A semi regular look into the world of Flight Simulations
Saturday, 14 September 2013
New WWII Flight SImulator on the Horizon
Welcome to DCS WWII: Europe 1944, the start of an exciting new flight simulation series!
Legendary flight simulation designers Oleg Maddox, Ilya Shevchenko, and Igor Tishin, are excited to bring you a new WWII flight simulation for the PC. Built by industry veterans with the same approach that made the famous flight sims of the past great, and in partnership with the experts at the Fighter Collection and Eagle Dynamics, the simulation aims to satisfy seasoned aces as well as attract new pilots to the genre.
With unparalleled attention to detail, our developers have decades of experience with aerial combat simulations. We are famous for our ability to make our games fun while maintaining unwavering dedication to historical realism. We can do it because relatively simple WWII-era aircraft do not require extensive training, and nimble controls and simple weapons naturally lead to fast-paced close-quarters battles.
We want to open a new page in WWII combat simulations. We also strive to recapture everything that made famous flight simulations of the past great, starting with a thick spiral-bound manual and comprehensive training, and ending with great free-for-all multiplayer. But we cannot do it without your help!
Planes can be flown by following actualhistorical flight manualswithout the need to refer to in-game documentation!
Huge game worldpainstakingly recreated from period maps.
Richsingle-player experiencerecreating famous battles from both sides.
Join the German Luftwaffe, or attack Fortress Europe with the British RAF or the US Army Air Force.
Fight in famous battleslike the D-Day Invasion and the Battle of the Falaise pocket.
Join a historical squadron and fly alongside famous aces from both sides.
Advanced AIrecreates historical tactics and models pilots of varying skill levels, from bumbling rookies to merciless aces.
Dynamic weatherand seasons add a beautiful backdrop and additional challenges to each sortie.
Comprehensive training systemmakes the game accessible to people who have never flown before.
Detailed aircraft manuals explain the specifics of each aircraft, and the realities of historical aerial combat.
Robustmultiplayer moduleprovides the ultimate challenge by pitting players against each other in heated large-scale battles.
Powerful mission and campaign editors allow creation of player-made scenarios.
Mission replay system, pilot log book, and other features add to the player experience.
Republic P-47D-28 Thunderbolt;
Supermarine Spitfire Mk IX;
Focke-Wulf FW.190D-9 (from DCS: World);
North-American P-51D Mustang (from DCS: World).
Boeing B-17G Flying Fortress;
Normandy. Area of the historical D-Day Invasion, as well as the extensive preparation and follow-up battles.
Training campaign for each aircraft;
Luftwaffe Fighter campaign (Bf.109);
British Fighter campaign (Spitfire);
US Ground Attack campaign (P-47).
Selection of missions for each aircraft.
Authentic ground vehicles, guns, and ships;
Authentic historical buildings and landmarks;
Regular content updates.
Standard project features
Everything at the previous level, plus:
A flyable Boeing B-17
Normandy map extended to include Southern England
Everything at the previous level, plus:
A flyable Hawker Typhoon IB
A flyable FW.190A-5
Single-player campaign for the Typhoon
Single-player campaign for the FW.190
Ardennes, new large gameplay map
A Luftwaffe Fighter and a US Fighter campaign for the Battle of the Bulge.
Everything at the previous level, plus:
A flyable Douglas A-26B-15 Invader
A flyable Messerschmitt Me.262A-1
Single-player campaign for the A-26
Single-player campaign for the Me.262
Everything at the previous level, plus:
A flyable Lockheed P-38J-15
A flyable de Havilland Mosquito FB.VI
Single-player campaign for the P-38
Single-player campaign for the Mosquito
A flyable Luftwaffe plane (Me 410 A or Ju 88, as voted for by the backers)
Romania, new large gameplay map
4 new single-player campaigns for the new aircraft and theaters
Realities of the current PC marketplace have a lot of developers moving away from traditional distribution models. The last major release in the DCS line, DCS World, is distributed via a free-to-play model. The core game is available free of charge. We encourage you to check the game out, but keep in mind that the included modern aircraft, like the free Su-25 attack jet, are as different from WWII prop fighters as today’s smartphone from a 1940s Bakelite rotary.
The free to play model allows a wider audience access the core game. It is, in essence, a free demo that allows everyone to try the game before they buy it. At the same time, the model accurately reflects immense development costs attached to historically accurate study sims. Recreating a single historical aircraft to DCS standards is a large-scale project for an entire team of experienced developers, each possessing unique skills.
The DCS WWII series will start with Europe 1944 and, given enough interest, continue to grow to cover more theaters, more aircraft, and more content. Moreover, its modules will plug into DCS World modules and vice versa, so you’ll be able to fly a 1940s Messerschmitt against a modern Su-25, if you so choose.
DCS: Europe 1944 will distribute via a free-to-play model, with the core game available as a free download! That means that a supporter of ANY level will be able to fly and enjoy this game! The rest of the modules will be available as a separate purchase.
The free downloadable version of Europe 1944 will include THREE fully flyable aircraft, each arguably more famous than the next: the Republic P-47 Thunderbolt fighter/ground attack aircraft, the Supermarine Spitfire fighter, and the German Messerschmitt Bf.109K. Non-player-controllable versions of all other aircraft will also be included, allowing the players to see them in action at any time.
Backers at the $20 level or above will receive one more flyable aircraft of their choice, and backers at $40 or above will receive the entire flyable aircraft set.
If we hit our stretch goals and the list of aircraft grows, backing at a $40 level or above will increase in value exponentially, getting you the complete set of launch flyables!
The project is a joint venture between RRG Studios and Eagle Dynamics.
RRG Studiosbrings over 10 years of experience with WWII flight simulations to the table. Staffed with flight sim veterans that worked on the greatest WWII flight sim series of the 21st century, we literally wrote the book on the new generation of flight sims.
Eagle Dynamicsis the studio responsible for the biggest modern aviation sims of the past twenty years. In-house experts have industry-best experience with physics, avionics, ballistics, and all other components that go into making a successful flight simulation. Eagle Dynamics continues to redefine the genre and continuously sets the bar high with each new release.
The Fighter Collectionis the company that manages Eagle Dynamics. It is based in Cambridge, England, and it operates Europe’s largest fleet of airworthy WWII aircraft. The Fighter Collection runs the annual Flying Legends airshow, giving us unprecedented access to the aircraft we simulate.
Oleg Maddoxis one of the biggest names in flight sims. A graduate of the world-famous Moscow Aviation Institute, he spent 11 years in the Soviet aerospace industry. He then developed some of the biggest PC games of the Russian market, including unique FPS titles such as Zar and Mad Space. The games offered such innovative features as non-euclidean geometry and speech recognition. Oleg then used their success to focus once again on his childhood obsession with aviation. In 1998 his team began to work on what was to become a smash hit flight sim. The rest is history. Lauded for its unique mix of excitement and realism, Oleg’s work went on to become the biggest and the most award-winning flight simulation of the 21st century. It launched an entire litter of spin-off aerial simulations that continue to this day.
Oleg’s incredible talent lies in his ability to interact with gamers and to translate their desires into game features. Oleg will act as the team’s advisor, distilling the wishes of the fans into design decisions, and making sure they properly translate into something that satisfies the fans today as well as in the long run. Oleg will act as the ultimate quality control on the game, ensuring it meets the highest possible standards of both historical accuracy and playability.
Ilya Shevchenkois an industry veteran that worked with Oleg's team since the very beginning. Spearheading community efforts, Ilya led the international team of volunteers that created and expanded the original simulation, took it to new theaters, and eventually ended up producing the biggest most comprehensive collection of flyable WWII aircraft ever created.
Ilya will act as the project’s lead producer. He will take part in all design decisions while managing the day-to-day operations, assigning and tracking tasks, and generally making sure things get done.
Igor Tishinis the driving force behind the successes of Eagle Dynamics over the past 20 years. Starting with the smash hit Su-27 Flanker (1995), he led the team that built the biggest successes in modern combat simulations, including Lock-On: Modern Air Combat, DCS: Black Shark, and many others.
Igor will oversee all engine and flight dynamics work on the project. Putting the same effort into the historical accuracy and realism as he did into the recent DCS: P-51 release, Igor will ensure the new WWII aircraft built for this project will satisfy the most discriminating expert.
100% of the funds received will go towards the project.
The money being raised is only a portion of the development budget. The majority of the programming, some aircraft art, and more, are the costs that the team is funding internally.
The initial kickstarter goal is needed to fund a longer more extensive beta testing period for the game, giving all its components extra polish, and to make the game landscape more alive by creating a larger variety of ground objects and vehicles, and spending more time to hand-craft various historical areas such as accurate recreations of more coastline villages, important bridges, unique airfields, and more.
The general project funds will be distributed thus:
14% will go towards building the 3D models of planes and cockpits.
9% will go towards other 3D models that populate the game world.
16% will go towards building the large historical game map or maps.
14% will go towards a multitude of other development tasks such as GUI design and other art, sound recording, music, and a trip to Duxford for two lucky programmers for an up-close-and-personal encounter with the aircraft being modeled.
10% will go towards dedicated aircraft programmers.
12% will go towards the overhead, including office rent, electricity, computer hardware and upgrades, and the cheapest office chairs the store around the corner will have.
5% will go towards single- and multiplayer mission design.
Finally, out of the remaining 20%, approx. 9% will go towards Kickstarter and transfer fees. Another 10% or so will be spent manufacturing, shipping, and otherwise providing our backers with their Kickstarter rewards.
Now, what about the schedule?
If we are funded at the basic tier, we will work to have the project finished within 12 months.
If there is enough interest to fund additional stretch goals, the development schedule will also stretch. At the highest tier, the project should be ready within 18 months.
Our goal is to grow the DCS WWII line into a long-running simulation series covering all theaters of WWII, and expanding into other nearby conflicts, such as the Korean War.
We want to keep creating the content that we enjoy creating and that our fans enjoy playing for years to come.
If the the project is commercially successful, any unreached stretch goals will be our next target. If we are fully funded, new versions of existing aircraft as well other new aircraft, focusing on both existing and new WWII battlefields, are already in our plans.
We want to release regular content updates in the shape of new aircraft, new maps, new ground vehicles, as well as various feature improvements and additions that keep both the game and the game engine ahead of the curve.
We also plan to turn future commercial success into various free content updates, most importantly in the shape of new historical missions and campaigns that the community can enjoy while waiting for the next aircraft or battlefield.
Finally, we have huge plans for the game’s multiplayer component. They are outside the listed kickstarter goals because they are a bit too ambitious to fit into the kickstarter timeframe, and because they also stretch to other products in the DCS line. We feel that multiplayer is a huge part of any flight sim’s success, and with Oleg Maddox and some of his former teammates, we have an incredible team that can both design a great comprehensive approach to multiplayer on paper, and implement it into robust, exciting gameplay.
Ultimately, we are building a robust multiplayer module that covers all aspects of the spectrum from gratuitous free-for-all to rigid historically realistic cooperative, both centrally- and community-run, with persistent online record-keeping and many other features that keep the online war current and exciting for years to come.
The following aircraft will appear in the game:
TheMesserschmitt Bf.109, often called Me 109, was the mainstay German fighter of WWII. It served with distinction throughout the war, and new variants with new improvements kept it up to date and competitive all the way until the war’s end in 1945.
The K series 109 modeled in Europe’44 was one of the most advanced of all Bf.109 variants. Many Luftwaffe aces scored a bulk of their kills in the Bf.109. With a powerful nose cannon, and available underwing gunpods, it could destroy most targets in a single salvo. Its powerful engine, small size and nimble controls also meant it could dogfight on part with any contemporary Allied fighter. However the 109’s inline engine and construction meant that it could not withstand much punishment. Unlike the P-47 Thunderbolt, you really want to avoid getting hit in the Bf.109.
TheBoeing B-17 Flying Fortresswas a four-engine heavy bomber, perhaps on the most recognizable aircraft of WWII.
Sturdy, durable, and easy to fly, it could carry a massive payload. Its advanced Norden bombsight meant that bombs would usually find their target. Beloved by the USAAF crewmen who flew it for its ability to limp back home looking like a hunk of Swiss cheese, the B-17 was equally reviled by the Germans for its participation in what the propaganda termed “terror bombing” and for its bristle of defensive guns.
Thousands of the Flying Fortresses dotted skies over Germany and occupied Europe. Flying through black splotches of exploding flak, they became a symbol of US air power.
TheRepublic P-47 Thunderboltwas one of the most mass-produced American fighter planes of the war. Large and heavy, it amazed both friend and foe twice: first with its sheer size that dwarfed many contemporary fighters, and then with the fact that it could still hold its own in a dogfight.
However, by 1944 most P-47s were no longer flying as fighters. Flying in the ground attack role and carrying more bombs and rockets than some dedicated bombers, yet fast and nimble as a fighter, P-47s wreaked havoc on the European countryside. They flew at tree-top level, seeking out German vehicle hiding in the brush, or dove down from the clouds suppressing German firing positions, flipping over attacking Panzers, or strafing infantry with the impressive array of 8 .50-cal machine guns.
Most importantly, the P-47 was highly durable and could withstand punishment. If there was one thing the P-47 excelled at, it was getting its pilot back home.
TheSupermarine Spitfirewas the most famous, and without a doubt the most beautiful British fighter of the war.
First earning its fame in the Battle of Britain, the Spitfire went through numerous improvements and modifications. It stayed in service well after the war, serving on all theaters, from Europe to Africa and the Pacific.
Beloved for its pleasing outlines, powerful armament, excellent engine, and great overall performance, the Spitfire was respected by all adversaries, German, Italian, Rumanian, or Japanese. If anything, Spitfire is the ultimate proof that if it looks good, it flies good.
The Messerschmitt Me.262A-1 was the world's first operational jet fighter. Product of some of the most advanced engineering anywhere in the world, it was powered by twin Junkers Jumo 004 engines, the most exceptional part of the aircraft. Other countries were also working on their own jet engines, but their program was just a little ahead of everyone else. They were flight-testing when everyone else was by their drawing boards, and by the time everyone else was flight testing, the Luftwaffe was starting production.
The Me.262 was, in many ways, just a prop plane with jet engines strapped in. However the engines were better, more powerful, and more reliable than anyone else's. When Allied bomber crews first spotted strange propellerless aircraft gliding through the air at unbelievable speeds, the shock and awe was complete. For a while, Luftwaffe was back on top.
After a few months, Allied air superiority began to shift the balance yet again. The Germans could not produce the jets fast enough; nor could they replace the pilots they were losing. Many of the German jet pilots were not experienced enough to get much use out of their superior speed. On the other hand, the Allies had such superiority that they could simply hang around until the jets came in to land, and shoot them down by their airfields.
Still, the Me.262 is one of the most incredible aircraft of WWII. If flown fast enough, you'll always be beyond your enemy's reach; and if your aim is true enough, the enemy is always at your mercy.
TheFocke-Wulf FW.190D-9, also known as the Dora-9, was one of the most advanced variants of the famous Focke-Wulf single-engine fighter. The FW.190 was a radial-engine counterpart to the inline-engine Bf.109. Just as the Luftwaffe fighter force was split between those two fighters, today's simulation fans are split in their preference. Some prefer the sleek, powerful 109; others swear by the comfortable yet devastating 190.
Almost futuristic for its time, the Focke-Wulf addressed many of the cockpit workload issues that plagued the 109 till the end of the war. A forerunner of the hands-on-throttle-and-stick methodology, the 190 automated many important functions that required multiple actions by the pilot in a Messerschmitt.
The D or Dora variant was a radical departure from the radial engine of the earlier variants. Intended to improve high-altitude performance in response to the Allied bomber raids, the Dora was equipped with a powerful inline engine. This required a dramatic redesign of the entire aircraft, most visible in the greatly lengthened nose section. Pilots nicknamed the FW.190D-9 the "long-nose Dora". Easy to fly, fast, and well-armed, the D-9 was a formidable opponent and was rightly feared by Allied pilots unlucky enough to encounter it in the air.
NOTE: The FW.190D-9 will be the same as the upcoming FW.190D-9 being developed for DCS:World.
TheNorth-American P-51D Mustangis one of the most famous aircraft of all time. A true star of the American air power both in looks and performance, this amazing aircraft had humble beginnings. Offered almost as an afterthought, or perhaps a gamble, to a British purchasing commission, it started off as an underpowered, cheap, simple fighter with light armament.
However the inherent strength of the simple design really began to shine, when, a few years later, the P-51 was equipped with a new Merlin engine. The USAAF suddenly had a great aircraft in its line-up. The new version of the P-51 could fly all the way to Berlin and back, and fight anything the Germans could put up on equal terms.
Now that the Americans had a fighter capable of reaching anywhere inside the Third Reich, Germans had nowhere to hide.
NOTE: The P-51 in Europe’44 will be the same as theP-51Dalready released for Digital Combat Simulator. Please feel free to look into the project for more information about the quality of modeling and attention to detail that went into this aircraft.
$1 – our heartfelt thanks, access to the backer section with weekly development updates, videos, and more, and a special BACKER medal on our official forums.
$10 – Everything at the previous level, plus early access to the game’s closed beta.
$20 - Everything at the previous level, plus a digital copy of one additional flyable aircraft of your choice.
$30 – Everything at the $10 level, plus a digital copy of two additional flyable aircraft of your choice.
$40 - Everything at the $10 level, plus a digital copy of all flyable aircraft in the game (this will grow with the stretch goals and possibly end up offering a huge value!)
$50 - Everything at the $40 level, plus a custom-designed project backer T-shirt.
$75 - Everything at the $50 level, plus a hard copy of the game’s air combat strategy and tactics manual.
$80 - Everything at the $10 level, plus a custom-designed project backer T-shirt and TWO digital copies of all flyable aircraft in the game (this will grow with the stretch goals and possibly end up offering a huge value!). Share with a friend!
$100 - Everything at the $50 level, plus a hard copy of the game’s air combat strategy and tactics manual, and a spiral-bound copy of complete aircraft manuals for one flyable aircraft in the game.
$150 - Everything at the $40 level, plus a hard copy of the game’s air combat strategy and tactics manual, and spiral-bound copies of complete aircraft manuals for two flyable aircraft in the game.
$250 - Everything at the $80 level (two copies of the entire initial release to share with a friend), plus a hard copy of the game’s air combat strategy and tactics manual, and spiral-bound copies of complete aircraft manuals for two flyable aircraft in the game, plus a digital copy of DCS World FW-190D-9 with beta access (when available in early 2014), and a digital copy of DCS World P-51D Mustang (on successful kickstarter completion), plus a mention in the Producers section of the game credits, plus ALPHA ACCESS.
$500 - Everything at the previous level, plus one additional set (TWO total) of digital copies of DCS World FW-190D-9 with beta access (when available in early 2014), and DCS World P-51D Mustang (on successful kickstarter completion), plus a custom-designed individualized paint scheme for an aircraft of your choice, made by one of our in-house experts.
$1,000 - Everything at the previous level, a large framed art print from the game signed by all key team members, plus access to weekly team development meetings via Skype where you can participate in some decision-making and keep up-to-date with the development process.
$2,000 - Everything at the previous level, plus your face on one of the in-game pilot models (space obviously very limited).
$5,000 - Everything at the previous level, plus your voice in the game, speaking for one of the AI-controlled pilots.
$7,500 - Everything at the previous level, and a special place as a unique in-game ace in the game encountered in single-player campaigns including your aircraft with a unique ace paintscheme, your voice, your likeness, and focus on your persona in the mission briefing.
$10,000 - Everything at the previous level, plus we’ll host you in Moscow (visa and transportation is on you) for an entire day with the team, access to early builds, lunch with the development leads, and a night out on the town!
DCS WORLD REWARDS
All rewards include the $40 Original reward, which contains: our heartfelt thanks; access to the backer section with weekly development updates, videos, and more; a special BACKER medal on our official forums; plus early access to the game’s closed beta; plus a digital copy of all flyable aircraft in the initial release.
$65 - Everything at the $40 level, plus a digital copy of DCS World P-51D Mustang (on successful kickstarter completion).
$85 - Everything at the $40 level, plus a digital copy of DCS World FW-190D-9 with beta access (when available in early 2014).
$100 - Everything at the $40 level, plus a digital copy of DCS World FW-190D-9 with beta access (when available in early 2014), and a digital copy of DCS World P-51D Mustang (on successful kickstarter completion).
$150 - Everything at the $40 level, plus TWO digital copies of DCS World FW-190D-9 with beta access (when available in early 2014), and TWO digital copies of DCS World P-51D Mustang (on successful kickstarter completion). Share with a friend!
All backers at $250 level or above will also receive access to DCS World aircraft.
ALPHA ACCESS REWARDS
We are adding this tier because users are asking for it. We have some reservations about it.
DCS WWII: Europe 1944 will enter alpha around February of 2014.
Please note that software ALPHA does not contain all features; version you will receive will have some content half-finished, and some not included at all. The version however WILL contain a large number of bugs.
This version will not be a polished demo version. Please think twice before choosing this reward tier. If you are easily frustrated by missing or broken features, or expect perfection at every turn, please wait until the project is officially released.
$50 - Everything at the $10 ORIGINAL level, plus a digital copy of all flyable aircraft in the initial release, plus ALPHA ACCESS.
$60 - Everything at the $40 ORIGINAL level, plus a custom-designed project backer T-shirt, plus ALPHA ACCESS.
$90 - Everything at the $40 ORIGINAL level, plus TWO digital copies of all flyable aircraft in the initial release, plus ALPHA ACCESS.
$110 - Everything at the $40 ORIGINAL level, plus a digital copy of DCS World FW-190D-9 with beta access (when available in early 2014), and a digital copy of DCS World P-51D Mustang (on successful kickstarter completion), plus ALPHA ACCESS.
$160 - Everything at the $40 ORIGINAL level, plus TWO digital copies of DCS World FW-190D-9 with beta access (when available in early 2014), and TWO digital copies of DCS World P-51D Mustang (on successful kickstarter completion). Incldes only one invitation for ALPHA ACCESS.
$170 - Everything at the $40 ORIGINAL level, plus TWO digital copies of DCS World FW-190D-9 with beta access (when available in early 2014), and TWO digital copies of DCS World P-51D Mustang (on successful kickstarter completion). Incldes two invitations for ALPHA ACCESS for yourself and for your friend.
All backers at $250 level or above will also receive alpha access.
The general risks are always the same: trying to do too much with not enough money and not enough time. We've been doing flight sims long enough to know that, and we've been doing it long enough to, hopefully, know how to avoid it.
The risks are always there. Unfortunately, there are always some things that you just don't know. Writing complex features from scratch always has that risk. We can't count the number of times when something we thought would take a month ended up taking two, and something we thought would take a week ended up being done in two days. It can go both ways, but of course, it's usually the former.
The project does contain some unknowns, most importantly the currently unfinished landscape engine, and the multiplayer module. The multiplayer module is in fact so unpredictable that we've taken it out of the kickstarter completely. We're going to work on it, but we'd rather not tie the overall schedule to it.
Other things, making airplanes fly, making tanks roll through the fields, making bombs explode, is generally rather predictable. It's time consuming, takes a lot of ingenuity and skill, but if we think it will take six months, it usually takes about six months.
So, the biggest unknown in this kickstarter is the landscape. There is a potential for something unknown, unpredictable, currently lurking in the shadows, jumping out eight months from now and causing us to delay.
We have been doing this long enough to know that this can happen, so the project has a little buffer.
We really want to make this work and we really, really, really want to make our fans happy. We've worked countless nights and weekends on our earlier projects and we'll happily do it again. We love what we do and we want to keep doing it, and that, to us, means that we can face any challenge that comes up.