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realistic ship simulation... can it work?

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Ok when people think of simulation games normally they think of games like the flight simulator or silent hunter series'. Both of those titles have come along way since there original conception, and are in huge demand by simulation game fans in the United states and Abroad. now when you look at games like ship simulator 2006-2008 or virtual sailor you have to ask "what in the world were they thinking?" the games are so bad it hurts. But even with the low quality, horable gameplay, Mundane graphics, and unrealistic physics; ship simulator 2008 sold well in 20 countries and was produced in 7 laguages. These facts lead me to ask you several question, first: is it possible to make a ship simulator with Realistic weather, functioning crew, damage physics, and fluid dynamics(realisticwater/flooding/flow/pressure ect.) and other features like actual sailing (with wind), firefighting onboard, fishing, whaleing, abandoning ship, and compleat functioning ship intereiors ect. that would make a ship simulation fun and marketable? second: could it be done with what is curently available on the market as far as engines and software for pcs’ go? Or is the technology for a game like that too complex or expensive to develop for today’s pc or counsel systems? ps do you think a game like that would be able to corner the practically untapped market of Maritime simulation? Your feedback is appreciated thanks

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Quote:
Original post by blake172005
Realistic weather [...] and fluid dynamics(realisticwater/flooding/flow/pressure ect.)


These two things are currently the domain of super-computers, so to simulate them in a computer game, you're going to have to cut quite a few corners...

I haven't played Ship Simulator personally, but it looks pretty damn realistic to me. The trailer for Ship Simulator 2010 actually looks pretty amazing!

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Quote:
Original post by Codeka
Quote:
Original post by blake172005
Realistic weather [...] and fluid dynamics(realisticwater/flooding/flow/pressure ect.)

These two things are currently the domain of super-computers, so to simulate them in a computer game, you're going to have to cut quite a few corners...
When I was at University, a PHD student was implementing real-time fluid dynamics for boat-simulation, and that would have been on Pentium4/GeForce3 era hardware.
He was only simulating a small "sand-box" of water, about 5 times the size of the boat, cubed... But these days a GPU simulation would probably be a LOT more powerful.

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I found this engine that seems close to what i envision in a game like this.

"HydroEngine"

(check it out on youtube)

if you could mix this with say a Havok engine or DDS in makeing a simulation game, that would be cool.

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Think about sitting in a very detailed room - amazing textures, tons of triangles. Now picture staring out the window at the distant hill. Naturally, the hill is a very simple object at this distance, its geometry and texture is simplified compared to the room objects. As one approaches the hill, however, it gets updated with better visual detail. Those are tiers of visual optimization right?

Now picture yourself programming those tiers of physical representation -- That's cake work compared to the task of programming tiers of weather simulation.

My guess is that if you want it to be as real as possible you'll need to define physics for objects in a simple manner as they are 1km away, as well as physics for objects in a minute manner as they are up close and brushing up against your ship.

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Also keep in mind that flight simulators do not make flow calculations about the wind that goes through the wings and the tail. Neither do they do intense weather simulation to render the shape of clouds. They do, however, have a complex physics model to have a plane behaving in a realistic fashion.

I think the same kind of work has to be done for ships and it is very different from hydro-simulations. With wind simulated as a single vector, water stream the same, a very simple function simulating Archimedes' pull, a correct resistance rotation matrix to simulate the keel and you should already have the basics. Don't worry about realistic vortex simulations, worry about simulating the ship's behaviors. That is two distinct problems.

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Ok say similar complex physics were used as they are in flight simulators to simulate ship behavior, weather effect, ect. Could you also implement something like the hydroengine for specific purposes like liquid cargo shifts in bad weather or damage and flooding for realistic sinking?
im thinking mostly about shifting weight and the effects on the ship.

thanks for the feedback everyone!

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Quote:
Original post by blake172005
Ok say similar complex physics were used as they are in flight simulators to simulate ship behavior, weather effect, ect. Could you also implement something like the hydroengine for specific purposes like liquid cargo shifts in bad weather or damage and flooding for realistic sinking?


I think something that was alluded to earlier hasn't gotten the nod that it really deserves. The things you want to be done, can most definitely be done on modern hardware "realistically" most definitely.

Fluid dynamics/weather simulations etc. are most definitely performed on super computers, but that's not just "realistic" it's a simulation of the exact happenings of the real world. For something to be "realistic" doesn't mean you have to do every single calculation of every single collision.

You're going to have to embrace the much loved tradition of game development (among many other fields) that, faking it can be realistic. If you're wanting your game to do REAL calculations for ocean waves and the exact flood patterns of a detailed highly modeled ship, you're going to get a rude awakening. What you need to do is get a "good enough" realistic design, you can do some truly amazing things by coming to a reasonable solution that doesn't involve doing the ACTUAL math. I have no interest personally in the physics of fluid dynamics, so I can't offer you any equations or algorithms. I suggest you model your idea around knowing the weight of ships, how that weight is distributed, the buoyancy of the material/sealed decks vs unsealed etc. If you can figure out all the equations before hand, you'll get a wonderful set of data to cheat from. You don't need to model the effects of water flooding a room exactly, you can fake the animation (more on that I'm sure can be found in a rendering discussion), and know that this level of your ship has lost X amount of buoyancy, etc.

Toss out everything you learned in school about cheating, when it comes to simulations you can't possibly do the "real" versions of on consumer hardware, cheat!

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