General questions and suggestions about Motorboat Simulator

Postby Barry » Thu 15 Sep 2005 - 17:10

Just add a bit as to be truthfull, getting a bit embarrassing with my name on all the threads, so please could people start posting and discussing what the simulators are all about. There are a myriad of related topics that can be discussed, covering all eras of time, and all countries of the world.

This thread is an excellent example and like others it is the potential of the simulators that is the attraction. I had a 21 foot sloop, almost 40 years ago now. moored on the river Alt, then taken up the Ribble into the Douglas. These rivers are in my routes for download. And an area I know. So my area for route making stretches from past Blackpool, around the Wirral then along the Welsh coastline around Lleyn peninsula torwards Harlech castle, etc. Also the Isle of Man and Anglesey (Anglesey included in my latest route).

Also live a few miles from Liverpool docks, with up to 10 metre tides almost. Much of the old docks are still there dating back up to almost 200 years, and so that where I go to get the photos for some of the textures.

Again interested in all true to life routes, that include some coastal content to help the realism along. Modern realism is difficult though with city backdrops, motorways, etc so by concentrating on an era say early 19th century a more realistic setting can be achieved with 3D content. By using 32 bit textures we can though now have backdrops of whatever you make and there are 32 bit textured 2D listed items on my site. Actually photographs without a background so to speak so you can make what you wish as a flat object...only works in motorboat sail simulator at present.

As mentioned on this thread I received an email from Stentec, explaining the position and what is happening. Sailsim 5 will be next and an updated Scenery Designer. As far as I know AI boat traffic will be included which can be put on by placing tracks in the Scenery Designer.
The AI trafiic will be for our own made boats as well.

Tides have been considered. (essential for me as up to almost 10 metres ranging down to 5 along the Welsh coastline. Also bitmap textures placed over scenery. LOD. Level of detail. This is when 2 or more models are made, a basic one then a more detailed version. The simulator sees the basic one in the far distance, which changes to a detailed version when closer, etc. I think thats approx. description. This then gives better frame rates.

Another thing is larger routres. The current Scenery Designer does not allow you to make larger routes realistically. It is the number of height bars x space size. The limit of bars or points is I think 2048 and have ben keeping my 2 larger routes around 2000. All we can then change is the space. Which is like a pixel. I had to go to 60 metres to make the 75 mile route and you will notice the jagged edges to rivers and on the mountains. Min river at 60 metres about 200 feet width, etc

I need about 100 miles to make the 2 routes as one route, which would need about 80 metres. Stentec mention larger routes it could be done with moving the world axis with the view or similar.
My last route has very little content on it at present. Once you make the dem map, and place scenery you cant alter the terrain easily. You alter it in the dem which then has no scenery on it. I had to remove the scenery objects, put in the creek at the side of Conway castle. then start again placing scenery objects.

Finally as new server will be used with perhaps possible space for some routes by third parties.
I think I mentioned most of this is this thread before.

Again I hope Stentec don't mind me mentioning this.

Better get off this thread, and as I say there are any number of things that can be discussed. Now that I can make palm trees still need some decent potos of them.

Hi Texino hope you read this as I think I still have the ones you emailed a while ago but need to be full size trees. Then we can make the more exotic lands.

Perhaps we will see the river Amazon, Suez canal, Panama Canal. Tried a freestyle Egypt which includes the pyramids, in my routes on Texino's site.

I only use my own photos etc because of possible copyright


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Postby ajnasreddin » Mon 19 Sep 2005 - 16:18

The idea that I had was a system of scenery files could be linked together based on longitude and latitude coordinates. We would need to set some parameters for the system to work. For example, when designing a DEM, how many feet or meters would one pixel be, how big could the DEM map be, what level of detail would be needed, etc. Once the size of the DEM map is decided, the map could be defined by the longitude and latitude coordinates that define the area. Due to the ball shape of the earth, I suppose some problems may occur, especially in the northern regions, which would make smaller maps better. Of course I don’t know about the current size possibilities with the scenery designer and if that would be a really problem anyway.

So the idea is that as you are sailing along, coming to the end of your current scenery, your sail simulator would bring up the next scenery so you could sail right into it and continue your journey.

Of course the size of all these sceneries could be quite large in the end, but I suppose that Stentec could make some extra money by releasing scenery add ons for different regions. The British Isles on one CD (or more likely a DVD – has that 4GB capacity!), the Baltic on another, etc. Maybe there could be a race set up – Boston to Bristol, or maybe we could do an around the world race.

As far as the AI on the new sail simulator, can’t Stentec get the boats thinking a bit? Put the buoys in the water and get everything moving according to the rules? If the boats are moving on set tracks, that would take some of the unpredictability out of the game. You wouldn’t need to be on your toes if you knew where all the boats were coming and going.
Couldn’t Stentec get the boats to recognize other boats, docks and quays, land formations, and water depth? It doesn’t seem impossible considering what other programs in the market are doing.

I like Barry’s idea of tides. Also I’d like to see the wind and water interact with land formations more. For example, waters in harbors are calmer than at sea (but not in the Sailsim), and when the wind goes up or around hills, or through gaps between two hills, it should change its velocity.

Finally, it would be nice to set different water levels, for canals, and the ability to make locks. In Arizona there is a dam (the Hoover Dam) with a very beautiful and interesting lake behind it, and a very steep drop on the opposite side that wouldn’t look right if there was water on the other side.

Anyway, these are some ideas that I think would be great. As always, I'd like to hear other people's feedback.
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Postby ajnasreddin » Tue 20 Sep 2005 - 16:00

I was talking to a friend about simulator games and he happened to have a copy of Motorboat Simulator and so I finally got a chance to look at it. I must say it looks sleeker and runs a bit better than the sailsim.

Still, I don't understand the constant connection of performance to frame rate. On my friend's computer at highest settings, MBS was doing about 32 fps - which is actually faster than a motion picture (those are 24 fps). Another friend has Microsoft Flight Simulator on a worse computer, yet I noticed the high level of details (like actually flying through different cloud layers, rain, topography, and fairly well detailed buildings). But perhaps the difference is in the DEMs. I noticed that at night on the MBS, it is completely BLACK - starless and moonless as Hades (although the coast was glowing a bit). Mind, my friend has MBS 1.1.

Also, I was sad to see that there was not a wide selection of boats - and none that are commonly owned in America (Stentec should try to include those to boost sales - no?). I was surprised that the runabout had an outbaord motor (whereas my grandfather's didn't - I suppose a different kind of runabout - still, it did bring back a memories). I was also surprised that you couldn't personalize your boats like in sailsim - a step backwards for me. However, the textures look easier to work with - a big plus. Still, it would be nice to be able to personalize things more, especially if the will be online racing.

The user interface looks much nicer on the MBS and Alex's sceneries are of excellent quality - my hat's off to Alex.

Overall, I have a bit more faith in the Stentec guys that things will get better and I look forward to Sail Simulator 5. I hope they'll include Valencia as a scenery (with the new marina) - the site of the next America's Cup!
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Postby bmax » Mon 24 Oct 2005 - 11:26

Had anyone thought about starting an open source simulator? There has been great progress made with the OGRE open source 3D engine (http://www.ogre3d.org/) and Blender provides an awsome open source 3D modelling program. All we need are a couple of c++ programmers with 3D experience who are interested in the project, some modellers and texturers (I'd put my hand up for this), scenery designers and fluid dynamics/aero dynamics people.

With some pretty basic skills, I think a project could have an equivalent to the Stentec product up and running within about 6 months of 'spare-time' development. All the components required are available within the ORGE engine (with the exception of an optomised and realistic sea surface - although from what I understand of the capabilities of OGRE, it should be too hard to put something together comparable with the current relism of SailSimulator).

Perhaps Stentec, if they are no longer interested in maintaining the product, might get more benefit from giving the source to the community.

Just a thought.
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Postby Exocet25fr » Mon 24 Oct 2005 - 12:31


Because WE NEED MORE BOATS.....................! :twisted:
I leave Sail Simulator for a long time, because I prefer VIRTUAL SAILOR with his many boats and sceneries..........!
I played the first times with Sail Simulator 2.0 and there were many boats in the past! :roll: :wink:
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Postby ajnasreddin » Thu 01 Dec 2005 - 16:40

An open source sail-sim would be great - but these Stentec guys actually have a pretty good program and I don't mind paying for it. I just wish Stentec would stay on top of their program. So much has changed in technology since the last release of SS (and really their still changing quite fast).

I had a look at Silent Hunter 3 - a WW2 submarine sim. Nice graphics - espeecially the environmental graphics - stars, the moon, sun, rain, clouds, etc. Although the waves sometimes look a little square - not always smooth. And it is a HUGE. You can sail anywhere in the Atlantic, Med., or Indian Ocean. Of course the land formations are not perfect or extremely realistic, but it's big.
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Postby Barry » Fri 02 Dec 2005 - 00:41

Hi A.J.

Just bought myself Silent Hunter, but...
I am usually a few years behind so mine in version 2 which I bought for £10.

I got version 1 many years ago, a DOS game and it was quite good at that time.

But version 2 no comment.

Have seen the details on version 3 but will pass on that.

Still plenty to do for sail and mb simultors if making content and/or routes, but like others I am waiting developments, which I think will be sail Simulator 2 next - and I am hoping for EARLY next year.
Next mb sim could be years away. Be nice if it wasn't ...but?

Just as important is the new Scenery Designer mentioned and and an updated Content Editor, to get boats to float easily, etc.

All are essential for third party content and route makers and what the simulators are based on.

If Stentec can provide us with the functions I am sure a lot could be done by forum members as with train simulators, etc.

The new sail-simulator will probably bring us up to date with the functions in the mb sim such as mooring, vegetation, clearer details, but also more texture options, LOD, other moving boats, tides, etc.
Not sure what might be in etc, but you have got to keep hoping :wink:

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Postby ajnasreddin » Mon 05 Dec 2005 - 14:19


If you know someone with Silent Hunter 3, you might take a look at the docks. I was pleasently surprised with the amount of detail. How realistic it all is, I can't say. Some things, like factory smoke and a few dock workers loitering about, are nice. The occasional ship coming in and out is nice too. The detail of the docks and town are not anything beyond what you or Altug or Alex have done - just much more of it is there. Because of the new rendering technology (well, it's been around for a while now), the scenes don't become choppy due to low frmae rates.

More than anything, I was hoping that the Stentec guys would have a look to see what could be done. If they could provide the tools for us to do things for ourselves, so much the better. There are many games and programs out there that have become bigger through additions and modifications by users. The Sims is a big game that seems to even invite people to contribute. My friend who is the Flight Simulator fanatic says that most planes that he flies were created by users.

By the way, I am having a lot of problems with Blender - I can't get it to work right. Was there anything that should be downloaded with it to make it work better? I noticed something about Python scripts but on the web site all that seem to be extras and nothing essential.
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Postby Barry » Mon 05 Dec 2005 - 15:52

Hello AJ.

I saw the screenshots SH 3 and they did look quite good, but not really interested in paying the current price.
With SH2 I don't, think half the dials are working, and little in the help menu.
So SH 1, nice and simple and worked well.
Not really my scene, but did spend many hours with SH1 a good few years ago.

Like yourself just hoping early in the new year we get sailsim 5 and hopefully the new Scenery Designer...keep hoping ..and hoping....

I don't know what the problems are that you are having with Blender.
Make sure you have the latest download version as it keeps getting updated.
Latest is 2.37a that I have.
Only about 5 megs to download.

You used to have to run a script to export to vrml2 but it now exports direct and no scripts are needed when exporting vrml2.
If you could detail what the problem is - and each stage in what you did before the problem.
Starts with a 2 metre cube.
Does that export OK as vrml2.

Trouble is all computers seem to work differently and video cards.
I think it uses opengl.

Just post again with details and will run through it on Blender, but can't guarantee I will know the answer.

Have a look at the black Blender window to see if it mentions the "problem details"

Regarding animation, very easy to animate anything, and have people and boats moving as part of an animation as I did with my seaplane, and the lighthouse light beam could be made to rotate - but the snag is only in the Blender window, as vrml2 doesn't carry animation in the export at present - even if Stentec enabled animation.

The funny thing is the animation function must be already there with flag flapping, etc.

Also we can only use the vrml2 file,which doesn't carry animation, to convert to S3d with the Object Editor .

I have no idea what the answer is..up to Stentec?

Stentec would it be possible to be able to make animation, as can't be done in Blender using the vrml2 file... that is if animation becomes enabled in the simulators for third party content makers?


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