1965 -- 1970 - As a boy, Neal Stevens enjoyed reading about
submarines and U-boats. His Uncle Frank had been at Pearl Harbor during the
attack and served throughout the war in the Pacific on a destroyer. Neal's
favorite pre-computer games were Stratego, chess, Battleship, and Risk.
The Submarine Game
1970 - Neal begins making alternative Battleship scenarios.
Some center around one player with the two subs and the other player
controls all the surface ships. The sub player is allowed to move during his
turn. The surface player gets 3 shots per ship. From this evolves
Submarine Game", an unwieldy and complex submarine battle
wargame he created using two 4x2 cardboard playing surfaces. After weeks of
work, the Submarine Game gets very little playing time--no one can learn all
1971 - Neal and his father travel to nearby Galveston to
tour the newly opened
Seawolf Park. It will be years later on a subsequent
visit that Neal learns the WWII submarine there is named the
not the Seawolf.
1982 - Das Boot is released. It was nominated for six Academy
1984 - A friend's TRS-80 personal computer makes an impact
on Neal's life. They begin writing BASIC programs and playing text-based
adventure games. Neal wonders when a
submarine simulator will be made for a computer. With pictures, of
1987 - Blue Max and Silent Service are the first simulations
Neal tries out.
Dec 1995 - After upgrading to a Pentium 120, Neal began
writing reviews for his submarine sims and sending them to various fan
websites. For a time, four of his reviews were posted; Wolfpack, Silent Service II, SSN-21 Seawolf, and Aces of the Deep.
Jan. 26, 1997
Jan. 26, 1997 - Neal creates his first
The Deep Domain, a collection of submarine related pages,
USS Cavalla webpage. Neal starts getting e-mails from other subsim devotees. Among them is Jim
Atkins who runs the well-designed Silent Hunter Home Page. As a new section of the
Deep Domain, Neal's SUBSIM Reviews
debuts on the Internet. The entire website consisted of six subsim reviews
and an e-mail link. A few weeks later the first of what would be thousands
of e-mails trickled in. It was a question about getting Wolfpack to run on a
486. First letter to the new website was from longtime reader Josi Manuel
Batista who would later write of his experience aboard a Portuguese
SUBSIM Review - Jan 1997|
First of all congratulations for your idea and your page. For me that i'm
addicted to subsims this is the heaven page.
I agree with you that Silent
Hunter is for the moment the best subsim with excelent graphics. It is
better than Aces of the Deep (I don't have Command: Aces of the Deep to have
an opinion) because of the old graphics. The others games is just a good
try! (excuse my english).
Josi Manuel Batista
Feb 1997 - The website expands to
nine reviews. Ron Martini's website gives SUBSIM Review their first link
exchange. Eventually, Ron Martini's Submarine Bookstore will be SSR's
longest running sponsor.
April 28, 1997 -
First known mention on the use-net of Subsim Review.
From: CAP - view profile Date: Mon, Apr 28 1997 12:00
am Email: CAP <c...@clark.net> Groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.naval,
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On the subject of game reviews, here are a few sites
I've found with good stuff in them. And to answer the question of Jane's
688i Hunter/Killer... It's in there.
http://www.pcme.com/ http://www.cdmag.com/ http://www.ogr.com/
688i HUNTER/KILLER http://www.cdmag.com/simulation_vault/688_preview/article.html
SUBSIM REVIEWS http://www.computron.net/users/neal/SImreview5.HTML
c...@clark.net CAP on CoolTalk/NetMeeting MERC
Aug 1997 - Neal pens his Jane's 688(I)
review and agrees to share it with his friend Frank "Crimson"
Morrisette, founder and visionary of SimHQ.
Crimson is joined a few months
later by Eric Berns and John Miller. SimHQ
was on their way to achieving the best respected all-purpose sim
website on the net. The 688(I) review remains one of the oldest in SimHQ's
catelog. Other news: Neal heard from his sources that a sequel was in the
works for Silent Hunter. Expected release date-- Summer 1998. One
could hardly wait.
Jan 1998 - Neal's SUBSIM Review has been
on the web for a year. A new feature is added; Reader's
Comments, consisting of a sampling of the mail the website has
attracted. Attempts to get on new product beta lists are met with silence.
Yours truly, Jason Dorren, is talked into a game of Jane's 688(I) one night
by Neal and a new passion is born. I begin helping with some news gathering
March 1998 - Neal's SUBSIM Review moves to a
hosting service in Connecticut. With 25 MBs of disk space and 1 whopping GB of
file transfer available, it looks like it will be a while before SUBSIM Review
will use it all up.
SUBSIM Review - Aug 1998|
June 1998 - Following the example of the
Silent Hunter Home Page, Neal's SUBSIM Reviews website is redesigned using
frames for easier navigation. New sections include the SUBSIM Updates and a
couple articles. The review index has grown to thirteen.
Aug 1998 - SUBSIM Review gets their first
interview: Mike Jones
of Aces of the Deep answers a series of belated
questions about his groundbreaking U-boat sim. Also, the Fix
My 688(I) Campaign begins, designed to urge EA/Sonalysts into
producing a no-cheat patch for Jane's 688(I). Noted Command Aces of the Deep
programmer Brian Danielson pens a SUBSIM
History, detailing the pioneer subsims from the early eighties to
the early ninties. Other news: A new Russian
subsim in development--Akula: Red Hunter--slips into oblivion.
Sept 1998 - To
convey a more professional appearance, the
website's title is shortened to SUBSIM Review. J.
Graham Fuller - Columbus, OH; Patrik Nordberg - Mariehamn/Finland; Lane
Goodman - Linton, IN; Mark Allen, Owasso, Oklahoma; Kristian Maenpaa -
Yliharma, Finland; Bram M. Otto - Netherlands; EastWest - South
Africa are the winners in the Summer
Nov 1998 - In an effort to better serve
players with questions about their games (and slow the growing tide of e-mail
requests for help), Neal begins collecting tactics and tips from newsgroups,
forums, and players' experience. The section is called, oddly enough, Tactics
Dec 1998 - SUBSIM Review is featured
in the New London Day newspaper in an article about the Fix
My 688(I) Campaign. An excerpt: "Kim
Castro, a vice president at Sonalysts who was heavily involved in the
game’s design, said he is aware of the campaign — and the company supports
it." "We would love to do an upgrade. We’ve
been in discussions with Electronics Arts about it, and I think the people
there would also like to do it," Castro said. Right now, he said,
Sonalysts is putting the finishing touches on "Fleet Command," which
it is also doing for EA, but he is keeping track of some of the proposals made
at Stevens’ web site and other Internet sites.
Jan 1999 - Fion Kelley and John
Channing begin collaborating on articles and news to SSR. A bulletin board is
started. Other knowledgeable players begin pitching in to assist with the
tech support. Among these are Ken Hinds, Troy Whigam, Justin, Hatchet, Hawk,
Hondo, Paul Powell,
Alex, Brian, Der Teddy Bear, Bram Otto, Jose, and many others. A true subsim community
SUBSIM Review - May 1999|
Feb 1999 - John Channing begins what
becomes an annual event with SUBSIM Review--an interview with noted sub
fiction author Michael DiMercurio.
May 1999 - Traffic to SUBSIM Review grows
from 200 hits per day in the beginning of 1998 to 2000 hits per day. Neal
begins getting overage alerts from the hosting company. He upgrades to the
business plan. To offset the costs and keep his marriage solid, he begins a
store to sell games. Extra money is used to fund the increasing number of
prizes for contests.
Sept 1999 - SUBSIM Review now runs on a dedicated server
to handle the growing traffic (we're not complaining!) and sports a new domain
name: www.subsim.com .
SUBSIM Review - Sept 1999|
Jan 2000 - Rick Martinez of Mattel Interactive agrees to
an interview to update the players on the status of the oft-delayed Silent
Hunter II. "Aeon (dev team) has now assembled a talented
team, and the look of the game is outstanding, but it took about three times
as long as we thought to get the right people in the right places, especially
in regards to the 3-D world." In a few months we would learn it would be
even longer when Aeon would be booted off the project for not meeting their
milestones. To everyone's relief, SSI remained committed and Ultimation and
Troy Heere picked up the ball.
Feb 2000 - SSR initiates the Mystery
SUBSIM contest, where twice a week players get a shot at identifying a
naval/subsim screenshot to enter a drawing for a copy of Silent Hunter II
(slated to release behind schedule in the fall of 2000). The competition is
fierce and the surge of traffic prompts the website to acquire a second
dedicated server account. Hits soon top 100,000 a week.
April 2000 - A new contest
yields new winners: David Cael, Seattle, WA; Petri Raatikainen,
Helsinki, Finland; Cory Antosh, Tuscon, AZ. Mystery SUBSIM
Contest expands to include trivia and questions about submarines. We ran out
of different screenshots!
July 2000 - Navy Chief Frank "Torpex"
Kulick signs on with SUBSIM Review. Frank's role and contribution is
destined to grow.
Aug 2000 - Max is the winner of the first Mystery
SUBSIM contest. SUBSIM Review launches a spinoff website--the Wolfpack
League--designed to rally future players of Silent Hunter II and
2000 - Sonalysts finally releases a new patch (by Tod Swain) for Jane's
688(I) to disable the 3D viewer in multiplay. Cynics whisper that it's
because they are working on a new sim and want to stroke the players. We
wryly disagreed and with the help of Vice-President Kim Castro launch a 688(I)
Revival and contest.
Nov 2000 - SUBSIM Review get our hands on an actual
beta copy of Silent Hunter II. Neal is the only member authorized to
see or comment on it so we're kinda jealous. He has good things to say about
it in the
Preview. Release date gets moved back to April 2001. We're outta
jokes about that.
Dec 2000 - Isaac is the winner of the second Mystery
Jan 2001 - SUBSIM Review's fourth year
sees a redesign of the title page, some overdue file cleanup, and a review of Akella's pirate game Sea
Dogs, along with the usual contest.
Feb 2001 - Subsim gets our hands on beta copies of
Silent Hunter II and Destroyer Command. Both titles are well on their way to
completion, could be any decade now. We publish our
SILENT HUNTER II AND DESTROYER COMMAND; INTEROPERABILITY PROGRESS REPORT:
Two different games, one multiplayer battlefield. The WPL Wallpaper
contest nets three winners and over
60 great submarine wallpapers.
March 2001 - Frank Kulick publishes a report on the
Thunder Campaign. Very refreshing to see enthusiastic players
role-playing a campaign online from a single player subsim. World naval news
by Bill Nichols becomes regular feature, updated daily, later bi-weekly.
Work on a Sub Club/Wolfpack League database scoring system with stats of all
members tracked begins with Rudi Peck. Visited Ultimation/SSI on USS Kidd VR
shoot in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
April 2001 - Frank "Torpex" Kulick becomes the first rep of the gaming
see EA/Sonlayst's Sub Command. He's impressed and we're all
May 2001 - E3 hits LA again. We get feeds from several reporters on the
activities. SHII and Destroyer Command are shown to thousands.
June 2001 - The
Wolfpack League database and scoring system is beta, then goes
operational. Database has 1870 members (it would grow to 5000 by the end of
the year). Players test the scoring system by entering Battle Reports and
watching the updates to their personal records.
2001 - Sub Command preview is up, first pure submarine sim in 4 years.
August 2001 - Wolfpack League is reorganized as a branch under the
along with the Eagle League (Destroyer Command) and Sub Command HQ.
September 2001 - Sub Command goes gold and EA sponsors a Subsim.com
SC Contest, giving away 5 copies.. Terrorists attack America causing great
loss of life in New York, DC, and rural Pennsylvania. Sub Command is release
to rave reviews.
October 2001 - Sub Club moves to a dedicated server. Subsim.com breaks
the 20,000 unique visitors a week mark. Silent Hunter II goes gold. Work
begins on a Subsim.com Second Kampagne for Silent Hunter II.
November 2001 - Silent Hunter II released, reviews are mixed but the general
attitude of players is supportive. Multiplayer is expected with the release
of Destroyer Command in Feb. 2002. New members of Subsim.com such as
Vickers, See Falke, Duane Doutel, Andreas, and others create the Subsim SHII
December 2001 - Vickers leads the way in creating new and visually
new mods for SHII, including oil slicks, torpedo wakes, enhanced
splashes, and secondary explosions. An SHII mod community contributes over
40 new mods for SHII sounds, menus, graphics, and systems.
Jan 2002 - SUBSIM Review has been on the web for
FIVE years. The usual redesign of the title page (graphics by
Vickers, who else!) starts the sixth year right. Second Kampagne is
released and after 5 days over 11,000 copies are downloaded.
May 2002 -
Subsim Review's E3 2002
Coverage include looks at Sea Dogs II and Harpoon IV. A trip to Groton,
CT to see the latest Sonalysts project and attend the book signing event for
June 2002 - Subsim works with Ubisoft producer Carl
Norman and Doutel Software to initiate a broad reaching mod that will
convert SH2/DC from the original MP engine (rTime) to Microsoft DirectPlay.
After consulting with German Subsim player Doc Snyder, the mod is deemed
n. [German] - A craftsman who sharpens old knives.) To avoid legal
constraints, PM is funded purely by donations and will be free to all.
Subsim donates $1000 and Subsim players eventually raise $9000 for Doutel
Dec 2002 - Drebbel joins Bill Nichols as a major World
Naval News contributor.
Jan 2003 - Projekt Messerwetzer is released.
2003 - Veternam war game journalist Bill Trotter (The Desktop General)
and PM in
his May column.
October 2003 - Subsim and Sub Club members meeting in
London for the first Intercontinental Meeting.
Jan 2004 - Subsim Review rolls through their
7th anniversary. A determined group of guys led by Hitman and Horsa have
been hammering, welding, and banging on a new mod for Silent Hunter II since
summer 2003. The effort is deemed
a total conversion from U-boats in the Atlantic to US Silent Service in the
2004 - Editor Neal Stevens attends the
2004 E3 convention in Los
Angeles. First looks at Sid Meier's Pirates, Akella's PT Boats, and
Ubisoft's Silent Hunter III reveal that 2005 will be a very good year for
August 2004 - On the Continent, European Editor
Drebbel visited the
Silent Hunter III is releasedGerman Games Convention (GC2004) in Leipzig to check on
Silent Hunter III. He writes the
preview for a game Subsim ever published.
2004 - The Second
Intercontinental Subsim/Sub Club Meeting is held in Galveston,
Texas. Highlights include spending two evenings aboard the WWII submarine
USS Cavalla in Seawolf Park, special
guided tour of the Battleship Texas, home bar-b-que by Abe Stevens, visit to
the Lone Star Flight Museum, and special hands-on previews of Dangerous
Waters (beta), Enigma, and
III (beta). Special guests include Kelly Assay (Tesseraction Games,
Enigma) and keynote speaker Capt. Zeb Alford (Captain of two nuclear subs).
Nov. 2004 -- In the days before Silent Hunter III was
released, everyone was speculating wildly on the SH3 release date. One
November fine day, Subsim members saw a thread that said:
New release date for SHIII. It was a clever hoax by
Drebbel (especially the part where he said "Haha, got you"
). Subsim skippers formed a lynch mod and we kicked off a trial for Drebbel.
Sailor Steve was Drebbel's defense lawyer, Hitman was the judge, JJ was the
prosecutor, Torplexed was the court reporter, Neal was the bailiff, and
Codmander and several others served as witnesses. The hoax thread by Drebbel
that started it all:
New release date for SHIII The Trial Proceedings Thread:
Trial for Drebbel The Spectator's Gallery, including
the art by court reporter Torplexed:
Drebbel's punishment for behaving badly, **Spectator Gallery
Sailor Steve's Press Conf:
PRESS CONFERENCE! Film at 11
- On the eve of the release of Dangerous Waters and Silent Hunter III,
Subsim undergoes another facelift. New graphics are created by the
2005 Subsim Design Team. The News blogs are updated and include
more images updated by News Editors
Bill Nichols, Subguru.com
DutchSubmarines.com. A sub/naval
book review section is
February 2005 - Dangerous Waters is released.
It is a critical success and the first modern naval sim that allows players
to fight on, above, and below the sea. Meanwhile a huge fight breaks out in
the SH3 forum over
the fate of the mysterious Red Triangle. Oleg uncovers proof that it was
in Das Boot.
March 2005 - Silent Hunter III is released to wide
acclaim and praise. Subsim adds a new server to handle the increased traffic
The Subsim SH3 review breaks new ground.
2005 - the Third Annual
Intercontinental Sub Club meeting is held in Amsterdam. Over 40 Subsim
enthusiasts attend for 5 days of mayhem. SH3 Exec Producer Florin Boitor is
the special guest.
January 2006 - Nine years on the web. Daryl "Subnuts" carpenter
becomes Subsim's most
prolific book reviewer, posting over a dozen reviews during the
year. The SH3 Mods forum is a beehive of activity with Real U-boat, NYGM
Tonnage Mod, Grey Wolves, and other teams putting more excitement into the
March 2006 - Five veterans from the Silent Hunter III dev team begin
planning Silent Hunter 4. This latest entry in the longest running
subsim franchise will be set in the Pacific and allow players to command US
April 2006 - Subsim's annual
April Fool prank zings readers!
April 2006 - Due to ever-increasing web traffic and forum growth, Subsim
upgrades to a new server, with the downloads and archives remaining on the
old server. Migration to vBulletin forum software begins, with
archives going back to 2002 updated.
May 2006 - Work begins on the Subsim Special Project, to eventually
become the 2007
Subsim Almanac. Queries are sent to 50 historians, game developers,
enthusiasts, artists, writers, and submarine veterans.
September 2006 - The US Navy invites Subsim to take
a cruise aboard the USS Texas nuclear sub at Cape Canaveral,
Florida, and attend the commissioning in Galveston, Texas.
September 2006 - The Lucky Lighter by Jason Lobo
Subsim story contest. In addition to Jason's story, original fiction
by Gerard Cuomo and Mariano Sciaroni
will be featured in the 2007 Subsim Almanac.
December 2006 - First draft of the Subsim Almanac undergoes the final
January 2007 - Ten years on the Web! The
2007 Submarine Almanac
is published, celebrating 10 years on the web with a flotilla of stories,
articles, and art from naval historians, subsim players, game developers,
and Navy men. Foreword by Bestselling Author Joe Buff:
For raw courage and grit, for long
separations from family, for extremely rough living conditions in crowded
and claustrophobic spaces deep under the waves, no other branch of military
service compares with submarine service. Weeks of repetitive, uneventful
watchstanding can change without warning, in a moment, into a frenzy of
well-coordinated thought and action where the lives of every soul aboard,
and sometimes the fate of humanity, are instantly at stake. For instance, if
an emergency action message comes through to a boomer, if a fast-attack
suddenly detects a hostile contact approaching, if Tomahawk launch mission
orders arrive unexpectedly on a guided-missile sub—a submarine must be
ever-vigilant for conflict. Even in peacetime any one of a myriad
potentially deadly mechanical casualties may occur. A sub is always at war
with its natural elements: the sea.
2007 - In tradition with Silent Hunter 2 & 3, Subsim offers the world a
first look at Ubisoft's franchise subsim:
Silent Hunter 4
April - May 2007 -
Silent Hunter 4
review is published. Shortly followed by
for the crucial v1.3 patch.
September 2007 - Subsim writers send in submissions
story contest. Five are selected for the upcoming Almanac.
2007 - Well-liked Subsim member Abraham (Bram Zeegers) is
in his Amsterdam apartment.
A key crown witness in the trial of
suspected crime boss Willem Holleeder was found dead in his home in
Amsterdam south on Tuesday morning. The police said they can neither
confirm nor deny that Bram Zeegers had committed suicide. Zeegers
was a confidant of the property tycoon Willem Endstra who was shot
dead in 2004. The report of Zeegers’ death was made by someone at
his home, police said. This person, who is not a suspect, was taken
to hospital by ambulance on Monday night after becoming unwell,
reports ANP news service. Last week Zeegers gave evidence in the
trial of Holleeder who is charged with the blackmail of four
property tycoons and has been linked to ordering the murder of
Endstra and several other killings.
2007 - The first WWI U-boat sim
Shells of Fury is
reviewed by noted historian Horsa. Later in the month, we
publish our second book, the
2008 SUBMARINE ALMANAC. Sales are double the first edition.
January 2008 - Subsim breaks the eleven year mark with
a look back at the
Ten events of 2007.
January 2008 -- There are many great people in the Subsim community but
no one quite like Dave "Leovampire" Bunnell. Dave created a game
changing mod for SH4 called Reflections on the Water, improving the water,
sky and environment graphics dramatically.
His thread was one of the most popular in Subsim history and everyone
enjoyed working with him.
It was a sad day when Dave passed away and left a hole in the community
that will never be filled.
Memorial to Dave.
April 2008 - Over 110 entries are received from 22
artists in the
Contest. The happy news is dampened by Subsim's exclusive
breaking story on the US Navy's decision to
man a fast
attack with women.
May 31 -
June 3, 2008 -
server is knocked offline by a transformer explosion and fire at the
Planet (ex. EV1 & Rackshack) Houston datacenter. At first, the Planet
was able to restore power after two days but the datacenter's backup
generator failed, and we were down 2 more days.
July 2008 - HunterICX and the men of the Helosim forum
(offshoot of Subsim) began the
first Lolwaffle DCG campaign, generating lots of laughs, mid-air
collisions, and proving that there was life in the air. This and
Dowly gets nostalgic.
Hurricane Ike targets Subsim (Texas)
| Oct. 9-12:
2008 Subsim meet in Houston, TX.
Events included an unlimited access tour of the Battleship Texas,
shooting practice at Bailey's Gun Range, Tex-Mexican dinner at Casa
Ole!, Seawolf Park tour of USS Cavalla submarine, USS Stewart destroyer
escort, help with storm repairs and clean up. Gaido's Famous Gulf
Seafood, Lone Star Flight Museum, the first ever Subsim Paintball war!
And BBQ by Pop, with Mom's world-famous banana pudding.
Nov 2008: The
2008 Mystery Subsim Challenge, 100 screens and clips from 100 naval
and sub games!
Jan 2009 - TarJak hosts the
SubsimMachFest, our very own short film festival!
|Feb 2009 - Subsim kicks off
first Werewolf Hunt. Twenty-seven fearless Subsim members sign up
and are whisked away to remote and forbidding Vanvikan, Norway where a
U-boat crew and small village grapple with an unspeakable horror.
March 2009 - Subsim revamps
Downloads section and integrates it within the forum to allow easier
updates, better categorization of mods, and less work for the admin.
Sailor Steve and Laufen zum Ziel volunteer to serve as Mod Managers. Mod
makers are able to apply and receive Modmen status and upload and update
their mods. Within a few years, the number of available mods exceeds
April 2009 - To meet the growing demand
for downloads and the swelling forum bandwidth, Subsim migrates the excess
traffic to an additional server with SoftLayer: Dual Xeon 5520 - SATA, 12 GB
RAM, x6 Drive SATA 250 GB IDE/SATA HDD.
May 2009 - Letum hosts an undersea version of
the werewolf hunt:
HMS Thanatus Game. HMS Thanatus lies on the bottom of the sea. Her
bow, aft and 4 lower decks are flooded.The last few days have been a
confused blur of screams and salt water. At least what ever had terrorized
the crew and set off those explosions seams to have gone away...
July 2009 - The
crew work party at Seawolf park July 2009. Five members converged in
Galveston to work on the submarine Cavalla and flirt with waitresses.
Sept 2009 - After nearly two years of hard
work, Subsim became a registered trademark
United States Patent and Trademark Office
Registration Number: 3675018
Current Status: Registered.
Date of Status: 2009-09-01
Filing Date: 2007-11-20
Sept 2009 - 2009
SUBSIM Meet in Copenhagen. Subsim members from around the world
converged on Copenhagen for their latest convention. Activities included
a special voyage to dive aboard the UC3 Nautlius submarine with skipper
Peter Madsen, a jaunt to Kiel, Germany to tour the U-995, a first look
at Ubisoft's Silent Hunter 5 by Romanian developers elanaiba (Dan, SH5
lead designer), Mike, SH5 associate producer (Mike the bike), maerean_m
(Mihai Maerean SH5 interface developer),
a tour of Peder Skram, and Sehested, Danish submarine and warship.
Twenty-three people from nine nations attended.
May 2016 - Swedish indie dev team
Skvader Studios releases a demo of their fictional history WWII Swedish
subsim, HMS Marulken.
previews the demo of the 4-person co-op game, and joins the
Kickstarter at the top level.