Peter Robbins of SimCorner graciously consented to share this interview with us. I had opportunity to ask a few additional questions of Oleg Maddox and they are included in the text. (Note: these pictures are from an Alpha version).
1. Peter: Who you are and where you come from?
On all my interviews I like to start by asking a little bit about the developers.First off, who are you, where is your company based and how long have you been in the game developing business?
I'm sorry, English isn't my native language....We are a Russian company. Location - Moscow. 6 years of the experience in the games and multimedia development. My personal experience in the game development and publishing business is already 7 years.
2.) What made you decide to take on a flight simulation? Have you always wanted to do one? Do you think it is the height of programming possibilities?
I love airplanes as it is in principle. When I was younger, I did many RC models of airplanes. From the beginning of our game development I was dreaming to develop flight sim game. First time it wasn't possible, because we haven't had any experience in 3D programming. But later, in 1995 we did our first flight sim game StormFighter. It was a game with the poor (not textured) 3D graphics, but with excellent playability. Stormfighter was a combination of the fighter and ground attack plane, which we think allows players to get good playability.
3.) Why the IL-2, why not the LA-5? I see that if you are successful with this title that you will add on?
First off, IL-2 was the first of the world ground attack plane(genuine assault aircraft), developed especially for such task. IL-2 was one of the most mass and well-known planes of WWII. Total production - 36,153 units during WWII. In 1940 Soviet Union become the first nation in the world with a genuine assault aircraft in its inventory.
Germans soldiers nicknamed the IL-2 as "Swarzer Tod" (Black Death).
Add-on means of course new planes, campaigns and single missions for them. Currently we look for IL-10 (first production in 1944). Based on the 3D engine, which currently we are using and developing, will be possible to produce new games faster than now, including most well-known and unknown Russian planes of WWII and local conflicts. We have a lot of materials for production of such games.
4.) Will only the IL-2 be flyable?
We plan at least IL-2 single seat, IL-2 two seat, IL-2M, IL-2T(torpedo bomber), IL-2 type 3 and IL-2I (fighter).
Of course, some would like to play for German side, but really in this case we must develop two games in one, because any other Air Forces didn't have such special or comparable type of a plane. German Stuka and Hs-129 are not comparable with IL-2 in principle. Playability in this case is also not comparable.
1.) What data are you using to produce the flight model of the IL-2? Do you have your hands on Russian documentation in the native language? What's the scoop?
We have in our hands unique documents about IL-2, like "Flight Control", Methods of Fighting/Bombing, Historical sources and video materials, the book for the learn IL-2 insite for the IL-2 flight schools, published in 1941. We also have the full access to real planes IL-2 and IL-10, exposed in Red Air Force Museum.
And main, we found a real pilot of IL-2 (now General), which did more than 200 flights on IL-2 during WWII.
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We also have a help from other Russian pilots. Of course we read foreigner sources, but usual they are poor with information about Russian aircrafts. I personally have read German sources and some of German pilots stories about their hunting for IL-.
2.) If you were to classify the FM from light-core to hard-core, about how much attention to detail was given to the FM. Could you take a few lines in describing what physics were/are going to be used?
For the current moment I can say: some of our developers, including me, earlier had studied in the Moscow Aviation Institute. :)
3.) Do you think this will be a major selling point of the simulation?
Some of players like arcade style, some realistic, so we'll try to implement both of them as well. Hope it is answer for your question.
1.) By Object Modeling I mean the graphical representation of the 3d models and their interaction with each other. This includes modeling of ground warfare: as far as movement and "live action" seen on the ground. How is the terrain modeled? How are the aircraft and such modeled? I really liked that you included pictures of your 3D modeling tools on your site! I wish more companies would show that to users. It looks like your attention to object modeling may equal other aspects of the simulation.
Terrain: currently it is the maps given from satellite. But it is subject to change. It may be too slow speed of the game if load such a map. I Think, it will be real map but textured and painted by our hands (like it is on our screen shots)...
3D models of aircraft: The complete drawings of the plane with all cross sections, including manufacture drawings.
Our own 3D tools: We plan to produce a series of games, so has been started serious tools. Such tools is possible to use for some other types of the games (for example like our game ZAR, but with much more improved graphics of the objects)
2.) What type of 3D engine are you using? Is it proprietary? What API's does it support?
3D engine is our own development. We don't plan to support software render - too poor graphics on the same PC speed, if to compare with PC, where installed graphics accelerator. We are working with OpenGl and Direct X
3.) It looked like there are plenty of ground units to blow up!! How are they modeled? and are they 'reactive' with their own AI? Or do they follow waypoints and have a general reactive quality?
Ground units: Tanks modelled like planes, but has in 2 times less polygons. Almost all units in the game will have their own real time AI. We did such feature earlier for our games Stormfighter, Madspace and ZAR.
Of course, IL-2's AI will be increased.
Go to Part II