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Steel Beasts Pro P E, Version 4.1


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As tank enthusiasts we all know about sabot petals and the danger zones that they create. Since that was on the development agenda for the latest iteration, we realized that there should be a way for us internally to visualize the behavior during the development process since they are so difficult to observe.

The example below isn't perfect yet, but still I figured it'd be worth sharing.

 

 

And who knows, we might make it a feature for the AAR. I think there's some educational value in this, at least for tanker padawans.

Edited by Ssnake
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Technically the 106mm recoilless rifle has a ranging gun cal .50 ... but you can't use it directly, so it's rather inconsequential.

I suppose it MIGHT be something to use with the Centurion, but since we model the Sho't Kal as the stand-in and that one did away with the ranging gun (at least that's what I THINK), no luck there either.

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Yeah, the Shot Kal didnt have an RMG. Most of them seem to have been converted from Mk5's (20 pounder armed ones) which didnt have any.

 

Oddly the Australians fitted RMG to their Mk5's which they used in Vietnam. More for an additional Coax than for gunnery. With the 20pdr you had enough ammunition to use the 3 round rule, and its not like they needed to kill tanks.

 

Anyway, just curious, thanks for that.

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I gotta say though, the work on 4.1 was almost entirely about one thing, improving and solidifying the underlying simulation quality. This would be the common theme, if I were to summarize the last three years. I'll be illustrating this in the coming weeks with more examples. One area that largely eludes effective presentation is, sadly, AI that simply works. That is entirely unspectacular, but of course it's highly amusing to observe the failures (like that helicopter swarm flyby in the DCS thread). We aren't short of examples where the old pathfinding resulted in a number of silly behaviors (and no doubt the new version will still show a fair bit of silliness all around if you go looking for it). And of course, if you would contrast the two it would be obvious what progress has been made.

It still goes against the basic principle in marketing not to intentionally make your product look bad.

 

In the past you'd often enough have crashes between oncoming traffic lanes if there was the slightest obstacle on one lane, making the computer blindly veer into the other lane. Like, parked cars next to a road. or a dead vehicle blocking a bridge. Now they simply bypass the cars that aren't even on the road, or drive around the dead tank on the bridge. They no longer slide into wadis for driving too close to the edge. They don't necessarily get stuck in large areas with rock clusters, as long as there is a path through the maze, somehow (actually, they're too good at it now).

In short, a lot of things "just work".

Edited by Ssnake
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Eh, Grenny seems to want to steal all my thunder:

 

 

Then again, I probably would have completely forgotten half of the stuff that he mentions, so I guess it's still a net win to have cried "Update!", and let slip the hounds of propaganda war.

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Before we continue with the scheduled program, here's a word from our sponsor. The eSim Games shop at Cafepress provides all the essentials for your tank-themed lifestyle, especially if you're short of ceramic mugs and fridge magnets. Whichever your favorite modern combat vehicle is, chances are, one of our mugs was made for you. Collect them all! Give them to your significant other - she won't know what to say!

 

And always remember, for every mug sold one dollar goes to a worthy cause - eSim Games making more money. If you buy a million mugs, we might make a million bucks (before taxes). If that doesn't convince you, I don't know what will.

Edited by Ssnake
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So, new terrain "engine", what does that mean if the original terrain source data remain unchanged?

The new engine was always intended to create "growth capacity" with respect to future improvements. But as a first step, we can now dig holes at runtime - with dozer blades, or in "fast mode" with explosives:

 

Edited by Ssnake
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No, it was my attempt at levity. :D

 

As you seem to be introducing deformable terrain, is there going to be any limits to the size of crater? Im probably being overly ambitious looking to ADM's, but it looks to me as if you can model culvert bombs fairly well?

Edited by Stuart Galbraith
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As you seem to be introducing deformable terrain, is there going to be any limits to the size of crater? Im probably being overly ambitious looking to ADM's, but it looks to me as if you can model culvert bombs fairly well?

 

We're at the very beginning of our work on deformable terrain. The technology is there, and here the limit of the crater size (performance considerations aside) is the size of the map. Naturally, the limit is more about what kind of explosive can you detonate, and that's limited by the IED munitions available and their parameters.

Right now the biggest IED you can place is 10x 2000lb Mk84 JDAM. Wanted to show it, but discovered a bug. Also, in the version that I used more houses will survive the bomb blast than would in real life, or will in the release version.

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Are you going to have deformable houses with this as well? I wouldnt expect bombing of Caen effects, but deformable buildings and rubble strewn streets might be an interesting idea.

 

Thats good news on craters. I always regretted the removal of the antitank ditch tool, even if there was good reasons for it.

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So, I didn't break Salisbury plains, but I know now where to conduct all other cratering experiments. :P

 

 

Are you going to have deformable houses with this as well? I wouldnt expect bombing of Caen effects, but deformable buildings and rubble strewn streets might be an interesting idea.

 

Thats good news on craters. I always regretted the removal of the antitank ditch tool, even if there was good reasons for it.

 

The video is a good indicator of the building destruction (or, the lack of it); unfortunately nothing that we can change now or in the near future. Some of the guys are working on exactly that some related issues right now. And also no partial destruction. One day, but not this year.

 

(Things I learn in team meetings...)

Edited by Ssnake
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So, I didn't break Salisbury plains, but I know now where to conduct all other cratering experiments. :P

 

 

Are you going to have deformable houses with this as well? I wouldnt expect bombing of Caen effects, but deformable buildings and rubble strewn streets might be an interesting idea.

 

Thats good news on craters. I always regretted the removal of the antitank ditch tool, even if there was good reasons for it.

 

The video is a good indicator of the building destruction (or, the lack of it); unfortunately nothing that we can change now or in the near future. Some of the guys are working on exactly that some related issues right now. And also no partial destruction. One day, but not this year.

 

(Things I learn in team meetings...)

 

Ok well thats fair enough, this is a very significant upgrade as it is. Is there any limit to the amount of craters you can have in, say, a square mile? Im just idly wondering about carpet bombing.

 

Now, go and fill all those craters in. You are making the place look untidy. Tsk tsk. :)

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Is there any limit to the amount of craters you can have in, say, a square mile?

 

I don't think so, but let's test it.

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I was thinking of some of the difficulties the British had advancing in Operation Goodwood from the heavy cratering from allied bombers. Granted we dont really fight like that anymore, but I would think some Russian Rocket systems may leave heavy cratering.

 

And of course it would leave you open to put in the MkIV Heavy Tank. :)

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Okay... so I went a little bit crazy with them explosives.

 

 

 

The result looks okay-ish at first sight:

 

 

 

However, objectively it is not. There were more (way more!) IEDs than there are now craters. And on closer inspection there's at least one "flat crater" (has the scorched earth texture but no deformation, to the direct front left of the Chally). Of course the question is, do we allow digging craters into craters; probably not a good idea since it is only a matter of time until someone stacks a high number of IEDs on top of each other to drill a hole all the way to the bottom (-12,800m in the 16 bit world of Steel Beasts, at a height resolution of 39cm), and then possibly crashing it as you try to dig deeper.

 

It wouldn't even require manic energy, as we added an option to duplicate IEDs (that's what I did here), so you can very quickly create an insane number of them in the attempt to break Salisbury Plains.

 

On the other hand... a worthy goal... But think, Nils, think what the Great Man said: Never Go Full Retard!

Edited by Ssnake
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I think thats very impressive indeed. I dont think you have to model every crater for it to be worth doing. Its going to impede the movement of any forces that try and drive across that.

 

Ive not kept track, can you build Antitank ditches now? From what I saw above, you have some ability to dig scrapes in realtime already?

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So, in conclusion, there seems to be an upper limit. A generous upper limit maybe, but it's there. I don't know how high it is exactly, and frankly, I'm not interested enough to do the iterative work of trying to find the optimal packing density for craters, then to fill a significant area uniformly, and then count the crater number.

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