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Old 08-01-17, 06:51 PM   #1
Join Date: Mar 2017
Posts: 208
Downloads: 53
Uploads: 0
Default Crowd/Open Source Nav Sim from Scratch

Who: Yellofin, joined half a year ago after buying and playing SH3 and SH4 ferociously for a few weeks. I am a programmer / IT forensic specialist.

What: I want to write an engine for naval simulation. So let's brainstorm a little:

The engine would cover:
  • Oceans, coast lines, harbor locations, islands, scientifically accurate bathymetry (OSS data available)
  • scientifically accurate world model (weather (incl air and water temperature), drift, wind, tides, scientifically accurate night skies for navigation (the project would start out simple and evolve into a more and more complex model over time, using randomized weather in the beginning and adding more and more historic/scientific data/inputs and models, depends on availability)
  • scientifically accurate modelling of radio emission/detection/reception (modeled using existing physical models)
  • scientifically accurate damage models (no hp, but flood models / pump models / fire and fire-fighting models / critical hit models). A mechanical engineer would be of great help here.
  • Mines, evacuation, rescuing of survivors, inspecting ships, landing spies
  • human models (fatigue, accidents, injuries, illness, training, skill, experience) A medically trained person would be of great help here.
  • military models, i.e. tactical AI for sub hunting / convoy hunting

The game would be a simulator. No role playing. No dialogues, no sweet talking the smut, etc. Just orders and tactical decisions.

To fill the engine for an actual themed game, people, i.e. players will have to create 3D models of ships, subs, planes, buildings and harbors, vegetation, land, config files for ships, planes and shore guns that cover parameters such as crew complement, speed, tonnage, size, armament, firing arcs, reload times, ammunition load out, range, sensors, sensor sensitivity, damage to sensors, details for the damage model, etc.

A scenario/campaign editor will be included. You provide location, time/date, vessel, crew, vessel configuration and ammunition load out and a mission statement/orders and other parameters as needed.

This engine wouldn't care about whether you want to model sub warfare in the malayan sea in the 1940s or in the north sea in 1917. The engine wouldn't care if you model sub warfare or anti sub warfare. A ship is a ship. Some ships shouldn't be below the surface to operate safely and continued. A plane is a plane. Potentially you should be able to recreate realistic naval battles from the pre sub-era. Or early subs (like this wooden barrel with the drill).

  • The engine should be open source.
  • I'm thinking GPL or MIT license.
  • It should be written in an readily accessible language (C++) -> OSS & free compilers available
  • It should use open source standards wherever possible (i.e. xml or json config files).
Thus the engine can easily be adapted to new needs, even non-programmers can peek into it to gain understanding

The purpose and benefit would be the following: One size fits all. One engine that allows the modelling of any type of ship, submersible or not, and maybe airplanes, in a realistic world, crewed with somewhat realistic people.

What are the current problems with SH3-5:
Now we have SH3-5 and a million mods, supermods, SH3 Commander, JSGME, etc... which are all great and awesome things. They're a nightmare to maintain, change, reinstall and modify. Documentation (for users) is spread all over the internet and often sub standard. Subsim does a great job at helping people out, but it does require quite some persistence . Documentation for developers is almost completely inexistent. People abandon projects or don't allow others to reuse (which is their undisputed right).

However, having one project that does it all - and there's no reason to argue why it shouldn't all come out of one single engine instead of a million sub projects grafted on top of the blackbox that the SH3 executable is - would do away with all the problems mentioned above.

I've written quite extensively now about this idea that popped into my mind about 3 months ago when I first started looking into fixing some SH4 issues (project page).

I have a million more ideas, but I am most interested in what the community thinks. Do you think it can be done? What is the interest level? What kind of commitment can I reckon with?

The project would mainly need:

Man power
  • programming & documenting
  • testing
  • modelling
  • infrastructure such as hosting, project management, bug and issue tracking
  • money (infrastructure costs)
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