This time there is something different to talk about.
You all know VT already offers an insane amount of aircrafts right?
But sure, we still want more, or would have preferred if some families were added instead of others.
But this time the issue is different. Some days ago I came to a realization.
A game with such large selection surely will have a few overpowering super aircrafts, right?
Ok, even if is not a wicked design, I bet there is some special aircraft that can be unlocked after clearing a campaign, right?
And that’s the issue.
While the game as a large quantity of aircrafts, it has very few original ones and those are quite balanced will all other aircrafts making them almost indistinguishable from the rest.
For a game like VT is like almost mandatory to have at least one super aircraft.
To address that, new aircraft could have been quickly conceptualized and added to the game, but that is the standard procedure.
Instead of that, I want to keep the tradition of VT hearing the community, so I prepared a contest that allows all players to submit their own design:
Here are the rules in simple text:
- The Design can be computer drawn or hand drawn and scanned.
- The design can be posted on either facebook or in the dedicated forum thread.
- It must be submitted two images of 3 view of the design, one in black and white to show the shape and the panel lines and other in color with the default skin applied.
- In the submission, it must be stated the name of aircraft and a description of performance.
- The submitted design can be created by making a montage of existing blueprints.
- For weapon loadouts it must use real world weapons for main and sub weapons slots, but it can be added up to 3 fictional special weapons. If is that the case for each weapon must be submit their one design, description and capabilities.
- The submitted idea is more important that the visual presentation, however the presented design must necessarily be clean and easy to read.
- Perspective views are not necessary, but that can be included to better portrait the design.
- The contest ends on December 31.
- The winner will be announced the following month after the contest is over.
- The author of the winning design will have is name engraved in the credits.
You can find the dedicated forum page here:
Tip: consider that this super aircraft may be eventually used against you, so it must be beatable.
And here is an example how to submit a design to the contest
Sub weapon: GSh-30-1
Main weapon: R-60
Special weapon 1: R-77
Special weapon 2: R-60M
Special weapon 2: Kh-29T
And that’s all, good luck for all interested in summiting their designs, and I look forward to see your creativity.
If anyone has any question related to the contest, it can be asked here in the comment section
Since the last update, a lot of new aircrafts have been done, a few of them have already been revealed in some way, however not all these new aircrafts have they family fully completed, so that is why they are taking some time to be present.
And that is where the Mirage F1 comes in, as it is one of those families that is entirely completed and already in the game.
For those o know, in the list it was present some time ago about which aircrafts will be in the game, it was stated the mirage family was in. What didn’t specify, was which unit it was, the mirage family is too big to be grouped in a single collection, so it was divided smaller groups. The Mirage 2000 is the most common in games and is guaranteed that will be in, but besides that one, the Mirage F1 also fits perfectly in the timeframe that game tries to focus and is far less usual to be present, so it was selected to be in as well.
The first version of the Mirage F1, this version was developed for flight testing. It uses the Mirage III radar; it can be identified by the shorter rounder nose.
This is a fighter version with the most basic package for air combat and as expected it has weaker avionic from the rest of the family.
The main and most known version of the Mirage F1 is the C variant with the latter C standing “chasse (fighter)”. This version has the finalized design that will be very little changed over the next variants.
As stated above this is air superiority fighter but it is far from useless against ground targets.
It follows the Mirage 1C variant and adds more internal improvements; it can be identified by the stretched nose to accommodate a refueling probe.
It maintains the air-superiority fighter role but adds new avionics to improve protection with better early warning capabilities.
After the success of the C-200, this variant born this as reconnaissance role, it can be identified by the added cameras installed under the nose.
As stated above the Mirage F1CR is a reconnaissance variant and it is fitted with a new radar capable of terrain mapping, as a result it the boosted ground attack capabilities while retaining some capabilities of previous variants.
The Mirage F1CT evolves from the CR and replaces some avionics and cameras and fits instead a laser range finder under the nose.
The CT version uses some elements that were applied to the CR to make a full-fledged ground attack variant, with improved avionics to fill that role with the capability to use laser guided weaponry.
Evolving from the C-200 the Mirage F1E remains very similar to its predecessor.
It is with the Mirage F1E that there is finally a element in this family that is a multirole aircraft, this is noteworthy because since this aircraft was initially design with that possibility in mind. As a result there was no need to make any drastic change in the airframe.
An important note is that this variant uses Sidewinders instead of Magic and Super 530 AAM missiles.
Following the evolution of the F1E, it has applied one last modernization to increase the service life of the aircraft, the Mirage F1M it is very hard to distinguish from other variants, but very often is fitted with chaff/flare dispenser just above the ventral fins, something that other units didn’t had as a built in package.
The Mirage F1M continues to be a multirole variant and the improved avionics and with the addition of built-in countermeasures, this makes it one of the best variants in this family.
This variant also uses sidewinder missiles.
The Mirage F1AZ diverge from the main branch, this is one of the easier variants to distinguish, it has a rangefinder and an antenna under the nose.
While all produced units use the normal engine, this variant in the game went ahead realized the idea of fitting a RD-33 engine (a mig-29’s engine).
It remains with the “mass produced” label because this variant really exist, however with the RD-33 engine it should be really considered as “concept”
This variant is a ground attack variant, similar to the CT variant, but it uses different technologies. The Mirage F1AZ is very good attack aircraft but it has much weaker capabilities as fighter than the CT.
The Mirage F1_M53 is a variant completely unrelated to the M variant, it born from the original C to become a evolved variant capable o carrier operations.
It has slightly stretched fuselage and refueling probe is stored inside of the right side of the nose.
The Mirage F1 M53 has been fitted with all the avionics in order to be the multirole aircraft. It also has a new engine capable of higher performance with little cost in additional weight.
The mirage MF2000 another branch diverging from the main family, this one evolves from the E variant to become what some considerer as the “Super Mirage F1”.
Although visually there’s no significant change besides the laser designator below the nose.
The MF2000 is a multi role aircraft; this variant uses the latest avionics with combination of some of the Mirage 2000. While derived is an older design, these changes make it a viable fighter against early 4th generation fighters.
And this is all for the Mirage F1 family, on contrary to some families, this one is more sober with no exotic variants in it. The downside is the variants are very similar to each other with only a few having a really noticeable feature. But regarding to that, visual variety will be compensated with the aircraft of the next report.
Stay tuned, more reports will follow.
Another report it’s here, this time is to focus only in one single family, the Su-25.
At the moment, the development is already at full speed, however the lack of recent reports is because of the fact that current the development pipeline is quite different from what it was while alpha funding stage.
While in the alpha it was important to maintain a stable build, the development was forced to always be made in small steps and tested before release, but now the development can be progressed simultaneous in multiple features, and it is possible to only finish a features after all the other interacting mechanics are equally completed.
Which this makes these features take more time to be considered completed.
To avoid the reports presented becoming an empty promise, I prefer only to talk about features in report after they are mostly done, so this new development method is less useful to generate a constant stream of reports that the previously used.
The same applies to the aircrafts in the game, they only will be presented where when the all the family is done.
At the moment there are several aircrafts and features close to their completion, so you can be assured that very soon there will be a lot to talk about.
Also, about the promised last update for the alpha funders while waiting the game to be completed, I must apologies for that. That build is already finished ready to be released, but the respective content that would be featured in that last build is not fully ready yet.
The problem comes from that in this “closed” development the schedule is very tight and demanding milestones, at least in these first months, so there has been very little time to fulfill those goals.
But to address this issue, one solution that can be releasing that last build and everything that has been initially planned and it isn’t been done yet it will be uploaded later.
The only thing you need to be aware is that this last update will not reflect the present state of development in either content or features, but it will include the mission editor now PROPERLY tested and fully working, as it was in that build that were made several missions that will be available in the final build.
But now going back to the main topic of this report, the Su-25, this is actually first family to be fully completed after the game become in closed development, as I said above, there are some other are near their completion, so they will be shown very soon as well.
So, now onto the family:
First about this family in general, the Su-25 was an aircraft developed initially to be a day time light attack fighter.
But due to its shape, which is quite similar to the YA-9, its very often compared to the A-10 and regarded as a CAS aircraft, whoever the main role of this aircraft ground attack while as for the A-10 is primarily for Close air support.
This distinction may appear to be insignificant, but in reality the A-10 is more suited against armor, while the Su-25 is intended for other types of targets similar to some aircrafts like the Jaguar and F-1.
With that said, let’s start as usual with the initial prototype, the T-8, sometimes also referred as SPB.
The T-8 shape already resembles the mass produced version, whoever it has some noticeable differences overall.
This version can already carry a significant payload and it is compatible with laser guided weaponry. But the combat capabilities as expected lower than the mass produced version.
But due to the simplicity and traditional wings layout it can be a considered a pleasantly maneuverable aircraft.
The Su-25, a sub sonic attack aircraft and this version already features the shape we are more used to know.
It has the distinctive pitot probes in front of the nose and the air brakes on the tip of the wings.
This version is most common and basic variant, whoever differently to some of the following aircrafts, it features built-in chaff dispersers on top of the engine in addition to the more common flares.
The commercial version of the Su-25 with very slight changes visually.
The su-25K is downgraded version compared to the original SU-25 regarding to avionics, it also lacks in chaff dispensers and uses a less powerful engine, however these changes led to a lost in weight which it gives bit more maneuverability.
The Su-25KM a largely improved version over the Su-25K, it is visually almost identical to his predecessor, with the exception of the shorten tube in the tail.
The Su-25KM, nicknamed ‘Scorpion’ is a fairly recent update of the venerable series, introducing a glass cockpit, digital map generation software, helmet mounted display, and other modern technology in an attempt to maintain the Frogfoot’s performance in a modern battlefield.
This variant is also capable of using NATO armament like the MK-80 bombs and other laser guided weaponry.
Su-25SM is the most modernized variant in the whole family, directly derived from the original Su-25. Although, it may not be as technologically advanced as the T and TM variants, but it features extensive improvements.
Visually it can only be distinguished by the reshaped tail and new airbrakes.
The Su-25SM’s modification package upgrades the Su-25’s engines with anti-surge technology, as well as a new HUD and vastly improved fire control systems, tripling the accuracy of navigation and guided munitions.
This variant also allows the addition of external radar which grants the capability of firing BVR missiles against air targets.
All these changes will allow this aircraft to be viable beyond the year 2020.
The Su-25UB is twin seat trainer version; it has an higher the dorsal bump to allow room for the instructor pilot.
As derived from the original, it maintains the chaff dispenser on top of the engines.
The Su-25UB sacrifices some fuel carriage for the addition of the second pilot’s seat. However, the aircraft does not suffer much reduction in aerodynamic performance and remains fully combat capable.
The Su-25UBM features the same improvements of the SU-25SM but in lesser degree applied to the Su-25UB airframe, it also has the improved airbrakes but also adds a heat disperser rod in the engine nozzles.
The Su-25UBM has been upgraded with additional electronic capabilities, allowing it to undertake reconnaissance, electronic command and target designation roles in a battlefield environment.
Like any other two seat attack aircraft, the presence of a second pilot reduces the workload of the primary and increases the situation awareness in the cockpit, resulting and higher effectiveness against ground targets.
The Su-25U3 born from extensive modifications to the Su-25UB, the changes include cockpit layout and nose to allow three pilots seated in tandem.
Whoever, this change forces the elimination of the IR target designators in the addition to the removal of the airbrakes.
The Su-25U3 is an experimental concept for a three-seat trainer variant of the Frogfoot to increase the efficiency in training new pilots.
As for actual combat, this aircraft can perform recon and tactical data sharing to other friendly aircrafts. However is far less combat capable that other variants as it can’t use laser guided weaponry.
The Su-25UTG features an arrestor hook and reinforced undercarriage to be able to operate in aircraft carriers with ski-jump.
This navalized version of the Su-25 the improvements applied to the SU-25UBM like the improved brakes and newer electronics.
The weapons compatible with the Su-25UTG are also wider the past variants, allowing it to use anti ship missiles.
The SU-25T is a highly improved version derivates from the Su-25UBM, but removing the second seat to store more avionics. This version is actually the one that should be compared to the A-10, as it shares the same primary role.
This version also includes a passive infrared jammer in the back of the tail, a reshaped nose with the gun moved to outside of the mainframe.
The Su-25T is a specialized variant geared specifically towards anti-tank combat, with an extended nose containing guidance systems for both laser and TV control. It also boasts an expanded inventory of guided weapons for use against armored targets.
This variant, as it is dedicated to anti-armor and it features all-weather and night attack capability, with this specs, it can be more correctly compared to the YA-10B N/AW (Night/Adverse Weather) of the A-10 family.
The changes made in this Su-25 allow it to operate in heavy smoke and low light our while accurately delivers a board range of ordinance,
The final and ultimate variant of SU-25, adds back the chaff dispenser in top of the infrared jammer and includes higher performance engines to achieve greater speeds and climb rates
The Su-25TM (or Su-39) is a direct upgrade of the highly successful Su-25T, with further upgraded weapons capability allowing it to strike naval targets as well as limited support for more advanced air-to-air munitions.
Although the SU-25T and SU-25TM are considered mass produced, they only were produced in very short number due to their high cost compared to the also very capable Su-25SM.
With all variants presented, let’s talk about the family evolution. This is something that it wasn’t mentioned extensively until now, but the aircrafts’ evolutions will be very important in the final version.
Differently from the alpha builds, in the final version only a limited amount of aircrafts will be available to use as soon you start the game for the first time.
If you if you want to be able to use more aircrafts in all modes besides the campaign, you have to unlock them in the challenge mode.
More details about how the challenge mode will work will be provided latter, but I’ll share here the most important ideas for now.
In the challenge mode, every aircraft will have a set of conditions and specific challenges to that unit that must be cleared in order to be able to be used freely.
Also the unlocking of the units must follow the progression if the evolution of that family.
Using the Su-25 as example, the evolution it will presented this way:
If you met the conditions, the first playable unit will be the T-8, after completing the challenges and requirements you will be able to play with it in any game mode, and with that, the Su-25’s challenges will become available,
After unlock this one, it will be possible to try to unlock the Su-25K, Su-25SM and Su-25UB, each with different requirements and with their own set of challenges with varying difficulties.
These challenges can be from, destroying a base as fast as possible using only guns, make the fastest lap in an air race, or even collect as many “coins” as possible in a fixed amount of time.
Also, in the actual game, you only be able to see if the aircraft you are trying to unlock has any following variant. So you can consider the image above as a little help you to choose your unlock route the final version.
In alternatively anyone that knows the evolution of that family will surely be able to go focus in a specific branch to be able to reach the desired variant faster.
One last tip, trainers will have a significant role in this mode, as every plane will have some requirements in form of accumulative points dispersed in several categories, with one type of points is family points, which they are earned by playing with specific aircrafts.
And for this, the trainers will be very helpful as they give more family points than any other variants.
AN in this case, the Su-25U3, will give more Su-25’s family points than any other.
But this will be explained latter in more depth when the challenge mode is implemented.
Stay tuned, more reports will follow.
This time, this news post will be not to talk about a actual update, but to talk about the latest development progress.
I’m still not used to this new phase, so I was waiting to all content to be ready to show it all at the same time, but there really no need to do that, if far better to smaller posts and report how it is has been progressing.
In this case, this report will be about electronic warfare.
A lot of thought has been given to make this system.
The idea was to make something unique that could impose interesting challenges to the jammed aircrafts while retaining balance in the gameplay. Of course this has been thought with the multiplayer in mind as well.
First let’s start with buffing, most of you are already aware of its existence since it was mentioned a couple o reports ago and already in the game, although for now, only a few units in the game are actually using of this system.
The Su-30 is one of them.
The buffing will be used to help allied units by giving them a boosted electronic performance in some specs, this boost will be enabled for an unlimited time while the respective units is still present in the effect range.
The players should use this to their advantage, like if they are close to ground radar they will have boosted range.
Or if they within a EWAC range, it will increase their missile detection range.
Then we have debuffing, similar to the last one, but this is to be used against enemies to reduce their electronic performance.
Whoever for debuffing, every units has a resistance value, the debuff will not be applied if the resistance is higher than the effect strength.
To be implemented:
The data sharing will enable teammates from the same squadron to compile all the targets by all the squadron and share to each individual member. This only will be possible if there is at least one aircraft in the squadron has this capability. but the receivers must be modern enough to be able to obtain and use that data. So aircrafts like for example F-104 are unable to receive that shared data from their teammates.
One of the usefulness of this ability is to use for stealth spotting. if there is a recon aircraft in squad, or one plane using similar role, that plane can be in the vanguard searching for stealth units, as soon they discover some, the other members from that squad will receive visual identification that will be allowed to lock on them if they have weapons capable of that, so one approach is to use BVR missiles to shoot down those stealth units at long range
Also the aircrafts that have data sharing have a maximum connection range, so if the team is too disperse, these pilots must be sure to be positioned in a way that enables to everyone receives the data.
Then we go to the jamming, before mentioning the different types of jamming let’s explain how it all works.
First a jammer can have one or multiple types of jamming abilities that will be show below.
Then each of these abilities will have their power and range, while all other units will have their own resistant values to that effect.
However that effect is strong near the jammer, but drops as jammer and target get more distant.
As it was exemplified in this image, all tree aircrafts have the same resistance value to jamming, however the closest to the jammer is affected, because the jamming signal in that spot is stronger than in the other units.
A rule of thumb, no matter how good and modern is your aircraft, is safer to just keep your distance to any jamming aircraft, unless you have your own jamming units to back you up.
Also, there is the possibility to some jammers having a very low limit of how many aircrafts they can jam at the same time, one approach of the targets is to rush to the jammer, spamming it with targets and the ones that are unaffected take up the role of neutralizing this unit.
Another weakness of some of the jammers, sometimes they can flicker, this means there is a brief moment where the jamming is not in effecting event if you’re close to the jamming. Use this moments to your advantage if your are having a hard time being the target of those effects.
Another point is that some jammers will flicker more frequently as they affect more units, in this cases the pilot of the jammer must consider how many units he wants to jam at the same time and avoid highly concentrated zones.
With that explained, now we can move on to the jamming types:
Let’s start with the more usual, this one is simple, every enemy within the effect range will be unable to lock to enemies. The pilots can either go with guns, use missiles simply as rockets or alternatively try to get out of the effect range.
This type of jamming makes the affected units see multiple false copies of the jammer. These copies are pure radar signals.
This is more an annoyance to BVR players as you have to get close to the jammer to be able to look carefully and find which of those radar signals correspond to the actual unit.
To be implemented:
Aircrafts that use synthetic vision are more vulnerable to the effects of this jamming, since they will interpret those fake signals as real and will add a physical model to those signals.
This is similar to the self copies, but in this case the jammer will make a fixed amount of copies to a limited amount of allies within a restricted range.
This can easily trick the enemy in believing that they are being attacked by a large wave of fighter.
Considering the existing AI, if they are surprised by an overwhelming (Fake) force, they may chose to be evasive and run for their lives when they thing they have no chance of winning.
This may be insignificant if you are a lone wolf, but the most fearsome jamming if you are in a squad. This jamming has the ability to make all the affected units be unable to distinguish between friend of foe.
Whoever, if you know your team well and know which plane they are flying, you can easily advert the effects of this jamming. But, just to be sure, double check before firing. Also avoid using weapons that auto lock to a target on their own when you are experiencing these effects, because they may lock to one of your teammates.
This jamming ability disables the global map and forces all units acquire every target own. So units with weaker radar will become severely affected and non-stealth units but with small RCS, like the MiG-21 will easily go unnoticed in the battlefield.
One of the usefulness of this jamming is to hide tactical movements from the affected units, this way it will be easier to ambush them or make them unaware of the flow of battle.
To be implemented:
This will also make weapons that use GPS guidance to become completely unguided.
To be implemented:
Aircrafts that use synthetic vision will have the scenery displayed in wireframe.
To be implemented:
This ability prevents the buffers and debuffers from using their effect. But for this to work, the buffer/debuffer must be inside the canceller range. If it’s not, they can still buff and debuff any units inside this jammer range.
So this is a weakness, since the jammer must obligatory be close enough to this type of units to be in full effect.
This ability grants the power on hide a fixed number of units from also a restricted number of targets, however this to work the enemies must be the jammer effect range, and the allies must be inside the hiding range as well (which is tighter). This is not a solution to avoid BVR attacks, but is instead actually the opposite, to keep the enemies at distance or to protect the stealth units from close range detection.
This jamming type as a weakness of these units can’t be shielded with their own hole neither with another allied jamming unit. So look carefully for these units, it’s very likely they are hiding something.
To be implemented:
This one is simple; this jamming simply prevents the targets to use data sharing. since this result is easy to achieve by pumping noise signals to the atmosphere, this type of jamming as usually wide area of effect. It can affect a normal squad unit to prevent receiving/sending data, of it can affect the element that acts as a hub, and in this case the whole system goes offline.
One use for this, is that it can be employed to cut the communication line between the recon unit and the stealth hunting team.
This system disables all the information about enemy targets, so you are unable to know who is the pilot, squadron or aircraft name, this more useful in medium/long range engagements since you can distinguish the aircrafts.
Also this jamming appears to be almost inoffensive on its own, but combined with other jamming abilities; it becomes dangerous cocktail to the enemy units. Just imagine combining this with the NO IFF, you’ll become instantly unable to determine which units are your allies unless you get close to them.
To be implemented:
Aircrafts that use synthetic vision will be unable to display a physical model so it will be replaced by a place holder.
These are all the jamming that it will be present in the game, most of them are already been added, they are also being balanced so the jammer that does have an undeniable advantage over their victims, but it has to play smart to succeed. Also if you play with a 4 aircraft team, instead going all offensive, you may consider losing some attack power to add more jamming aircrafts and combining those effects, like creating false copies of the allies and other jammer create a detection hole to include the originals.
But the amount of possible solutions is wide and considering that they are most effective only in some situations, the team must carefully plan their strategy and predict the strategy that will be used by the opposing team.
A bad strategy will completely nullify any advantage the jamming may bring, but a well chosen strategy will completely stomp over any opposition.
Later it will be made several fictional “super weapons”-type units, and each will use one of these systems in various levels of the single player campaign.
Stay tuned, more reports will follow.
I have an important announcement referring to the change in the production that I’ve mentioned before in the forums.
In the last weeks the production already entered in maximum speed because it is intended to release in the first quarter of 2014. (and yes, it will be on steam, yay!)
In the last month VT gained the support of a publisher, this is really great news and I believe this was possible thanks to the support of all of you.
They will provide resources to make the game better and they are not interested in limiting the “artistic freedom” of the game. (they only requested multiplayer mode, but it was already intended to be added if there was a possibility). This and releasing earlier than initially planned tightens the schedule as there is plenty of stuff to add before we can meet the set date of release.
This leads to the only downside I see with this. Because this will be a race to the finish line, and as it was a request from their side, the alpha funding will have to be concluded.
While I’m a bit sad about this, since I was enjoying a lot this style of development, I will respect their request.
However, while the alpha funding will be closed, I’m interest in providing a few more meaningful updates.
I’m very grateful to all of you and I want you to know that even if I couldn’t reveal any information until all was set, I am and will continue to be looking for your best interests.
But don’t worry, all the alpha supporters until now will receive the final copy of the game so that is not really an issue. I will also continue to be present here and I will provide support with tutorials and news, however it will be several months without any playable update.
As for your suggestions, I always enjoyed them and I’ll be grateful if everyone continues to provide them. However like I said before, the schedule for the release is very thigh, there is a lot to do, but if is any free time available it will be used to address some of your suggestions.
Also because of alpha funding will be concluded, I’m very interest in making the mission Editor flawless before the updates end, so all you can keep entertained while there is no more updates.
Since the F-22 is so popular, I believe it’s the best plane to add in the final updates (but it won’t be the only one).
With this said, it up to you if you respect or not this new development. But I’ll accept any of your opinions and either way I still will be very grateful to you all.
But stay tuned, more reports will follow.
This report contains the changes of the 0.2260 update.
And it’s here!
This update took a bit of time to iron out all small bugs and issues with the editor. But now it is completely finished and ready to start making new missions.
As it has been stated before, the editor was made to be as user friendly as possible. However, if the users find something that need to be changed or improved, feel free to point out.
As for this mode, it can be assessed in the main menu or at any time by pressing Ctrl+E. however I encourage you, when making new original missions assess it by the main menu, when you want to explore the functionalities the editor, use it during a mission.
With this I look forward to play your missions in the future.
Now onto the already preview units previewed units, they will be no surprise since there were all identified very quickly.
Fist let’s start with the Tacit Blue. A ground support aircraft designed as a low-observable, stealthy battlefield observation platform.
Although in reality, Tacit Blue only acts as a recon, in the game, the Tacit Blue will be armed and it will serve as a CAS aircraft.
This aircraft, often called the “Whale” relies on its stealthiness to secretly collect information on enemy ground forces and in the game it boost the detection capabilities of nearby allied ground vehicles.
The second unit is the XST, although at first impression, it may be visually similar to the Hopples Diamond, this aircraft is far more agile and combat capable, but with the drawback of being less stealthy.
The XST can be easily identified by the large, over-sized air intake on top of its cockpit which facilitates better airflow at greater angles of attack than the Nighthawk and also allowing for a lower stall speed performance as air continues to flow into the engines.
And finally the P.125. that is an stealthy interdictor aircraft developed in two versions. The VTOL and CTOL.
This version is the conventional take of version, designed as the P.125 ECR, with the role of Suppression of Enemy Air Defences.
Perhaps the most distinguishing feature of the P.125 is the lack of a cockpit, the pilot sits fully enclosed inside the aircraft in a high-recline seat, relying on electronic instruments and a complex camera system to maintain operational awareness. This unique design allows the aircraft to exploit its high agility and G-tolerance to the fullest, but can leaves it especially vulnerable to electronic interference.
To be part of the P.125’s loadout it was added the ALARM (Air Launched Anti-Radiation Missile) in order the aircraft to properly fulfill the SEAD role.
The ALARM is passive seeker similar to the AGM-88 HARM, this means it can only lock to targets that possess an active radar.
Still regarding to the P.125, one of the unique characteristics of this aircraft, is that the pilot is buried inside the fuselage.
It would have been a missed opportunity if it wasn’t added a cockpit immediately, also another interesting aspect of this aircraft, is that the pilot can only see the outside through a computer rendered vision.
This detail was considered in the course of the development, it was clear that this concept of buried cockpit would have been more interesting if the Synthetic vision was also recreated.
The goal was to simulate computer graphics in the game itself and here it is:
Third person view:
A normal vision like any other aircraft
An enclosed cockpit, displaying the outside trough various monitors.
The Synthetic vision only without the cockpit model.
A single screen shot can capture the whole effect, so I encourage you to give it a try in this view.
In this version, the Synthetic vision is not fully completed. In the future versions, to stay more true to the original concept it won’t display clouds, fog or natural light.
And that’s all for this update, there were more planes and weapons planned for this update, however the fine-tuning of the mission editor consumed a large amount of time, so that content postponed to the next release.
- Added Mission editor
- Added Synthetic vision
- Added Tacit Blue
- Added XST
- Added P.125 ECR
- Added ALARM missile
Stay tuned, more reports will follow.
This report contains the changes of the 0.2250 update.
The Mission editor announced a while back is almost completed and in this update it will featured a working preview.
Anyone interest in making original missions may like to try this out.
This is how you can access it:
Press Shift+E during play time and you will immediately enter in edit mode
After entering in the edit mode, change it to the mission editor mode.
Note, the mission editor in this version is a preview, not all functions are available and it is not yet possible to make a mission from scratch, but you can add and edit missions events at will.
Before showing an event as an example, let’s explain the terminology:
Missions- These are the player missions, the accomplishment of the main mission will result in clearing the level, whoever sub missions can be added, they can be used as separate phases of the main mission or be used as independent operations.
Actions- there are the controllers that change the level, they range can be from spawning a unit, change the music or triggering the death of a unit
Triggers- these are the controllers that check the game state forking from certain conditions, when those conditions are true, they call any specified action (They can be from checking the player position or checking the number of targets remaining in the level);
Conditions- is a controller composed of group of triggers, only when all contained triggers are true this controller will call any specified action;
Variables-stores numeric values, they can be used for controlling branching patch to be used for karma levels;
Pointers-are the static hud points that can be used to help guiding the player in the missions;
Npc Missions- these are the controllers that define the goals for AI players, by default all AI have the mission to kill all enemies, but it can range from guarding a zone to escape to a designated place;
Dialog-these are the controllers for the communications dialogs that appear in-game;
Fixed Events-these are quick triggers that can call any spiffed action in a specific event they can be from the player clearing the mission to crashing to the ground;
Just to try it out, let’s add an event that makes backup arrive if the player HP goes below certain level.
First we create the trigger and setup the desired parameters. It is important to make it active.
Conditions Only, will make this trigger only usable when checked as part of a condition group, in this case we don’t need that.
Use Limiter, defines how many times this trigger can become true, with the “1” value it will call only one time for backup and then it will be automatically turned off.
If this trigger is part of a condition, then that condition can never be true while a trigger element is disabled.
Then define the intended HP value. For this example, this trigger will be active when the payer HP reaches bellow 30%.
The next step is to create the action the spawns the unit. As we want a backup unit, we set as team 1, as usually this is the player’s team.
Whoever, the player can be part of any team, even neutral and can change at any point during mission.
But we must not forget to set the AI active in the unit.
The final step is to link the action to the trigger. To do that, we need to create a list. A list is a set of actions that can be called.
A trigger can have a multiple action lists, each with their own call probability, but only one will be called.
This is useful to make controlled “random” events.
(If there is only one list and it as 0% probability, the game will assume that the maker forgot to set that value and that list will have 100% probability)
And finally link the action to that list. (Naming triggers, actions or other controllers will help you later when you need to find the right one in a huge list of controllers)
After this you can turn off the editor and play. If the condition is met, the event will be carried out.
You can also play and edit with the currently available missions by changing the existing events to test different outcomes.
At the moment, the game already offers a wide selection of actions and triggers, but new ideas are always welcome to expand this selection even further.
The purpose of this update is for the player to get used to the mission editor, because it will be fully functional and it will be possible create completely new missions in the next update.
So look forward to that.
Enjoy the editor and again feedback is much appreciated especially if anyone has ideas to add more actions or triggers.
When the editor is completed, it will be accompanied wit some tutorials, but in case someone as any question, feel free to ask.
There’s a lot more to do with the editor in this version, but that will be left to the player to find out. As for the rest of the update, as the editor at the moment is the most important priority, there isn’t much room to add anything else, but in this update there still are some extras.
First, playable aircrafts:
The F-15B, one of the most basic variants for the F-15 family, it is a two seater, trainer version.
The F-15B is the trainer version of the F-15A and while it is a trainer is a fully combat capable variant.
Similarly it was added the F-15D, the trainer variant of the F-15C
The F-15D has better avionic and performance compared to the F-15B.
A similar unit is the Su-27UB, the two seater/trainer variant of the Su-27
The Su-27UB is however a much lower performance than the standard Su-27S.
It was also added the Jaguar Gr1A.
This aircraft was shown a while back but it is one of those that units that haven’t been added yet
The jaguar Gr1A It a simple performance variant.
And finally the new campaign has started the production, this will be a truly story based campaign.
Also, while the whole campaign and related content will be released all of it in a single update, as an extra it added in this update a new map that it will used in that campaign.
The map still needs some tweaks and the ground objects to be added, but this will give more variety to the existing maps available.
- Added Mission editor preview
- Fixed some bugs and issues.
- Added F-15B
- Added F-15D
- Added Su-27UB
- Added Jaguar Gr1A
- Added OceanM2 map
Stay tuned, more reports will follow.
This tutorial is an extension of the [Tutorial 008: F-104 creation] and it will help by explaining in detail some of the more important steps.
Let’s start with you to create moving parts, this is a simple but very effective technique.
Continuing right after the wings creation, in the step where the wings only have the volume done.
To create the moving parts, there are two ways so add the sub divisions; one is using [Cut] and other [Slice].
In this step we use the [Slice] since it will create a perfectly straight line.
Then we use [Cut] to create a division between the to vertices.
After adding more sub divisions this is who the finished result looks like.
To create the first moving part select the corresponding faces (also include the faces below).
With those faces selected, hit [Deatach] to remove them from the model
Detach it but not as a clone.
There are situations that are easier if we for with the moving part as a separate model, but not this time.
Selected [attach] and click on the moving part. We did this do brake the connections with the other faces. (There are other ways to do this)
Now the moving part belongs again to the model.
With that part selected, hit [Hide unselected]
With only that part visible, create the missing faces on the sides of the parte using [create]
After creating the faces, select both edges were it should pivot.
Apply a chamfer, the value depends greatly depends on the model, the intentions is to remove the sharp edges.
After the chamfer is done, press [Unhide all]
No with the wing selected, press [hide unselected].
As you can see there is a hole in the wing, were it was the moving part before, fill it using [crate] in the faces option.
Do the same to all other moving parts.
(Note as an exception, do not apply the chamfer to the Leading edge)
This is a missing step in the other tutorial, is how should be named the materials
For the cel shaded solid material name them as [mat_Solid#] starting the number with 1
For windows or other materials with interpolated alpha name them as [mat_Transp#] starting the number with 1
For fences or other materials with binary alpha name them as [mat_Alpha #] starting the number with 1.
For interior texture or materials that are independent from the selected skin [mat_CpitTransp#] [mat_CpitAlpha #] [mat_CpitAlpha #] starting the number with 1
This part was briefly explained in the other tutorial, there is also some other tutorials that approach this subject, but this one will try to be even more detailed.
First let’s start with a procedure that I highly recommend.
Create a box on the viewport.
Place it in the position 0 0 0, then convert it as a editable poly.
With the box selected, attach the aircraft.
Then delete that box inside the edit option. This whole process is to create the history of the model, sometimes there are unexpected anomalies with the model in the game if this step is not done before skinning.
If the model is displaying an unusual behavior with the animations during the game, is very likely this is related. Deleted the [Skin] in the modifier list, do this procedure and the skin again the model.
With that done, now we have to create the bones, first we create the main bone, place it near the origin roughly pointing to the direction of movement.
Set the bone in the position 0 0 0, an then select the small bone create and place it with the same X value of the main bone (in this case is 0), this is to make the bone perfectly aligned.
When this is done, delete the small one.
Add all the bones in the pivot positions. You may want to give them the corresponding rotation of the wings, as it will be easier to animate later on.
Add the bones for the tail and all other parts.
After all the bones are added, link them to the main bone (not the aircraft model)
This is the part where we skin the model, as usually most of the moving parts are independent entities from the main model, this step is quite easy.
Select the aircraft model, and go to the edit tab
Select skin in the modifier list.
Press add and select all the bones.
After all the bones are added, make all of them relative (that R in yellow)
Press [Edit envelopes]
Then activate the check box [Vertices]
Select all the vertices in the model
Set 1 in the [Abs. Effect.] in the [Weight properties] (you will notice that all the model is now red,)
No go back to the model edition without collapsing the skin modifier. Selected some moving parts.
Hide the rest using [hide unselected].
Go back to the skin and selected the corresponding bone.
Set all the vertices of that moving part with the value 1 in the [Abs. Effect.]
Do the same to other moving parts and the corresponding bones.
After finishing, do not collapse the [Skin] in the modifier list
After the skin is done let’s start with the animation
Select the bones you want to work.
With the [Auto key] active, press the key in the 0 and 10 frames, this is just a precaution to save the unedited position.
Now let’s create the pitch movement, rotate the parts up for the pitch up effect (if you want , you can use the local orientation)
Now add the rest position by coyping the keys in the 0 or 10.
The add the pitch down animation.
If you notice, the animation has 16 frames, the amount of frames used can change, but the rest position to be always in the middle, and the pitch animation must always be [pitch up, rest, pitch down]
Now the roll animation, starting with the [roll counter clockwise]
Then rest position and [roll clockwise].
The roll animation must always be [roll counter clockwise, rest, roll clockwise]
Now the yaw animation, starting with the [yaw left]
Then rest position and [yaw right].
The yaw animation must always be [yaw left, rest, yaw right]
For the upper part of the tail add the same pitch animation in the same time frames.
As for velocity states animations, (the ones that change depending of the speed of the unit)
Start with the rest position.
Then add the altered position.
For velocity states animations it must always be [rest position, altered position]
Adding the flaps animation, add it away from the pitch position.
Then add the altered position. Normally this types of animations have 10 of size.
And finally the brake animation (the acceleration animation also works the same)
It is like the velocity states animations, it must always be [rest position, altered position]
Note, this is important, even if a bone only uses a fraction of all the frames of the animation, it always must have a key at the start and at the end of the animation.
Do the same to all moving parts, desirably all the animations, pitch, yaw, roll, must be created in different time frames.
And now the final step.
Select only the aircraft and select [object settings]
Go to [Mesh animation]
Add a new animation. You can configure the name as you wish, is that name that will be used to setup in the parameters.
Set the exct start and end frame animations, if you make a mistake in the time of if a bone does not have a key in that time position you will experience a jump in the animation.
To avoid any unwanted movement exclude all the unneeded bones, including the main one, but for that uncheck [apply to bone and decedents] otherwise there will not be an animation at all.
After the unneeded bones are excluded hit [ok]
Do the same to all the animations. And that’s it, then export like mentioned in the other tutorial.
This report contains the changes of the 0.2240 update.
First, before moving on to the main dish, during these last updates the mission editor has been developed in parallel , but now it reached a point It can be safely be announced that it will be released in the end of the next week.
So look up for that.
Now onto the Lampyridae (also known as Firefly).
Some of you may not be aware of this aircraft; it was developed at the same time as the F-117 and followed the same principles of faceted faces to reflect away the radar waves.
Starting with the first version of the Lampyridae, this is probably the best known version.
This aircraft in a primitive shape is larger than a F-16.
The design principles of the Lampyridae is to be a stealth interceptor for medium range engagement.
It is no really suited for dogfights as his agility far from being spectacular.
Keeping in mind that the front part of the aircraft is the one more like to be exposed in the interception, it has a very small visible radar cross section, even smaller than the F-117.
As you can see, the Lampyridae is the stealthiest aircraft at the moment in the game, however it does not hold the weapons in the weapons bay, so much of that stealtyness is lost when it is loaded.
The Lampyridae II is a direct evolution were it was added a conventional bobble cockpit but also changed the layout of the moving parts, improving the maneuverability.
The Lampyridae II is a little less stealthy, but more maneuverable aircraft.
The Lampyridae III goes back against to the original and adapted it for transonic flight.
This version of the Lampyridae III is more stable than the previous versions. This version is also more suited for ground engagements, but only for the basic operations as it was developed only with air targets in mind.
And the last one, the Lampyridae IV, this is one of the first 5th generation fighter in the game, but is also a pure 5th generation, meaning it emphasis more in stealth than in maneuverability.
In a simplistic perspective, the Lampyridae IV is a stealthier version of the Eurofighter typhoon. However it may be stealthier, but you can’t even compare them in performance, the Eurofighter typhoon surpasses in almost everything
The Lampyridae IV will also include the most advanced Main weapon in the game, the IRIS-T.
(this is because some of the most evolved variants in several families still use the initial versions of the main weapon)
The IRIS-T is a very agile capable of tracking targets of the bore sight and it also has a more complex fight path to allow it to maximize hit probability.
But remember this, it may be more advanced and agile, but it still depends how the pilot use it to be effective, otherwise it will miss like any other weapon.
Also, you can try this update right away as it is already available.
- Added variable number of teams in skirmish
- Added missile back tracking
- Fixed some specular materials issues.
- Added Lampyridae
- Added Lampyridae II
- Added Lampyridae III
- Added Lampyridae IV
- Added IRIS-T missile
Stay tuned, more reports will follow.