Jump to content

** F-14 Road to Release + Christmas Update!! **


Recommended Posts

Heatblur Christmas Melt!


Heatblur Simulations is super excited to kick off our new Christmas Sales event, running from now through January 1st at our store:




Grab the Legendary
AJS 37 Viggen at -50% off
or prepare yourself or a friend for the launch of the
F-14A & B Tomcat
, by grabbing or giving away our new Heatblur store credit gift cards!

These are also on sale through January 1st, and a great way to save some money off upcoming products and pre-orders!




We’ve also brought back the Viggen launch shirt! This has been a fan-favourite since we launched the Viggen.

After our rocky start as a seller of physical products, we’ve changed shipping carrier to avoid any future mishaps. Shipping is still free at Heatblur.com!


Shopping on the heatblur store goes a long way in supporting the Heatblur development team and making our roadmap a reality.


We’d like to wish you all a merry christmas and a happy new year.

Thank you all for your support!


Heatblur Simulations









The Road to Release

Running an Endless Mile











Dear All,


The good news is: I still have all of my fingers. And after much deliberation, I’ve decided not to eat a sock.

Instead, I’ll write this post, and I hope it will be enough to sway you to put away your pitchforks.


Let’s quickly rewind to earlier this year.

We had just released the AJS 37 Viggen, the result of a super stressful development crunch, skipped Christmas(es), and lots of uncertain new technologies (some of which we finished, truly, at the last minute before reveal).

It was arduous and my shower drain still hasn’t fully recovered from the hair loss. Alas; we made it! Nothing could stop us now! Full steam ahead on bugfixes, new features and the F-14!


Having a relatively successful release can make you overly confident, however.

You become too much of an unrealistic idealist, and quite frankly, the arduous time prior to the Viggen’s launch was going to eventually take its toll. We didn’t know it at the time, but some of us were fizzling out, and standing on the gas pedal really doesn’t help with a fuel starved engine. In our post success hubris, I made the absolute dumbest statement I’ve made in, well, forever. Allow me to quote myself for ultimate posterity and shame:


2017. No exceptions. Unless some cataclysmic event occurs, or serious bodily harm/illness to integral F-14 team members.


The picard double facepalm is not potent enough to describe what a boneheaded PR move this post is.

There was a voice in the back of my head screaming from past (MiG-21) lessons learned, but pff! we just released the Viggen. Nothing can go wrong! Silence, ye bellowing hounds, I rebuked as I hit the Post button.


Funnily enough though, nothing really has gone wrong, per se.


In fact, it’s been the complete opposite.


Software development is an exercise in constant trade-offs and choices.

Some are hard to make, but the decisions that led us to missing our window this year were as easy as pie. It doesn’t make us missing our public projections any less disappointing however.


For the Viggen, we experimented with new development methods, and developed new and very exciting in-house workflows, some focused around laser scanning technologies.

After releasing the Viggen, we decided to put all of our new experience to good use. Our goal has always been, and will continue to be to raise the bar to new levels, and what better time to take a massive step forward than with the F-14?

We knew it would be expensive, in both money and time - but our choices this year have been made without any hesitation.


There are no shortcuts when it comes to quality.






The results of this years events will not only be an aircraft with incredible simulation depth and accuracy, but an audiovisual experience that is dimensionally accurate down to the millimeter level, inside and out. The final results will speak for themselves, and we believe it will be the most accurate digital rendition of a flight simulation aircraft to date.


I could try a ham-fisted attempt to shove in ancient miyamoto platitudes of a delayed game eventually being good right about now, but I will stick to just mentioning that its core message aptly applies to DCS: F-14.


As clichéd as it sounds; the F-14 represents nothing less than a dream opportunity for our team. Moreso, it’s one thing to start a complex project such as this, but we believe we are in a unique position where we have the skill, new and cutting edge in-house tools and workflows, and a perfect blend of knowledge needed to make a truly outstanding F-14 experience.

Not just limited to one area of the module, but one which spans across the entire audiovisual experience, to the simulation depth of the FM and systems, and with Jester yelling at you over the ICS for screwing up as the cherry on top.


The bottom line is: the F-14 is intended to be the bedrock for the next decade of Heatblur Simulations. We can afford a delay, but we can’t disrespect the F-14 with an underwhelming release. In addition to this, the F-14 is integral to the technologies and methodologies required to complete our ambitious product roadmap, which is chock full of interesting and complex multi seat jet aircraft. I guess this is all also a long winded way of saying: if we were concerned only with revenue to development time performance ratios, we would have released the F-14 already. It wouldn’t have been poor, but it wouldn’t have been amazing either. And that is an abject failure in our eyes.


Most importantly however: I’d like to apologize to you all for keeping your hopes up for this year. It was not done in malice nor incompetence (biased opinion, I know, but we do try to be very introspective at Heatblur). We are very sorry. The wait will be worth it, we promise.




The ultimate question becomes then, when? Honestly, we don’t know.

The aircraft feels very much like a complete product (despite the in-game aircraft still being the Chromecat) - but we need some more time to migrate in all of our new art assets, and brush all of the dust away. The FM is complete, and most, if not all of the systems are Early Access or close to Early Access ready. Our team will be entering 2018 high on optimism and success.


So expect it sooner rather than later. We know it’s disappointing not to have a specific date, but we’d rather not let you down again. And thanks to your continued patience, what will eventually arrive, will hopefully be an amazing product and experience. One which feels complete, high quality and exactly what you expect when you hear the name “Heatblur Simulations”.


In summary, do not be pessimistic about the question “when”. We aren’t, and currently, that says a lot. More importantly, we have not compromised our goal of trying to be the best, and we hope you find that equally as important as knowing when.


Now that you’ve been thoroughly bored; lets move on to some specifics!



F-14 Art


One of the biggest remaining items on the F-14 remains the completion of the entire gamut of visual assets.


The biggest task for the art team this year has been completely and utterly nuking anything currently in use from existence.

single piece of media, artwork, models, textures, indicator graphics, etc you’ve seen so far (with the exception of the new TCS and screenshots from a month ago) have been (or will be) thrown away and replaced by completely new, unassociated assets.


Witness Me! Bellows the Chromecat as it gets ground by the trash compactor.


The scale of this revamp effort was initially limited to bigger chunks of the cockpit and exterior. However, with our new sculpting and laser scanning based workflow, which we created during the Viggen’s development, this replacement effort has grown to encompass every single asset built from 2014 and onwards. We are confident that we will attain absolutely unparalleled quality in our work, and match the immersion of simulation depth with an appropriately advanced audiovisual experience.


Since about April 2017, our art team has been working double time and rebuilt the Pilot Cockpit, RIO Cockpit and Exterior Model in their entirety. This has been a monumental effort, and we undertook a temporary team expansion in order to handle the increased workload.




Current tasks for the art team focus primarily around completion of exterior and interior textures. We consider this to be the most important step in the visual development process, and the F-14 is particularly labour intensive, with complex and interesting weathering patterns.


Our team is operating at peak efficiency, and we’re nearing the end stages in both interior and exterior artwork. Expect the eyecandy to start rolling in as all of our new assets are completed and tied together with the rest of the aircraft.


Another big task is of course our CV59-62 Forrestal Class Battle Group effort. While most of the art team is currently focused exclusively on the F-14 itself, we do not expect it to take long to wrap the carrier and associated assets. We’ve spent a few thousand man-hours on the Forrestal thus far; and have built the carrier to be future proof in terms of detail and accuracy.






Systems and FM


For some of the latest in-depth detail on the Systems and FM modeling of the Tomcat, I’d like to point you to our November update (Scan, Lock, Fire!) - available to read here:


In general, most of the engineering team’s focus lies in the same areas as last month. Our work is heavily focused around completion of the AWG-9 weapons system, JESTER AI and currently, some of the more complex Nav and Datalink features (such as INS, Link 4 (both player to player and Player to AI).




Early next year, we will start producing in-depth gameplay videos of the aircraft. This will be a great opportunity for us to go into much more depth on the aircraft and it’s systems fidelity.


With all of this said however, we’re very excited to note that the F-14 codebase can be considered in a practically Early Access ready state. We consider the Flight Model essentially complete, with minor tweaks being implemented (particularly in things like the control dampeners). We’ve also been working on a brand new engine model that will power most of our jet driven aircraft in the future and tying that together with the F-14.


That said, owing to the large complexity of this project, the F-14 will undoubtedly launch with a featureset that is not 100% complete. This is especially true with components like JESTER, which we consider to be integral to our roadmap for the next decade, and will be receiving massive improvements over time.




These are the kinds of features that we will grow over time, and will transition naturally into future multi-seat jet projects. Despite this however, we feel very confident in how complete the aircraft currently is, and the depth of our systems simulation will match our effort in other areas of development.








AJS 37 Development Update


While most of your excitement currently revolves around the F-14; we’re still working hard on our post release AJS 37 roadmap.

We’ve recently unveiled some of the bigger, new, free features coming to the Viggen- such as the AI J-35 Draken. We’ve spent a lot of time building this aircraft to the same exacting standard as you’d expect from a flyable DCS module.




The Draken is an integral part of what we consider to be our AJS 37 Content Push.

The Content push for the Viggen primarily revolves and focuses around the two campaigns that we are working on, which will ship for free for the module. Both campaigns will be set in the Caucasus region, and one campaign will be a short 6 mission “mini campaign”.


Of course, the aircraft itself will be no stranger to expansion and improvements, both in and outside the game. Some of the major changes coming to the Viggen are as follows:


  • Major and minor bugs still remaining.

  • New, J-35 Draken AI

  • An overhaul of the cockpit to take full advantage of PBR BRDF (see F-14 cockpit samples)

  • Completely new exterior soundset, accurately recreating the sound of the Volvo RM8 as mounted in the AJS 37 Viggen.

  • New Caucasus Mini-Campaign

  • New Caucasus Main-Campaign

  • New in-cockpit pilot

  • Manual imagery and content completion

  • New Liveries, including fictional and JA-37 liveries

  • More Training Missions

  • New Single Player Missions

  • More new, secret content!


With these changes and additions, we hope that the AJS 37 will be considered one of the best packages of content available for $59.99. One of our prime goals is to make sure that everything we build is filled to the brim with content. The F-14 will be no different, and we have some exciting announcements to make with regards to the Tomcat as well.


Some of you have expressed concern that the AJS 37 will fall to the wayside with the coming of the F-14. The opposite is actually true. We consider 2018 to be a year where we consolidate both of our products, iron out any remaining flaws in both, and make sure that we can move ahead with a clean and low-intensity (upkeep wise) slate.






In Closing; from the entire team and very sincerely, we’d like to wish you all a Merry Christmas. This community never fails to make us feel safe in our investment of money, time and effort into developing new modules. We hope you’ll look past your disappointment of not flying the Tomcat yet, and stick with us as we wrap things up and launch.


For some of our team, this will be the first Christmas in a few years where we won’t be working over the holidays (as you can expect, Christmas 2016 was non-existant!). It’s been a long and tough year for us, with some amazing highs (Viggen launch) and super lows (F-14 deliverable date misses).


That said, the entire team is absolutely brimming with confidence and optimism. We believe we’ve built an amazing product, and we can’t wait to launch it.







Heatblur Simulations





Edited by Cobra847
  • Like 3

Nicholas Dackard


Founder & Lead Artist

Heatblur Simulations



Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 209
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Great stuff. The gift cards are a brilliant idea! I'd love to be able to ask for DCS products for Christmas and birthdays etc but obviously it isn't really possible. I really wish ED would do a similar thing. Or at least allow us to use your gift card on their store?


I can't wait for the F-14, and I'm at the point now where you've become one of those devs that I'm just excited about in general and will take great interest ion anything you guys make.

  • Like 1


Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • ED Team

Thanks for the update, it is looking amazing.

Have a good xmas!


Forum rules - DCS Crashing? Try this first - Cleanup and Repair - Discord BIGNEWY#8703 - Youtube - Patch Status

Windows 11, NVIDIA MSI RTX 3090, Intel® i9-10900K 3.70GHz, 5.30GHz Turbo, Corsair Hydro Series H150i Pro, 64GB DDR @3200, ASUS ROG Strix Z490-F Gaming, HP Reverb G2

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for the update, though I expected some actual F-14 external model images to be finally released, a bit disappointed for this and makes me wonder why you can't show it yet but its ok.


All seems to be going very nicely and the Tomcat will probably be the top module for DCS. :)


Thanks and Merry Christmas to the Team!

Edited by watermanpc

Take a look at my MODS here

Link to comment
Share on other sites

happy chrismast and new year, heatblur team ;)

More news to the front

My Rig: AMD Ryzen 7 1800X Eight-Core  3.60 GHz / Crosshair VI Hero / Corsair H115i / 48 GB DDR4 RAM Vergance RGB Pro / GTX-1080 8 GB RAM / HD 1Tb / SSD 2Tb/2x1Tb / Warthog / 2 MDF / TFPR / Track Ir V / Logitech G633

DCS: Roadmap (unofficial): https://forums.eagle.ru/showthread.php?t=116893

DCS: List of Vacant models: https://forums.eagle.ru/showthread.php?p=4076891#post4076891

Silver_Dragon Youtube

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks a lot for the updates ... I already have both the Mig-21 and the Viggen, and looking forward to purchasing your F-14 whenever its ready ... :)


For work: iMac mid-2010 of 27" - Core i7 870 - 6 GB DDR3 1333 MHz - ATI HD5670 - SSD 256 GB - HDD 2 TB - macOS High Sierra

For Gaming: 34" Monitor - Ryzen 3600X - 32 GB DDR4 2400 - nVidia GTX1070ti - SSD 1.25 TB - HDD 10 TB - Win10 Pro - TM HOTAS Cougar - Oculus Rift CV1

Mobile: iPad Pro 12.9" of 256 GB

Link to comment
Share on other sites


How much is F-14A/B?

I want to buy gift card.


Hi Crow!


We haven't discussed exact pricing with our partners at Eagle Dynamics yet; but it's a safe bet that the Phoenix card will cover the F-14 pre-order and the Mjolnir one will cover that + a shirt bundle or other F-14 merchandise planned. :)

Edited by Cobra847

Nicholas Dackard


Founder & Lead Artist

Heatblur Simulations



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for the update! And Merry Christmas to the Heatblur crew!

AMD Ryzen 9 5950X | Aorus X570 Master | 64GB G Skill Trident Z Royal | EVGA RTX 3090 FTW3 Ultra| Samsung EVO Plus 2 TB M.2 PCIe SSDs | TM Hornet Stick/WinWing Hornet Throttle | VPC T-50 Stick Base | TM TPR Rudder Pedals W/Damper | HP Reverb G2

VFA-25 Fist of the Fleet

Carrier Strike Group One(CSG-1) Discord

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Crow!


We haven't discussed exact pricing with our partners at Eagle Dynamics yet; but it's a decently safe bet that the Phoenix card will cover the F-14 pre-order and the Mjolnir one will cover that + a shirt bundle or other F-14 merchandise planned. :)


So that means the " normal " price will be 80 bucks ?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

So that means the " normal " price will be 80 bucks ?


No pricing model for the F-14 has been set yet.

The cards are modeled after current pricing levels in which $60 covers a full-priced module and $80 covers a full priced module with merchandise.

Edited by Cobra847

Nicholas Dackard


Founder & Lead Artist

Heatblur Simulations



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Crow!


We haven't discussed exact pricing with our partners at Eagle Dynamics yet; but it's a safe bet that the Phoenix card will cover the F-14 pre-order and the Mjolnir one will cover that + a shirt bundle or other F-14 merchandise planned. :)




Mjolnir purchased! My body is ready.



Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Link to comment
Share on other sites


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Create New...