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SimBattleshipUnderFire 512.jpg
SimFireControlMechanism 512.jpg

In 2002-2006, I created a simulation I called Fleet Action Imminent. I wanted to create from this inspiration a massively multiplayer game called With the Fleet, but while I created a few prototypes, WTF never got very far and never recreated the naval content that had enlivened FAI.

Fleet Action Imminent

FAI was written in Java, and delivered a Spartan 3D interactive environment using an extinct, WIndows-only 3D plug-in called Wildtangent Web Driver. 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?

Continued Work

As of September 2011, I am trying to get the FAI sim up on a viable platform. My hope is that I can share it with others. Things are promising, but no guarantees.

Tone 20:30, 5 September 2011 (EDT)

See Also