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Sea Legends: suggestions

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Hello Admin

A nice source of inspiration for recreating crew members who look real life humans and not robots is the DCS World module Supercarrier: crew members run and behave in a very natural and convincing way (look at 3'12-3'25, there is even one who scratch his nose ;-)).


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Sea Legends – Recreating a living warship in the Age of sail to give a true sens of immersion

Hi everybody,

To recreate the ‘wooden world’ that is a low rate warship of the age of sail is a true challenge, as it was crammed with seamen, complex rigging, guns and equipment in a very small, dimly lit, noisy and often damp space. While in NA the aim is to recreate battles in an open world, in SL the aim seems, according to the website and the first pictures, to recreate a fully functional and realistic ship, ‘from the inside’ and from the captain’s point of view. This opens the possibility to introduce visual and/or functional aspects creating the sense of immersion that were impossible to introduce in NA.

Photographical accounts of the HMS Victory, HMS Trincomalee and replicas like HMS Bounty, Privateer Lynx and the French Hermione, among others and the Master and Commander movie (hum, you noticed how fan I am) are of course useful sources for visual and functional details of the ship’s features. As regards the crew, the customs and the life aboard, an excellent source, among many others, in my opinion, is the R & L Adkins, 2009. Jack Tar, The extraordinary lives of ordinary seamen in Nelson’s Navy, Abacus (one of my favorite books on the period). I use other sources already cited in former posts, including both M. Adkin’s Trafalgar Companion and, as always, one of my favorite novel series, J Stockwin’s Thomas Kydd, which gives rich technical details. A nice way to find contemporary objects, paintings and furniture of the period is to search on antique sales websites (Pro-Antic, Catawiki, etc.). 

In my opinion, most important things for creating a true immersive feeling would be, in an ideal word :

-          Realistic light (both natural and artificial), shades and smoke effects, in and outside the ship

Happy 3rd Anniversary, Captain Steel! - Page 2 - Movie ForumsMaster and Commander (2003) | Evan E. Richards

-        Realistic textures and thickness to wood and 'living' sails to make us feel that we are sailing a wooden sailing ship, worn or freshly repainted (rather than a plastic model)

-          Recreating important functional parts of the ship (rigging/sails, guns, gunports and tackles, anchors and cables, boats, pumps)

-          Differences in the visual aspect of the ship according to 3 very different circumstances: a) normal circumstances (with guns rigged for sea, ports closed, normal watches, etc.) b) storm/dead calm weather (with adapted rigging, limited crew on deck,...) and c) cleared for action (with all hands at station, in silence, with the decks cleared and the guns ready to fire)


1817) 46 gun Leeda class frigate HMS Trincomalee main gun… | FlickrThe Lower Gun Deck | HMS Victory

SOME ASPECTS OF EIGHTEENTH-CENTURY NAVAL FURNITURE(the Victory, painted by Turner, just after the battle, without her guns but with the deck cleared)

-          Realistic noises, voices (especially orders, songs, cheers), piping, drums and music, according to the state/activity of the ship, the time of the day (watches) and the weather


master and commander | Tumblr

-          Realistic weather (visually and functionally), including storms and calms, and related roll and heel


Best Master And Commander GIFs | Gfycat

-          Effect of wind, roll and ship movement on flapping, swinging, liquid, mobile or loose objects (sails, flags, hammocks, loose guns and shots, lanthorns, hanging ditty bags, liquids, etc.)

-          Detailed damage model (falling spars, ropes and blocks, rippen sails, splinters, rudder, gun dismounted, etc.) and optional wounded and killed officers and crew (with blood and cries of pain or not, this is a difficult choice I guess)


Season 3 Explosion GIF by Black Sails - Find & Share on GIPHYDGA Quarterly Magazine | Fall 2005 | Shot to Remember - Master and CommanderDGA Quarterly Magazine | Fall 2005 | Shot to Remember - Master and CommanderMaster and Commander | HMS Surprise just misses a stern hit.… | Insomnia  Cured Here | FlickrZhurnalyWiki: Quiet Comfort

-          A living and working crew, in and out of battle, with most important functions/activities represented (in the rigging, at the capstan, at the guns, at the ropes and boarding; officers on the quarterdeck). 

Sailors performing a capstan shanty. The capstan weighs and lowers the  anchor. | Folk music, Folk, Ancient marinerArgonaut (Reefing a sail) - National Maritime MuseumImpertinent Questions with A. Roger Ekirch | National Endowment for the  Humanities (NEH)


Otherwise, less essential details could give even more life to the ship and the seas like:

-      Detailed and if possible functional equipment (gun equipment, galley/cooking stuff, mess services, sea chests and furnitures, officers’ cabin decoration and furniture, officers’ and crew personal belongings, galley, port tackles above the guns, sick berth, tiller and ropes, sandglasses, bells, etc.) (here, captain's cabin of the HMS Trincomalee, with furniture and port tackle)

HMS Trincomalee Captain's Cabin and Gun Deck - YouTubeUnder, the great cabin of the HSM Victory)

The Great Cabin | HMS Victory

-     The sensation of overcrowd ship, with hundreds men on a rather small ship (but is this possible in a video game ?)

Chile at the movies: Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World (2003)

-     Less essential but everyday crew activities (eating and drinking grog at their mess, sleeping in hammocks, cleaning the decks, wounded in the sick berth or in the cockpit at the surgeon’s table, on the chains to use the leadline, hoisting boats and stores, resting and playing, repairing sails, hull and ropes, moving objects in the hold, receiving a punishment, etc. ; officers giving orders, eating in the captain’s cabin with their servant, chatting in the wardroom, boatswain shouting at a lazy seaman, midshipmen taking the noon sun position, captain's clerk writing on his desk, etc.)

Life at sea in the age of sail | Explore Royal Museums GreenwichLondon's Sailortown (2) - Servicing the Merchant Navy - Untold lives blogYarn | When its lower limb is touching the horizon... Williamson, look to  your sextant. ~ Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World | Video  clips by quotes, clip |

-       If possible, recreate the density and the different sizes of the standing and running rigging and the coiled ropes on the deck (they occupy an important physical place in the field of view, aside the masts, yards and sails) ; on smaller ships it would be easier...

good to know – A Quiet Respitepullings | Explore Tumblr Posts and Blogs | Tumgir

-          Historical ports and local architectural/natural/landscape features on the coasts (lighthouses, castles, fisher villages, rocky or sandy shores, etc.   according to the place) and at sea (realistic birds, marine mammals,…)

Immersion à Ploumanac'h, le plus beau village de FranceEngraving of Ships - Antique French Petite Marine Aquatint Baugean - BK310C  - Bailey & Co antiques and collectables


-       Signalling

-       Livestock and pets aboard


What Did Sailors in the Georgian Royal Navy Eat? – History Hit

-      Diversity of nationalities/origins, of physical aspect (skin, hair, tattoos, scars, tarred hands,…) and uniforms/clothes in the crew; diversity in appearance, skills and personality of officers


As requested by marshalsandoutlaws: Mr.... | Cooper's World | Master and  commander, James d'arcy, MaturinLa confidential GIF - Find on GIFERHold Fast" Tattoo from "Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World"  (Peter Weir, 2003). | Voile bateau1831) Naval Scenes, Steward and Cook. Black sailor | Seaman, 18th century,  Naval historyLost in the Fog: Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World –  Momentary CinemaTest Master and Commander, de l'autre côté du monde Blu-Ray

-          Detailed small arms and swivels

-          Diversity of situations or incidents at sea or in battle (man overboard, fight between seamen, mutiny, a friend captain's visit, being pressed at sea by a Royal Navy ship, etc.)

-          Etc... 


Master And Commander - Weevil. GIF | Gfycatmaster and commander: the far side of the world | Tumblr

And in my opinion, the user interface could be illustrated by (adapted or not by SL artists) period paintings, drawings and engravings from contemporary painters (Pocock, Baugean, …), like in Ultimate Admiral Age of Sail. 

The Spanish frigate 'La Fama' having out - Nicholas Pocock en reproduction  imprimée ou copie peinte à l'huile sur toile

Some of those elements could be easily introduced in the game, other not, for sure. I don’t know what is possible and what is not (the first pictures posted by Admin are very promising !). As already said, developers have their own objectives and constraints in regard to available human resources and budget, gameplay, fps, fun and other more commercial considerations ;-).


Edited by Bonden
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For traders and ships from countries with less iron industry (like the barbary coast), I would love to see old fashioned guns maybe even with stone roundshot. They might have less range and penetration, but stone would have lots of deadly splinters, when hitting something hard.


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  • 3 weeks later...

Hi everybody,

As regards money ("gold"), I would also suggest to limit its use in the game to more or less the way it was used in reality during the period. For privateers, the money was invested by the ship owner or a group of ship owners, seldomely by the captain himself. Of course prize money was his main objective, but he was dependant on the budget granted by his sponsor for arming his ship (unless he was lucky and rich enough and decided to cruise for himself and received his own letter of marque). In a Naval career, the captain could use his own (prize) money to improve his cabin, buy extra things (high quality powder, fine food and spirits/wine, fresh paints, a nice sword, fine cloths, etc.) but he had not to pay himself for the whole fitting/arming of his ship or to pay his officers and crew of course.

So, unlike in NA or in Ultimate Admiral AoS I would not use 'gold' in SL beyond the ways a contemporary captain could earn it (mainly from his family; from his own pay; from prize money and investments) and use it (for personal expenses or in Investments). To reward the captain and make him progress in his career, honor, fame, authority and experience would be more realistic to use than only money.

Well, famous frigate captains got often very rich and it would be fun to recreate the way they could amass a fortune, but gold should not be the unique currency and the unique way to progress. For instance, a very famous/lucky/gifted privateer captain had no problem to be financed and to get a nice ship by a ship owner or a group of them, because of his reputation, not directly because of his fortune (even if he could fancy up his ship and armament with his own money).

On the other,hand, it could be nice to introduce in the game the possibility for a captain to hire a prize agent, in charge to represent him in prize court and to manage/invest his money (in a more or less honest way and with more or less success, like did Jack Aubrey's agent... ;-)).  Reversal of fortune could also be nice to introduce, for instance when an investment was too risky or when the prize was not legal and the court condemned the captain to pay for the damage done.

Edited by Bonden
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  • 3 weeks later...

After looking through the suggestions, I am glad that most other "sailors" here seem to desire the same as me:
a most realistic game and simulation about the age of sailing ships.

And after reading the developers throught and plans for the game on their website, I am pretty much sure 
they have that same desire - to move away from the crash-boom-bang gaming, towards a "simulation" 
about the aera of sailing the seven seas.

Some may try to come up with hints and wishes towards the other end - but they can play NAVAL ACTION.
Don't underestimate the number of people over fourty, who have an urge for more realism rather than quick rush action.
And the have the capital to support and buy such a game/sim.
We have love for detail, patience for history, and a strong desire for deep immersion.

I do not buy dozens of games anymore - in the end, most of them are "slayer games" and quite similar to what I know already.
So now I like playing sims more, and I like to play in a world full of other people.
No bot can replace the complexity of a human mind in real time action.
No bot can replace the feeling of camaraderie, or even friendship.

And because I believe to read a very similar mindset from the Dev's announcements, I do not make any suggestions here yet,
except this one plea: stay confident to your vision - don't water it down to please the BlitzKids one more time.

I wish all in the dev team and all who want SEA LEGENDS as much as I do, a merry Xmas and a healthy & happy new year.
Later in our histories we may all remember: 2021 was the year when SEA LAGENDS was give to us...

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