Tuesday, 15 November 2016

Thrustmaster MFD support and Cockpit Update...

The title says it all really, v809.2 will add automatic support for Thrustmaster MFD Cougar panels. They are pretty cool, work well and are particularly useful as I'm working on MFD displays at the moment.
At some point it'd be good to support LCD displays in these, maybe via a custom tablet app or displaying secondary desktop windows you can position as required.

The updated cockpit is progressing well, here's a quick phone shot of the current version in-game:

Aside from modelling one of the major updates will be the mirror reflections. You'll be able to specify varying levels of reflection fidelity plus we're considering adding adjustable mirrors. Hopefully the cockpit will make it into v810.

Monday, 14 November 2016


The first v809 build is available now in the Beta and VR Beta channels.

Updates/fixes include:

  • Controls
    • Auto Save
    • Restore to initially loaded controls
  • Fixed spurious terrain warnings when landing
  • Fixed specular bloom issue on runways, taxiways
  • Fixed issue clicking on window close/maximise boxes and mouse visiblilty
  • Fixed MFD map not shown
  • VR
    • Added Steam launch options for 2D, OpenVR & Oculus
    • IPD is now read from headset controls
Further v809 updates will include populated target ranges, updated MFD & radar displays together with RCS (Radar Cross Section) logic.

We'll be posting more v809.x updates as features are added before posting it to the default branch later.

Friday, 4 November 2016

VR Beta 6

v808.2 VR Beta 6 is now live. This brings the VR build features up to previously described v808.2 levels and also fixes some VR issues, including:

  • Cockpit FOV issue affecting object clipping
  • Depth map issue (one eye occasionally had black pixels around coastlines)
  • Clamping the cinema mode texture (no bleed from top to bottom, left to right of image in cinema view)

Refueling in VR is pretty cool and also slightly easier. Maybe I can change from high to medium help now.

There are a couple of items to wrap up in VR then it'll be added to the main build. At that point you'll launch in VR from Steam rather than enabling it in CAP2 options.

Have a good weekend,

Wednesday, 2 November 2016


There's a bugfix update v808.2 available in the Beta channel. This addresses:

  • Radio Comms crash
  • Radio Comms volume was fixed & too low. Now it correctly uses radio volume
  • Campaign crash
  • Fueling help is now only applied when in Fuel HUD mode. Allows you to disconnect by throttling back, retract the probe and roll off like a fighter pilot :)
A few other v808 changes are:
  • Option to disable pilot camera transition
  • You can adjust camera distance on external views (F4 & F7) by pressing 'Camera Option' and View Up/Down simultaneously. On a gamepad this defaults to right stick click and push up/down
  • Runway rendering is improved
  • Added extra analogue control input modifiers. Previously we had Linear and Exp. We now have Exp1 to Exp5 with 'flatter' response curve up to Exp5.
v808.2 will be put into the default channel tomorrow if there's no major issue.

Monday, 31 October 2016


It's great to finally get v808 released as this update took way longer than planned.

The updated carrier is present. It's a big improvement over the previous model. You can't control the elevators yet - we might add that later if we model the hangar deck.

Air to Air refueling with a KC767 tanker has been added. This includes hose physics - I intended to release this with a static hose and drogue but that looked terrible. Here are some screens:

To aid refueling you can select levels of refueling help (off,low,medium,high). As there's no real life version of refuel help, this is a slightly artificial force on the AV8B to accelerate or decelerate towards the drogue. It's still a lot of fun with help and still requires a fair amount of skill. Before help was implemented I'd be flying manually, attempting to hook up and the effort and concentration required was absolutely draining. Hats off to the pilots doing real life refueling (although their 'simulator' is slightly better than ours!).
Refueling with TrackIR or VR is pretty cool giving you a sense of closure and also letting you see the probe tip to your side easily.
Currently the WARP (wing aerial refueling pod) hoses are modeled, I might add the tail boom hose adapter in a later update.
You can access a refueling mission through the Quick Start menu. Refueling will be a common element of missions as they are updated.

If there's no show stopping bugs found in v808 Beta it'll be assigned to the default build Tuesday.

A v808 VR build is currently being tested and will be posted this week with a view to adding VR to the default build the following week. At that point we'll update the Steam store page to show VR compatibility.

Next updates are focusing on missions and their associated gameplay/scenery requirements.

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


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


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...

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 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.


    Tuesday, 28 June 2016


    v805 is live now, a couple of days later than planned so I'm blaming 'Brexit' and the England football team. Two major shocks in a few days ain't good :(

    Updates in v805 include:

    • Rearward roll without brakes fixed
    • Control and Shift added to keyboard inputs
    • MFD button positions improved
    • Cockpit clickable items added (animated switches to follow in a later update)
      • Flaps
      • Water
      • Gear
      • Autopilot
      • Upfront display keypad (functionality to follow)
    • Cockpit fuel panel info drum digits added
      • Fuel burn enabled
      • Water injection doubles fuel burn
    • Cockpit engine panel info drum digits added
    • MFD display of waypoints
    • HUD display of waypoints
      • WP Heading bug/marker
      • WP position display
      • WP range and index
    • New control input, WINC (waypoint increment)
    • New control input AG Bomb Pickle (functionality enabled in 806)
    • HUD AoA using alpha symbol (instead of infinity)
    • Assignment of WPs in mission planner to wingmen
      • wingmen will follow route (improved functionality in 806)

    Plans for v806

    • Bug fixes/feature requests
    • Commands to wingmen will be completed for 806, almost made it in for 805
    • Mission Planner
      • individual aircraft Payloads, Fuel, Water
      • Waypoint node altitude, speed
      • Waypoint node type
        • transit, patrol, attack, refuel, RTB
    • Wingmen AI for formation, ground attack. Improved waypoint transit
    • Assignment of WPs in mission planner to CH46 rotorcraft
    • MFD navigation chart for Hawaii

    Happy Flying!


    Saturday, 18 June 2016


    The latest update, v804 is available now. Features and bugfixes include:

    • Mouselook
      • in Options->Controls->View map mouselook toggle. Wheel button works well
      • mouse wheel adjusts FOV
      • you can now map mouse buttons other than left and right mouse button
    • Analogue throttle nullzone fix
    • HUD improvements
      • sampling rate
      • target box lag
      • AOA graphic fix
    • Unintentional control mapping triggered fix
    • Pilot model head angle limits with TrackIR
    • Missing cockpit ODU panel text, warning lights fixed
    Current work is focused on mission waypoint assignment, HUD/MFD navigation displays and wingman control together with bug fixes and feature requests from the forums.

    Tuesday, 14 June 2016


    v803, with a main focus on stability is available now, major updates/fixes are:

    • mission crashes
    • runway black textures fixed
    • autopilot roll oscillation fixed
    • water injection input mapping fixed
    • missing terrain tile after switching regions fixed 
    • gamma setting added
    • larger terrain cache
    Next update should be available in a couple of days and will focus on missions/training and further bug fixes. Following that, focus will shift to campaign issues.

    Friday, 10 June 2016


    Version 802 should be available now, updates include:

    • Control axis null zones
    • Control axis non linear setting
    • Digital nozzle angle control settings
    • Xbox gamepad default settings include view controls, unmap analogue throttle and nozzles
    • nVidia Optimus graphics fix
    • HUD velocity vector fixed
    • Low speed handling improvement
    • Menu option sub titles

    Next updates will begin tackling gameplay and campaign issues/bug fixes/missing texture issues. Depending on progress, 803 may arrive Saturday. As noted previously, expect frequent updates to the main build till we're happy with stability. At that point we'll switch to a beta option which anyone can opt into with the usual caveats regarding bugs.

    Wednesday, 8 June 2016


    Version 801 should be winging (steaming?) it's way to you now. It should have arrived yesterday but we encountered issues with the Steam update sticking/pausing and not completing. Deleting the build and re-uploading it has corrected the issue.

    Features/fixes of this update are
    • Fix crash on payload option
    • Contrast/Brightness values are now used in post processing
      • Both values were previously set to 100% so you may need to adjust down
      • I'm considering adding a gamma display to help with calibrating game colour levels, it's pretty obvious there's a massive range of screen levels out there.
    • Vignette effect is disabled, will add a UI option to toggle it later
    • Mapping a control axis is easier
    • XBox gamepad buttons are labelled
    • TrackIR has angle and position limits
    • 'Eject Confirm' option removed as 'Eject' must now be held for 1sec instead
    Next update (802) should include:

    • Result of looking into nVidia Optimus graphics crash on startup. In some cases this is temporarily fixed by selecting nVidia GPU as preferred GPU in global settings in the nVidia control panel
    • Adjusting control axes linearity
    • Adjusting control axes null zone
    • General bug fixes as reported in the forum
    After 802 we should be able to transition to gameplay features/bug fixes.

    The controls settings file was accidentally included as part of the initial build. This would be an issue as each update would reset your controls to default. It has been removed from build 801. If you want to avoid remapping your controls with this update then take a copy of <YourSteamLibrary>\steamapps\common\Combat Air Patrol 2\StoragePath\Sim155\CAP2\Controls\Default.ctrl and replace it after updating. Sorry for the inconvenience.

    Monday, 6 June 2016

    OK, Released!

    After a last minute fix for an issue with a particular controller config we finally released!

    Thanks to everyone for the comments on the Steam forum (good and bad!), we're reading them all and have logged any issues. Build 801 is due tomorrow with some bug fixes and extra graphics settings including vignette, brightness and contrast.

    Expect a lot of updates this week for features that missed the cut for release.


    Like a Phoenix....

    ...the blog is back! Now, I could have completed an around the world yacht race since the last post (I haven't, I'm scared of sharks) so either accept my apologies or stop reading now :-)

    Well, this is early access launch day so I thought it'd be good to explain what to expect over the coming days, weeks and months. I have to admit its been a scramble to get ready for the launch though without a deadline I'd probably never get around to releasing CAP2. I'm looking forward to getting feedback, both good and bad. Bear in mind this is an Early Access title. For instance, the main strategic feature of CAP2, the dynamic campaign, is approximately 75% complete. There are lots of minor items on my release list which won't make the 6pm (UK) release build so expect a stream of updates over the next few days. All elements will likely evolve with your feedback.

    After the initial flurry of updates this week, we'll run a general beta build for those of you who want to try new features/bug fixes as soon as they are available. Based on feedback we'll then transition them to the main build. There may be several beta builds per week so only subscribe to those if you are OK with that. I'll be primarily using this blog to keep you up to date with development.

    Here are our main areas of upcoming development

    • Dynamic Campaign. We'll be improving the dynamic campaign by adding more targets, enemy capabilities such as mine laying, offensive capabilities such as integrating Tomahawk strikes into a mission package.
    • VR. Its been difficult to hold off starting on this, especially with all the recent buzz around the official launches but we managed to show some restraint. We've got the Rift kit, Vive is on the way so we should start on this next week. We'll create a VR build which anyone can opt into. Initial builds will be a simple implementation followed by UI upgrades.
    • Multiplayer. As described in previous posts. 
    • Rendering. Expect to see graphical improvements such as SSAO, DOF, self shadowing terrain, shadow casting vegetation.
    • Carrier. We'll create a fully populated deck and also have animated lifts, defenses and radars.
    • Aircraft. Expect graphical updates to the AV8B cockpit together with increased control functionality.
    • In Flight refueling. We have the animated refuel probe in game already, just waiting for drogue logic/physics implemented.  
    • Scenery. A high priority feature to be added is OSM (Open Street Map) data for accurate road and building generation.
    • 3D Models. In addition to generated OSM scenery models we'll be adding custom models not adequately described in OSM,
    • Map Areas. We plan to add Yuma and well known training areas such as the 'Mach Loop' and the 'Jedi Transition'.
    • Satellite Imagery. We'll begin sourcing satellite imagery to apply to the terrain.
    • 32/64 bit build. We have both builds running now though as they are functionally identical only the 32bit is published. We'll make the 64bit build available together with larger terrain cache sizes.

    Thanks for your support!