v5.0.2.1 - Impressions

v5.0.2.1 - Impressions

Postby Marxx » Fri 03 Apr 2009 - 11:32

Few hours on different boats around Cabrera .. and just one question - is Stentec going in the right direction?

Lets do not go through Cabrera look - developers call it "basic" scenery and it's really looking like basic one. The mesh, textures and landmarks get me back to FS98 times with it's level of details.
But ok, we are not sailing through the land so lets focus on what is related with sailing.

First surpise - night is dark. As we have some floating yachts on moorings, some buoys, lighthouses and land base navigation structures do not expect and sign of life. Power is off - night is dark as hell ...just a moon shine as it's probably a more critical for developers to have nice sky rather then good navigation aids.

The look in general is very impressive. Sprays, waves, boats models. If they will be more improved maybe we will not notice that behind there is a lot of non-science fiction. Set northern winds at 25knots, jump into YD-40, generic waves. We leave Cabrera harbour upwind with 14-15 knots on the log with TWA 50 degree. Almost like ACC class or better. For sure we are tacking much better then ACC folks as speed after tack drops to 11-12 knots and rapidly increase. I didn't saw YD-40 fighting in top regattas but for sure it is time to look for that boat and drop it in the middle of race battle - with such performance I will be in TOP5 for sure.

After leaving harbour bay we round the penisula and go downwind along western coast of Cabrera. If the speed on reaching (with main reefed to 4/5) was impressing showing almost 20knots on the log now we really fly - I start to understand why there is no gennaker or spin implemented. They are not needed - we fly with more then 20 knots on the log easyli. Getting tired? Do not look for hideout in nearby deep bay on the west coast - I did not found any sign of windshadow existence. The land seems not to affect the wind at all - no direction changes, no speed changes .. waves follow that and nice huge waves goes right out from the high rocky shore. The one who ever been on coastal regatta understand .. the one who ever sailed between islands or mixed shore understands for sure. We are missing one of key points.

I honestly would say that the other one key point - boat driven windshadow was not tested by me. So no score in that area.

Finally :
a) poor prototype of the scenery Cabrera
b) the scenery and navigation objects are usless during night/evening
c) no lights at boats/land, no lights for navigation objects
d) no windshadow efect - scenery seems to be transparent for wind and waves making its existence nice but somehow usless.put the 1 meter high wall and it will be the same
e) polars of the boats are far ... far .. far away from reality
f) very nice moon
g) very nice sprays and waves (generic waves are too constant, some random factor would be needed)
h) joystick assignement started to work but with "select sheet->select operation" model it's hard to make smooth configuration even with multibutton pads/joys
i) sounds - still horrible

If you would like to see - SS5 is nice. If you are going to sail the v5.0.2.1 works nice only with soft/moderate winds and smallest boats available in daylight without windshadow or land driven wind/current/wave impact.

Long way to go in front of Stentec but lets wish them luck ..

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Joined: Wed 28 Jan 2009 - 11:27

Re: v5.0.2.1 - Impressions

Postby Jeroen Schlaman » Fri 03 Apr 2009 - 16:17

Hello Marek,

Thanks for your comments. As you might not now, we are working to a final version in September with probably two more releases in between.
Most of the things you aim as "not implemented" is going to be developed for one of the coming releases (like scenery dependant wind and waves).
One question. Do you have all performance settings on high and scenery detail checked on? Because we're surprised you say about the poor prototype of Cabrera. Nevertheless we will continue increasing quality and scenery functionality.
Jeroen Schlaman
Stentec Developer
Jeroen Schlaman
Site Admin
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Location: Heeg

Re: v5.0.2.1 - Impressions

Postby Marxx » Fri 03 Apr 2009 - 18:35


Thank you for you comments.

1. Windshadows , 'waveshadows' and some currents (driven by sea currents and wave/wind driven currents) are a must for a simulator. They affect both navigation and tactic, esspecialy race tactic even for short courses. As I said I did not check windshadows given by another boat, I focused on the land impact and it was not nice surprise. But OK - I hope that till September it will arrive - if not "simulator" should drop out from the product name.

2. All sliders in graph settings are luckily set for max. Why I'm saying about scenery quality? Please check the standards used for new version of Ship Sim or even VSK. Better textures, better mesh resolution. I'm not mentioning FXS or X-Plane - but please keep in mind we have 2009. As buoys looks nice - the terrain looks very simple.

3. Lights - having no lights on boat and no navigation lights (lighthouses, cardinals, IALA buoys and other nav land based objects) is a big minus. I hope you are thinking about that feature while talking about September release. If you achieve it some terestrial navigation will be possible (some tool to catch bearing and we are in paradise).

4. Polars ... It is also VSK5 weeknes - RC44 on 8B :) .. but please, do not follow that concept. Having nice balance, reefs should allow you to set a border between boat real abilities and a fiction. What is now is too far from reality.

5. Other sails - a must for September - with corect polars of course.

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Joined: Wed 28 Jan 2009 - 11:27

Re: v5.0.2.1 - Impressions

Postby ajnasreddin » Wed 29 Apr 2009 - 21:03

Hey all,

Nice to hear SS5 is moving along. The screenshots look pretty good for software in development - looks like things are moving in the right direction.

The eye-candy factor is important - seems there are no stars yet? I was hoping to see the Milky Way. A lot of games/simulators show the sky as if you were stuck in the city - just a few notable stars. Anybody who has been way out is suddenly astounded by how bright the night sky really is.

I've heard X Plane solved the problem of wind effected by landscape - something Microsoft's FSX didn't bother with, which makes the sailplane a definite non-simulation except in limited circumstances. FSX has a lot of perks, but still lacks total realism.

SS5, I imagine, will have to make some trade offs as well. Hopefully the important stuff will be included - which are the difficult ones: wind and water interacting with land, etc. It's the big number-crunching question - how much and on what. Virtual Skipper is nice to look at, but not as realistic as SS4. Ship Sim has its good points too, but the boats - especially the smaller ones - act more like winebottle corks with an engine attached.

Best of luck with Stentec's continuing work. Is there any chance a sextent will be included in the final version?

How is the windmill business? I expect things have picked up this last year or so.
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Re: v5.0.2.1 - Impressions

Postby Admiral » Wed 06 May 2009 - 11:52

wind and water interacting with land

Should be a properties of a "map" i strongly suggest a "map"-editor that supports input of variables that control these.
aka tidal maps for currents, grid-files for wind. The grid-files should include variations caused by geografical circumstances.
The actual "map" building including tidal maps and grid-files should be left to players.
The "quality" aka "reallity" of the "maps" then is the players business,
other players then will/can choose what "map" to use or not to use...
"As far as I can remember, there aren't a lot of points of land or holidays named after people who sat at home and criticized Christopher Columbus."
(Paul Cayard, from the Pirates base, in an e-mail to race HQ. 25 Jan 2006 volvooceanrace.org)
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