IL-2 Slovakia Map Team Page 4

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SimHQ: Is there an online and offline version of the map?

Juraj: There will be a “Slovakia 1944” full map with all objects and strictly historical airbases and borders. Then “Slovakia 1939” with the object count reduced by some 35%, including hypothetical airbases in Czech, Poland and Hungary (there were no historical bases in the covered areas) and borders from early 1939. At the end, there will be the “Slovakia No Names” map identical with “Slovakia 1939”, but without any geographical names and with empty airfields, so players can use it as a substitute for whichever world area they think it fits.

Martin: The full map has 600,000+ objects and the online versions are without haystacks, fences, walls and other minor objects to make it less hardware demanding. We have developed a special macro in Microsoft Excel that will filter out all defined objects from our online maps. Performance wise, except for flying over the few major cities (5-6 of them), the game play should be smooth even in online play. At least this is our experience from current beta testing. Anyway, computers are getting more powerful each year, so we truly believe most players with above average PC configurations will do okay with the map.

SimHQ: Hindsight being perfect, would you have started the process if you’d have known it was to be so involved?

Juraj: I do not know nowadays. If you tell me it will take three years of my free time, I would hesitate. But now we are all proud and satisfied with the job. I think people attempt many projects only because they do not truly know in the beginning what it would take.

Martin: Probably not, and I also didn’t expect it to be so addictive either. I am also pleased that I was able to start and finish every project I have started for IL-2.

SimHQ: Other map makers for the simulation have remarked that the map building tools are less than “user friendly”. How hard is it to work the tools?

Juraj: This software is rather difficult to work with, at least till some experience is obtained. There are many hidden features which are not covered in the attached Russian manual, so we shared our experience with Ian Boys and also with the Bessarabia map team. But now we understand better what it takes to make a flight simulator.

"The map tool is pretty much an enhanced Full Mission Builder with more options and commands."Martin: It could be worse I guess. The map tool is pretty much an enhanced Full Mission Builder with more options and commands. Fortunately, in the map builder you are able to rotate, copy / paste whole groups of objects, a feature many mission builders have been craving for since the release of the original IL-2. I can’t imagine how we would populate our map with all those objects without it. On the negative side there is no undo option… You can recover from your mistakes only by loading the latest save. That hurt a few times.

SimHQ: What was the hardest part of getting the map integrated into the simulation?

Juraj: The map integration is done by 1C and if there are no problems, the process is probably quick. The hardest part is to make the map in the map tool first.

Martin: There were some technical issues we had to solve with Maddox Games in the final stage of the project which delayed our work by several weeks. The game play over the map is smooth as silk on most PCs. Only the biggest cities are performance killers. We hope to have it tested and fixed by the time of this interview.

I do apologize to all IL-2 fans since our work was delaying the patch release. I hope it is worth it for you to have waited a few more weeks and have things done right.

SimHQ: With the release of a decompiling tool that unlocks the code to IL-2: Forgotten Battles, the modding community is buzzing with the possibility of making new and realistic maps. The legal and moral issues aside, without the specific tools you had available to you, is this realistic?

Juraj: No. As far as I followed it, modders can replace one texture with another, change geographic names or do some crude changes in the elevation model. They can not generate the new water map, alter the object placement on the maps of bigger size. I’m not speaking about “merging” existing maps, which is not possible even in the map tool.

Martin: I do agree with Juraj that merging several maps together is nonsense. It would be much easier to start such a large map from scratch.

SimHQ: Is 4.09 really the last patch / upgrade for the IL-2: Forgotten Battles series?

Juraj: I think Oleg Maddox had confirmed it several times.

SimHQ: When (roughly) do you think the 4.09 patch / upgrade will be released?

Juraj: If everything goes well with the map integration, very soon.

SimHQ: Are you part of the Storm of War: Battle of Britain team in any way (Beta tester, map builder, etc.)?

Juraj: No.

SimHQ: Thank you for taking the time to tell us about the new map and it’s features. We certainly will be looking forward to it along with v4.09!

 


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