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Survive in inhumane conditions and come back home with the whole crew.
Survive in inhumane conditions and come back home with the whole crew.
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1,511 backers pledged CA$ 38,188 to help bring this project to life.

September Update

Posted by PlayWay (Creator)

Hello friends!

We hope that you had a great holiday.

The day has come when we can share the news about our development again. We did not disappear, we worked as usual. UBOAT is an integrated part of our existence lately ;)

The game is getting more and more full of shape. As usual, we changed some old things that seemed to be good before, but in time with our experience increasing they had to evolve into better form. We have also added quite new things that we hope will appeal to you.

You must be impatient, so let's get to the point.

Conning Tower Upgrades

We've expanded our upgrades list with 5 conning towers. These are shipped with extra AA guns at no charge.

Turm 0
Turm 0
Turm I
Turm I
Turm II
Turm II
Turm IV - LM 42 U
Turm IV - LM 42 U
Turm IV - Quadruple LM 43 U
Turm IV - Quadruple LM 43 U


In our quest to let the player manually control as many devices on the boat as possible (if he wants to), we've implemented manual hydrophone in UBOAT. It's a pretty realistic implementation that allows for adjusting the listening frequency and accounts for the variable sound frequency diffusion in the water.

Along with the hydrophone, we had to upgrade the audio system in UBOT to make distant sounds be more realistic and behave correctly under water. That adds extra immersion and it was necessary to make the hydrophone right.


We have been working hard on our animations lately. There are tens of new animations for the crew to make the boat more lively and convincing. We're still not done yet, but it's a major improvement. Some of them include:

  • We now have a fully animated torpedo maintenance and loading. Woohoo! That was a pretty complex process to animate.
  • Depth steers both manual by rotating the wheel and automatic.
  • Diesel engine maintenance animations.
  • Relax animations: sleeping, reading magazines, smoking, playing cards etc.
  • Observation animations using the binoculars.

So much aggression..
So much aggression..

Somalia pirates DLC.
Somalia pirates DLC.
It's a bug or feature.. I really don't know!
It's a bug or feature.. I really don't know!


WW2 subsim games are all about sneaking and hiding and our detection mechanics had to evolve appropriately. From now on there are 7 detection mechanisms: visual, passive sound, active sound, radar, radar detector, radio and information (from HQ or other allies). Most of them can be either direct or indirect.

Indirect detection in UBOAT means that specific objects in group cannot be distinguished. Your crew may spot a smoke at the horizon or just hear some distant group on the hydrophone. What you know is that there is a group of something out there and depending on the detection method you may know, if these are ships or airplanes, estimate the size of the group, its position and even speed.

In general there are many factors affecting the detection chance. Some examples of factors that are implemented in UBOAT:

  • Smoke screens, regular smoke from fires, fogs and physical objects block the line of sight.
  • Detonated depth charges, shadow zones, seabed proximity, physical objects and stealthy hull covers affect sonar detection.
  • Devices on the ship, shadow zones, propeller cavitation and surface proximity affect hydrophone detection.
  • Radio transmissions make all destroyers go in your direction. Weird.
Most factors can be quickly reviewed in a detection notification tooltip.
Most factors can be quickly reviewed in a detection notification tooltip.

As you can see now there are many factors for tactical minds to consider.


Meters around the boat had been massively improved to be historically accurate, easily readable and to have a high resolution textures. Friendly member of our community has kindly photographed for us U-995 meters from up close, so we will probably improve them a bit further, if there is something wrong.

We've started scripting these meters to make them indicate correct values. This process will probably be finished for our next update.

Gyrocompass repeater
Gyrocompass repeater
Revolutions per minute
Revolutions per minute
Telegraph, rudder.
Telegraph, rudder.
Revolutions per minute
Revolutions per minute


From now on you can spot living crew on other ships too. In case of danger they evacuate the ship on pontoons.

That's still an early work in progress, but you can see it on the video.

Subsurface scattering

To make the crew more lively and convincing we've implemented screen-space subsurface scattering into UBOAT. It's a technique that tries to simulate the realistic light propagation in human skin. We did our best to keep the implementation fast and reasonable as many SSS techniques are widely known performance killers.

Better atmospheric scattering

If one would compare our newest video with any of the older ones, we're sure that the atmospheric effects improvement will be very apparent. Previously we've been using single ray scattering, but now we've implemented approximate multiple scattering. It improves the look of horizon, distant objects and fogs.

We felt that it's important for a game like this as the camera is always in the open space.

Notice that parts of the image covered by fog become blurry.
Notice that parts of the image covered by fog become blurry.

Environment objects and sea animals

It's a work in progress actually as our animals have their models and animations in production, but you can hear them on the hydrophone. We've used actual recordings kindly supplied by NOAA to make our underwater environment sound convincing. It adds a lot to the immersion when you pick these little guys on the hydrophone too, not just the propellers. Also.. swimming among them may help you stay undetected.

Besides that, icebergs are now generated in areas with cold climate. They may hide your boat or your enemies from the view and provide tactical advantage. 

More ships

Our talented 3D artists are now working on a second batch of ship models. You can expect to see the results in the next update.

This time some freighters are going to join the party as currently we're still having just the Liberty in the game.

New effects

There are new effects in UBOAT:

  • Bow spray.
  • Water gushes.
  • Improved chimney smoke.
  • Improved bow waves.

You can see them in our new video. Let us know, if they are okay.

Note: new, tweaked bow waves can be seen only on the Flower corvette near the end of the video.

Periscopes and binocular

Previously only our attack periscope was manually useable. From now on also observation periscope and targeting sight on the conning tower can be used by the player.

Damage system improvements

Hulls of non playable ships are now composed of compartments too that are sealed by the crew when needed. Internally it's not a visual element, but math thing.

It's resultant effect is that ships now don't just sink vertically, but as their center of mass changes from the flooding water they may also rotate in many different ways like it's commonly seen on WW2 sinking ship photos. That also makes some parts of the ship more vulnerable than the others.

We've also added other improvements to our damage system like secondary explosions from torpedoes stored on the deck etc.


Diseases now spread among your crew, especially in cold regions. It's a good idea to take antibiotics on the northern trips.

Trained radioman treats patient.
Trained radioman treats patient.

Further sandbox experimentation

We are progressing further on our quest to add interesting long term gameplay elements into UBOAT. We always had an idea what we want, but still it's something new to the WW2 subsim genre and definitely requires taking one step at a time.. but we are getting there!

As many of you have pointed out, turning the wages of war seems like a great addition to the game and gives the player actual goals to pursue, but it's also pretty tricky when it comes to realism as you control just a single boat. We did our best to make it convincing and let the player choose the degree of this impact, but it still felt like half-measures.

We are currently working on a system of promoting your officers, including skippers, to the HQ. That's something that was happening in the history pretty often and that lets us expand player's reach. Only trained and experienced officers can take such path in their career. When they go to HQ they are still your people and you can assign them projects to work on. It's like a tech tree - using their influences they may support researching new technologies for the Kriegsmarine or Luftwaffe, complete engineering projects like the Goliath transmitter and support undergoing military operations.

We would love to hear some feedback about this as we are getting many great ideas from your comments. Kind thank you upfront!

Release date

We are not maniacal perfectionists and would really like to give that baby to the community as soon as possible, if for nothing else, just to earn something on our hard work. Our goal though is to make a good game that will stay around for years and we are still not at this point. Process to get there doesn't let us release a small game and expand it into a big thing - there aren't many cases like this in the gaming history.

In its current shape UBOAT is still not playable due to our far reaching design decisions. There are still lots of missing assets like animations, voices, icons and there are missing gameplay features too. Some of them are pretty basic stuff like AA guns not working and having just the Liberty to hunt on, while other are pretty complex issues to resolve.

There aren't any big risks for the production on the road, but we will have to test your patience. We are very thankful for your investment in our project and we keep doing what we believe is the best option to make UBOAT a successful project.

We definitely won't make it in 2017 and will keep you updated with each update how our progress is shaping. We still don't declare any specific date for many good reasons, but you can be sure that the release is going to happen as soon as that will be possible. As you can see, we are working very hard to make that happen and present many exciting additions to the game with each update.


Popcorn ready? Let's watch the movie.

Thank you for your continued support!

Deep Water Studio

Haevermaet Anthony, Tequi, and 31 more people like this update.


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    1. Missing avatar


      Great job... happy to see this going wherever you take it.. personally tech tree, hq all that.. why bother.. focus on the uboot sim and make that the best one out there... I'd rather see more detail and animation and more realism of the people than some off shore out there HQ story.. that's my vote..but fine either way

    2. Missing avatar

      Chris on

      This looks so cool and fun and detailed.

      * The way you described the concept of a "tech tree" is pretty interesting. It makes it sound as if there will be limited chance to upgrade, so you have to make tough choices.

      * I also thought the comment about bringing along antibiotics to be interesting. Are we going to have a limited cargo space and have to choose what supplies and goods to carry along on a mission? That might add another fascinating strategic/logistical element to the game.

      I know we're all anxious to play the final version, but please release it when it's ready and don't cut corners to make an arbitrary release date. It's worth the wait! Please just keep updating people on your progress because I'm certain this makes people more excited, motivates you, and eases any concerns that any backers might possibly have. Thanks

    3. Missing avatar

      NileX13 on

      That sounds very interesting!
      I would love to have the chance to choose between "Historical" and "Extended War", or something like this, in the options or before starting a campaign, but thats my personal preference.

      I like the way you choose to give us the possibility to extend and/or change the war, its very smart.

    4. PlayWay 20-time creator on

      @NileX13 Water splashes indeed need more work, we will make them better for the next update for sure.

      Regarding the uses for officers in the HQ - some skippers were legends and they were probably able to have a notable political influence. Our current idea is that they would be able to:

      - Support research projects to make certain technologies appear faster than normal like 10 cm radar detectors or snorkels. These are big things for your boat, but they increase the k/d ratio of other u-boats too.

      - Use their influences to fund engineering projects, like Goliath transmitter, new submarine pens, more u-boats etc.

      - Use their tactical knowledge to support chosen ongoing military operations. That supports the war effort on a larger scale, but also makes it easier for you to operate on some seas because you can count to have more supply ships here (like milk cows) and more U-boats for wolfpacks.

    5. Daniel Henson on

      So awesome. Loving the hydrophone. The sound design is awesome (though I'm pretty sure I'll be turning the music way down during play, haha) and the animations are fantastic. Can't wait to play this.

    6. Missing avatar

      Zac Campbell on

      Something I second I saw this on Steam in the comments on the update page. I think it would be a great addition to the games alt history.

      Finnish Jäger 12 hours ago 

      Awesome work! The alt-history plans look very cool. I have a quick idea for that in terms of the "tech tree." You might have heard of the GUPPY program, where post WW2, the US Navy took technology and designs from the Type XXIs and modified their WW2 era submarines (Gato, Balao, Trench) to increase underwater speed (among other improvements). Perhaps in the alt-history world, while the Kriegsmarine is waiting on the type XXIs to enter service, they choose to rebulld as many Type VIIs as possible with a rounded bow, more streamlined conning tower, remove drag and adding more batteries. This stop-gap method is designed to give the type VII crews a better chance against the Allied navies and their success perhaps gives the Type XXI program some extra development time and gives the new subs some more experienced crews and commanders.
      Also looking forward to a historically accurate campaign too!
      Take your time with everything! we'll be patient!

    7. Andreas Kahlke on

      Oh wow! The game looks great. Can you give props to the sound designer? The hydrophone is so well done!

      One request, could there be messages from the outside world? News and updates, just to enhance the feeling that there is a World War going on?

      Are our crewmen going to have boosted morale when Operation Barbarossa starts of as a success? What about when the 6th Army gets trapped in Stalingrad, is our crew going to get more stressed out?

      Is the loss of a German ship like the Bismarck going to hurt morale, or what if we then find and sink the HMS Ark Royal or HMS Rodney to revenge that?

      Even if you don't want it to impact anything gameplay-wise, short news stories relating to the war in general, and the Kriegsmarine in particular would really make the player feel like a Captain during one of the greatest naval conflicts of all time.

    8. Harag on

      Loving it! this game is coming on really well and really glad you're taking your time over getting it right - it's a niche market so we can all wait until then. Keep up the great work!

    9. Goat Yoda on

      Thanks for the update. Awesome game!

    10. Missing avatar

      Bastian on

      Really nice Update! I can't wait to play that game O.O - is there a Chance to play that in a Beta or Early Access? ':D Pls - that looks sooo awesome ^^

      Keep Up that AWESOME work!

      Bastian Karg

    11. xwormwood on

      Looks awesome so far. So glad and proud that you guy still work to enhance the game even more!

    12. Missing avatar

      NileX13 on

      And the Hydrophone is awesome! ;)

    13. Missing avatar

      NileX13 on

      Oh boy, great update!

      The animations and the graphics are superb! One can see the progress you made. I cant wait to play this!

      I think you should take all the time you need to get this gem on the road!

      Some thoughts:
      The watersplashes of torpedo and shell hits seem a bit fast to me.

      The idea of promoting guys to the HQ sounds nice, but i can imagine how hard it is to keep the balance between playability and realism. Can you give us an example of what this could be of use for us in the game?

    14. PlayWay 20-time creator on

      Thank you for the positive comments - they warm our hearts!

    15. Pauli Vinni on

      I really like the amounth of details. Good job. Hard to say if this will be a good game or not, but it seems to be a good simulation and so very worth of waiting and interesting to see it ready.

    16. Oliver Hoelzl on

      Wow .. what a nice update! Keep it Up and take your time to deliver the game you want it to be.

      Already looking forward to it!

    17. Wayne Davis on

      Appreciate the in-depth updates! Really looking forward to finished game, you are definitely going about it the right way. Good honest communication for the win :)

    18. Missing avatar

      Zac Campbell on

      @Deepwater job well done! Hats off to you all again sad to hear no release date but that is promising that this is going further then I even expected it would go. Frustrating but so going to be worth the wait! Progress takes time and patience so not used to a company like you all saying you want to take more time to build the game. It is a jewel that you all chose this path to bring us a master piece keep up the outstanding work and stay creative!

    19. Tequi on

      Super update! Keep up the great work!