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Guest Iain Spowart

Slightly OT, regarding Boat/Ship simulation.

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Hi,Have been searching for a good boat/ship simulator, but without success.Does anyone know where I can find/purchase a simulator where you can manouver a big cargo ship over the oceans, with a logistics manager. Or a cruise ship in the Carabean, with a load configurator. And a huge amount of tricky harbors.Please do not suggest Virtual sailor, because that is not what I am looking for.I don

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The only thing I've seen is at MarineSafety International (a division of FlightSafety)They've got a lot of UNIX computers running Onyx which project the outside world onto a screen which is 8 feet tall and provides a 180degree projection. You stand on the bridge looking out. There is a control console where you turn the wheel for the rudder and have controls for the engines, bow thrusters, anchors, winches, and whistles and spotlights. But it allows you to drive a ship in and out of harbors, a lot of commercial tankers, ro-ros, LPGs and bulkers, as well as all the military warships in the US Navy ranging from the 4100 ton frigate to the 110,000ton aircraft carrier.Graphics-wise it's about FS2000 quality... But it's kind of awesome watching some of the ensigns take a 45,000ton warship into the pier at 15kts and watch the bow crumple in and destroy the pier.But it also models ship-to-ship interaction when you're in the narrow channel. It allows you to play the "Texas Chicken" when you meet a ship going the opposite direction and you have very little room to maneuver. It also models wind and current effects, and you can really see the effect of a cross current. I've had a few officers wrap buoy chains around the screws (which is a bad thing.)But as far as a commercial version, I'm not aware of any.There is a prototype that the US Navy is developing where it is run on a commercial-off-the-shelf computer you could buy from Dell or Gateway, and you wear the virtual reality glasses and can basically simulate the same kind of ships. It's supposed to be released to the Navy within the next year or so.Woodreau

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He said he didn't want Virtual Sailor. Unfortunately, that is as good as you're likely to get.

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Warning, slight ramble ahead!I wonder if it would be possible for someone to develop an add-on such as this for FS?All the global coastline detail is there and the graphics would be superb. People could create ships and harbours in much the same way that aircraft and airports are currently created - imagine the possibilities!The main problem that I can think of is that I doubt that the weather model extends to currents on (and under) the water - without those then the whole thing would be basically useless. I know that people have already added ships to FS but I assume that they basically just 'drive' over the water without really interacting with it.Maybe if Microsoft would develop a stand-alone (but compatible with FS) programme then it would be possible. The problem there is how much of a market would there be for such a product and would it be worth their time and effort to create?On a similar theme it would have been nice if FlightSim and TrainSim were compatible - I think one of the steps forward for FS is to model more activity on the ground (cars, buses, trains, people etc) to make the environment even more realistic. Can you imagine within one program being able to take-off from a ship in a helicopter, fly over busy roads and railways before landing at an airport...As you can guess, I have been thinking about this for a little while! At the moment I'm reading Dale Brown's 'Hammerheads' which concerns drugs-smuggling and interdiction and was thinking how cool it would be to re-create within FlightSim! If anyone wants to make a top-class payware Bell/Boeing V-22 then I'll be first in line!Going off at even more of a tangent (sorry Staffan!) I would love to see the ability to 'properly' model military aircraft in FS, down to the weapons systems and radars etc. I love the look of Lago's F-16 and Tornado but without the ability to lock onto targets with the radar and have all the modes that I'm used to in Falcon 4 etc I've always seen them as a little bit pointless (sorry Mathias!) other than just very fast, fun jets.I know that it would require a lot of work but surely considering the complexity of some of the glass cockpits in the 737, 747s etc then couldn't someone come up with 'gauges' that could achieve the desired result?Getting back slightly to Staffan's original question, I think that the closest software currently available would be some of the marine combat sims such as Destroyer Command. Not even close to trying to dock an oil-tanker but I imagine that it simulates the ship-handling side quite well.Other than that, I guess we can just dream!Iain Spowart,Scotland.Webmaster and photographer,Scottish Rockettes Dance Squad Official Web-Sitehttp://avsim.iainspowart.com/rockettes.gifhttp://www.scottishrockettes.comScottish Claymores Cheerleaders Fan Sitehttp://www.claymorescheerleaders.comMotorsport Photographyhttp://www.iainspowart.com

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Hi Iain,Interesting thoughts you have there.I am confident that there would be a satisfactory market for a "Ship Simulator". Just as the "Train & Flight Simulator.I can see a sim where you have a wide range of shoices,...cargo ships, passanger cruise ships and smaller yats and similar.The enviroment should be global. With harbors just as many as airports in the FS2XXX. With world weather ofcourse and a "water engine" which could simulate accurate waves and currents.I can see virtual cabins in the ships, both cargo holds and passenger lounges aswell as accurate captain bridges, where you can "walk" through the ships.Just think about it,....standing on the captain bridge on a cargo ship a clear night, landing on a harbor somewhere in the carabeean, with harbor lights and the whole enviroment......well....I seriously think that Microsoft, or some other publisher should take a serious thought about this.Ofcourse there would have to be the "Simulation Rate" feature when crossing the oceans. :-)Take care,Staffan Ahlberg

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Hi Staffan,And if Microsoft should release such a product then I shall buy you a beer! (Probably one of the safer bets that I've ever made! :-))Iain Spowart,Scotland.

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It would be nice with a cold beer. :-lolBut seriously, such sim wouldn

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Hi Staffan,While you wait for that beer, :-lol here's another thought...I just started reading The Hunt for Red October again and I couldn't help but think how cool it would be to sail something like that in 'our' suggested ShipSim!The idea of manoevering (with AI-controlled tugs)a huge sub out of the barn into the river and out to sea, then submerging and navigating across the Atlantic would be a great experience.I think that commercially a military sim with subs, carriers etc, would be more a profitable venture but as long as it was left open enough so that commercial shipping could be developed for it then that would satisfy what we're both looking for.If it was developed with an FS2004-based graphics-engine then it would look great and the carriers could then be used to launch aircraft while a human took control of the ship. Needless to say this would all be ideal for multiplayer/on-line use.It would need a much better virtual cockpit setup than FS has so that you could get around the ship - something more like a 1st or 3rd-person shooter setup would be ideal. You could climb ladders, open doors and hatches, fire weapons etc.The same deveolpments in the VC could be incorporated into the next version of FS so that you could get around large aircraft without having to use the current (poor) method of moving the eyepoint. Just imagine being able to walk from the terminal, climb the stairs into the aircraft and sit down at the controls.If we keep adding ideas to this post then maybe someone from Microsoft will see it and you'll get that pint after all!Cheers,Iain Spowart,Scotland.

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>Warning, slight ramble ahead!>>I wonder if it would be possible for someone to develop an>add-on such as this for FS?>>All the global coastline detail is there and the graphics>would be superb. People could create ships and harbours in>much the same way that aircraft and airports are currently>created - imagine the possibilities!>>The main problem that I can think of is that I doubt that the>weather model extends to currents on (and under) the water ->without those then the whole thing would be basically useless.>I know that people have already added ships to FS but I assume>that they basically just 'drive' over the water without really>interacting with it.>>Maybe if Microsoft would develop a stand-alone (but compatible>with FS) programme then it would be possible. The problem>there is how much of a market would there be for such a>product and would it be worth their time and effort to>create?>>On a similar theme it would have been nice if FlightSim and>TrainSim were compatible - I think one of the steps forward>for FS is to model more activity on the ground (cars, buses,>trains, people etc) to make the environment even more>realistic. Can you imagine within one program being able to>take-off from a ship in a helicopter, fly over busy roads and>railways before landing at an airport...>>As you can guess, I have been thinking about this for a little>while! At the moment I'm reading Dale Brown's 'Hammerheads'>which concerns drugs-smuggling and interdiction and was>thinking how cool it would be to re-create within FlightSim!>If anyone wants to make a top-class payware Bell/Boeing V-22>then I'll be first in line!>>Going off at even more of a tangent (sorry Staffan!) I would>love to see the ability to 'properly' model military aircraft>in FS, down to the weapons systems and radars etc. I love the>look of Lago's F-16 and Tornado but without the ability to>lock onto targets with the radar and have all the modes that>I'm used to in Falcon 4 etc I've always seen them as a little>bit pointless (sorry Mathias!) other than just very fast, fun>jets.>>I know that it would require a lot of work but surely>considering the complexity of some of the glass cockpits in>the 737, 747s etc then couldn't someone come up with 'gauges'>that could achieve the desired result?>>Getting back slightly to Staffan's original question, I think>that the closest software currently available would be some of>the marine combat sims such as Destroyer Command. Not even>close to trying to dock an oil-tanker but I imagine that it>simulates the ship-handling side quite well.>>Other than that, I guess we can just dream!>>Iain Spowart,>Scotland.>>Webmaster and photographer,>Scottish Rockettes Dance Squad Official Web-Site>http://avsim.iainspowart.com/rockettes.gif>http://www.scottishrockettes.com>>Scottish Claymores Cheerleaders Fan Site>http://www.claymorescheerleaders.com>Motorsport Photography>http://www.iainspowart.comYes!I have already posted this idea but I don't think there is a market. Maybe soon though.It would be cool to have aircraft carriers that would travel the world (actually all boats!) so you could fly your FA18 or F14 on it etc. Also having a complete complement of a/c on board.Maybe getting something Destroyer Command (making a new program) and implenting it into FS2006 or something. Being able to program the path details of the ships would be ultra cool.Explosions, weapons (from bullets to Nukes) and drive cars/trucks/buses trains and boats would be a cool addition (MS might capture a whole new market!).Making Europe with more scenery, at least major cities and airports...... and Australia.So you could run up to a helo, jump in and fly it! Track some terrorists driving downtown NY etc.I want to do things like mid-air refuelling (without having to pay for add ons etc) and other neat stuff. You'd need to set up an AI a/c within MSFS so you can get your juice mid-air unless your friend online is going to fly for 5 hours waiting around for you to turn up! I don't think too many ppl have friends like that, unless they are getting paid! lol BTW can you do mid-air refuelling without buying Lago's F16?get my drift?Danielwww.danielmcaloon.tk

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