Problems, vegetation, waves, water, moving ships ?

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

Problems, vegetation, waves, water, moving ships ?

Postby Barry » Sun 06 Mar 2005 - 00:08

As mentioned in previous posts one of my interests for the sailing simulator is "true to life" routes and not so much navigation or racing. These are fine in selves of course and all part of the sail simulator.

The alpha function was made available in the m/b siim. This enables fairly realistic trees and many other items to be in a route with very little drain on frame rates. (the background of a picture of a tree is made invisible and several are interlaced).

This worked when I first tried out using Blender in m/b sim when the CD 1.2 version came out. Just recently, several months later can no longer get it to work. Whether due to updating drivers for ati radeon 9800 pro card, or updated Blender version, etc or perhaps windows service pack 2, I have no idea why it won't now work in m/b sim. Anyway this was only for the Motorboat simulator and is not yet available for sailsim.

Anyway for realistic coastal routes which is my main interest for a sail simulator they need trees and vegetation. These can also be used to help to fill in detail, etc and can be used in any combination from single trees, small clusters, woods or even a forest by joining the parts when making the 3D items as I did with my small towns. Any number of items can also be made this way from people for distant views, suspension bridges, ships rigging etc.

So could Stentec PLEASE include some trees or vegetation that WILL WORK, in the next version of the sailsim, so we could perhaps use these 3D items in our own routes, if the 3Dmodel software we have access to will no longer make them for some reason

Also not sure if it has yet been started so... could we also have some default NON racing older sailing ships, and especially the function to use our own made sailing ships and vessels so we can create any period of time we wish from the age of the square riggers up to the current sailing ships of today.

Also in the m/b sim the water stops moving at times, although the animated texture on the flat sea still moves. This DOES NOT happen in the sailsimulator and the water is OK.

In both simulators I can also see, when following the boat the very edges of the waves, and can see above and below the water at the ground. This is like looking edge on say, at the folds in a piece of cloth.
~~~~~~~. Just a single line of the wavy edge of the wave and not a wave. Only happens at times, but have tried various settings of monitor and also happens in sail and m/b sim, including on the default routes, but more so in the m/b sim.

Barry
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Postby ajnasreddin » Wed 09 Mar 2005 - 22:53

Maybe Stentec should take another look at possibilities on the faster machines. A friend of mine showed me a game called Rome Total War inwhich there are thousands of little soilders running about with hills, trees, water, etc. It was quiet amazing to see the action from many different perspectives - from down on the ground to a bird's eye view. True that the little soldiers all pretty much look the same, but their movement seems fairly independant. Also, watching the missiles fly is quiet amazing. It's really cinematic! It would seem a sail sim would be small potatoes.

Also, one might check out Akella's Captain Blood due out later this year (?). The screens shots look beautiful.

Maybe Stentec should look into a new engine to make things run faster.
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Postby Barry » Thu 10 Mar 2005 - 00:19

I think the problem is appears to be that the sail and m/b sim isn't at the top of the priorities. The main area they concentrate on appears to be the navigation software, etc.

The collision spheres error is major glitch and boats will sail through any collision spheres that are put on unless you fix the error yourself replacing the figures by using wordpad. This has not been fixed for ages, yet makes the whole collision sphere system not working. I fix them myself but any newcomers would be left guessing.

Making boats float was another area that was due for fixing and the ability to make any item float easily. A number of my boats I just had to make as fixed objects, although they can be made to sink very gracefully, slowly slipping below the waves. Some can be got to float like the coaster and some of the barges, many of the others just refuse to. I did get the steamer to float for myself but had to add an invisible cube to the hull wich was a bit ridiculous.

The tree function as as I explained should now work in m/b sim only yet no general details were given for it, available for everyone.
It would have only needs one tree in a default route in the m/b sim as part of the simulation. This one tree could have been used then in any route we made placing them in groups or whatever. Of course a variety could have been included and we could have had really realistic routes instead of barren landscapes. I have added towns, buildings. wareouses, etc but none of it looks right without trees, and vegetation, etc.

I think the sailsimulator was based on direct x7 and the m/b sim on dx8.
So we will see if we get some animation, more then 1 boat in scene off line, sailing, ability to drive your own boats, etc. None of it would probably take a lot of time to make. The iniital potential is there but it all seems stuck in a rut at present?

Maybe it it just going to stay as an aid for learning navigation , and for racing and not a true sailing simulator, which will hold little interest for me as it is?

Barry

puzzled :)
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Postby ajnasreddin » Mon 14 Mar 2005 - 19:56

Well, it's a pity Stentec isn't a little more far-looking in their outlook. From a business point of view, I would have thought that investing in sims for the general public would be a money making area. Realism is big, and I'm sure they could sell some navigation stuff on the side, even to people who may never really use it extensively outside their computer. Also, I've read that more people are getting interested in sailing, especially sailing around the world. It's been an interest of mine personally for a number of years, though I don't see it happening any time soon because of the cost. However, if you can't have the real thing, you get a sim, right?

I checked out Need For Speed Underground 2 - That's brilliant graphics! Not only can you drive freely around a city with trees, buildings, hills, etc. - but it rains! and there's wind, so the trees actually sway back and forth!

I suppose we can always hope that Stentec or someone else could do a great sail sim one day. I'm not a programmer myself, but suppose someone might make an open sail sim?
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Postby Barry » Tue 15 Mar 2005 - 00:24

I thought about an open source true to life maritime simulator myself, but there is nothing about on the Internet.

I use the open source Blender for creating the 3D models I have made in the sailing routes. Blender also has it own game engine and water effects and cars moving can be made. One "game" is a pirate on an island and a "boat" moving around island.
The pirate has a cutlas. Nothing happens etc he splashes through the waves looking at boat.
Its just the effects that could be created just by one person.

I also have Virtual Sailor etc.
For now have gone back to the railway simulator for which I have created various "sailing" routes and miles of docks. There is a link to some screenshots and section on it I have made on my site now.
That has only fixed tracks underwater for boats but many effects can be created, including locks, etc.

The potential is there with Stentec, but basic faults like collision spheres not working, boats unable to be got floating have been left unfixed for a long time. Tired of driving one default boat, around routes with no vegetation, trees, etc.

Barry

:)
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