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Plugger

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Everything posted by Plugger

  1. G'day, Understand that BF have a cost/benefit equation that they are working too. However I personally think that going forward with both further CM:SF modules and CM:N whilst continuing with a brain dead AI isn't going to be a winning formula. Reason being competition from other products. The majority of players buy these military simulation type games for single player use. No matter how good CM:SF is if it doesn't have an AI that can 'react' in some measure or form (and in it's current incarnation it is totally incapable of reacting to anything other than a preset clock) then you're going to bleed customers to competitors. There is always going to be a vocal hardcore of supporters for any game that are will rally around the flag. But at some point continuing to develop and sell a game system with a brain dead AI that can't react to the players actions is going to bite you hard in the backside. Imagine what this game would be like to play if you had to take into account an AI that was capable of doing things in response to something you did? Unfortunately for BF you an experience this elsewhere. As a postscript I'm not in anyway associated with a competiting product. I own every iteration of CM that has been produced and I'm simply a supporter scratching their head in amazement at the opportunity that BF are providing to others in not rectifying a glaring deficiency in an otherwise excellent game system. Cheers, Plugger
  2. Goodaye, Triggers? Hello? It's a little difficult to classify the current game AI as anything other than a brain dead Artificial Time Keeper that robotically follows a preplanned time-based script. No matter how smart you are with the Editor and scenario design you are still constrained by the limitation of having to shuffle units around with the clock being your only means of doing so. Oh, it's T+30. Time to attack yonder building. Who cares what the OPFOR are doing? Who cares if there is a big tank in the way? Not I, for it's T+30 and I'm going to do as I was programmed. I'd better point out that even with the non-existant AI (apart from the localised 'I'm under fire, better take cover') the game is still good but this is largely due to the lethality of modern weaponary and the fact that it is predominately the player who is attacking a static defence. Triggers. Magic word. No triggers, no ability to react to the player's actions. Triggers. Hello? Cheers, Plugger
  3. Goodaye, O.K, thanks for the information. Can't be done. % chance of inclusion was what I was after but the idea of a sealed building, etc. is a better idea than my toilet pit at the back. Hopefully % chance and Triggers might get a look in with CM: Normandy as the editor is very good at making maps but very limited in terms of AI. Cheers, Plugger
  4. Goodaye, Fairly basic Editor question but it has got me stumped. I have a scenario with a red defender force composition. What I want to do is have a number of AI plans. Each plan has different set up zones etc. but I also would like - and can't figure out - to have a different selection of units from my red force composition . So in effect I have a red defender force composition of, say, ten units. AI plan one uses only six of these units. AI plan two uses eight of them, etc. I've figured out that I can do it by hiding the units I don't want for a particular plan in a deep hole at the back of the map but this isn't an elegant solution. Attempting to do this via the AI plans described above has met with all kinds of weird behaviour. If anyone can tell me if I'm chasing a mirage 'cause it isn't doable or alternatively, how to do it, I'd appreciate it. Cheers, Plugger
  5. Goodaye, Artilcle I mentioned. Wasn't where I thought it was. http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2009/11/19/only-23-even-attempted-to-play-multiplayer/ Cheers, Plugger
  6. Goodaye Brit, I haven't bought the game although I have played every version of the demo. I also posted quite a bit prior to the games release when you were kicking around a number of ideas. I've admired the work you've put into making EoS better and appreciate that you're looking to find ways to get a better return on all the time you've put in. EoS in it's current incarnation isn't for me however I'm happy to give you - for what it's worth - the benefit of my feedback. My views may not coincide with others here or yourself but they are given with the intention of providing an alternative point of view that might be of some use to you. So... 1. EoS is too generic. It does what it does well but there is very little about it that makes it stand out from the crowd. 2. The aspect of EoS that is different is the very good multiplayer tools. Unfortunately multi-player is a tiny market despite the vocal protests of those who do it. Stardock Games recently (last 12 months) released a game with a heavy multi-player focus and an adequate but not brilliant single player experience. The game was marketed primarily at the multi-player market. It didn't sell as well as expected so they did a follow-up customer survey and found that the percentage of players who bought the game that actually played multi-player was a heck of a lot smaller than they thought it would be. The vast majority of players (even those who'd bought it for the MP experience) ended up playing the AI. You can chase down the actual survey results and analysis on Gamasutra from memory. EoS had a great MP set-up and a lackadasial AI (intially - I can see that it's greatly improved). In hindsight I think you would have been better to come out of the gate with great AI and basic MP. 3. The marketing of the game was 'off target'. The impression I got from the PR was that it was an improved 'Empire' with great MP. The number of players who remember Empire or who even know of Empire would (I'm guessing here) be pretty small. 4. EoS sits in the 'Easy+' wargaming complexity bracket. Kind of an advanced 'Beer and Pretzels' game. Making a good B & P game is a worthwhile goal but the pricing at $45 completely killed off any meaningful sales into that market. Even $35 is a stretch. Additionally Battlefront - of whom I'm a big supporter - sell and promote wargames that are all a lot further up the other end of the complexity scale than EoS. Their inbuilt customer base is more accustomed to 'meatier' offerings than EoS. I'd suggest that EoS isn't a good fit with their stable of games. 5. On the other hand if you wanted to market EoS to the typical Battlefront / Matrix 'detailed' wargaming crowd then you run into the problem of a generic, simplified game with initially poor AI not having much appeal in the face of competing products at that price point. All of the above are my own views and could well be - like my comments on the marketing - "off target". What to do? 1. I think you need to decide whom you want to market the game at. If it's the B & P crowd then I'd suggest you'd want to gear up the game for fast and furious action and talk to Battlefront about allowing you access to an online sales outlet that is more in line with that type of game. If, on the other hand, want to target the 'wargaming' market then you need to throw something else into the mix to give the game an 'angle' and more depth. You need a hook to pull in the wargaming crowd. In my previous posts before the games release I was pushing pretty hard for a basic supply / resource depletion system but that is just one possibility amongst a number. The guys at Battlefront would probably have a head full of good ideas. 2. I'm not sure that if you did either of the two options above if you'd manage to pick up sales momentum as EoS has been on the market long enough for a lot of potential customers to have considered it and to have already taken a pass. Very difficult to get them interested again once they have made up their mind. Perhaps you could take what you've done already and use it as the basis of a second iteration. I suspect that you'd need to do this to convince people to take another look. I'm probably not making your day with all of the above and I could, as already mentioned, be way off on a tangent. Feel free to ignore or disregard my post if I've caused offense. Best of luck. Cheers, Plugger
  7. Goodaye, Aahhhh! That solves the problem. Thanks. Cheers, Plugger
  8. Goodaye, If - when designing a scenario - I use an AI plan to create a number of randomised setup locations for troops within buildings I run into the problem of 'facing'. Despite painting set-up locations only at the front of the buildings (the internal front) facing the enemy I end up with troops being placed within the buildings at the internal back facing the rear. So instead of the troops being inside a building peering out windows waiting for the approach of the bad guys they are looking out the rear windows with their backs to the enemy. I can't figure out why this is happening and hopefully somebody can shed some light on the subject. Thanks in advance. Cheers, Plugger
  9. Goodaye, Nope. Can't vouch for the previous incarnation but the way it works in CM:SF is that the person who makes the scenario knocks up a pre-determined plan for the OPFOR to follow. Eg. At exactly T+12 minutes the tank platoon moves to there. So once battle is joined the tank platoon will ALWAYS move to there at exactly T+12. The plan is totally independent of what you the player do. Essentially the AI doesn't care about you. It's been told to move the tanks there at T+12 and come hell or high water that's what it'll do. The refinement on offer is that the person making the scenario has the ability to make a number (up to five from memory) different plans for the AI to follow. So on any particular playthrough of the same scenario you may encounter different AI behaviour as they randomly follow a different plan. Each plan is the same, however, in that it is made and carried out in total isolation to whatever you the player does. Hence the request for Triggers which would at least enable the scenario designer to incorporate some dynamic behaviour and allow the OPFOR to react to what you the player does. Feel free to put your hand up and join 'Triggers - R - Us'. Cheers, Plugger
  10. Goodaye, O.K, my fault for not being clear enough in the first place. To much Xmas cheer imbided. My example - and the thrust of my post above - refers to simple triggers put in place by the scenario designer. There is no actual Artificial Intelligence involved. Nada. Zip. Referring to the example I've given I'm thinking something along the lines of a trigger placed on a specific point on the map (in this case a certain building.) It has a radius from here, think of a circle drawn on the map of say a 200m radius centered on the point chosen. The trigger has a condition, say... "If BLUFOR enter then.." which is associated with part of the OPFOR troops. They are given a preset move order. Essentially it is identical to a so-called 'AI plan' that you are currently able to knock up in the editor. All that is different is that it's conditional on the trigger being activated. With the couple of triggers I've given in the previous example there are simply two conditional moves. One of them activates first and in doing so perhaps sets a flag so that the other one is nullified. Something along those lines. Straightforward stuff that is bog-standard in most tactically orientated games with editors. You aren't providing Artificial Intelligence, all you are doing is giving the bloke who makes the scenario a few easy means to make the enemy REACT in some measure to what the player does. I'd stress that what I'm pushing here is ground level trigger implementation. The WalMart of Triggers. It wouldn't magically provide a wonderfully intelligent enemy picking on your weak spots. But it would be light years ahead of the current situation of an OPFOR that essentially goes into battle deaf dumb and blind to what the other side is doing. Imagine being a company commander in a current combat zone. You are told to attack or defend a certain place. No problems Major, Sir! The kicker is that you have to make a detailed plan the day before and then robotically carry it out on the day of the battle no matter what. That's what the OPFOR in CM:SF does at present. Not a recipe for military greatness. I'd better stress at the end of this long epistle that I'm keen for Triggers but that I'm doing my best to ask nicely while still trying to make my point. I like CM:SF and am happy to keep supporting it, triggers or not. Cheers and best wishes, Plugger
  11. Goodaye, Without triggers or some kind of conditional variables there isn't any ability to provide an AI that 'reacts'. CMSF is a great game and a superb effort by a small development team. The game shines in so many areas. Except the AI. The individual 'micro-scale' AI stuff is excellent, eg. run for cover, pop smoke etc. But the inability of the scenario designer to provide an OPFOR that can react - even in a simplistic manner - to the actions of the player is the elephant in the room. Sure you can make an AI plan that attacks up the left flank. But it'll do that everytime, robotically, irregardless of what the player does. Reading a few previous comments by Steve in this thread it appears that the development priorities don't include triggers for the forseeable future. Obviously the man is running a business here and has a better handle on what's viable and what isn't. But I'd suggest that - going forward with Normandy etc. - leaving the robotic AI in place may be more of a hindrance than a help. No matter how good the graphics, the ballistic simulation, the new terrain, the new units, etc., your average player is going to lose interest pretty fast once they figure out that the AI is unable to react to anything he does. While it's not easy to find a directly comparable product to CM:SF it's also pretty obvious that triggers are a standard inclusion for any tactically orientated game that comes with an editor these days. It's also worth keeping in mind that 'triggers' are purely a means of letting a scenario designer give some basic intelligence to the AI forces. It's not about building a sophisticated dynamic nueral pathway to allows the AI to react on the fly and maintain a coherent battle plan. Nope, triggers are pretty basic, simple stuff which are highlighted here only by their absence. Jump back to my example above of an AI robotically advancing up the left flank ten minutes into the game. Every time. Imagine the difference if there was a trigger in place so that the AI only advance up the left flank if enemy units came within 500m of a target building. Straight away you've got some basic reactive ability. Now what about if there was a second trigger on another building that detected the presence of enemy units. If this kicks in first then the AI might decide NOT to advance up the left flank at all as the player is doing something different. Instead the AI might choose to pull the left flank back to a secondary position. Ah huh! With two simple triggers in place the AI now has a range of behaviours that is allowing it to REACT in a basic manner to what the player does. Contrast that to the current situation where there are no triggers, the AI has no ability to determine what the player is doing and in fact is rigidly following a predetermined plan come hell or high water. So in summary my wish is for the inclusion of triggers in CM: Normandy and, hopefully, the retrofitting of the same into CM:SF. Wishful thinking maybe, but hey, it's Xmas. Cheers, Plugger
  12. Goodaye, I'm a long time player of Advanced tactics and while there a few similarities there is a vast gulf in complexity and strategy. Advanced tactics features a sophisticated logistics and staff model which leaves the simple resource system in EoS for dead. Not saying that one is better than the other, only that there is a significant difference between the two. EoS is very much strategy-lite compared to AT. I think the best comparison for EoS are the previous incarnations of Empire. Cheers, Plugger
  13. Goodaye, Ahh. Some would agree with you and some wouldn't. But - and it's a biggie - the developers have stated that Combat Mission AK, the last in the series of CM1 games, sold only a fraction of what the first in the series sold. In short people had tuned out. Same thing with Empire. Lots of vocal people here like yourself who enjoyed it and would like to continue to enjoy a EoS that emulates it as closely as possible (within reason). Which is fine. But I'd suggest that, like CMAK, nobody else is going to buy it. Times have changed. You have to move on. Battlefront have done so with the new version of Combat Mission (CMSF) which is a significant departure from CMAK. Keeping EoS in line with previous incarnations of Empire is a recipe for stagnation and low sales. So says I. Cheers, Plugger
  14. Goodaye, Empire might have sold a truck load of copies but consider the context of when it was sold. Years ago when it was released it was regarded as a lot more 'Advanced'. It certainly wasn't promoted as 'simple-strategy'. Times have moved on. Attempting to market a 'simple-strategy' game that carries the flag of past gaming glory is tricky. You're certainly going to appeal to a small vocal minority of players who liked the previous incarnations and appreciate a new version with a facelift and a few extras. But - and this is my personal opinion only - I'd suggest that deliberately keeping the game 'simple-as-possible' isn't going to be a winning approach if Brit wants to make a dollar out of it. A better approach - once again my opinion - is to throw some more gaming angles into the mix, whether that is some form of logistics, enhanced combat, whatever, and make them all optional. Each extra optional feature attracts a wider audience and ensures those that like it just the way it is won't be offended. The argument that more features equals more complexity therefore making the AI correspondingly harder to program is has some weight. However given that the game is - in terms of strategy - relatively simple already and that the AI, from what I've seen so far in the demo, isn't that flash it may be a moot point. Adding extra features doesn't necessarily have to overburden the AI. You could have a ruleset for logistics that applies to the player, for instance, but is abstracted for the Computer controlled players. So in summary I'd argue that deliberately keeping the game simple and aiming it predominately at the vocal multiplayer minority isn't going to ensure that it becomes anything other than a fun game for a small number of players. But hey, I could well be wrong. Cheers, Plugger
  15. Goodaye, I'm going to add to the debate here without, hopefully, getting into the politics. A major limitation and point of frustration with the CMSF system is the lack of conditional AI triggers. The AI is extremely passive and non-reactive as a result which is probably what is driving a lot of the arguements here. It's pretty much impossible to have any realistic or even fun scenario or campaign if you've up against a dead dog AI. Yep you can script stuff but it's totally out of context with what's happening on the ground and next to useless. The passive AI is something that is concealed from open view by virtue of the weapon ranges in relation to the available map sizes but sooner or later you are going to bump into it and realise that the bad guys are unable to react to anything you do on the battlefield. I understand that some kind of triggers or conditional AI is on the cards from Battlefront but it seems to be on the distant horizon. Imagine what kind of game you would have if you were dealing with an AI capable of 'thinking' and 'reacting' to what you did rather than one which is robotically following a preprogrammed script. I think that an awful lot of engine limitations (and it''s inevitable that this occurs given the complexity of what's being modelled) would be minimised or overlooked if the users were confronted by an active AI. Cheers, Plugger
  16. Goodaye, I'd argue that you do need some complexity. However it has to be wrapped up in a good game design. Dumbing down the game to the lowest common demoninator isn't going to make Brit rich and famous. There are a number of games already on the market that already model WW2+ combat in reasonable detail and offer civ-style random map generators and technology trees. EoS has to offer something different in order to stand out. From what I can figure out about EoS to date the differences are a more involved resource model (eg. you don't just acquire 'oil' you instead get an oil resource that gives you 'x' amount of oil per turn) and a robust multiplayer facility. The percentage of people who actually get together and play a game online is pretty small compared to those that buy the game primarily for solo use. So that leaves the resource model (of course there could be other stuff that we don't know about). This is interesting in that it's a 'pull' model. Eg. your main focus is on gaining (pulling) resources into your economy so you can produce more stuff. Most of the like-minded competitor games that I know of have a 'push' model in that the focus is on pushing supply out from the centres of production to the troops. But having a fairly unique 'pull' resource model isn't going to wow the world if it doesn't come with some kind of more involved means of utilising it. The kind of person who'd go for a combat orientated no-frills civ-style game isn't likely to be overly impressed by a resource model that magically spreads oil, food and steel around your kingdom just because you happen to own the particular resource hex. They'd want some kind of involvement in the process, hence all the talk about convoys etc. This ties in with giving the game a robust naval model (i.e there's a reason for having a navy). Add this to a resource system that EoS uses plus a convoy / resource transport system of some kind and you've probably got a unique proposition that would carve out a decent niche in the market place. This does involve a bit of complexity but it's targeted complexity and hopefully complexity that can be built into the game in an easy to use manner. Just my thoughts. Cheers, Plugger
  17. Goodaye, I like Rocotech's idea better than mine. Simpler yet does the job. If all the resources had to be auto-shipped/trucked back to your Capitol then the player wouldn't even have to set the destination. Perhaps there could be a setting in the options that lets the player set the amount of resources generated at source before a ship /truck is generated. Do I go with regular smaller shipments or perodical bigger ones? If the ship / truck was generated at the source a turn before initiating movement it could give the player an opportunity to provide it with an escort. If you wanted to get fancy you could let the player click on an automoving ship / truck and then give their own orders. This could allow them to reroute a convoy past a dangerous situation or to stockpile a few trucks before running them up the road in one lot along with an escort. Part of setting the difficulty level for the player could be in choosing the intial pool of resources that you and your opponents start with. So you have shipments that are auto-generated and auto-moved requiring no micro-management yet still providing opportunites to wage economic war, both on land and sea. There's also the possibility to let players who are so inclined micro-manage the logistics so it would be scaleable (eg. simple option with none of the above, standard option as above and advanced option where players can manually intervene.) Cheers, Plugger
  18. Goodaye Brit, It's worth a look. Great game. Superb streamlined design. Don't be put off by the name, it's more Strategic / Operational scaled than tactical. Cheers, Plugger
  19. Goodaye, Just for the hell of it here's another screenshot showing what happens when a couple of cruisers go on a merchant raiding frenzy through your convoy lanes. Cheers, Plugger
  20. Goodaye Brit, Yep. Here's a screenshot that gives a rough indication of what I outlined above. It's been run through Illustrator as part of an AAR I did but you can see the concept of the sub wolf pack interdicting the convoy lane and causing losses (blue circles) due to their presence. The red circles indicate an enemy naval or land based air presence interdicting one of my own convoy routes. As mentioned previously the merchants / frieghters don't physically ply the convoy route. They are simply attached to a HQ / city and exert a 'virtual' presence. One other thing that I didn't mention is that when you interdict a convoy route, in addition to the couple of variables already mentioned, there's one other which is your distance from a city / port. If you send you subs out into the deep blue sea and hit the convoy lanes there you'll get a much lower return than if you park them right outside one of the cities. Think of an american sub in the pacific. Way out in the wild blue yonder you're lucky to see a ship, even if you're in the middle of a convoy lane. But if you're sitting off the entrance to Tokyo harbour then you're in target city. Simple but effective like the rest of the logistical design. It's only one way of doing it and you've got a bunch of other good ideas here. Hopefully you can figure out something that works for you as the designer / programmer. I'd imagine the hard bit isn't the doing of it but in getting the AI to deal with it intelligently. Cheers, Plugger
  21. Goodaye Brit, Thanks for the response, it's always interesting to see how designers approach things. You asked for thoughts so here's another. I mentioned Advanced Tactics in the previous post. Similar one man with a vision game as you appear to be doing here. It handles the logistics / convoy situation quite cleverly. It has a series of HQ units. Supply is moved between them automatically provided they are in a predefined 'supply transfer range'. This varies depending on the availabilty of a road/rail net, terrain and enemy zoc's. Units are assigned to a particular HQ and the relevant HQ, once it recieves supply from higher up the chain, distributes supply as needed to each of it's attached units (with range restrictions as before). To cross water you have to have HQ's on either side of the ocean. At least one of these HQ's need to have merchant ships attached to them. The ships don't physically move, they are simply attached and are assumed to ply a continuous path between the two HQ's. The really clever bit is that any sea going unit can interdict this path simply by being in the area. The program computes a hex path between the two HQ's and any enemy naval unit that is within a certain distance of that path will interdict 'x' amount of supply per turn. There are a couple of variables here. The closer the naval unit is to the actual path the more supply it will interdict so a submarine or cruiser right on top of the path would interdict serious amounts of supply but if they were, say 2 hexes off the path then it might just be a nuisance value effect. The other variable is that each naval unit has a supply interdiction ability so that, for instance, a destroyer has less effect sitting ontop a convoy route than a battleship. Land based air, given the right orders (there is a simple box that you tick for 'anti-supply'), will act the same way, with an effect based on the range from the airbase (eg. loiter time) to the nearest convoy route and the plane type (eg. fighters are less effective than divebombers). The program will graphically show both your losses due to enemy anti-supply actions and also what you've done yourself in this area by overlaying small circles at the beginning of each turn. Red circles being what's happened to you (bad) and blue the opposite (good). A number inside each circle indicates how much supply you interdicted in each hex. So sending a submarine on patrol across an enemy convoy lane will give you a bunch of blue circles with numbers in them showing where you caused mayhem and telling you also where the best place to position your subs should be (circles with the biggest numbers in them indicating the closeness of the actual convoy path). Of course the opposition looks at his screen at the beginning of his turn and see's identical numbers but in red circles. He can then tell where an enemy naval unit, perhaps, is operating against his convoy and can then send out some ASW forces to deal with the problem, for example. A related anti-supply effect is that occasionally (probability dice roll based how much supply was lost) a merchant ship, or two, are sunk as well. The game models merchant ships having a set capacity and the number of merchants assigned to a HQ determines how much supply you can automatically transfer per turn across the ocean convoy link. Lose some merchants and your capacity drops. So the design simulates the moving of supply, the need to build merchants to shift it but does so without the hassle of physically shunting merchants here and there. A player is forced to protect his sea lanes or loose significant amounts of supply and merchant ships. The actual interdiction is all done in a manner that is simple yet highly effective at simulating logistics and requires minimal micro-managment. Now to transpose this to AoE I'd imagine the following. Instead of HQ's you have cities. Resources have to be transported to your capitol in order to be utilised. You build freighters /merchants. You assign them to a city on one side of the ocean gap. Keep it simple. You need, say three freighters to get you full amount of resources across the gap. Lose one and you are down to 2/3rd's. Loose two and you are only managing to convoy 1/3 of that resource across each turn. The program maps a route across the ocean from one city to another. You could even display it (a colored line linking the two cities across the ocean). Any enemy naval force / land air unit could move over that route (smaller scale of AoE so you either are on it or you're not. No periphal effects.) Once done, the unit makes a roll to see how much effect it has on the convoy situation. Given AoE's resource system (from what little I can gather from screenshots), the roll might simply be the chance to deep six a freighter. Each hex you move on the convoy path causes another roll. Varied by a units 'anti-freighter' rating (using one of the existing unit-type attack strengths). You sink a freighter. Resource transfer amount drops until a player replaces the freighter. You'd also need some visual indication for both players as to what happened and where. Maybe a little sunk freighter icon in a hex at the beginning of a turn. So you have convoys. You have a need to build and replace freighters. You have the need to protect your sealanes. You have the ability to wage economic war. Apart from the need to assign merchants to a coastal city and check how many you have there is zippo micro-management by a player. Even this could be done by a few easy visual reminders such as a button that you press to overlay your convoy routes on the map. They are color coded for how effective they are. You have three merchants available on that route (attached to a city) then the route is colored, say green. Two merchants - not enough - the route is colored orange. One merchant, red. I'd probably also make resource transfer over land automatic via the road/rail net. Keep it simple. No road/rail net free of enemy zoc's then no transfer. Given EoS's heavy ocean going theme (once again an impression from your screenshots) one way or another you need to have a rip snorting naval / air war. This is a lot longer than I intended but you did ask for ideas. If it's of any use I can post a screenshot from the other game showing it in action. And, no, I won't be around with a shotgun if you don't like my idea. Note: To be fair to all it isn't my idea and I'm only suggesting a design concept that could be adapted to your game. The person who designed Advanced Tactics, Victor Rej..., has done a hell of job and I'm not advocating you rip of his hard work. The concept, however, is worth a look. He's a decent bloke and would probably respond favourably if you approached him directly. Cheers, Plugger
  22. Goodaye Brit, I'd like to weigh into the discussion here with a strong vote for some kind of convoy system, even if only simulated. I own a bunch of turn based Strategy games (including Civ) and one common denominator amongst them is how they handle the supply/logistics aspect. Games that simplify it right down end up with two things happening, Civ being a good example of this. The first is that the naval side of the game dies in the bum. Without convoys or trade routes to protect or interdict the only reason for a having a navy is to escort the occassional invasion fleet. This makes the naval aspect very bland and uninteresting compared to having to protect your convoys of vitally important resources feeding into your homeland. The second is that they lose a lot of 'wargaming' customers who find that without this aspect being modeled the game is too 'dumbed down' for them. There's a big provisio here though. If the game design makes the system too complicated and involved it ends up alienating a big segment of the market who aren't into heavy duty micro-management. The game designs that aim to steer a middle path that pleases everyone end up pleasing nobody in my experience (personal and from reading the relevant forums). The ones that are successful in this aspect of design are those that offer something to both ends of the spectrum. In EoS - from the little I know of it - it could work that you give players the option of simplified resource management where convoys are NOT needed and as long as you own a resource site then it's magically available for use. There would be a flip side option where, for example, resources freely flow along road / rail nets to the nearest port. They then stockpile up over time. The player has to build freighters that are then put into a convoy which carts the resources over to the nearest connected port to your home city. Only when they reach the capital can the resources be used. There could, of course, be a bunch of variations on this (eg. any city you own could be a destination point, a convoy - once set up - could be automated) but the concept of having to physically ship & rail your resources to where they are needed would be the underlying theme. Built into this is the understanding that you have to protect your sea lanes, rail nets etc and in turn are able to wage economic war on your opponents. A good example of a game that manages to do this (and make it scaleable so it appeals to both micro and macro type players) is Advanced Tactics (Matrix games). I also own games where they have managed to do the above but have wrapped it up in a clunky interface (eg., Hearts of Iron 2) which buggers the design for everybody. So in summary I'd give a big thumbs up for the need to implement a system to move resources around while also providing an easy option for players who don't like to deal with that kind of thing. A design that manages to model logistics while being streamlined and fun would be a bonus. Cheers, Plugger
  23. Goodaye, I understand that you have a more sophisticated resource system than CIV in that the resources you own provide 'x' quantity per turn which is then utilised by your armed forces as opposed to CIV's model of simply linking resources to your cities. So do you have to link resources (eg. rail net / port to port) in EoS to your cities or is simply owning a mine / oil field etc sufficient in order for them to be utilised? Is it possible (assuming yes to the above question) to cut off an enemy city from it's resource base by surrounding it or blockading it, for example? Taking this one step further (it's just a step to the left, then a step to the right...) is it possible for units to be cut off from their supply/resource net (and suffer detrimental effects) if they can't trace a path back to a friendly city? Cheers, Plugger
  24. Goodaye, I'm back looking over the forum after a break from the game and see all kinds of excellent improvements. I was wondering about the implementation of Triggers in the Editor in order to get some kind of randomised / intelligent AI reactions as opposed to preset canned AI orders that may or may not be appropriate on the day? Is this a feature that might find it's way into a future patch or will we have to wait until Normandy? Cheers, Plugger
  25. Goodaye, O.K, thanks for the replies. I'll be keeping a close eye on this one. An AAR - if possible at this stage in development - would be a good way of giving people an overview. Cheers, Plugger
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