Combat Air Patrol 2 Preview & Interview

Combat Air Patrol 2 Preview & Interview

By @fearlessfrog - August 7, 2015

Originally published at: Articles - Mudspike Forums

Ok, let’s do a quick experiment. We’ll need a measuring rule, a bucket and (optionally) a towel. I’m going to list some things from a new PC flight sim coming out in 2015 (yes you read that right, this is like ‘Bigfoot Found In Walmart’ breaking news) so let’s set up the experiment:

Place the towel on the floor. Position the bucket beneath your lower lip.

Here’s the features of this new flight sim:

  • AV-8B Harrier II with 3D clickable cockpit using TrackIR and HOTAS support.
  • Single Player emphasis, with Multiplayer Co-op available, including drop-in play.
  • Dynamic Campaign engine.
  • Flight and Naval Strategic fleet battles.
  • Carrier Ops. Wingmen, Helos, Civilian traffic in shipping lanes.
  • Realistic campaign map set in the Straits of Hormuz using 250,000 sq km satellite imagery and modern graphics.
  • Dynamic Campaign engine. Yes, I just said it again.

Ok, now let’s use the ruler and see how much drool just entered that bucket. I’m betting a good couple of inches, so feel free to use the towel now and go rehydrate.

Gameplay footage of a preview build:

Combat Air Patrol 2 is a new title still in development from Sim155 of the UK. It’s been greenlit for the Steam Early Access program for October, with a small but experienced dev team, and should be in general release for Q4 2015.

The title is in Steam Green Light early access, and is still actively gathering feedback for ideas and suggestions, which is always great to see.

We haven’t had the chance to get our hands on this title as yet, but Sim155 reached out to Mudspike and we set up this short Q&A to see what’s up:

Q1. What’s the balance between single and multiplayer content in CAP2? Is this primarily a Multiplayer game?

I’d say it is 50-50. For single player there’s a collection of training missions, single missions then an open ended dynamic campaign. For multiplayer there’s quick start dogfight, fleet defense/attack and fleet vs fleet. In addition any player in a campaign can invite players to join in a mission and take the place of AI controlled wingmen.

Q2. What’s a good comparative title for CAP2, it seems similar to Gaijin’s Apache Air Assault – is that a fair comparison in terms of sim fidelity and gameplay? Fun and action more than hardcore simulation?

I’d say we lean more towards a simulation than AAS. CAP2 has a strategic element in campaign mode which I don’t think you’ll find in many titles.

Q3. I’m old enough to have played Combat Air Patrol on the Amiga 500 (great game btw), what would be the main advances Ed and the team have been able to feature in CAP2 on today’s more powerful hardware?

Glad you liked it! With CAP I developed a 3D engine in 68k assembler as we didn’t have GPU’s. With a CPU running just over 7Mhz you could see the impact of just a few extra polygons. Now we’re pushing millions of polygons per frame we can draw pretty much anything we want. Terrain in CAP was limited to a few blue water polygons, CAP2 has over 250,000sq km of geo accurate terrain. Shaders allow us to render complex atmospheric lighting, water, shadows and post process effects.

Reference material is one of the biggest differences between developing CAP2 vs CAP. Back in the 90’s I wrote to the DoD asking for material on CVN-71 and actually received info & pictures a few weeks later. Today you’ve got a thousand images/movies/schematics available in seconds so things have changed massively.

Thanks to Ed and the Sim155 team for taking the time to answer our questions. We can’t wait to find out more, especially on the dynamic campaign side. For those that loved the gameplay fun of Strike Fighters and IL-2, this looks like a really nice ‘fidelity middle ground’ with a mix of tactical fleets mixed in. Awesome.

Recently announced is the new Kickstarter for the sim, that differs from a lot of others in that it is for additional features rather than the whole game’s initial development. This represents a ‘less chance of getting burnt’ in that the stretch goals are some things that would be great to see, but won’t kill the entire game if they’re not reached. It seems like a pretty sensible way for people to show support of features they really want to see without feeling they have to carry the entire ship on their backs (or wallets).

See something you really want in the kickstarter list, well, you can help make it happen.

Ok, on with the eye candy, sprinkled with some features touted for release and kickstarter goals:


Play co­-op or against other players in single missions.

Invite players to participate in missions from your campaign

Play fleet vs fleet with a mix of players and AI opponents.

VR Support:


HTC Vive

Naval simulation:

Civilian traffic transit shipping lanes

Enter and leave ports

Campaign mode:

Dynamic open ended campaign

Set in the Straits of Hormuz

Head Tracking:

Track IR

Screen display:

Supports very wide screen aspect ratios


3d environmental audio

Radio comms and chatter

Training modes:

Learn to fly the Harrier AV8B II

Learn to deploy its weapon systems

Detailed 3D cockpit:

Selectable, articulated controls

Accurate terrain:

Campaign is set in the Straits of Hormuz

Over 250,000 sq km of terrain

Day/night cycle:

Geographically accurate environmental lighting based on longitude, latitude, date and time. Accurate star map

Tactical mission planning:

Control your fleet and air assets.

Plan your mission waypoints and target ingress/egress together with your fleet formation, route and speed.

Multiple controller support:



Rudder and MFD panel support

Gamepad mode

Plus some earlier dev shots:





Hmm, we’re going to need a bigger bucket..


I started off with a big bucket and had to get another. I’ve backed them on Kickstarter.

My biggest wish is that they can expand the multiplayer campaign. If they get that in there … it’s the killer feature that will make this a huge success (in Flight Sim terms, of course). I can imagine all the fun I can have with a group of other people playing the dynamic campaign! I filled a while bucket with the drool for that dream quickly.

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It does look promising, and for me the combination of Harrier/Carrier and being from the same dev as the original Psygnosis CAP sim is great.

For an Amiga title (1993 I think?) it was amazing in terms of the tactical map and controlling units. It took till about DCS Combined Arms to get that again. It even had in-flight refueling :smile:

Roll on for October, when we should start getting some gameplay looks.

Are we talking here about a DCS-level of simulation (with a fully clickable cockpit) or a Flaming Cliffs 3 non-clickable cockpit?

Your article seems to suggest that the game has a fully click-pit, but the interview and information available on the kickstarter page seems to suggest otherwise.

I’d be fine with an FC3 level Harrier…as long as it hovers and has some at least psuedo believable physics…sign me up!

My best guess until we get a review copy (this is just a preview, although a preview build shouldn’t be that far away so we can confirm) is that this is a clickable cockpit but with simple systems modelling, so sort of a FC3 level fidelity but still some direct clickables/binds in the cockpit.

I remember seeing some early dev screenshots while researching this that showed ‘Nozzle position’, so my best guess is there is hover (plus those Wasp-class short decks). Not sure about ‘viffing’ though! :smile:

Some additional early cockpit shots I found:

Oh man, I had not realized I was missing this from my life right now. Thanks for the heads up!

Great you got something on the site about this, seems really promising -

One thing though about the article, I don’t think the game is actually scheduled for release in 2015. The steam early access, yes, but at least according to the kickstarter it’s

“Estimated release date for the final game is July 2016, however we will be releasing in Early Access later this year.”

Also as far as clickable cockpits, if “3D cockpit with selectable articulated controls” = clickable, then I think that’s a yes.

(edited for typos).

I first got word of this title early last week. The anticipation of the possibilities for this game, led me to reach out to the developer. Ed has let me in on a couple more details, namely Hawaii is currently in game as a training area, and they have plans to add Yuma/SoCal down the road. How much coverage the Hawaii map includes will be revealed later of course, but it is a safe bet that the main airbase is MCAS Kaneohe Bay. Also other aircraft are in the works, of which, all can operate from the Wasp Class LHD’s. -Woog


Welcome @CAP2 team!

Good info on the flight model and the vertical landing modes in the new Dev Blog - thanks!

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@CAP2 - “In hard difficulty level, when you attempt a vertical landing on a pitching, crowded deck, managing your throttle, nozzle position whilst monitoring the windvane you get an idea of just how skilled real life Harrier pilots are. It’s tough but that’s the point isn’t it?”

I think I just fell in love with you!




I’m just excited that we are going to have that much control over the nozzles and that it will be that challenging to fly. I might just do carrier circuits endlessly…haha… Nice update!


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Backed !!

I would so love this game!!

Incredible that support seems to be lacking so much… :frowning:

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Yep…I went ahead and backed it today too. Hope it gets some traction…


this is on my list, what happens if they don’t make there goal on Kick Starter, as I really think they will still have a good chance, even if they don’t make the goal amount.

Also here in California we have a huge electronic do it your self Store, Called “Frye’s” and they have a huge software section, with games PC, console, the like. How come there is no CD DVD roms any longer; people will still buy those.

WOW! This looks very promising. Best of luck to the development team. You’ve got a buyer here. Something different and unique is a winner in my book.

Nice update here!


Another great update… That looks pretty darn good. I was somewhat (cynically) expecting a vertical takeoff from between those helos…but that looks pretty great! Love the sound effects too…


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