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Sailing (Revised)

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Punk is right, heres the basics. And YES crews would be NPC, any non-captain players on the boat would have free-time or could play mini-games related to sailing to help the ship sail a little bit better or worse depending on how they did. Obviously if you had an all player crew you'd get a major advantage but it's highly unlikely to get a full crew of people cause they'd get sick of mini-games real quick. The mini-games wouldn't just be tetris or something like that, it'd be things closely related to tasks of an actual sailor. The east-indiamen, the frigate, and the galleon should be ignored because they couldn't do much maneuvering so i need things that you could do with a 30-60 foot ship. These aren't all the ships but here's enough for you to get a basic idea. Sloop- Single masted with a bowsprit, triangular sails, about 30-50 feet long. Shallow draft so they can go places other ships can't Corvette- "Sloop of War", slightly bigger sloop with 2 masts. Brig- Two masted ship, about 60 feet long and square rigged. slightly deeper draft than the sloop and corvette Galleon- Those ginormous spanish galleons, huge with a sloping deck and a central weight line. Three masted and square rigged. Mainly for transporting goods. Fairly deep draft. Usually around 100 feet long. Frigate- A mid sized man-o-war with a lot of boom, square rigging and up to 100 feet long depending on the ship. East Indiamen- These are the biggies, about 150 feet long, 3 masts and a 74 gun armament, MAJOR merchant transport vessel and every pirate's dream catch. deep draft and square rigged. Drakkar and Knarr- Two viking ships with one big square sail and about 26 meters long and no firepower. The Knarr was the cargo ship. They had the advantage of also being an oar-propelled craft so they could still move in little or no wind. They weren't meant for naval combat but for raiding villages and because of their shallow draft they could go down rivers as well. So far here's what I'm thinking from what people have said and research: Wind Sense- at lower levels you'd have a range of what way the wind could be going, not too vague but not precise enough to maximize speed if your on the run either. Navigation- Rather then being a dot on a map it's a circle, you could be anywhere in the circle. As you get to a higher level the circle shrinks. Trimming- In the beginning all trimming must be done by you. Later on slight trimming will be done for you so you don't have to worry about it AS MUCH, it would still play a roll. I still need suggestions!!!!! [Edited by - PatchesV on December 6, 2007 11:24:50 PM]

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Maybe some sort of sense of the wind your player has; an increase in skills leads to a better ability. As for multiplayer crew on the same boat unless you're doing a combat game you are S.O.L. as near as I can tell.

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You should check out Puzzle Pirates. Its free MMO-Puzzle Game, and its great. Maybe you aren't doing a puzzle game, but it might give you some ideas for different jobs on the ship.

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Hey There,

I sail at an instructor level and I tended to notice as I personally got better I could use my body weight to control the ship's hull, there by increasing the speed in which I could go with out capping, also the more I practised the sharper my corners were because at the start of sailing, I fell in, a lot, my corners were long and drawn out and sometimes I would get stuck half in a turn (caught head to wind) and would spend hours trying to get out of it.

Another fun thing I can now do is pull the sail in real tight, lean out as the wind pulled the boat nearly onto it's side, I controlled my weight in such a way that I was standing basically on my hull, we called it "the edge"

Also as I got better when I did capsize (because the inside of my boat needed a clean) I didn't get wet as I climbed over to the dagger board quickly to avoid the needless getting wet.

Of course, sailing is different on the open sea, a river or a lake, make sure you know where your players will be sailing and what the conditions should be like.

If I’m using terms that you don't understand, you might want to contact me otherwise your boat game or boat feature will be inaccurate, and who wants that? No one....

If you want to people on a boat, the other crewmen must be constantly keeping balance, waves, tides, wind-gusts and of course changing sides when the boat turns all put the boat off balance, and if its a big boat, going very fast, you need that crewmen to be able to keep the balance.

Cheers.

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What kind of sailing are we dealing with here? A square-sailed brigantine? A simple sloop-rigged keelboat? Sailing is frickin' sweet, but there's a lot going on, and it takes a lot to model it well. The little tidbits of proficiency that Punk described would be a great way to differentiate an excellent sailor from a novice one without adding features or "superpowers" as the player advances.

Just improving performance might be enough, but you mentioned that you don't just want stat boosts, so how about having all the abilities available from the get-go, but requiring your character to level up to do them reliably and well? For instance, Punk mentioned standing on the edge of his boat. In your "position in cockpit" controls, have a continuum for moving laterally. As the boat heels to starboard, you move farther and farther to port to control it, and when you move out past the actual boat, your character leans, then puts a foot up, and finally stands on the edge. A low-skill character in that situation will be pitched into the drink if you hit a wave or go through someone's wake, but an elite sailor can hop up there in any conditions, always pushing the craft to the limit of its capabilities.

As a crewman, trimming the jib can be a good minigame. Always watching the telltales and adjusting tension on the sheet could be a simple task that offers rewards for vigilance and has a measurable impact on the performance of the boat. Good communication, efficient tacking, etc. can all add to the overall awesomeness of sailing.

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As others have said, it all depends on what level of simulation/arcade you have in there.

I trained sailing actively for 4 years, and still sail over the summer whenever I get the chance and trust me, If you're going the simulation route, there is a whole lot going on in sailing. The amount of information that you need to process if you're trying to sail competitively is enormous. That is why on America's Cup teams there is a person on the team who's sole job, to put is simply, is to decide when to tack, and he is carrying a lot of responsibility for the teams success.

If you need specifics just ask there seem to be quite a few people on this board that sail, on various levels, and can think in game developing terms as well.

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Am I the only one who would trade all the guns and tanks in Crysis for a chance to build a marina on that island? Seriously, there should be some kind of sailing video game out there. It's got so much potential. I think the community may have over-reacted to the limited info in that first post.

My parkour fantasy has been fulfilled quite well by Assassin's Creed, so now all I need is for someone to do an equally good of capturing sailing and bird flight in a game.

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You could make a game where you pick different birds to fly as and have a constantly updated google map type ground so you could fly over your own house if you wanted. Birds of prey would be really fun.

Alright I fear I was not specific enough, this sailing is part of an MMORPG (don't comment, I've heard it all and I promise you won't say anything new) And opefully going to be a very detailed system. The game is late medieval so cannons and guns are just being invented and EXTEREMELY rare. What I need to know is more maneuvers ,like the whole riding on the hull of your boat, that only more experienced sailors can do, but also can be done with an east-indiamen. I need some that can be done with any sized sailing ship, a and a few that can only be done with the smaller ones. Special feats for the big ones are going to be more canon-fire and defense based and I can handle those.

So tell me, you're all sailors, what can experienced sailors do with any-sized ship that could be constituted as a "Special" move.

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Little tidbit here,... the Late Medieval period is when Cannons started to become 'common' in warfare, and most armies would have some. They were introduced in the early medieval period and gained popularity as we got better at making them and controling prowder production. Guns developed along side plate armour, and it was a change in how battles were faught that rendered heavy armour useless more so than guns punching through them.


On topic, getting things in Sync could be hard if you have different people using twich based controls on a network, and you would have to deal with that. A single person that gets better at their balance and control of the ship may be easier to do and have fun than several people working together.

At the very least, allow one person to pilot the ship with an AI crew doing the other things, and let if be so if you get multiple human players working together there is a good chance they can work better than a single player of similar skill. Just make sure that mulitple players are not required for any ship.


Another good option for other players being on one player's ship is for use as boarding parties. They're not there to do anything on the ship really, but sit around, talk, maybe include ingame dice or cards if they get bored, (no pun intended), then provide major power boosts in combat when they get to where they're going.

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Quote:
Original post by Iron Chef Carnage
Am I the only one who would trade all the guns and tanks in Crysis for a chance to build a marina on that island? Seriously, there should be some kind of sailing video game out there. It's got so much potential. I think the community may have over-reacted to the limited info in that first post.

My parkour fantasy has been fulfilled quite well by Assassin's Creed, so now all I need is for someone to do an equally good of capturing sailing and bird flight in a game.


Virtual Skipper is actually quite good. I have played the last instalment in the series titled "32'nd America's Cup" and I must say, when I turn off all the in game assistants and control everything manually It was challenging to win. Sudden wind gusts and big waves are not modelled that well but it is still quite good.

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Quote:
Original post by PatchesV
You could make a game where you pick different birds to fly as and have a constantly updated google map type ground so you could fly over your own house if you wanted. Birds of prey would be really fun.

Alright I fear I was not specific enough, this sailing is part of an MMORPG (don't comment, I've heard it all and I promise you won't say anything new) And opefully going to be a very detailed system. The game is late medieval so cannons and guns are just being invented and EXTEREMELY rare. What I need to know is more maneuvers ,like the whole riding on the hull of your boat, that only more experienced sailors can do, but also can be done with an east-indiamen. I need some that can be done with any sized sailing ship, a and a few that can only be done with the smaller ones. Special feats for the big ones are going to be more canon-fire and defense based and I can handle those.

So tell me, you're all sailors, what can experienced sailors do with any-sized ship that could be constituted as a "Special" move.


Ok, when we talk about you using your body to control the ship we're mainly talking about small ship, the size of today's one or two men Olympic classes, typically 4-6 meters, and very light. So I guess distributing body weight in the right way is not that interesting for the boats of the size you'll have in the game.

Now, since I haven't sailed on medieval ships I'm guessing what it was like.

First of all, most big European ships couldn't sail upwind. Basically all of the ships that you see that had only square sails falling from horizontal boulders attached to masts could only sail downwind. Their sails worked in a similar way parachutes worked. Now, most pacific tribes had nice triangular sails capable of sailing upwind but their boats were generally smaller. There is, however, one very important exception to European down wind boats, and that is Vikings. Vikings were, apparently, great sailors, and they knew how to sail upwind very early, probably as early early medieval times. :) They had nice triangular sails that work very much like the airplane wings. I am not sure at what angle to the wind they were capable of sailing but I'm guessing they couldn't go and higher than 45 degrees towards the wind direction.

Now, to the sailor's RPG sailing ability. The more experienced the sailor is he will better position the sails. Generally, for each direction your boat is heading and the incoming wind direction there is an optimal position of sails that gives you the maximal forward force. If you deviate from that position you generally loose speed. I'm simplifying it here, cause there are exceptions but they won't be relevant to your level of simulation. Also wind always changes direction at least slightly shifting back and forth. An experienced sailor will predict the change coming and position the boat and sails to make the most out of the wind change. The process of adjusting the sails is called trimming. So, you could have a trimming skill that will increase the ability of the sailor to , given the boat heading and wind direction, position the sails in an optimal position. The better it's trimming skill more speed will it be able to get from the wind. Given a boat heading. That skill could be very important when you are trying to catch up with another boat.

When the sails are trimmed it is usually better to steer the boat slightly to follow the slight wind changes then to re-trimm the sails. This is were a boat steering skill could come into play. Also, when you change boats direction it is important to do the steering part well, especially when you change it by a lot, for example when your are tacking (turning) towards the wind, i.e. your sails are changing sides. You're making a near 90° turn and at on point your sails are flapping and you are moving solely on the momentum the ship has. An experienced skipper will finish the manoeuvre in a perfect position, making the manoeuvre in a smooth arc, and it will loose almost no speed, it will keep most of the boats momentum. The bigger the boat, more important it is to keep its momentum. A lot of novice skippers either under steer so they are facing the wind for too long, and loos too much speed, or, even worse, remain stuck facing the wind, and stop fully. Sometimes, they over steer and start moving away from the wind, and fall too much (loose the distance they all ready covered before the manoeuvre). There you could have your other sailing skill, steering, or skippering. The better the skill the better it's manoeuvres when you order him to change to the new boat headings. That skill could be very , very important when you are trying to manoeuvre the the side of the enemy boat, so you can fire from your side cannons.

The last one that comes to mind as an obvious , large part of sailing. It's navigation. Now, navigation involves plotting the route and tracking it on the map (that way much more important in medieval times, before GPS), and it also has to do with choosing which way to sail, because the wind doesn't blow the same everywhere. For example, if you have a channel and the wind is not blowing straight trough the channel but more to the other side, one side of the channel will have more wind blowing at a sharper angle along the coast, and the other side (maybe it is shielded by a hill) will have much less wind and its direction will be different. A navigator should decide which route trough the channel is best to take in order to pass trough it the fastest. The problem is that that is directly related with which way the player wants to move so that probably couldn't be modelled into a skill, but on the other hand you probably won't have any where near such a detailed wind model for it to matter. You could still have the navigation skill that is connected with how accurately you are plotting your position on the map, or direction. It depends on the rest of your game design.

Ok, this was much longer than i intended it to be, got carried away and I should be studying linear programming. :) Gotta go ...

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Hey again,

If I were you I would research the types of boats they used in your setting perhaps changing them slightly if needs be.

We can't gauge what sort of thing the person can do on a boat unless we know what kind of boat it is, you wouldn't lean out the side of 30ft cruise ship and you wouldn't have four sails for a 4ft dinghy.

So do some research, show us some specs, some pictures maybe, and we will come up with the best way to get what you want.

Though I would say that if your going to use bigger boats, there is less chance of having skilful moves, smaller boats I’ve found are always a lot more reliant on you as a sailor, I sail mostly - Lasers, Pico’s, Toppers, etc.

See you later.

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Quote:
Original post by Punk Designer
If I’m using terms that you don't understand, you might want to contact me otherwise your boat game or boat feature will be inaccurate, and who wants that? No one....

A few months ago, I actually prototyped and playtested a handful of takes on the sailing game concept, in shades of complexity and physical accuracy ranging from "no, grab the line next to that one" to "now steer the boat left". The results: realistic and accuracy are no fun in a sailing game. Beyond "the boat goes slower when facing into the wind" (note: slower, not in irons) and some limited control over rigging, people don't want the extra annoyance of realism; and having to keep proper terminology straight was annoying too, compared to more intuitive vocabulary. Of course, there's probably a market specifically for ultra-realistic sailing simulation, similar to how there's a market for flight simulators, but that's a pretty limited segment. So who wants inaccuracy? Most people, apparently.

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Thanks fir the tip, so what do you think? just left right controls, basic trimming, and some basic rigging controls or what? I already know I'm going to give the player a choice of aiming the guns or sailing the ship and just telling people which side to fire from so canon-fire is covered.

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Quote:
Original post by PatchesV
So far here's what I'm thinking from what people have said and research:

Wind Sense- at lower levels you'd have a range of what way the wind could be going, not too vague but not precise enough to maximize speed if your on the run either.

Navigation- Rather then being a dot on a map it's a circle, you could be anywhere in the circle. As you get to a higher level the circle shrinks.

Trimming- In the beginning all trimming must be done by you. Later on slight trimming will be done for you so you don't have to worry about it AS MUCH, it would still play a roll.

I still need suggestions!!!!!


I like the navigation design.

Wind Sense - It depends on how good your simulation of sailing will be. If you give wind direction you are expecting players to have some actual sailing knowledge to be able to use that information. In turn, you have to have an accurate sailing model or the players will get frustrated because the ship is not behaving correctly.

Trimming - So, you are basically reducing a number of things player can do as he progresses trough levels. I think it should be the other way around. You should think more about that.

Sorry, I'm in a hurry so can't discuss this more but I'll think about it and post it if I think of some interesting ideas. :)

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Your right about trimming, I should include a way to turn the auto-tacking off for people who want to do it all themselves. That way if you want to be lazy, at the high level you have the option too.

I think there should be two control options, sailing direction and sails. Experienced sailors can take control of which way the sails are facing to maximize the speed they ge out of the wind. Sailing direction will do that for you and you just push left or right to decide which way you want the ship to go. It'll basically be the difference between driving automatic and manual.

As I said I have very little experience with sailing so if that looks wrong to someone please explain and offer an alternative.

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But those other games have to be a pirate-ish renissaunce. This whole idea to add sailing came from "Pirates of the Caribbean" (game not the movie) and Sid Meyers: Pirates!.

Sid Meyers had the fun of having a real world but I realized that sailing needs to be done from a closer angle than overhead because It doesn't give you proper sense of the slow speeds and the aiming of cannons.

Then there's PotC, this game had the aiming that was necessary but it's only controls were pointing the ship in the right direction and aiming your cannons.

But the game I'm trying to make is supposed to be 1/2 and 1/2 between player skill and a DnD style free-leveling advancement. So both of those had a bit of player skill and plenty of a sense of upgrading and level advancement. But there needed to be more of a roll of player skill and leveling had to influence something more than ship stats.

So now I THINK I've got an idea of what I'm going to do but first I need a better sense of the controls. And unfortunately, I'm on a mac so I couldn't try the demo of that game :(

So i have to use what other people know, so the next step is getting control of movement down. Obviously there is the simple, left-right steering and full, half, and no sails and that controls the two basics of movement. Wind COULD be adjusted to by the computer (level would decide how smart your guy would be with the sails) but I'd really like to see if someone could come up with a way to work the sails, for more player skill, but still keep it reasonable to control for new players. If no one can then I guess It's basically gonna have to stick to PotC sailing for ship control.

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Well, again, we can turn to the real world. :)

I can't really type it all up so I'm just gonna quote wikipedia and then suggest:

Quote:

Sail trimming

As noted above, sail trimming is a large subject. Basic control of the mainsail consists of setting the sail so that it is at an optimum angle to the wind, (i.e. no flapping at the front, and tell tales flowing evenly off the rear of the sail).

Two or more sails are frequently combined to maximize the smooth flow of air. The sails are adjusted to create a smooth laminar flow over the sail surfaces. This is called the "slot effect". The combined sails fit into an imaginary aerofoil outline, so that the most forward sails are more in line with the wind, whereas the more aft sails are more in line with the course followed. The combined efficiency of this sail plan is greater than the sum of each sail used in isolation.

More detailed aspects include specific control of the sail's shape, e.g.:

* reefing, or reducing the sail area in stronger wind
* altering sail shape to make it flatter in high winds
* raking the mast when going upwind (to tilt the sail towards the rear, this being more stable)
* providing sail twist to cope with gusty conditions


So, you could basically give the player control over more sail parameters as he gains levels. On a particular boat you have quite a lot of ropes for controlling how the sail is stretched. The basic one is just for adjusting sail angle, and the others adjust sail shape.

A basic and simplified example is how If you're going downwind you want a bigger belly on your sail for more speed, and if you're going upwind you want a flatter sail shape for more speed.

You could have those parameters fixed in some average working position for lower levels and allow higher levels to adjust them, thus them being able to gain more speed from the same boat. However, you have to be aware that higher level players could actually get less speed then lower level players if they adjust the parameters so that they become worse then default values in some specific conditions. That might be a problem with players that just don't get the jist of sail trimming. Also, as the wind and direction change they must adjust the parameters to accommodate for the change. Just something to keep in mind.

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those viking ships are in there because they're the ships of one of the more barbaric and less sea-based peoples. There ships aren't good for much more than transportation because the Garians (the barbarians) strongsuit is in melee combat, being such a large race.

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