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Wednesday, September 11, 2013

DCS WWII Kickstarter fundraising 60% to target

The team behind the newly announced DCS WWII 1944 project went the crowd funding route with a kickstarter project: the goal was 100,000 USD to fund some extra work such as a flyable B17.

They gave themselves the month of Sept to do it, and there were many doubters, but it seems they will get there with time to spare.

As of 11 Sept, 6 days after posting the kickstarter appeal, they are at 59,000 USD, with three weeks and only 40,000 USD to go.

Looks like it might be 'game on'!

I threw in 40 dollars, why not? The game seems pretty certain to proceed and a few dollars gets you closed beta access and a couple of payware kites.

Some people hate the idea of having to pay extra for extra flyable aircraft, but if the basic game is free, there is little to gripe about.

These days I am used to paying 'per machine' for hi fidelity flight models and cockpits for both Rise of Flight, DCS and FSX/Accusim so the idea of getting three nicely modelled aircraft free and paying for extra kites of the same quality seems pretty established these days. The days when you could release a Lucasarts style sim with 12 cartoony flyable machines, all with basic cut and paste flight models, are long gone. We are so much more demanding as an audience now, because our PCs can do so much more, and those demands come at a price.

This game should arrive with at least three machines rendered with high levels of detail and quality: Republic P-47D-28 Thunderbolt; Supermarine Spitfire Mk IX; Messerschmitt Bf-109K-4. For my kickstarter contribution I'll get any other flyables that are released. The DCS P51-D I already own can be flown in this sim.

Will it materialise though?

Eagle Dynamics is a serious sim house, and the team behind this project have a track record from IL2 (albeit with a very bumpy record around Cliffs of Dover). They are adapting an existing, proven platform in DCS World, not creating new code from scratch. So, I'm betting yes, though I have realistic expectations about when. This is a team that has not learned to 'underpromise/overdeliver', in fact Ilya Shevchenko inevitably does the opposite!

He's claiming a possible release before end 2014, but warns of potential delays already as they try to integrate a new landscape engine into DCS 2015 even 2016 seems more likely.

The kickstarter idea is something different, but other developers like 777 Studios use the 'preorder' model to generate cashflow before their project is complete. Similar to kickstarter, the 'preorder' guarantees the buyer early access to the game and bonus content. The main difference is that the preorder is based on a working alpha of the game already existing, whereas for this DCS kickstarter project, the game is still largely an idea on paper.

At least there is life in the genre these days!

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