While 2022 has certainly not been the greatest of years, given the circumstances (as detailed in our last development update), we've still made various great strides in Afterconflict's development, from the addition of a new plethora of machine guns to various under-the-hood improvements which we'd like to summarise here today before the year ends!
So, let us delay no further and get stuck in!
Starting off simply and with no need for introduction, we have our newest rendition of the humble AKM (and its dovetail-railed brethren the AKML), with a few improvements over our previous examples!
In addition to the base Soviet AKM we've also overhauled the distinctive East German production AKM which should also need no introduction at this point, the MPi-KM!
As opposed to the AKMS which has a different base receiver to the standard AKM, the MPi-KMS-72's side-folding stock can be fitted to virtually any standard AKM-style receiver with no alterations. Our new model in question is of a later type built in the 1980s that features a new type of finish (as opposed to the prior bluing) along with features typical of later production AKMs such as a cast gas block.
For the DDR, this streamlined production considerably (streamlining that would also be seen a lot during the 1980s both with the DDR's 7.62 and new 5.45 offerings) while also providing a new style of folding stock that would be adopted by many of the other countries of the Warsaw Pact later on, such as on the Polish Wz. 1988, the Romanian md. 86, among others.
Last time you saw the high-poly stage of our new Soviet RPKs, including the RPK, RPKS, RPKL, and RPKSL, and this time you can see them in all of their glory!
As mentioned before, the RPK74 (and subsequently the RPKS74, RPK74N, and RPKS74N) was largely a (relatively) simple rechambering of 7.62 RPKs that came before it, however that did not stop there from being a rather large diversity in variants produced with the usual array of folding stock options along with the introduction of polymer plum furniture during the mid-80s!
Without the ability to produce any themselves, the East Germans simply resorted to purchasing their RPKs from the USSR, designating them as the "leichtes Maschinengewehr Typ Kalaschnikow", or lMG-K for short. While it could vary, when received by armourers in the DDR many of these RPKs were outfitted with East German parts, particularly the upper handguard and pistol grip, and this is faithfully reproduced in Afterconflict!
In general, the RPK was also widely exported to virtually any Soviet-allied state or movement that could afford them, though later on the RPK74 was priced beyond reason for many states; East Germany, despite being relatively well-off as far as Soviet satellite states go, only imported some RPK74s (designated as the lMG-RPK-74) due to what was seen as an unreasonable price point.
On a related note, we've also now improved our iron sight adjustment system, which now like scopes can now be adjusted for windage on those that support it, such as on the RPK:
But for those who require more firepower for their infantry (which evidently did not include the DDR on account of their lack of usage of it in favour of the lMG-K), the Soviet PKM is a no-brainer, so long as the user is tolerant of the requirement for a
squire ammo bearer to carry its heavy ammunition boxes with them.
As in real life, in Afterconflict we hope to portray said heavy ammunition boxes as suitably cumbersome in-game, which we hope will not only emphasise the manning of a GPMG as a crew effort (for individual users, LMGs are far more practical), but to show the practical distinctions between the Warsaw Pact's preferred steel GPMG ammo boxes, and their NATO counterparts such as the American M4 Bandoleer for the M60 GPMG which was instead made of the much lighter cotton with a truly revolutionary addition: a shoulder strap.
While the DDR may've lacked the ability to produce things such as RPKs (until the introduction of the lMG-K-500 series in the mid-late 1980s anyway), what they definitely didn't lack was the ability to produce high-quality optical devices, and the EDF 7x40 binoculars remain a good example of that fact!
Short for "Einheitsdoppelfernrohr 7x40", the EDF 7x40 retained the functionality of the DF 7x40 (their predecessor) while offering a few quality-of-life improvements, namely their more compact form-factor and reticle illumination via a radioactive element, rather than needing a separate light source.
Similar to early examples of the PSO-1, both the EDF 7x40s and DF 7x40s have the ability to detect infrared light via the use of a filter contained in the left eyepiece which can be moved into place whenever required by the user.
While this may be advantageous for the viewing of large IR lamps (mostly used on vehicles by nations in the Warsaw Pact), it is less so when trying to use this feature to view the IR light sources of forces that do not have to rely on them due to a prevalence of passive night vision devices, so exercise caution when attempting to do so.
To finish off, there have been various under-the-hood improvements to Afterconflict's engine over this year, and while we're looking forward to showing them all off in time (the visual ones at least), the one that certainly seems the most aesthetically pleasing and thematically appropriate during the twilight hours of 2022 is our updated recreation of the Earth's atmosphere.
...or, as some have called it: Prime Desktop Wallpaper Material.
Well, when we said we've got "many things on the way in 2022", war was certainly not on the cards; but now, 10 months later, while Russian cruise missiles and drones are still raining down on civilian positions (which has impacted the work of our developers via persistent power outages), work on Afterconflict still continues undeterred.
As we head into the new year, we're proud to state that we're in the final stages of preparation before announcing something very promising that we're sure you'll be as excited to see as we are to announce it, so keep an eye out for it soon!
And, of course:
We Hope You Had a Very Merry Christmas, and We Wish You a Happy New Year!
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As Ever: Stay Tuned!