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Macisle

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Macisle last won the day on August 20

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About Macisle

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  1. Yeah, the pancake look is definitely not ideal and I like your idea on the stories destroyed vs. stories of rubble created. That sounds like a hard coding job though, and maybe not doable for the current Engine, since it would mean altering a fundamental map elevation state during the course of a battle. I was trying to think in terms of the easiest way for BF to get a more natural state after section collapse. I've no idea how hard the coding would be, but since the knocked-out wall end state is already in the game both graphically and functionally and would solve the problem by simply applying it to any levels that were touching a now collapsed level (no matter what their initial state was), that would seem to be the way to go. If it were doable, that would sure be great to get into any upcoming patches/updates. πŸ˜€ CMRT Fester Platz Polozk is another good example of well-done "baked in" rubble. I may tackle some of that myself for the setup areas for battles 2-4 on my map (4 total planned currently) to show combat progress. But, like you say, it's very time intensive. Not sure if I'm up for it. We'll see.
  2. Hi, all. I'm trying to put together a texture pack for my CMRT map project and am having trouble attempting to use more than 8 textures for modular buildings. Does anybody have any ideas or info that might help? Here is my experience so far: If I have my usual full Z folder contents (uses Kieme's) installed as a complete group , more than 8 textures work. If I isolate the exact same modular building textures and install them in a clean Z, the Engine stops at 8 and won't see past that. Tagging doesn't help. Duplicating the stock texture set and renumbering (to 16 in this case) doesn't work. Adding some textures numbered past 8 from a Kieme mod for CMBS does work if I don't alter the file numbers/names. But, if I tag the same file names, they no longer work. My understanding is that there is theoretically no limit on the number of textures allowed and I'd really like to have at least 16 for the modular buildings (I don't notice a performance difference between 16 Kiemes vs. 8 stock). Anyway, any help on this would be great.
  3. Since this is where the eyeballs are are right now and the topic is relevant to some of the buildings in the CMSF2 demo, I thought I'd post here. I'm working on a map for CMRT that has a number of very large multi-section modular buildings and have a question/suggestion about how the Engine currently handles the remaining sections and their walls after a modular section collapses. As things stand, the Engine will maintain whatever original wall choices were made for the remaining connected sections. Meaning, if you had say, 13 levels of single doors, you will see a column of 13 levels of single doors. Here is an example from the CMSF2 demo (the top two levels had their walls knocked out by post-section collapse arty): Obviously, this is very unnatural - both visually and tactically. With large buildings like this, internal connecting section walls are sometimes removed by designers. This has a number of benefits, but in regards to section collapse, it creates a more realistic tactical situation in that remaining modular sections now have an open wall against incoming fire. Thus, for example a defending unit might have full protection from fire coming across intact outer walls, but much less protection from fire coming through sections with removed "internal" walls that were connected to the collapsed modular section. See the example below: From the front, this building offers full protection, but much less from the rear. Thus, a realistic and juicy tactical situation is created in that the attacker could try to flank the strong point and take it from the rear. I've tested this on my map and it works a treat. However, the downside is that the visual aspect is still not ideal. Sometimes it looks okay (like in the above pic, IMO). Others, very unnatural, depending on the building design and damage results. Like these magically floating buildings for example: It seems to me that an obvious, low-investment solution would be for the Engine to simply swap out the wall sections on any remaining formerly-connected sections with the graphic and functionality of the current knocked-out wall section, whenever a connected modular section collapses. So, instead of a column of single doors or nothing, you get a column of knocked-out walls. That would both solve the visual issue and provide a realistic tactical situation (less protection and easier spotting, but still more than a removed wall). Here's a quickie graphic summing things up: Anyhoo, would love to see this addressed in an update/patch. Until then, I think case B is best for tall/very large multi-part buildings and I'm favoring that mostly on my map.
  4. Macisle

    Kharkov Map Sneak Peak

    Thanks, Ben! I'm one of your many fans, so that means a lot.
  5. Macisle

    Kharkov Map Sneak Peak

    Wow -- thanks! Here's hoping the map delivers. It pretty much is wall-to-wall ambush country. I would really like to see how well RPG guys do against US/1st World armor in this environment because there are so many spots from which a unit can fire off a round and then displace to safety. Of course, that also means that it isn't going to be everyone's cup of tea. The workload on the player is by necessity maximized for him to make effective use of the more realistic terrain. He will often have to spend time at the soldier's view to judge each room of a building to determine how to tackle things from the standpoint of coordinated multi-team tactical maneuvers. Very meticulous use of waypoints and timings will be a must in those situations. Naturally, this will slow play down a lot. The slow, meticulous play, combined with the 4-hour multi-phase battle concept may end up being too much for some players. Also, I'm not at all attempting to soften potential fire lanes and hard points. So, the attacker may well find himself stymied more than he is used to -- in a very realistic way that rings true to stories of war. But then, he will have a lot of time...and...BIG ARTYπŸ™‚. The defender will also get his share of beefy arty. Between the two, the battlefield will change a lot of the course of a battle. Testing so far shows that if players use the terrain well and hide, the arty will not be overpowering. Well, until the buildings are all gone!πŸ˜› (The large buildings can take A LOT of artillery to bring down -- maybe too much ). For porting into CMBS, the vast majority of the buildings being modular potentially means the workload may not be so bad. However, if the door/window layouts don't port over, then it will be a MASSIVE amount of work to redo them. That is a lot of what makes the map what it is (and why it's taking so long). Combat would be largely nerfed if default windows and doors were used. I'm looking very forward to Berlin, too! It looks like the stock map for the module will be bringing a lot of what I set out to do in this project to the table. Since players will be experiencing that before they get my map, Kharkiveskya may not be as impressive as it would have been if they played it first. But, you can never have enough maps and they will be different enough to each offer a large amount of unique, enjoyable play, I think. Oh, almost forgot, my full master clocks in at 1,440 x 1,440 meters. So, it's not the biggest map out there (Berlin might be quite a bit bigger?), but the level of detail makes it feel larger than that. The current slice I'm testing is 864 x 832. With that size, I am able to get acceptable frames with Model Quality reduced to Improved and everything else maxed. So, the slices will likely be around that big, give or take. That may seem very small for 4 hours, but...well...maybe not. It sometimes took days to cross the street at Stalingrad. So, a few hours for a few blocks may be about right. Looking very forward to the playtesting! Yeah, the Ramadi map looks amazing and top notch! That is going to offer a lot of the same kind of combat environment I'm going for, but of course in a modern context. Super work there!
  6. Macisle

    Kharkov Map Sneak Peak

    Thanks! It's not a historical map, but I think the nature of it will make for some interesting, memorable play. I look very forward to hearing about players' experiences on it!
  7. Macisle

    Kharkov Map Sneak Peak

    Well, truth be known...πŸ™‚. And I managed to flank and spank the raging Panther: With one hit, that mother took out nine men and TWO machine guns. Grrrr! 😑 Now, I gotta' see if I can save my insurance AT grenade team, uh.. whose arses are now hanging out in the wind close to my heavy arty, and when the smoke clears, perhaps in the LOS of the second Panther 😬.
  8. Macisle

    Kharkov Map Sneak Peak

    Thanks. Yeah, I know that one. If it's an AI-only scenario, giving the AI groups a demo team or two each (reduce if H2H also), along with such orders (as you know, they sometimes use them without orders) can really keep the player guessing and throw him some curve balls! Of course, if you have something very specific in mind for a scenario, you can get very detailed with the AI. Speaking of AI, again, I really encourage folks to give the Editor a whirl. Once you get comfortable with it and learn some techniques, you really have a goldmine of unlimited play value. I put in the AI plan for my current SE slice map test as fast as my fingers would go. And yet, without consciously anticipating it in the plan, I've now got an enemy AT gun thwarting my only chance at flanking a Panther holding up my attack. Along with that, a second Panther just bolted in outta' nowhere, skipped past my flanking fire and proceeded to take out 9 soldiers holding a jump off point in buildings at the center front line, waiting for heavy arty to finish working on the objective buildings across the street. That finished off the morale of that platoon...and thus that company as well. -Finishing up the first hour and getting ready for fresh troops to take over -- at least on that section of the front (not playing the whole thing, just sections of the slice). Of course, this is just map testing for the H2H campaign. But this is user friendly, helps me spot map issues, and gauge force levels vs. scenario time and gaining a feel for the "phases" in the 4-hour battle concept. So far, I think the concept is going to work. Of course, should I end up doing a solo-campaign, it give me ideas for that, too. But I'm not committing to that...yet.πŸ˜€
  9. Macisle

    Kharkov Map Sneak Peak

    True, but I think the unknowns and potential issues like pathfinding make it best avoided. A better technique for simulated basements is to have no windows on the bottom floor of a structure. This "faux basement" provides a refuge from LOS and small arms fire, along with very high protection against arty. A very large percentage of the buildings on the map have at least one area like this, with some structures having them extend across a number of modular pieces. The faux basements have a huge impact on play and really add realism, as buildings can stay contested for much longer, with both sides occupying parts of the building. One thing I've noticed in testing... If a structure has a long extension of door-connected similar pieces, like say, 4-story blocks across 3 to 7 modular extensions, routing troops will most often displace inside the structure, rather than going out of the building. In one part of the current test, the AI displaced multiple units inside the structure to exactly the points where I had the hardest time getting fire superiority on its displacing units. I was quite impressed! As I've tested the map, I've noticed this a number of times. With structures that have a lot of vertical levels, but not many horizontal module pieces, routing units are more likely to run out of the building -- even if they have excellent cover right next to them inside the current structure. However, I still think they are most often staying in the buildings if there are safe modular connections. It's just the occasional rout bug that kicks in and gets them killed when they should have used a safer spot in the same building, rather than running outside. My guess is that's why the patch is taking so long. The rout bug is incredibly hard to reproduce (in this environment, at least). It's definitely an issue, but I still can't identify exactly what triggers it. However, overall, I've been very pleased with the combat on this map. The level of urban density I'm creating seems to often mitigate against problems from the rout behavior, as there are so many places to run out of LOS to. Green troops do seem, unsurprisingly, more prone to the behavior, though. I was originally intending to give the Soviets more manpower, but with a lot of green troops. However, I think I'll dial that back to a bit less troops, but more Regular units as base. Both sides will get plenty to work with, though!
  10. Macisle

    Kharkov Map Sneak Peak

    Funny you should mention that. Over the last couple of days, I've been testing the SE corner of the map, where the first battle will take place. That has some buildings with exactly the problem you mention -- elevation blocking movement through doors. In these cases, soldiers haven't run outside -- just stopped moving. I can plot the orders, but they just move as far as they can and stop. Sometimes, one level will be blocked, but not another (like ground is okay, but 2nd doesn't work). I'll be taking care of all those by locking in the same elevations for all parts of the buildings. In previous work on other sections, that's almost always been the solution (and the buildings look much better that way). Just once or twice, the modular pieces I chose didn't like each other and using other shapes solved the problem, rather than it being an elevation issue. An odd thing on elevations and multi-part buildings is that sometimes, the elevations don't look bad, but block movement. Other times, they look pretty extreme, but don't. It seems like a steep drop between modular sections can also sometimes provide cover. Last night, a lone enemy MG42 guy shrugged off 2-3 HE rounds from outside his building (no windows on that side) and then proceeded to slaughter 2/3 of a squad advancing on him, expecting him to be suppressed. He later survived the wall being shot out and was finally taken out by a second squad assaulting with supporting supressing fire from a nearby 2nd floor MG through the new hole in the wall. I'm pretty sure he would have been taken out by the earlier HE had the building pieces all been flush.
  11. Macisle

    Kharkov Map Sneak Peak

    Thanks! Yeah, knowing how to use the Editor gives you a whole equal second hobby (actually multiple hobbies...map-making, scenario design, modding...) and essentially provides you with an unlimited pool of fresh battles. The more you use it, the faster you get. At this point, I can spend 30 min to an hour in the Editor and give myself 4 to 20 times that in CM gaming goodness. Even 10 minutes might yield a couple of hours of fun, depending on the particulars.
  12. Macisle

    RT Unofficial Screenshot Thread

    Philip Morris, this is YOUR fault! πŸ˜€
  13. Macisle

    RT Unofficial Screenshot Thread

    Hidden schreck guy takes out my lead tank. The crew bails with the loader giving the tube guy something to think about with his pistol before making his escape down the safe side road. Alas Mr. Loaderavich is more courage than cunning. Having forgotten his cigarettes, he returns to the tank and gets dead.
  14. Macisle

    Kharkov Map Sneak Peak

    Yup. BF's prices are very reasonable for what they are delivering. If folks understood how much work is involved, they'd never complain again. On the other hand, for people reading this who have never used the Editor, it doesn't take that much time to get to the point where you're creating your own enjoyable private content. The big hours come in when you're going to make something public. But, if it's just for you and you use house rules (like, don't go where the enemy isn't), you can take a ready-made map and be going with something fun to play in quite a short time. But be careful. Once the Editor has you, it may not let you go...😈
  15. Macisle

    Kharkov Map Sneak Peak

    Thanks! I've no idea how many hours I've put in so far. I started it two years ago and have been working on it off and on since then. Many, many hours, though I've taken some long breaks (just got back from a few months away). You know you've been working on a map for awhile when you've noticed Google Maps update multiple times while you've been at it! The images get better each time. The newest update will help a lot in some of the areas where the final fights of the campaign will take place. Yeah, I'm looking very forward to Berlin myself. Gonna' have to study the map, too! There's probably some gold in there that will help me smooth out some of the rough edges on my map. Mine won't be coming out until after the CMRT module is released. I still have a lot to do and also will be integrating new units and winter versions. I will be including the master map along with the campaign files. That's good advice and I'm totally down with it. I did that elevation chart at the beginning of the project as a newcomer to detailed elevation work. It wasn't really necessary and I probably wouldn't approach it that way again. For the final elevation tweaking, I'm mainly looking to get the modular building pieces flush with each other and get the river, bridges, roads and such all looking as natural as possible in relation to the surrounding terrain. Like you said, I'll keep the correct general low to high zone spread, but not worry about hitting specific numbers.
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