sail controls in VS

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sail controls in VS

Postby Sailorjohn » Thu Jul 03, 2008 2:24 am

Just sent this to Ilan:
sail controls in VS
Sent at: Wed Jul 02, 2008 9:20 pm
From: Sailorjohn
To: ilan

Ilan, here's something that's 'bugged' me in VS for a long time; perhaps it could be improved in the next version. Sorry I didn't think of it when we did the earlier wishlist submission.
When multiple sailboats are in a cruise, the cruise often 'stutters' despite otherwise high frame rates...frequent brief 'hiccups' of a second or so. I've traced the problem to the sails. When any sailboat is sailing downwind, VS uses a specific angle of relative wind to 'wing' the sails (ie, jib to one side, main to the other)...another specific angle to switch main and jib sides...another to go back to both sails on same tack...and yet another set of specific relative wind angles to set/douse the spinnaker. Each of these functions requires reloading of sail.x files and textures for each affected sail, causing a slight 'hiccup' in the smoothness of the program for each sailboat. Especially when multiple boats are sailing downwind at an angle close to the VS decision points, these recurring jerks in the fps become quite annoying.
Two suggestions to improve the smoothness and remove the jerkiness in fps caused by the reloading sail files:
1. If the sailboat is not within visible range of the observer, don't reload the sail files at all.
2. For all sailboats in VS, instead of using a single finite relative wind bearing for changing saill/sailr/spinnaker as described above (which causes very annoying flipflopping of the sails when sailboat is on the exact trigger bearing)...incorporate a 'fuzzy' bearing range of say, 5-10 deg, within which the sailboat will not change from it's last sail configuration. For ex, if VS decides to 'wing' the jib opposite the main at a relative wind of 165 deg...don't 'unwing' it back at 164 deg...allow a few deg of 'slop' so that it doesn't keep switching back and forth and disrupting the fps. As a long-time (55+ years) real-world sailor, I can assure you that sailors don't keep switching between wing/gybe/spinnaker every second or two, just because of a few deg yaw. Once you commit to a sail config, you try to hold it at least for more than a few sec; it takes time to switch. I think VS would run smoother by increasing the go/no-go bearing decision by that 5-10 deg 'window' within which no reversal of the last sail config would occur.

One old sailor's thoughts...
Sincerely,
Sailorjohn

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