Do not buy this game

Yes! Seriously! We're telling you why you should NOT get Combat Helo!

The road to release - Part 2

Richard keeps sharing what lies ahead until the release.

It's Alive

Welcome to Combat-Helo and short update on UI changes.

Official word on DCS World

Richard tells you what's Combat Helo's official stance


Hanger High

"How long has it been since your confession update?" Finally a work update. A new front-end in the works, helicopter system updates and miscellaneous news.

Helicopter Updates

The Apache start-up is mostly a fully automatic process and simply a matter of configuring for flight. The powerplant simulation is the module that manages oil, hydraulics, gas turbine temp, rpms etc. It was a little on the simplistic side with commented out code ... digression for a little code rant in case this blog falls back in time and I happen to read it; Please don't leave commented out code everywhere. Or anywhere. You look at it months or years later and wonder which version of the algorithm was the one you meant to use. You didn't think to annotate each version, or date them. Just don't. It's dead code Jim....

Under the Hood – Mod-ability

Summer is almost over. Mrs CombatHeloDev and I were hoping to be in a different house by the time you read this. Things didn't quite work out the way we wanted sadly, most stressful. Anyway. Since that period of excitement is over, back to my own personal projects and Combat Helo has been getting some much needed dev attention. This week I've been working to ready another test build which will be opened up to more testers. Yay.


In the meantime I think this is a good time to look at modability and give something to the community. We'll be releasing an Apache model viewer to allow you folks to experiment and maybe create some awesome paint jobs, or taunt us with embarrassing ones. I'm sure Hello Kitty will feature somewhere. To this end I want to...

July update and Testing Feedback

Back from lengthy sabbatical. After a break to recharge my batteries it's time to knuckle down again. What's been happening? By early May I was back to one man development which was exhausting, after the initial burst of development earlier and the realization of what's left to fix up it was really difficult to maintain that momentum for a lengthy duration. Updates were difficult, this June I was involved in an urgent work project, I can't say much about that due the nature of what we do (medical information). It was mentally exhausting, challenging and now over. Some cool things have happened since May. The excitement surrounding the dog-fighting module for Arena Commander was something we all got caught up in. It was re-assuring to see Chris Robert's team having similar HOTAS config issues. That validated it as...


I thought the title (to be determined) was apt because this week I'm talking about how we're trying to determine what work is outstanding, how we figured multi-player should work and it's also the name of the Gas Station on the gunnery range. (Dave textured the station model and used TBD as a logo placeholder, which stuck). Moving into the testing cycle, more like being dragged kicking and screaming has been a rude awakening. It's not been a smooth process. Flight simulation is demanding of hardware at the best of times and there's a layer of complexity I hadn't considered. Right away we've had problems with complex input schemes and multiple devices (both input and display devices). All of these issues I need to fix ASAP before we can push it out for more testing and Steam submission....

Do Not Buy This Game

I called this entry something provocative to get attention. This week saw a lot of posts on the forum about what people are expecting from this game. We were taken by surprise by some responses, certainly pleased with level of enthusiasm. As we get closer to submitting a candidate for Steam Greenlight I can't help but wonder if that's still going to be a thing in the next few weeks. The biggest blocker is the stabiliser problem in my HTR implementation, I need to get this sorted before we start rigorous testing. Once we start handing out the test builds more people will get to see it. Something I'm quite nervous about after all this time. Once you start testing in the wild you never know what you're going to find. Very few people have contact with...

The Road To Release Part 3 – Feeling of Flight

Flight Model

When Longbow 2 was launched mid 90s, most PCs ran fixed point math routines to maintain speed. It did a remarkable job of delivering a feeling of pushing a huge 12 tone machine around the sky in the day. Combat Helo was designed with a retro style in mind and we knew the game would be nothing more than a footnote in the history of PC sims. It literally is a footnote in some places. A chance meeting with Fred Naar gave us the opportunity to be more than that. A chance to include one of the more impressive and new techniques of flight modelling around. Fred's HTR or Free Flight Dynamics (FFD) method breaks down an entire vehicle into a finite collection of force elements. You sum it all up at the end...

The Road To Release Part 2

Looking at the work list, a small amount of slippage is likely, nothing significant. We've got some awesome new SAM and Radar assets coming (as eluded to in part 1). The new assets will benefit from extra AI work. The Rapier 2000 is an opportunity to work with the all-weather "Dagger" radar unit and missile launcher as a "composite" entity and flesh out the UnitData code so it can share alert status and target data. These are relationships that are not well defined in code as there was never a need to do so, until now. But a little more on this later. When Gunnery v1 is submitted to Steam, the early release feature set will consist of the ubiquitous free-flight mode for gunnery practice and a survival game mode. The Gunnery range was our answer...

The Road to Release part 1

For the past two weeks I've been working hard completing the heart of the Longbow weapon system, the Hellfire AGM Air-to-Ground missile systems. It has some accuracy issues I've discussed in the forums, minimum ranges present challenges to the shooter. Gunnery's ranges are mostly for cannon and rocket engagements and with only a few areas where AGM engagements make sense. Most of the ranges around the stage-point are too short for accurate shots with the Hellfire. Most games treat missiles as a simple function of position over time, I wanted them to be more like individual aircraft. As such they are subject to mass, inertia, external forces and they are sensitive to their own sensor update rates (which is down to how fast your PC can update). The latter part is bad as it leads to...

Hellfire away

We're on Steam Greenlight (Concepts)

If you haven't noticed (and we tried to keep it quiet to see what happens) we've started the process of publishing Combat Helo : Gunnery via Steam Greenlight. Gone is the hyphen, but here comes the colon. The response has been great, somehow we ended up at number 2 in the voting (for a little while). We've had a fantastic response from the Steam and Facebook community, a real surprise at how popular it was. We're still only listed on Greenlight as a concept however votes help visibility. So share with your chums, print t-shirts (no, don't do that, it's weird). Greenlight Games is currently only accepting completed games but this gives a developer time to build exposure and get valuable feedback on a game concept. So if there are things...