I am Fred the main developer of Airland, and I will briefly explain what this project is all about. Thanks to our great Sergio for creating this space for me.
After having developed mods for FSX, Arma 3 and trying to make one in DCS ( I am the author of HTR or Helicopter Total Realism for FSX and a few helicopter mods for Arma 3) , I realized there are a lot of limitations in modding an existing game with undocumented features to realize what I wanted to do. I had a project in mind, basically an helicopter sim, with missions and also ways to exit the helicopter and walk around. I also wanted to make something accessible to even non dedicated flightsimmers, but where simmers could tune the desided complexity in the advanced options.
One game that really got me into helicopters and lead me to Airland as well as my current PPL-H training has been Search and Rescue 4, from Activision. My path was actually SAR4, FS2004/FSX, Hovercontrol, HTR, Airland Helicopters…
This was a complex project, I had to learn many skills in game development which is different and more complex than regular software development. In order to learn I started cooperating on several projects such as Combat Helo (Leadwerks Engine), UnityFS (Unity3d), several Unity3d terrain related projects. For a brief time I was also project leader for NGFS (I abandoned after 4 months of crazyness…) In the mean time I started coding the first Airland version in Unity.
In november 2018, since I was not really happy with some Unity roadmap choices, I decided to try to port the project in Unreal Engine. Unity and Unreal are the two main game engines in the market but are substantially different (I am not talking graphics…). Shortly thereafter I had one of the most renown FSX P3D helicopters addons maker, Nemeth Designs, joining the project, and this gave Airland a real boost on model quality and overall design.
Surprisingly porting was quite fast and just after a few months I was able to show a first demo of Airland in June 2019 at FSExpo in Orlando. A few months later I had the chance to display Airland VR at Flightsim 2019 in Cosford kindly hosted Richard from Komodo Simulations, and we had a great time together. And my next step will be FSExpo in Las Vegas in June 2020
So what is Airland ?
In my mind Airland is basically two projects in one:
The SIM module: this is basically a series of modules added to Unreal Engine to make flight simulation development easier, this includes the HTR code base, terrains, managing flight sticks, missions, AI, multiplayer, VR, gameplay rules etc…
Airland Helicopters: this is the game itself, think about Search and Rescue 4 combined with Arma 3 Helicopters. A game where you have to perform rescue and other type missions earn rewards and progress. To me this is also the example project on what you will be able to do with the SIM module.
The SIM module is designed to make it easy to create other projects around it, so imagine you want to to a DCS type of helicopter game with your own terrains etc… this will be much easier. In fact there is also an ongoing project whose goal is to use the SIM module for professional military helicopters training, I cannot disclose more at the moment…
Thank you for reading so far, please post any questions in this forum, I will be glad to answer them !
More info here