

Postby No.401_Wolverine » Wed Aug 08, 2018 3:13 pm

That's positive news and how it should be.
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Re: TFS Developer Update – August 2018

Postby No.54 dix (KL-X) » Wed Aug 08, 2018 11:16 pm

Admin (Reddog) wrote:According to a post on Il2 forum I made yesterday and the official reply before the thread was locked, future updates to Blitz will be free and will not require purchase of TF5 etc for example. So I would take that as official that they will be fixing all the existing issues within the game right now and when they do, you'll benefit from the patch for free.

oh good to hear, i was about to ask that very thing in the IL2 forum
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