Dear DCS Community,
First of all, with the end of the year fast approaching, we want to wish you and your close ones a merry Christmas and a happy new year. Our thoughts are with the people worldwide who are away from their families keeping us safe or fighting for our freedom and won’t be spending Christmas with their loved ones.
Christmas and the end of the year is often a time of reflection and looking back on what has happened in the past year. For Polychop Simulations, ever since the second half of 2020 a lot has changed when it comes to productivity in the coding department slowing down considerably for a good while. The reason for this has been a serious medical condition affecting one of our team members. With Polychop Simulations being a very small team (2 people work on the OH-58D), this has had a severe effect on the production cycle of the OH-58D Kiowa Warrior module for DCS World.
While production never stopped on the art and assets department, the coding side of things has only started to catch up during the past six months and has not yet reached the momentum it had prior to to the last half of 2020. This has to do with a lengthy recovery process.
That said, development of the OH-58D Kiowa Warrior module is making great progress with the affected team member working as hard as his current situation allows him to. During the past year we’ve decided to dial down the amount of footage, screenshots, streams and general communication to essentially stop the hype train that was befitting our initial release schedule but not the uncertain situation we found ourselves in at some point. Another reason for this has been to minimize the amount of comments that were, although understandable to some degree, hurtful towards the development team as we could not disclose the reasons behind the delay out of courtesy to the affected member and his family. We will resume updating the community with progress reports when we think the time is right for it, which is hopefully very soon.
Not all bad news though, 2021 has brought us a brand new coder who has been working on improvements the DCS SA-342 Gazelle module direly needs, essentially making sure the Gazelle’s systems are functioning as they should and fixing bugs so that when the time comes for implementing the new flight model, the Gazelle will be up to the expected standards.
Coding for the OH-58D Kiowa Warrior has resumed and we’re still working hard to perfect the flight model in cooperation with our very dedicated SME’s. Not only to have all values match the documentation but also to capture the actual feeling of flying the Kiowa Warrior as close as we can. In the meantime, a number of new features have been added due to popular request. These features are currently in a testing phase and are expected to but not guaranteed to make it in to the release. They include the option to add and remove the doors, Mast Mounted Sight and the Rapid Deployment Gear essentially completing the package that is the OH-58D in its most common variants.
Besides the gradual updates on many of its systems the Gazelle will also receive a number of cosmetic upgrades such as the ability to remove the doors on the SA-342L and adding the iconic dipole antennas used by the UK armed forces. We’re also looking in to an AI gunner for the minigun version of the Gazelle. An option to remove the hardpoints on the Gazelle is already in testing.
As has been said before, the flight model overhaul for the Gazelle will come after the release of the Kiowa Warrior module and sadly suffers from its delay. All in all, we hope and expect 2022 to be a much more productive year with the release of the Kiowa and the long awaited updates to the Gazelle.
Kiowa release date
Now the million dollar question; when will the Kiowa be released? Simply put, when it’s done. The Kiowa will be released as system complete, no early access. All systems needed for completing its intended tasks and mission will be functioning as they should. Some quality of life updates and non-essential features might be added later on after release. Things the community has requested certainly spark our interest but should not delay the release date. With the recent past showing us that many factors can influence the development cycle, we won’t be predicting any release windows any more.
Closing off, we’d like to express our gratitude to the people at Eagle Dynamics, for the patience, help and support over the years as well as Bell for providing us with the opportunity and all the support we could ever wish for. We’d also like to thank our OH-58D KW SME’s like Barundus, Roughneck 19, Josh A. and all the others who have stuck with us from day one, selflessly dedicating their time to help us create the most accurate representation of the iconic OH-58D Kiowa Warrior helicopter we possibly can. Last but not least we’d like to thank the community not only for sticking with us, the countless interesting discussions on our Discord but also for providing feedback that will lead to much needed improvements.