by Teddy Bär
SimHQ’s Naval Combat Zone Editor asked the Silent Hunter III Development Team some questions about their eagerly awaited new simulation now in development.
Q. On your web site 04.08.04 Live Chat you refer to a tutorial “The tutorial will resemble a Naval Academy course. It will include a “graduation mission” and it will influence the career starting “default” — get good grades and you may be assigned a better starting boat.” Will this be required for every new career? What other start options will be available to the player at the beginning of a career? i.e. start dates, U-boat types and flotillas.
A. Performing the tutorial before starting the campaign will be optional. It is our intention to stimulate the player to pass through it at least once and we wanted to reward them for that. Otherwise, the campaign will start with different flotillas and at different dates. The earliest campaign will start in 1939. The latest will start in 1943. The available U-boat types will vary depending on flotilla and year of starting the campaign.
Q. One way that games have in the past attempted to heighten the experience is by limiting the ability to save. However, this has normally been at the expense of the players that want to save anywhere at anytime. Will Silent Hunter III have any options available for the player to restrict their save options whilst allowing the normal save anywhere at anytime?
A. The in-game save is a mixed blessing. On one hand, it offers the player the guarantee that is not necessary to replay through too much of the game to pass a difficult encounter. On the other hand, the save is a great spoiler of performance, stimulating a more careless gaming approach. We want to satisfy both sides. Therefore, the game will offer the possibility to save in-game almost any time (although with one specific condition like “no enemies nearby”). Anyway, the in-game save will be an optional setting related to the difficulty of the game. So the hard-core gamers that want to risk more may disable the in-game save or use the alternative of limited save slots per mission.
Q. The combat map (i.e. TDC map and the zoomed area of ocean 10 x 10 kilometers and below) in past U-boat / submarine simulations has shown everything within the area in real time as if it was being viewed via a satellite. Will Silent Hunter III break from this tradition and if so what can the player expect to see, or more importantly, not see at the various realism levels?
A. The map representation will operate based on the effectiveness of the sensors aboard the submarine. Depending on what sensor is used, the map will be updated at varying intervals and will include a variable degree of precision depending on the crew experience. Of course, this will be influenced by the realism setting to allow an easier approach for casual players.
Q. In past U-boat / submarine simulations a player has been instantly aware of any damage and the exact time it will take to repair even when it is the deck gun and the U-boat / submarine is at a depth of 100 meters. With regards to damage notification, will Silent Hunter III not show external until the player has surfaced and will the repair times possibly take more or less time than originally stated? At what time will the player know how long the repair will take?
A. The repair time of various damaged compartments and/or subsystems will be reported in vague terms — possibly in half hours and hours. Depending on the crew efficiency and skill, the estimation will be more or less precise. The external damage will not be reported while underwater.