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      Special Upgrade 4 Tech Tips   12/27/2016

      Hi all! Now that Upgrade 4 is out and about in large quantities we have now discovered a few SNAFUs that happen out in the scary, real world that is home computing.  Fortunately the rate of problems is extremely small and so far most are easily worked around.  We've identified a few issues that have similar causes which we have clear instructions for work arounds here they are: 1.  CMRT Windows customers need to re-license their original key.  This is a result of improvements to the licensing system which CMBN, CMBS, and CMFB are already using.  To do this launch CMRT with the Upgrade and the first time enter your Engine 4 key.  Exit and then use the "Activate New Products" shortcut in your CMRT folder, then enter your Engine 3 license key.  That should do the trick. 2.  CMRT and CMBN MacOS customers have a similar situation as #2, however the "Activate New Products" is inside the Documents folder in their respective CM folders.  For CMBN you have to go through the process described above for each of your license keys.  There is no special order to follow. 3.  For CMBS and CMFB customers, you need to use the Activate New Products shortcut and enter your Upgrade 4 key.  If you launch the game and see a screen that says "LICENSE FAILURE: Base Game 4.0 is required." that is an indication you haven't yet gone through that procedure.  Provided you had a properly functioning copy before installing the Upgrade, that should be all you need to do.  If in the future you have to install from scratch on a new system you'll need to do the same procedure for both your original license key and your Upgrade 4.0 key. 4.  There's always a weird one and here it is.  A few Windows users are not getting "Activate New Products" shortcuts created during installation.  Apparently anti-virus software is preventing the installer from doing its job.  This might not be a problem right now, but it will prove to be an issue at some point in the future.  The solution is to create your own shortcut using the following steps: Disable your anti-virus software before you do anything. Go to your Desktop, right click on the Desktop itself, select NEW->SHORTCUT, use BROWSE to locate the CM EXE that you are trying to fix. The location is then written out. After it type in a single space and then paste this:

      -showui

      Click NEXT and give your new Shortcut a name (doesn't matter what). Confirm that and you're done. Double click on the new Shortcut and you should be prompted to license whatever it is you need to license. At this time we have not identified any issues that have not been worked around.  Let's hope it stays that way Steve
    • Battlefront.com

      Forum Reorganization   10/12/2017

      We've reorganized our Combat Mission Forums to reflect the fact that most of you are now running Engine 4 and that means you're all using the same basic code.  Because of that, there's no good reason to have the discussion about Combat Mission spread out over 5 separate sets of Forums.  There is now one General Discussion area with Tech Support and Scenario/Mod Tips sub forums.  The Family specific Tech Support Forums have been moved to a new CM2 Archives area and frozen in place. You might also notice we dropped the "x" from distinguishing between the first generation of CM games and the second.  The "x" was reluctantly adopted back in 2005 or so because at the time we had the original three CM games on European store shelves entitled CM1, CM2, and CM3 (CMBO, CMBB, and CMAK).  We didn't want to cause confusion so we added the "x".  Time has moved on and we have to, so the "x" is now gone from our public vocabulary as it has been from our private vocabulary for quite a while already.  Side note, Charles *NEVER* used the "x" so now we're all speaking the same language as him.  Which is important since he is the one programming them

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  1. Hiya, I think I just answered your ticket? I was out most of last week and I'm just now getting caught up on everything, though the second snow storm in as many days is likely going to mess that up again. If I did just answer your ticket, then I think you should be good to go. If I didn't answer your ticket, send a PM to me and I'll see what's up. Steve
  2. Combat Mission in military training

    Thanks for the video! Yup, Steel Beasts has done a decent job getting itself into military training use for a couple of reasons. The primary one being that they long ago chose to focus on getting into those markets. We, on the other hand, have remained focused on consumer sales. BTW, 100,000 EUR for getting the CV9030 into Steel Beasts sounds about right to me. There's a TON of work involved in doing that, as the video clearly shows. Steve
  3. can not play these game any more?

    As far as we know there is no inherent conflict between eLicense and Windows 10. Since we have a ton of people using Strategic Command games, most of which use eLicense, it's pretty certain there's no Windows 10 specific issues in and of itself. Some sort of combo factor between Windows 10 and something else? Sure, always a possibility. As Schrully stated, the original iteration of Gameshield protection, used for CMBN v1.xx and SCWW1 through v1.06 (IIRC), did have a problem with Windows 10. As I remember it some Windows library changed radically and that broke it. But everything since then works fine with Windows 10. Steve
  4. Combat Mission in military training

    An assumption I certainly wouldn't make From all of our previous discussions about CoPlay, I am more convinced than ever that for CM2 it's a highly desirable feature for a subset of the total. A bunch of other changes are likely needed to really let CoPlay shine and I'm not sure if the effort is worth trying even if a pile of money was put in front of us. Steve
  5. Combat Mission in military training

    There's been some small scale use of CMSF and CMBS for military training purposes. I am also aware of one large defense contractor that has used CMBS for R&D to demonstrate proof of concept. We run into major obstacles (i.e. building sized brick walls) when it comes to wider use. The primary one being we don't have the resources to compete against the defense industry darlings. The second one is that, as is, CM2's engine lacks features which are seen as required for full classroom integration. The latter could be easily overcome if the former wasn't an issue. So of the two limitations, the will of a potential user to overcome the defense industry problems is definitely the bigger one. Sadly, the US' influence over defense simulations means that even smaller countries, with more constricted defense spending, aren't knocking down our doors even though we could provide a superior product for "cheap" compared to what is currently on offer. That said, CM2 "as is" can be an excellent tool for exploring textbook work in engaging and more visceral ways at an affordable cost. Pretty much any soldier's personal computer can run the game outside of a secured classroom environment. Students can explore concepts on their own time in their own way at their own pace. The experiences from the game can then be compared to that of their peers and instructors within a common paradigm and shared experience. CM2's game mechanics are consistent and vetted by professionals, which means there's a degree of real world learning that can be integrated in with specific course goals. That said, CM2 has some significant limitations from a traditional military classroom perspective, aside from the aforementioned procurement impediments. The primary one is the lack of what we call CoPlay, which is where each student assumes a very limited role within a larger force structure shared with other students. There is only a limited ability for the trainer to introduce elements during gameplay that are designed to provoke specific responses from the students at that particular time. The rest of the limitations tend to fall into the "AAR" category whereby the trainer can analyze (grade) performance easily and consistently, as well as displaying particular course specific lessons to students in an easy and straight forward way (e.g. recording a particular student failure/success to highlight for post game discussion). There's a bit more to it than that, but that's the gist of it As for the EULA, there's nothing in it that prevents an institutional customer (military or otherwise) from purchasing and using CM2 in a classroom setting. However, bulk purchasing of licenses is obviously desirable in most cases because budgets are tight and usually the number of seats needed is more than a handful. We do offer discounts to institutional customers. Aside from COTS use, we do offer our services for customizing CM2 to suit institutional needs. We weigh the requests against both actual and "opportunity" costs. The NZDF contract we have is an example of that. The change requests for them are, on the scale of things, modest and did not an interfere with our business strategy. It is the equivalent of what we call a Pack and Packs are, by their nature, an existing part of what we do. By contrast, asking us to code CoPlay into CM2 would be a very, very different discussion because our current strategy does not have provisions for that sort of work. Steve
  6. The History of WeGo games.

    1982 - Cosmic Balance, by SSI. One of the best games ever made IMHO. Probably the first WeGo game I ever played. 1991 - RoboSport, by Maxis. That game, more than probably most listed so far, has the most similar mechanics to CM in terms of detailed orders and simultaneous resolution. Plus, it was a ton of fun! Steve
  7. Oleksandr's Modding Space

    Guys, let's let this thread be a good one instead of turning it into a pissing match. Olek asked a question, Erwin gave his OPINION and sburke did the same. Since this is a Forum where people are *SUPPOSED* to express their own opinions, things should have been fine and dandy. It would be good if everybody can remember the simple lesson that a difference of opinion isn't grounds for a war of words. Steve
  8. CMSF CTD

    I'm coming late to the party and I just got beat out by the guy who knows more about this stuff than probably anybody else! Schrully covered most of what needs to be covered. It is possible that there are two different problems. One is some sort of oddball instability issue that's causing the game to crash. The second might be some sort of security software shutting down CMSF's ability to run at all. As for help with blocked IPs, I can do that if you post a request to the Help Desk: https://battlefront.mojohelpdesk.com/ In the upper right there is a button to create a new Ticket. Steve
  9. Another reason for a centralized Forum...

    Yup! The upgrade came along for the ride with the Modules for you. We have not made a firm decision on the specifics. For those who already have everything, there will be an easy and inexpensive way to upgrade what you have. For those who are buying CMSF content for the first time, normal prices and bundling options apply. The maps are identical from CMSF1 and the later CM games in terms of "smoothness". What's different is the later CM2 games have a lot of improvements to the graphics engine. Yes, terrain that is in the later CM2 games which is applicable to CMSF's setting will be included. Water is just one. I mean, how can you have your AAVs swim if there's no water? Steve
  10. Publicly posting personal information of Forum members is a big no-no. The fact that Nidan1 is no longer with us shouldn't change the rules. At least I think that's the way it should be. Admittedly, this is a bit of a grey area. Steve
  11. We had a small contract with the Australian Defense Force back in 2004 for a customized version of CMAK, we have a small contract with the New Zealand Defense Force to customize CMBS to their needs. No, the NZ contract is strictly getting their forces integrated into the game, nothing more than that. Steve
  12. Wha? Nidan1 was a good man to have around, whether it be here on the public forums or in the backroom with the tester lads. He will be missed for sure. I made a condolence post to his family's memory page, but if you can think of anything else we can do Stikky, let me know. Crap, now I have to retire his testing account logins. That's not something I've had to do before. Steve
  13. Scalable UI

    The primary reason that CM doesn't allow custom graphics on a per vehicle basis or per building basis is the impact on VRAM. Back when the game was coded people still had 128MB cards! Over the years we've dramatically increased the variety and range of textures available in any one battle, but I think we've only recently got to the point where cards can handle customized per vehicle/building textures *AND* have room for everything else. Steve
  14. Another reason for a centralized Forum...

    Having it buried in this stunning Kharkov map buried in this thread isn't doing it justice. I'm breaking it out into its own thread where it can better see the light of day For those of you who did not see this beauty, head on over to the CMRT Maps & Mods section: Steve
  15. Longer times would also require a lot better AI Player sitting on the other side. The artificial 60 second stopping point allows the AI to assess and plot moves which are, by and large, acceptable for about 60 seconds of game time. That's because the tactical plotting is largely reactive to whatever happened in the previous turn. Unit A is out of orders, give it some more. Unit B can see an enemy tank, shoot at it. Etc. With 120 seconds the TacAI would have to be more anticipatory than reactionary. Unit A is out of orders, give it some more but not too much. Unit B can see an enemy tank, shoot at it and then do something else because there's no way 2 minutes of fire is necessary from this one position. Etc., etc. What I could see doing is restricting the number of Waypoints a unit can have and shrinking the turn time down to something like 15 or 30 seconds. That works on many levels, but fails in terms of playability. At that point you might as well be playing RealTime with frequent use of the pause button. It would also make PBEM and even TCP WeGo unmanageable. Which is why we stuck with 60 seconds for CM2 and will continue to do so for future CM games. Steve P.S. As an aside I happened to have recently read a bitch thread in another Forum (total randomly stumbled upon it) where some guy was saying how horrible CM2 was because it didn't allow him to have 30 second turns like CM1 did. Sheesh... we do plenty of things wrong, so at least slam us for something real instead of something imaginary There were several people who were convinced of other things which never happened and we should burn in Hell for them. Yup, it was a fun read
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