I have a passing familiarity with SABOW but haven't checked it out in depth. What were your favorite things about its AI?
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Yes, there will be plenty of work on the AI. Right now it's in a very unfinished state and can't intelligently make use of the terrain, hold formations, react to threat intel, etc. This will all change.
You'll need to activate the gunner's controls by holding right mouse button. An indicator should appear showing your mouse input and how it translates into the "stick" motion. (If it doesn't, you can enable it in the options.)
The initial demo will feature some vehicles from the USSR and West Germany, as well as a few more we haven't added yet for the US and East Germany. After that, for the full game and expansions - who knows!
Unfortunately, no, those internals are there just so there's something to see if the turret is blown off. The amount of effort (and therefore time/money) required to make detailed interiors is too much for a small team. We will likely do some cupola/viewport views in the future, but that's all.
We don't know for sure what kind of bonuses we'll be able to offer to patrons when the game comes out. For now, just treat the Patreon subscription as a way to support the development of the game (since we are entirely funded by the community).
Currently TC override is half implemented. If the AI TC spots a target, you can press the space bar to perform a commander override. But if the gunner is knocked out, the TC cannot use the gun (yet).
Optimization will improve over time. Remember, this is under active early development. Most games you would never play during this phase.
Tutorials don't exist as missions yet, but the main menu of the game has buttons for how to play and how to perform gunnery in each tank.
Try the in-game graphics menu (enter a mission or the proving grounds, press Esc, go to Options). Lowering vegetation and shadows, and disabling motion blur, are good first steps. If you try everything in that menu and it doesn't improve things much, you'll have to wait until we have time to do more optimization on the demo.
Thanks for the comment. You can rebind the controls in the launcher window (there's another tab for controls instead of Unity's default graphics options). Also, we have lots more planned for visible crew and infantry - stay tuned!