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PT Boats: Knights of the Sea Q&A
(hx) 09:37 AM CET - Dec,24 2004

Akella has become famous for its marine games based on cutting edge 3D sea technology. We got a chance to chat with Sergey Belistov of Akella, as he talks about PT Boats: Knights of the Sea, the upcoming World War II naval simulator which will offer "a new level of realism and graphics". He provided us with pretty interesting information and three exclusive screenshots.

GGMania: Could you introduce yourself to our readers and tell them a little bit about what you do on PT Boats: Knights of the Sea?

Sergey Belistov: Let me introduce myself, I am Sergey Belistov, PT Boats producer.

GGMania: Can you give us a little background on the development team working on this game?

Sergey Belistov: The team has good experience working in the game industry. The core of the team is responsible for such titles as Age of Sails II and Age of Sails II: Privateer’s Bounty - navy real-time strategy games.

GGMania: Can you give us an overview of PT Boats: Knights of the Sea, telling us what the game is all about?

Sergey Belistov: PT Boats: Knights of the Sea is a naval simulator of mosquito fleet of World War II. Take command of a boat and control each member of the crew. Shoot down aircraft using machineguns and anti-aircraft guns, torpedo hostile destroyers and supply ships, "entertain" uninvited guests with cannon fire, plan group attacks - essentially, do whatever you like. Any operation can be entrusted to the AI or handled on your own.

We plan to do classical simulator - with attention to the smallest details from one side and from other side with wide range of realism options so every player no matter if he is hardcore sim fan or casual player, all of them can configure game as they like and have fun.

GGMania: Could you describe some of the boats in the game?

Sergey Belistov: The boats in the game will be really different. Let’s take a close look on two of them - Russian G-5 and German S-boot:

G-5 was one of the most high-speed boats in the world and was armed very well for her displacement. She was suited for daring attacks on the still water. Foreign boats of the same displacement were usually armed with less powerful torpedoes of 450 - 457-mm caliber. But the advantages of the boats were accompanied by disadvantages. The redan that allowed attaining high speed also was the reason for the high yawing and loss of speed on the waves. In heavy seas at full speed the boat was beaten by the waves. Heavy splashing hampered the work of the crew and observation. This in turn decreased the accuracy of torpedo and machine-gun firing.

The concept of S-Boot was that the boat should have range of more than 500 miles, to be able to operate even under storm conditions, have hardly any noticeable silhouette, and to be equipped with torpedo-tubes on the rostrum, thus easing the attack in conditions of low visibility. Those requirements made German boats the biggest in the world - equipping with Diesels which improved the working range, leading to the increased weight of the ship. The Hull has to be long enough to provide good navigability and speed, as well as to have torpedo-tubes on the stern. In addition, overload was larger than on speedboats and semi-speedboats, and due to that cannon weaponry of S-boots was quite weak for their size.

In theory German boats didn't appeared to be as powerful as their smaller opponents but in practice they worked off their size good. S-boots were most suitable at launching torpedoes, withstanding the fights against bigger enemy ships, as it was planned by its creators, and serving as an example for numerous imitations. Similar boats were built in not only small countries like Bulgaria and Yugoslavia but also by powerful sea powers like Italy and Japan. Even after WWII ended, S-boots served in various fleets well into to the Sixties.
We plan to have about 100 units in the game including torpedo boats, destroyers, minesweepers, corvettes, submarines, cargo ships, fighters and bombers. The player will be able to play about 30 boats.

Likewise, could you describe some of the weapons you get to use?

The player will be able to use large amount of weapons - heavy machine guns like Browning .50, Vickers 0.5in, Soviet DSHK 12.7mm, automatic AA guns, torpedoes and deep charges.

GGMania: How historically accurate will be the various game components?

Sergey Belistov: We are paying a lot of attention to historical accuracy. All ships, planes, weapons, uniforms will be historically accurate.

GGMania: Your official web site mentions some cooperation with IL-2 Sturmovik developers - 1C/Maddox Games. How you get in touch with them?

Sergey Belistov: On the beginning stage of the development 1C/Maddox Games helped us with some plane models and consultations about flight simulation. Now we have a large amount of sea-based planes that we made ourselves and which are possible to see in PT Boats only.

GGMania: Could you describe the game's mission structure? Can you give us an example of specific missions in the game?

Sergey Belistov: There will be 3 campaigns in the game - for Allies, Russians and Germany. In the campaign the player will move from one seat of war to another but in accordance with historical events. The missions will consist from all kind of operations that mosquito fleet were involved during WWII - patrols, convoy attacks, ambush, aircraft combat.

There will be a number of special missions too. For example the player should sneak unnoticed to the enemy coast and drop off saboteur team.

GGMania: How is combat handled in PT Boats: Knights of the Sea?

Sergey Belistov: The player is the captain of his boat but he has ability to switch to any active crew member of his boat. This feature allow the player to participate in all kind of sea combats - to navigate boat, aim torpedoes then switch to machine gun to fight aircrafts then switch to deep charges to fight submarines. When player will have high rank then he’ll be able to command squadron. He can’t switch to another boat but he can give orders to other boats.

GGMania: What other gameplay elements in the game do you consider to be important and/or unique?

Sergey Belistov: Another feature that I would like to note is ability to interact with friendly forces. The player can ask for destroyers support or aim own air forces to the strong enemy target.

GGMania: What can you tell us about the engine that is being used for the game?

Sergey Belistov: PT Boats powered with STROM 3 engine. The engine has some unique features that never used before. For example dynamic waves that boat engines and shell blasts produce interact with boat hull so the player can really feel the water under his boat. The other feature is the realistic ship physics. After serious damage the ship can have careen that not allow she to aim to the enemy. The captain can decide to flood watertight compartment and to plane trim difference to give ship ability to shoot. Of course, this is possible with quite big ships only; torpedo boat is not big enough.

GGMania: What kind of hardware should players have in order to experience good game performance?

Sergey Belistov: To have good game performance player should have Pentium 4 - 3 GHz, 512 Mb ram and GeForce FX 5900 with 256 mb. In low resolution it is possible to play even on 1.7 GHz and GeForce 4.

GGMania: Will the game have a multiplayer mode? If so, what will it include?

Sergey Belistov: The game will have cooperative and deathmatch multiplayer modes. In cooperative players will be able to fight AI enemy together, in deathmatch mode we plan to have several game modes like dogfight and capture the flag. In any multiplayer mode it will be possible to control one crew member by one player on the boat so this give as ability to create virtual crew where each player is part of the boat’s crew.

GGMania: What's the current status of the project, and what remains to be done? When will it be released?

Sergey Belistov: The game is under development now and we expecting release in Q3 2005.

GGMania: Do you plan to release a playable demo?

Sergey Belistov: I think that we’ll discuss playable version closer to the release date.

GGMania: Thank you for taking the time to answer these questions. Finally, is there anything else you'd like to add about PT Boats: Knights of the Sea?

Sergey Belistov: Thank you for you questions. We are very glad to see people seriously interested in navy simulation.

genre: naval simulator
release: 2005/Q3
developer: Akella

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