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Old 02-06-23, 08:21 AM   #1
Join Date: Jul 2018
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Default Why has there never been a "switch for switch accurate" naval game?

I was thinking about this earlier: there are games that are a 1:1, switch-for-switch accurate representation of most kinds of combat vehicles, such that you can use the real operating manuals to play the game or in theory learn the vehicle in the game, for virtually everything EXCEPT naval vessels:

1) Fixed-wing aircraft (e.g. DCS and MSFS)
2) Helicopters (same)
3) Tanks (e.g. Steel Beasts)
4) Cars and trucks (countless games)

But as far as I can tell such a game just doesn't exist for naval games, subsurface or otherwise. DW, 688, SH all seem to be (as someone who's never served on a real naval vessel and just going off what I've read) "spiritually accurate" in that they have the key systems and concepts, but they're not actually simulating 1:1 facsimiles of the real consoles so far as I am aware.

Why is this? Is it the nature of naval vessels in which a large crew operates the vessel so some consolidation is required for playability? Is there inherently some more squeamishness about the security and classification around how ships and subs are operated? Some combination? Or is it simply that no one has done it yet?
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Old 02-07-23, 06:04 PM   #2
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There used to be a game a while ago that was a simulation of the Mercury space craft. It was truly a 1:1 switch simulator.

It was exceedingly boring to play. Because it was a switch for switch simulation, you would spend about 1-2 hours (real time) listening to Capcom and hitting switches when directed. I am a space nut and especially about the Mercury missions but it was unplayable because of the detail. Flying an early space craft was not fun nor exciting -- two aspects that are key to a game.

In any simulator, there is a delicate balance between realistic actions and enjoyment. For a game to be successful it has to be enjoyable to play. Few people want to play a game that is filled with the boring tasks.

Submarine games are no different. For enjoyment, the exciting aspects are simulated -- targeting, maneuvering, tracking. Simulating all the aspects of trim control or torpedo maintenance, are usually not included because they are not exciting.

Personally, I would love a realistic simulator of the hydrophone on WWII submarine, but that's me. Most air breathing humans would find that amount of realism not so enjoyable.

Real life, including combat life, is a lot of boring tedious tasks with some periods of excitement/fear.

So what is a developer gonna do. Their objective is not making as realistic a simulator as possible but making a product that delivers profit.

I wish I was rich enough to hire developers to make a submarine game that *I* like with no interest in profits or selling it to the gaming community.

But that ain't gonna happen.
abusus non tollit usum - A right should NOT be withheld from people on the basis that some tend to abuse that right.
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Old 02-07-23, 06:32 PM   #3
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Interesting question!
And I belive you answered it yourself with the statement that naval vessels usually need alot more crew than the other vehicles that are usually simulated.

Since I am developing a battleship simulator myself, I have struggled alot with what details to simulate.
All the jobs are extremely specialized and any switch flipping and knob turning was probably a quite simple task that didn't require any real thought. Usually you turn your knob until it pointed at a marker.
For example the main guns, the aimers would simple turn their knob until it pointed at the value that was received from the fire control station.

The crew in the fire control station, simply put in values recieved from various spotters or range finding instruments.
So probably not very interesting no matter how hardcore of a simmer you are.
Which leads to compromises, maybe simplyfing tasks and combining them into an experience where you control multiple aspects with better overview.

I for example decided to combine rangefinding, radar, the fire control computer as well as a small switch board for the guns into one interface.

So the simulation would be simpler and incorporate different jobs.
Plenty of switches, but simplified

My WIP Battleship simulator, Battleship Command: Scharnhorst
Want to support the project on Patreon? Here's the link!
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