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Old 03-23-2019, 03:11 PM   #1
Boris-Barboris
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Default DSubs - abstract multiplayer subsim

Downloads:
https://github.com/Boris-Barboris/dsubs_demo/releases


Pdf manual is bundled in the zip, or can be found in the repo:
https://github.com/Boris-Barboris/ds...ter/Manual.pdf


Discord:
https://discord.gg/7TFS98f


Client sources:
https://github.com/Boris-Barboris/dsubs_client



TLDR: 2D cold-war-techlevel DW-inspired sensor-focused subsim, multiplayer/singleplayer infinite quick battle scenario with bots and/or other players.




Hello everyone!

I'm Boris-Barboris and I would like to make the progress of my hobby project public knowledge. I'm steadily moving towards the technical demo stage and expect to be able to let the general audience test it till the end of 2019.

Reasoning

I was a great fan on Sonalyst's work on Dangerous Waters, as well as of DCS/LockOn simulator franchise. I have spent weeks in those titles, but the past is now long gone. Youth was gone as well, and so, gone was my blind respect for realism. Time grew much in value, and it is the time that was rarely respected by the simulator genre: realism dictates large intervals of wasted time and no gameplay just for the sake of realism. Time acceleration helps, but it is unsuitable for multiplayer - the prime thing I was enjoying in those games. I just want a fun PvP/Coop submarine-related game to play with real people for an hour or so. It appeared to me that the gameplay must be designed from the ground to account for higher desired combat intensity and lower time intervals.

Exactly 2 years before this post, March 2017, I have started my small project: DSubs (D for distributed), which I hope you will find in your favor.

Concept
  • Player controls one submarine. Everything that exists is submerged as well.
    The only thing I enjoyed in DW was sub warfare. I never cared about surface of the water, nor did I care for air. The fact that half the time I open some Cold Waters video and see some annoying helicopter spamming torps on the player's head tells me that I've made a right choice.
  • Not a simulator.
    No real submarines, no real weapons, no real geography. I am inspired by the real world, but have no desire to replicate it.
  • Literally no graphics
    I have no time for this anyways. Gameplay first. Whistles are easy to add later, core systems are not.
  • World is 2D.
    If there was a depth, there would be surface, and surface is of no interest to me. Either way, I cannot implement 3D world mechanics in so little time that I have. But I would like to: sound speed profile is an interesting mechanic of great gameplay value.
  • Ranges, speeds and timings are tuned for action.
    I expect the game to suit a working man with as little as 30 minutes of free time. Complete game loop cycle of spawn and death should be short enough for everyone.
  • Online only. Centralized server as an umpire.
    I like to play with people, so I focus on the multiplayer from the start. I will make single-player tutorials and a campaign system for loners but it will still require internet.
  • Focus on sensors and imperfection of knowledge.
    You only see what your submarine hull sees: the fact that you are alive, your ammo leftovers and the output of your sensors. Kills will not be reported, and the kill-feed/player stats will be significantly delayed.
  • Indiscriminate solo and cooperative play.
    The thing was written to be coop-capable from the start. Players can join the server solo, or join the other player and help him to control his submarine. I don't like "multi-station" concept, coop players share equally full control of the sub.
What is done (September 2020)
  • Submarine navigation control: target course and throttle.
  • Underwater rigid body dynamics.
  • Interesting enough sound propagation model, tuned for shorter detection range and faster action.
  • Completely server-side kinematics and hydroacoustics calculations: client is lightweight and ignorant.
  • "Fine by me" propulsor sound emission model: server-side real-time DSP to generate hydrophone signal and stream it to client.
  • OK active sonar model, picture slices streamed to client from server.
  • Client-side CIC (Combat information center) COOP server, that manages contacts, data samples, solutions, hydrophone trackers...
  • UI for hydrophone waterfall and active sonar sensors.
  • UI for contact management and TMA.
  • Towed hydrophone arrays.
  • Active sonar decoys.
  • Simple military bots.
  • Simple tutorials that cover most of the mechanics.
  • Coop control for all of the above.


Overview and tutorial walkthrough by SmartWargames:







Here is a short video, which demonstrates most core systems (coop, sensors, TMA, contact management):


Torpedo attack example:



What needs to be done
  • Manual (Done).
  • Campaign (In-progress)
After all of the above I would be able to go public alpha and see if the concept is viable.


I would like to hear your opinion on the concept itself, as well as to recruit some volunteers in order to test the existing features (sensor-related).

Thank you for your attention.

Last edited by Boris-Barboris; 03-28-2021 at 03:25 PM. Reason: source link
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Old 07-02-2019, 02:21 AM   #2
Boris-Barboris
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Got some progress on the torpedo, namely:
  • got the guidance computer configurable: marchCourse, marchSpeed, activeSpeed, searchPattern, activationRange and activeCourse are being accepted and used.
  • Straight, snake and spiral search patterns working, albeit not configurable. That'll do for now.
  • fuel depletion logic is working, slower torp swims longer and generally covers more distance during it's lifespan.
  • active sonar seeker works and actually homes onto the moving target.
  • reused old quadtree code to handle simplistic detonation and kill checks.
Here is an example kinematic trace from the snake search test - flank speed torpedo intercepts player submarine going flank. On the right you can see active sonar image that is used to generate approach solution.



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Old 07-02-2019, 09:23 AM   #3
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Default welcome back!

Boris-Barboris! THANKS FOR KEEPING US POSTED
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Old 07-25-2019, 08:54 PM   #4
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Looks awesome! Which platforms will you support? happy to give a little bit of time to help test on Linux (or windows XP in a vm).
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Old 07-27-2019, 07:47 AM   #5
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Well, as a DW player, I was insterested by the subs too, not the surface or air platforms. And the thing I really appreciated was the "where is it, and who is it?" phase. So keep on the good work, I'm very interesting with your concept!
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Old 07-31-2019, 09:54 AM   #6
Boris-Barboris
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kellpossible View Post
Looks awesome! Which platforms will you support? happy to give a little bit of time to help test on Linux (or windows XP in a vm).

I develop on both Linux and Windows 10 machines. Judging by the conservative use of libraries, windows 7/8 32bit should be ok as well.

Thanks for the offer, though I'll probably just spin up my own ubuntu VM and ask some friends to test.
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Old 08-04-2019, 07:18 AM   #7
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Got some nice weaponry progress:
  • Implemented ammo racks and tubes. I chose standard DW model of dry-equalized-open state machine with some QoL modifications, namely you specify desired state.
  • Implemented simple active sonar decoys.
  • Loadout screen where you can configure your sub, select one of the screws that can be chosen, fill your ammo racks.
  • Boring task of writing torpedo launch UI was simplified to the bare minimum required. I'll stick to numeric text input of parameters with visual feedback, that way I will not kill another month on this feature prematurely.
Here is an example torpedo attack video I recorded:

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Old 10-06-2020, 06:31 AM   #8
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Long time without checking Indie Subsims and I found this!

I always thought in a modern era subsim based on sensors saving the lacks on DW.
You made it. Exactly the right concept to make a Subsim fun to play.

I love the interface shown on videos. Well done!!!

Sound propagation and depth would bring the sim to a new level if you implement it.

Thanks to make my day! Can wait to get home to try it!

Thank you and much luck on the project.
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Old 10-06-2020, 11:11 AM   #9
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Default Welcome aboard maxadmiral! & welcome back xonix!

maxadmiral! & xonix! you're both proven 'silent runners'!
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Old 10-06-2020, 03:32 PM   #10
Boris-Barboris
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xnonix View Post
Long time without checking Indie Subsims and I found this!

I always thought in a modern era subsim based on sensors saving the lacks on DW.
You made it. Exactly the right concept to make a Subsim fun to play.

I love the interface shown on videos. Well done!!!

Sound propagation and depth would bring the sim to a new level if you implement it.

Thanks to make my day! Can wait to get home to try it!

Thank you and much luck on the project.

Thanks, appreciate it.


Saw you on the server, not a bad hit on two bots, but torpedo evasion needs some work
Replay is delayed, you'll see what happened in a couple of hours.
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Old 10-07-2020, 01:55 AM   #11
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Hi Boris and others,
I will give you some feedback from my short gameplay yesterday.

GAMEPLAY:
I played the tutorials first. They are good enough for a noob like me to start using the sim. I was playing with two monitors. One for tactical view and the other for sensors. The interface is very good and fast. I spent most of the time trying TMA and tracking targets. The game is too much fast paced for me. Or simply the circle of action is too small. Or, even, the TMA info is updated too fast. I had problems doing TMA that I will explain later.

HELM
I would like to set the speed of the sub from presets (right button on the map and set speed) or writing the speed we want. Now you have to put the power you want to apply to the propeler to set the wanted speed by trial and error. You could make it more like DW or CW.

SENSORS
The sensors is the most I liked. All the information was presented very clear, zoomable, panable. The only thing I missed is that Bow sonar and Towed array panning was syncronized. I mean, if I have 180 bearing in the top center of the screen on Bow sonar and I change to Towed array, I would like to see the same exact bearing on the top center. Whe I got killed I was seeing on the towed array the ping spikes the torp was doing. I realised I could mark them. But it was too late and I didn't do evasion because didn't know what was happening, but I learnt that I didn't have enought time to tma the torp and I have to rely solely on sensor information for doing the evasion. I love the way it is this part of the game.

TACTICAL VIEW
I like the interface of the tactical view. Very intuitive and working very good.

TMA
Well, this is what take me long to get used and I would like to make some points of discussion here.
1. Bearing update time. I think is too short. Tons of lines accumulates in few minutes and they are hard to process, more when you have merged information from 2 sensors. You could make this time selectable. I know I can get rid of the old lines from right button menu, but I realised I am doing it very often.
2. Old bearing lines management: I suggest that we could decide how many lines we want for doing TMA and the update time for them. Old lines should dissapear automatically.
3. Bearing lines importance: I would like to see newer lines bolder and clearer than old lines that should be thinner and darker. I had bad time looking for the correct line crosing between Bow and Towed sonars and when I found it another line appears, or ever 2 of them. I was a bit overwhelmed.
4. Error management: I would like to see the dot stack (like DW or Fast Attack) for doing the TMA. The actual TMA error showing is nice but I lose the track of what I'm doing when there are tons of lines and error lines. The most I like on TMA is the old FASTATTACK subsim way with 3 controls to select the speed, course and distance of the target.

CONCLUSION
Very nice subsim. Loved it. I'd like to see the suggestions I made or at least part of them implemented in the game.
This work deserves more attention by subsimmers. I would like you (Boris) tell us what is the TODO list for us to make more suggestions.

Congrats Boris, you are doing a great job. Keep it up.
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Old 10-07-2020, 05:03 AM   #12
Boris-Barboris
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Thanks for the feedback. I'd like to address some points now:


1). Telegraph and set speed are in TODO list, got it.


2). Hydrophone "camera" synchronization is something I thought would annoy me, probably best to keep it optional, togglable. Not a bad idea.


3). "but I learnt that I didn't have enought time to tma the torp and I have to rely solely on sensor information for doing the evasion".
That is what I have found myself as well. When I started I though the game would be more "chill", TMA would take the largest portion of the time and every solution would be perfect. It turns out I didn't understand how underwater combat works.
I now believe that the romantic visage of silent assassin that only listens and goes slowly is just a fantasy. You must be fast, you must rapidly react to all new hydrophone contacts, you must be energetic: cavitation is a necessity, pings, rapid course changes and decoy spam. Accurate TMA is only the first shooter's privilege, when the first torp launches, precision and leisure goes out the window.
For example: you see new hydrophone contact, you listen to it, it's a torp or maybe a torpedo tube flood noise, you immediately go tangential to it at flank and drop 3-4 decoys. No time for TMA indeed.


4). Bearing ray data generation rate should probably be tunable in UI. It's fine for me. I definitly hated DW's default timing that was like 5 minutes or something like that.


5). "Old lines should disappear automatically and old lines that should be thinner and darker".

Not a bad idea, but also needs some kind of tuning. Maybe it's better to make old ray data more sparse as well, I don't know.


6). "I had bad time looking for the correct line crossing between Bow and Towed sonars".
When bow and towed trackers track one merged contact they are synchronized, purple error leg will base itself on the correct ray crossing, just FYI.


7). "error dot stack".

Not sure I'd like that. Maybe much later, but definitely not soon. I understand the sentiment, It's what we all are used to, I just don't want to focus on TMA in the nearest future and really love/"proud of" the purple legs



8). "with 3 controls to select the speed, course and distance of the target".
If you mean textual/digital input of these parameters, I think it's a nostalgia speaking to you. Mouse is, in my experience, 10 times faster. Even DW favored mouse movement, and it's DEMON screen unrealistic fixation on integer speed numbers made the speed lock of the TMA screen too powerful. There's no reason for any ship to go exactly 20 kts, for example, especially in the game where there is a direct engine power control nob. All speeds will be floating point, and you'll need the flexibility of the mouse.
Generally, I'm not sure I'll be doing a numeric input for contact this year. Cluttering and information overload are more important problems, as you have probably noticed. Maybe it's better to just open-source the client later so the others can do things I'm too lazy or don't want to do.


9). The plan for now is to make a campaign and add 3-4 interesting playable subs and a bunch of torps that are really different. Twin-towed-array sub like DW's LA, 3-tube pseudo-russian firepower-focused something, maybe some kind of underwater jamming thingie, rocket-torps are the things that come to mind.

Last edited by Boris-Barboris; 10-07-2020 at 07:26 AM.
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Old 10-08-2020, 02:07 AM   #13
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Hi subsimers,
more feedback for Boris:
On my last run I made 5 kills without even TMA or active pinging. My tactic was be quiet, listen, snapshot what you hear, on enemy ping or transient, launch decoys and run, then repeat.

1. I still think the scenario is too small. You can't make tactics. You don't have enough room to evade torpedos properly as well.

2. Almost any snapshot is a kill.

3. Enemies are spawn too near to your sub. That's not good for the tactics as well. I am reloading and snapshoting every second I can.

4. I can't imaging a proper tactic based on stealth on this sim.

5. I'd like to spend more time tracking, classifing, instead of snapshoting like a machine gun.

6. Enemies pings should create a contact line on Tactical view for you to snapshot fast.

7. Closing torpedos pings should be audible for you to figure how close they are.

I like the sim a lot. Thx for the hard work on it. Hope it gets better and better.

Regards

Last edited by xnonix; 10-08-2020 at 02:20 AM.
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