SimHQ: Ground and mechanical object detail is another area that obviously has received a tremendous amount of work. Given the fact that this is a combat flight simulation, some people might say that all that effort on objects whose details won’t be all very visible from the aircraft is “overkill”. Any comments on that? What was the motivation in supplying such high levels of detail in the ground units? For example, the cloth on the seats of the cars has wear.
Oleg: Just occasional players will say this… and they will be able to decrease the detail level… However, the players that will model online battles will say otherwise… especially those that like to make movies like they can currently in the IL-2 series. Just imagine that these movies that show ground battles will look several times better than in IL-2. And of course we plan to use such detailed vehicles for other purposes in the future of this new sim series. But about the last thing, we will speak about it after the release of the new sim.
SimHQ: You mentioned movies. Will we be able to save our tracks directly to .avi, .wmv, .mpeg or some other form of video format directly from within the sim?
Oleg: At first we would like to keep our track-movie technology. That allows us to record any scene at any mode of gameplay and not decrease the FPS, especially when playing online. Also, our technology is a great advantage over direct recording of AVIs because the user can edit the track’s point-of-view and then record it. This feature will be improved in the new sim because of the many requests of users. Finally, there are several free programs that make it possible to use for the grabbing of videos and sounds with good quality and at any size. If we have the time, then we will possibly develop additional features to record tracks (edited or not) into avi files. However my personal opinion — it isn’t necessary. I have other ideas where to use AVI in the sim. At the moment, is too early to say what we will have in the final release. The general line of our development: we would like to get as many as possible useful features for the end user or our sim.
SimHQ: Also on ground objects, will there be similar improvements to the damage modeling in these? In other words, if a bridge gets hit with a bomb, will it show more detail damage than it would in IL-2? How about other objects, like buildings, radar towers?
Oleg: Yes, all ground objects will get improved damage models. The vehicles will get something like the aircraft technology that was modeled in IL-2. It will be possible to partially destroy buildings.
SimHQ: We’ve seen some use of simulation graphics in theatric presentations, such as a recent television documentary on The History Channel dealing with air-to-air combat from World War One to Vietnam. Given the graphics power and detail that SW:BoB obviously will have, is there any potential for the simulation to be used for television or movie entertainment purposes?
Oleg: It is one of our goals. In the new sim the modeling of air battles will be suitable for the direct recording for HDTV and higher. Say if someone makes a film about WWII and plans to make the right looking air battles the use of a new sim series would be probably the most right and cheapest way compared to rendering such scenes in studios where developers usually are far from the knowledge of aerodynamics, etc…
SimHQ: We understand it’s too early for system specifications to be discussed, but won’t all that detail cost a lot of computing power?
Oleg: I only would say after the release of SoW:BoB, the user will need to test running it to see if his system is powerful enough or not. But most players will surely need to upgrade their computer.
SimHQ: In general, how did your team research all the items in SoW:BoB. The cockpits of the planes and the vehicles especially — what references do you use?
Click here to open a series of images from the Bf-109E-3 cockpit.
Oleg: There are many ways… First, thanks to all the IL-2 users that were accumulating a lot of materials for us the past 4-5 years (at least). There are many fans that have a great collection of very good, very detailed blueprints and other materials. Of course we also tried to get all the very rare references from blueprints, manuals to the detailed photos from museums and archives.
You can download a zipped AVI video file of the Ju-88A-1 cockpit here (201MB).
SimHQ: Thanks very much for your time and effort on this. We’ll look forward to more in the future about Storm of War: The Battle of Britain.
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