if you are satisfied with the visual possibilities, Java3D is good enough.Very satisfied. It's a big jump from the current 2D sim.
We're starting the porting soon. Right now we have tested all techniques we will need:
- loading a 3DS model for the boats
- moving the boats using the current physics engine
- moving the camera(s), we haven't yet decided how many we will give to the user. A external camera, aft and up of their boat and maybe 4 views (bow, aft, starboard and port) from the boat.
- displaying text with the boats and HUD-like
- capturig the mouse and key events that will be forwarded to the existing code
One thing we haven't solved yet is that when we go 3D it makes sense to put waves, both in the display and in the physics engine. The physics has no secret and we can easily model the boat behaviour but what about the display part?.
How do we create the waves? We would have the function y=f(x,z,t), we know for every point in the water what is its height at any time. How can we create it in terms of background, objects, shapes or whatever? And move it? (waves move, and get bigger, and disappear!)
Anyone with a recommendation??
That would help a lot.