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RAF74_Buzzsaw
Jul-29-2015, 22:31
Salute to the Community

This is a personal note to the community from one of Team Fusion's Project Managers designed to clarify the status of Team Fusion's Patch 5.0, and to clear up the many misconceptions which exist.

Of late, there has been a building level of speculation about when TF 5.0 will be released, and a certain amount of impatience and questions.

The members of Team Fusion do not want to create any misunderstandings or to have people believe we are making promises which will then upset those same people when we cannot fulfil the misunderstood expectations.

We are determined to be as honest as possible with the community so they are clear on our goals.

The first thing the community must understand is TF is made up of ordinary working stiffs. CLIFFS OF DOVER mods are just a hobby for us, just like it is for the community. We all have to make a living in real life, and RL takes priority. We are not in the position of being able to devote 100% of our working hours to complete the project. We do the work in our spare time.

Sometimes real life makes demands when mean we need to put our TF work aside. For example, of the 6-7 Department heads or Team leaders in TF, the guys who have contributed 90% of the work done on TF 4.312, three have had to take extended breaks of up to 9 months to attend to RL demands. Yes, they returned, but that is a lot of time to be losing people as important as they were to the team.

When someone as important as a department head is absent, that leaves a big hole. So much of the work in TF is compartmentalized, that is, we have specialists in particular departements who focus almost exclusively on that area. They don't have a lot of experience in other areas. So for example, our sound department leader has 90% of the ongoing development inside his head... and if he is absent for one reason or another, all work in the sound area tends to slow to a glacial rate.

We have also had people permanently burn out or lose interest... and leave the team. That happens, it is normal for amateur online groups.

The above all means the pace of development is much slower than in a professional development team, where the members are all being paid large sums of money to be present and contributing ALL the time.

There is also the factor we are continuing to have to unscramble the game and learn as we go. This applies even when the area we are working on is not encoded. We do not have the 'book' which the original code developers would have made up to guide the programmers... we have to determine on the basis of testing what a particular parameter controls, and how much of an effect changing the values will have. Nothing is known till we go through the process of testing... all which takes a lot of time. To add the complexity, almost any given parameter in a particular area of the game code has an effect on the other parameters in that section. So when you make a change, you have to be aware you may be affecting more than just your intended target.

People may ask, "Well, it only took TF about a year to get the game to the point where it is now with TF 4.312... why is TF 5.0 taking so long?"

The answer is simple... we were not introducing new elements into the game with the previous development up to TF 4.312... we were essentially just tweaking the existing game... re-using models, modifying sound, modifying the performance of elements which already existed.

Think of the development which took the original "IL-2 STURMOVIK" to the next gen, "IL-2 STURMOVIK FORGOTTEN BATTLES".

That is what we are basically attempting when we move from 4.312 to 5.0.

There will actually be more new flyables in TF 5.0 than there were in the original CLIFFS OF DOVER. There will be many more ships, and a whole new selection of vehicles.

Most important, there will be a new map.

In the process of developing the methods and means to create a new map, the original flaws of CoD have been revealed in all their horrible splendor. You thought there were a lot of bugs elsewhere in the original game? We won't even try to summarize those in the maps... it would just make your head hurt.

The number of times our map coder has been merrily going along building the new map, almost complete... just to have a particularly nasty bug jump out and bite him... you don't want to know. I am sure he could write several articles about how the water systems were mis-handled.

So anyway, it probably reads like I'm making up a list of excuses... but I'm not. I'm just explaining the facts.

So in the interests of clarity and honesty, here is the reality.

The good news?

We ARE making progress.

The bad news?

It's going to take a lot more time till we are ready to go gold.

I have heard people talk about TF 5.0 for Christmas 2015... sorry, I wish I could be that optimistic, but the facts are, it's not going to happen.

TF 5.0 is not going to be ready till 2016, that will be quite a bit later in 2016. Maybe much much later.

We're hoping everyone will be patient, everything which can be done to speed up the process is being applied, we are just faced with a HUGE amount of work.

This is not an official announcement of when the game might be ready... the actual 'Going Gold' will happen with the usual updates posted with Mysticpuma. It is just a caution to all that TF is still a long way from our goals.

Thanks to all for your support. :salute:

ATAG_Freya
Jul-29-2015, 22:38
We ARE making progress.

That's all I need to hear. I love this sim. Everything more is a bonus. Keep going TF!

:salute:

bigj73nsb
Jul-29-2015, 23:19
Salute to the Community

This is a personal note to the community from one of Team Fusion's Project Managers designed to clarify the status of Team Fusion's Patch 5.0, and to clear up the many misconceptions which exist.

Of late, there has been a building level of speculation about when TF 5.0 will be released, and a certain amount of impatience and questions.

The members of Team Fusion do not want to create any misunderstandings or to have people believe we are making promises which will then upset those same people when we cannot fulfil the misunderstood expectations.

We are determined to be as honest as possible with the community so they are clear on our goals.

The first thing the community must understand is TF is made up of ordinary working stiffs. CLIFFS OF DOVER mods are just a hobby for us, just like it is for the community. We all have to make a living in real life, and RL takes priority. We are not in the position of being able to devote 100% of our working hours to complete the project. We do the work in our spare time.

Sometimes real life makes demands when mean we need to put our TF work aside. For example, of the 6-7 Department heads or Team leaders in TF, the guys who have contributed 90% of the work done on TF 4.312, three have had to take extended breaks of up to 9 months to attend to RL demands. Yes, they returned, but that is a lot of time to be losing people as important as they were to the team.

When someone as important as a department head is absent, that leaves a big hole. So much of the work in TF is compartmentalized, that is, we have specialists in particular departements who focus almost exclusively on that area. They don't have a lot of experience in other areas. So for example, our sound department leader has 90% of the ongoing development inside his head... and if he is absent for one reason or another, all work in the sound area tends to slow to a glacial rate.

We have also had people permanently burn out or lose interest... and leave the team. That happens, it is normal for amateur online groups.

The above all means the pace of development is much slower than in a professional development team, where the members are all being paid large sums of money to be present and contributing ALL the time.

There is also the factor we are continuing to have to unscramble the game and learn as we go. This applies even when the area we are working on is not encoded. We do not have the 'book' which the original code developers would have made up to guide the programmers... we have to determine on the basis of testing what a particular parameter controls, and how much of an effect changing the values will have. Nothing is known till we go through the process of testing... all which takes a lot of time. To add the complexity, almost any given parameter in a particular area of the game code has an effect on the other parameters in that section. So when you make a change, you have to be aware you may be affecting more than just your intended target.

People may ask, "Well, it only took TF about a year to get the game to the point where it is now with TF 4.312... why is TF 5.0 taking so long?"

The answer is simple... we were not introducing new elements into the game with the previous development up to TF 4.312... we were essentially just tweaking the existing game... re-using models, modifying sound, modifying the performance of elements which already existed.

Think of the development which took the original "IL-2 STURMOVIK" to the next gen, "IL-2 STURMOVIK FORGOTTEN BATTLES".

That is what we are basically attempting when we move from 4.312 to 5.0.

There will actually be more new flyables in TF 5.0 than there were in the original CLIFFS OF DOVER. There will be many more ships, and a whole new selection of vehicles.

Most important, there will be a new map.

In the process of developing the methods and means to create a new map, the original flaws of CoD have been revealed in all their horrible splendor. You thought there were a lot of bugs elsewhere in the original game? We won't even try to summarize those in the maps... it would just make your head hurt.

The number of times our map coder has been merrily going along building the new map, almost complete... just to have a particularly nasty bug jump out and bite him... you don't want to know. I am sure he could write several articles about how the water systems were mis-handled.

So anyway, it probably reads like I'm making up a list of excuses... but I'm not. I'm just explaining the facts.

So in the interests of clarity and honesty, here is the reality.

The good news?

We ARE making progress.

The bad news?

It's going to take a lot more time till we are ready to go gold.

I have heard people talk about TF 5.0 for Christmas 2015... sorry, I wish I could be that optimistic, but the facts are, it's not going to happen.

TF 5.0 is not going to be ready till 2016, that will be quite a bit later in 2016. Maybe much much later.

We're hoping everyone will be patient, everything which can be done to speed up the process is being applied, we are just faced with a HUGE amount of work.

This is not an official announcement of when the game might be ready... the actual 'Going Gold' will happen with the usual updates posted with Mysticpuma. It is just a caution to all that TF is still a long way from our goals.

Thanks to all for your support. :salute:
Why not, instead of making one big update in one installment, just make a bunch of smaller installments to work your way up to what you all are gunning for???

=FI=Murph
Jul-30-2015, 00:12
Not only do I appreciate all the work that has been done to get this sim to where it now is, I appreciate even more your honesty in keeping us informed of the progress, however slow. I am happy to wait until it's ready. I also get why you may not wish to do mini-updates, since an apparent "fix" of one issue may cause unanticipated problems with other stuff later on. Better to get it all right the first time.

Cybermat47
Jul-30-2015, 00:23
Sounds like it will be well worth the wait, however long that is :thumbsup:

ATAG_Flare
Jul-30-2015, 00:48
:salute: Salute to TF for being generally awesome. You guys are the friendliest most open group of amateur game developers (modders?) I've ever seen. Thank you for keeping the dream alive and sharing your journey, however complicated it may be, with the rest of the community. I believe I speak fit everyone when I say I think you guys are doing the best you can do and we appreciate your work in so many ways. Without TF I'm sure many of us would not be here. Thank you! :salute:

Flare

ATAG_Jerry
Jul-30-2015, 01:20
First, thanks for all you have done so far.

Secondly, I think you should be allowed to take as long as you need.

This is the first online game I've played, so I'm no expert, but I'm having the most fun I've ever had sitting in front of a computer screen. And I'm sure I'll be good for a few more years. Just my opinion of course.

So a :salute: to all of you who work so hard so that we can have fun.

RAF74_Buzzsaw
Jul-30-2015, 01:33
Why don't we do a whole series of small updates?

#1 It takes essentially the same amount of time to do a encoded compile of a small update as it does a large one. So a multiplicity of small updates would multiply the work required considerably.

#2 The work on the new aircraft requires work on the 3D models, and the files which govern and control them. To release each aircraft independently means going back over the files again each time. Once again multiplying the work.

#3 We want to release a complete Theater. That means the planes, the vehicles, the ships, etc. etc. It doesn't make sense to release only the 109F's, without the corresponding Spitfires and Hurricanes. Or only the Axis tanks, and no Allied tanks. And so on.

#4 If we release a whole series of small updates, it is going to make the installation much more difficult for the players. Instead of one install, there will be many. An auto updater does not solve the problem of the multiple small updates... the compile work, the other extra work is still required.

We have carefully considered the options before making this decision, and this is what works best for our members and their limited time.

Moach
Jul-30-2015, 03:31
As a fellow programmer, I can attest to that -- I've lost count of how many times I've had to tell a producer/boss type person that "frequent builds make slow development"...

for an analogy, I'd have them think of a car at a mechanics shop... in order to replace one engine component, the engine needs to be taken apart -- and it takes time to pull it apart and piece it back together...

now if you have multiple components to replace - would anyone benefit from taking it out for a test drive on EACH individual component? considering the amount of work, and often remedial "just to hold it in place for running without <part>" type work necessary just to have a "working build" in between each step of the way....


a game like CloD (or any game really, specially those that look 'simple') are amongst the most complex pieces of software known to man -- the amount of interdependency between components is nigh on incomprehensible to a single person, which adds the complexity of team coordination to the mess...

and while I always say "programming is simple, you just type it and the computer does things" -- I usually follow with: "knowing just WHAT to type tho... that's the big 99% of my job"

and very often, programmers hard at work don't look like they're really "working" much... not to an unfamiliar eye, at least - definitely not like that guy from "The Matrix" typing furiously against a storm of gibberish glyphs on screen...

...it looks a lot more like a caveman-looking dude staring at screen, scratching head, muttering occasional grumbling sounds, drinking unbelievable amounts of caffeine, googling for answers and taking bathroom breaks to discharge all that caffeine and/or compile his thoughts into what eventually manifests as the visible 5 minutes of actually typing stuff for the computer to do...

then close loop, repeat...


if you try and talk to this person while he's deep in at this process, expect a 5-minute delay to get an answer, where the sleeping threads in his brain that process human speech kick back in and he relearns how to talk...


don't expect him to remember any announcements made in the meantime either - he's "in the zone" :-)




btw -- I wanna help with TF, eh? who do I talk to again? :salute:

Volunteer
Jul-30-2015, 03:44
Salute to the Community


In the process of developing the methods and means to create a new map, the original flaws of CoD have been revealed in all their horrible splendor. You thought there were a lot of bugs elsewhere in the original game? We won't even try to summarize those in the maps... it would just make your head hurt.


The good news?

We ARE making progress.

We're hoping everyone will be patient, everything which can be done to speed up the process is being applied, we are just faced with a HUGE amount of work.


Thanks to all for your support. :salute:

The task sounds like a migraine of a job at times: talk about taking a hit for the team. This community is fortunate to have TF as its lifeblood. As the saying goes 'everything comes to he who waits'. I hope the clamour and signs of impatience are only from a minority of the community -- the rest of us can patiently wait for the high-five. :thumbsup: Thank you, Team Fusion! :salute:

nacy
Jul-30-2015, 04:03
Erreur de la Team-Fusion:

Donner les outils que vous avez pour travailler sur COD public,et COD avancera bien plus vite et restera en concurrence avec les autres jeux "BOS" et "DCS" car vous faite une grosse erreur de vouloir travailler un groupe seul pour nous sortir 1 mod toutes les 3 ou 4 années,qui va amener COD à sa perte.
Regader sur IL2-1946 tous les avions fait et toutes les maps faites par les moddeurs,bien sûr IL2-1946 a plusieurs mod mes restes encore aujourd’hui plus compétitif que COD qui reste au point mort pour cause que la Team-Fusion ve travailler seule pour faire des mod sur COD,qui va mener COD à ça perte.Car la Team-Fusion seule ne peut donner satisfaction à toutes les attentes des joueurs sur COD.

************************************************** *********************************

Error of Team-Fusion:

To give the tools which you have to work on public COD, and COD will advance much more quickly and will remain in competition with the other games “BOS” and “DCS” because made to you a large error want to work a group alone to leave us 1 MOD all the 3 or 4 years, which will bring COD to its loss.
Regader on IL2-1946 all the planes makes and all the maps made by the moddeurs, of course IL2-1946 has several MOD my remains still today more competitive than COD which remains at the point died due than Team-Fusion 5th to work to only make MOD on COD, which will lead COD to that loss. Because Team-Fusion alone cannot give satisfaction to all waitings of the players on COD.

ATAG_Dave
Jul-30-2015, 04:43
@Buzzsaw and TF in general - thanks for such an open update, more importantly thanks for what you have already given us in TF4.312 - the game is fantastic. TF5 is a bonus to look forward to. Take your time, do it right as we know you will.

In the meantime Ill continue to enjoy the fantastic game we already have in front of us.

:salute:

ATAG_Lewis
Jul-30-2015, 06:01
Thanks for the info....and thank you TeamFusion for the many hours of enjoyment you have already brought many folks here...

~S~

EAF51_Jimmi
Jul-30-2015, 08:24
First thanks for your hard work!

I understand your reasons but i don't agree on your strategy!
I'm worried you are streaching too far...
There will be increasing competition from other flight sims (BOS & DCS)
TF patches are important to keep our community healty.
People could get tired to fly on the same planes over and over again...
I'm worried that if you stretch the releases too much you'll lose part of the community.

What about a 4.5 patch with bug corrections and just a spitV and 109F?
It will give some variety. In 1941 the role reversed Raf players will fly escort missions instead of intercepts and the contrary for the blu. Mission builders will have something new to try etc...
This will keep the community busy while waiting the new theather.

Patch 5 new theather

Patch 5.5 bug fixes +1943 planes = FW190 109g vs SpitIX and so on...

Said this thaks again for your hard work!

Jimmi editor of italian teamfusion fan page!
https://www.facebook.com/TeamFusionIL2

5th_Hellrider
Jul-30-2015, 09:31
I agree with jimmi.

Roland
Jul-30-2015, 09:47
Erreur de la Team-Fusion:


To give the tools which you have to work on public COD, and COD will advance much more quickly and will remain in competition with the other games “BOS” and “DCS” because made to you a large error want to work a group alone to leave us 1 MOD all the 3 or 4 years, which will bring COD to its loss.
Regader on IL2-1946 all the planes makes and all the maps made by the moddeurs, of course IL2-1946 has several MOD my remains still today more competitive than COD which remains at the point died due than Team-Fusion 5th to work to only make MOD on COD, which will lead COD to that loss. Because Team-Fusion alone cannot give satisfaction to all waitings of the players on COD.

This. Counter-productiv to keep secret all toolls but understand why.

Suggest no updates at all until middle next year or maybe just update every 4 month.

fear is that clod will be left behind with DCs WW2 possible sometime late 2016 early 2017 (if we lucky) and BOS will expand. Englsh French coast creates ennui now.

TF work still impressivbe. Keep going!

BenQuinn
Jul-30-2015, 10:10
Many thanks for the update.
At least we have some idea when "the big day" will be.
Can it be arranged that mods to the original game, theatre, landscape and sounds, etc. might be released ahead of the new theatre and planes work?
Taff

ATAG_Colander
Jul-30-2015, 10:47
To all that do not agree with Buzz post:
1.- The tools do not exist yet. They are being made (many in a very advanced state) and as Buzz says, there is no book on how to do them, so:
a) There's currently nothing to share
b) As he says, there's only so much time VOLUNTEERS can take from real life to invest in this. Also Keep in mind that this is time they could be playing, relaxing, enjoying time with the family etc. instead of working for you.

2.- The tools, once ready will allow a faster speed of new content. Sharing them once ready will only accomplish 1000 sub-par mods being out there.

3.- Sharing the know-how-to-mod also means sharing the know-how-to-hack-it.

4.- Preparing a smaller update for release is as big a pain in the INSERT_BODY_PART_HERE as doing it for a large one. That said, TF accomplish nothing by giving you a release with, for example, new sounds or textures only. This will just increase the complains because of the lack of substance.

5.- TF would love to finish everything and release V5.0 tomorrow but they will not release a half baked mod just as no car manufacturer will sell you a car that has no engine.

On a personal note, for those that are in a hurry, I suggest you make it your self but please let everyone at TF know so they can stop working because they all could use the personal time. Be prepared though to be making posts like this in a couple of months after you start.

ATAG_Lolsav
Jul-30-2015, 10:53
Evry time there is a update from Team Fusion usually brights my day. I cannot say im totally happy with it, but its better to have a global picture than to have nothing. Evryone who loves the game is eager to get more from TF. We do know they have saved a condemned game. They gave it a breath of life. All of us who fly today do it because we have a tremendous game. And even if it has its own flawns, it is, in my judgement, the best modern game we have of WW2.

That said, like many others, im thankfull to TF. Some of us do remember when ATAG had a "full day" with 10 players online. Now if theres those numbers on the server we think its empty. A "full day" is a server full nowdays, which happens on a regular basis, specially at week ends.

I am also worried about the life time of the scenario. But even if that plays a role, map making plays another. We need some fresh maps. God knows we need them. We need a Hurricane DH-50 vs G50s, a Spit I vs 109 E1, so on. Why all maps have to get the best planes available. A shorten (2 hours) map with those matchups could be something diffrent.



Counter-productiv to keep secret all toolls but understand why.

As for quotes like Roland, i cannot agree. And i explain why. I have read by TF members on several updates why they keep the tools private. They are very rudimentar and complex to use. That has been said tons of times. It does not have a graphical interface to work with. Also i do remember the nightmare that happened with Il2 1946, where zillions of mods emerged, causing confusion among the common user. On top of that there is a feature i value very much: Security. If nobody can alter the settings we are sure the other guy is flying a "certified" plane by Team Fusion. In IL2 1946 it was not like that. At some point players left IL2 1946 because they felt cheated by the opponent, no matter if it was just a impression or if it was for real. There was no security...

So, as much i would like TF to speed up, i really understand and value what they are doing. We have come this far. I believe we will keep moving foward.

S! :salute:

SorcererDave
Jul-30-2015, 11:38
And this is a perfect example of why TF (despite not being paid for the hard work they do) is still one of the best flight sim devs in the business. The level of transparency and honesty from you guys is appreciated more than words can really express. It's not all PR nonsense, you're not trying to sell a product, you're just trying to provide the best WW2 flight sim experience you can out of the goodness of your own hearts, and we can't thank you chaps enough for that. Take all the time you need to get the job done properly. People might ask for a cut-down early release, but evidently they don't appreciate the irony in that request. It's that kind of attitude that got Cliffs of Dover into a big old mess to begin with.

Some folks have pointed at BoS and DCS but truly I don't think we have much to worry about for a good long while. Neither support the kind of numbers that CloD has grown accustomed to supporting, BoS/BoM lacks a theater as popular and interesting as CloD's, and DCS lacks both the planes and the theater. One of the things I really like about TF's approach is that they are determined to provide the tools we need to build proper scenarios, with historically correct matching plane-sets and environments. This seems to be a very secondary concern to those in charge over at DCS, which is why you have planes from late 1943 squaring off against ones from 1945. Team Fusion would simply never do that.

Anyway, bottom-line: have a little faith. TF5 will be well worth the wait, I can already tell. Heck we already have the tools at our disposal to start making new missions set in 1941 if that's what people want - you don't need a Spit V or a 109F for that.

69th_Spiritus_Mortem
Jul-30-2015, 11:41
2.- The tools, once ready will allow a faster speed of new content. Sharing them once ready will only accomplish 1000 sub-par mods being out there.

3.- Sharing the know-how-to-mod also means sharing the know-how-to-hack-it.


This.

If a game takes more brain power to remember which mods go together or which I have to have to play on this and that server then I'd rather sit on my porch drinking beer watering the flowers.

Then add in the possibility of cheats and the game gets shelved permanently for me.

And I agree with Lolsav, more missions need to be build by different people to get some new stuff out there. Bliss posted sample missions in the DL section which should allow for more people to see how a lot of its done. The scripting part is the only hard part about mission building and there are a few people here who are willing to help out in that department.

III./ZG76_Saipan
Jul-30-2015, 11:43
http://steamcharts.com/app/63950

well lets hope we all come back in 2016.

ATAG_Lolsav
Jul-30-2015, 11:50
http://steamcharts.com/app/63950

well lets hope we all come back in 2016.

Thats true. But, as unfair it is claimed to be the comparison, this one is what Steam allows us to do:

http://steamcharts.com/cmp/63950,307960

Continu0
Jul-30-2015, 12:11
http://steamcharts.com/app/63950

well lets hope we all come back in 2016.

This is EXACTLY the reason why I support TF in their decission to wait for bigger updates. Nobody will come back permanentely when they get a half-baked update after which they think... "better, but meh... still shitty...".

But if TF presents a complete new theatre, major improvements and bugfixes, I see people coming back in the long term...

major_setback
Jul-30-2015, 12:40
I would like to point out that Buzzsaw has just given the community a general date for the release of the long awaited patch.
I, for one, am exited and surprised and slightly shocked by how close we are to it's realisation.
We're nearly there!

Cheers, Setback

RAF74_Buzzsaw
Jul-30-2015, 13:20
Regarding releasing the mod to the community:

People need to remember what happened with both IL-2 1946 and the original CLIFFS OF DOVER.

In IL-2 1946, with the tools to mod available to anyone, those interested in modding immediately split into many different factions and there were a multiplicity of mods released. Security became a concern, and hacking began to become a serious problem.

Most people threw up their hands, gave up on the independent mods, and went back to the Team Daidalous releases, or the vanilla IL-2 1946. Most of the independent mods disappeared... or survived as small niche communities.

In the case of CLIFFS OF DOVER, the game was hacked from the beginning. Anyone and everyone could fly a modded aircraft on the public servers, and there was no check on those who wanted to cheat. It is only with the TF mods first release that the game became secure.

Team Fusion has put a huge amount of time into understanding the game. We have considered very carefully exactly where we need to go and the best way to keep the community intact and growing.

We are happy to bring new members into TF if they have the skills and the integrity to work with us. But we believe the way forward is with one united community playing one modded version of the game.

Releasing the tools to the community will just open up the whole hacking and cheating can of worms again. It will just duplicate the situation with IL-2 1946 where the competing mod teams basically fractured the player pool.

This is our decision. If others disagree, they are free to find the time and skills to investigate the game on their own.

I believe this thread has had the various viewpoints expressed as well as our explanations. For that reason I am going to close it.

Thanks to everyone who commented.:salute: