The Future of the Stentec Sailing Simulator and next version

General question for Sail Simulator (raising sails, pulling sheets, etc.)

The Future of the Stentec Sailing Simulator and next version

Postby Barry » Mon 24 Jul 2006 - 15:24

The Future of the Stentec Sailing Simulator and next version SS5.

Assuming that the next version may be out this November (if not deferred), plus an updated Scenery Designer.
Both are needed as the sceneries are made with the Scenery Designer, and if new functions are introduced, such as new terrain texturing functions, etc, they are put on with the Scenery Designer.

As far as I know the following have been mentioned but no idea if they will be included.
New terrain texturing function - tides - Artificial Intelligence boats in some form possibly user-made.
Possibility for larger or joined sceneries.

Also hope the 32 bit textures for trees etc will also work in SS5 as never sure when I make the sceneries for download to put some on or not. Some of my sceneries for download have them - some don't.
Also I believe there is a fundamantel problem with 32 bit textured objects as they may make the next nearest object invisible also.They seem to work OK in some simulators using gmax but I use Blender.
Don't now the answer to that one.

Altough at present any object can be made to light up in any colour, there is no seperate animation function, so rotating lighthouse beams, needed, etc. Although I included a static lighthouse beam in one of my sceneries there is no way to turn it off. Also even if the animation function for it was available I would be unable to make it as Blender does not export animation for vrml2 files.

My interests are the true age of sail say c1800 with gaff rig coastal trading boats, also rivers and estuaries of the UK.
So sailing barges also could be included. I know the main interest by users is modern sailing ships, but I just need ONE default gaff rig boat to sail for this era.

Hopefully I may be able to make suitable older sailing ships or use what I have for the ArtificiaL boats. These need to travel in and out of docks and between ports, so some form of looped tracks could be used rather than a portal which ejects a boat at intervals and then disappears at the end of is track.

The emphasis of the Stentec simulators is for smaller craft, but this fits in nicely with my interests, as the coastlines, rivers, and esuaries (and canals) used to be alive with sailings craft, sailing and horse drawn barges, supplying goods to all corners of the U.K. (for me).

I hope Stentec will update us with some news soon as it is nice to know what is happening in this field.
Also if the news is positive I can then plan my own future developent of my sceneries in relation to the available functions and try and make the sceneries more interesting.

Even if I have to remake my sceneries it will not matter too much as they are fairly easily made as regards the terrain at least if using srtm2 satellite data.

I have looked at the other available ship and boat simulators to see what can be done with them, but prefer if possible to specialise in the one I am used to, which is the Stentec simulators, if the functions, can be made a bit more intereresting as outlined.

I have not mentioned any new default sailing ships, as others are more experienced in modern craft, and what they would like to see, but I do need just one sailable sailing ship, gaff rig or similar sutable for the earlier age.
Without it there is no realism for my sceneries.

Also of course there is the racing side, but again that is for others, as still on dial-up anyway at present.

Mind you a race of sailing barges would be interesting.:wink:


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Postby ajnasreddin » Mon 24 Jul 2006 - 19:23

My hopes for the next version would include many ideas Barry mentioned. For myself more specifically, I would like to see a more realistic environment - so things as animated lighthouses and tides, as Barry mentioned, are included in this idea. I would also like to see other natrual phenomena included - such as transparent water, weather, stars, etc. Perhaps Stentec could offer objects (like rocks, trees, buildings) which users could add to sceneries or use in making sceneries (I'm not much of a 3D designer myself).

Apart from that, I would love to have some way that sceneries could be linked together automatically such that the simulation need not be stoppped and a new scene loaded (with the guess of where you had left off in the previous scene). I think with the satellite data available and a little standardisation about distances in the sceneries, people would be encouraged to make sceneries for the program. I don't think anyone else has done this, so it would be something special for Stentec.

Additionally, it would be nice if Stentec could intergrate their navigation software as an option into the simulator. Perhaps having options for sailboat hardware would be an interesting addition.

In the end, I would like to see a simulation that offers a simulation of the sailing experience rather than just sailboat physics. The sailboats physics are great; we just need a great environment too. On that point, I would like to feel like I'm a person on a boat and not just a camera - couldn't we be able to move around the boat a bit?
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