First U-boat simulation where co-op teamwork is the focus
Stockholm, Sweden, Aug 10, 2016 -- When Swedish programmers Oscar Wiberg and Einar Lundgren released a demo of their cooperative multiplayer submarine game, they were surprised at how popular it quickly became. They launched a Kickstarter effort with a $25,000 goal intended to see them through another ten months to finish the game. The tally reached $16,000 but with three days left before the deadline, it looked certain to fall short. Neal Stevens of Subsim.com, a community website that has been reviewing and supporting sub and naval games since 1997, reached out and offered to fully fund the development team for a year and produce the game to be called Wolfpack.
Wolfpack is a U-boat simulation that will feature a diverse set of maps where dynamically generated convoys and lone merchants try to escape to Allied ports. When released, up to four players can join as a crew in one U-boat, manning the periscope, Torpedo Data Computer, radio, sonar, encryption machine, and engine room.
Wolfpack is being designed to place the player at the controls of his station. Most submarine games focus on the single player aspect, allowing one person to manage the sub by a user interface with icons that instantly change depth, speed, and heading. Wolfpack compels the four players to use a procedural hands-on approach--turning valves, working levers, and manually interacting with the controls of the U-boat. When the Captain player orders the Chief player to make a depth and course change, the Chief will turn the helm and set the dive planes and watch the depth gauge. The Captain will observe the target and feed information to the Navigator, who will in turn make the calculations using the Torpedo Data Computer. The Radio/Sonar player may call out intercepted wireless messages or warn of the approaching danger of "high speed screws", which signifies a threatening destroyer intent on hunting the crew down. To implement as much realism as possible, the dev team spent 10 hours surveying the U-995 in Kiel, Germany, examining every inch of the historic sub.
For example, the diving procedure has sixteen steps to be taken by the four players. If any member of the crew is bad at his role, his poor performance can impact the whole boat. Player cooperation will be important for mission success and Wolfpack will be the first submarine simulation to take player teamwork to this level.
"Somewhere in the North Atlantic...."
Additionally, the game will allow several U-boats with multicrews to join forces in a Wolfpack and stalk the mighty convoys of the Atlantic.
The Wolfpack Team have posted a VIVE VR proof of concept demo, available for download on the website. Just be sure to keep a plastic bag at hand.
About Skvader Studios
Oscar Wiberg and Einar Lundgren studied game design together at the Department of Computer and System Sciences at Stockholm University. HMS Marulken (predecessor to Wolfpack) started as the final project for their bachelor's degree. The game was originally intended as a small and simple project, but Einar and Oscar decided to develop it further. They were influenced by Artemis Space Bridge Simulator, which is an unofficial Star Trek game, where a team of players control a spaceship together. The game has gradually evolved into a full 3D game with free movement and FPS-like controls.
Neal Stevens has managed a website called Subsim.com since 1997. Quitting his job, moving to Sweden, and investing in a game project shows how committed he is towards serious naval simulations. Just don't tell him there isn't any Dr Pepper in Stockholm.