General questions and suggestions about Motorboat Simulator

Postby Jan » Mon 30 May 2005 - 22:03

Hello Bob

Please don't ask the guys of 'Stentec' to crack some software.
If they do this, they maybe go in Prison and it would take a very long time before we get the next update (rofl)


Postby bobhog » Mon 30 May 2005 - 22:48

Hi Jan.
When I used the term "crack" I did not intend it in any illegal sense, I intended it more in the "solve" sense
Bob Hoggarth.
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Postby Jan » Thu 02 Jun 2005 - 19:26

Hi Bob

I didn't mean my reply all to serious.

But have you noticed that there is no reaction at all from the Stentec guys.
It looks like they are playing a game.
When they don't move, we can't see them.

When other members of the forum do not paticipate to this discussion, i think nothing will be changed very soon.


Postby Barry » Thu 02 Jun 2005 - 22:15

Hi Jan - hope more people post soon - bit embarrassing having my name against many of the threads.

Ended up working on version 5 of my route and filled the docks with sailing ships and adding coastal housing and warehouses.

Trouble is can't even get the boats to float.
That would be a start..

Even made them lighter than air as minus kiLogram weight in Object Editor and they still sink .. .....very slowly.:wink:

Hope Texino comes back.
I have been touch with him.


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My 2 cents

Postby koiravahti » Fri 03 Jun 2005 - 14:54

I visit regularly this forum to check if Stentec staff would do something for MBS. Nice to see that users are making some noise but it doesn't convince me until Stentec gives some directions on MBS deveploment.

I don't see MBS as a game. I'm using it to train our rescue ship's crew to navigate our local waters and driving jetboats (Willem I is similar to our single jet-boat). Current version of MBS and Scenery designer are the only alternative. They'll do the job but they could do it much better with little improvement from Stentec. Barry has already listed major issues. Here is my wishlis.

Dear Santa,

1. Trees, please give us trees. Sceneries look like after A-bomb detonation.

2. Rocks, main thing in navigation is to avoid hitting underwater rocks. Give us rocks and make boats sinking when they meet.

3. Nights&lights, SAR crews usually have to navigate in late&early hours.

4. Improve Scenery Designer, I bet Stentec doesn't use this to develop objects and sceneries, it's just painful to do anything with it

5. Make water and waves more realistic in heavy winds

6. NMEA output would be a killer!
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Postby Barry » Fri 03 Jun 2005 - 15:22


Hi - Added lots of trees to version 5 of route which I have just uploaded and now available (that is if it installs OK).


Just 2 types of trees but in groups and very large groups along 50 miles of coastline.

You can enable any light. I made the top of lightouse light up for night sailing. You open file in wordpad, alter a 0 to 1.
The bit needs keeping seperate when made or the whole object will light up.

There is a thread about it somewhere.

The ideal though is for Stentec to have included them all or made them available download for us to use them..... but maybe best to do what we can for ourselves and at least then we have something to go on with.

You are right about the scenery designer and think we will be limited to about 20 to 30 mile routes.

Route is about 50 miles and spacing I made at 50 metres and the smaller rivers too wide as minimum width is then 50 metres.

Also the first save in Scenery Desgner, took a few minutes with content added but saved OK afterwards.

We need someone to make a variety of trees to make available for download to use in our own routes.

Needs 32 bit texture.

You get a problem with the object behind made invisible also at times which you will notice if using my latest route.

I noticed the same think happened when I loooked through the cabin window on default motoroat cruiser .

I think it is a common probem when using alpha texures ...and I don't know the answer.

I made the trees just as one flat plane...they should be 2 or 4 flat planes interleaved together.
I tried it, but that make the next part invisible through the transparency.

You place the collision spheres in Object Editor and have placed them on my half submerged trees in route.

Stentec fixed the collision spheres in m/b 1.2 and you don't need to use the wordpad -fix to make a giant sphere to put around them.
Unfortunately I have trouble using the arrow keys to place them with the Object Editor and have to type values in for position of spheres.

With boats hitting rocks, the collision spheres are probably around the outside of the boat and for underwater rocks thay would need to be underneath the boat along the keel as well, and collision sphers would need to be placed on top of rocks.

There are a few rocks in my route and perhaps try placing some spheres on top with Object Editor, as well as around sides and sink them just below the surface.

Just stick a few on with the Object Editor and save. That is an interesting point and will add some on top of any other rocks I make.
May be worth experimenting with.

Using the m/b to train rescue crews sounds like an ideal use for it with plenty of realism.


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Postby Jan » Sat 04 Jun 2005 - 11:42

Hello Koiravahti

Maybe i was wrong with my opinion that most users see it like a game.
But thanks that you agree that a lot of improvement is necessary.
This is why i started this topic.

You wrote, you'll bet that 'Stentec' doesn't use Scenery Designer for using development of sceneries and objects.
I bet they do, this is why we don't get new sceneries.


Postby Jan » Tue 21 Jun 2005 - 21:46

Hi all

After a few weeks waiting to give Stentec the possibility to react on this topic nothing happened.

Now i'm not only disapointed, i'm getting sad.


Postby texino » Thu 08 Sep 2005 - 05:54

La la la la la la I'm dreaming of the WATER! Oh hello it's Texino. I was just having a little nap. I have moved down to Panama you know. Lots of big ships down here. There is a handy short cut right through the country. Isn't that cool?
Ships sail right by my house.

I have been studying the history of the Netherlands and did you know? The whole country is like a submarine! Plus it's ruled by a Queen! Check it out. used to be called Holland and at one time the ancestors of the very people who live there now, were incredible seamen. Well that was then, and since that time the Dutch have made some really dumb moves. Getting behind slavery, that was a big one. And you know that deal with South Africa? Yep.
another Dutch project run by somebody's Uncle Paul; a real bright light who thought blacks were animals and the earth was flat. Hats off to Mr. Kruger.

I see that stentec still has the same crew and the same products in the same state of development. I guess I will have to come back and stir up some juvenal nonsense with my old pals.

Basically the deal is Stentec is ging to have to risk losing a few pennies on the GPS software in order to intersect the state of the art here.

I mean, guys, people have been crusing The Bay of Biscay for about 10,000 years OK? The least you folks can do is code some boat traffic.

Remember I am rude crude and dangerous to know! I am not an American in the sense that you guys think. I'm native, I believe in Zombies and your bad luck; I got guys in the jungle who would shrink your head and eat your heart. And it is such a small world these days that a persons dreams can just come true! So toe to the mark mates.

Lets discuss things, shall we?

texino@gmail.com www.ttexino.com
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Postby Jan » Thu 08 Sep 2005 - 09:46

Hi Texino

Nice you're back again.
Lets see if its possible to wake up somebody.


Postby Barry » Thu 08 Sep 2005 - 12:50

Texino my great buddy. Hi.

We need all the crew we can get on this forum at present so you are signed on for a long voyage with us. The hardtack is not too bad if you knock the weevils out of the bread first. Plenty of grog though and will make sure that there are plenty of kegs of rum available on any of my ships, smuggling is rife too in the creeks and rivers.

I had some news from Stentec regarding future developments. From Wouter Kuik so hope he doesn't mind me posting.

Sailsimulator 5 and a New Scenery Designer will be worked on after the current digital maps and navigation software completed. This will be in the coming months.

I had enquired about tides (up to almost 10 metres at Liverpool), and other moving boats off-line .
Animation paths are planned in the new Scenery Designer to enable for own made boats, etc.

Tides as a component of wave height is mentioned, but there may be a few ways to do it.

Bitmap textures were mentioned as a posibilty as an overlay on Scenery.

Longer routes, (my last route for download is 75 miles) could possibly done using the world axis. The world axis oe view could be dragged with the boat or similar.

If this is possible I could then include all North Wales and Lancs as in my routes for download into one route?

A new Server with possible space for some third party routes.
I think this is mentioned for this month.

Also LOD. (Level of Detail). This is when 2 models are made of one item. The second in a simplifed shape as seen in distance to save on frame rates. At least I think that is what is meant.

I only asked about tides and other moving boats so don't know any other details, but things are looking better. :)

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Postby Jan » Thu 08 Sep 2005 - 13:50

Hi Barry

If this is all true, it's worth to wait for.

But why can Stentec not post this in the forum, why are you the only one who gets some reaction from them?
Maybe they don't like people who criticize.

And now a question, even if the new designer will be able to make larger routes and animation paths, will the motorboat simulator be able to handle this.

Will the new designer and/or simulator be updates or do we have to pay again for this?


Postby Barry » Thu 08 Sep 2005 - 14:51

Jan wrote:Hi Barry

If this is all true, it's worth to wait for.

But why can Stentec not post this in the forum, why are you the only one who gets some reaction from them?
Maybe they don't like people who criticize.

And now a question, even if the new designer will be able to make larger routes and animation paths, will the motorboat simulator be able to handle this.

Will the new designer and/or simulator be updates or do we have to pay again for this?


Hi Jan.

I wrote to the help desk mentioning about the link to my site and asked about tides and animated boats at the same time. Asked them to refer my post to a programmer who maybe would know.

Anyway I think several of the staff are on holday and Wouter Kuik the president of the company replied.

I suppose Sail Simulator 5 will be a new version of the simulator I think, which we will have to buy.
Last version was updated to 4.2.
Those updates were free.

No idea if the Scenery Designer will be included, or extra as with the PLUS version which I bought and has the Scenery Designer included.

The Scenery Designer can be used for the Motorboat simulator and the Sailing Simulator at present so if we do have to buy it hopefully it will cover both simulators as now.

I think moving boats in a scene would make all the difference, even if we don't get round to actually sailing our own made boats. would bring the scenes to life and you could plan the interaction of the boats, moving into the harbours and ports, etc.

See what happens..and at least we know we are not forgotten.
I still only know of Virtual Sailor as an alternative, which I have, but rarely use, and still prefer Stentecs simulators for ease of making realistic routes and putting content into them, and for realism.
Been difficult though trying to keep an interest on-going.

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Postby ajnasreddin » Thu 15 Sep 2005 - 13:10

Hello all!

I don't usually post to the motorboat side of the discussions as I didn't buy a copy of Motorboat Sim. Barry directed me here after I sent him an email. To tell the truth, I didn't want to buy the MBS because I was having so much trouble with the copy of Sailsim. I bought the SS 4.0 many years ago, and a friend gave me a copy of Sailsim 4.2 (which I thought was a nice improvement in many ways). The sky is the biggest problem – just a white glare in the 4.2 while the 4.0 still works pretty well (???). Sailing around as if I were the last man on earth (with the exception of my maties dancing in front to keep the boat on keel) is also a bummer.

Still, I must side with Barry in saying that Sailsimulator is about the best simulator out there. Virtual Skipper doesn't have quite the right feel (and I don't like racing all the time – nothing like a quiet cruise, switch on the autopilot, go to the galley and make yourself a sandwich – but I digress), nor does Virtual Sailor feel right (although there are a lot of interesting boats). Stentec seems to be the only company that cares about fluid dynamics (sea or air) – and if anyone read the company profile or took a look at who's in the company, you'd see that Kuik's specialty is fluid dynamics. You might also see that Stentec is really a typical programming firm – small. For the gamers out there, you see a lot of titles under some familiar names like Ubisoft. Those big names are mostly publishing companies that little programming firms use to get there products sold. Most games take a couple of years to make, and many of these companies are really about one or two products and nothing more. Even the companies right on the edge of technology can go under – Cyan Worlds (which did the Myst games – splendid graphics!) has recently gone out of business (well, everyone but the owner and his partner got laid off). So, I will also ask everyone to have a bit of understanding – you can't have a handful of programmers and keep three or four products up to date. Stentec obviously has it's priorities. That's business.

Anyway, if you read the company profile, you'd also see that Sailsimulator was a secondary money-making product (though, a pretty dang good one) – thought up after a sailing excursion. Being American, I must say to Stentec – "Hey you guys! Ya gotta start thinking BIG!" I feel Stentec is a little short on vision, if not money (but then every little company is a bit – eh?). So, even though I mentioned this in different threads, perhaps it'll get some feed back from the folks here. So here are my two bits:

1. Get rid of Sail Simulator and Motorboat Simulator – rework it all into a motor/sail simulator. Let's have it all in one program. SS 4.2 looks as if it takes up a third of a CD with all the extras – you've got lots of room to put something else on it – heck, a DVD can hold around 4GB, so lots can be added. Anyway, in real life we all sail and motor together, so why not in a sim too.
2. Think about ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE and get the computer sailing some boats too. I'd like to practice getting into a busy marina or racing against my PC (instead of the clock) when I can't get on-line (which is perpetual problem where I am). It would be a bonus to people trying to learn the rules of right-of-way if we could see other boats coming and going (the educational aspect, you see – don't just learn to sail, learn to sail with good manners!).
3. Try linking your products together – what better way to sell WinGPS to fools like me (I don't own a boat) than being able to use it in my Motor-Sail-Sim. The more realistic, the better – no?
4. Get the scenery designer tool up to scratch for more realistic sceneries. Anybody who has the money can buy navigation charts, and those enthusiasts, who would like, could build some routes for the rest of us (I'd volunteer to do one or two myself – we could all put in our two cents!). Wouldn't it be nice if we could just scan the chart and get a DEM automatically? Of course, DEM's go hand in hand with WinGPS and the Motor-Sail-Sim (see it on the chart, sail through it on the screen!).

That's a good start. Recently, I've decided to broaden my horizons and try to learn a bit about 3D design. I've been designing model sailing ships for years, but it would be nice if I could set my feet on them (so to speak) and sail a few of them. But I know that's a bit complicated (well, from what I've read in the books), and yacht design programs that can determine with large amounts of accuracy how a boat will perform run into the hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars. That would make Motor-Sail-Sim too expensive for me. However, why doesn't Stentec reach out to yacht and motorboat companies and get their boats on Motor-Sail-Sim? People would say "Hey! Before I buy that Swan 70 footer, let's take a look at it on that Motor-Sail-Sim." I'm sure that some of those companies would pay BIG money (as we say in America) to have their boats represented on a good simulation – a bit of advertising for them, no? Barry's idea of designing and sailing our own boats is a nice idea though. I'm a particular fan of Herreshoff yachts myself (and those can't be bought much anymore).

Has anyone looked at Microsoft Flight Simulator? I have a friend who is a fanatic about it. Did you know that you can take off, fly, and land almost anywhere in world? Did you know that many of the destinations and planes are made by the millions of people who use the program? When I talked to my friend about Sailsim – you know, all the nice things about it (wind, waves, sail movement, etc. - and there's nothing like that wake or the luff in SS) – he looked at me and said, "But where can you go? I can go anywhere in my flight sim."

So, my dream would be to do almost that (one couldn't sail to Mongolia after all). Flight Simulator makes use of those handy coordinates that sailors have been using for years (not to mention those GPS systems too) – so why not Motor-Sail-Sim? We ought to be able to sail anywhere the wind takes us. I've always wanted to do some ocean sailing – a trans-Atlantic run or a cruise around the Mediterranean. Since the DEM's use those handy coordinates, and a scenery is divided into many little squares anyway, why not get things linked up? Barry is complaining about the routes not being big enough, but if you could get the computer to bring up a scenery just as you are about to sail into it, you could sail on endlessly (as long as you had scenery for it – and in this case, small route sizes would be to advantage). Think of it! Eventually – not over night – we could have the world's oceans and seas mapped out to sail over. I imagine Barry himself mapping out the British Isles while Alex single-handedly charts the Baltic. Maybe we could get Altug to do the Mediterranean? Well, by setting a few standards and using those handy coordinates, it could get it all mapped out eventually. Don't forget that this would work great with WinGPS too.

So to summarize my two bits more:

1. Get those yacht and motorboat companies to pay Stentec to present their boats on the new and fantastic – up-to-date – Motor-Sail-Sim. Remember, once you get one company to do it, nobody will want to be left out, be left behind. It would be nice to allow users to design and sail their own boats or provide some sort of tool to design a boat (to have predictable and realistic simulation results). I'd also like to have more flexibility to texture my boats - like a texture for the deck and tub, etc. And I'd like to be able to write the name of my boats up near the bow (which I could only do on the America's class with much difficulty). And I'd like to at least be able to choose the color of the railing on my boats.
2. Get those sceneries organized so we can sail from one scenery into another scenery for non-stop sailing – transoceanic and what not. Let's use those Volvos for what they were meant to be used for! We shouldn't think of size – we should think of modules. Take graphic cards as an analogy – they're not getting better because they're bigger. They're getting better because they're connecting two or more processors together – dual and quad processors (CPU's are going the same direction, something IBM has had in the works since the late 80's). Anyway, if you're sailing out to sea, the land disappears under the horizon - so scenery of the open ocean shouldn't be hard to do. As it is, you can sail off the scenery forever into an endless ocean. I'd like to get somewhere if I did it though - with charts all the way! I wonder if Stentec could get the land to appear to rise out of the sea as it does in real life when you approach land.

Ok, I've mentioned the main things I'd like to see happening. If I had the money, I'd do it myself because I think it'd make a great product reaching into many market sectors and gluing them together. But now I'd like to mention the cherries on top of the ice cream, so to speak. I'd really like to see DYNAMIC WEATHER in my Motor-Sail-Sim. I mean, if you really think of it, when you're out there on the water and land is a bit far away and all those pretty little houses and buildings are far, far away and barely distinguishable, all you have is the majesty of the sea and sky! I'd like to see the sky do something. Afterall, part of the learning tool could be when, say, you see a storm start to blow in, how you sail yourself out of it as the wind and waves pick up. I'd also like to see more interaction between the land, sea, and wind - especially how the wind interacts when coming upon little islands and other objects (as currently, it just seems to flow through them, not around them). I'd also like to have DYNAMIC LIGHTING. I'd like to see the jib's shadow on the mainsail. I'd like to see better shadows everywhere, actually. I'd also like to see STARS at night. It would be great if we could get the real constellations up there realistically from wherever we sail in the world.

Ok, that's it. I suppose this got a little long, but I've had my finger in the dyke and a whole sea behind waiting to come in. But did anybody read to the end, I wonder.
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Postby Jan » Thu 15 Sep 2005 - 14:10

Hi Ajnasreddin

Couldn't say it better.



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