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Sixxkiller

So what you guys think?

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I think that's a very dangerous mindset to have with regards to the App Store (or any market). There is every reason, if you can, to have the best experience on every device.

The problem here is how you define "best". It's a personal opinion, nothing more. I think the Rolling Stones and The Who are some of the worst musical acts to ever grace the airwaves. But I bet 99.99% of those fans would hate the music I listen to. Eh... it is what it is.

In fact you'd be amazed at the number of people (me included) who don't even own/use traditional computers any more since the sophistication of App Store games has increased exponentially over the last couple of years and made the iPad into a serious gaming device for "serious" games.

Don't sell yourselves short just because of what you think the App Store market is. If you can make it work, don't hold back!

But here's where you're imposing your own personal take on things and not giving any consideration for alternate points of view. Who said we're "holding back"? Could it possibly, just possibly, be that we don't want to make the same game you want us to make?

I never said the AppStore was just a place to peddle mindless crud. What I said is that there are technical limitations that preclude the game you originally envisioned from existing in the first place. And as you say, that's coloring your perception. But even putting that aside, can you promise me that none of our customer base wants a "CM light" or that you represent more of our customer base than those folks like YankeeDog do? No, you can't. Heck, as far as I know you're not even a current customer of ours at all, so you kinda fell off the hay wagon before this point anyway. And that's OK because we make games and let people decide if we should be able to keep making them. So far so good on that ;)

All I'm saying here is that one of the problems with "fun" is that it's highly subjective. And that's really all there is to it.

Steve

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Don't sell yourselves short just because of what you think the App Store market is. If you can make it work, don't hold back!

OK but clearly there are some hard/real technical limits that any iPad game has to work within, and from what they are saying, they have forsaken the iPad 1 as lacking the minimum hardware standard to make the game work and I am guessing they are pushing the limit of what they can do given the technical limitations of the iPad2

I agree with the main thrust of your point, "they should put the peddle to the metal and GivER!" but I would humbly suggest they are in fact doing just that, having played CM Touch today for about 2 hrs!

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Cons:

- Camera controls have way too much inertia and bounce.

-There is zero, and I mean zero, feedback during the playback phase. No idea what a unit is shooting at, if its morale state changed, if its being targeted, just nothing. Kinda leaves you wondering just what is actually going on, which may be a design decision too (fog of war and all that). Oh, just noticed you get Penetration notices against armour (my tank just died-a-lot).

- No animations for vehicle running gear.

- Everything seems to float above the ground somewhat.

- No information whatsoever about enemy units. May also be a design decision with FoW in mind.

- No save system?

- Some commands missing? Button/Unbutton for example.

- No terrain/cover/concealment info that I've found. I'm guessing (hoping) it's WYSIWYG on a per soldier/vehicle basis.

This is actually a really encouraging (and thankfully specific - thanks Harv!) short list to work with. It's a little hard for me to relate to these issues being what's holding you back from having fun, but I'm glad they are because they're darned easy to address.

Feedback during the playback phase

This is deliberately minimalist so that you feel more immersed in the actual action during this phase. Hard to believe, I know, but many players actually like to just watch and enjoy the action from many different angles without being a scientist during the playback phase. But if you want more, we can definitely provide it. The thinking was that, after this phase, you would go open the unit info window and look at as many specifics as you wanted to after this phase - it's only a few seconds away. But if you want some of it in realtime as the playback is playing, then, as the old saying goes, "Ask and ye shall receive unless it makes the game crappy for everyone who is not a super groggy canuck like you."

Feedback that's already there includes text balloons when troops break or rally and when vehicles are penetrated (these are your cues to know what unit info might be interesting later.) I suppose your issue with these is that they're easy to miss (you only see them if you're looking in that area when they happen). I think that being allowed to show unit icons during the playback phase, as some others have also suggested, would go a long way toward resolving this. Others, like lines for elements' current targets, would be trivially easy to include. I would definitely include these as an optional toggle, not by default. What other kind of feedback did you feel that you're missing during playback?

Camera controls have too much inertia and bounce

I think some slider settings are in order here. It has been too much for some and too little for others. It's an easy thing to adjust. Also, are you using the "Move Camera To..." button at the top of the screen? It's a dirt easy way to just zap to wherever you specifically want to go instead of dragging your way around.

No information about enemy units

Do you mean that you would like to be able to open the unit info window for enemy units, and have it only reflect what you "know" about that unit? If so, this is an incredibly easy tweak to make.

No save system

There will be in 1.1, which is not far away.

No button/unbutton

That particular one may cross the line into being more work than many players on this device want to invest. It's easy to implement, but would penalize more casual players (reduced spotting because they didn't know to unbutton, etc.) This is one of a class of "cons" that would best be addressed with an optional "advanced mode". We have been discussing such a thing for a while now, but don't yet have a timetable for it.

No terrain cover info

This is, indeed, WYSIWYG. If you would prefer a more explicit icon when under cover, then that seems reasonable.

No animations for running gear, floating

Surely the graphics aren't driving your differentiation of this game's amount of "fun" from CMx1's? Either way, graphics improvements are always ongoing.

These are extremely tractable issues and we are always looking for ways to improve the game, so nothing worrisome here.

But my suspicion is - and I could well be mistaken - that when these are all addressed, you will have a different list of differences between this game and CMx1, because there will still be many. We look forward to improvements like these, but steadily matching more closely to CMx1 over time is not one of our goals.

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In fact you'd be amazed at the number of people (me included) who don't even own/use traditional computers any more since the sophistication of App Store games has increased exponentially over the last couple of years and made the iPad into a serious gaming device for "serious" games.

Oh, and, I just had to say "Pffft...." to that one.

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Sigh. Fine Steve, you don't like what I have to say and that's alright. I'm not going to argue or play semantics with you, as you have your perspective and I have mine. I'll agree to disagree all day long if that works for you too.

Anyhoo, good to see you again too Clay...I didn't realize you were the dev working on this (kinda assumed it was BFC). Glad to see many things might be relatively easy to implement, and I'm a huge fan of user controls for options too (both gameplay and system) so the more the merrier. Looking forward to seeing what v1.2 and beyond bring to the game.

Oh, and, I just had to say "Pffft...." to that one.

Just because you don't believe something doesn't necessarily make it any less true. :)

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Sigh. Fine Steve, you don't like what I have to say and that's alright. I'm not going to argue or play semantics with you, as you have your perspective and I have mine. I'll agree to disagree all day long if that works for you too.

Anyhoo, good to see you again too Clay...I didn't realize you were the dev working on this (kinda assumed it was BFC). Glad to see many things might be relatively easy to implement, and I'm a huge fan of user controls for options too (both gameplay and system) so the more the merrier. Looking forward to seeing what v1.2 and beyond bring to the game.

Just because you don't believe something doesn't necessarily make it any less true. :)

HARV!

Okay with that out of the way let me just say you're an idiot ... and not only for still living in Saskatahoocie ... {whatever}.

And with THAT obligatory Cesspool insult out of the way ...

I've played CMT off an on today (mostly as I've been off an on the porcelain facility ... lovely of that to wait until I was on vacation don't you think) ... and I have to say I haven't had the issues you describe. Now I'm not denying that you see it that way but they really aren't issues to me. In fact the lack of feedback I see as a feature ... I normally played CM at the highest level and that severely restricts your information on your opponents.

Each to their say I ... but I would suggest that other members of this community might want to wander by the Touch Arcade forum and respectfully express their opinions. Not to suggest that your opinion isn't shared by others ... but the other opinions should be shared as well.

Finally ... where are all of these great games you say you've been playing on the Ipad? I can't find any that can hold a candle to CMT ... with the possible exception of Battleground ... whatever ... I've bought it (at the rather inflated price) but haven't had a chance to do much with it as I've been busy with CMT ... or ... other activities.

Really Finally ... good to see you again my friend.

Joe

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Sigh. Fine Steve, you don't like what I have to say and that's alright.

I said nothing of the sort. We know we can't please everybody all the time. So we didn't wind up pleasing you (again). You're one of literally millions of gamers who have a different definition of "best" or "fun" than what we're shooting for. No problemo.

I'm not going to argue or play semantics with you, as you have your perspective and I have mine. I'll agree to disagree all day long if that works for you too.

There's no more point to that than having someone who is an Angry Birds fanatic tell us why CM Touch isn't "fun". Could we make it be "fun" for that person? Perhaps, but that's not the person we're shooting for so it's unlikely.

Anyhoo, good to see you again too Clay...I didn't realize you were the dev working on this (kinda assumed it was BFC). Glad to see many things might be relatively easy to implement, and I'm a huge fan of user controls for options too (both gameplay and system) so the more the merrier. Looking forward to seeing what v1.2 and beyond bring to the game.

As both Clay and I have said, Touch will be improved over time as all games should be. But it is not going to move towards CMx1, or CMx2 for that matter. That's not in the plan.

Steve

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Each to their say I ... but I would suggest that other members of this community might want to wander by the Touch Arcade forum and respectfully express their opinions. Not to suggest that your opinion isn't shared by others ... but the other opinions should be shared as well.

Although I am afraid this might become a sigline... Joe Shaw is right. :)

Steve

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JOE!!!

How ya doin' old feller? I (somewhat naturally given your advanced age) assumed you were ded-a-lot by now, and it's truly great to see the opposite is still true. :) One of these years I still plan on stopping by your house/harem/cardboard box during my bi-annual winter pilgrimage to the warmer lands in the desert. That is if you live anywhere near an I15 exit of course. :)

The TA forums are open to everyone, and anyone who wants to drop their opinions there would be more than welcome I would imagine. I have no dog in the race and as such the success or failure of the BFC foray onto iOS makes no real difference to me. I simply have an (unsolicited) opinion, and, as usual, I'm not afraid to use it. :D

As to excellent games on iOS, I have greatly expanded my horizons and somewhat lowered my expectations to find excellent and enjoyable titles on the platform. Some are better than others of course, some are in genres that I never thought I'd try let alone enjoy, and many have had relatively limited lifespans on my iPad due to the App Store being an ADD sufferer's dream and I'm too cheap to spring for more than 16Gb, but in any case here are a few (in no particular order) I'd classify as worthy:

Battle Academy

Neuroshima Hex

Strategery

UniWar

Ticket to Ride

Tactical Soldier

Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars

World in War

Aralon

Danger Alliance: Battles

Dead Space

Final Fantasy Tactics (haven't finished it yet though)

Great Little war Game

Modern Combat

Spider: Bryce Manor

Splinter Cell

9mm

There are many more that have received excellent reviews that I haven't tried for whatever reason, but suffice to say there is a lot more growth and depth on the App Store than many people appreciate.

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JOE!!!

How ya doin' old feller? I (somewhat naturally given your advanced age) assumed you were ded-a-lot by now, and it's truly great to see the opposite is still true. :) One of these years I still plan on stopping by your house/harem/cardboard box during my bi-annual winter pilgrimage to the warmer lands in the desert. That is if you live anywhere near an I15 exit of course. :)

The TA forums are open to everyone, and anyone who wants to drop their opinions there would be more than welcome I would imagine. I have no dog in the race and as such the success or failure of the BFC foray onto iOS makes no real difference to me. I simply have an (unsolicited) opinion, and, as usual, I'm not afraid to use it. :D

As to excellent games on iOS, I have greatly expanded my horizons and somewhat lowered my expectations to find excellent and enjoyable titles on the platform. Some are better than others of course, some are in genres that I never thought I'd try let alone enjoy, and many have had relatively limited lifespans on my iPad due to the App Store being an ADD sufferer's dream and I'm too cheap to spring for more than 16Gb, but in any case here are a few (in no particular order) I'd classify as worthy:

Battle Academy

Neuroshima Hex

Strategery

UniWar

Ticket to Ride

Tactical Soldier

Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars

World in War

Aralon

Danger Alliance: Battles

Dead Space

Final Fantasy Tactics (haven't finished it yet though)

Great Little war Game

Modern Combat

Spider: Bryce Manor

Splinter Cell

9mm

There are many more that have received excellent reviews that I haven't tried for whatever reason, but suffice to say there is a lot more growth and depth on the App Store than many people appreciate.

Thank you my friend and of course I'd love to see you should you ever be down this way ... though why you'd want to leave the paradise that is Saskahatchawan is beyond me.

And of course I give your opinions great worth, why they're worth every penny I pay for them ... thanks for the recommendations, I'll look into them.

Joe

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Quick question:

1. can I pause in the replay show?

2. If I accidentaly press the letter button, but I don't want spam BFC, how can I ignore the white textbox in the middle of the screen?

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1. can I pause in the replay show?

2. If I accidentaly press the letter button, but I don't want spam BFC, how can I ignore the white textbox in the middle of the screen?

1. No, you can't pause, but you can rewind as much as you like (so if you need to grab a beer, just let it play to the end and then rewind when you get back).

2. Don't sweat the spam. The app ought to be smart enough not to send empty feedback messages to us. Unfortunately, it's not, and we have a huge pile of empty feedbacks already. ;-) But there's no harm done; they are easy for us to filter out.

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Thanks for the quick answer!

1. And perheps there is no future plan to pause the show? I have difficulties to navigate on the battlefield and if I want study one specific moment, it's a little bit hard to me... ;)

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I'd add another vote to the pause available in playback if it is possible.

I just noticed that there are adjustable waypoints. Excellent.

As far as replayability goes- are there more than one AI plan per scenario?

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Speaking as someone who most would probably consider fairly groggy, I'm not sure I'd often want to play an iPad game as complex as CM (either the original series or CMx2).

iPad and iPhone games are generally things I play fairly casually, either as time-wasters when I'm waiting for someone or something, or as a little break from some other (usually less enjoyable) activity. They're interlude entertainment -- I enjoy them very much, but I don't get very deeply involved in them.

And I feel completely the opposite. As Harv mentioned here, not everyone wants to camp out in front on their PC. I am a big fan of the iPad, and the new iPad is a really nice device. The device is with me all the time, and I *do* sit down with the iPad to play games for a longer stretch of time. Maybe I'm in the minority, but I don't think so.

Frankly, my wife doesn't love it when I go into my home office to play games after a day of work; however, she doesn't mind if I'm playing on my iPad while we're all hanging out in the family room. Go figure! :D

So, this is a long way of saying that I'd like CM:T to become a more robust game. It doesn't have to have the layers upon layers of detail that the CM games on the PC have, but I do want it to continue to borrow from its big brothers as much as possible/practical.

:cool:

--DotComCTO

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OK, now that I've had a chance to play the game for more than 5 minutes, my initial impressions:

My initial impressions are very good. I think it accomplishes the goal of bringing a more realistic wargame to the tablet platform, while not being overly complex for the medium. While overall it is obviously quite simplified from the PC version in terms of gameplay complexity, graphics quality, and the underlying simulation, in certain ways the overall look and UI implementation actually improve on CMBN. E.g.: Setup zones as "Fences" rather than painted areas, moveable waypoints, anticipated movement paths shown as you plot orders. All stuff I'd love to see get moved back over to CMBN...

There are certainly some areas that could be improved, and I've seen a few things that make me think some elements of the combat simulation may need to be adjusted to yield more realistic results (for starters, I've seen some fairly questionable results of halftracks vs. infantry at point-blank range...), but I am going to refrain from commenting on this stuff too much until I have played the game more and have a better sense of how things usually play out. Here's a few fairly straightforward things I have noticed so far that I think could be improved:

- Unless I just haven't figured out how to do it yet, I think there is definitely a need for some sort of Face or Rotate command. Using movement waypoints to adjust vehicle facing isn't always practical, and in any event isn't possible during setup.

- I would consider using more multi-touch gestures to further expand the UI options. For example, two-finger tap and swipe don't seem to be used at all currently. These could be used to provide alternatives to existing tap icon-based commands for experienced players (ex: two-finger tap to end an movement orders chain), or to give more options (ex: two-finger swipes could "strafe" the camera right and left.

- Overall, the graphics are very good for an iPad game; much better than I would have expected. Definition and saturation seem to be a bit weak to my eye, though -- I would consider tweaking these a bit to improve local contrast and make it easier to read subtle changes in terrain -- in the beach scenarios in particular, reading the terrain can be a little difficult because the light hues of the sand all wash together.

More thoughts once I've played more -- unfortunately I haven't been able to really give it the full treatment yet because we're a 1-iPad family, and the current agreement is that my wife gets first dibs on the iPad, with the understanding that I get priority on the iMac. But this will probably change before the end of the year -- I look forward to having CM in my shoulder bag wherever I go!

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This isn't to say that CM Touch is perfect and therefore will never evolve. Quite the contrary. Look at our track record... CMBO had it's problems and rough edges so we spent 2 years improving it to make CMBB. We spent 3 years improving CM:SF when we made CM:BN

At the risk of being, "Master of the Obvious", just keep in mind that in the ADD App Store environment, you won't have 2-3 years improving CM:T. The team will need to crank things out at a much more rapid pace; think Agile development: 2-3 week iterative dev cycles over the next couple of months. As a long time CTO, I'd suggest getting the 1.1 release out and then come back with more missions and/or a campaign. Then I'd look at the feature enhancement requests (such as the ones Harv listed) and get those cranked out. Then I'd make sure some more campaigns hit the store, etc. At best, you have a window of a few months to get the game polished and enhanced.

Sorry if I'm being pedantic, but I've been in IT for 30 years (12+ years as a developer and 12+ years as a CTO - with 8 years of other fun stuff). So, it's in my nature to make recommendations whether they were asked for or not! :D

Thanks!

:cool:

--DotComCTO aka Master of the Obvious!

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At the risk of being, "Master of the Obvious", just keep in mind that in the ADD App Store environment, you won't have 2-3 years improving CM:T. The team will need to crank things out at a much more rapid pace; think Agile development: 2-3 week iterative dev cycles over the next couple of months.... :D

Search for some of ClaytoniusRex' posts here. They are indeed planning on having 1.1 out within the month. He's obviously not new to developing for the iOS environment...

As for the ADD App Store environment, definitely true. However, there are some advantages here -- while you definitely need to keep a much faster development cycle to stay relevant on the App Store, consumers are also generally more willing to accept a more bare-bones (but functional and fun) initial release, as long as they think they'll see regular incremental improvements and additional content.

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Oh. And can I make one feature enhancement request? It would be just swell if there were support for asynchronous multiplayer. As I mentioned elsewhere, when my brother and I play, our schedules don't exactly line up and we live in different parts of the US. So, when we play CM, we use PBEM. Now, I don't expect PBEM in CM:T, but some kind of asynchronous play would be great (unless that's already supported in the GameCenter implementation?).

Thanks for reading...

:cool:

--DotComCTO

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Overall, the graphics are very good for an iPad game; much better than I would have expected.

Forgive me, but I'm curious about this comment. From a graphics perspective, I think CM:T is functional, but not what I'd call very good. That said, I'm OK with what's in the game, but I don't love a lot of the low-res textures along with spartan looking towns. I have to say that there are many games in the App Store that have far more eye candy.

So, I'm wondering why you think the graphics are very good for an iPad (and I realize this is all completely subjective)?

Thanks!

--DotComCTO

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Search for some of ClaytoniusRex' posts here. They are indeed planning on having 1.1 out within the month. He's obviously not new to developing for the iOS environment...

As for the ADD App Store environment, definitely true. However, there are some advantages here -- while you definitely need to keep a much faster development cycle to stay relevant on the App Store, consumers are also generally more willing to accept a more bare-bones (but functional and fun) initial release, as long as they think they'll see regular incremental improvements and additional content.

Thanks, YankeeDog! Yes, I did catch ClaytoniusRex's posts, so I do know that 1.1 is around the corner. I was just saying that - like that famous scene in I Love Lucy - the conveyor belt has to keep moving! :D

I agree 100% with your observation of releasing a more bare bones v1.0 and providing regular incremental improvements. You're spot on! This is why I immediately bought the game; I wanted to support BF on iOS and in some small way, do my part to encourage further development. There's a ton of promise here!

:cool:

--DotComCTO

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So, I'm wondering why you think the graphics are very good for an iPad (and I realize this is all completely subjective)?

Thanks!

--DotComCTO

Comparing it more to what I see in CMBN on a PC than what other iPad games -- while CM:Touch certainly doesn't compare to CMBN in visual quality, it's not as much of a step down as I thought it would have to be to run on an iPad2.

Steve & co. have repeatedly commented that due to the inherently 3D nature of CM's combat simulation, CM(PC version) cannot use some of the 3D graphics-enhancing tricks that (for example), many FPS games use to make their visual presentation better.

I assume the same applies to CM:Touch -- comparing the visuals to what I see in an iOS FPS like Band of Brothers, or even some of the RTS games out there with a 3D environment isn't really a fair comparison, since what underlies the graphics in CM:Touch is so much more complex (I assume).

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Comparing it more to what I see in CMBN on a PC than what other iPad games -- while CM:Touch certainly doesn't compare to CMBN in visual quality, it's not as much of a step down as I thought it would have to be to run on an iPad2.

Steve & co. have repeatedly commented that due to the inherently 3D nature of CM's combat simulation, CM(PC version) cannot use some of the 3D graphics-enhancing tricks that (for example), many FPS games use to make their visual presentation better.

I assume the same applies to CM:Touch -- comparing the visuals to what I see in an iOS FPS like Band of Brothers, or even some of the RTS games out there with a 3D environment isn't really a fair comparison, since what underlies the graphics in CM:Touch is so much more complex (I assume).

Hey, thanks for clarifying that. Although I have played the CM series over the years, I don't have much of an understanding of the underpinnings of the CM simulation as it relates to its graphics.

:cool:

--DotComCTO

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Most people vastly underestimate what is going on under the hood in CM, and how different it is from what happens in the typical FPS or RTS. CM is a simulation, using physics and algorithms to simulate outcomes on a vast battlefield, all going on at the same time. You can't fudge this like you can in most FPS or RTS, which simplify anything that isn't in your immediate view usually. That makes for some great graphics and gives the impression of bigger distances and events than what is really going on. CM doesn't have that luxury, not unless we begin watering down the sim aspect of the game (and we don't want that).

And once you grasp that, then the second thing most people forget is that as you increase your calculations and fidelity in a 3 dimensional space, the requirements do not simply double with the distance, but increase exponentially (in fact, they increase even more since we're taking into account different elevations, too)

CMTouch is somewhat simplified from CMBN in the simulation department, but not as much as you may think. It is still a true war simulation, not just an RTS clickfest, and tracks ballistics and other algorithms.

If anything it is amazing that Clay and team managed to get this to run on the iPads at all (and I know that they had to combat a lot of OOM errors in the process).

Martin

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