Ship of the Line

Ship of the Line is the first instalment in the War at Sea project. The second part, Trireme, is in prototype, and the third, Dreadnought will follow at some point. A fourth instalment, tentatively titled Galleys and Galleons is in the planning stage.
Ship of the Line is a simulation of naval warfare in the age of sail, currently in development. It is written in Java, using the Java Monkey Engine game engine.
Ship of the Line is played entirely from a first person perspective. The player is positioned on board his ship, and is free to move around the deck, looking out at the unfolding battle around him. A simple clickable interface gives the player access to controls for directing his own ship, including setting and changing course, increasing or reducing sail, loading and firing the various ship's guns (using various types of ammunition), and assigning crew to different priorities (including manning the port guns, the starboard guns, changing sail or boarding).
All ships in the game apart from the player's - friendly and enemy - are controlled by the AI. The player can direct the actions of other ships in his squadron or fleet - if he has sufficient rank - by sending them signals, defining orders which the AI will then attempt to follow. Conversely, the player may himself receive signals from his superiors, defining objectives which he must attempt to fulfil. These signals include options for formation, course, set of sail, and which enemy forces to attack, and use a simplified system similar to that used by real navies of the time.
Ship of the Line has a strong emphasis on historical accuracy and customisability. Ships are defined by their rate, sailing qualities, and guns carried, and text files can be used to define or modify the data for all ships. Battles proceed at a historically accurate pace - that is, slowly! - though several levels of time acceleration are available. At the same time, it is a game, not a totally faithful simulation, and simplifications have been made to ease gameplay; for example, while various sail states are available, the player does not have to concern himself with the minutiae of sailing, and can simply define an overall sail setting and set a course.
The game is based around single missions or battles, each of which is defined by a text file, making it easy to add new scenarios to the game. There is also a career mode, consisting of a series of linked missions for a single ship and crew. At present there are no plans to add multiplayer - but this may change...
If the scenario calls for it, land can be included (adding the hazard of running aground), along with variable depth of water, and harbours and forts; this allows scenarios to cover things like harbour attacks and cutting out expeditions.
This is a hobby project, not a commercial release, so will not be cutting edge in terms of graphics, options, interface, or any other area. It is instead an attempt to produce a simple but deep wargame on the Age of Sail, with an emphasis on playability, immersion and historical accuracy rather than state of the art graphics.
On to more screenshots and work in progress movies
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