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TheGeoff 02-18-2013 07:15 AM

Working on a new submarine sim: Sub Commander - advice needed!
EDIT: Latest Version: 0.28
Download Latest Version Here:
(Download, then unzip the entire folder and run subcommander_0_28.exe)

VirusTotal link (to prove the file is safe):
(An obscure Russian antivirus program returns a false positive but the more mainstream, trustworthy programs show it is safe)


A (slightly outdated) guide/manual is now included in the .zip file, titled 'guide.txt'

Submarine Development Tools:
Made a custom submarine? Share it here!

Sub Commander is a free, independently developed roguelike submarine simulator with an emphasis on realism and freedom of choice. Originally, the game was envisioned to be a kind of cross between Dwarf Fortress and the film K-19 The Widowmaker but it is rapidly growing to a full featured submarine warfare simulator. Eventually I plan to simulate all aspects of cold war era naval and aerial combat, so the player's submarine will be in the midst of a dynamic, procedurally generated global war.

One of the main focuses of the game is dealing with accidents and emergencies aboard the submarine. Nuclear submarines are hugely complicated pieces of equipment and there's a lot which can go wrong - fires, flooding, radiation leaks, lack of oxygen etc are all accurately simulated. Careful management of the crew and the submarine's automated systems is essential to conquer these threats and complete your mission successfully. In some ways, it's like a much more complex version of Faster Than Light aboard a submarine (without the fancy graphics unfortunately!)

While the simulation of the onboard systems is highly detailed, I have tried to ensure the game is accessible to almost anyone and the learning curve is not too steep. The graphics are very basic but I try to keep them clean and functional - but I admit great graphics were never a priority for this game.

Key features:
- 38 nations represented in game, 36 of which are playable
- AI controlled forces consisting of 23 classes of ships and 10 types of aircraft, all with historically accurate armaments
- Huge in game map covering the entire globe, with more than 80 cities (uses high-res NOAA sea depth data)
- Realistic physics-based modelling of fire, fluid dynamics and radiation aboard the sub
- Extremely detailed submarine with accurate models of all important systems

Full Mac and Linux compatibility is planned eventually. In the meantime, players have reported it is possible to run the game through Wine on Linux and Wineskin Winery on OSX. The following instructions were posted in the Reddit thread for the game by user arcsey:
"Use Wineskin Winery. Create a wrapper with Wineskin 2.6.0 (current version) and use WS9WineCX13.1.0 as your engine. Just move the subcommander_0_21 folder into Program Files and set subcommander_0_21.exe as the executable. It should run fine without having to change any other settings."

Sub Commander is under active development, with new updates released anywhere from once a week to once every couple of months. Any feedback, suggestions or bug reports are greatly appreciated!

A lot of people have recently asked about where to send donations / if I will make a Kickstarter etc. I'm amazed and honoured that people think this is a project worth donating to!

I want to make it clear that Submarine Commander will always be completely free, and that I do not in any way expect donations. But if you love the game and really want to make a donation to the project, you can send a donation via paypal to
Thank you!

Screenshots (v0.20):
Nuclear reactor management


Activating fire supression system

Download links for previous versions:
Version 0.27 (Alternate link:
Version 0.25
Version 0.24
Version 0.23
Version 0.22
Version 0.21
Version 0.20
Version 0.19
Version 0.18
Version 0.17
Version 0.16
Version 0.15
Version 0.14
Version 0.12
Version 0.10
Version 0.09
Version 0.08
Version 0.07
Version 0.06
Version 0.04

Red October1984 02-18-2013 11:10 AM

Wow! Looks great! Keep on working!

I don't have any questions at the moment...but it looks great.

:salute: :up:

Ethaniel 02-19-2013 07:23 PM


- User interface
- Graphics
- Historical accuracy
- Setting (WWII / cold war / modern)
- Realistic modelling of submarine systems
- Realistic modelling of environment (water physics etc)
- Lots of different playable submarines
- Lots of missions
I'm a huge fan of roguelike games as well as minecraft. Freedom of choice is my kind of gaming. I always prefer non linear and open ended games to high quality graphics and such. So you shouldn't worry about graphics. What I think is that your game is going to attract certain groups of gamers so you should consider more features. Randomly generated ocean could be one thing. The setting should follow your available building techniques. You can't have nuclear reactors on a ww2 game for example. I think this game would certainly be on my play list and why not even test list. As far as submarine info, maybe other members can help or even Wikipedia. I have betatested 3 or 4 roguelike games and I really enjoy them. I don't if my reply answers your questions but I just wanted to point those things out. I hope to see some progress.
Keep up friend

Julhelm 02-20-2013 03:21 AM

So is this almost something akin to FTL with subs?

TheGeoff 02-20-2013 05:10 AM

Thanks for the replies guys, good to see some interest!

I definitely plan to include as much random/procedurally generated content as possible. The ocean and weather conditions will almost certainly be generated on the fly, and the engine is coded to be as versatile as possible. Ideally once the submarine editor is finished players will be able to create virtually any submarine imaginable, with the game able to simulate how it behaves under pressure, how well it functions with damaged components etc. This sounds pretty optimistic but at the moment it's all going according to plan!

I hadn't heard of Faster Than Light before Julhelm, but I looked it up and it does indeed look fairly similar to what I had in mind. I'm hoping to model the individual subsystems with a greater degree of complexity than what I've seen in FTL though - for example, the mathematical model for a pressurised water reactor I coded today takes into account the reactor's maximum power rating, the loading on the steam turbine, the pressure in both the primary and secondary coolant circuits, the temperature of the fluid in the primary coolant circuit, the positioning of the control rods, and the damage condition of all of the relevant pumps, heat exchangers, turbines and pressure vessels. It sounds complicated but the result is a versatile, realistic model which can handle any situation the player can throw at it. Since my game will be free there isn't any commercial pressure to rush through development and oversimplify things! I'm intrigued by the combat and navigation systems in FTL though, I might pick up a copy and see how it all works.

TheGeoff 03-08-2013 04:05 AM

Hello again subsimmers!

I've made a fair bit of progress on my roguelike sub sim and I thought I'd release what I've done so far. It's not much of a game yet - there are no missions, and no terrain features, just a single submarine in an endless, bottomless ocean. I'd like to see what people think of it so far!

Download Here:
(it's 1.2mb or so)

At the moment, you can:
Control the nuclear reactors (don't let the core get too hot!)
Control the diesel backup generators
Dive and surface the submarine (if you dive too deep the pressure will crush the hull and the boat will flood)
Look through the periscope (the periscope can't be fully controlled yet though)
Launch torpedoes and order the crew to reload the tubes
Battle fires and flooding in emergencies

The main bug you'll probably notice at this stage is that the crew are immortal. Even if the submarine is burnt out and completely flooded the crew will continue wandering (or swimming) around their assigned compartments, waiting for orders. The firefighting AI is also pretty simplistic at this stage, so crew ordered to extinguish a fire will wander over and pat it out with their bare hands. One of these days I'll get around to implementing buckets, hoses etc!

Many of the control panels on the submarine are not yet functional - at the moment everything is controlled by the Reactor Control Panel, Power Sys. Control Panel, Maneuver Control Panel and Weapon Sys. Control Panel. So don't bother trying the others :)

Temporary controls used for debugging purposes:
Press TAB to start a fire, press left control to crack walls/floors and damage objects. These allow you to set up a disaster for your crew to deal with. If you set fire to the torpedo room or the reactor coolant pumps.... well, you'll probably get what you deserve! As explained in the game, press F to order crew to extinguish fires and R to order repairs.
Press left shift+D to view the FPS monitor. If the game runs at more or less than 12FPS please let me know!

Please post any thoughts and feedback here! Whether you love it, think it's rubbish, can't figure out how to play, found a bug, have some advice, or are completely indifferent I'd love to see your comments :)

Deamon 03-08-2013 12:14 PM

Ohhh, a new subsim project. How cute! :)

Is this sort of subsim life ?

TheGeoff 03-09-2013 11:59 PM

Hah yeah, I guess so. I really want to focus on managing the crew and different subsystems of the submarine, which is something I haven't seen done in many other sims. Maybe nobody else is interested in that kind of game but I'm definitely having fun making it :)

TheGeoff 03-13-2013 07:48 AM

The screenshot in the OP is pretty outdated so I took a few more to show off the latest version:

Managing the power systems of the submarine: (not as complicated as it looks!)

Major fire in the bow torpedo room:

Watching the sun rise through the periscope:

I'll post a download link to the new version soon, if anyone's interested.

Hawk66 03-13-2013 01:04 PM

Nice mix genres (roguelike/simulation).

In what progr.languages/frameworks do you code?

Red October1984 03-13-2013 08:54 PM

I am going to download this and try it out!

If only the sub management was incorporated into Silent Hunter and Dangerous Waters. I really like the idea. :up:

TheGeoff 03-14-2013 01:44 AM

Here's the new version (0.06):

Power systems, turbines, diesel generators and electric motors all work now. Soon I'll be adding more options for crew management, then some actual terrain to navigate around.

Hawk66, this is all programmed in Blitz Basic. I also know C but I find Blitz is much easier to use when programming games.

Thanks for downloading it, let me know what you think!

Red October1984 03-14-2013 06:09 AM

I like it TheGeoff!

Great work! :D

TheGeoff 03-15-2013 08:10 AM

Thanks RedOctober, glad you like it!

The navigation system is coming together quicker than I'd expected - sneak peek:

Creating your own maps for this game will be incredibly simple, just create a heightmap in MS paint and the program will do the rest. Made some very satisfying progress over the past few days!

Red October1984 03-15-2013 05:58 PM

I have one request.

Can you post a comprehensive list of controls and maybe a tutorial on how to play?

Of course you are still working on the game... That comes first.

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