Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Nemo sailing

The Nemo keeps getting better and better. There were a few things I missed in Nemo2, but with the Nemo3, currently in beta, the list is much shorter. It is becoming a really nice boat. I won't do a detailed test. The boat is in beta, and preferences are often a matter of taste. This is just what I experienced during a short sail.
The Nemo 3
A few days back I mentioned the Nemo sailed half submerged, and it did. This time the servers were fresh and the Tradewinds waters were too. So no diving. The Nemo3 sails nicely, reacts promptly and the feedback is pretty good. First thing to notice is sailshaped sails. Woohoo. And they luff too. I like that. It creates just the right feeling of a tack.
There are no telltales or windvane, but there is a colour coded trim indicator, which also - visually - displays boom angle, wind angle and speed. The "tell-button" works well, and it's great with mouselook sailing as shown below. What I don't get is, why they didn't put in a compass.
Trim in green, windangle is blue, boom is red, speed is black
Really! Any boat seriously meant for racing must have a compass. The Nemo3 needs a compass even more, since the wind is actually imported real world wind. There is no way to predict the shifts, but since they are real shifts from the real world, it makes sooo much sense to have a compass and track them.
It's pretty stable on the rudder. Upwind or downwind, there's very little need of course corrections, except those due to windshifts. The balancing is automagic, so nobody is yelling "hike harder". You are simply put in the best possible hiking position. That's too bad. The hiking should really be up to the skipper, but the animations sure look good.
Hike harder
Besides the luffing sails and the accompanying sound, there is also a sailing sound. It's nice, but it doesn't seem to give much feedback on the speed. Now, that can be fixed, I am sure. Now that we're in fix-mode let's have some waves too. It sails like a train on rails. No ups and downs or sideway rolls. At all. While we're at it, it seems there is no concept of current either.
Going for a picnic
It's also a little too slow reacting on the rudder and gusts for my taste. I miss more livelyness. Perhaps it is because it is a keeler. I dunno. The livelyness can probably be tuned a bit. One really nice thing though, is the winddrift and the steering. At low speeds the steering becomes slower, and drifting backwards the rudder still works as expected on a real boat, in reverse. That's a nice touch.
Going south looking for that picnic island
The Nemo3 is definately on the right track. It sails well, and it looks great, and it has many lovely details.  Did you notice the bent mast? Still, it appears to me as a boat meant for picnics and day cruises. Nothing wrong with that, but why not add a few features and have a really great racing boat?

Here's a few shots of the Nemo2.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Noodle says hi and behave :-)

(Please leave an identifiable name when commenting)