by Neal Stevens January 22, 2000
Silent Hunter II Innerview: with Rick Martinez, Senior Producer
Part III: Focus on features
Type VII leaving the pens
Click HERE for Win 95 wallpapers
SUBSIM Review: Will Silent Hunter II include a scenario editor in the initial release?
Rick Martinez: We plan to ship the editor with Silent Hunter II. It is possible that it will be an add-on.
SSR: Silent Hunter I sold well for a submarine sim. What do you project as the threshold of success for SH2?
RM: Silent Hunter I was really unusual in that there was always enough demand for it that it stayed on shelves a long time. When it comes to predicting numbers, you never know. The thing is, there is not a lot of margin for error. In general, games do not stay on the shelves as long as they used to. Steady sales are important; retailers are not going to be patient if a game doesnít do well quickly. And when it doesnt sell well early, the stores stop stocking it. Its finished. And then later on when you ask for it, you cant find itits not there.
The best thing that fans can is to buy it when it comes out. This isnít a request to buy the game, no matter what. Itís a request to buy what we think is going to be a very good game. Most stores have a return policy, and if you donít think SH2 is a good game, return it for something else.
Silent Hunter II should be an excellent, quality game. You will be able to fine tune settings to reflect what level of detail and difficulty you desire. If you choose to go with fully realistic (difficulty) options, donít expect to survive very long. But if you choose to, you can use the option settings to play a different kind of war.
If you choose to go with fully realistic (difficulty) options, donít expect to survive very long.
SSR: You guys are planning on including neutrals and friendly vessels the sim, where you have to be careful who you sink?
RM: Definitely, the seas will not contain just enemy vessels.
SSR: How about the motion of the ocean?
RM: Already being implemented. Really necessary for game "immersion".
SSR: Is it difficult to produce the rolling seas effect? Mike Jones (Aces of the Deep programmer) told me they based it on a sine wave and it didnt use an excessive amount of resources.
RM: It depends. When Mike did it, he wasnt using a 3-D engine of the sort we are using. Making a decent looking rolling sea is only a part of the problem. We also have to get the ship physics right and integrate all of this well to achieve the kind of look and feel we are shooting for. We think you will really like what you see when we are done. Weíre going to have a very nice motion in the ocean, as they say. Current screenshots do not show the look we will have at finish. Right now, vessels sit on the water, not in the water. We are working hard to get the physics right so that pitch, roll, etc. feel just right.
Sample of typical log entries
SSR: What other details set Silent Hunter II apart from previous subsims?
RM: No single feature, but lots of little details that will enhance the game experience. For instance, the Captainís logbook in Silent Hunter I recorded what shipping you sank and when, etc. Silent Hunter II will allow you to make personalized entries to the logbook. You can sink a vessel and add your own observations below regarding your heading, details of the tactics you employed, etc. You will also be able to edit these entries, allowing you to add or change comments already entered. Itís a fun feature. This is just one of many things that will make Silent Hunter II even more immersive and fun to play.
SSR: So what is the current projected release date for Silent Hunter II ?
RM: In the Fall of 2000.
Aeon and SSI have rolled up their sleeves and are producing the most ambitious subsim to date. With the state of affairs in the sim community, this is welcome news. Rick was very enthusiastic about the promise Silent Hunter II and Destroyer Command offers.Keep in mind, any planned feature could get sacked because something went wrong, some horrible design problem arose that the design team couldnt fix. It was clear to me they care about their work and they hope their hard work will translate to many fun evenings of U-boat battle.
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