Note: DE_Forums questions were sent in by German forum users and translated prior to the chat.
DE_Forums: What dive controls will we be able to use? Dive planes combined with trim tanks, balance tank and ballast tanks would be the full control I hope compressed air is not wasted on depth changes, that’s what the balance tank is for. Dive planes and trim could be linked to one control, but bow/stern planes as separate controls…
(DevTeam): Currently the dive planes, the ballast tanks, the negative buoyancy tank and the trim tanks are fully simulated in the game. The crew AI automatically uses the system correctly. We are working on making them accessible manually by player. At the very least, you will have access to manual control of the bow/stern dive planes and buoyancy tank controls.
(Torpedowake ) : Question; with all the beauty we saw with SHIII I would like to know if there are any plans to use this engine for other naval games similar like Greatest Naval Battles of SSI and Taskforce 1942 from Microprose.
(DevTeam): Yes, we are considering other naval games using this engine – destroyer command is at the top of this list. Of course, this depends on SH3 being a success :).
DE_Forums: How steep do the U-Boats dive and rise if you set a new depth (without using the manual controls)? Those few 5 degrees in SH2 weren’t enough at all
(DevTeam): Currently the U-Boat operates at +/-15º incline when it is under crew AI control (automatic control). Manually the player will be able to go as far as +/-30º at his own risk!
(Legion88): How detailed will the sub damage model be? One of the things I disliked about SH2 is how the game would just end abruptly. I want to ride my sub to the bottom!
(DevTeam): the damage model is rather detailed – if bow is flooded, the sub will sink bow first. Of course, inside is a different matter – you will not be able to see your crew dying, drowning, burning, suffocating, etc.
DE_Forums: Will there be a double image stadimeter/telemeter for the attack periscope?
(DevTeam): No. This method of periscope range measuring will not be implemented in SH3. From our research we found out that the American subs were using this system. Regarding the Germans, we have not found enough info confirming their widespread use.
(Leimboy): In SH2, on auto TDC the solution quality for a locked target would instantly be 100%. Will this be in SH3 too or will it be more like the original SH where the solution quality depended on weather, day/night, distance and so forth (seldom reaching 100% solution)
(DevTeam): In SH3 on automatic mode, the solution will be affected by the crew experience, the sea state, your manoeuvres, distance to target and of course the manoeuvres of the target.
(martes86): – Brushot: Will depth charges have in all depths the same lethal range they had in SH2? Or their range will be decreased by pressure?
(DevTeam): Currently the depth chargers work with the same efficiency at any depth. Time permitting and depending on research data, we may introduce this feature.
DE_Forums: Will the Type XXI be able to launch eels from 50 or even 100m depth, with a good firing solution gotten with the active sonar device?
(DevTeam): The Type XXI will have the capability to launch torpedoes when submerged up to 50m deep. It will be possible to launch torpedoes using a firing solution based on data from the Nibelung active sonar.
(Seeratte): What are the factors that determine how long you can be out at sea? In AoD the limit was the fuel. Are there other limits in SHIII like food or fatigue?
(DevTeam): Yes, beside fuel and ammunition, the crew efficiency depending on morale and fatigue will eventually force the player to return to port.
(GertFroebe): Will the uniforms be historically correct? They seemed not to be correct on the screenshots, so far.
(DevTeam): What would you think is the problem with them at this moment? Are they too formal or too casual?
DE_Forums: Many crews after a long time on board are dirty and unshaved (they had beards) and are wearing simple clothes like pullovers on board. Will the outfit of the crew be changed to mud cloths and growing beards during a long patrol?
(DevTeam): This was considered already some time ago. This feature would take up valuable resources we could better spend on other aspects of the game.
(martes86): 2: Will the stations be empty in the situations they are not needed?
(DevTeam): As you can assign your crew to the main stations, you can leave them unmanned if they are not needed.
(Kejotikk): How advanced will the destroyer AI be? Will it for example be possible for a DD to sometimes sit dead in the water with engines off waiting for us to surface?
(DevTeam): We are considering introducing specific anti-submarine tactics and manoeuvres involving more destroyers cooperating between them (as the classic creep attack: one tracks you while the other approaches you silently to deliver its attack).
(Taskforce1x1): Is there any consequence for accidentally sinking Neutral, Allied, or Hospital ships, aircraft or subs?
(DevTeam): Yes, during the campaign this kind of accidents can affect you career.
(sonardog): Will the ocean liners in the game be generic or will we see famous vessels of the era such as the “Queen Mary” and “Queen Elizabeth”?
(DevTeam): They will be generic liners (of course modelled from real ships).
DE_Forums: Will silent running be really silent running? No repairs and torpedo reloading, pumps off, water running into the bilge (the deeper the more) and such?
(DevTeam): Yes, silent running will stop every noisy activity aboard the U-boat.
(Torpedowake): How large will the battleground be once the battle begins? What’s the current limitation?
(DevTeam): In dynamic campaign the entire ocean is your battleground. In single missions we’ll use mission area of up to 900 x 900 km.
(martes86): 6: Will you add the possibility of placing or removing the UZO, and a guy watching targets through it? And will you add a guy with a chronometer for the torpedoes?
(DevTeam): The UZO will go bellow deck when the U-Boat dives. Only the player can use the UZO for torpedo attack at surface. There is a chronometer available in the interface.
DE_Forums: While I’m manning an AA gun myself, will the crew follow my aim and fire at it with the other AA guns, too? In this way, I could fire all guns myself at once, instead of only one, to have maximum punch.
(DevTeam): No, it will not work like that. The controls over the flak gun crews allow you to prioritize the targets. We consider this enough to allow you any approach regarding the use of the flak battery.
(GertFroebe): Do you want to implement Surround Sound? Because watching Submarine-Movies in Dolby 5.1 rocks…
(DevTeam): We already have Surround Sound. All sound features are 3 dimensional.
(Skip): Will the view through the UZO be accurate and detailed enough to allow manual TDC calculations for surface attacks?
(DevTeam): Yes! Yes! Yes!
DE_Forums: Are tides/streams modelled correctly? Think of Gibraltar, where it’s quite hard to get out of the Mediterranean and possible to have the boat just sucked in? Will we be able to sail on streams with engines off, depending on the weather?
(DevTeam): There will be no modelling of the tides/streams in the game. It simply requires too many resources. Just imagine modelling the tide and all the streams of the ocean!!!
(HB73): Will we be able to control the engines individually?
(DevTeam): They are simulated as in reality. Maybe we will allow individual manual control also.
(martes86): I’ve seen somewhere (FAQ, I think) that the crew would be tired or not, happy or demoralised, etc… Will the crew when happy do some eccentric things? (just an idea)
(DevTeam): This kind of features may be implemented as “Easter eggs”. But don’t expect the “orange dance” scene from Das Boot! 🙂
DE_Forums: Will I be able to send some crew members to the bunks to decrease the oxygen consumption?
(DevTeam): Currently the oxygen consumption is treated at the entire crew level. So there is no improvement in oxygen consumption according to individual assignment.
(kjerand): How large convoys (how many ships) will you be able to encounter in sh3?
(DevTeam): On current build and on our computers, convoys of up to 50 ships may be handled at a reasonable FPS with full details. Expect to see convoys up to 60 ships in the final game.
(Legion88): Will there be a camera view for the surface when the sub is submerged?
(DevTeam): On the casual player setting there will be a free camera allowing you to explore up to 3 km around your U-Boat.
(Taskforce1x1): Can our crew die and if so what happens to them? Do they just disappear?
(DevTeam): Yes, they may die during combat. The dead crew members will remain at their location. You will need to carry them down bellow deck or bury them at sea.
(DSK_Hawkes): How detailed is the “graphic damage”? Will you see the damage of the hull like a hole from a torpedo?
(DevTeam): At the time being, affecting the ship’s model in 3D is pretty costly in terms of resources (graphic and CPU). We will try to implement a solution to make a more convincing visual display of the impact mark (currently only a scorched mark is visible).
(greenponcho): In stormy days will the men on the outer deck wear the raincoat? and in the night will they wear the night goggles?
(DevTeam): Yes, they will wear raincoats during bad weather. The goggles were not worn on the deck. They were used for helping the watch crew to adapt easier to low light conditions.
DE_Forums: Will food be limited, or is it just graphics stuff?
(DevTeam): They are there as an atmosphere detail. That will have no real consequence in the game (no moulded bread simulator :)).
(kaleunt): Will it be possible to receive weather forecasts by radio? And are we able to make some repair in neutral or allied port city?
(DevTeam): Weather reports by radio are still under consideration. Repairs will be possible u-boat bases.
DE_Forums: A heavy moving sea will be the best sign for the quality of the reality for the coming SH_III. No hardliner certainly will miss them. But I know many persons who grow seasick seeing a heavy moving sea on a screen. Will you implement a key to reduce them like in the old “Aces of the Deep”?
(DevTeam): We already have a stable camera mode for all cameras linked to the sub.
(maximuss): Hi, are you going to include Milk cow U-boots for mid-sea replenishment? Will we be able to see the replenishment operation or is it going to be an instant update?
(DevTeam): There will be Milk-cows for mid-ocean replenishment. The operation will be simplified for gameplay reasons.
(HB73): Have you decided yet if it will be possible to walk around the U-boat versus only be able to visit key areas?
(DevTeam): Not yet. 🙂
DE_Forums: Will there be an option to command the U-Boat fully by voice? I only mean main functions, like diving, surface, man deck gun, fire torpedo etc…
(DevTeam): Currently there is a version of voice command already implemented. It is still “work in progress” and we hope it will make it to the final game.
(Paximus): Are the screenshots of the U-boat in New York just for show, or are there special ops missions that require you to sneak in there, a la Scappa Flow?
(DevTeam): That is an in-game capture. Remember that we will have a dynamic campaign, so you may go wherever you want.
(Taskforce1x1): Will there be the ability for us to lay mines? This would be great if we are stalking a port we know has heavy shipping traffic.
DE_Forums: What about putting the boat on the seabed and silence? Will it be useful to hide?
(DevTeam): Placing the U-Boat on the seabed and rig for silent running will be a valid evasive manoeuvre.
(martes86): Would you be able to tell me how are you going to distribute game sounds (wav unpacked, big file packs…)?
(DevTeam): For the time being they are wav format. We haven’t decided yet the final format.
DE_Forums:Will we see the time, date and position in the logbook for the several entries?
(DevTeam): Each and every entry in the KTB will be logged with time and date.
DE_Forums: How wide is the range of radio usage? Will everything be controlled via communication? SOS messages?
(DevTeam): The radio will be the main tool to communicate with BdU, an essential aspect of our dynamic campaign. It may be possible to introduce radio traffic interception (allied, neutral or friendly).
(Hiero): Will the German air force be included in attacks on convoys, notably around Norway i am thinking?
(DevTeam): Yes. Expect them to make an appearance in the Arctic and Mediterranean theatres of operations.