Tuesday, 27 September 2016

KC767 Tanker...

Here's a few screenshots and a video of update v808 due to drop in the next few days.






This video shows the KC767 animation test sequence where each component cycles through its range of motion. There are more than sixty animated components on the tanker so it's taken a fair amount of work to implement. The results are pretty cool though! Although it's not a current priority, it'd be nice to be able to fly this at some point :)


Also here's a short video of the new carrier in game:


v808 will be made available in the Beta and VR Beta channels in the next few days. Going forward we'll be working on mission content, presentation and required mission elements such as the Hawaiian target range, Khasab airbase (we've got a lot of airbase models to add) and general threats from enemy aircraft, SAM's and SSM's. 

Monday, 5 September 2016

Updates...

As you can see below, the new carrier is in-game, it's got animated elevators, deck crane, deck tugs. It's a big improvement on the model we had before. This and a refueling tanker will be be included in the next update due in a couple of days. After this update we can switch to updating missions and associated gameplay.





VR Beta 4 is live now. This update added:
  • Native Oculus API support
  • Cockpit item select using VR gaze (Map control 'Optional Adjust/Select Item' to select)
  • VR shown during title/loading screens
  • UI in pilot view with VR
  • VR head position reset input
  • Various minor VR bug fixes
A non-VR related update is the option to map L/R rudder inputs for setups that use two individual rudder pedals.

Things to come for VR include
  • Mission planner menu's in VR
  • Cinema mode UI item selection or mouse pointer control using VR gaze
Looking at cockpit items/switches to select them really highlights the need for animated controls. They'll come after the cockpit upgrade which is shaping up nicely.

An option similar to VR 'gaze to select' will be added to the Xbox gamepad controls (right thumb-stick to look and right thumb-stick button to select) and to TrackIR mode. It makes sense that if you can see the controls in the cockpit you should be able to interact with them rather than having to use the keyboard. This will give you control over gear, flaps, water injection, MFD's, up front control etc.


Friday, 19 August 2016

Typo's...

Wow, due to a typo in VR Beta 1 the IPD (InterPupillary Distance or gap between the eyes) was set to 6.5mm instead of 6.5cm. Fixing this simple error has transformed a pretty good VR experience into a phenomenal one!

Previously the cockpit looked 'large' (due to the lack of stereo separation) now the cockpit feels like it wraps around you and the sense of depth to the controls, displays and HUD is great. I'm a VR convert!

I've also added an IPD setting so you can adjust it to your particular eye distance.

Happy Flying!

Thursday, 18 August 2016

VR Beta1

Hi All,

VR Beta 1 is available now in the Steam client's 'BETAS' tab.

I've got to admit VR in CAP2 is now pretty damn cool! With the first implementation I was slightly skeptical of the experience, feeling nauseous etc but with 'Cinema Mode' implemented for non pilot views there's no longer a bucket by my desk :-)

There's a lot of minor updates/fixes to come for VR, including:
  • allow MSAA rendering
  • UI currently not shown in pilot view (after pressing 'ESC')
  • mission planner not shown in VR (enable 2D Mirror to view it if required)
  • radio commands input method
  • update VR during loading screens
  • add an Oculus API option
Also, in VR obviously can't see your keyboard for input so I'll add a method for highlighting cockpit controls by looking at them then selecting via a new control input. This will let you manage MFD's, flaps, water injection, counter measures, canopy latch, eject handle, upfront controls etc using the headset and one button. This method will also be implemented in non VR mode to work with gamepad right stick cockpit view.

Right, back to finishing v808 with a new carrier and in-flight refueling!



Monday, 8 August 2016

v807 - beta

CAP2's v807 is now live on Steam under the 'BETAS' tab. Access this by opening your Steam library, right click CAP2 in your games list then choose 'Properties' then 'BETAS' and opt into 'beta - Faster Release Branch'.

Going forward we'll be using the beta branch for first release of updates followed by posting to the main branch a couple of days later after taking into account any issues and feedback.

v807 Features

  • Mission Planner Update
    • Improved UI allowing modification of mission assets, routing, armament.


  • Modding
    • You can now mod the Harrier fuselage texture enabling custom tail art etc. Look in the 'Mods' directory (from the Steam client look at CAP2 properties as above then click on 'LOCAL FILES' then 'BROWSE LOCAL FILES'), there's a readme explaining texture formats etc.


Coming Updates...

VR
The basic VR renderer is complete though not enabled in v807 as any camera other than pilot view is guaranteed to induce nausea! I found this out the hard way after thinking 'how bad can it be?'. Well, it can be pretty bad if you're spinning cameras around planes etc. Rather than remove the offending camera modes etc I've decided to render any non VR compatible camera (basically everything apart from pilot view) in a 'cinema mode'. This is simply a virtual 2D screen rather like being sat in a cinema. This means we keep all cameras, intro sequences and UI unchanged. There's a couple of things to finalise regarding cinema mode scaling options then we'll enable VR.

FYI we currently use the OpenVR api to support Vive and Rift and plan to add Oculus API support soon for native Rift support.

In-flight Refueling
As part of overhauling/updating missions we're adding an air tanker. Initial version has a rigid drogue, we'll switch to a physically animated version later.

New/Updated Models
In addition to the air tanker we're adding a much improved carrier model with deck objects such as tugs and cranes.



Tuesday, 19 July 2016

v806

v806 is now live, main features added are:
  • Radio Comms
    • A 'Radio Panel Toggle' input shows the radio UI. Keys 0-9 select radio pages and commands.
    • Functionality will be expanded over time with more commands and associated logic,
  • Wingmen formation flight
    • Part of radio comms, you can control wingmen formations. Use flight training mission 'Formation' to check it out.
  • Digital nozzle angles step through the following angles for more control in vertical flight:
    • 0, 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, 70, 75, 80, 82, 85, 90, 95, 98.5
  • Custom nozzle stop added to controls.
    •  This is useful if for example you want to select 40° nozzle angle as you approach the end of the deck. To configure, set required nozzle angle then hold custom nozzle stop for 1 sec+. This records the stop position. A subsequent short press will select the recorded position.
  • Fixed an issue with AV8B rudder alignment
v807 should have mission planner updates, mission updates together with initial VR support.
I hoped to have mission planner updates in v806 so they are now item #1 of v807.
Mission updates will address presentation and content of current missions.
VR support is step #1 of the following
  1. Initialisation and render to Oculus\Vive
  2. Custom VR UI
  3. Custom VR Scenes
    • Control room & displays
    • 'Walk' to/around plane

Also cockpit model updates are due around the end of the month, I'm particularly looking forward to those :)


Tuesday, 12 July 2016

Radio Communications

One of the major features of v806 is radio comms. Radio exchanges and background chatter really improve simulation immersion. It also enables commands to aircraft within your section such as:

  • Formation control
  • Target assignment (A-A & A-G)
  • Report State
  • Navigation
  • Mission abort
  • Return to base
  • Recover/land on carrier
  • Emcon (Emissions Control)
  • Lights state

    You also have RT to the carrier/fleet such as:

    • Request takeoff
    • Request land
    • Request position check
    • FAC assign fire mission to fleet 

    Target assignment is done by locking up an air target, surface target or locking a point with your Lantirn pod then commanding a wingman to attack your target.

    Formation control is fun to use, you have standard mission formations such as combat spread, echelon etc. You also have the close formation 'parade' which is great for photo opportunities, not so great for sudden maneuvers!

    Fleet FAC (Forward Air Controller) allows you create a fire mission for the fleet main guns, initiating a barrage at your Lantirn pod lock point.

    Radio comms will continue to evolve throughout 'Early Access' with extra commands, associated AI logic and UI updates.

    806 has become the most extensive update to CAP2 so far and it'll be released this week.

    Ed