Someday you will want to try cruising around not through the air, but through FS’s liquid environment. When you do, it better be aboard one of Deltasim‘s ultra-sleek virtual vessels.
Deltasim is Robert Waszkiewicz, Polish maverick designer based in Warsaw. He began flightsimming in 1997 and by the next year he was already playing with API models and pioneering mesh scenery for FS98, by hand, with the SCASM compiler. He was already showing interest in floating things when he released his version of the Saratoga, the first FS2000 landable aircraft carrier. After becoming bored with aircraft and approving of the FS2004 water he went full-steam after the development of boats and ships.
A friend of mine owns a nice sailing boat, and he invites me during the summer for a bit of sport in the Finnish archipelago, so I know what it feels like to be in a boat and to man it when the seas are calm and when they are not, so let me tell you, Waszkiewicz says he doesn’t have any nautical background, but you can tell he knows a lot, about ships, about designing, modelling, texturing, and about making you feel you are in there. Have your sea-sickness pills handy.
The range of vessels he has attempted is broad. When you think him a closeted aristocrat for re-creating a multi-million concept-craft like the Maltese Falcon, he goes and does a small motor-boat, or a battle-hardened tug. Either through luxurious environments brimming with the latest hi-tech navigation equipment and the richest of (virtual) synthetic and natural materials, or through heavy, rusted metal gear he will get the vibe just right. His clever sound design is another key factor that contributes enormously to the feel-there, with the subtle clangs, clatter and splashing that constitute a realistic nautical background noise. The animations are not only incredibly realistic and smooth, they are relevant to the action they are depicting. Check this video of the Falcon deploying its mains, or this one of the crane operating in the motor-yacht to see examples of what I mean.
So here’s the hydraulic man himself, answering some questions.
Hello and welcome, Robert. What can you tell about your design process?
Hello, Jarn. I’ve been using 3D Studio since the DOS version in 1994, so I guess I could use it blindfolded by now. 😀 But I also need to adapt my work for compatibility with the FSX SDK, and that scares me a lot! I work alone, so my designs take time to make. I do the research and the building of the models, gauges, textures, the managing of emails, sales, website updating, videos, and everything in between.
About the models, I gather all the photographs and drawings I can get from the Net or anywhere else, and begin from there. I am a draughtsman, so I have a good spatial imagination. First comes a drawing and detailed measurements, which will lead to the modelling of the hull, and then the accessories and details. Once the whole model is ready I continue with the gauges and the effects, which is the longest part of the work. I test in-game every day, from forty to sixty times. Finally I need three days more for adjustments, mainly regarding dynamics.
Have you ever considered including virtual people in your models? They look phantasmagoric without someone at the controls… And some señoritas suntanning in bikinis over the deck would help with sales, I am sure. 😀
You know, I’ve never been interested in adding a crew… But you are right, I must make some people and put them on-board! I will put some workers on the upcoming Smit tug, although no bikini-clad ladies at this time! Anyway, the problem is in the weight of the MDL file. There’s a limit for LOD (level-of-detail) in any model because it affects frame rates, so one must be careful.
How has the flight simulation community reacted to your products?
The initial reaction was very enthusiastic, and it’s getting better every month. I must also point out I offer a high level of quality at a fraction of what you pay for other add-ons. Some of them you can get also as freeware. You are welcome to visit my website either way.
That’s right. And as practice makes perfect, check out the levels of quality this man is achieving with his latest creation, the Smit Rotterdam tug. Thank you, and keep ’em flowing, Robert!
You are welcome, Jarn!