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About yllamana

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  • Birthday 01/25/1984
  1. I'm curious about that too. I feel like the UI could do a lot more to help in that department, like having a terrain grid overlay. It leads into the complaints about the camera, really - getting a good view of the folds in the terrain is just awkward and you have to do a lot of it to play well. Oh, I can totally see how people would disagree - it's very subjective. As someone who wants to have fun playing the game but doesn't want to leave out her friends to do it, I feel solid multiplayer functionality is more important than breadth of other features. I'd rather have a game that I can enjoy properly with friends than one that has more features that I can't. The part that confuses me is - why is this feature, one that people generally seem to be surprised isn't already in the game, so apparently difficult to implement that a full WeGo TCP/IP option hasn't even been mentioned as on the table*? Keep in mind it has been stated explicitly that the engine was designed from the start with WeGo TCP/IP in mind and that the game already has both real-time multiplayer and WeGo PBEM. *the previous discussions mentioned how difficult TCP/IP WeGo without replay would be to implement, and I haven't seen any explicit mention of TCP/IP WeGo with replay from Battlefront since, even in this thread.
  2. If I ever make a game with a single player WeGo-like system and multiplayer I promise the WeGo-like system will also work in multiplayer. Realistic wargames aren't really one of my central interests, though, so it's not likely I ever would. It looks like there might be a niche for someone there though! Realistic wargame that prioritises fun multiplayer gameplay over fidelity of simulation! I find simulation really interesting in general and I have a big soft spot for extremely cute tiny tanks, which Battlefront is the recognised industry leader in producing. I agree. That's why I take issue with parts of the core game too - mainly in its presentation. I think it's all part of the same general dealie though. I would really like to be able to sell CMBN to my friends. The presentation and lack of solid multiplayer support sort of preclude anything more than being really enthusiastic about it to them and them maybe halfheartedly trying out the demo. That makes me sad because it's a really great game! Anyway I think it's a big deal with the in-game presentation especially because in this case it's really easy for the fidelity of the simulation to be lost due to stuff like having to be a million miles off the ground most of the time for awareness of the whole battlefield. At that point I feel like you're missing out on most of what the game has to offer, and that's sad! That's why I'm such an advocate for better presentation/UI in general and for multiplayer WeGo/more multiplayer modes in particular (the replay alleviating many of the presentation issues by letting you zoom in on particular bits of the battlefield and watch the detail). The game looks way better in the closeup cameras anyway. It was actually a figure of speech. I feel they are sabotaging themselves, shooting themselves in the foot, as it were. It doesn't mean they're sitting there going "lololo what other ways can we find to ruin the game." It just means they're doing it to themselves and it's avoidable.
  3. As always, YMMV. But you can buy a game for $10 off Steam and it'll have better presentation right off the bat than a CMx2 game. I mean, seriously? A static background picture that doesn't even take up the screen, making it immediately look like the game is running in some kind of postage stamp resolution? A completely inefficient UI that isn't even suited for real-time play and ignores genre conventions? Unwieldy camera controls? I can get past that sort of thing. I think the game is really cool, so I just look past it. But that doesn't mean everyone else will, and some of these things - the UI in particular - make the game less fun to play for everyone. These are things that contribute to whether someone will buy the game. That menu is the first thing people see when they start the game or the demo, and if that, the first impression of your game, wasn't important enough to get right, who knows what corners you cut elsewhere? And "but they cost resources!"? Please. Not having them costs you resources by getting people to not buy your game. The UI is another thing. Personally, I don't feel it's well-polished. I'll take the camera controls as my example. If I play Starcraft I don't have to screw around with the camera all the time. I don't have to wait while it turns for five seconds to see what I want. The controls for moving it are crisp, precise and accurate. Or I could bring up Myth, since its camera controls are very similar to Combat Mission's, yet work far better. All this stuff goes together in making people decide to buy or play your game or not. It's always worth noting - especially if you're a game developer - that all these complaints, and really pretty much all complaints about your games in general, are only made because people care about your game and think it's cool. If they didn't care then the complaint would never be made. This is especially so about this topic, since most players are saying hey, I think this game is really cool and I want to give you my money, but it doesn't let me play the way I want and that makes me sad. I agree with this, too. CMSF was there for me, though - I wasn't super inspired by the concept at first, but the game turned out to be really neat and fun, especially after reading a bit more about modern warfare. The big killer was the limited multiplayer modes. I'm a programmer, or a software engineer if I'm feeling fancy. I'm only in my 20s, though. I missed the days of yore where people played wargames on boards and first met them on computers. My reaction is actually more to another thread where he said that it would take a great deal of resources and asked if people would be okay with TCP/IP WeGo with no replay. That doesn't scream "designed from day one" to me, which was the source of my question. I would've thought TCP/IP WeGo would be right up there in the minds of someone setting out to design the CMx2 engine, so it was a surprise.
  4. I might respond to the other post later, but your somewhat insulting post aside - if the engine was designed from the ground up to have TCP/IP WeGo, why do you constantly refer to it as some herculean feat that will drain huge amounts of resources from everything else? I mean, you already have multiplayer WeGo. You already have TCP/IP real-time play. I obviously don't know the intricacies of your engine, but from where I'm standing it looks like almost all the pieces are already in place if you were designing it with it in mind from day one. On its own real-time TCP/IP should be significantly more difficult to implement than feature-complete (not this nonsense about no replay) WeGo play.
  5. It's not very surprising that a series with historically poor multiplayer support is primarily played single player. I primarily play CMSF single player - not because I prefer single player games but because its multiplayer support is so poor. People who regularly play online with friends are sort of locked out of the game since it's not one you can blow through in two hours but it's also difficult to play online with anyone. Your choice is playing CMSF or playing with your friends. You can see which one will win out most of the time, and that makes it not worth buying for lots of people who otherwise would. CMx2 is, at the least, a solid technical achievement. I feel like you may be letting that influence your view of the game, though. The whole reason, in my view, for your design approach (I forget what you called it, but trying to make a simulation rather than something that produces correct-feeling results) is that it adds so much authenticity to the experience. You don't have to have silly abstractions like units with Hit Points that take less damage when they're fired at in cover vs in the open. The thing is, when you're hovering 300m above the battlefield looking at blinking icons fighting each other (and the occasional distant tank or group of soldiers represented by three pixels each) you miss the lion's share of the authenticity. When you've got the game to the level that you're watching icons fighting each other, you don't have any sense that it's doing it any better or more accurately than any other game, like the much-maligned Company of Heroes, say. Is that icon making the other icon blink more realistically than it would in Company of Heroes? I don't know. You put so much stock in the quality of the simulation, but that only matters as far as the player can see it. If the player can't see it, even in retrospect, then they might as well be playing any other RTS game. You're not just catering to the majority - you're ensuring that the majority stays the majority. People who value multiplayer aren't likely to buy a game that has poor multiplayer support. It's a self-fulfilling prophecy. You seem to seriously underestimate the similarity between your game and the mainstream. People who don't play wargames all the time don't have any kind of learning deficiency. There's no reason they (we) can't enjoy the CMx2 games. They're all fast-paced and on a close-up scale that's easy for people to get into and empathise with. The problems are more: - you try so hard to drive people away with lacking UI, presentation and polish - you make it so hard to play with so few gameplay options, especially multiplayer - nobody even knows about the game, largely as a result of the first two CMx2 is even a game that should advertise itself quite well with the multitude of little stories that each game produces (provided you're playing WeGo so you can actually see them). Nobody is arguing about your ability to make a great historical wargame. The argument is about whether it's worth playing when missing fundamental features, and it's one that many of us who don't play wargames exclusively are having right now. Add me and Netherby to the list of people who were floored at finding out proper TCP/IP turn-based wasn't present in the CMSF demo. And as a question, why wasn't TCP/IP WeGo designed from day one as a fundamental CMx2 feature? It's obvious you feel that proper TCP/IP WeGo would be expensive to add on now, but why wasn't the game engine designed with it in mind from the start?
  6. I totally agree with this and feel the same way. CMx2 is a million times more fun in WeGo because even if you can pull off playing in real time you miss almost all the detail doing so. Part of the fun of the Combat Mission games is watching the replays back from all the different angles, zooming in and locking to units to appreciate that detail. It also lets you see the game from the angles it looks best at - close up - instead of the ones other games focus on and do better. Lack of TCP/IP WeGo with replay is a huge black mark against the game and I don't really see why the engine wasn't designed from the start to incorporate it.
  7. (Sorry to just quote the one when many people responded similarly!) Oh, there are definitely some of those types. Personally I don't think attacking them is a great idea either, but that's not what bothers me. What bothers me is people who seem to be on a hair trigger and get set off by good criticism too. The interesting thing is that these same people can often be very good and productive posters, but this inability to let criticisms of the game stand does hurt the forum and drive posters away, I think (it certainly makes me want to post less). Even that paragraph of mine produced some weird defensive comments, like Wodin's ("Also I will defend members on here...so excellent people frequent this forum who all share a passion for CM...also I've personnely experienced a very generous offer by a forum member...well above the call of duty...) and Battlefront-Steve's ("...you have made very wide (and not positive) comments about the people who frequent this Forum.") I didn't make any "wide" comments. I made nonspecific comments out of a desire to not call anyone in particular out. Even the people I'm thinking of I've also seen making great contributions to discussions. That doesn't make the hair trigger defensiveness less of a bad thing, though. It drives discussion elsewhere at best, stops it completely at worst. If I felt like the community wasn't worth the time of day then I wouldn't bother posting (and I assume that goes for most of us here!). It was the first link on your CMSF demo download page. That's good to hear. The camera controls are one thing I've heard other people commenting on. Yeps. I think improvements in presentation and interface in particular would add a lot to the game's playability for relatively modest investments of development time. I like relating user interface to friction. The UI is the contact point between the user and the system. A good UI you don't really notice - it has very little friction, very little wasted energy. A bad UI causes a lot of friction and wastes energy. In the case of a game, that can mean that the wasted energy is worth more than the fun you get out of it, either right away (so you don't buy it at all) or as the fun drops over time (in which case that wasted energy eventually overtakes the fun and you stop playing). So now that I've related my personal hobbyhorse that nobody else cares about those of us who think a realistic wargame is a totally great idea (ie. those of us who post on this forum!) get a lot of fun out of playing for that reason and can bull our way through a fair bit of wasted energy because of it. Those who might enjoy the game a lot (let's say, enjoy it as much as Starcraft 2) will run into that problem, though, and just go back to Starcraft 2 instead because its UI and presentation causes a lot less friction. It probably also doesn't help that Combat Mission's options for playing with others are extremely limited. I can't really say to a friend, hey, get Combat Mission and we can play against each other! because they won't want to play against each other, they'll want to play together, so then our "playing together" is limited to swapping anecdotes which, while fun too (especially since CM's level of simulation leads itself to great stories), is probably not enough to sell them the game next to stuff that lets us play together. I'd also point to games like Myth and perhaps especially Dawn of War 2 or maybe Company of Heroes as examples of wargames that were quite popular. While Dawn of War 2 has the Warhammer 40k license (whoa, a wargame too!) to drive sales, it's very wargamey. You could say CMx1 was a bit niche because of its abstractions and WeGo, but I don't think you can really say the same about CMx2, with its real-time play and 1:1 modeling of soldiers. I'd say the historical gulf between wargames and "strategy games"/RTS has always largely been abstraction, and CMx2 basically closes that gap and makes it accessible to anyone. Er, anyway. I really like CMSF. I'll probably get the little module bundle soon. I also plan on preordering CMBN, but held off because of the comments on how high-quality the Mac version is. I'll try out the demo and see which one is better, then go for that. That doesn't mean I can't see the problems in the UI, though. I'm glad to hear you didn't have a problem with it, but to the beginner's eye it certainly doesn't seem to make a lot of sense. Okay, so here we have some vertical bars with some bullets and grenades underneath. Maybe that means... firepower of various kinds? Here we have a picture of an eyeball and radio. Er, okay, no idea what the eyeball means - I guess the radio means they have a radio. Well, that's positive at least. Maybe the eyeball means they have eyes. Maybe if I mouse over it... no, that doesn't seem to do anything. Then over here we apparently have some kind of gun show, with little icons next to them that mean, er, something. Mousing over those doesn't do anything - oh, except it tells me what the guns are. At least that helps! But it still doesn't tell me what this torpedo-looking thing is. Maybe after a dozen missions or so I'll notice it lights up a squad member on the left and guess that the torpedo is some kind of AT weapon. Anti-tank torpedo?! Even a simple thing like mouseover tooltips would improve the UI immensely. There's actually a thread on the CMSF forums (or maybe it was the CMA ones) about the sound issue. Basically, when you exit the setup screen it screws up the sound until you relaunch the game. Obviously the workaround is to just relaunch the game if you ever use the setup screen, but as going to the setup screen is something a player is likely to do the first time they launch the game it's not a great first impression. Anyway, my whole point was that the presentation and UI are likely to scare people away. I mainly included my experiences there because I thought people might be interested in them and I feel they illustrate the point reasonably well. So er, wall of text, signing out!
  8. I think the board would be helped if the attitude of some posters was a bit friendlier. In particular, I've seen people get flat out attacked for criticising the game. Guys... it's okay for people to criticise the game. Really. Battlefront are tough, they can deal. It's fine to see a post where someone points out something wrong with the game and say, well, that personally doesn't matter to me, but I guess it matters to this person, so I am just going to respectfully not reply and let their point stand. Re: the game in general, I think CMx2 in particular tries pretty hard to put players off it. I had Mac CMBB back when it was cool (the manual is still over there on the shelf!) but largely missed out on the CMSF buzz because of its lack of a Mac version. I noticed CMBN recently, I think because I was on a cute tiny tank kick and where better to find the cutest tiny tanks than Combat Mission? In these fancy days I still have a Mac, but since I have Boot Camp I decided to try out the CMSF demo. First impression: the top download link for CMSF demo goes to some random shady download site, which tries to give me a CMA demo setup file that's like 5MB in size. Whoops. Oh well, let's try another one. Well, that worked. Second impression: I start the game and immediately go into the options screen to see what there is to see. 1920x1080 isn't in the resolution menu, but the default is desktop resolution so maybe it's okay. I don't see anything else interesting and exit setup. The music immediately starts breaking up in a horrible way. Well... hopefully that goes away when I start a mission, right? Turns out it doesn't (FWIW, I also had this happen with the CMA demo. Reproduces itself very reliably. I was using Vista32 at the time). So I quit the game and start it up again. This time I get into a game, woo! Okay, so I have pages and pages of orders, except for that one blank page there. I don't really know what they mean, but they look a bit weird. No tiny icons or anything? Well, okay. I experiment with moving the camera with the keyboard. OH MY GOD. The camera sort of jerks itself around in an awkward way. Its movement isn't smooth, it's not rapid or accurate. It's just horrible. Pressing two keys at the same time does unpredictable things. This, right here, is what later led to me putting down the demo. I would be doing things like trying to rotate the view around to see the terrain at other angles, or see the other side of a building, and it would just jerk around and take forever besides. It made playing painful. The other issue was the terrain - looking largely flat from a distance, it of course has small changes in elevation that block line of sight, and the only way to really see them is, yes, to move the camera around - which we've just noted is horrible. I could go on - eventually I tried multiplayer against a friend (which was also confusing) and even later found out it was more tolerable if you use the mouse to move the camera instead of the useless keyboard controls. It's still awkward, but at least it's not as terrible. I also found out you can quickly change the camera angle and elevation using the number keys like in CMx1. I ended up buying the game. Hey, I had CMBB and I've been a fan (though never active on the forums - my post count here is mainly from DropTeam, which was cool!) for a long time. But I think my experience is illustrative. Guys, the reason there are fewer new players is the game (and, more rarely, the community) tries so hard to drive them away. "Realistic wargame" isn't some absurdly tiny niche that only grogs can be interested in. Heck, look at World of Tanks - its big interesting feature is that it tries to model tank armour and penetration accurately, and right this instant there are thousands or tens of thousands of people playing it. The issue is that if you try this hard to drive people away, you'll only end up with the small niche of players who fights through all that for all the great stuff underneath - and that's generally only the people most interested in a very realistic wargame! The other people - other potential players, friends and customers - will just go back to Starcraft, to World of Tanks, to whatever, not because they aren't interested in patronising a realistic wargame, but because they're not so interested that they're willing to meet it more than halfway.
  9. It would just let a player pause the game when they want, and then both players would have to unpause to resume, probably, with a very brief countdown? It'd be easily abused, but I think the main recourse there would be to not play with that person. With people who didn't it'd be invaluable in non-tiny games. There's no WeGo TCP/IP. There's still WeGo single player and PBEM. Battlefront have said that they might be able to provide TCP/IP WeGo without playback at some point (though I'm not sure that would be for CMBN), but it seems to me that no playback is sort of missing part of what makes WeGo so awesome, the being able to watch the same action from a lot of different views. I'm sure many people feel differently though! I would go for real time pause instead, I think. Coop is most important though! (staying on-message)
  10. Cooperative play is my #1 most desired feature too. Honestly, it's very hard (or impossible) to sell the game to friends when there's no way for us to play together. Whether that's against the computer or other people, the rest of the game being awesome doesn't matter if there's no way to play that they're very interested in. Of course, for good coop the AI not being as dumb as a brick would probably help too. In a CMSF campaign mission the other day I fought the computer into a surrender, then looked at the map and saw a full-strength, full ammo enemy ATGM team dutifully covering the 8m between the building they were in and the computer's edge of the map. Really, guys? But yes, coop play (or at least some kind of team-based play) would do more than literally any other feature in getting my friends to pick up the game. Yes, it's more important than whatever 10 major game features or 100 bugfixes you care to name. There's just no reason for them to care about the game enough to spend $60 (or whatever) on it if there's no game mode they'd want to play. It wouldn't have to have something like divided-up troops or anything. For all I care it could just let everyone on each side control all the troops and let you just split up platoons yourself if you wanted ("I'll control 1st Platoon, you control 2nd Platoon and the company HQ?"). But it needs a way to play with friends, and it needs to be something that uses TCP/IP, because I'll be damned if any game we play requires us to email turns to play coop. And yes, it also needs the pause key or real WeGo in MP.
  11. Maybe there's a compelling reason why not, but wouldn't a good way to get a rough feel for the way a vehicle is armoured be to have a 3d, rotatable representation of the vehicle's hull colour-coded for thickness (e.g. deep red for thin armour, green for thick)? It could have a little labeled scale at the bottom, maybe, so that you could see what the colours corresponded to. It could even be effective thickness if you wanted. You'd need a little bit of background knowledge to interpret it, but it should be pretty clear. For the guns, why not a small graph of penetration vs range? It seems like something that'd have big dividends in terms of how much more sense the game would make vs how much time it took to implement, especially with regards to new players or people who don't play often or enough to pick up the relationships otherwise. Having a high-fidelity simulation doesn't mean much if the player can't make sense of it.
  12. Yes, exactly. People playing and enjoying the game more is a win. It means they're more likely to buy the next one and to recommend the game to others. People are able to afford two systems with all the money saved from not buying the same games twice.
  13. AI War didn't originally use Unity - it used to use what I believe was their own engine. AFAIK one of the big reasons they switched to Unity was to be able to make the Mac version. I could be wrong on that score, though. I haven't heard anything about them going bankrupt. I think Tidalis may have not sold as well as they hoped - I know they're putting more focus on marketing for their new titles and see that as a key cause of its lower-than-expected sales, and they've picked up a new staff member to address that. Anyway, all that aside, as I said in my first post in this thread it's not something that is going to keep me up at night one way or the other. I mainly wanted to explain how I felt about it to provide another data point. If the Mac market is so small then I'm not sure that the potential double sales to people who want both the Windows version and the Mac version would be enough to subsidise the cost of its development, so I'm not sure I see your point there - it seems like what you've written would mainly support not making a Mac port in the first place rather than treating it as a separate product. For my part, while I'd like to play the Mac version - and would regard its existence as added value - I expect better optimisation and support on the Windows end and so would probably get the Windows one for that reason if I had to choose one or the other. I would not be willing to pay for an extra license just to potentially avoid rebooting (and I'm not interested in running it on two of my computers at the same time, which would generally be the reason I'd buy a second license of a game). I'm not interested in running it on two computers at the same time. Personally, I'm interested in running it on the same computer via Boot Camp in whichever version gets the best experience or is most convenient. The OP also mentions steam, so I assume s/he only intends to use one copy at a time, too.
  14. How the heck is $60USD "free"? And yes, there are games on Steam that let you play both the Mac and PC version. There are also other games that let you play both - I know Arcen's games, Tidalis and AI War, let you play on either platform once you've bought the game. You already paid once, so why would you pay them again? Let's not forget the reigning champion of multi-platform games, Blizzard, who do not charge anything extra for playing their game on whatever platforms you like right off the disc. In general, the companies that separate Mac and PC versions of the game do so because they have a different developer or porting house and often a different publisher entirely, so the money is flowing to different people. That isn't so in this case as far as I'm aware. At any rate, claiming that the OS-specific code takes up 100% of the development expense and that the guts of the game engine itself, its art assets, its levels, etc were all done as an afterthought and thus that paying for the complete game again is fair is absurd on its face and, I'm sure, not something that Battlefront/Big Time Software would ever do. Nobody here is talking about getting things "for free". People want to support the developer and have more cool Combat Mission games come out for more gaming fun. It's totally reasonable, though, to point out that there is some level of demand to be able to play both platforms' versions of the game without paying the full retail price a second time, something that many developers offer as a free value-add when they're not restricted by division of money between developers and publishing groups.
  15. Just to provide feedback as a potential user of the Mac version - I'm a little disappointed to hear it'll be a separate purchase to the Windows one. Years of bad ports have left me jaded and I'm now more likely to buy a Windows version to play on my Mac, with the expectation that it'll probably run better and potentially get better support, too. With dual-platform games from developers like Blizzard I do enjoy being able to play on the MacOS. I might be willing to pay a nominal amount extra for a dual-platform license ($10, say?) but not $60, and even a nominal fee could look a bit much next to other developers offering theirs for no extra charge. That said, it won't keep me up at night and even if I don't get the Mac version myself I'm glad that others will have the option to.
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