Storm of War: The Battle of Britain
Tom: First off thank you for devoting the time to put together this interview with SimHQ. I know you are busy and any information you can give to the readers will be greatly appreciated.
Oleg: Long time no news from me. Thanks for contacting me again.
Tom: The Battle of Britain has been rendered either in whole or as part of quite a few games from CFS1 to EAW to Rowan’s and Shockwave / GMX’s Battle of Britain. In the IL-2 series you never really concentrated on this aerial battle. What compelled you to look at this battle in particular?
Oleg: In IL-2 series we didn’t model it because we were planning to get new 3D engine and new fundamental features before to begin this process. In IL-2 series is too hard to model Cliffs of Dover looking real. As you know me, I like to get such things always looking well and natural.
Tom: There has been a fairly preliminary list of aircraft listed or leaked that will come in Battle of Britain. Can you give us an idea of what aircraft we will see in this game? Which ones will be flyable?
Oleg: In Storm of War: The Battle of Britain you will find so many aircraft and details that were never modeled in any flight sims that were about this period of WWII. However there will be smaller amount of flyable planes comparing to that list of the first release of original IL-2 Sturmovik with which we were coming on the market of flight simulation.
Tom: When IL-2 was initially viewed in 1999 and 2000 it was hailed as one of the most realistic looking simulations ever made. In Battle of Britain you claim to take this detail to a whole new level. How are you planning on making this even more of a visual treat?
Oleg: In IL-2 series from 2001 to the current time we tried to keep the same or almost the same level of details. It was necessary due to the feature of upgrades and merged install of the whole series. Even it looks still modern in details, in Storm of War: The Battle of Britainwe’ll raise the level of details several times. If now is possible to use IL-2 series for the cinema makers, then Storm of War: The Battle of Britain will be way more useful and looks like real. I also would say that probably our cockpits many authors of aviation historical books will use now as a reference. If you remember, IL-2 was released with the advantage of the graphics features that were opened 100% only last year. However at the same time IL-2 was very playable even on middle power PC of 2000-2001. Such advantage and features of graphics engine we’ll put also in the new sim engine, because we plan even longer life of new series than the IL-2 series. Despite the fact that IL-2 engine is still possible to use for a very good new sims (the engine licensed for 2 advanced teams, so we expect two more sims using base code of IL-2 with modifications in 2007), we decided to develop completely new engine again with more advanced features and with advantages for future use and upcoming technologies that will help us to keep the most possible high level for many years ahead (again, like it is currently with IL-2 series).
Tom: Someone on the board asked about clickable cockpits, ala FS2004. Do you plan on any interface changes to include clickable cockpits? In the same vein what additions do you plan on implementing to improve coordination between yourself and AI pilots?
Oleg: We don’t plan such a feature. In combat sim with clickable cockpits you will be sitting duck for the enemy (in particular case — against AI). Also clickable by the mouse cockpits really doesn’t corresponding to real life action of pilot. At first because of time for reaction of plane after your decision to make something by the mouse. In real life the hand or finger of the pilot would work way faster and as result the response of controls will be also way faster. So clickable by the buttons some of most important functions would be really much better.
Tom: The flight models in IL-2 were considered among the best made when the game was released. What changes have you made to the flight model to increase fidelity? At the same time will there be changes in the game to allow more of a hands on approach to things like starting procedures?
Oleg: In Storm of War: The Battle of Britain we will add even more precise calculations than in the last FM of IL-2 series. However user should understand always — as more complex program and more calculations are at once — more power system need to be present for the running program… So Storm of War: The Battle of Britain will be for the more power PC than the last in series of IL-2 modification. We don’t plan to model absolutely all buttons of starting procedure working, like it is necessary for some real planes take off procedure with 20 or more clicks, movements of levers or so. This would be interesting for less than 1% of users… and even this one percent will try just once and then will play with the switched off such a function. Even real pilots. So to spend a time for a lot of programming for many different functions of a very different aircraft — this would be really great waster of time. Someone might disagree with me. But I have more than 6 years flight sim development experience and statistics in my hands. However we will have really much more cockpit functions programmed in new sim comparing to IL-2 series.