Post by rt1commuter on Dec 27, 2009 12:59:12 GMT -8
I know that Train Simulator shipped with a scenario maker that allowed the creation of user generated areas; flight simulator has/had an open scenery architecture system. This is what allowed smaller start up companies like MapleLeafTracks to create add on packs, such as the Kicking Horse pass pack in Train Simulator. Perhaps ship sim 2010 will give us the ability to build our own Vancouver/Victoria area c/w BC Ferries?
Don't hold your breath about homebrewing an addon to Ship Sim (a la MS Flight Sim) - VSTEP uses a "closed" game architecture meaning they are the only ones that have the knowledge and tools to create addons for Ship Sim. Even if you could create the addon vessels, you then have to think about the "scenery" they are going to sail in. Having one of the Coastal class ships sail into Rotterdam harbour just doesn't cut it. You would want to recreate Horseshoe Bay, Departure Bay, Tsawwassen, Duke Point, Swartz Bay, etc.
You're best bet would be to approach BCFSI for the $20K fee that VSTEP wants. Their benefit would be the advertising, promotional and/or community relations value. The other thing you need to keep in mind is licensing of the BC Ferries brand. BCFSI is probably not going to allow use of their logo, representations of their ships, etc. without their agreement. Either way you slice it, you'll probably need them on board for this.
Development costs for a stand alone sim would be in the millions of $ ("block buster" video game titles cost tens of millions of $ to develop). Given the narrow audience for something like this, you have a zero chance of getting someone to create a stand alone sim. But...
When MS decided to discontinue their Flight Sim series several months ago, some of the people that found themselves out of work came together to form this software studio, which is devoted to developing simulations. They will probably make this profitable by developing a single game world (i.e. a real world simulation that can portray land, water, weather, etc. and has a decent physics system) and then customize it for the activities they want to simulate (e.g. flying, railroading, mountain climbing, scuba diving, etc.). That way they don't have the cost of creating a unique world every time out and can therefore take on some fairly esoteric projects.
Another idea would be to simply use the latest version of MS Flight Sim (FSX) and create ferries as addons. There are already several "driveable" boat/ship addons available for download and all of the coastal scenery is already there (but you would have to create docking facilities, etc). You wouldn't be able to go very deep with it and you couldn't recreate the same high quality water/wave effects and physics that Ship Sim has but maybe it would satisfy your "inner" captain.
Personally, I would be thrilled to play a B.C. Ferries sim. Although I live in Edmonton now, I grew up in Nanaimo and worked for several years at the Esso marina at the north end of Newcastle Channel, right next to the Departure Bay terminal. It would bring back some great memories. ;D