Yesterday, we got word from 777/1C about the next installment of the IL-2 Sturmovik series. There is lots to digest in the announcement, so I’ll just touch on some of the highlights here. First is that the next chapter will continue once more on the Eastern Front with the Battle of Kuban. This probably is no surprise to those who have been following the game over the past few years. While a 3rd straight foray in the Eastern front may not be everyone’s cup of tea, the plane set included has a good number of Lend-Lease aircraft that should appeal to most. Included along with that are some major upgrades to the existing game such as upgrading to dx11, a scripted campaign mode, and co-op.
They also laid out the plan for future expansions. After Battle of Kuban is completed, the series will then move to Midway. I’m sure fans of the PTO will be most interested in that bit of info. It’s been a long time since the original series released Pacific Fighters back in 2004, and it’s been a theater that has not seen much of anything since. There is much more included, so see the full announcement below.
It is my honor and pleasure to announce our current and future plans for the modern IL-2 Sturmovik Series. As you know we have released Battle of Stalingrad and Battle of Moscow and now we are ready to announce – THE BATTLE OF KUBAN! In addition to creating the Battle of Kuban we will be adding several new technologies, gameplay modes and community centered features to the Sturmovik series that will setup future titles based in the Pacific theater. We see the further development of the Sturmovik series as a marathon and not a sprint. We hope you will continue to support us and cheer us on the entire way as we make, what we consider to be, our shared vision a reality. More on our bigger vision further below.
To produce Battle of Kuban we have adopted a sixteen (16) month development plan that will culminate with its final release in December 2017. The plan is packed with new features, improvements, changes and new content. Battle of Kuban (BOK) will be available for Pre-Order in the coming weeks with a discounted price for early purchasers. An early-access program will also be available for pre-order purchasers as we have done in the past. You will not have to wait long to start experiencing new content and further improvements to the Sturmovik universe.
The Battle of Kuban provides a unique opportunity for us as a development team and for you as a customer. The Kuban theater offers some beautiful and varied scenery and interesting aircraft including Western Lend-Lease designs that played an important role not only the Kuban area, but all across the Eastern Front. The Kuban also helps the development team by providing an ocean environment for larger ships and other watercraft to do battle which will help prepare us for our eventual move to the Pacific theater.
Planned to be included in Battle of Kuban:
Flyable Aircraft and Content:
– Bf-109 G-4
– Fw-190 A-5
– Bf-110 G-2
– He-111 H-16
– IL-2 mod.43 UBT
– Hs-129 B-2 (Collector)
– Spitfire Mk.VВ (Collector)
– Kuban map 300x400km (Seaport, Towns, Mountains, Sea, Prairies, Large Forests, Part of Crimea)
– Warships (Destroyer, Cargo ships, Submarines, Torpedo boats, Landing Barge)
– Some New Ground Units
Technology and Features:
– VR (with existing GUI)
– New Career for Kuban, Moscow, Stalingrad (ROF-like)
– Scripted Campaign game mode with first Campaign of 15 missions. Community can add their own scripted Campaigns later.
– CO-OP Multiplayer Game Mode (ROF-like to start)
– Air Marshall and Field Marshall modes for MP. (i.e. HQ-ATC-GCI type screen to manage a battle with realistic limited info)
– In-Game Model-Viewer (tool for skin makers)
– Mods On/Off Mode (As open as possible including sounds and textures)
– Support for Tacview
– Rear View Mirrors
– Re-vamped Triple Monitor Support
– External Gauges API for app makers
– Ability for Players to Import Vehicles and Objects (Like ROF)
– SDK for Vehicles, Buildings, Boats and other Objects
– Custom Graphics Settings Options
– As much of Daniel’s DD120 (As time and budgets allow)
– Adjustable Cloud Heights
– Flight Model Optimization for AI planes (More AI planes in missions)
– Planes with larger wheels are less stuck in rough terrain
– Support for Larger Textures (Assuming tests prove possible)
– Sound/Graphics FX (Object linked hits and sounds)
– Sharper Shadows
– Haze Improvements (Possibly if research results are good)
– New Tracers (Possibly if research results are good)
– Oil Leak Texture Layer (Possibly if research results are good)
– Liquid effects on Canopies (Possibly if research results are good)
– Key/Axis Mapping Dialog Re-design
– PWCG custom button in GUI (Similar to ROF)
– Crew Position Hotkeys
– HEAT projectile
– Multiple Bomblets
– Cavity bursting charge AP projectile
– TrackIR seen as separate device by game
– Misfires when gun overheated
– Blown engine if something going wrong with it
– Trimmers on axis
– Cargo Drops and Paratroopers for Ju-52
… and other small improvements, changes and fixes we can fit in to the schedule.
Note: Items above not listed in any particular order or priority and any item listed is tentative provided development goals are reached as planned.
Over the next few years we plan to meet four major goals with our engine, technology and products.
1. Build the technology and features the community wants to see in our products and try to re-capture some of the magic that made the original Sturmovik so much fun. We call it the “Spirit of ‘46”.
2. Continue to use the Eastern Front as the proving ground for our engine, technology and game design for a little while longer. By making Kuban next, we will leave the Eastern Front a well-appointed theater that fans of the Eastern Front can enjoy it for a long time.
3. Move to the Pacific Theater and build a first-class simulation of Carrier Warfare which dominated that theater.
4. Develop features, methods and opportunities to increase community involvement in the creation of interesting content and increasing social interactions between players to build a stronger community.
If our plan is successful, our engine and product line will evolve into one of the biggest and best combat sim series ever.
Our long-term vision includes the following battles, but not necessarily in this order and final selection is not concrete.
Battle of Kuban
Battle of Midway
Battle of Okinawa
Battle of ??????
Additional improvements and features are planned for later products. We simply could not fit all possible features, content and changes into one product. And some features and changes have to come before we can build others. It is necessary to take a methodical, responsible approach to how we develop the engine and product further to ensure long-term success. No one wants us to release an unfinished or broken product. To do so would be the end of our team.
We have conducted much internal and external research on where we should go next and thought about the future vison of what you, the combat flight-simmer, wants us to make. It’s not easy to balance the wants and needs of the entire yet diverse combat-sim community with our budgets, deadlines and available resources. However, Battle of Kuban along with its new tech and features is a strong, aggressive step in the direction the community has requested we go. Please remember, the original Sturmovik as well as our earlier title Rise of Flight, was not built in a day, but over several years. However, with your continued help and encouragement we can make this vision a reality and keep the Spirit of ’46 alive!”
You can discuss this announcement in this thread and read further comments from Jason that address this plan in even more detail.
See you in the skies and thank you for your continued enthusiasm and support!
The IL-2 Sturmovik Team