SimHQ: Was this your first map for the IL-2 series?
Juraj: Yes, and one such a map is just enough.
Martin: The first and the last. But I do have to say that participation on such a project makes you really appreciate all the hard work, talent, energy and time put into the IL-2 Series by Oleg Maddox and his team and all the 3rd party contributors.
SimHQ: What were the most challenging parts of building a map of a real part of the world, but with 1940’s landmarks and features? What research tools did you use?
Juraj: The Slovak map has about 1800 villages and cities. Hundreds of them had different names in that times, many of them were later merged into bigger settlements. Of course, all cities and most of the villages were smaller than now, there were 3.5 million people living in Slovakia compared to today 5.5 million.
We used some available historical maps from the 1930s and 1940s. A specialized book describing the history of names of all Slovak cities and villages from 1773 onwards, Some aerial shots of main cities from 1940 and so on. For the airbase modeling we used all available photos and information from military archives and even from a WWII veteran. The main “red” base — Tri Duby — has its hangars and buildings made as a precise copy of the real ones:
Tri Duby Airfield (real and IL-2)
Martin: For me the most challenging part was to force myself to model all those generic objects used for our map. It does get a bit dull and boring working on house after house. Fortunately, I have received some good references and photos that could be used directly as textures for most of the buildings. To spice-up the work, I did switch to some other objects from time to time — field kitchen, castles, anti-tank obstacles, humans. Then, after receiving the objects back from Maddox Games, I took over the responsibility to place / build some unique objects on the map. There are about 50 castles, castle ruins and remains scattered all over the map. I have modeled / built them according to their 1940s state and real ground plans — of course within the limitations of the game engine. Most references came from dedicated history books and web sites such as http://www.castles.sk/.
Peter: There is a historical recreation of the railway system and roads from the mid-forties on the map. Unfortunately, railway tunnels and viaducts, which are frequent in the mountainous areas are out of the map tool possibilities. Digging for the historical information we often come to very interesting photos. Thanks to my involvement in the project, local history has become my favorite hobby.