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SimBattleshipUnderFire 512.jpg
SimFireControlMechanism 512.jpg

In 2002-2006, I created a simulation I called Fleet Action Imminent. I hoped to then create a massively multiplayer game called With the Fleet, but except for a few prototypes, WTF never got very far before I set it aside for other pursuits — notably, this wiki. But that doesn't mean the end.

Fleet Action Imminent

FAI was written in Java, and delivered a Spartan 3D interactive environment using an extinct, Windows-only 3D plug-in. It delivered low frame-rates and a dated appearance, but these were not a barrier to what I wanted to focus on: creating a realistic simulation of the ships, duties and mechanisms of fire control.

FAI embodied realistic ballistics and implementations of 20+ distinct AI behaviours for sailors with different shipboard duties, manning a virtual Dreyer table, wireless transmitter, many data transmitters and receivers, Vickers director, coincidence rangefinders, dumaresqs, etc, etc. It was fairly glorious.

I toyed with the idea of tearing out Wildtangent in favour of jMonkeyEngine, but didn't proceed with it, as the FAI architecture was unlikely to ever deliver me the massively multiplayer experience I felt was necessary to achieve my broadest vision. This does not mean that I would not permit a talented and motivated hacker from trying to achieve this.

One limited fruit of the switch to using jMonkeyEngine was that I took out the ballistics code into an application called Blammo that creates very accurate HTML range tables for simulated weapons based on very little input data. I may eventually release Blammo.

With the Fleet

When I was setting aside FAI's Java code, I made a few prototypes of the proper game I wanted to create. The first was based in Torque Game Engine, and the second built atop Ogre3D. The prototypes had some innovative features I won't divulge, but never got very naval. I sorely needed a better coder than myself to get where I was going.

I since have looked at Unity3D, which tries to be easy to use but is harder to understand than a C++ game engine... how did they do that?

Developer Blog


Converted the sim to run on JME3. Portions are working, especially the destroyers.

4-in gun fire


The battlecruiser up and running. The wireless systems work, the Dreyer tables and rangefinders. A good many bugs, but some shooting is possible.

Some parts I am leaving for later:

  • the ShipsLogPlayback app is in real disrepair. If it comes back, it will be in Java2D
  • particle effects of gunfire and shell splashes leaves much to be desired
  • flags don't work very well (native physic libraries would help)
  • some of my secret features are shelved for now
  • multiplayer
  • PC compatibility was demonstrated briefly and lost. I hate Windows like mad.

Right now, the following stuff works:

Fore Top accessible by magic portal on gundeck
  • Range Officer (w/ telaupad to Top network)
  • Spotter (w/ telaupad to Top network)
  • Voicepipe to Conn
Director Platform accessible by magic portal on gundeck
  • Vickers Light Aloft director manned by
  • Phone Man (w/ telaupad to Top network)
  • Sightsetter
  • Director Layer
  • Director Trainer
Transmitting Station accessible by magic portal on gundeck
  • TS Officer
  • Top Talker (w/ telaupad to Top network)
  • Main Talker (w/ telaupad to Main network)
  • Dreyer Table Mark III (c1918 sans Wind Dumaresq), manned by
  • Range Plotter (w/ six overhead single range receivers, two functioning)
  • Bearing Plotter
  • Range Tuner
  • Spotting Corrector
  • Dumaresq Operator
  • Totaliser Operator
  • Range Master Transmitter w/operator
  • Deflection Master Transmitter w/operator
  • Bearing Transmitter w/operator
  • Gun Ready Board with Fire push
Conning Tower accessible by hatch to signal deck
  • Captain
  • Helmsman
  • Voicepipe to Fore Top
  • Captain's Cease Fire push
Gun Control Tower accessible by hatch on its top
  • Rangetaker (w/telaupad to Main network and nine-foot coincidence rangefinder)
  • Gunnery Officer (with bearing and rate transmitters)
  • placeholder sailor
  • placeholder sailor
Torpedo Control Tower accessible by hatch if you trek back there!
Signal Deck
  • Semaphore Signaller (partly functional)
  • Flag Signaller (broken)
Four Twin 13.5-in Turrets, each with
  • Officer of Quarters
  • Turret Talker (w/ telaupad to Main network)
  • Two loaders (abstractly representing the entire loading process)
  • Two gun layers with elevation receivers, controls for elevating gun, sighting scopes and triggers
  • Turret trainer with 2 telescopes and trainer's switch, controls for training the turret
  • Turret Director Trainer with training receiver
  • Four sightsetters
  • a few miscellaneous receivers

Marsden Samuel helped me with some art. I set him up with what I hope is a runnable WIndows version of my sim so he can walk around the Queen Mary and see whether textures are right or wrong, and check on geometry, etc. It's encouraging to consider someone other than me running my sim!


I worked some with Marsden and with Arjen on various aspects of the sim, but work abated.

New hydrodynamics


I spent some time looking at licensed libraries to improve the hydrodynamic and environmental appeal of the work, but I am not ready to pull the trigger on licensing them, as I need a coder and a modeler to really commit to the project. Progress would be too slow to merit the effort.

See Also