··· Dev Diary #5 – Silent threats and measures against them ···

Dear readers, first sorry for the long pause between the dev diaries. We know it’s been a while and it’s overdue. This time we want to cover anti-submarine warfare and sound effects more in general and this time with some more video footage instead of too much text. Enjoy!

Anti submarine warfare

Let’s start with submarines which are a major threat for every task force. Since WWII many weapon systems have been developed to attack that hidden danger. One of the successors of the quite successful hedgehog (a forward-throwing-anti-submarine weapon) was the RBU-6000 (Реактивно-Бомбовая Установка) which is a Soviet anti-submarine rocket launcher. It fires salvos of up to 12 unguided depth charges in a horseshoe-shaped pattern to maximize the probability of a hit.

Here you see a Kresta 2 class cruiser attacking a Sturgeon class submarine:

Those rocket propelled depth charges are quite effective having a hit ratio of about 80%. Beside classic torpedoes there is another interesting option to attack submarines: torpedoes which are fired using a missile launch. One famous example is the ASROC (which stands for Anti-Submarine ROCket), here on a Spruance class destroyer. The attached MK 46 torpedo will start a spiral search after entering the water, going up and down within its search window to actively seek for a submarine:

Sound effects

To create a convincing atmosphere for the entire environment it’s crucial to add proper sound effects and music. Propagation of sound is a quite complex matter, there are doppler effects, sonic absorbtions and reflections, different dampening parameters for different frequencies based on the distance to the source of sound and even more.

For our game Sea Power we want to create an environment that feels realistic. The Unity implementation of the sound engine already allows for some basic behavior, like simple volume fading of a sound source based on distance as well as some filters and doppler effects. But we wanted more! Take an aircraft with a jet engine for instance. Depending on your observer position such an aircraft will sound different from the engine intake than from the engine exhaust. To show that effect, here’s a short video about how that will sound in Sea Power for a jet engine…

…and a turbo prop engine…

So far so good but there’s another aspect of sound for such aircraft. You know how it sounds when there’s an aircraft far away. More often than not you can hear its kind of growling sound but cannot see it.
As you can see, our own sound system allows for aspect sound effects additionally to the already pretty nice Unity sound features. Combined for an aircraft it looks and sounds like that:

A good usage for filters is the water itself, you already heard it in the video above where the submarines were attacked.

That’s it for now. Actually our plan is to roll out more dev diaries with interesting topics in a shorter interval to not let you wait for too long! So this shouldn’t become another months break till the next one!


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