505 Games in collaboration with 1C Company, the publishers of upcoming WWII flight combat title IL-2 Sturmovik: Birds Of Prey have today shed some light on the processes by which the game's impressive visuals are produced, which include the use of satellite photography. STRM database pictures, renowned for their uttermost precision, have been used to recreate the landscapes of war-torn Europe in remarkable detail.
Building accurate 1940's environments using the latest in cutting edge satellite technology comes with a set of immediate problems, most obviously the 50 year time gap in buildings, foliage and other features, many of which did not exist at the time of the game's setting and others which are now long gone from the real word and need to be added. To combat this, the development team have collated and pored over hundreds of wartime photos, documents and maps, painstakingly removing unwanted additions and recreating missing landscape features.
Whenever possible, locations have been remodelled according to genuine, historically accurate photos from archives around the world. These were laboriously compared with modern images to ensure all significant features were included or removed as appropriate. Where documented evidence was unavailable, the team took the time to create unique buildings in keeping with the style of the era, often imitating structures from other cites of the era and transposing them into the created landscapes. In total, over two million buildings and around 35 million trees were put in place using these processes to produce a level of realism hitherto unseen on current generation consoles.
"Collecting all the necessary data, both old and new, to create IL-2 had been a long battle all of its own," commented Alex Price, Senior Global Brand Manager for 505 Games. "The game is now looking as good we had always anticipated it would and in light of that, the scouring of archives and satellite databases has all been worth it!"
Developed by Gaijin Entertainment for Xbox 360 and PS3, DiP Interactive for Nintendo DS and SME Dynamic Systems Limited for PSP, IL-2 Sturmovik: Birds of Prey boasts the most realistic landscapes and aircraft seen in any flight sim.