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Old 02-26-2019, 09:05 AM   #1
AzureSkies
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Default Blue Water Announcement Thread

Hello everyone!

I'm pleased to announce the committed development of this new naval strategy game, Blue Water.


[in-game screenshot with UI overlay disabled. Post edited to replace old art]

The name is a reference to the maritime geographical term, "Blue-Water Navy".

It's been a long time since either Sonalysts' Jane's Fleet Command or Eidos Hungary's Battlestations: Midway graced the naval game community, and Blue Water intends to fill the big shoes they left: That of a surface-fleet, real-time naval strategy game.

Set at the end of 1983 in a "Cold War gone hot" scenario, you will take command of NATO and Soviet battlegroups, airbases, submarines and land installations to decide the world's future. You will be able to take command of one vessel at a time and switch between them, or issue orders from a strategic map.

The Soviet and US Navies were very different, however, it is possible to find some ships that had striking similarities in the most important metrics (such as range, type and effectiveness of armament, etc). As such, there's planned to be two different kinds of missions: Symmetric and Asymmetric. In Symmetric maps, roughly equivalent battle groups will be pitted against each other. In Asymmetric, the fleet composition is more broad and better reflects the different doctrines of the two navies.

There will be realistic weapons and ranges, an adjustable "world scale" slider that modifies the range of all weapons and sensors, skirmish and multiplayer modes, and much more. All these features may not be available on the early alpha version of the game, but will be released with free future updates.

On that note, I'm proud to say I'm committed to the old-fashioned, microtransaction-free model of gaming.

But as for now, it is extremely early in development, but with dynamic water interaction and a unique and immersive order/control scheme, it's already looking very promising and I'm very excited to be working on it.

Be sure to check out the development diary and suggestions thread.

Sincerely,
Azure Skies, LLC

Last edited by AzureSkies; 05-23-2019 at 07:45 PM.
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Old 02-26-2019, 09:06 AM   #2
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Default Blue Water Development Diary

Dear Diary,

Today SUBSIM has agreed to open a new forum for Blue Water!

To catch everyone up on some of the progress so far, why not a picture montage?

The UI is somewhat WIP. The "order a course" function isn't implemented yet (just manual rudder control). Also the map display will have textures instead of a solid color for the panel and buttons among other things.

As for the list of weapons in yellow on the right - kind of a placeholder for another major UI addition yet to be implemented:

 




Quite happy with the caustics effects underwater:

 






The "STYLE" button above the map is a WIP-build only thing so I can toggle between Soviet and NATO UIs. Although we don't currently have a Soviet ship to show off, this is the WIP Soviet UI:

 


I don't think I've ever seen a game implement this before - did Silent Hunter V do it? At any rate, the ships interact dynamically with the waves. I've seen it so much it's hard to go back to a game that doesn't implement this. It's fun watching the ship ride the big swells up and down:

 



Anyways, that is all for now. The ship you saw was a Charles F. Adams-class destroyer, and the model may change for it in the near future, or perhaps not. There's a lot going on with development, I just thought the community would like to know what's in the works.

There's a whole lot that hasn't been shown off yet, and a whole lot left to be done. Many half-baked placeholder graphics and unpolished ugly things that shouldn't be shown off, but that some people might appreciate seeing, anyways...
 
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Old 05-14-2019, 12:25 AM   #3
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Well, I think it's safe to say some improvements have been made.

I can talk about the Ocean a bit more in another post, perhaps, but for now, let's take a look at what's floating in it.

 


This is the Azov, lacking her RBU's (still in development), and with the hull number she had in 1983 (The Russians like to change their ships' hull numbers every so often, it seems).

She was a Kara-class cruiser designed with a special modification: an installation of S-300 Fort (NATO reporting name: SA-N-6 "Grumble") missiles and accompanying 3R41 Volna ("TOP DOME") radar replacing her rearward M11 Shtorm (NATO name: SA-N-3 "Goblet") launcher and its accompanying HEAD LIGHTS radar.

 


This served as the sea trials for this new long-range SAM system that would be fitted on Slava and Kirov-class ships, and almost doubled the range of her air defense capabilities, and put her up with these fleet flagships in terms of fleet air defense.

 


She did, however, retain the forward one, so you can see the HEAD LIGHTS radar just behind and on top of the bridge, and the associated M-11 Shtorm launcher on the elevated deck in front of it (currently carrying two missiles). By 1983, I believe this would have been the upgraded version.

 


Stationed with the Black Sea fleet, her and the Slava will be the most important ships for Soviet players trying to break out of the Black Sea, providing long-range air defense against large numbers of NATO aircraft.

Some parts of the model are yet to be augmented a bit, RBUs have yet to be added, and the sky will get some drastic improvements soon.

Next update is sure to come much sooner. Until then, good hunting.
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Old 05-23-2019, 12:04 AM   #4
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This week is a bit late.

Been mulling over decisions with regard to the game's design and release schedule. I've been thinking of using an early access release towards the end of the year to raise funds to put towards a more complete development. It would only be the bare bones of gameplay, only surface ships and probably a simplified damage model, but come with all the updates from there.

Thoughts, comments? Feel free to provide feedback on the idea.

Anyways, I've done a lot of work implementing a sky system in the project, and had to re-do the water to make it look good in light of this. I think it's an improvement - the sky sure is! - but you'll have to tell me what you think of the water.

Anyways, I like to introduce a new vehicle each week, so without further ado...



This is a Juliett-class submarine. It was initially built in the 60s to play the role that SSBNs would later take - threatening the US east coast with nuclear-tipped (cruise missiles in this case) missiles. Once SSBNs made them obsolete with the ability to launch nuclear ballistic missiles from submarines, their armaments were switched out for long-range antiship missiles.

Typical armament would consist of 6 533 mm torpedo tubes with 18 torpedoes, and four non-reloadable 400 mm stern torpedo tubes. Usually 4 of the 18 torpedoes were nuclear-tipped antiship torpedoes.

But its main armament to worry about in 1983 was 4 P-6 (NATO reporting name: SS-N-3A "Shaddock") missiles, two of which were typically nuclear-tipped.



By 1983, though, the submarine was old, and bordering on obsolescence. In order to fire, the ocean had to be less than sea state six, but most troublingly, it had to be surfaced and moving less than four knots. It also took about five minutes from surfacing to firing, making it extremely vulnerable to ASW attack.

The Shaddocks had a range of 450 km, or 250 nmi. Their own radar could only acquire targets from about 50 nmi out, and until they did, the missile had to be guided by the Juliett's FRONT DOOR/FRONT PIECE radar, which due to its limited abilities, could only track two at a time. This meant it had to fire its missiles in salvos of 2, guide them until they acquired the enemy targets (50 nmi range), and only then could it fire another pair.

The FRONT DOOR/FRONT PIECE radar had an unusual design in that it occupied a large front section of the conning tower that had to be rotated 180 degrees for the radar to work.





Given the Shaddocks were high-flying, although supersonic, just two at a time meant that a single submarine was highly unlikely to saturate a carrier battle group's air defenses.

Also, while the missiles were guided by the radar from beyond 50 nmi to the target, the Juliett would have to remain surfaced to track and guide them with its radar.







The Juliett is a close relative of the Echo II, and 16 were built. It may seem odd, given the Juliett carried half as many missiles as the Echo II, but the Juliett was actually designed after the Echo II's.

It would be fairly easy to model an Echo II if needed, but for gameplay purposes I chose the Juliett, as it would make balancing missions easier, since while you can't have half an Echo II, you can have 1 Juliett instead of 2. Also, 2 Julietts would make for more interesting and dynamic gameplay than 1 Echo-II.





Also, while a single Juliett would do little to a carrier battle group alone, and although its missile armament was designed with carrier groups in mind, it might have also proven useful against Atlantic convoy routes, where smaller escort groups would prove a more vulnerable target to its nearly-obsolete design...



In the end, for gameplay purposes, I'm leaning towards putting a Juliett or two in a wolfpack with other diesel-electric sub(s) against a North Atlantic convoy group, and using Echo II's for a CVBG vs. Soviet submarines mission.

On November 10th, 1983, when hostilities will have broken out, the USS Independence, a Forrestal-class aircraft carrier, had just finished assisting operations in Grenada, and was underway to the Mediterranean. This will have put it somewhere around 1,000 nmi W-SW of Spain, in the Atlantic. Given it would have been impossible to hide the carrier's presence at Grenada, it's easy to imagine that nuclear-powered Echo-II's could have attempted to intercept the Forrestal before it entered the Mediterranean...

It's certainly been interesting researching all of this. Contemporary sources were used, which means there's little chance of getting mixed up with modernizations as opposed to weapons of the time, but also means there was the limitation of what knowledge the US had peering across the Iron Curtain, so if you happen to have a more contemporary reliable source that conflicts any of this, feel free to pipe in.



Also feel free to leave responses, comments and feedback below, I'd love to hear from ya!

Until next time, good hunting.

Last edited by AzureSkies; 05-23-2019 at 12:22 AM.
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Old 06-16-2019, 07:10 PM   #5
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The models look great, but will there be other factions to this game? Like american and British naval units?
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Old 06-17-2019, 02:45 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bismarck1011 View Post
The models look great, but will there be other factions to this game? Like american and British naval units?
Of course! It wouldn't make sense to only have Soviet units and nothing to combat them. We should have a USN vessel to show off in early July, and at least one NATO aircraft before then.

Also, the Brits will certainly be making an appearance further down the road.

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Old 07-11-2019, 03:30 AM   #7
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Will Blue Water be released on steam and if so, in what time frame could we see this game on steam?

-Sparky_16
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Old 07-11-2019, 04:33 AM   #8
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Default welcome aboard!

Sparky_16!
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Old 07-16-2019, 04:56 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SmokingHeadStudio View Post
That are very nice Screens you show

i like to follow, and look forward to the Project.

best Greetings.
Thanks! I look forward to it, too!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sparky_16 View Post
Will Blue Water be released on steam and if so, in what time frame could we see this game on steam?

-Sparky_16
Yes! The current plan is to try to get an early access out by November 11th, the date that Able Archer 83 concluded, and thus the day that the events of the game will have started. Early Access would be extremely bare-bones, but will allow us to get feedback on the game early and possibly fund a great deal of expansion with it.

Of course I plan to meet the promises made with it so far no matter what, but a good turnout on early access sales could easily triple the number of aircraft, sub and ship classes that make it into the final game, double the number of missions and add a lot of neat details and mechanics in mind but that haven't been announced yet.

You won't find a page for it on Steam yet, though. That's something I'll need to be setting up soon.

Also, welcome to Subsim!
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Old 07-16-2019, 05:43 PM   #10
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Default UPDATE AND VEHICLE HIGHLIGHT

Hello again, everyone!

It's Tuesday evening and time for a vehicle highlight - or at least a weekly update of some kind. With the new system set up, things have been moving a bit again.

Finally have some basic wake system implemented, and this week I've improved the gun system quite a bit. Did I mention that was done? Hmm.

Anyone familiar with modern naval combat will know that guns are almost irrelevant when it comes to world powers engaging each other, at least (modern asymmetric warfare is a whole different matter). However, depending on how successful missile interceptions and decoys are, they could become surprisingly relevant.

Nonetheless, they're certainly significant enough to be modeled, and I decided it'd be a relatively basic system to start with.



Notice the gun's radar directors - a recent improvement is that they track the target as well, now. Pretty basic stuff, but it's always fun to see incremental improvements.



A top-down-ish view to see the directors and guns on both sides in rest position and tracking a target, respectively (Notice the guns on the port side moving to the nearest position they can).





It's always fun to watch the rounds arc down to their target:



There's a lot more being done that isn't all being announced yet, of course, but I thought I'd share some of the work.

But now to today's vehicle highlight - short and sweet, it's the Ka-25 Hormone.

Developed in the 60s and entering service in 1972, the Kamov Ka-25 (NATO reporting name "Hormone") was somewhat aged by 1983. By this year, it had already began being replaced by the more modern Kamov Ka-27, which first saw introduction into the Soviet navy in 1982. Nonetheless, with being introduced only so recently, the Ka-25 was probably the more common helicopter in the Soviet Navy for a while still.







It had a cramped interior - not even tall enough for the crew to stand upright inside - but it could carry what mattered - two air-dropped torpedoes and/or conventional or nuclear depth charges.





Equipped with surface search radar, dipping sonar, and a MAD sensor, it was more than adequately suited for its ASW role.



During the Cold War, ELINT and "waving hi" to eachother's ships to do photography and gather intelligence was certainly not uncommon.



A quick disclaimer that many aesthetics are tweaked and improved fairly frequently, (for example, I'm not sure there's been more than two updates in a row where the water's settings have been exactly the same), but nonetheless, I do try to make the shots as accurate to what the final product will look like as possible, and these are, of course, taken in the game engine with the models and textures the game will use.

Thanks again for joining us, feel free to leave feedback, and until next time, clear sailing.
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Old 07-17-2019, 08:42 AM   #11
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O dear, what did you do - did you just model Azov?
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Old 01-17-2020, 11:24 AM   #12
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I want to see what it will look like under water,submarines,bottom ocean's,changing transparency and the physical model sumbarines,how will the submarine be managed.Subscribed to the channel
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Old 01-21-2020, 09:05 PM   #13
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Default WEEKLY UPDATE

Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleCow View Post
Great to see work progressing. The visuals and models are most excellent. Thanks for updating us.
Thanks and you're welcome! I have to thank the excellent modelers for really setting an extraordinarily high bar on the graphics.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruslan View Post
I want to see what it will look like under water,submarines,bottom ocean's,changing transparency and the physical model sumbarines,how will the submarine be managed.Subscribed to the channel
As of the moment that part of the water system isn't developed, but from what I've seen there's really some excellent potential - however it goes, it'll have to match that high bar set by the asset artists.

Now, for our weekly update, I'm sorry to say a combination of an unexpected holdup with the new model and administrative work taking (albeit somewhat expectantly for this time of the year) an unusually high amount of time, there's not much new to show this week aside from some pretty minor graphical fine-tuning.





Until next time, thanks for joining us, and I think I've mentioned before, there's something nice I'm hoping to have ready either next week or the week after, and it's not even the aircraft.

Until then, clear sailing.
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Old 01-30-2020, 12:55 AM   #14
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Regarding this week's update, apologies for the delay again, but expect it tomorrow.
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Old 01-31-2020, 02:29 AM   #15
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Default WEEKLY UPDATE

Hello again, everyone!

This week I'm showing off the wonderful sky and weather system and the Hawker Siddeley Nimrod, MR.2 variant.

As usual, these are all in-game screenshots of course.



The Nimrod is the UK's Maritime Patrol Aircraft. While P-3 Orions were stationed in CONUS in enormous numbers, Nimrods were the quite capable UK equivalent.



Blue Water taking place shortly after the Falklands war, many MR.2s had just barely been upgraded with a fueling probe, extending their range to anywhere in the Atlantic and beyond, if needed.



With a rather spacious weapons' bay and the ability to carry up to 20,000 pounds (9,100 kg) of armament, it could carry a large helping of Martel ARMs, AGM-65 Mavericks, AGM-84 Harpoons, Mk. 46 or Stingray torpedoes, sonobouys, and even nuclear depth charges and depth bombs.

Also non-standard, but during the Falklands war MR.2s were equipped with AIM-9 Sidewinders.



Placing the engines inside the wings instead of in nacelles under them, the design is distinctly British.



Lowering gear and flaps just to show...



It has a maximum speed of 500 knots, and a typical cruise speed of 426 knots.



Unsurprisingly for a turbofan design, it can fly quite high with a service ceiling of 44,000 feet, or 13,400 meters.

















That's all for today. Thanks for joining us. Be sure to comment below with thoughts, feedback, and whatever else you may want to suggest.

Until next time, clear sailing.
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