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Old 03-16-2013, 12:11 AM   #16
TheGeoff
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Sure. The interface is a bit unintuitive at the moment so any suggestions are welcome. This is the start of a readme/guide I've been typing up which will be included in the game in the future.

Controls (as of version 0.06)

General:
Arrow keys - move the cursor square around the screen
Enter - interact with the object at the cursor (eg. use a control panel, look through periscope)
Backspace - return to main screen (if you've opened a control panel or are looking down the periscope, this takes you back to the main game view)
Escape - return to game menu

Main screen
R - order crew to repair square or object at cursor
F - order the crew to extinguish a fire at the cursor
S - surface the boat (only works while submerged)
D - crash dive (only works while surfaced or at periscope depth)
O - open the door/hatch at the cursor
C - close the door/hatch at the cursor (crewmen can still open the door to pass through)
L - lock the door/hatch at the cursor (not recommended, may cause pathfinding errors)

Using a control panel
+ and - often control various settings. For example, in the reactor control panel pressing + or - will raise or lower the reactor control rods. [ and ] sometimes control other settings, as do ; and '
The number keys on the main keyboard (not numpad) are sometimes used to select an object to control - selecting a torpedo tube to fire, or selecting a reactor to control for example.
In the weapon control panel, Space fires the selected tube and R orders the crew to reload the tube.

To simulate a disaster aboard the submarine:
Tab - start a fire at the cursor
Left Control - damage the object/square at cursor


Basic tutorial
This is your submarine:

Most control panels are located in the control room, as well as the periscope. The reactor control panel is the small blue rectangle in the generator room adjacent to the reactor chamber.

Controlling the submarine:
Move the cursor to the maneuver control panel:


Press enter to access the control panel

Press + and - to change the target depth of the submarine. As soon as the target depth changes, the submarine will begin to rise or sink to attempt to reach the target depth.

Press [ and ] to increase or decrease the target speed of the submarine. When the target speed is changed, the turbines will automatically increase or decrease power levels to speed up or slow down the sub to match the target speed. If the nuclear reactors are running at a low power level or one turbine is shut down, the submarine may be unable to reach the target speed. If both turbines are shut down/destroyed, the electric motor will automatically engage - note that the electric motor is nowhere near as powerful as the steam turbines, so the maximum speed of the ship is dramatically reduced.


While the submarine depth is between 0 and 10 metres, pressing D will order a crash dive. This sets the target depth to 90m.

While the submarine is submerged, pressing S will order the submarine to surface. This sets the target depth to 0m.


Controlling the reactors:
Move the cursor to the reactor control panel and press enter:


The reactor physics model in the game is quite detailed; it helps to know how a pressurised water reactor works in real life.
Basically, use the control rods (+ and -) to increase/decrease the reactor power output. If the control rods are above about 75% the reactor will shut down, if the rods are below about 5% the reactor will overheat and eventually cause a nuclear meltdown (this will happen if the core temperature reaches 1000 degrees celsius). In an emergency, pressing Z will SCRAM the selected reactor, lowering the control rods to 100% in an attempt to rapidly slow down the reaction.

Firing torpedos:
Move the cursor to the weapons control panel and press enter:


Press 1, 2, 3, or 4 on the main keyboard (not the numpad) to select a torpedo tube. Tube 1 is selected by default.
Press Space to fire the selected tube, then R to order the crew to reload the tube. Reloading is a slow process - you can watch the crew in the fore torpedo room moving the new torpedo into position.

Managing power:
Move the cursor to the power systems control panel and press enter:


On the left hand side of the screen is a display of the power output of each nuclear reactor and the controls for the diesel backup generators.

Press 1 or 2 to select generator and + or - to increase/decrease throttle. As in real life, running a diesel generator at low power (less than about 30%) for long periods of time will result in carbon buildup in the cylinders and decreased performance. For optimal performance the diesel generators should be run at 60%-80% throttle - at very high throttle settings, the generators may be damaged. A damaged generator running at high power may even start fires so be careful!

On the right hand side of the screen is a summary of all the power generated and used aboard the ship. If the net power is negative, the batteries will slowly discharge. Up to 1 megawatt of (positive) net power can be used to recharge the battery - this will happen automatically. Note that while the electric motor runs off the battery, the steam turbines require power from a nuclear reactor to operate.

The turbines can be shut down from either of the turbine control panels, located in the turbine room at the rear of the ship. If neither turbine is operational the electric motor will automatically engage.

Disasters:
This is what a nuclear accident in the No. 1 reactor looks like:

(to set something like this up, put the cursor over the reactor coolant pump and hold Left Control for a couple of seconds to simulate a damaged pump. Or open the reactor control panel, set control rod position to 0% and wait a few minutes)

The squares with red and yellow particle effects are on fire, while the squares with black cracks are damaged. The blue cracked squares near the bottom are leaking seawater - this must be quickly controlled or the boat will flood.

First off, we must control the fires:

Point the cursor at the squares on fire and press F. The nearest crew will rush to extinguish the fires.

The explosion in No.1 reactor may have damaged the No.2 reactor as well. Open the reactor control panel, press 2 to select the second reactor then press Z to initiate an emergency shutdown.

Next, to control the radiation spread and flooding, point the cursor at the damaged bulkheads and hull segments and press R. Look carefully at the damage and determine which squares NEED to be repaired to control the flooding - be aware that the reactor room is heavily irradiated and avoid sending in crew for non critical repairs. You could also decide to repair the reactor unit (and/or coolant pump) to slow the spread of radiation.



Hope this helps a bit! There will be a lot more direction and purpose to the game once missions are added, it's basically a sandbox at the moment.
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Old 03-16-2013, 12:29 AM   #17
Red October1984
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Very good tutorial!

I'm eagerly awaiting the next release. I really like this. What kind of features do you have planned?
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Old 03-17-2013, 04:13 AM   #18
TheGeoff
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Version 0.07 is now available!
http://rapidshare.com/files/29150339...ander_0_07.zip
Make sure subcommander_0_07.exe and world.map are in the same folder.

Navigation and a world map have been added - press M to access the map in game, then ; and ' to change heading to port/starboard. Like in the maneuver control panel, [ and ] can be used to control speed. Navigation currently has a LOT of time compression - your submarine will move slightly faster than a fighter jet. This will be toned down in future releases, and an option for temporary time compression will be added.

Ocean depths are approximately correct at this stage - still tweaking the program which processes data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association. Pay attention to the depth under keel though, as it's now possible to sink your sub by repeatedly bashing it against the sea floor...

The way the world map is handled may cause a drop in framerate on older computers. Let me know if this happens to you, I might be able to find a way to fix it

Edit: RedOctober, The next few releases will probably improve and modify the navigation system and maybe the crew management. I'll try to add some basic missions in the near future too. In the long term I have no idea where this is going to go... hopefully a few months or a year from now it'll be a comprehensive submarine sim, covering both hunter-killer and missile subs from the 1950s to the present. I've already started work on an easy to use submarine editor allowing players to design their own subs as well, which should allow a huge amount of customization. Want to sail around the world in a doughnut-shaped soviet bathyscaphe powered by twin nuclear reactors? Hopefully Sub Commander will eventually allow you to realise that dream

Last edited by TheGeoff; 03-17-2013 at 04:47 AM.
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Old 03-17-2013, 02:43 PM   #19
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Hi Geoff,

Good to see indie subsim projects! I would give your project a try but I don't have a Windows install at the moment.

As someone who has toyed with getting the NOAA bathy data into a 3D engine, I'm wondering how you keep your download size so low? The higher res data set (ETOPO 1) is something like 200-300 MB in size.

While I would consider myself a more than competent programmer, I've never done any game programming. So maybe there's just some widely known asset voodoo that I don't know about.

PD
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When the range was 5,500 yards the target hoisted a flag signal, both he and the escort turned toward at high speed, the "Q" ship uncovered his guns and the first salvo was a straddle. BATFISH bent on four and started executing the well known maneuver of getting the hell out...

Fifth war patrol, USS BATFISH
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Old 03-17-2013, 03:49 PM   #20
Red October1984
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheGeoff View Post
Version 0.07 is now available!
http://rapidshare.com/files/29150339...ander_0_07.zip
Make sure subcommander_0_07.exe and world.map are in the same folder.

Navigation and a world map have been added - press M to access the map in game, then ; and ' to change heading to port/starboard. Like in the maneuver control panel, [ and ] can be used to control speed. Navigation currently has a LOT of time compression - your submarine will move slightly faster than a fighter jet. This will be toned down in future releases, and an option for temporary time compression will be added.

Ocean depths are approximately correct at this stage - still tweaking the program which processes data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association. Pay attention to the depth under keel though, as it's now possible to sink your sub by repeatedly bashing it against the sea floor...

The way the world map is handled may cause a drop in framerate on older computers. Let me know if this happens to you, I might be able to find a way to fix it

Edit: RedOctober, The next few releases will probably improve and modify the navigation system and maybe the crew management. I'll try to add some basic missions in the near future too. In the long term I have no idea where this is going to go... hopefully a few months or a year from now it'll be a comprehensive submarine sim, covering both hunter-killer and missile subs from the 1950s to the present. I've already started work on an easy to use submarine editor allowing players to design their own subs as well, which should allow a huge amount of customization. Want to sail around the world in a doughnut-shaped soviet bathyscaphe powered by twin nuclear reactors? Hopefully Sub Commander will eventually allow you to realise that dream


I'm really liking 0.07 right now. Keep up the good work!

This is an Indie project worth watching...
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Old 03-18-2013, 05:21 AM   #21
TheGeoff
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PeriscopeDepth View Post
Hi Geoff,

Good to see indie subsim projects! I would give your project a try but I don't have a Windows install at the moment.

As someone who has toyed with getting the NOAA bathy data into a 3D engine, I'm wondering how you keep your download size so low? The higher res data set (ETOPO 1) is something like 200-300 MB in size.

While I would consider myself a more than competent programmer, I've never done any game programming. So maybe there's just some widely known asset voodoo that I don't know about.

PD
Hey PD,

No, there's no secret trick - I'm just using low resolution data sets. Usually no more than about 1000x600 pixels or so, hence the low file size. The one I like best (and will probably use for all future releases of the game) is the cleaned up version of the TOPO2 dataset found here: http://www.shadedrelief.com/cleantopo2/index.html
The current version I'm using has been resized to 854x427 - I may include the option for higher res maps in the future but at the moment I don't think the increased file size and hugely increased load times are worth it.
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Old 03-20-2013, 09:43 AM   #22
TheGeoff
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Version 0.08 is out!
http://rapidshare.com/files/89995876...ander_0_08.zip

This one's a big update, a few of the changes:
  • A basic crew interaction screen has been added. Press V to select the nearest crewman and view his rank, current task, any symptoms of illness or injury etc. Press Z to send the selected crewman off duty (pressing Z a second time orders him to return to his post). This is a good way to get vulnerable or injured crewmen out of harm's way.
  • Crewmen now have names - American names only at the moment, but in the future there will be lists for Russian, British, French etc.
  • Crewmen are no longer invulnerable. They can drown, pass out from smoke inhalation and be affected by radiation sickness so be careful... accidents aboard the sub are a lot more lethal now.
  • AI has been dramatically improved, especially when firefighting. Crew will now work together to tackle larger fires, while maintaining a safe distance from the flames to avoid injuring themselves.
  • A new, larger, more detailed world map has been added. The data for the new world map is extracted from the CleanTOPO2 data set, and is far more accurate than the previous maps used. Press M to access the map and 1,2 or 3 to change zoom levels. The code which displays the map has also been optimized, increasing performance (on slower computers) by several FPS while the map is open.
  • Numerous changes and fixes to the periscope - if you're near the shore, you can see land through the periscope now!

There's probably a few more things that I can't remember at the moment. As always I really appreciate any feedback! Thanks very much to everyone who's downloaded the game and given it a try so far
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Old 03-20-2013, 02:25 PM   #23
Hawk66
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheGeoff View Post
Version 0.08 is out!
http://rapidshare.com/files/89995876...ander_0_08.zip

This one's a big update, a few of the changes:
  • A basic crew interaction screen has been added. Press V to select the nearest crewman and view his rank, current task, any symptoms of illness or injury etc. Press Z to send the selected crewman off duty (pressing Z a second time orders him to return to his post). This is a good way to get vulnerable or injured crewmen out of harm's way.
  • Crewmen now have names - American names only at the moment, but in the future there will be lists for Russian, British, French etc.
  • Crewmen are no longer invulnerable. They can drown, pass out from smoke inhalation and be affected by radiation sickness so be careful... accidents aboard the sub are a lot more lethal now.
  • AI has been dramatically improved, especially when firefighting. Crew will now work together to tackle larger fires, while maintaining a safe distance from the flames to avoid injuring themselves.
  • A new, larger, more detailed world map has been added. The data for the new world map is extracted from the CleanTOPO2 data set, and is far more accurate than the previous maps used. Press M to access the map and 1,2 or 3 to change zoom levels. The code which displays the map has also been optimized, increasing performance (on slower computers) by several FPS while the map is open.
  • Numerous changes and fixes to the periscope - if you're near the shore, you can see land through the periscope now!

There's probably a few more things that I can't remember at the moment. As always I really appreciate any feedback! Thanks very much to everyone who's downloaded the game and given it a try so far
You make fast progress ...what is for me not so clear yet...do you strive for a full simulation or how do you wanna actually handle combat?
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Old 03-20-2013, 10:08 PM   #24
Red October1984
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheGeoff View Post
Version 0.08 is out!
http://rapidshare.com/files/89995876...ander_0_08.zip

This one's a big update, a few of the changes:
  • A basic crew interaction screen has been added. Press V to select the nearest crewman and view his rank, current task, any symptoms of illness or injury etc. Press Z to send the selected crewman off duty (pressing Z a second time orders him to return to his post). This is a good way to get vulnerable or injured crewmen out of harm's way.
  • Crewmen now have names - American names only at the moment, but in the future there will be lists for Russian, British, French etc.
  • Crewmen are no longer invulnerable. They can drown, pass out from smoke inhalation and be affected by radiation sickness so be careful... accidents aboard the sub are a lot more lethal now.
  • AI has been dramatically improved, especially when firefighting. Crew will now work together to tackle larger fires, while maintaining a safe distance from the flames to avoid injuring themselves.
  • A new, larger, more detailed world map has been added. The data for the new world map is extracted from the CleanTOPO2 data set, and is far more accurate than the previous maps used. Press M to access the map and 1,2 or 3 to change zoom levels. The code which displays the map has also been optimized, increasing performance (on slower computers) by several FPS while the map is open.
  • Numerous changes and fixes to the periscope - if you're near the shore, you can see land through the periscope now!

There's probably a few more things that I can't remember at the moment. As always I really appreciate any feedback! Thanks very much to everyone who's downloaded the game and given it a try so far


Sounds great! Keep it coming! I'll download this and try it out!
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Old 03-21-2013, 06:35 AM   #25
TheGeoff
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hawk66 View Post
You make fast progress ...what is for me not so clear yet...do you strive for a full simulation or how do you wanna actually handle combat?
Thanks! Eventually it will be a complete simulation with other vessels, combat simulation, missions etc. I'm still deciding exactly how to do all of this - for combat, I think I'll add a tactical map under the world map, showing the area around the submarine and all nearby ships/targets. From there you'll be able to launch torpedos, cruise missiles etc. Still gotta figure out how to make it all work in a user-friendly way though!
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Old 03-22-2013, 07:31 PM   #26
Red October1984
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0.08 is just as good as always! Keep it coming!
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Old 03-27-2013, 07:47 AM   #27
TheGeoff
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Version 0.09 is here!
http://rapidshare.com/files/10539065...ander_0_09.zip

I've been working a lot on the submarine editor, it works but it isn't quite ready for public release yet. It's very time consuming but hopefully within a couple of weeks I'll release it! You'll notice that the default sub has been updated in this version - the turbines and generators are arranged in a more realistic way, and a few new rooms have been added.

Also:
  • Several options can now be set using the new gameoptions.ini file. These include changing the crew name set (default is Russian at the moment, but US names are included), changing the reliability of components aboard the sub etc. Eventually this file will contain all options available to the user, making the game far more customisable.
  • Component failures and fires aboard the ship can happen on their own now! Adjust the sub_reliability file in gameoptions.ini to set how frequently accidents happen. Realistically this should be about 100 - for gameplay purposes, 25-50 gives more of a challenge. Set this to 0 if you want a REAL challenge.
  • The water outside the sub now looks different when the sub is surfaced, to make the difference between surfaced/submerged more obvious.
  • Latitude and longitude readings have been added to the world map
  • A second crew interaction screen has been added - press C to view all crew aboard the sub, their current jobs and health status. You can use the Z key on this list to send entire compartments off/on duty. Useful for quickly moving crew around in an emergency.
  • Reactor physics have been tweaked to slow the rate at which the temperature increases when the cooling system fails. Reactors won't go from normal operation to full on nuclear meltdown in 20 seconds any more, now it's a slower process. When more detailed repair systems are added, this time window should be enough to allow a competent player to attempt K-19 style improvised repairs.
  • Fixed a bug where crew were almost always unaffected by explosions.

This is a fairly minor update gameplay-wise but some serious changes have been made under the hood to allow a lot more features and options later on.

Good to see a few more people trying the game! Really looking forward to releasing the sub editor, it's a lot of fun to play with. You can expect to see it in a week or two!
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Old 03-29-2013, 01:05 AM   #28
Red October1984
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Keep up the good work!
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Old 04-04-2013, 10:05 PM   #29
TheGeoff
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Version 0.1 released: http://rapidshare.com/files/16935040...ander_0_10.zip

I've been thinking about the submarine editor and decided to hold off releasing it for a while. There are a few reasons for this; the main one is that it's still pretty difficult to use and unforgiving, so it would be a lot of work for a user to actually create a new sub. Since the game is still being actively developed, chances are that any user-made subs would soon be obsolete and incompatible with the current version within a week or two... so to save you all some frustration I've decided to wait a while

Version 0.1 takes a step in a different direction:
  • Nations and cities, and diplomacy have been added to the world. You're no longer a sub sailing round an empty world, there are now around 15 nations and 30something cities. You can select a nation using gameoptions.ini (but if you pick a nation without a seaport the game won't know where to put your sub and might crash, so I'd recommend sticking to USSR, USA, Great Britain or China at the moment). There are still many more cities and countries to be added but it's a start!
  • A tactical map has been added to the weapon systems control panel. This is a small map displaying the submarine's surroundings, with a range of about 40 nautical miles. Eventually this will show a info about a target from the sonar, radar and periscope to help plot a firing solution for torpedoes.
  • Your submarine now moves at a realistic speed across the world map. Because this is pretty slow, I've added "fast travel mode" to emulate a time compression system. Press F while the map is open to activate it; pressing F again, or leaving the map, will cancel it.
  • The placeholder model for diving and surfacing has been replaced by a real one - ballast tanks are now modeled semi-accurately. The amount of water in the submarine will affect your ability to surface, and severe flooding will sink your sub.
  • Missions have been added to the game. Near the start of the game you will receive a radio message with your orders - select the radio and press enter to read radio messages. There's only one type of mission at this stage, but now that the system's in place it'll be easy for me to add more in the future.
  • Lastly, there are a few bug fixes, mostly relating to crashes when travelling in the arctic circle at high speeds.
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Old 04-06-2013, 07:45 PM   #30
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Awesome work as always!
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