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SH3 Devteam Daily Questions

1. (Legion88): Great graphics are nice, but will the AI and the Dynamic Campaign receive equal attention?
(Devteam): Great graphics are only one factor – admittedly the easiest to spot in a screenshot - in a complex system meant to immerse the player in the game. As we postponed the game in order to include a dynamic campaign, you can be sure we are committed to match the graphics with equal gameplay quality. ---------------

2. (Shan_Hackett): will convoys sail using true shipping lanes or just "spawn-in" at a pre-defined location/time?
(Devteam): Campaign convoy navigation is based on historical shipping lanes. We might use the “spawn-in” system to recreate specific events related to date and location. Additionally, convoy structure will reflect historical facts. ---------------

3. (HB73): During the dynamic campaign if we report by radio "convoy in sight" (I'm assuming we can do this :)) can we expect other U-Boats to join us?
(Devteam): Convoy shadowing and radio reports were an important part of the wolfpack tactics, and this will be reflected in our game too. ---------------

4. Akerberg: If SH3 is a subsim, Why about half of the screens are about surface battles between surface ships?
(Devteam): Surface engagements were an important and well known part of World War 2 naval warfare. We aim to bring a realistic experience to the player, so they are a part of our game too. ---------------

5. (sonardog): Will q-ships and armed merchant cruisers be present in the game?
(Devteam): SH3 will include British auxiliary cruisers and German armed merchant cruisers. As for the Q ships, it should be a surprise. ---------------

6. (aqua): Will the merchant ships have historic names, and will the radio officer inform us that the xxx ship is sending S.O.S after being torpedoed so we know the name of the ship we sank?
(Devteam): Merchant ships you encounter will have randomly assigned names from a historical names database, based on ship type. Some of the merchants attacked may get off a SOS before sinking, depending on the damage sustained (if the radio is down or the ship blows up, don't expect to intercept anything). This will be useful for the player to find out the name of the ship, but may also direct ASW assets towards that position. ---------------

7. (HansN-u768): Are we able to choose torps before going to a mission?
(Devteam): During the campaign, you will be assigned a standard torpedo loadout as per BDU specifications. However, you will be allowed to change it according to your preferences and the stock available in base. ---------------

8.DSK_hawkes: My question: Are you going to implement the Silent Drive E- Machine on The XXI with 6 kn speed???
(Devteam): The Creep motors on type XXI U-boats will be included in the game. We couldn't leave them out as operational procedures on this type depended on them. ---------------

9. (Paximus): Will the interior of a Type XXI u-boat look the same as the interior of a Type VII?
(Devteam): The interior of the type XXI U-boat will be specific for this model. It is being built using all available information on the type, and we're striving for maximum accuracy. This is true for all other main types too. ---------------

10. (Taskforce1x1): Will SHIII be compatible with Microsoft's new Longhorn and new XP SP2 service pack?
(Devteam): SH3 will surely be compatible with XP Service Pack 2. About Longhorn - we hope so. ---------------

11.(martes86): Will you add the two periscopes (coning tower and vessel command) and if you do, fully accessible?
(Devteam): SH3 will feature both the attack periscope and the observation periscope, each with its own characteristics (stealth, zoom level, field of view, light sensitivity and instruments). ---------------

12. (Skip): Will players have any countermeasures at their disposal to help throw off DD's?
(Devteam): SH3 will try to make the combat versus ASW vessels a very detailed part of the main gameplay. So as you will progress in the campaign expect to gain access to countermeasures such as Kobold decoys and anti-sonar coatings. ---------------

13. (Skip): Will the players be able to make their own way to and from the patrol areas in the dynamic campaign? Or will the player be warped to the patrol area?
(Devteam): During the dynamic campaign the player will have the liberty to leave from port and freely navigate to assigned patrol area or may choose the "warp system". ---------------

14. (Taskforce1x1): How many ships does SHIII have modeled?
(Devteam): SH3 will feature over 70 warship and merchant types, plus over 20 plane types of the German, British, American and Italian inventory of WW2. Expect to see also ships under neutral flags and some other minor navies. ---------------

15. (Taskforce1x1): What is the best countermeasure against the Hedge Hogs? (if anything)
(Devteam): Usually if a "hedge hog" attack will be delivered when the U-Boat is at shallow depth, there will be not much to do but pray. Usually the deeper the boat is the better chances are to manage to avoid the attack. Note that this will be the most lethal attack because it is hard to tell from inside the boat when the escort is delivering it. ---------------

16. (Taskforce1x1): What are the ways we can get a new crew member?
(Devteam): During the campaign, the player will have a chance to recruit new crew every time he/she returns to a U-Boat base. They can be recruited as replacements for losses or extra crew. ---------------

17. (Taskforce1x1): Will crammed AI ships collide or possibly an escort ram one of their own which can cause advantageous damage for us to their own ships?
(Devteam): Yes, expect situations like this to occur from time to time, especially during successful attack delivered by a well placed U-Boat (as in the case of the night surface attack "a la Kretschmer"). ---------------

18. [[RedTerex]] "Will we have LIFEBOATS ?"
(Devteam): No, we will not have them. We admit that it would greatly add to the realism of the game. The problem is one of efficiency - to add lifeboats or survivors in the game at the level of realism we strive for would consume too much of the available resources (development time and processor power). One other reason is the sensitive, moral aspect of including survivors that can be killed or left to die. It is our choice not to do it and we expect you to understand our decision. ---------------

19. (Taskforce1x1): When are we allowed to switch to a new boat type? Do we have to earn the new boat class?
(Devteam): U-Boat types and versions will be available historically. Depending on player's performance some of them will be made available as prototypes earlier than normal. ---------------

20. (Taskforce1x1): Will our U-boat be able to retrofit/rebuild if upgrades are available in port as the war progresses?
(Devteam): Definitely! This is one of the main features of our dynamic campaign - the player will have the option of keeping an old boat and concern himself mostly with improving the crew and upgrading technology aboard it or go for the latest model with up-to-date systems on board. We think it is essential for replay value to include as much choice for the player as possible. ---------------

21. ((sonardog): Will all damage be repairable at sea by the crew or will some damage e.g. rudder/screw damage force a return to port?
(Devteam): The decision to return to port will be up to the player. All the recoverable damage we have modeled on the U-Boat will involve subsystems. You may be able to continue the patrol even after losing one diesel engine or have half of your batteries broken down. Of course this will be risky but our purpose is to give the player options. ---------------

22. (Taskforce1x1): Will we be able to have pinned map notes on where we saw a contact last in map mode?
(Devteam): This functionality is included in the map system – a lost contact will remain marked at the last position and it will fade in time (a la Silent Hunter 1). Of course this is valid both regarding contacts within your sensors’ range and the contact reports received from BdU.
As an extra, the map includes the possibility to mark any spot and add a little note to the mark. ---------------

23. (Taskforce1x1): What advice or options do you have on reversing bad crew fatigue?
(Devteam): The U-Boat structure includes crew quarters compartments. Any crewmember placed in these compartments will automatically start recovering the fatigue. ---------------

24. (Taskforce1x1): What advice or options do you have on reversing bad crew moral?
(Devteam): Crew morale will depend on how well or how bad you are performing in the patrol. During the campaign, there will also be other possibilities to counter the bad crew morale. Rewarding the crew with medals is one way to effectively increase the morale among the crew. Of course, you’ll have to earn those medals... ---------------

25. (VbaL): Will the repairs take some time or is it enough to go to the base and then turn around?
(Devteam): The time you spend in base between missions will depend on the amount of damage your sub has taken during the patrol. Your next patrol will only start after the repairs are complete. If you reach the base with your boat badly damaged your next patrol may start after a few months! ---------------

26. (Kejotikk): In the videos you've shown us the ships sink extremely fast, will the final product be more realistic as in real life where it sometimes could take many many hours for a ship to sink properly?
(Devteam): The sinking time for any ship in the game will depend on the realism settings. What you have seen so far as in game footage is representative for the “easy” difficulty setting. Rest assured, you will get realistic sinking, from ships breaking in two and sinking very fast to battered cargoes going down painfully slow. ---------------

27. (Legion88): Will my decisions regarding damage repair be able to affect the outcome? What I mean is: if I order things repaired in the "wrong order" could that doom me?
(Devteam): The minor repairs are not so risky unless you’re in a tight spot and you may lose some essential capability at the wrong moment. However, when it comes to combating flooding it will be critical to prioritize the crew assignment. ---------------

28. (Drebbel): Do the ammo magazines also contain tracers?
(Devteam): All the automatic weapons (including aboard the U-Boat) will contain tracers. We decided to make even the cannon shells visible to allow you more control on your firing. ---------------

29. (Drebbel): Will we engage friendly and neutral shipping? How do we identify them as being friendly. neutral or enemy?
(Devteam): Friendly and neutral shipping will be present in the game. The identification will depend on your ability to approach the ships and visually identify the flag. Of course the recognition manual will also help, especially with the military shipping you may encounter. ---------------

30. (Destroyerman): how difficult will it be to dock the sub? Will there be rocks and shoals around the harbours? Turning in confined spaces , and damage to sub on hitting the harbour wall. This could add a whole new dimension to the game similar to the perils of landing in a flight sim.
(Devteam): Manually entering or exiting the harbor will be an option, rather than a requirement. In real life tugboats were handling the docking of the U-Boat. For the time it still under consideration how we’ll treat this in our game. Anyway we want to offer the player at least a welcoming to remember – fanfare, nurses, docks, etc. ---------------

31. (GertFroebe): Is there any chance that you make the Torpedo room or the Engine room accessible? That would be great...
(Devteam): Neither of these locations will be accessible. The captain’s job rarely took him to these locations. Although it would be great to have the entire boat modeled (with crew), however we have to consider the fact that we want four different interiors (Type II, VII, IX and XXI). In Silent Hunter 3 it would take too much of development resources to model these. ---------------

32. (Taskforce1x1): Besides sound, radio, and being surfaced what are the other ways an enemy can detect us?
(Devteam): A submarine may be detected by sound (asdic, hydrophone), radio (direction finder), visual sensors or radar.

Later in the war, aircraft may use Magnetic Anomaly Detectors to pinpoint the location of a known U-Boat. In addition, SSS messages sent by attacked merchants may trigger, in the right conditions, an incoming air or naval patrol. ---------------

33. (Taskforce1x1): If we are out of fuel and our engines stop is the game over?
(Devteam): Your navigator will always watch the fuel level and advise you to the best course of action and when is the best time to return home. Even in the event you run completely out of fuel, there may be options still open to you, although your career will surely be affected by such careless seamanship. ---------------

34. (Taskforce1x1): Will there be smaller ships like coastguard fast attack ships?
(Devteam): Of course. Depending on the location, you may meet small trawlers, torpedo/fast attack boats or even fishing vessels. ---------------

35. (Torpedowake): Will SHIII have a strategic gameplay where you can order your subs to patrol areas?
(Devteam): The player will not be able to direct other subs to patrol areas, as only Admiral Doenitz / BDU was able to do so. However, his contact reports may influence the presence of other assets in the chase of a convoy or battle group. ---------------

36. (VbaL): in the moment of depth charges, can we safely turn up our engines at max without someone hearing us, just like in real life?
(Devteam): It would take great experience and skill to know when to turn up the engines to max and how long can you remain undetected. But it will definitely be possible! ---------------

37. (Drebbel): Since there will not be a captain's cabin do we have an editable log book? Does that log automatically include daily entries of fuel/position/weather/etcetera?
(Devteam): Who says there won’t be a captain's cabin?! It’s right there, by the radio room. Just take a look...

The amount of detail in the log book is directly related to the dynamic campaign and is under work at the moment. ---------------

38. (Drebbel): In the in-game footage I noticed one can select a section of a target, by clicking in the target ID book, to aim a torpedo at. I assume an unrealistic option like that is not available when using high realism setting, right?
(Devteam): You’re right! That selection and aiming mode will only be available (but not forced upon) players on lower levels of difficulty. On high realism settings, aiming at specific sections of a ship will be done by pointing the periscope crosshairs over them – much like in real life. ---------------

39. (Drebbel): Are all target names/types realistic for the time period, or do most vessels just have imaginary names?
(Devteam): All target types will be realistic for the considered time period, with the limitation that we do not have the resources to model every type of ship or airplane operational in WW2. Target names will be historical where the data exists and we feel that no sensitive topics are touched. ---------------

40. (Shabba): Depending on my performance can the war be won or lost on any given date 1943 or 1947 for example?
(Devteam): Negative. We feel the performance of a single submarine captain cannot change the course of war. The Atlantic Battle was lost at command level, as Germany failed to give adequate emphasis to the Uboat arm. ---------------

41. (Thomsen): How have the Devs prepared their historic background? Will there be historic events implemented in the game and in the developing of German and Allied naval forces?
(Devteam): Since this project began back in January 2003, our daily routine included readings on specific topics from various sources – technical books on U-Boats, biographies of famous U-Boat commanders, historical books on naval warfare, etc. We feel very confident that we have enough information to follow the historic background accurately enough to convince almost any Silent Hunter 3 player. To answer to your second question, I will tell you that the dynamic campaign will give you a clear feeling of progress in military technology on both sides. You will encounter “four stackers” early in the war, but you will be chased by efficient hunter-killer task groups of escort carriers and destroyer escorts towards the end of the war. ---------------

42. (Kapitanleutnant--Martes86--Mix): Will any orders have the possibility of being cancelled by the Commander himself (us)? I mean, if we have a ‘hiding’ menu with all kind of orders and we click "submerge", will then the caption change from "submerge" to "don't submerge" being just available when we're still at surface and getting locked when we have already submerged. This would avoid for example "-Alarm! -Surface" when we set the alarm but suddenly we want to instantly cancel the order.
(Devteam): Silent Hunter III does not include this feature in the interface. ---------------

43. (TASKFORCE1x1): I assume we have a receiver that can also pick up the enemy "chatter". Would we be able to hear a "SSS" (attacked by sub) call in morse and also enemy voice traffic?
(Devteam): You are right in assuming there will be a possibility to intercept enemy radio traffic. Of course, your radio operator will have to be on the right frequency. ---------------

44. (Srule): Will SH3 include the so called "submarine school" where Donitz's new skippers learnt in the type II uboats a.k.a "ducks" to practice torpedo approaches etc and firing water slugs to simulate a torpedo launch?
(Devteam): The tutorial of Silent Hunter III is meant to resemble the “submarine school” training courses. Anyway, expect to practice on early Type VII at least for gunner classes, as there is no deck gun on the “ducks”. ---------------

45. ( Will the new SHIII have a more realistic resupply? The current version makes little or no use of resupply, it seems to only work in very few scenarios and its presentation is very poor when its part of the mission. I would like to see a more frequent ability to call upon resupply and a more realistic presentation of the actual supply, fuelling (static & dynamic) and of course the ammo supply rearming effort.
(Devteam): I assume you are referring to SH2 as current version. It is our intention to include ressuply as a part in the dynamic campaign. ---------------

46. ( Can the new SHIII offer the choice of "MilkCows" as subs for use in resupplying other vessels? An example would be commanding a milk cow variant to resupply other subs throughout the world with in transit fuelling and the transfer of other supply goods. This would fit historically with mine laying and other support roles without digressing too far from the games dynamic action.
(Devteam): We will include “MilkCows” in the game as ressuply boats. However, for this instalment, they will not be controllable by the player. Perhaps they will make it as player-controlled boats in the add-on. ---------------

47. (JORDIVONFONTS): I would like to know if you would be able to put the vessel identification manual in a pdf file, so we would be able to print it, and this way everyone that wants to use this printed pdf, instead of the in-game one, would do it.
(Devteam): If we can do it, you may have a recognition manual already printed in the game box. In any case, there will be a pdf file version available as well. ---------------

48. (TASKFORCE1x1): Will you be considering adding more models both Uboat and enemy in the future as either expansion packs or patches?
(Devteam): Yes, we will include more models of U-Boats and enemy vessels in future expansions of the game. That, of course, is if Silent Hunter III proves to be a success. ---------------

49. (Srule): In the shakey camera footage of SH3 it shows the general tactical Map a light blue colour rather than an actual real WW2 sea chart. Will this addition be implemented in the final game?
(Devteam): The tactical map graphic representation seen the footage you mention is an in-work version. The final map will include at least the depth chart, possibly other WW2 sea chart features. ---------------

50. (U-553): Will the ships be more realistic? I think it was a bit stupid, that after one fish, the ship would be destroyed and you were able to surface nobody shot!
(Devteam): As far as know, there were more than one instance in which ships were sunk after just on torpedo hit. Moreover, that carrier sinking after the one torpedo hit was due to a fuel bunkers explosion that supposedly thorn the ship’s insides out.

The surfacing you’ve seen took place during an air attack by German and Italian planes. The AI was concerned with the more direct threat represented by the bombers.

The escorts eventually engaged the boat, forcing it to dive as it approached the convoy on surface and made his presence even more conspicuous by shooting at the merchant with the deck gun.

In Silent Hunter III no player will be capable of pulling out that kind of manoeuvre against a convoy in daylight on his own. Anyway, do not expect to return from that patrol it you try it. ---------------

51. (Erich Hartmann): Will we hear expressions like Ja Wöhl Herr Kaleun!! when ordered something, or crew members shouting Scheisse!!, when under depth charges, etc., etc.?
(Devteam): Although confirmation answers would add a lot to the atmosphere, they are a major encumbrance for the gameplay. Imagine ordering a crash dive and losing two seconds just to have all the involved crew playing voice and animation replies for answer before doing anything. ---------------

52. (dargo1): Can the host set difficulty settings like in IL-2? I hope that the host can set off the automatic targeting and Auto TDC.
(Devteam): In multiplayer games, the host will have total control on the difficulty settings. ---------------

53. (Bertgang): Will we have shortcuts or fastkeys for virtual crew management? I mean, something like "press c" for order a crash dive or "6" for flank speed? I think that wouldn't be practical to click on an officer each time, especially in dangerous situations.
(Devteam): The shortcuts are mandatory and you can use them at any time to control the boat. The interface you’ve seen in capture videos is also usable for basic orders like speed, depth or direction simply by mouse clicking. Commanding through the crew chain of command will just give you extra options. ---------------

54. (Kapitan_Nereus): when the player orders a dive, and we hear the sounds of the watch crew going down the ladder and shutting the hatch, can we actually see the characters come down and secure the hatch in full animated glory or do they just vanish and the sound plays?
(Devteam): Only the sound will be played. The bridge crew will return to the quarters, but this will not be visible in the 3D. ---------------

55. (Sockeye45): will we be able to map a custom keyboard if we'd like?
(Devteam): No, the keyboard will be preset. However, we’ll provide a keyboard layout card with the game. ---------------

56. (oscar0072004): after we order a crash dive and put all the available crew in the forward compartment . will it then be possible to submerge a few seconds faster
(Devteam): No, the crash dive will work faster from the mechanics. You will not need to move crew around the boat for that. ---------------

57. (mlody111): Do we need a DX9 generation card to enjoy all the graphics that SHIII has to offer?
(Devteam): DevTeam: Yes, a DX9 card will be the best way to play the game. Practically, SH3 will be playable only on graphic cards that supports at least Vertex & Pixel Shaders 1.1. ---------------

58. (Iblitz): Will it be possible to specify the start date, u-boat type, and starting position (base) when playing the campaign without using an editor to do so? (Ie choose a type VIIc, 1941, Lorient) instead of always starting from a pre-programmed point.
(Devteam): You will be able to start the campaign any time between 1939 and 1943. Also, you will have the option of choosing what front flotilla to join. Depending on the flotilla the campaign will start at a specific base and with specific U-Boat types available. ---------------

59. (HeibgesU999): The top 34 German U-boat Aces, all scoring over 100k GRT, "averaged" less than 3 ships per Patrol. At the highest levels of realism will this be reflected? For those who like a more "arcadey" experience, will there be variable levels for chances of an encounter.
(Devteam): The highest level of realism will be challenging, but you have to remember this is a game. The player will be able to do things that were not possible in reality like save/load and time compression that will influence his performance. ---------------

60. (RenT_A_CoW): will we be able to shoot down the seagulls buzzing the boat with the AA gun?
(Devteam): This is a sub simulator, not a hunting simulator. We strongly suggest to not waste flak ammo on inoffensive atmospheric elements. ---------------

61. (HeibgesU999): Since we can assign crew to compartments, and select how large a watch to set, will there be an Order for Harbour Stations?
(Devteam): Our compartment system has some limitations. We have not considered initially the possibility to have U-Boat player-controlled when returning/leaving the port. To change that now would cause too much trouble. We’ll have to amend this in further instalments. ---------------

62. (HeibgesU999): It is already a known fact that there will be milkcows in the game. Will 2 U-boats be able to trade fuel amongst themselves? Will this be possible in multiplayer amongst human-controlled U-boats?
(Devteam): It is our intention to allow this method of re-supply. But it will be only fuel you will be able to exchange with front U-Boats. ---------------

63. (HeibgesU999): Is the Type XXIII planned for the hinted at Expansion Pack?
(Devteam): It is premature to talk about the Expansion specific features when we still have to work to the main SH3 game. ---------------

63. (HeibgesU999): With the Mission Editor, will we be able to place specific AI U-boats into a Wolfpack, and set AI level for each AI uboat separately? For instance, a wolfpack comprised of the Player U-boat, AI U-boat U-99 with Ace AI level, 3 U-boats with Veteren AI level, and 4 uboats with Rookie AI Level.
(Devteam): Yep, you will be able to do all that stuff. ---------------

64. (Dom): Will scales, units and measurements of both the map and 3d environment be realistic this time and not like SH2?
(Devteam): We strive for as much realism as possible. It will remain for you to judge if we succeeded or not. ---------------

65. (Dom): Will we be able to set independent settings for each torpedo before launching them?
(Devteam): No. While it is very hard to gather a complete picture on the TDC and whole torpedo aiming method, we feel that we have the most accurate implementation in a WW2 sub sim so far. And the historical fact is, once you change tube selections, those no longer selected will bear a rapidly degrading solution. The TDC can only take bearing input from ONE source (UZO, Attack or Observation periscope) and can only update solutions for one tube (or set of tubes – for salvos) at a time.

However, when you’re attacking groups of ships sharing heading and speed (i.e. convoys), the TDC inner workings will enable you to conduct multiple attacks with minimum of data adjustments from one target to the next. ---------------

66. TASKFORCE1x1: Realistic Torpedoes- According to Otto Kretschmer some torpedoes would prove to be faulty. They would experience what they called "circle-Runners" where a torpedo could attack its own U-boat. What will we expect out of SHIII's torpedoes? Will they be "circle-runners", duds and dead torpedoes stuck in the sub?
(Devteam): Torpedo problems will “plague” players in various forms – duds and premature detonations for certain. ---------------

67. (TASKFORCE1x1): In SilentHunter 1 you can see the bulkhead door open for the captain's cabin when selected. Could we have this effect in our SHIII sim?
(Devteam): There is the small issue of 3D interiors of SH3, which were not present in SH1. In order to have the amount of detail you’ve seen and in the same time to not raise the technical specs to the sky, we have to make some trade-offs. This is such a case. ---------------

68. (Mix-Martes86): Are you using the same mission editor to build the SP missions than the one you said you would implement in-game?
(Devteam): Basically, yes. ---------------

69. (HeibgesU999): If the crew receives medals, will they appear on the models?
(Devteam): Yes. Medals, decorations and ranks will appear on the 3D models. ---------------

71. (Seewolf1939): On SHII when I am in the sound room the sound of a destroyer's screws are the same as that of a battleship. I understand that in real life the sound man could distinguish between the two and determine what was what. Will we be able to do this on SHIII?
(Devteam): Yes, you will be able to distinguish between various warship classes sounds. ---------------

72. (HeibgesU999): Will the Kiel Canal be in the game?
(Devteam): This has not been decided yet, and while it would be possible to include it in the game, it may not make it due to other features being much more important for the U-boat war, and therefore, for our game too. ---------------

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