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Eagle Dynamics comienza con Blackshark una nueva saga


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Ubi Soft e Eagle Dynamics (ED) han trabajado durante años como desarrollador y distribuidor respectivamente. En esta colaboración, Ubi siempre ha marcado el camino y la senda a ED, lo cual les ha llevado a tomar decisiones de las que luego se han arrepentido. Cuando apareció LOMAC en 2003, este producto sufría de una gran cantidad de bugs, pero se puso a la venta por la presión de Ubi Soft. Posteriormente, con la salida en 2005 de Flaming Cliffs (LOMAC 1.1), ED decidió romper su acuerdo de distribución con Ubi. Sin embargo, Ubi seguía disfrutando del acuerdo con LOMAC ya que tenía derechos adquiridos sobre el producto, lo cual ataba a ED.

Ahora, con el desarrollo de Blackshark como expansión de LOMAC, Ubi Soft exigía tomar parte en los beneficios del producto ya que, como expansión de un producto de su propiedad, legalmente les capacitaba para ello. Sin embargo, ED consideraba que Blackshark era un producto totalmente nuevo, muy evolucionado, por lo que no había lugar para seguir compartiendo beneficios con Ubi Soft.Aquí se estableció un dilema: sacar Blackshark como expansión y de este modo seguir con Ubi Soft, o convertir Blackshark en un producto separado totalmente, con lo cual Ubi Soft no podría intervenir ni en fechas de salida, ni en distribución, ni en ningún otro aspecto. Además, al ser Blackshark un producto separado totalmente de LOMAC, no hay  ataduras con la tecnología ya antigua de este simulador. 

Ka-50

Así pues, Ubi Soft y ED de nuevo se separan, y esperamos que en esta ocasión de forma definitiva. Ubi Soft ha demostrado que su interés por los simuladores es cada vez menor, y su modelo de negocio, orientado a los videojuegos, choca cada vez más con la filosofía de los modernos simuladores, que requieren equipos y tecnologías muy distintos, teniendo además como “target” un tipo de usuario muy diferente al de los videojuegos tradicionales, especialmente de consolas, que es donde Ubi Soft se está centrando cada vez más.

En línea con la nueva filosofía que supone Blackshark y el concepto DCS (Digital Combat Simulator) de crear una nueva línea de productos, Eagle Dynamics está oficialmente desarrollando ya dos nuevas aeronaves a incluir: el helicóptero de combate AH-64A Apache, y el avión de ataque A-10 Thunderbolt II, conocido como Warthog. Atentos a este A-10, probablemente, y si los datos que tenemos no son incorrectos, vamos a tener un avión con un modelado de la aviónica que va a dejar cualquier cosa vista hasta ahora en la prehistoria. Eagle Dynamics también está pensando en nuevos desarrollos, y en foros y patios de Internet se especula con varios aviones rusos y occidentales. Aunque no hay nada oficial de momento, es muy probable que en poco tiempo más de uno se lleve una agradable sorpresa. La idea de Eagle Dynamics es lanzar nuevas aeronaves más o menos cada nueve meses.

 

 

Ka-50

Para aquellos que quieran seguir con LOMAC, Eagle Dynamics es consciente de la gran comunidad de aficionados que hay con este simulador, y seguirán dando soporte a este producto, además de estar preparando un nuevo parche para mejoras diversas del simulador.

Blackshark incorporará un lenguaje interno llamado LUA, que permitirá modificar algunos aspectos del simulador, como texturas y modelos, modificación de algunos sistemas, y la interfaz de usuario.Las especificaciones técnicas del simulador serán: CPU: 2 GHz; RAM: 1 GB; tarjeta gráfica: Nvidia GeForce FX con 256 MB de RAM / ATI Radeon X1300 con 256 MB de RAM o equivalente; 3 GB de espacio en el disco duro; Sistema operativo: Windows XP SP2 y Vista con DirectX 9 o 10. La primera versión no hará uso de los procesadores de doble núcleo pero se espera incluir esta opción en futuras versiones. Ni que decir tiene que estas especificaciones dadas por Eagle Dynamics son las mínimas, sin duda un equipo con un Intel Core 2 Duo o similar y gráficas de última generación sacarán el máximo de este simulador.Blackshark se venderá directamente de forma online, al estilo “steam” como ya se vende Flaming Cliffs. También parece que se pueda comprar en tienda en caja. No se conoce todavía el precio que tendrá tanto en venta online como en venta directa.La salida de Blackshark se producirá en 2008, ya que, aunque el simulador está acabado, se están preparando diversos materiales necesarios como las lecciones de entrenamiento, manuales, corrección de bugs, optimización del software, afinación y puesta a punto de los complejos sistemas de aviónica, etc.Para más información, os dejamos con las FAQ del simulador, y podéis también visitar este enlace.

 


FAQ

Q: Everyone thought that Black Shark was going to be an add-on to Lock On, why did this not happen? A: As we evaluated the concept of doing a helicopter simulation with a 6DOF clickable cockpit, new terrain area, very detailed avionics and a new mission and campaign structure, it became clear that we could not use the Lock On code, and we would have to develop a highly-modified version of our existing 'The Fighter Collection Simulation Engine' (TFCSE) with new code. Additionally, whereas Lock On was a survey simulation that featured several aircraft at a medium level of fidelity, we wanted to start a new product line that studies one aircraft at a time in exquisite detail. Q: Why are you publishing Black Shark yourselves? A: The entertainment PC-based Flight Simulation market is very specialized and very different from the console market that the major publishers focus on. Through our experience of self-publishing Flaming Cliffs, we have developed the knowledge and expertise to sell and market directly to the Flight Simulation market through both on-line and retail channels. Q: The public demonstrations at shows indicate that Black Shark looks already completed; why are you waiting until 2008 to launch? A: Black Shark can be played as either a serious study simulation or as a casual game. For those who wish to have the complexity of a serious study simulation, we need to create training lessons with voice-overs that guide the user through the complexities of the various systems, avionics, engines, weapons etc. This can be a very time-intensive process. We also need the time to write the manuals, create exciting missions and campaigns, fully de-bug the code, and get the product into the market place with proper marketing. Q: What will be the retail price of Black Shark? A: We are currently evaluating pricing strategies for both retail and online and will announce this prior to launch. Q: Your press release indicates that Black Shark is the first in a series of DCS modules, with more aircraft/helicopters to follow. How soon will these new aircraft become available? A: We are already developing the A-10A “Warthog" and AH-64A “Apache” (with planned front-seat / back-seat multiplayer) and other western and eastern aircraft will follow with an approximate interval of every nine months. To annouce these later aircraft now would be premature because plans can often change and lead to delays due to numerous factors such as our work in the equally important military simulation market. Q: Does the launch of the new DCS series mean the end of Lock On? A: Absolutely not. The DCS series and Lock On will live side by side for many years to come. The Lock On community is extremely active, with many websites, and new users are purchasing Lock On and Flaming Cliffs every day. Modifications are continually being launched by the communities that enhance the Lock On experience. Though we will not be launching new aircraft for Lock On, we are evaluating a 1.13 patch to meet the continual demands of the Lock On community. Q: What copy protection system will the DCS series use? A: We are currently evaluating several protection methods that we hope will balance the protection of our investment with customer concerns. Q: How will multiplayer compatibility be ensured between players with different DCS modules? A: The base DCS simulation environment will be continually upgraded and improved with release of new modules. However, as each new DCS base version is released, all DCS users can upgrade to the same base version to ensure compatibility. The only difference between players would be the selection of what aircraft would be player-controllable versus AI-controlled according to which modules were purchased. Q: There was earlier discussion of the use of “Speed Trees” in Black Shark. Will DCS use “Speed Trees”? A: For this first iteration of DCS the answer is no. We experimented with “Speed Trees” in earlier builds but found that our proprietary tree generation technology provides much better results at medium and high altitudes and provides much better frame rates. We will revisit this technology in later iterations of the DCS. Q: I own “Lock On”, which was also developed by Eagle Dynamics, and I want to know if “Lock On” aircraft will be part of DCS? A: DCS is a whole new product line and is not compatible with “Lock On”. The only flyable aircraft in the initial release of DCS will be the Ka-50. DCS and Lock On will not be multiplayer compatible. Q: Will DCS include a dedicated server option? A: Not in the initial release, but this is a feature we plan for a later iteration of DCS. Q: Will infantry be included in DCS? A: We have been experimenting with animated infantry but the technology is still incomplete and it is still uncertain if this feature will make it into the initial DCS version. Q: Will there be a DCS: Black Shark demo? A: Right now our primary focus is on finishing DCS: Black Shark and making it available to you. Once this task is complete, we will evaluate the creation of a playable demo. No decision has been made at this time. Q: How modifiable will DCS be? A: Our number one goal of any tools to modify the program will be to maintain multiplayer compatibility between players and as much as possible neutralize online cheating. With that in mind, we will provide an extensive set of options using LUA code to modify certain systems, replace models and textures, and modify the GUI. Q: What are DCS: Black Shark minimum specifications? A: Although not final, we project the minimum specification to be as follows: CPU: 2 GHz; RAM: 1 GB; Graphics card: Nvidia GeForce FX with 256 MB of RAM / ATI Radeon X1300 with 256 MB of RAM or equivalent; 3 GB free HD space; Operating system: Windows XP SP2 and Vista with DirectX 9 or 10. Q: Will DCS: Black Shark be Vista-compatible and take advantage of multi-core processors? A: The initial release of DCS will use a heavily modified version of our TFCSE simulation engine that will run Windows XP SP2 and Vista equally well using either DirectX 9 or DirectX 10. However, DCS versions based on the TFCSE engine will not take advantage of DirectX 10 unique features or multi-core processors. We plan however to provide such features in our new simulation engine that is currently in development for later versions of DCS.

 

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