Polychop Simulations published a press release, covering their past and future in DCS World. The team announced the OH-58 Kiowa, and finally details a few things about their divorce with the Miltech 5 team. Also, we learn that the Gazelle variant with a Sniper is cancelled as use would really be limited within the DCS Engine, but the team is considering implementing a multicrew, minigun version instead. This will depend on progress in ED core engine and documentation.
Valued Customers and Polychop Simulations fans,
Christmas is about to happen, and we decided to talk a bit about the past year 2017 and the future year 2018.
First of all, we want to thank all our customers for the support, which is important for any company to exist.
We’re still here and making great products for simulators so you guys must like something we’re doing and that
makes our team very happy; thank you from the Polychop family to yours.
Briefly, I’ll dive into some issues Polychop faced in 2017. As all of you have witnessed, we have gone through
internal issues, that already developed in 2016. As many companies face the same issues in the beginning,
there are possible routes to take and not every member agrees on the same course. As was the case for us.
We wanted to keep Polychop as a cohesive team, that way we could devote every ounce of our energy into building
great products rather than internal strife.
Therefore, with best wishes, we wished our former CEO Oliver Michel goodbye and agreed on giving him the BO105 project,
which is now run under Miltech-5. We still wished to release more products because we are confident,
as a team that we can provide some of the best simulation software available so in 2016,
we started a new project in secret to avoid the pressure of rushing out an un-prepared product and could
focus energy on improving the Gazelle. Although many things that were stated during the past 9 month are not correct
and painted a wrong picture I never felt the need to make a direct statement to any interviews, trailers,
or anything that showed codework of Polychop Simulation nor had Patrick any intent to brag about it.
This is still the case and so I can only state that for the remaining Polychop Simulation Staff,
we are glad this split was finalized before the end of 2018 and that we do not have to deal with the
BO105 and the development anymore. Sadly, due to contractual disagreements, we were not able to accept
the conditions discussed between Polychop and Miltech-5 to continue work on the BO-105 jointly.
We utilized most of 2017 to really hone the Gazelle and our other projects. The Gazelle itself really
saw a lot of attention and re-coding to help mature several key improvements. Flight model, textures,
and much proprietary framework was poured over until we reached a point where not only the simulation pilots felt happy,
but also a beta team comprised of actual helicopter pilots said they were satisfied with the product.
There are a few details that are still being evaluated and we are still collecting data in these areas. Some is easier,
some is not. For example, we did look into the cyclic behavior again, but currently there is no data available regarding
how many degrees the cyclic is pushed forward proportionall to forward airspeed. Many factors collate into this problem
including control rigging and wind. Given how our testing staff has very limited time to devote to
testing (dare I say, actual Gazelle pilots?) we determined that some of these issues were not worth the
effort put into fixing them. Not because it wasn’t important to us, but because it wasn’t cost effective or
prudent to do so. We also planned to have a new device implemented into the SA342M Viviane Gazelle.
The new device was a periscope that is available in the real machine, but do to framerate break-downs using the
periscope and the tv, which would both be active at the same time, we decided to not implement this feature.
Framerate management is as important to a developer as smooth textures or appealing visuals.
If we can’t implement some feature due to framerates, it hinders the experience for the end-user.
I can only provide an example: On an average system, the simulation see’s 30 FPS with an activated TV.
With the TV and periscope activated, the best we could benchmark was 15 FPS. Because of this,
we couldn’t agree to implementing it. We didn’t want to throw a new feature in that was not usable and
improve the customers experience. A picture of the periscope was shown on our facebook page earlier.
To clear the air about it: no, it is not a periscope of a EC665 Tigre HAD.
Sadly, we finally also decided to scratch the sniper version for now and probably for good,
because in DCS there is no real use of a sniper and would only be able to hit soft targets at a max range of 300m.
Instead, we decided to change the sniper version to a minigun version that, if it works out well,
would be accessible as multicrew. This is what we plan as an update for the Gazelle in 2018,
but we have no timeframe yet when this will exactly happen, because it also depends on the core coding.
This and multi-crew both require more information from Eagle Dynamics before we can really improve those features.
We will continue to work closely with Eagle Dynamics to help make the Gazelle a smooth and effective product.
Looking to the future and into 2018, as already mentioned, we gave away the BO105 project so we can’t guarantee a release for 2018.
The split ate a lot of resources and time unfortunately, but for 2018 we already have a strong game plan.
replace all of that with this: We are a small team, but many of our core testers are actual pilots,
some with military obligations and can only provide energy and time as available.
Thankfully, our testers and core employees who have some insight into the exciting projects in the future
and want to see these projects to completion as badly as many of you.
We want to extend a grateful and humbled thanks to all the talented people who applied for the programmer’s slots.
Our first actions for 2018 will be interviews with the individuals that applied.
We really want to grow our programmer department to produce faster code to devote more time and resources for the detail tuning.
About the programming, I had to learn that the fine-tuning is about 30% of the coding, which Patrick already knew.
We’re working with Eagle Dynamics and, in 2018, an aircraft manufacture to fine-tune our code process and produce a product
with a higher degree of fidelity.
The team at Polychop loves anything that flies and particularly, anything that spins.
Therefore, we want to branch into the interesting realm of civilian aviation and hopefully see some of our loyal customers
on other platforms. We just haven’t decided which yet and want to make a smart choice. Our team is so small that
any time we devote into a project is going to be about quality, not quantity and the choice of a non-military simulator
must provide the company with the resources to continue improving with technology.
About fixed wing products, we cannot say much because our team is still too small to work on fixed wing in addition.
This might change through the course of 2018.
And finally, we hope to open a Polychop discord channel so you, our loyal customers,
are able to interface and receive direct input with the developers, testers and people who desire you’re raw input.
So maybe now and then we will have a friendly chat.
At the end I also want to send out a personal note of acknowledgment to the people that supported
the current development in the background.
Without these friends, this would have not gotten as far as it already has and the community of this bird is amazing.
My girlfriend might have to buy me a Stetson one day when we visit friends overseas.
That said, I put up a rendering of the 3d model in a state that it has been earlier this year without textures.
Currently, we are not sure yet into which simulation this 3d model will be implemented in the end, but it will happen.
So, thank you for reading and your continued support.
In the end, our goal here at Polychop is to provide you with the most realistic and immersive product that we can.
We wish all of you and your families a delightful Christmas season 2017 and a good jump into the year 2018!
Your Polychop Simulation Team