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Slow Progress HMS Bellona (1760 version)

Discussion in 'Development' started by Armada, Jan 10, 2013.

  1. Pieter Boelen

    Pieter Boelen (Not So) Old Seadog Staff Member Administrator Storm Modder Hearts of Oak Donator

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    I'm afraid I cannot quite picture the difference, so I cannot really provide feedback on that.
    Would it be possible for you to make a mock-up of the options? A simple Paint sketch would probably work.

    Rudder angle indicators are VERY useful when the ship is equipped with a steering wheel! :onya

    That is VERY cool! That's more than actual modern ships have though.
    They mostly just have a read-out of the actual angle; not the ordered one.
     
  2. Captain Murphy

    Captain Murphy Actually a Captain TOP CONTRIBUTOR Programmer News Gatherer Hearts of Oak Donator

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    A lot of the wheel equipped ships I worked on had a limiter that kept the wheel at the position of the rudder so if you stopped turning the wheel the rudder stopped right where it was, but the 'stick' driven ones allowed you to set the order position to any point and the indicator would try to match that ordered position. It was a lot easier maneuvering the vessel that way since you could just flip the stick to one side or the other and start powering engines or thrusters while it was running the rudder to catch up. Only one of the stick systems had an indicator to show the ordered position, but it was all digital, the others were usually an analog gauge with the current rudder and the stick was the ordered angle.

    The reason we went with 'ordered' and 'responded' was (mostly) because of 'hard over' and midships commands. You can order a hard over and the ordered indicator will snap to the end of the scale, the responded shows the crew trying to respond to that order and the second indicator will 'chase' the order. As crew is depleted or fatigued the orders will get followed more slowly, so we wanted to show where the rudder was at any time versus where the order is needing it to be. Also, larger ships will take a bit longer for rudders to move, so we wanted to show that to the player instead of making them guess why they were hard over but not actually turning yet.
     
  3. Pieter Boelen

    Pieter Boelen (Not So) Old Seadog Staff Member Administrator Storm Modder Hearts of Oak Donator

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    I completely understand, @Captain Murphy and I do reckon it's a good feature to have.
    And while an old-school sailing vessels wouldn't have the "order" actually showing, the officer in charge WOULD know, of course.
    So it is information that indeed would've been available; it would've just looked different, because half would have been in the head of the officer.
    In other words: All good. :cheeky

    Of course the rudder itself is just 1 or 2 sailors turning the wheel.
    Unless those specific sailors get killed, I don't imagine the crew being depleted in mid-battle would have a large effect on the rudder itself.
    On the other hand, changing course probably requires re-trimming the sails, which of course WOULD become notably slower as crew is killed off.

    How realistic are you trying to be? Do you intend to have separate crewmembers with separate tasks?
    Or are you using "the rudder being slower to respond" to simulate the effect I mentioned in a more simplified way?
    That does make sense, of course. Simple is often a pretty good idea. ;)

    For modern large ships, the rudder on a "small" ship (>100m) needs to fulfil the same response speed as a bigger ship.
    There is an IMO rule stating that a rudder must be able to go from 35 degrees on one side to 30 degrees on the other side in 28 seconds.
    This is on "one steering pump".

    I wonder how that worked back in those days though. Must've been quite different, I imagine!
    And even now, ships smaller than 100 m aren't required to fulfil those same rules.
    And some ships have rudders that respond faster than required as well.
    But I don't think that is directly related to the size of the ship; depends more on the steering mechanism itself.
     
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  4. Captain Murphy

    Captain Murphy Actually a Captain TOP CONTRIBUTOR Programmer News Gatherer Hearts of Oak Donator

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    The way the current system works is it looks at overall crew fatigue to determine the speed at which changes happen. e.g. if the ship operates 'fully' at 100 crew, then the fatigue will be able to recover depending on what actions are taken. So if you don't perform a ton of things back to back, the crew can keep up. If you perform a lot of actions at once (sail changes, rudder changes, damage control) then the fatigue will take some time to recover. If, however, you are operating with only 75 crew then the tasks are going to take more fatigue out of the crew and even if it recovers, it will not recover as fast. Now if you are at 100% fatigue, then the rudder will swing at the max speed. If the crew fatigue is down to 50%, then that is taken into account for the swing. Regardless of how fast things are happening (sail changes, rudder changes, gun orders) the fatigue of those actions is constant. Firing a gun is always X fatigue cost, regardless of there being 100 crew or 10 crew. What changes is the rate at which the fatigue gets recovered for the next action. We may (later) decide to break up the actions into crew sections so sail changes and rudder changes could be independent of each other, but at that point it has become a bit too granular. We may save that for a more detailed battle option so players can really try to play with massive granularity and control.

    From the research I have on the steering mechanisms used from 1630 on, the swing speed could vary wildly depending on the tackle needed to engage the tiller. Plus, it would depend on how many hands were assigned to be on the wheel depending on the situation. We haven't tackled the steering mechanisms taking damage yet, so the whole speed may change later based on whether it has taken damage (bent hinges, splintered wood, damaged tiller). One of my test systems would take crew fatigue * damage amount (percentage) to get a rate of change, it would also increase the fatigue cost as the damage increased so as to mimic it taking more work to turn the tiller.
     
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  5. Armada

    Armada Sea Dog Staff Member Administrator Project Manager 3D Artist Storm Modder

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    Good point, that might help. :oops:
    Here's an example of empty nets on the Victory:

    [​IMG]

    And here's a concept of both covered and uncovered nets filled with hammocks from Anatomy of the Ship: The 74-gun Ship Bellona:

    HammockCover.png

    For reference, most of the ships in PotC that feature hammock netting show it empty, except HMS_Suprise, which includes the hammocks.
     
  6. Pieter Boelen

    Pieter Boelen (Not So) Old Seadog Staff Member Administrator Storm Modder Hearts of Oak Donator

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    Thanks! Then my first impression is to keep them empty.
    Saves you work, saves polygons and helps with visibility from the deck. :cheeky
     
  7. Captain Murphy

    Captain Murphy Actually a Captain TOP CONTRIBUTOR Programmer News Gatherer Hearts of Oak Donator

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    One option might be to use a material that has normals and a heightmap that can represent the hammocks and the netting on the same poly as would just be the netting or the covered version. With a proper texture set you could represent all 3 without changing the mesh itself.
     
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  8. Flannery

    Flannery Scallywag & Loiterer Staff Member Project Manager TOP CONTRIBUTOR Quest Writer Music and SFX News Gatherer Hearts of Oak Donator

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    From an artistic point of view I think most models (3d and RL) mostly don't use the filled hammocks because the thick white line obstructs the aesthetic look of the ship.

    Personally I think it ruins a ships beautiful look. Hence why I don't intend to have them filled on any of my ships unless specifically asked to by a (weird) costumer
     
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  9. Armada

    Armada Sea Dog Staff Member Administrator Project Manager 3D Artist Storm Modder

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    I just found a couple of models that do have covered hammock netting, for comparison:


    I know they're both frigates, and much newer than Bellona, but the practice looks the same. It doesn't look quite as disruptive as I thought, but it may be different on a ship of the line.
     
  10. Pieter Boelen

    Pieter Boelen (Not So) Old Seadog Staff Member Administrator Storm Modder Hearts of Oak Donator

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    I have to admit, to my eyes it does look weird like that. So I stand by my original suggestion: Skip them. :wp
     
  11. Captain Armstrong

    Captain Armstrong Shipbuilding Coordinator Staff Member Coordinator 3D Artist Storm Modeller Storm Modder

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    I think the most important distinction for filled hammock nettings fitting in or not is whether the sheer of the planking follows that of the decks. If the line of the top of the hammocks parallels the deck, then it could visually accentuate any difference in the height of the bulwark/rail as it goes fore to aft. This seems the case with the poop deck of the victory, but not with the more modern frigates, as their deck and planking sheers are either identical or nearly so.

    That being said, there is something orderly and trim that neatly stowed and covered hammocks bring to the appearance
     
  12. Armada

    Armada Sea Dog Staff Member Administrator Project Manager 3D Artist Storm Modder

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    Thanks for your feedback; I think I'll have to try both empty nets and covered nets to see which looks best on this particular ship. :type1
     
  13. Post Captain

    Post Captain Seamanship Advisor Coordinator QC Advisor Storm Modder

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    Wow, a pleasant surprise! It looks like the paintwork question's been solved satisfactorily. Might I also suggest a turk's head on the top spoke of the wheel? Most vessels have some mark to show when the wheel's exactly centered, see Pilgrim's here:
    [​IMG]
    The wheel's a bit off center and anything like this on a man of war would be kept clean, almost white, or just painted white. Or tarred. Or painted red. I'm inclined to go with light cotton or white, myself.
     
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  14. Armada

    Armada Sea Dog Staff Member Administrator Project Manager 3D Artist Storm Modder

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    @Post Captain, glad you like the progress so far! Do you happen to have anything to add to the hammock netting debate?

    That would be a nice touch; I'll see if I can add something similar.
     
  15. Post Captain

    Post Captain Seamanship Advisor Coordinator QC Advisor Storm Modder

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    Ah, missed that, I'd say covered all the way. I've often seen them depicted covered in white sailcloth as well so that's another option. But they'd be that way during any action or simply during the daytime... I think they'd look strangely empty with crew running around on deck or while fighting other ships with nothing in the netting.
     
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  16. Armada

    Armada Sea Dog Staff Member Administrator Project Manager 3D Artist Storm Modder

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    I've given this ship some attention again lately, and I've made a pretty big change to her appearance. The model has been given a complete texture overhaul with physically-based materials, which gives it a more consistent look and allows me to preview the materials almost exactly as they will appear in Unity.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The hull planking texture might look new, but it's actually a heavily modified version of the original texture I used (see the first page), which was provided by @Bava. I reduced the contrast and turned the texture a neutral grey so it could be easily recoloured, and along with a new normal map and specularity, the result looks more painted-over than it used to. Some screenshots above show the hull in different lighting conditions to highlight the detail (apologies for the shadow quality).

    The list of new parts is quite short, but includes boat booms across the waist, capstans, opening doors to the main cabin, tiller ropes on the wheel, and beams across the break of the poop deck, quarterdeck and forecastle.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    That last image shows a capsule of the same dimensions as the character collider in New Horizons Remastered (1.8m tall). As you can see, it's a tight fit under the deck beams, and it looks like I'll need to adjust the doors slightly to accommodate the extra height. What this means is we'll probably have to disable collisions with the deck beams so characters can walk freely beneath them without getting stuck or needing a "crouching" stance.

    By this point, you might be wondering how much longer this ship can possibly remain a "work-in-progress", and I don't blame you! :wp
    To give you an idea of what's left, I'll share my current to-do list (in no particular order):

    • Stern lanterns
    • Anchors (imported)
    • Rigging (stays & shrouds)
    • Binnacle details
    • Captain's cabin furnishings
    • Wardroom furnishings
    • Reworked upper stern (mesh needs reshaping and tidying)
    • Galley stove and chimney
    • Hammock netting/cover
    • Figurehead
    • Stern ornamentation
    • Replacement lower-poly masts
    • Doors to quarter galleries
    • Rigging pins
    • Tiller adjustment (it clips the deck beams)
    • Seats of ease
    • Cut hawse holes
    • Boats (imported)
    • Guns (imported)
    That's pretty much it, with the exception of LODs. I've only got lower LODs for the hull and a handful of components, but I may have to skip this for the rest of the model to save time. They do need making eventually, but I'll reduce the polycount with new masts and a few optimisations for the first game-ready version.

    Please let me know what you think of the new textures. I'll upload them if anyone else wants to use them, but remember that normal maps and specularity don't apply to Storm Engine games, so they can only be used in NHR.
     
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  17. Pieter Boelen

    Pieter Boelen (Not So) Old Seadog Staff Member Administrator Storm Modder Hearts of Oak Donator

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    She looks positively incredible, @Armada!
    Thanks for posting that; I could use some good news. :doff
     
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  18. Martes

    Martes Master Mariner Storm Modeller Storm Modder

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    @Armada, it's absolutely fantastic, especially with normal maps.
    I do feel a little outdated looking at this level of detail :)

    And especially envy the interiors.
     
  19. Armada

    Armada Sea Dog Staff Member Administrator Project Manager 3D Artist Storm Modder

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    Thank you! It's not my intention to overshadow anyone else's work, though. I'm pretty sure textures like these would look just as good on your ship as well. ;)

    This level of detail isn't strictly required any more. As far as I'm concerned, full interiors are a bonus feature. NHR currently has a mix of detail levels (one ship with a cabin and gundeck, one without), and it will probably remain that way as we import more ships from the NH mod.
     
  20. Martes

    Martes Master Mariner Storm Modeller Storm Modder

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    Oh, that's a white envy anyway. My knowledge and experience with texturing is extremely limited, I never tried to work on them before, and that's absolutely another level.

    I had to limit myself on the level of detail to certain degree, on one hand - hence I did not make curved hatches, for example, also I did think of it first. On the other I just seemed not to have enough patience for full interior and cabin.

    Are you going to replace the generic cabins/decks with the ones resembling the actual player/enemy ship this way?
     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2017

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