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Old 10-09-2019, 09:48 PM   #136
Herman
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Still deciding on the exact menu layout/tree structure/button positions, and playing with the font size and style to make it the most legible while maintaining a distinct aesthetic.
I would like to suggest that you consider using both upper and lower case letters in the display. I know that the Navy has a tradition of only using upper case in all things (and only recently changed to allow lower case in messages), but I think that the mix will make some words more easily recognizable and also save space in your displays. This can allow for longer words to appear on the same line and not be broken.

Also, I suggest a hotkey beside each function. For example, your display shows "FULL" and "HIDE". Perhaps you could consider allowing a mode that shows "Full [F]" and "Hide [H]". Maybe have two different modes that can be activated/disabled according to player preference.

Harpoon also had a space-saving hotkey feature. It might help to display hotkeys with a different colour "Full" or an underscore "Hide". This way, the length of the word is all that is required (no extraneous spaces or parentheses).

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Also while the sensors modeled are far from complete, they work and auto-classify contact types (air, helo, surf, or sub) based off the contacts' returns and some simple logic, including true classification on visual ID, and also planned is ESM and active sonar interception to classify contacts based on their sensor type.
The auto-classify function is convenient. However, one shortcoming of Harpoon was the way the game engine tracked contacts. During a battle, a contact might appear and be given the name, "Contact 21". If contact was lost and then re-acquired later, it would still appear as "Contact 21" because the game engine had already assigned every platform a permanent ID number for administrative purposes. This allowed the player to know immediately it was the same contact as before.

Commander Zimm, the creator of the WW2 game, "Action Stations", would have every new contact given a new designation. That way, you never knew if the ship you engaged 5 minutes ago, lost in a smoke cloud, and then re-acquired and re-engaged was the same ship you fought earlier or a new enemy.

Of course, in WW2, it was mostly surface action and often at night, where visibility was the key factor. In modern combat, with the use of electronic sensors, contact is virtually instantaneous. Also, you probably do not want to be generating a gazillion new ID numbers for contacts that are only lost or flicker for a second or two.

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Also, datalink is being modeled. Should make multiplayer interesting.
Will the information flow between allied players instantaneously? With players able to use Skype or other chat mechanisms, any delay might be moot. Implementation of any potential delay in data transmission may not be worth the candle or effort and may actually detract from the enjoyability of the gameplay.

I raise it as a discussion point and thought exercise.
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Old 10-14-2019, 10:28 AM   #137
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Oh goooshhh, you break my heart ! SEAKING !

Nice job ! Keep on men !
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Old 10-15-2019, 07:45 PM   #138
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Herman View Post
I would like to suggest that you consider using both upper and lower case letters in the display.
The LCD font is true to LCD layouts - lower case letters take the same amount of space, and aren't always clearer.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Herman View Post
Also, I suggest a hotkey beside each function. For example, your display shows "FULL" and "HIDE". Perhaps you could consider allowing a mode that shows "Full [F]" and "Hide [H]". Maybe have two different modes that can be activated/disabled according to player preference.
FULL and HIDE are placeholders for the time being. I'll certainly look at setting custom key bindings, though - that should be fairly easy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Herman View Post
Also, you probably do not want to be generating a gazillion new ID numbers for contacts that are only lost or flicker for a second or two.
From the start of implementing the sensor system I made sure lost contacts wouldn't retain information. As it is, there's a fairly simple system in place to account for relatively long delays in-between contact without the contact getting re-assigned next time contact is made. But if it does go for too long, then yes, you won't know which contact is which.

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Originally Posted by Herman View Post
Will the information flow between allied players instantaneously?
It depends. But where this will really shine still remains quite awhile down the road.

For multiplayer, I tend to prefer to leave things to the host's settings, and this is probably a good place to do that. Some would rather just trust the other team to not cheat in such a way - and communicating information accurately about the ID of contacts might be difficult enough on its own that it wouldn't be too much an issue - but it shouldn't really be an issue to make data links always active for the entire team as an optional setting.

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Oh goooshhh, you break my heart ! SEAKING !

Nice job ! Keep on men !
Thanks!

Update coming soon. It's a highlight tonight.
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Old 10-15-2019, 09:27 PM   #139
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Default VEHICLE HIGHLIGHT

Hello again, everyone!

Tonight's update is another vehicle highlight, and this time it's a ship.

It's the Oliver Hazard Perry-class frigate.



With a displacement of 4,100 tons, it's a relatively small ship, nonetheless, it would become well-known for its durability despite its size. It has a top speed over 29 knots. Although ultimately 51 would be produced for service in the US Navy (and a total over 70), by the end of 1983 only 37 were built, meaning along with the Spruance destroyers, these were some of the new ships of the time.

It was designed to escort amphibious assault groups, carrier groups, and convoy groups across the Atlantic, and with a range of 4,500 nmi could do so without refueling. So let's start taking a look at specific systems that make up the ship's other capabilities.



Its primary weapon was the Mk.13 single-rail launcher. It has a magazine capable of holding 40 RIM-66 SM-1 MR missiles, while 26 of those slots could hold RGM-84 Harpoon anti-ship missiles, though the standard loadout was to split it 36-4, SM-1s to Harpoons.



It could load and fire at an impressive rate, firing a Standard Missile every 10 seconds or a Harpoon every 22.



It should be noted, that while the SM-1 was developed as an anti-air missile, it also could work effectively as an anti-ship missile. Though obviously with a much smaller warhead than purpose-built antiship missiles, the capability makes it a very useful weapon.

Although it's difficult to find reference to it, and was never done much, according to one source the magazine and Mk.13 were able to carry and fire RUR-5 ASROC missiles, as well.



Though it should be noted that the Perry could only carry and fire the SM-1 MR, RIM-66A/B/E, with the E variant only barely entering service in 1983. Thus its range is limited to only 74 km, less than that of the Slava or Azov's S-300 Fort (NATO: SA-N-6 "Grumble") system with a range of 90 km.

Nonetheless, it holds second place with a considerable lead, and definitely far outclasses the RIM-7 Sea Sparrows used on the Spruance that only had a range of 19 km.



But a ship without sensors is blind. At the bottom-left, in the white dome above the bridge we see the Mk.92 fire control radar used for the Mk.13 launcher. In the middle, the radar dish is the Perry's Air Search radar, the AN/SPS-49, with an effective range of 474 km (where it will detect aircraft with a large radar cross-section, but struggle to detect missiles or aircraft with much smaller radar cross-sections).

And finally, on top of the mast, is the little white doppler radar brick of the AN/SPS-55 Surface Search radar.

The ship also houses the SQS-56 sonar system, though the effectiveness of the system as implemented in the early 80's was under question.



Back to armament, after RIM-66 SM-1 MR missiles and RGM-84 Harpoon cruise missiles, the next weapon system would be the Italian-designed, water-cooled OTO Melara 76 mm gun. It is capable of an impressive 80 rounds per minute and having a range of 15.9 km with HE-PFF rounds, for engaging either airborne or surface targets.



And it is directed by the AN/SPG-60 target illuminator radar, visible on the elevated platform.



And finally, it carries two Mk.32 launchers - one on each side, capable of carrying three Mk.46 or Mk.50 torpedoes each.





Last but certainly not least, perhaps the most generally useful system on the Perry is its two hangers for storing, and flight deck for operating, SH-3F LAMPS helicopters, making it very formidable in the ASW role.





Now, some of you familiar with the Perry may be wondering about something that seems to be missing.

In the 90s, Perry frigates were back-fitted with 20mm Phalanx CIWS systems on the stern, just above the hanger.

By 1983, Perries were starting to be built with these, but older ships built without them had not yet been fitted with them. This means that some ships will have them, some will not:



And there it is, the 20mm M61 Vulcan cannon fitted in a naval point-defense system known as the Phalanx CIWS. Just remember not to leave it off when you need it - or even worse, leave it on an "engage all targets" setting when you don't.

(In Blue Water, point defense systems will probably be modeled to, by default, be in an "engage incoming targets moving over 200 knots" mode).

So that's our update for the week. Thanks for joining us.



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Old 10-16-2019, 01:07 PM   #140
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Aaah, Oto melara 76mm... Remember time on Frigate !
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Old 10-21-2019, 02:32 PM   #141
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Looking quite nice
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Old 10-22-2019, 07:04 PM   #142
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Default WEEKLY UPDATE

Weekly update will be short again this week,

progress continues on completing the sensor code. Missiles have been updated/integrated with it. Receiving two ESM pings from a radar will lead to the contact being roughly identified, depending on the radar. Selecting a contact by itself will let you view the history of sensor bearing detections on it, whether it be from ESM, active intercept or passive sonar. And now efforts are focusing on other missile systems than cruise missiles, and various types of launchers.

Check in next week for more. Until then, thanks for joining us.

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Aaah, Oto melara 76mm... Remember time on Frigate !
Did you serve on a frigate with an Oto Melara?

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Looking quite nice
Thanks!
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Old 10-23-2019, 02:42 AM   #143
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AzureSkies View Post
Weekly update will be short again this week,

progress continues on completing the sensor code. Missiles have been updated/integrated with it. Receiving two ESM pings from a radar will lead to the contact being roughly identified, depending on the radar. Selecting a contact by itself will let you view the history of sensor bearing detections on it, whether it be from ESM, active intercept or passive sonar. And now efforts are focusing on other missile systems than cruise missiles, and various types of launchers.

Check in next week for more. Until then, thanks for joining us.

Did you serve on a frigate with an Oto Melara?

Thanks!

Yes, on the F930 Leopold 1er form Belgian Navy.
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Old 10-29-2019, 05:24 PM   #144
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Yes, on the F930 Leopold 1er form Belgian Navy.
Nice - we're glad to have you on-board and hope you'll find our work immersive, enjoyable and compelling.

Update coming very soon.
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Old 10-29-2019, 06:40 PM   #145
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Default WEEKLY UPDATE

Hello again, everyone,

First off, I'm very sorry to say it's looking rather unlikely the game will be ready for an early access release by the originally intended November 11 date. Will probably be ready for that sometime in a few months following that date. We'll have to see.

But we'll be making sure it's up to our standards for when it is ready.

But as for that progress, work continues on two main fronts right now: SAMs and the sky.



Blast fragmentation heads are modeled, resulting in some interesting things when there are multiple targets flying relatively close by each other, such as a salvo of Harpoons. Even if debris meant for the lead missile misses, other missiles in the line could still fly into it - though the odds are lower since by the time the next missile has arrived, the frag debris cloud is relatively dispersed.





Even if SAMs didn't routinely reach very high altitudes, the inclusion of aircraft, high-flying aircraft, tactical ballistic missiles and possibly even low-passing satellites would warrant a skybox that could handle extreme altitudes.

But, long-range SAMs like the Grumble/S-300 not only have the capability of downing very high-altitude targets, but in order to have such long range, they must fly relatively high ballistic trajectories.

Still in early development and continuously being improved, but here's the missile at 60,000+ feet.





And finally, on another note, there's been some much-needed improvements to the Ka-25 Hormone model, specifically with regards to the rotors and the addition of a torpedo bay.







And that's all for this week's update. As always, thanks for joining us.
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Old 10-30-2019, 02:12 AM   #146
Herman
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Originally Posted by AzureSkies View Post
Blast fragmentation heads are modeled, resulting in some interesting things when there are multiple targets flying relatively close by each other, such as a salvo of Harpoons. Even if debris meant for the lead missile misses, other missiles in the line could still fly into it - though the odds are lower since by the time the next missile has arrived, the frag debris cloud is relatively dispersed.
You have described some very complex fragmentation behaviour.

IIRC, one of the big concerns regarding point defence weaponry such as Phalanx intercepting Soviet high-speed missiles, like Kitchen and Sunburn, is the fact that fragmentation and ballistic effects of destroyed missiles. Will those effects be simulated within the game?
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Old 11-02-2019, 12:38 PM   #147
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Default Love the initiative, but stick to the priorities of the genre.

Hello @AzureSkies, and all the fine people at KFG,


Thanks so much for involving the community in the process of this new game being built. I was an avid player of Janes' Fleet Command and Dangerous Waters, and am currently replaying Cold Waters again.

I greatly support the hard work you are doing and welcome the opportunity of becoming a beta-tester, if you would be open to that. Due to circumstances, I currently have a lot of time on my hands, so please reach out to me (myusername[at]gmail.com) if you feel like you can use my help.



When I did some soul-searching into what naval simulation games I have played and actually spent a lot of time on, two deciding factors for me stood out:


1) realism (or lack thereof);
2) graphics


I was struck by the fact that I even enter and tend to stick with simulation games which have their realism and graphics in order, sometimes even wandering in to non-naval genres: Train Sim World (TSW) and, to a lesser degree: Farming Simulator stand out to me.


I thus end up at my main points w.r.t. the constructon of Blue Water:



Ad 1) Maybe 688i H/K overdid it a bit with their sense of realism (I never bothered with manually plotting target solutions, but the options was there), but: the way the passive sonar waterfall in Cold Waters is solely used for target classification purposes, seems a bit like babying the player. What I'm trying to say is: lovers of this genre are total suckers for realism. We understand certain sacrifices will have to be made in the interest of broader market-appeal, but please, don't dumb it down too much.

Ad 2) This is not true for all lovers of this genre, but it certainly is for me: I'm having a hard time enjoying (naval) simulation games when the graphical realism is not up to speed with the times. I'm not even talking about ray tracing etc., but using a modern state-of-the-art engine (like Unreal) and having us pay the licensing fees for doing so, are a conditio sine qua non. In fact: I don't even care that much about trains, but take a look at TSW on the one hand, and Train Simulator 2019 on the other, and you'll get my point. It's supposed to be a simulation, and these days a mid-range GPU suffices to make a game look awesome. Make sure to let us pay for the privilege, like the devs of TSW do (every DLC comes at a price, but that's allright). We understand you're operating in a nich market, so appropriate prices are part of the deal.


That is all for now. Keep up the good work!



Best,




DrMezza.

Last edited by drmezza; 11-02-2019 at 04:01 PM.
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Old 11-06-2019, 11:24 PM   #148
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Apologies for the late update, here's some replies and in them I describe some of the work that's been going on since last update with regard to SAM behavior and simulation.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Herman View Post
You have described some very complex fragmentation behaviour.

IIRC, one of the big concerns regarding point defence weaponry such as Phalanx intercepting Soviet high-speed missiles, like Kitchen and Sunburn, is the fact that fragmentation and ballistic effects of destroyed missiles. Will those effects be simulated within the game?
To an extent, they already are, with missiles capable of taking multiple damage modes, some of which merely throw off their guidance.

Quote:
Originally Posted by drmezza View Post
Ad 1) Maybe 688i H/K overdid it a bit with their sense of realism (I never bothered with manually plotting target solutions, but the options was there), but: the way the passive sonar waterfall in Cold Waters is solely used for target classification purposes, seems a bit like babying the player. What I'm trying to say is: lovers of this genre are total suckers for realism. We understand certain sacrifices will have to be made in the interest of broader market-appeal, but please, don't dumb it down too much.

Ad 2) This is not true for all lovers of this genre, but it certainly is for me: I'm having a hard time enjoying (naval) simulation games when the graphical realism is not up to speed with the times. I'm not even talking about ray tracing etc., but using a modern state-of-the-art engine (like Unreal) and having us pay the licensing fees for doing so, are a conditio sine qua non. In fact: I don't even care that much about trains, but take a look at TSW on the one hand, and Train Simulator 2019 on the other, and you'll get my point. It's supposed to be a simulation, and these days a mid-range GPU suffices to make a game look awesome. Make sure to let us pay for the privilege, like the devs of TSW do (every DLC comes at a price, but that's allright). We understand you're operating in a nich market, so appropriate prices are part of the deal.

That is all for now. Keep up the good work!

Best,
DrMezza.
I can see two big probable reasons why CW had less TMA work:
1. decreasing the active management/workload for the player so they can actual captain the sub. There's a good reason in real life you have separate crew doing the TMA work while the captain just rolls with the reports that are given.

2. It's a significant extra time and resources to develop something that's not necessarily even a good feature.

Similarly, I plan for TMA work to be unnecessary since there's enough to do with managing weapons, helos and ships.

But that's not to say it's absent. One thing I worked on awhile back is active intercept/ESM code with passive detection legs. Some are saved into long-term history while all are saved into short term history, and they're visible when you only have one contact selected. If you have more or less than one non-friendly contact selected, you only see the sonar pings or ESM intercepts that have happened in the last few seconds.



That being said, I'm always a fan of leaving extra options available so I do plan for contact assignments to be able to be made, at least, among a few other manual overrides.

Another fun quirk is any weapon can be fired at any contact. It's really only a question of if the target has a radar reflection and if the weapon's guidance system is capable of detecting and handling whatever you threw it at.

You can even throw an S-300F with a range of 75 km (5V55R missile) at a target 300 km away - it's just the guidance director won't be too happy about it and it'll be a very sad missile.

But the fun thing about systems like this is the "range" of a weapon isn't a magic barrier. Aside, perhaps, from cruise missiles which will run out of fuel and lose speed relatively quickly, the minimum and maximum ranges of most weapons is kind of a blurry line and depends a good deal on how fast and/or maneuverable the target is.

And let's say making a realistic physics-based guidance system on a SAM with quadratic drag, realistic trajectories, limited attitude control authority at higher altitudes, etc. is certainly a challenge.

But it's definitely worth it when it allows players to interact with situations more realistically and creatively. Helicopters will need to keep a further distance than faster supersonic jets, targets with more predictable trajectories are easier to hit, and evasive tactics that take advantage of missile's limited maneuverability should work.
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Old 11-07-2019, 09:42 PM   #149
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I apologize if this is already been discussed, but will this game have a broadband/narrowband waterfall? Or is detection (other than esm as stated above) essentially automatic?

Thank you!
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Old 11-08-2019, 03:16 AM   #150
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AzureSkies View Post
I can see two big probable reasons why CW had less TMA work:
1. decreasing the active management/workload for the player so they can actual captain the sub. There's a good reason in real life you have separate crew doing the TMA work while the captain just rolls with the reports that are given.

[snip]

Similarly, I plan for TMA work to be unnecessary since there's enough to do with managing weapons, helos and ships.
Good to see that much of the TMA work can be automated.

I hope that BW does not force players to over-manage weapons, the way CW does. In case you did not know, CW forces players to act as Weapons Operator by forcing micro-management of each and every torpedo launch. For example, it is impossible to fire "a torpedo salvo on bearing XXX with 3 degree spread between them" in CW without a zillion clicks.

Even the original Red Storm Rising game required players to control individual torpedoes in order to achieve success.
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