Well if we could walk around inside it, can we walk around outside of it? IE. over to the deck gun or AA guns? or the external torpedo stores?
Better yet, can we fall off if we walk over the edge of if an enemy ship lands a hit on the boat that causes it to move rapidly from the impact.
Honestly though, I can see how moving around inside the sub would give a touch of reality.
The thing is where do you draw the line. How much freedom? Freedom enough to walk around and manipulate items, instruments and levers? Shoot disobediant crew members as someone mentioned somewhere. Freedom to just walk from one end to the other of the sub?
As far as moving inside a sub goes, I think the only game where I was actually running around inside of a sub was on Medal of Honor on a covert mission where you had to steal some documents if I recall. I think it was Medal of Honor.
Of course, the sub was neither big nor broad, but they most likely left out quite alot as well. I have to say though, I did like moving around the sub.
Given the option to walk through the sub could also have a morale boost for the crew seeing their captain take interest in their work. Just to make it a "bonus" that you actually take the time to do it.
You could walk to the bow torpedo room to check on stores instead of clicking a hotbutton and bring up a boring piece of paper. Or if an engine or such is damaged, you can walk to the room and "talk" to the crew who are assigned to fix it. As for crew management, you could have a variety of approaches towards the repair crew. Either make them hurry it up (where it could lead to another failure in the engine/euipment, or outright scold them for slow work, which could affect morale but lower repair time, or approach them friendly which overall boosts morale but no impact on repair times etc.) That would give you an interaction with the crew, even if small.
I recall from the old ship trade game, "1869", you could hire a low cost crew with poor morale and slow to work. Or pay higher for a crew that did its job properly. Also you could set how hard you wanted to run the ship. By using a slider with several presets, you could go from anywhere to Slavedriving them to Easy and relaxed (cant recall if thats the actuall pharsing though) In the same manner you can manage your crew. Walk to their stations and by "talking" to the crewmember, or at least important duty crew, you can set how hard you want to be on them. Either push them to the max or let them relax. Maybe even for whole sections of the ship, IE, run the torpedo room crew stricter than the repair crew etc.
Also when picking replacements, or promoting sailors to officer duties, the "management" could be done in a similar way as several other 3d games are done. IE Rainbow Six, Ghost Recon, even the old UFO: Enemy Unknown and Xcom: Terror from the Deep.
The available replacements have a preset amount of skills, but various skill levels.
IE. Some might have a high morale and less likely to panic in stressing conditions, but might be lacking in the skills you would need them for. IE poor training with electrics, poor mechanic skills and so forth. Others might have trash morale, but are very skilled. And of course, a mix of it all. Some might excel in everything, but they should be rare. Some might be completely useless twits, but hey, near end of the war, replacements are scarce and training times are shorter before they are offically ready to sail.
But, about walking around (I get 100's of ideas for crew management all the time), you could talk to the crew and alter settings for how you want to run them, Maybe you had a leack in the bow torpedo room and had to seal the room to not let more water in, thus making that area of the boat inaccesable. Yeah, I know, the boat would probably sink nose first if the torpedo room is full of water, but you get my drift.
Also and officers room, regardless if you can walk around or not, would be essential. I'd love little details in there to play around with. A radio with some old -39-45 german songs. Talking with officers (maybe do the settings for the different crews via their officers and the effect will for all of the crew under that particular officer), oh, and maybe even a "game inside the game" so to speak, where you can play poker, gin rummy or similar with the other officers while you are waiting for the convoy to move past your patrol area, or while cruising at 2 knots into an enemy harbout to take some spy pictures. Old Might and Magic roleplay game had a "game in the game" that you could play in pubs and so forth. I found that very fun and nice way to get a small break from the main game for a few minutes. How hard can it be to add a simple card game or something?
What else could be added?
And maybe not for the officer room, but a logbok to make personal notes would be great. And preferably one that does not get spammed with every 5 degree left rudder command you issue. Gives you something to do, and lets you write down notes to keep in-game. How did I evade the 2 destroyers last time I was caugth in a narrow fiord on the Norwegian coast? Maybe more of a notebook than a Logbok but still.
Oh yeah, and I heavily support the idea of lights going out for some seconds or having instrument malfunctions from damage. What to do when the Echometer breaks? Or the dept indicator. What if the engine telegraf breaks, so you get several seconds, maybe minute delays before the engine room speeds up, or slows down to the desired speed you request? 30 second delay could make or break it when you need to hit Back Emergency or risk a collision.
How about wounding? Would a depth charge that goes off to near knock you out for a few? Are several men wounded? which would give an impact on response times for both repairs, as well as manuvering the sub. In the case of being knocked out, it would of course be a very, very rare happening, but nevertheless.
What about a wounded TDC operator... will that impact his calculations?
Anyhow, going to cut it before this gets too long, and I need sleep anyhow.
To have some movement around the boat would be awesome. What I want the most is the crew management / interaction and an officers room... with the music, the notebook, the game of cards (cards with pinup girls $.$) and whatever else might come to mind.
Whats your thoughts?