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Old 10-29-2019, 07:40 PM   #91
AzureSkies
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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, 03:12 AM   #92
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Quote:
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, 01:38 PM   #93
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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 05:01 PM.
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Old 11-06-2019, 11:24 PM   #94
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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   #95
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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   #96
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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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Old 11-08-2019, 03:34 AM   #97
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I cannot remember any submarine sim that allowed for one-click salvo fire, so CW is hardly unique in this regard. CW's weapons are modelled on Red Storm Rising, simply because Red Storm Rising is my favorite sub sim.
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Old 11-08-2019, 05:09 PM   #98
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnnyrey View Post
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!
It's automatic - even ESM. It's just that seeing the bearing lines allows you to try to correct the solution manually (override) if the situation calls for it. Having to manage the sensors of every unit under your command - especially when weapons are flying - would be far too much.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Herman View Post
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.
It's an interesting conundrum. I want to simulate things like SARH guidance (ie, a need for a director to be radio-illuminating a target for most SAMs to work), but that could lead to some troublesome situations where the player gets frustrated/can't see why the ship appears to be ignoring their orders.

I'm thinking of solving it by not having it be something you have to manage, but something you can see with visual cues on the map (such as a cone for the illuminated area). That would also probably prove useful for managing situations and for important situational awareness. But details of extra optional management options will be interesting and tricky to figure out. I'm looking at possible additional UI elements for optional management commands.

A good tutorial will be very crucial so the player knows why a SAM they fired at a target due south completely fails to intercept after they fired a second SAM due west (since the radar illuminator is now painting the new target to the west). Or even implementing a system where the illuminator switches targets intelligently based on time to intercept.

There's a lot of design decisions to be made.
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Old 11-08-2019, 06:47 PM   #99
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Julhelm View Post
I cannot remember any submarine sim that allowed for one-click salvo fire, so CW is hardly unique in this regard.
There may be no submarine game that allows such ease for launching a torpedo salvo, but Cmdr. Zimm's WW2 "Action Stations" allowed ships to fire torpedo salvoes with just a bearing and spread angle.
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Old 11-08-2019, 06:56 PM   #100
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AzureSkies View Post
It's an interesting conundrum. I want to simulate things like SARH guidance (ie, a need for a director to be radio-illuminating a target for most SAMs to work), but that could lead to some troublesome situations where the player gets frustrated/can't see why the ship appears to be ignoring their orders.

I'm thinking of solving it by not having it be something you have to manage, but something you can see with visual cues on the map (such as a cone for the illuminated area). That would also probably prove useful for managing situations and for important situational awareness. But details of extra optional management options will be interesting and tricky to figure out. I'm looking at possible additional UI elements for optional management commands.
Harpoon3 had a few game options that were helpful. You could activate or disable them at the start of any game session. For example:

ExtraVerbosePointDefense.opt
ShowPointDefense.opt
VerboseWeaponDetection.opt

They would give different levels of text to the player showing values such as detection calculations, firing probabilities of hits, die rolls, results, etc. The options were, I think, originally meant as an aid for database managers in testing and de-bugging their datbase weaponry and entries. I found them useful in some instances. (They could have been even more detailed.)

Such options for BW could help in overall game testing and de-bugging, too. Should BW decide to allow this as an option, I encourage as much detailed information be given as possible, even if some game designers are afraid of disclosing 'secret' formulae and revealing game operations. IMHO, within the realm of de-bugging, there is no such thing as 'too much information.'
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Old 11-12-2019, 07:11 PM   #101
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This week's weekly update will be moved to tomorrow, since there's something I'm hoping will be ready to show off by then.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Herman View Post
IMHO, within the realm of de-bugging, there is no such thing as 'too much information.'
I also think it's usually best, when in doubt, to leave it as an option if possible.
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Old 11-13-2019, 04:31 PM   #102
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Hello!Tell me please, this game will be something like Dangerous Waters?
This game will have a mission editor?
How many controlled units will there be?
The detection of underwater targets will be implemented as in DW?
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Old 11-13-2019, 09:31 PM   #103
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Quote:
Originally Posted by torpedolov View Post
Hello!Tell me please, this game will be something like Dangerous Waters?
This game will have a mission editor?
How many controlled units will there be?
The detection of underwater targets will be implemented as in DW?
1. It depends on what you mean by that. It will be a naval sim, but it won't be about a single player vessel so much as the player controlling anywhere from one to a good number of vessels, primarily surface ships but including rotor and fixed-wing aircraft as well as submarines and even land installations.

2. The implementation of such things is still a ways out, but probably.

3. See #1. Partially depends on how well it can get optimized.

4. If there are submarines, then of course there'll be a system to detect them, but it won't involve the player actually looking at sensor feeds as DW did it, since that would be impractical for a game where you're controlling a large number of ships. Nonetheless, I do hope to implement some advanced logic on vessel detection, even including things like ducts and layers.
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Old 11-13-2019, 09:58 PM   #104
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Default WEEKLY UPDATE

Hello again, everyone.

Firstly, dynamic water interaction is back, and the ocean has received some visual improvements once more, with things like how it handles reflections and subsurface light scattering.













Setting the sea to an extraordinary calm, the dynamic water interaction becomes much more apparent.





And while there's a lot of improvement and optimization to be done...

Soon.





Not a lot of text for this week, but that's all for now. Thanks for joining us.
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Old 11-20-2019, 01:01 AM   #105
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Default WEEKLY UPDATE

Hello again, everyone.

Work continues on the environmental aesthetics, and I'm glad to say the clouds have drastically improved since last week, both in quality and optimization.





Just to make it clear there's lots of possible cloud coverage levels, just most of these screenshots have more to show off the new graphics.







Also, like the sun, the moon is now correctly positioned for the date, time, longitude and latitude, and also has the correct phase for the date.

A full moon can look almost as bright as daylight.



But of course, at a different phase, it's far less bright.



And of course, given the environment of the game, being fully 3d/fly-through is a must.

6,000 feet:



15,000 feet:



30,000 feet:



And... 90,000 feet. This is actually higher than the S-300F Fort was rated to be able to engage targets, but I brought it up this high just to showcase the sky appearance from A-12/SR-71-type altitudes:



Like the ocean, the cloud system is subject to constant tweaking and improvement, especially with regards to its very high-altitude aesthetic.

Environmental details and aesthetics like this are one of those things that are easy to take for granted when done well, but very apparent when they're not.

But another reason I'm putting so much work into this particular aesthetic is so that at some point, dynamic weather and weather zones can be implemented, which will effect things like sonar, radar, aircraft flight, flight deck operations, missiles, ship speed, etc.

It's particularly worth noting to that end that the Juliett-class submarine, showcased early in this thread and a submarine built around firing anti-ship cruise missiles, can only fire its missiles in conditions up to sea state 6. This, as an example of a significant way weather effects play aside from the more obvious ways like reducing sonar range/sensitivity.

I will note, though, that as soon as the high-altitude appearance is done being set up, work will resume on more mechanical/gameplay-oriented code.

That's all for now, thanks for joining us.
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