WWD Development Team has released a Progress Update today, talking about where in the development process they are in regards with their upcoming EC135 for Microsoft Flight Simulator.
The team also invited me to join them in a nice chat where they told me, first-hand, what was going on. I have to say that freeware teams always impress me, and I was surely not disappointed with the conversation we had.
I was first presented with a few wireframes of the model, which looked very nice, and some parts were clearly redone, based on previous images I had seen, which was immediately confirmed by WWD, showing their commitment to continuously improve the 3D model.
The exterior looks fantastic and when I was going to be presented with the interior, the guys told me the great news. Not only the EC135T2 is being made, but they are also working on the EC135T1! That’s right: the analog version, the grandson of the Bo105 will be one of the options for this model! I’ve seen some of you ask about an analog version, so here you go!
But the choices won’t be limited to that as there will be also 2 versions of each model and the team is considering making them all downloadable separately, so you can grab only the version and variant you want. That’s handy and it will prevent folks from downloading a huge file just to enjoy a limited subset of the product.
The team’s coders are working on systems, right now, with a focus on both the electrical and fuel ones but part of the displays is also already done. According to WWD, even for a small volunteer-based team, progress has been impressive, and they have been managing to do a lot with the limited time they have.
When talking about the interior, one of the things the team said they were being careful about was performance. Not only in regards with the poly count but also with the development of gauges, systems and avionics, they are keeping in mind that they will need to make it so that it will work on lower-end systems, which is always welcome.
Also, during this part of the conversation, I learned that the team has a dedicated animator whose job is exactly just that: to work on all kinds of animations necessary to bring the helicopter to life: buttons, gauges and everything else you can imagine. If it moves, it’s all his.
I got immersed in everything they told me and, eventually asked the stupid question: “will it be available to Xbox”?
Why is the question stupid? Well because, unfortunately, there is no way, as of now, to publish anything as freeware for the Xbox. So, that’s a “no” until that is possible (if that will ever happen).
WWD seems to be doing a fantastic job and the guys are super enthusiastic and excited about the project. The work they have done so far is, indeed, impressive and I am super curious to see it all come together and to live inside MSFS.
Right now, we don’t have an estimated date for release, but I would say we are still a bit far away from it seeing the light of day. These things take time and the team is definitely not willing to cut corners as they want to release a complex and realistic (as much as they can) model.
Join the WWD Development team Discord and stay up-to-date with the project.