Submit your questions to Matt Wagner - AMA!

Hey Mudspikers!

Matt Wagner (Senior Producer - Eagle Dynamics) has agreed to an AMA (Ask Me Anything) so now is your opportunity to fire off some questions to The Man With the Plan. Curious about the upcoming F-16? Want to know a bit more about the Blackshark cockpit rework (yes please!)? Future plans? State of another module? Feel free to add your question to this thread, we will bring them all together, and publish his responses in article form to make it easier to digest. As usual, lets try to keep things positive. That doesn’t mean you can’t ask critical questions, but you shouldn’t be a jerk about it either. I know this community doesn’t really need that reminder (you guys are the best!), but it is nice to see community outreach from developers.

Please limit participation in this thread to your questions only - discussion can happen in other threads, but for administrative purposes it would be easier to just have your questions in a clean format. It is, of course, up to Wags to determine the length of his responses and the number of questions he’ll answer - he is, after all, also trying to accomplish meaningful work at Eagle Dynamics. Thanks for your cooperation and participation!

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How is the DCS Dynamic Campaign coming along? Tell me everything!

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When will we get real time map object placement in the Mission Editor?

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@wagmatt great idea doing an AMA! You picked the right place in my opinion. You’ll get an easy time here I hope!

My question is are there any plans to release any more ED developed campaigns or combined operations campaigns? Would this be a easy way to increase revenue for ED to fund other projects while providing more content or is it more work and resources for not much return?

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Do you plan a movable Oil Tanker unit for mission making in the Persian Gulf map (as compared to the scenery object oil tankers that are baked into the map)?

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I’d like to know about plans for these topics:

  • the new ATC/AI improvements they talked about. We have seen a few carrier based comms in Wags’ videos but I’d like to know a bit more about the scope. For example declaring emergencies, talking to the tankers a bit more, having AI flights talk to the ATC as well etc.

  • how are the weather improvements coming along? (clouds that don’t ‘spin’ in VR anymore, more cloud types, thermals, turbulence near the ground as seen in Mover’s low level video)

  • will there be a new module-independent (defined in the engine itself) implementation/improvement of IFF that is a bit more realistic? Right now DCSW looks like there are different implementations on a model to model basis

  • is ingame voice communication planned for the near future (instead of third party tools)?

  • anything new on the VR front? Examples:
    – performance improvements, maybe like the shader mod only that it wouldn’t break multiplayer
    – ways to make notes in VR (would love grease pencils on the canopy or so)

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With the upcoming revamp to the Black Shark, we’re seeing a free update to an old module combined with paid DLC to add new gizmos. Do you see this as a viable way of continuing support for all the elder modules in the back catalogue or is this something you need to try out first?

In the past, modules sort of faded through phases of being supported very actively to support getting more sparse. While I think this is a natural consequence of modules costing a finite amount of money, do you see a way of making it more transparent to users how long these phases last and what phase a module is currently in?

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With the CVN module coming soon, what else can we expect in the future for other Naval assets? Any chance of updated damage/ sensor models, or other ships and units?

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Do you plan to improve the air-ground AI at some point, for example with new attack profiles, jinking under fire or terrain following flight?

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IIRC Nick Grey mentioned that more than 50% of staff are working on non-module related items. Any insight into what the items are that are actively being worked on at this point?

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What are the future plans for the dedicated server:

-We have seen a big improvement with it lowering required system resources. Is there a potential and/or plan to further optimize in that regard?

-Will we potentially see in the future, the availability to run it as a Windows Service, and accessible via a System Tray Icon? (Useful to operators for delayed + automatic start after boot & automatic restart).

-Any possibility of a Linux based server?

-Is ED looking at integrating features like those from the community (like SRS, SLmod, etc)?

Other Areas:

-Is there a roadmap for the Warehouse/Resource system to see expansion and improvement, such as mission payload restriction (such as limiting # of Phoenix missiles an F-14 can take at once), and allowing transport planes to move resources between bases?

-Are there any plans to expand Combined Arms? This hidden gem of a module can really alter the multiplayer landscape with a cunning user at the helm, but hasn’t gained a large following.

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Greeting Matt,

I’ve heard mention of an F-4 in the works. Is there hope for this Phantom phan? If so, would I be off the mark wishing that the developer is Heatblur using the multi-crew experience and technology created building the Tomcat! Regardless, thanks for all that you do.

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Thank you for this possibility @wagmatt!
It’s an odd question, but…
Any word of when the A6 Intruder will be in Early Access in DCS?
Sorry… I’m the biggest A6 fanboi ever. :stuck_out_tongue:

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  • What are plans for DCS WWII after the P-47 and Me-262 have been completed?

  • DCS Mosquito… dream or reality?

  • Is there a plan in place to enforce better configuration management control during open beta updates? It has now gotten very common to see features completely broken requiring a hotfix… or sometimes having to wait weeks. Have some options like FitNesse tests been explored?

  • Wags spoke of weather simulation upgrades earlier… can he elaborate on what is planned to be improved?

  • Can Wags elaborate on the techniques used to reverse-engineer the P-47’s flight performance model with wind tunnel testing?

  • Are there plans to create an ATIS?

  • WIll VOIP be part of the DCS core instead of having to rely on SRS?

  • The Hind is one of the most anticipated helicopter modules ever. How will the multicrew work on that helicopter?

  • Will the Yak-52 ever be patched? Basic things like ADF are still not implemented.

  • What is next after the F-16?

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  • Given current staffing decisions re the Hornet and Falcon, how has the development of promised core improvements to DCS World (e.g. weather, ATC, ai improvement, Chizh’s recently announced missile re-re-rework, rate of bug fixes) been delayed by staffing demands for the protracted development of MAC?

  • Why was development of the F-16 pushed so closely behind the Hornet when waiting another year would have provided a more mature feature repository to exploit?

  • What are the development statuses of the formerly Belsimtek Attack Choppers? Has the specific variant of the AH-1 been determined?

  • Given current performance issues with ground AI pathfinding, especially with regards to server stability, what if any improvements are planned in preparation for the in work dynamic campaign?

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I was intrigued by the hints to a squadron room in the upcoming super carrier module. Can you please elaborate a little more on the features especially in regards to multiplayer? Have you thought about integrating common online collaboration technology for briefing/debriefing like showing slides or even providing templates for common briefing topics?

What is your opinion on the lovely crafted main menus of the classic 90s flightsims which immersed the player into some fighter squadron base atmosphere compared to today’s rather cold and functional GUIs?

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What is the capital of Montana? …what…he’s said AMA :wink:

OK, seriously I’ve got a lot of questions but every time I start to write one it reads like I am whining because they are nit-noids…like when you click on New for a new payload in the ME, it doesn’t automatically highlight the “New Payload” name so when you go to type in your new name it just sits there…yeah…so I won’t ask that one…or why adding an airfield was removed from the ME or why I have to go out several screens from the ME to change from Metric to Imperial…

Not a question

(That last one can be a bother because western aircraft fly altitudes in feet (divisible by 1,000 or 100) while eastern aircraft fly altitudes in meters (divisible by 1,000 or 100) so when you are creating a mission with western and eastern aircraft, you need to do the conversion outside of the ME).

:grin:

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Wow, a mudspike AMA, cool!

First off, I want to express my gratitude for your continuous work enabling our niche hobby. We are living in the dawn of a golden era of flight simulation and IMO we have you to thank for it in a large part.

Some questions then:

Mr. Wagner, how do you cope with the rabid internet angst mobs? It’s been a thing since the pre-early access days, when usenet would explode about unflyable, broken games being sold (their words) and then (sometimes) patched up to a working state. You must have a long history of dealing with that stuff. How do you do it?

How did the Eagle Dynamics team cope with the loss of Dr. Tishin? On a personal level and on a professional level? Was the sudden lack of his knowledge and insight hard to overcome? How did you all manage to keep on truckin’ ? (because the pace of development has been relentless imo)

I am very much looking forward to the ATC rework and the Dynamic Campaign. Could you tell us something about the sort of scope you are gunning for? Will it be a complete multiple-layered simulation of an entire war, like a certain other sim famously tried? Or will it be smaller and more gamey like the Enemy Engaged helicopter sims did?

Last a more personal question: I thought I read somewhere you are bound to a wheelchair following some kind of accident. Do you still have the use of your legs to operate rudder pedals or do you use something else?

Thanks for visiting our cosy little corner of the dark and angry internet. You are more than welcome!

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So many excellent questions here already and some even cover what I’m going to ask but I’ll ask anyway. I’ve always found the modules in DCS to be so much fun, early access and finished. However, one thing I’ve been waiting for is for ED to give us more atmosphere for the aircraft, particularly certain modules to immerse ourselves in.

By this I mean for example, ED has two wonderfully detailed and finished modules in the F-86F Sabre and the Mig-15. I’ll throw in RazBam’s excellent Mig-19P as well. However there is no map centered on the time-frame these aircraft flew in, let alone proper ground assets to bomb and populate the map in which to create immersive scenarios. No AI aircraft of the same era in which to populate the virtual skies of our Korean War/early Cold War battles.

More examples of which others have mentioned: Proper ATC from airfields, more immersive and detailed AWACS/GCI communications between aircraft and the AI controllers. Better weather options in order to create a plethora of conditions in which to fly in. All again adding to the atmosphere of DCS World.

Is any of this going to be implemented? Will ED update and or upgrade the atmosphere of DCS to compliment the superb fidelity of it’s modules? Will they work on the “world” aspect of DCS and not just the aircraft modules?

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Cheeky question, but could we have a quick update on the progress of the Hind, cannot wait to skim over the trees with my gunner popping tanks with the atgms.

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