When you get the Package, open it. You should find a manual, grid map, and the DVD. I don't remember where, but in the SUBSIM forums fellow Kaleuns are saying that the later copies of SH3 sold by UBI do not contain starforce, and the grid map is gone. I don't know if this is true or not, however, i have bought an additional sh3 retail store copy in 2007 and found all of the contents in there (compusa, nyc).
Please note the System requirements.
Insert the DVD into ANY kind of DVD Drive, and Install the game. Some have reported issues with Nero disk burning software, as well as DVD+/-RW drives, due to the copy protection.
After you are finished installing, you have the option of installing game shadow or not. your choice. i did not and could still run sh3 multiplayer.
Now, DON"T RUN THE GAME! Go to http://www.silenthunteriii.com/uk/home.php
and download the latest patch- version 1.4b.
(not completely essential, but pm me if you want this information, as I cannot post this here).
you can play the game. but wait-there's more yet (much more).
Now, go and read the Silent Hunter 3 must-have community manual. It is available here: http://www.subsim.com/radioroom/showthread.php?t=130845&highlight=community+manual
This is an extension to the manual that came with your game (either in booklet form or pdf on your DVD, or both) Remember that some of the info applies to Stock SH3, not the various mods, but still most of the info is good for any version of SH3 that you play, i. e. mods or no mods.
Finally, we are ready for mods. Silent Hunter 3 has tons of mods, extra stuff, to make playing the game a closer experience with historical realism. This is true with almost any hardcore sim these days. To install mods efficiently, you will FIRST have to need JSGME (Jonesoft generic mod enabler)-which is very efficient. Download it at http://www.users.on.net/~jscones/software/products.html
. The instructions are on the web page, as well as once you install the program. This program means that any dealing with mods-installation, uninstallation, creation, testing, etc. a breeze.
Then, when you have gotten it, you should absolutely try SH3 commander. I am too lazy to explain everything here-you'll understand when you read about it here: http://www.users.on.net/~jscones/software/products/SH3CUG.pdf
This is another must have mod, and in any case, one of the few that does not get installed via JSGME. Also, it is compatible with any of the supermods (discussed below)
Finally, another small mod that is installed alone (no JSGME) and compatible with the supermods is the SH3GEN: http://www.global-explorer.de/
As with SH3 commander, I will not take too much time to explain this-you'll get it once you read about it
There are tons of other examples like Sh3 commander and sh3gen, which both do not use jsgme and are compatible with any of the supermods, but i'll go on and explain the most essential stuff first, and then you will know what to do by yourself.
Now, depending on your system requirements, you maybe able to handle a number of mods, including the famous SH3 supermods (GWX 2.1, NYGM, LSH3, etc), which are all found in http://www.subsim.com/radioroom/showthread.php?t=115089
What's a supermod? Good question. Its a mod that imporves all aspects of a sim, unlike individual mods which just focus on a small detail. A supermod encompases many changes and modifications to the stock game, and are more often than not uncompatible with other super mods (this is unfortunately the case with all of the above mentioned SH3 supermods).
Why should I install supermods first, or even bother with them in the first case? Another good question. Think of addons to a game-i. e. the battlefield series, Arma queen's gambit, fsx acceleration, etc. except that in the case of SH3, its free, and the content is IMHO in many ways if not actually wholly surperior to a purchased, commercial addon. Regardless of the eventual supermod you choose (and I suggest you try all of them), each one brings an unique, highly enhanced experience to the original ubisoft sub sim.
Also, many of the smaller mods are only compatible with some of the supermods. Thus-you get what I mean.
After countless hours of experience, I believe that it is best to have multiple installs of SH3, provided that your hard drive is able to fit it all: one install of stock SH3 version 1.4b, and one install of each of the supermods. This way, you can always keep a safe, unmodded, version of the original game, (in case your modded installations go wrong), and you can enjoy all that the different supermods have to offer, without having them conflicting each other. My favorite is GWX 2.1 due to its features and immersion, but I recommend giving all of the supermods a try, and as I said, creating and enjoying separate installs with each.
Once you have done that, go and find smaller mods (updated regularly, almost daily) here:http://www.subsim.com/radioroom/forumdisplay.php?f=195http://www.subsim.com/radioroom/showthread.php?t=132596
Finally, you are really ready to play. enjoy the Game! I know that for a newcomer to the game, this is daunting, but, trust me, once you have accomplished this, play for a few months, read the manuals of the supermods, and then try out the original sh3! I am sure that you cannot bear to play it any longer! you'll know what i mean when you see the unselfish work of so many modders in our online simming community. it really transforms the simming experience for all who are involved-both the mod creators and the users.
all silent hunter 3 related information (aside from the mods, which i linked above):http://silent-hunter-addict.com/Manuals-Guides-Tutorials-Guides.htmlhttp://www.subsim.com/radioroom/forumdisplay.php?f=182
If you have to uninstall the game for any reason, follow the steps in the community manual.
Good Luck, and if you have any additional questions, PM me. Remember to check Subsim.com frequently from time to time for all kinds of updates and additional community advice!
P.S. Play around with various mods and see which one you like best. Finding the perfect SH3 experience for me, took more than 3 years!
I would finally like to thank all of the people who have done anything out of their heart to help others in this community. I remember coming here (as well as subsim.com) years ago and not knowing that the monitor was actually not the computer itself (like many beginners), thinking that you just install the game, and then play, not knowing what cpu, gpu, ram, was, etc. I was helped by the unselfish members here, and now, although I don't claim to be a sage, hope to give some of the information which I have been generously given, to other beginners who might need it. So feel free to learn from my guide, give comments, ask questions etc. ! Anything, as long as it is in good faith, is welcomed here!