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|Simulation video games|
A submarine simulator, or subsim for short, is usually a computer game in which the player commands a submarine. The usual form of the game is to go on a series of missions, each of which features a number of encounters where the goal is to sink surface ships and to survive counterattacks by destroyers. Submarine simulators are notable for the highly-variable pace of the game; it may take hours of simulated time to get into position to attack a well-defended convoy, and sub simulators typically include an option for players to adjust the ratio of real time to simulated time up and down as desired.
Most subsims use World War II as the setting; its submarine warfare was lengthy and intense, the historical material is extensive, and the limited capabilities of the period's submarines place a high premium on game playing skill. Games usually feature either US submarines in the Pacific, or U-Boats in the Atlantic. Another popular category is modern attack submarines, especially those of the Los Angeles class also known as "688s" after the ship number of the first of the class.
Game displays generally include an overhead map or "radar" view, showing the submarine and any ships whose position can be detected, the periscope view if the sub is close enough to the surface, a set of gauges showing depth and course, and a boat plan showing torpedo availability, damage to various subsystems, and so forth.
Subsims were especially popular in the earlier days of computer gaming. The graphics demands were well-matched to the hardware of the times, as was the computing load; ships move relatively slowly, and an encounter typically entails fewer than a dozen objects moving simultaneously. More recent games enhance the graphics, although much of it is "chrome", for instance using photorealistic interiors instead of a panel of gauges.
The first submarine simulator available to the civilian public was Thorn EMI's Submarine Commander of 1982.
The vehicle simulator game Naval Ops: Warship Gunner 2 (2006) by Koei features submarine hulls & puts the player through several submarine piloting missions, though several other missions are also restricted against submarine use.
There are also a number of simulators available for underwater robots such as AUVs. These simulators are commonly used by research institutes for testing robot control and coordination algorithms before or during the development of a submarine.