For now, the answer is simply no. We talked about it, thought about it and started to look at what might be involved. In the end we had to draw a line and decide what we wanted to do.
It is not for lack of interest on my part. And I don't want to fully stamp on it as a future possibility (if we're here in 3 years time and someone still hasn't stepped up to build one). If someone with experience will take it on I'm sure it would be a superior study aircraft given the pedigree and changes in the Edge engine. We don't yet have the man-power or experience needed to create a quality aircraft for that series. With the unfortunate delays in production of Combat-Helo, taking on yet another project would be near impossible without skilled individuals with suitable experience. Even with crowd-funding it's hard to justify it as a spin-off project as it doesn't fit in with what we set out to do. Dave and I set out to create the kind of game nobody was making anymore which is the stand-alone combat-sim. And for all my talk, I've discovered that it's not as easy as it sounds.
Scott Elson (former EA and Microprose senior developer) reminded me way back that creating a flight simulation was not simply a matter of making an aircraft and flying it around. There's a lot more work involved, weapons, audio, UI, animation, events, triggers, file systems. All the glue that holds a stand-alone game together which would stretch a five man team, never mind two.
David and I began work on this in 2009. This started out as a full-time project and when the money ran out we had a choice, carry on as best we could working in our free time or abandon it. It was never going to be ideal but we carried on regardless, I had to trim features as time went by to pick up the slack to keep the end in sight. Eventually my output was struggling to keep pace with David's output and problems with our choice of game engine threw a spanner into the works. You don't find some problems in a technology until you really stress it, our issues were not apparent until much later in the project. Hindsight is awesome.
Recently, volunteers have allowed us to push past some of the older problems we had with Leadwerks 2.x. which has been fantastic (again props to Macklebee, Klepto and Shadmar who contributed). Technology has moved on and our ambition while humbled, stubbornly remains. It was clear we couldn't deliver the game we set out to make, the dynamic Afghan campaign will for now remain incomplete on our hard-drives, but from a future development point of view we now have more options available to us. The game development landscape has changed substantially thanks to crowd-funding. This is something we're currently preparing for. But more on that later.
We're still committed to a long road-map for Combat-Helo starting with the release of "Gunnery" in the near future (we're working really hard to release this quarter). Our focus is still creating an echo of the combat simulation scene that existed on the PC during the mid-90s. Building on foundations we've laid down. While frameworks like DCS World are an ideal platform for pure simulation, it's still a very different kind of experience which is well catered for.
Combat-Helo will rely on dynamically generated missions intermixed with narrative and maybe some comment. It has never just been about the aircraft. We are creating foundations for a worthy successor to legendary games like Janes Longbow. It may take a few iterations to perfect and we mail fail but it won't be for lack of trying. To carry us on beyond "Gunnery" we'll be looking to you, the community to help us take it further. What direction that takes depends on what happens in the next few months. Whatever happens, 2014 will be an exciting year for us and I hope you'll keep the faith and join us for the ride.
- Signed Richard Hawley, Director Tricubic Studios Ltd.
|That done....incoming fire...deploying countermeasures!|