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Old 02-26-2019, 09:06 AM   #1
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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, 01:25 AM   #2
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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, 01:04 AM   #3
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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 01:22 AM.
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Old 06-16-2019, 08:10 PM   #4
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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, 03:45 PM   #5
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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.

Last edited by AzureSkies; 06-17-2019 at 03:59 PM.
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Old 06-17-2019, 07:08 PM   #6
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I'm going to give the update in two parts. The first is going to be this text-heavy thing, but the next post (planned for tomorrow) will be a more photogenic vehicle highlight with in-game renders.

So this post is going to be some updates with regards to the plot. Not many pictures, and a lot of words, but this provides the context for the conflict in the game, and tells the true story of one of the moments we came the closest to nuclear war during the Cold War.

I've mentioned before that the premise was a Soviet response to Able Archer.

Let's go more into detail.

I'm assuming the readers here are probably familiar with MAD - Mutually Assured Destruction. The idea that nuclear war would be prevented, because both parties know they cannot win - that any conflict would cause them unacceptable losses.

A key part of this, is that it takes an ICBM about 30-45 minutes to reach the heart of the USSR from the mainland US, and vice versa. That window of time would allow the other nation to launch its weapons before their silos and launch sites were destroyed, even if they were all located and targeted.

There are also two kinds of attacks: A counterforce attack, which is aimed at destroying your enemy's ability to launch nuclear attacks, and a countervalue attack, which is essentially meant to inflict unacceptable losses on the enemy's population and infrastructure.

With that in mind, let's look at the timeline.

In 1976, the Soviet Union deployed RSD-10 Pioneer missiles (NATO reporting name: SS-20 Saber), truck-launched IRBMs (Intermediate-Range Ballistic Missiles). The Soviets believed that in the eventuality of a war, they could win a conventional war with numbers, but that NATO would employ tactical nuclear weapons and defeat their forces. So this missile system was developed for "surgical nuclear strikes", to knock out NATO tactical nuclear capability without enough warning for NATO to respond.

(Pioneer missiles*)

They were made to destroy NATO's tactical nuclear capability in Europe.

In December 1979, NATO command decided to deploy new missiles to Europe in response. Among these would be the MRBM Pershing II in West Germany. This would mean it could strike targets in Eastern Europe in only 4-6 minutes, and reach Moscow in only 6-8 minutes. Furthermore, the Pershing II's had a more advanced guidance system than earlier missiles, allowing them to accurately target Soviet missile launch sites.

The hope was they could negotiate with the Soviets to decommission their SS-20 missiles in exchange for NATO decomissioning their Pershing II's.

But the Soviets knew that the Pershing II flight time would not give them time to launch a retaliatory strike, and thus give NATO a true first-strike capability. As a result, in 1981, the KGB launched Operation RYaN to learn about the plans and possibility of a first strike by the US.

(Pershing II missile*)

Some of the key things they would look for would be preparation of frontline NATO forces and military communications between heads of states as indicators of an imminent NATO attack.

President Reagan took a strong stance against the Soviet Union, one that was interpreted as aggressive. In March of 1983, he announced the Strategic Defense Initiative, which Soviet leaders took as an escalation of the arms race into space, and Yuri Andropov, the then-General Secretary of the Soviet Union, accused Reagan of "inventing new plans on how to unleash a nuclear war in the best way, with the hope of winning it".

In April of 1983, the USN conducted FleetEx 83-1, the largest fleet operation to that date, which even involved provoking Soviets (in ways such as flying over their airspace) to study their electronics equipment and response tactics.

Similar psychological operations had been going on for years, to study Soviet response times and tactics.

In October of the same year, a coup in Grenada killed a number of leaders, and the US decided to answer the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States and the Governor-General of Grenada's appeal for aid. Operation Urgent Fury was launched. Margaret Thatcher publicly supported it, but sent private encrypted messages to Raegan.

Operation RYaN was aware of these messages, but not their contents, and was suspicious that these were some of the warning signs of a NATO first strike.

Then, barely more than a week after the conclusion of Urgent Fury, comes Exercise Able Archer 83. These were exercises carried out every year to test NATO readiness, but this year, the exercise raised the level of realism by including many heads of state of various NATO countries. They were simulating a nuclear strike in response to (fictional) Soviet chemical weapons attacks.

Non-routine elements also included the transporting of 19,000 US soldiers to Europe in a radio-silent air lifts, shifting command from permanent HQs to alternate HQs, new nuclear strike procedures that included communications with Washington and London, and various slips of the tongue that referred to B-52 flights as "strikes" instead of "sorties". It fit all the indications of a NATO first strike perfectly.

Soviet units were placed on high alert with readying of nuclear forces.

In reality, fortunately, the exercise concluded on November 11th, Soviet forces stood down, and we had no WWIII. The Pershing II's weren't even ready during Able Archer 83, though they were deployed immediately after. I personally don't know if the KGB knew that at the time, though they most certainly knew they were deploying sometime around that time frame.

In this alternate timeline, however, the Soviet Union decides to act in accordance with their preparations in Operation RYaN. The SS-20 missile batteries launch surgical nuclear strikes on believed Pershing II sites in Europe, in a desperate pre-emptive strike to restore MAD and prevent the [believed] imminent nuclear destruction of the Soviet Union.

(SS-20 missiles had a yield of 150 kt. Pictured is Greenhouse George, yield 225 kt. *)

The General Secretary, Yuri Andropov, simultaneously informs Raegan why he has done this - to prevent a first strike by NATO, and that he will accept a limited tactical nuclear response, but urges him not to escalate the conflict, or face a full Soviet countervalue attack.

Raegan and Thatcher decide not to escalate, and the Soviets keep to their word - and the war remains conventional.

Their war goals are to expand the buffer in Europe, because clearly, the proximity of NATO forces had proven catastrophic, and thus they will enact their pre-prepared war plans to march far west, even into France.


True to reality, France has long departed the NATO military command structure, and they have their own nuclear doctrine. If Soviets near the French border, they will deploy tactical nuclear weapons as a warning. If they cross and invade, France will launch a full countervalue attack on the Soviet Union, triggering a full nuclear exchange.

So the planned campaign of the game will balance on a razor's edge - it will be difficult, and at times, desperate. You may be tempted to use tactical nuclear weapons to gain an edge. But their use will result in measured retaliation - either by Soviet naval forces present, or later in Mainland Europe, bolstering the Soviet advance westward.

Failure will also have terrible effect on the war effort.

And in either case, if the Soviets reach the French border...

Good luck.

And with that... Let's rewind a little.

In researching nuclear warfare doctrines and strategy, terms and analysis, I came across something interesting. In November of 1982, a year to the month that Able Archer almost triggered armageddon, a 10-year old girl, Samantha Smith, living in Manchester, Maine, wrote a letter to Yuri Andropov, the General Secretary of the Soviet Union:

Dear Mr. Andropov,

My name is Samantha Smith. I am ten years old. Congratulations on your new job. I have been worrying about Russia and the United States getting into a nuclear war. Are you going to vote to have a war or not? If you aren't please tell me how you are going to help to not have a war. This question you do not have to answer, but I would like to know why you want to conquer the world or at least our country. God made the world for us to share and take care of. Not to fight over or have one group of people own it all. Please lets do what he wanted and have everybody be happy too.

Samantha Smith
The letter was featured in a Soviet newspaper, but it wasn't until April of 1983, after sending another copy to the Soviet ambassador to the United States, that Yuri Andropov himself answered:

Dear Samantha,

I received your letter, which is like many others that have reached me recently from your country and from other countries around the world.

It seems to me – I can tell by your letter – that you are a courageous and honest girl, resembling Becky, the friend of Tom Sawyer in the famous book of your compatriot Mark Twain. This book is well known and loved in our country by all boys and girls.

You write that you are anxious about whether there will be a nuclear war between our two countries. And you ask are we doing anything so that war will not break out.

Your question is the most important of those that every thinking man can pose. I will reply to you seriously and honestly.

Yes, Samantha, we in the Soviet Union are trying to do everything so that there will not be war on Earth. This is what every Soviet man wants. This is what the great founder of our state, Vladimir Lenin, taught us.

Soviet people well know what a terrible thing war is. Forty-two years ago, Nazi Germany, which strove for supremacy over the whole world, attacked our country, burned and destroyed many thousands of our towns and villages, killed millions of Soviet men, women and children.

In that war, which ended with our victory, we were in alliance with the United States: together we fought for the liberation of many people from the Nazi invaders. I hope that you know about this from your history lessons in school. And today we want very much to live in peace, to trade and cooperate with all our neighbors on this earth — with those far away and those near by. And certainly with such a great country as the United States of America.

In America and in our country there are nuclear weapons — terrible weapons that can kill millions of people in an instant. But we do not want them to be ever used. That's precisely why the Soviet Union solemnly declared throughout the entire world that never — never — will it use nuclear weapons first against any country. In general we propose to discontinue further production of them and to proceed to the abolition of all the stockpiles on Earth.

It seems to me that this is a sufficient answer to your second question: 'Why do you want to wage war against the whole world or at least the United States?' We want nothing of the kind. No one in our country–neither workers, peasants, writers nor doctors, neither grown-ups nor children, nor members of the government–want either a big or 'little' war.

We want peace — there is something that we are occupied with: growing wheat, building and inventing, writing books and flying into space. We want peace for ourselves and for all peoples of the planet. For our children and for you, Samantha.

I invite you, if your parents will let you, to come to our country, the best time being this summer. You will find out about our country, meet with your contemporaries, visit an international children's camp – Artek – on the sea. And see for yourself: in the Soviet Union, everyone is for peace and friendship among peoples.

Thank you for your letter. I wish you all the best in your young life.

Y. Andropov
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Old 07-11-2019, 04:30 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?

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Old 07-11-2019, 05:33 AM   #8
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Default welcome aboard!

"Only two things are infinite: The Universe and human stupidity; And I'm not too sure about the Universe..." Philip K. Dick
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Old 07-16-2019, 05:56 PM   #9
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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!

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?

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, 06:43 PM   #10
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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, 09:42 AM   #11
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O dear, what did you do - did you just model Azov?
Grumpy as always.
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Old 07-19-2019, 02:57 AM   #12
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wow this looks really impressive.

i dont know if this is possible but would you be able to have the water notshow ship reflections like shown in the picture - perhaps its a limitation of the technology but ships simply do not have such perfect reflections in ocean water - the killerfish games look great too but also make this error , i always find such reflections make the ocean look still and shallow and like its all just in a big bath tub

if you cant do anything about it, thats fine, its just a detail i notice in games featuring oceans

your project nevetheless looks outstanding and i would buy it for sure!
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Old 01-17-2020, 11:24 AM   #13
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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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