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Friday, September 14, 2012

Cliffs of Dover is Dead, Long Live the Sequel?

I am afraid not my dear 1C.

1C has confirmed there will be no further work on Cliffs of Dover after the current patch is delivered. The 1C Forum is burning with disappointed players who feel they have paid for a broken product which has never been fixed.

Personally, for me, the game code itself is quite stable and playable on medium settings.

But all the gameplay elements which were broken at launch and never fixed have meant I have not spent much time on the sim lately (combat AI is a joke, FMs questionable especially with latest beta, campaigns porked, radio commands removed or not working, quick mission options limited, and online play has always been hit and miss with many CTDs and maps not able to handle many aircraft simultaneously.)

Luthier advises they are walking away from Cliffs of Dover, of which they were 'not proud', because it has lost too much money and they need to focus on the sequel.

The question 1C needs to ask themselves, is why would anyone who got burned on Cliffs of Dover, buy their sequel at all.

This is not pre-democracy Russia, where the public had one choice of crappy vehicle, the Lada, and the makers did not care because there was no competition.

Wait, is that a Lada, or Cliffs of Dover? 

The flight sim genre is actually quite healthy at the moment. So I will not be buying the 1C sequel until it is proven to be playable. Not making that mistake again.

In the meantime I recommend all players to move their support to flight simulator developers who are honest and credible and support their customers, of which there are many: A2A (Microsoft FS add-ons and BOB2),  Eagle Dynamics (DCS series), 777 (Rise of Flight), Gaijin (Wings of Prey, War Thunder) or OFF (Over Flanders Fields), to name a few.

Anyway here is the bad news from lead developer, Luthier, on the 1C forums:

Hello everyone,

It’s been too long since I’ve posted on here. Black Six has been doing such a good job managing the forums and interacting with the community that it really allowed me to sit back and just focus on managing the product.

I apologize if my absence has upset some of you. I know the community adores wild rumors, but we’re all still here, and we’re working very hard on making the Il-2 series better.

However as you might have guessed, the brunt of the team’s efforts has gradually shifted to the sequels. I know many of you won’t be happy, and neither are we. Cliffs of Dover is still not the product we are happy with or proud of. Unfortunately, as all businesses we have goals, budgets, profits, losses, expenses, and wages. We have milestones to meet with our future products, and we just cannot miss those.

So for the past two weeks the team has been working hard on delivering a stable, working milestone for the sequel.

The general plan is, after the milestone is submitted and accepted, we return to the now almost-final patch, cram as much as we can into it, and make it our final Cliffs of Dover patch. The next time it will be updated is when you install the sequel over it.

Are we happy with that? No. But we simply cannot continue to support and grow Cliffs of Dover while also trying to ensure our sequels are released on time and are sufficiently polished. I’m sure most of you will agree that we have already supported our release more than perhaps any other developer in a similar situation. Most of you have probably guessed that Cliffs of Dover was not exactly the most profitable project in the world, and for at least the past year supporting it did nothing for the bottom line but put it deeper into the red.

Having said all that, Alexander sent me a short list of the most commonly asked questions. So here are the answers.

1) When do you expect to have full-featured anti-aliasing?
We still didn’t get to that task as our graphic programmers still have a pile of even higher priority issues to cover. So, not in the next patch.

2) Will the next patch be fully NVidia certified, and will it have Crossfire support?
NVidia – definitely. CF – still TBD.

3) Will there be a complete readme?

4) What’s the status of the Su-26 and the SDKs?
We will most likely include the Su-26 in the final patch for free. The SDKs, we really want to release at least the map-making SDK to the public “as is”, which is why they’re not covered by the next patch v. sequels discussion. However simply packing up the source code into a package that can be released to the public is a somewhat lengthy task that can only be done by our lead programmer. Once he’s done putting out the fires, and once the patch is out the door, we’ll find a way to squeeze that into his schedule.

With that, I'm out. I'll be back at the end of the day to answer more of your questions.

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