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Tunnel boats (7 replies and 23 comments)

Todd Wasson
5 years ago
Todd Wasson 5 years ago

Work has begun on expanding the system to support tunnelboats.

I'd like to ask any tunnelboat people that might be in the group what kind of adjustments you'd like to see on the hull shapes for the sponsons, tunnel, and so forth. For the vee bottoms we have pad details like side angle, length, width, height, how far forward they extend, etc.. What about tunnel adjustments?

I'm not familiar with the terminology or design specs that are typically used, so whatever you can teach me would be wonderful. I can't promise it will all make it into the system, but now would be a good time to have a conversation about it all. So let's talk! 🙂

There's also a thread on this in the Facebook group here:

<a href="https://www.facebook.com/groups/405024603032224/" rel="nofollow">https://www.facebook.com/groups/405024603032224/</a>

Beppe Debono listed these variables:

Tunnel Height
Tunnel Width
Wing Chord
Wing Thickness
Sponson Length
Pad Width
Pad Deadrise
Deck Width
Center Pod Length, Width, Deadrise and Height if selected
Angle of Aerofoil

nicholasfrancis
5 years ago
nicholasfrancis 5 years ago

Hi Todd,
I don't know too much in the Catamaran world with boats, but its exciting to see some thought in that department!
Some tunnel boats (for example, ill use an older style Skater cat (28-30ft, and a newer skater 30)
You will see that the older style cats have like two wind screens, i will post a picture of it, and you will
see that on the newer boats (Ill use a sterndrive boat as ex but you get the idea) like a Skater 388 Cat has like the wraparound windshield.

Maybe an option to change it from the 2 windscreens to just 1 wraparound windshield would be cool!

Maybe an option to inclose the cockpit, like say Geicos race boat, or Budweiser's race boat.

I will keep thinking of some more options, and i would say that most of what people will build will most likely be twin 300 setups!
Hope this helps, Todd!
~Nicholas Francis

https://www.speedboatsim.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/Skater-twin-windscreens.jpg

If I'm not boating, i must be asleep!

nicholasfrancis
5 years ago
nicholasfrancis 5 years ago

Heres the wraparound windshield!
Nicholas Francis

https://www.speedboatsim.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/Skater-1-wraparound-windshield.jpg

If I'm not boating, i must be asleep!

jackwilliam
5 years ago
jackwilliam 5 years ago

so is it tunnel boats or full blown catamarans?
is there a difference?

jackwilliam
5 years ago

also would the next step after this be stern drives because im dying to get some v8 power into these boats...

nicholasfrancis
5 years ago

YES! I would like to see sterndrives as well! Jack, imagine Mercury racing 1350's in this game! Or even mercury racing 520s or Mercruiser 8.2HO (430's)!!!

jackwilliam
5 years ago

i would hope that there would be a motor for just about every engine catagory, from small inline 4 sterndrives (this is a reference to the 3.0l mercruiser engine) all the way up to what mercury racing has to offer. i wouldnt want to model just one company in the game, maybe throw in ilmor (possibly their v-10 variant later?) and most notably volvo penta, although the various companies can be added later as the small hp changes and weight differences would make small differences overall in the way that the boat performs.

todd, if there were sterndrives implimented into the game, how would you do drives? im pretty sure that most people with a 4.3l v-6 from mercury arent going to couple that power with a drive like an imco scx or mercury racing m6 drive...would you limit that?

Todd Wasson
5 years ago
Todd Wasson 5 years ago

I should have been a bit more clear what I meant by tunnel boats: What I'm shooting for next are small, closed cockpit single seater outboards that look something like F1/F2/F3 boats rather than the big stern drive offshore style cats at this stage. It's very early in the process right now, but if I can make it also do the big cats in the same mesh constructor in the same go, I'll try to work that in too. No promises though. Just think "small single engine outboard tunnelboats."

Using real manufacturers for hulls or engines requires permission/licensing agreements with those companies, lawyers, etc., so that's not something that will be pursued unless business picks up enough to make it worth looking into or manufacturers start knocking on the door to get their products in the sim free of charge and without too many strings attached. I've worked with manufacturers in the past (not boats) and there is often a tendency for them to want to control everything which can really slow down development. Suddenly adding a new boat takes three or four times as long. As much as I'd like to have them in, I want to avoid the headaches that come with it. Not to mention you'd lose the flexible design nature of the sim.

So the plan at the moment is to keep things generic where players design their own geometry like you would a simple CAD program. No branding.

Todd Wasson
5 years ago
Todd Wasson 5 years ago

Regarding engines when and if I can get to doing stern drives/inboards:

There likely won't be any branding for reasons described in the last post. Having lots of options for engines is something I would want, much like we have a ton of outboard options now, but there are no brands displayed anywhere. It's just using torque/power curves that are measured off a real engine where possible. In the end it just comes down to having a bunch of torque/power curves and general engine info displayed (displacement, bore, stroke, compression ratio, etc.). Adding a new engine isn't really a big deal or take very much time to do, but using someone's brand name of course requires the manufacturer's permission. It's just the right thing to do really seeing as it's their brand.

I've written several engine simulations over the years too, so can use some of that to generate engine torque curves. It would be really cool to write an engine simulation as part of the simulator where you can design your own engine too (select cams, intake/exhaust dimensions, etc.), but business will have to really pick up for that to be an option. Unfortunately at the rate we're going now I'll run out of money and have to quit before I could even get a chance to start on any of that. So for now the focus is just on getting new types of hulls in to make it appealing to a wider swath of people.

jackwilliam
5 years ago

understood, and i shouldve said something about the branding deal, i had personally assumed that you were going to keep it the way you were going to because of the issues with control and whatnot. excited to see what youre cooking up

nicholasfrancis
5 years ago

Sounds like a plan! I had mistaken of what you meant, but the tunnel you are referring to is also something i would enjoy working with! I do understand the branding deal, and i also think the whole engine builder thing would be sick, but i do get the amount of work that would take! I plan on playing this game for a long time, so take your time with these new things. We are all here to help if you need any!

jackwilliam
5 years ago

im curious as to what speeds these tunnel boats would achieve, im assuming that it would be more than 130 right? there would be a lot less drag on two little sponsons than there would be a flat bottom v hull correct?

have you got the general parameters for the boat down yet? what main things should we expect to customize and toy around with?

nicholasfrancis
5 years ago

The way i understand it, the tunnel boats are gonna be more of like an Outerlimits SV29, but as an inclosed cockpit.
You are correct about the drag (atleast to my knowledge!)

nicholasfrancis
5 years ago

In other words, the Snowy Mountain Race Boat!

Todd Wasson
5 years ago

What I said was F1/F2/F3 style. Something more like these:

<a href="https://www.google.com/search?q=formula+one+tunnelboat&safe=off&espv=2&rlz=1C1GIWA_enUS615US615&biw=1731&bih=989&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiN-dy04MvNAhVl8IMKHaAYDWUQ_AUICSgE" rel="nofollow">https://www.google.com/search?q=formula+one+tunnelboat&safe=off&espv=2&rlz=1C1GIWA_enUS615US615&biw=1731&bih=989&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiN-dy04MvNAhVl8IMKHaAYDWUQ_AUICSgE</a>

Todd Wasson
5 years ago

That list of parameters in the first post is what I'm starting with. I'll then see how things go.

One of the things I'm giving some thought to and hope to do is have the visual mesh on the tunnelboats be much higher resolution than the physics mesh (instead of being identical to the low poly one like we have now). This way the corners can be more rounded and curves can be a little smoother without all the really sharp, blocky looking angles everywhere. If I can manage to do it, there would then be two meshes, one is a lower poly physics mesh (like what we have now), the other would be a high detailed version which would hopefully look a little nicer.

This higher detailed stuff would just be for the tunnel boats, the vee bottom monohulls we have now wouldn't change at all.

This is temporarily on hold though because the other day it got accepted to Steam! 🙂

<a href="http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=704315221" rel="nofollow">http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=704315221</a>

This came as a surprise because it was accepted after only 8 days of voting, and the voting numbers weren't particularly good. After a couple of days passed and I saw the poor looking stats, I wasn't expecting it to get accepted for probably a couple of months if at all. I figured perhaps by the time the tunnel boats were ready, maybe with some luck it'd get accepted.

Because of this, the #1 priority right now is getting it ready to go on sale on Steam. After that I'll get back into the tunnel boats and let you know how things are coming periodically.

nicholasfrancis
5 years ago

OMG STEAM?!?!?!?! CONGRATS TODD! Hopefully this can boost your sales, and you will also hopefully receive more input from users! This is exciting!

Todd Wasson
5 years ago

Speeds: I won't know how fast they'll go or if it'll even work at all until I make it and see, but I'm hoping for F1 speeds (130+ mph with typical course prop pitches, perhaps a lot more if it was just for top end speed). I don't really know what will happen though. I'm worried about them blowing over at stupidly low speeds since they're so light. I won't be modelling actual compression of the air in the tunnel, so the tunnel shapes that work well might be a little different than real tunnel designs.

One parameter I want to have is a way to control how the width of the tunnel changes along the length of the boat. That should provide a way to fine tune the center of lift location lengthwise which might be really helpful. I'm a little worried that the tunnel designs that work might vary too much from reality, but given the physics approach works so well on the monohulls, I might be worried about nothing. Just have to try it and see, I guess.

We may need a couple more powerful engines with a much higher rpm range too. If so, I'll try to make them available for the current vee hulls as well. The big boats also need to be heavier, I haven't forgotten about that. It'd be a good time to introduce 350 and 400 hp engines (maybe more as high rpm racing versions) to try to make up for the heavier hulls.

Don't take any of this as a promise, this is just what I've been thinking for awhile and could change once it's well underway.

Todd Wasson
5 years ago

Thanks, Nicholas. 🙂 Yes, it's exciting. When I saw the email upon waking up the other day I was shocked and quite happy. 🙂

nicholasfrancis
5 years ago

No worries, Todd. You are full of good ideas. The larger engines would be cool for larger boats, and the weight is alright but needs tweaking in future.
I think this sim will crush Ship Sim, or come to par with it at the least. Im sure it will blow up. I was reading the Greenlight Page and so many people were full of ideas and input like Jet Skis and Inboard power, etc.
This, is only the beginning...

nicholasfrancis
5 years ago

Do you know when i joined here? Ill have to check email and see if i can find a confirmation!

nicholasfrancis
5 years ago

Never mind, i found it. Feb 26th, so 4 months, soon to be 4 years lol

nicholasfrancis
5 years ago

Todd, have you figured out yet how players of DDS can download it from Steam, like me? Or will the current platform just link up with Steam?

jackwilliam
5 years ago

wow i missed a lot, STEAM?? congrats, hope it puts the game in the light that i envisioned it.

i take it that the tunnel hull boats are going to take quite a lot of time to complete and are going to be somewhat of a trial and error system when they come out but nonetheless im totally looking forward to the creation of a new hull.
would rpm be a huge change? i know that mercury racing had a 2.5l racing outboard that hit the redline at 10500 rpm with 260 horses how would that effect the game? would it be slower than the 300 hp due to just less power or would it make up for it in revs? just curious
been with the game for 11 months and plan to be around much much longer. im right with you nicholas, this sim has a ton of potential to become the best boating sim out there!

keep up the amazing work todd

Todd Wasson
5 years ago

Steam page is approved and up publicly, officially "coming soon" now with a July 26 release date. Current players are invited to leave reviews before launch!

If you do so, please mention that you bought it at the main website xx weeks/months ago so folks seeing the store for the first time don't think I faked the reviews. 😀

<a href="http://store.steampowered.com/app/501090" rel="nofollow">http://store.steampowered.com/app/501090</a>

malny3
5 years ago
malny3 5 years ago

I follow this beautiful simulation for some time, but I never bought the license because I prefer the hull tunnel. the weekend just gone, there was a round of the F2 World in my city ... I came home and I immediately bought the license, only now I found this news and I am very happy. fantastic job

nicholasfrancis
5 years ago

Welcome to DDS!

Todd Wasson
5 years ago
Todd Wasson 5 years ago

Thanks, guys. 🙂

Some answers to some questions:

Steam accounts: I've only ever had one other game on Steam (VRC Pro), but I had parted ways with the company before it finally went on there, so I'm not sure how all that works yet. From what I've gathered, they'll issue me Steam keys that I can give away on request, so what I'll probably do since we don't have zillions of players is just email free keys to anybody that bought it through the website if they request it and they'd rather play it through Steam than the usual way. Not sure yet, but that's the general idea at the moment.

Tunnel hulls: Yes, it's going to take quite some time, probably a couple months at least. In most games/sims, creating a new vehicle is often simpler because you just add a new 3D model and a developer tunes the physics parameters for that boat/car/whatever and hands it off to the player. (That physics tuning was one of my jobs on Virtual RC Racing and VRC Pro, my real specialty is actually race car simulation modelling, not boats, but I'm learning a lot doing this though.) With DIDIBoats it's quite different because you all control the physics yourselves directly through the boat designs. So that part is quicker for me since I don't have to do as much of it, but on the other hand there's the rather big job of creating the mesh constructor and tying it into a new user interface and so on. That's many thousands of lines of code to be written, so adding a new type of hull is a lot of work.

Once that basic hull type is in though, the number of different types of boats you can run is virtually limitless as you've seen with the vee-bottoms we have now. So in a way it's quicker because I don't have to create 10 different tunnel hulls, I can just write the system once and you guys can create thousands of your own. 🙂

Assuming things go well and sales are enough to keep working on this, this first new hull will probably take longer than future hulls. At the moment everything was written with just one hull type in mind (that was about as complicated a thing as my brain could handle at the time), so a large chunk of the work is redesigning a lot of the code so more than one hull can be done. There are system-wide things that will need to be rewritten, and I'm not going to really be sure of what all that is until I'm further into it. I have gotten a good start on it though, there is a second screen in my version with a "tunnel boat" that's just a regular vee-bottom boat with a big cube added to it. Sounds silly, but this is the system level stuff that has to be done.

Hopefully once the tunnelboat is done we'll have something that is easier to add another type of hull to. So the next hull after the tunnelboat will hopefully take less time than the tunnelboat+system changes did. I won't really know for sure if that's going to be the case, but that's what the goal is. Just have to figure out exactly how to do it all. 😛

But anyway, yes, it's probably going to take a couple months at least. I don't really know, that's just my gut feeling and my gut is often wrong because I'm a programmer and we are all horrible at predicting how long our work will take to do. 😀

Whatever ends up happening, I'll try to keep everyone informed when there's something interesting to report/show though and try to keep you all updated on how things are going as it progresses.

Would rpm be a huge change? Probably yes. I'd like to have racing versions of the really crazy high powered outboards that go to high rpm and maybe exceed 400 hp quite a bit. One of our fellow players is a Formula One boat racer, there are also a bunch of F2 and F3 guys playing too. Perhaps they might provide some info on their engines (maybe dyno data if I can get it), but we will be limited in rpm somewhat by the engine audio samples. Greg Hill, the expert engine audio wizard that produced the engine audio samples suggested not to run it beyond 8500 rpm for the sake of audio quality, so 8500 rpm or so will probably be the limit. New audio samples are very expensive to produce, so getting new ones to let us run to 10,000 rpm+ and still sound good isn't an option right now. If Steam blows this up and money comes pouring in, I'd love to do it though. That's not likely anytime soon though, so count on 8500 rpm or so tops.

260/300 hp is 260/300 hp regardless of the rpm, so what this would mean is you just end up running a smaller pitch prop (maybe with some different gearing too) to get about the same speed. Well, that's not quite true, the higher rpm engines should be able to go a little bit faster because they can run a smaller pitch prop at the same gear ratio which is more efficient at the propeller, but it's all in the same ballpark. The reason why it's more efficient in DIDI (and reality too) is because smaller pitch props have blades that are not angled as sharply, so the force at each blade points more forward in the direction you want the boat to go.

(You can actually see this in the forces view. If you hit TAB while driving, then hit "2" on the keyboard (not the keypad) you can see the prop forces. Look at the boat from the side and you'll see the forces don't point straight forward, instead they point perpendicular to the individual blades and trace out a cone shape. A smaller pitch prop makes the cone narrower and points those forces more in the forward direction. So you should get a little more speed with a small pitch prop at a high rpm even with the same amount of power. That's probably why the racing classes modify the engines to make the power at very high rpm. A side effect should be that the p-factor effects (bowlift response to trim) should decrease too. This is all true here in DIDI Boats too.)

Gear ratios right now are set per engine. I haven't looked at any of that yet and probably won't until a tunnelboat is actually running in the sim with the current engines.

Anyway, I'm mostly concerned with the software side of all this for starters.

I just have to Design it, Write it: Code 😛

jackwilliam
5 years ago

sounds good, now comes the bad part...waiting
as always it looks great

nicholasfrancis
5 years ago

pretty much what Jack said! Waiting isn't fun, but ya know, in the end its a good thing!
Is there a way to expand the system a large amount, so you don't have to do that for a while, or is it more of an "expand it as you progress forward?"

Todd Wasson
5 years ago

It's more of "an expand it as you progress forward" thing. It's something like this:

Task A takes 1 month
Task B takes 1 month
Task C takes 1 month

If all three tasks are done before releasing an update, you'll be waiting for three months for the update where you get all three things at once. I'd rather do task A first and release that update after one month, then do task B and release that a month later, then task C and release that a month later. It's better for all of us this way. It's better for me because little boosts in sales will happen sooner with task A available while working on task B. It's better for you because you can get task A earlier and don't have to wait three months for it.

On my end it's a matter of figuring out what those tasks should be and how to develop and eventually release them in an order that gets things done relatively easily and quickly. I don't always know which task is the best one to do next though, which is why occasionally in the Facebook group I'll set up a poll to see what people really want.

For instance, recently I asked what type of boats everyone wants to see next. Options were inboards, stern drives (inboard/outboards), tunnelboats, and I think maybe one other option which escapes me at the moment. I figured stern drives or inboards would be the first pick, but most of the votes actually went to tunnelboats. I went with that because most of the players wanted that first.

Here's the Facebook group if you haven't joined yet (or just search Design it, Drive it Speedboats on Facebook):

<a href="https://www.facebook.com/groups/405024603032224/" rel="nofollow">https://www.facebook.com/groups/405024603032224/</a>