Dev diary update time.
We had a very successful weekend at Duxford and thanks to all of you out there that popped by to say hi. Sorry if I didn't have time to talk to you all it was rather busy.
Thanks to ED for releasing the 1.2.6 patch on Thursday. Although we did have to unpack the 3 pc's from the 2 cars to patch them it meant we had a working Hawk in 1.2.6.
We had a lot of interest in the Hawk (I think the Red Arrows being there helped that) and I gave a little sneak peak to a select few of the Typhoon 3d model re-work which went down very well.
Thanks again to The Fighter Collection for having us and to ED for flying Yo-Yo over to support us not just with him being there but to bring the banner and brochures they had printed up all the way from Moscow with him. As always a pleasure talking to him.
So, on to development....
Well we had a few months of hair pulling, late night coding, chasing bugs and generally going crazy to get the cockpit working in 1.2.5 but to no avail.
Thanks for all of the help ED gave us to get it working in 1.2.6 ready for the weekend and of course to Tango for surprising me on Saturday morning 1 hour before doors opening to say he had published a new Hawk patch before he left at 6am to drive down to Duxford for the day. Yes I was jumping about the hangar with joy like a little girl!!!
And man does she fly beautifully in 1.2.6, even with wing tip vapour and grunting noises when pulling 6g loops
In terms of the cockpit functions we're about 95% completed and just waiting for the API's from ED to tie some of our systems like radios and full weapons into the sim.
All of the aircraft systems logic like electrical, hydraulic, etc. are completed and currently tied into the SFM model.
As you can see from the screenshots in the eye candy forums Crow has done a big update on the cockpit model and skins. They are still WIP but you can see a massive amount has been done and truly amazing work.
You can even see a little sneak peak through a frame cutout of the rear cockpit and switches in there.
Yes we are working on dual cockpit's and although single player seat switching will likely be in release, multiplayer dual control is down to ED to code so we'll have to wait for that. But we'll be ready when they get it implemented.
Short Term Goals
Let's talk about short term goals and the interesting bit for you.
Here is what we are aiming to release at the end of September:
Multiplayer Module Beta
This will allow you to install certain Hawk files onto your PC so that if you join a public server that has a Hawk flying in it, you will see the Hawk external model.
This will be patched as and when we carry out and test updates to our base model and add new skins, AFM, Weapons, etc.
The purpose of the module is to ensure full compatibility with DCS when flying on public servers.
At the moment if you join a server with Hawk flying you will see a default SU-25.
The module will be free of charge.
There will be no cockpit files included, it is just the external model and skin files.
Now I'm sure some clever people out there will make it flyable with another cockpit (for research purposes of course) and that's fine if you want to do that. We will obviously not support those modules if they get released publicly.
We may, in the future, include certain cockpit files so you can enter the Hawk and look at the pretty cockpit but you won't be able to fly it unless you purchase an activation code and licence key. We are still discussing this concept.
Come and fly the Hawk for free
The guys at Virtual Aerobatics will be providing a long weekend session, or maybe a week if it goes well, of Hawk being included in their server mission.
We will be giving away 30 full copies of DCS:Hawk with a time limited licence for you to try out over that weekend.
This is your chance to give us valuable feedback on what you think of our product before you buy it. Also to give the community some feedback on what you think of it rather than us telling you it's awesome.
Details on how to get an activation code will be given out soon and we'll do a little trivia competition next week for that one. Easy answers to find on Google kind of thing.
If any squads out there would like to run a sqaud hosted session trying out the Hawk, please send me a PM for details and we can discuss it further. I know some of you are very interested in it.
Now the licence keys when registered are tied to your machine, so you can't give them out to friends and they will be a limited licence key, probably to 15 or 30 days to give you enough time to play around with the Hawk in SP and MP.
Once that time period is up, you will still be able to sit in the cockpit but the jet won't function.
For the lucky 30 of you, you won't need the Multiplayer module as you will have the full product.
This is kind of an open beta so your feedback at that time will be very valuable as we move into the finishing stages of development and we will create a new forum section for the feedback.
We will probably run another event in October and December along the same lines.
DCS:Hawk Flight Manual
Obviously you will want to know how to fly the Hawk and what better way than to read the flight manual. This will be released along with the multiplayer and test modules and generally posted for all of you.
Again it's a work in progress and any suggestions are gratefully welcomed with a new feedback forum created.
Longer Term Goals
So, with obviously flying the Hawk or seeing it buzzing around the virtual sky in the coming weeks you are going to want to buy it.
We originally set the release date for before Christmas (with a few caveats) however with the few months delays we are currently evaluating when we can release the product.
Until we have the team meeting this week and then consult with TFC/ED on their side of things we can't set a date but as soon as we have it, I'll let you know.
I would love for you to be flying the Hawk ready for Christmas but I simply can't promise it.
And to recap we will be releasing the combat variant first with the aerobatic variant a few months later. They will be released as separate modules, each costed for separately but with an upgrade price if you buy one module later than the other.
We are still working on a suitable pricing structure and details will be announced when this is finalised.
I did previously state that if you bought the combat DCS:Hawk prior to the aerobatic module being released then you would get the aerobatic module free of charge up until release date. This still stands.
So that means if you buy the combat variant when we release it and before we release the aerobatic module you get both for the same total price. After releasing the aerobatic module you will need to buy both separately.
The aerobatic module has a slightly different cockpit and engine performance, smoke system and few other differences hence why the delay in releasing them together in one module.
So, I hope that has put a smile on your face and got you as excited as the team are when we fly the Hawk and I very much look forward to getting your feedback on our product.
Please feel free to ask any questions about the above.