Martin Doege wrote:
If there's an interest in improving FG's handling of water, might it be
good to take in the idea that maybe one day the FG engine could be used
for sailing ship simulation too? After all, FG's already got the 3D
graphics engine, world scenery and a weather engine. Add in a sailing
ship simulator "FDM", and a proper concept of water (tides, currents,
depths, waves, 50-ft sea monsters etc) and you'd have it.
By having the water as a separated mesh, we
simulate the plane-water interaction properly. I feel that this method
move us into the right direction.
And since one of the major selling points of "Flight Simulator X" will
be, at least according to the screenshots and trailers, the more
realistic depiction of water in all its pixel shader-rendered glory,
it would be great if the water in FG would also be a little more than
just the big blue parking lot it is right now. :-)
Last year, I discovered Peter Davis's Tallship simulator "surprise.exe"
and made a partial port to linux.
Davis's website (for the original windoze program) is:
My RPMs of the linux port are here:
My port is nowhere near complete in terms of options and eye-candy, but
it does run. Mine only simulates the three-masted frigate (the original
does that plus a two-masted brig). Mine doesn't have the "map" display
nor any concept of land. The original modelled some "islands" to
provide some entertainment trying to navigate. Mine doesn't yet show
the "thrusts" diagram which tells you what forces are being provided by
which sails. Mine doesn't yet have configurable weather, the original
Porting it required me to tease out the "FDM" for Davis's ship
simulator - it had been somewhat intertwined with the calls to the
windoze API needed for his GUI. My version uses his "FDM" but with the
GUI implemented with "Glade", the GTK+ GUI writer.
I was actually using the project to teach myself Glade. Funnily enough,
Peter Davis taught himself Visual Basic (and later Visual C) in order
to write his ship-sim in the first place. His inexperience with
computer programming does show in the code (along with its rather
BASIC-like layout due to its heritage), but it does at least work.
I've seen various people post queries about ship simulators on this
list before, all to no avail.
See here for a (commercial) 3D model of an 18th century frigate:
FG can't use this (obviously) but the FG project's got quite a few
excellent 3D modeller experts in need of a challenge :-)
If you get the "The Making of Hornblower" book that went with the UK's
"Carlton TV" dramatisation of Forrester's books, then on the inner
cover flysheets and the centre-spread there's a reproduction of a set
of technical drawings for the "Grand Turk" (the ship used in the TV
series, and used in the BBC's "Longitude" TV programme).
To answer one obvious comment before it happens: yes, Peter Davis's
source code (and my existing work on a linux port) are all GPL! I asked
Davis last year if he would consider some sort of formal licence for
his work, and he GPL-ed it last August.