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choppinlt

Operational Level Game Announcement

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Ah, I see. Thanks for the briefing. Sounds like there are a few issues and the argument (errrr discussion) about what an operational layer should be comes in a bit too.

The total openness would also be an issue. I don't think any of us want something that can easily be exploited - just flexible.

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This whole thing is starting to remind me of some 1950's US weapon system acquisition case study. 3 or so contractors (Choppinlt, Tank Hunter and noob) pushing their prototype/idea and BFC is the source selection authority (SSA) government rep, so I guess that makes "us" the tax payer John Q. Public?

It looks like choppinlt has some close ties with the SSA already, maybe the factory for the XM177 will be built in Maine? ;-)

I just applied to join choppinlt's google forum to hopefully learn more about his proposal.

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I absolutely encourage all of you who have even the slightest interest in this to join up with the Google forum that choppinlt has set up. While we're happy to host the early conversation, and keep a reminder/link to it long term, discussion is far better done there than here. No matter how good choppinlt's ideas are on paper, it needs to be something you guys want to make happen. Without discussion this isn't possible.

Steve

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Broadsword56,

Interesting to read that “all....” your gaming is happily done using the various board game conversion aids. Tank Hunter is doing a great job with Vassal.

I must put in the time to study them more closely.

All the best,

Kip.

mjkerner... good spot... ;).

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Broadsword56,

Interesting to read that “all....” your gaming is happily done using the various board game conversion aids. Tank Hunter is doing a great job with Vassal.

I must put in the time to study them more closely.

All the best,

Kip.

mjkerner... good spot... ;).

LOL same here. Broadsword is teaching me about Zun Tzu. I like the controls on it, though the mechanics for setting up etc I have yet to study.

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As long as the PzC game is encrypted, the only information available regarding the opponents forces is the unit list, which is accessible via the PzC OOB editor. However this list cannot accessed accidently. So chaetingh at PzC can only be done intentionally.

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I joined the COO google groups forum to support the project.

The vibe I'm getting from steve is that the COO is the only project that has any chance of ever having a direct link to cm supported bf.

I do appreciate the "why reinvent the wheel sentiment" and use the already developed systems in place, there is just no future with those to ever have any type of link to cm. Something indie needs to be developed from the ground up.

While I'm waiting on this project, I will test out noobs system for solitare play. I will have to play both sides of the PzC turn objectively. For the tactical battles I want to try and anticipate which hexes will be most likely contested and max out the AI plans on prebuilt maps (using the huge Caen Map include with the demo) all set to random choice. Interesting to see how the tactical battles might play out in this setting. Kind of like a QB system on steroids.

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I wouldn't say this is the only project that we may support... it's the only one currently proposed that sounds like it has the basic things necessary to pull it off (though software development is always uncertain). If anybody else comes along we're going to be reluctant to do more than encourage a joint effort on one final product. At present there doesn't appear to be a market large enough to support more than one system.

I also agree that there is no wheel reinventing going on here. What we're seeing is the difference between using an existing steel wheel vs. a proposed rubber pneumatic tire on a steel rim. Both get the job done, to some extent or another, but if you've ever ridden on a steel wheel you'll understand why there's plenty of reasons to go for something else ;)

Steve

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I wouldn't say this is the only project that we may support... it's the only one currently proposed that sounds like it has the basic things necessary to pull it off

Hmmm, what specifically are these "basic things" that this project has, that the other's don't? If you enlighten us to what it is that is so unique about this project (considering that is only an idea with apparently no concrete programming direction -merely a call to arms), then we can all understand exactly what conceptually needs to be considered that hasn't been already discussed recently in various threads. I mean if you list certain requirements that you want to see incorporated in a design then the community (rather than one individual) will better understand why/what and even how. That seems to me to be a far more effective place to start than the Tower of Babel that we currently have.

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It's more of a gut instinct thing than anything else. When you've had enough people pitching ideas for what would make a good game, you get a sense of what is dead certain to fail and what has at least a slim chance of success.

I have no idea if this particular project will get developed. I have no idea if enough people will like it to make it worth doing in the first place. Which is why we, Battlefront, don't want to have anything directly (besides encouragement) to do with it until both of these things have been proven viable.

We have no time or desire to interfere, direct, or even coach anybody willing to do something like this. Whatever floats your collective boat is fine with us. But as a piece of advice, I think it's foolish for there to be more than one effort at one time. The market is simply not big enough to support that. Heck, we're not sure the market is big enough to support only one.

So why have we endorsed this particular project's start and not others? First, nobody else has made a formal pitch to us. Second, based on what we've seen there aren't big red flags waving around saying it's doomed to failure. That may change, but we can't predict the future.

BTW, not having a programmer lined up is definitely not a good thing. However, it's also the most likely scenario for this type of product. So if not having a programmer is grounds for dismissal, then I think you guys should completely give up all hope of ever seeing a strategic level layer to CM forever and ever. If you don't want to accept that, then you're going to have to accept that there is no programmer involved at this moment in time.

One reason I strongly suggested going with a mobile development environment is that it lowers the bar for any programmer coming on board. A new venture is more likely to find a competent mobile programmer than a competent desktop one who is willing to get involved with this. That and mobile development is quicker/easier than PC/Mac development.

Steve

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As long as the PzC game is encrypted, the only information available regarding the opponents forces is the unit list, which is accessible via the PzC OOB editor. However this list cannot accessed accidently. So chaetingh at PzC can only be done intentionally.

No; accidental is quite possible if you happen to do a lot of file editting, and are constantly fiddling about with files for different projects. I'm not saying that's a likely method, but cheating in PzC is so trivially easy as to be possible accidentally.

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You know this game is different scale and lacking realism level of Cm, but their dynamic campaign has a lot of potential not a million miles from how many would love CM to be.

http://www.wargame-ab.com/?rub=campaign

Abstract a tone of stuff at the Operation/theatre level. Have one or so maps to represent a province. Have CM Battlegroups fight it out. Yes we know not to scale- it's a freaken representation in a game. Voila the best damned game of the decade.

I used to think it's a million mile away, but for some theatres you could get away with less maps than the game has anyway. Then expand the theatre size with the dlc.

Just a dream ... :-D

Edited: Granted easier said than coded. But seems to me that some projects over complicate things that could be abstracted for less resource input- especially in the first version.

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Ah, I did not get that from what you said first either. Are you sure we need to do *all* of that work? I don't think we need to create maps from an external definition. Don't get me wrong being able to generate maps from external data would be very cool. For an operational level game it would be enough to allow a CM map to be assigned to cover the various squares or hexes or what ever the operational game uses.
Yes, I agree. It wouldn't be necessary to model maps nor AI plans in the first stages as stock or editor made maps could be used instead. BFC currenlty allows stock maps to be selected for Quick Battles so the features needed to combine maps with unit information probably already exist within the CMx2 engine.

I actually think that the needed information transfer would be the order of battle going in, including the soft factors and unit strength etc. Coming back we would need a revised version of this with the updated unit strength from casualties sustained etc., remaining ammunition etc.

The next level of goodness would be to record and reset the damage sustained to a map.

I think that is it - am I missing anything?

Not that I can think of off hand!

One question I do have is that should COO get off the ground and eventually interface with CMx2, would the interface format be proprietary and exclusive to COO? Or would it be more open and allow other projects to also use the same interface? My guess would the be former as it would likely be a commercial agreement between the two parties with exclusivity clauses embedded. Shame if that is the case. Interfaces should be open.

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No; accidental is quite possible if you happen to do a lot of file editting, and are constantly fiddling about with files for different projects. I'm not saying that's a likely method, but cheating in PzC is so trivially easy as to be possible accidentally.

I'm not quite sure what you mean by cheating. I'm talking about two people playing a PzC PBEM game, and one, or both accessing the PzC OOB to see their opponents forces headcount. For example, if I wanted to know the headcount of my opponents 25th PzGrd Battalion, I would have to click through the Axis TOE until i found it. This can only be done intentionally.

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I think he's talking about swapping out pdt and/or oob files; for instance there are different versions of these for the Volcanoman mods and one person could be using the stock version, and another the alt version, accidentally...

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One question I do have is that should COO get off the ground and eventually interface with CMx2, would the interface format be proprietary and exclusive to COO? Or would it be more open and allow other projects to also use the same interface? My guess would the be former as it would likely be a commercial agreement between the two parties with exclusivity clauses embedded.

That would be how I think it will go too.

Shame if that is the case. Interfaces should be open.

I agree with that 100%.

My personal preference would be for BFC to self fund or use kick starter and have us pay for it an interface to allow this kind of operational game to be hooked into CM. Creating ways for a community of apps and services to be developed by their users. Then we would see what the various existing operational layers would play like and see what @choppinlt comes up with.

But he have already heard Steve's take on that so I guess we have to hope that @choppinlt's game is kickass and BFC sign up to cooperate with him to integrate.

Fingers crossed. I have even been shopping this project around to my friends with game development experience.

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I think he's talking about swapping out pdt and/or oob files; for instance there are different versions of these for the Volcanoman mods and one person could be using the stock version, and another the alt version, accidentally...

When playing PzC, players have to agree on which OOB, or version, to use before a game. Also, it's easy enough to copy PzC, and create a separate game folder for just one game. That way, you can remove all the unnecessary files.

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Yeah, that's easy enough. I guess.

The point is that players shouldn't have to do that, and even if they do go to the effort there is still no way that you can know that your opponent isn't using a different or modified file, either intentionally or accidentally.

edit: exactly right 76mm

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Hi,

Lots of good ideas and work on operational layers.

I do recommend people go off to the COO forum via the initial post and take a look. More info about what is proposed day by day.

If it happens will be a great, quality game.

All the best,

Kip.

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When playing PzC, players have to agree on which OOB, or version, to use before a game.

Well, that's the thing--they don't have to agree; I would say that they should agree, but if they don't think of it then they could play games with different versions. And moreover if someone wants to intentionally use a different file I don't think there's any way to even tell.

Just to be clear, I don't see this as a very big deal, but I was explaining what JonS was saying.

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I asked to join the choppinlt discussion group several days ago and no response. Either he didn't want me in the group or he doesn't need me or what?

They had a small textbox to say something as you asked to join. I honestly said I had reservations but would be open minded and polite and participate to learn more about his proposal.

This post brought to you by Golden Monkey Tripel. Mmmmm delicious, my first try of this one.

4783185898_2b5f6a312b.jpg

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It took a day or two for me to get approved as well, maybe send another reminder by email. That's what I did and he responded promptly.

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OK. I am in the group. Yaye! To be truthful, maybe I was confused, I never got an e-mail that said I was accepted in. I was expecting that from what you typically see. Anyway, I just went back to ask again to join and it let me in.

In the group he has 3 announcements and 9 other threads to discuss various things. PR, features, etc. A few power point type slides of initially what he thinks it will look like (real rough renderings WIP, etc) and I think he showed a counter and what it would have on it. Unit designation, other stuff, numbers and various "Gumballs" circles that change color to show in and out of supply, etc.

FYI, here is something like I posted.

"Please also remember a very important thing: make it modder friendly. If this gets going and can be modded then it can be taken to new heights by the modders out there. If this is a quasi-gift to the CM community then it will have a long life. If it is non-friendly to modders, it is a typical ultra-proprietary profit making venture, then we all have to slowly wait for a new COO for Italy and a new COO for Eastern Front, etc. So, I looked through your stuff but didn't see anything about that aspect yet, modder friendliness. Maybe I missed it. I will slowly comb through again.

My 2 cents sir, the title is not the best to me. It just focuses on overlord or is that your suffix to reflect the theater? Then you will do COI, COB, COEF?

Did you already sit on a rock and think of a hundred names? What were some of the others that made the final 10 cut?"

I looked through slowly and he did not YET make any statement about moddability that I saw. On the bright side, if it is IPad or whatever based then I will maybe buy my wife one and sneak it away from her to set-up the op layer. :-)

Please join now and participate. I am also trying to be involved in Noob's CMPzC project. Remember in "The Right Stuff" when the astronauts saw that space capsule didn't have a window to see through??

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He posted nice reasonable comments to my comments. They are open minded to moddability and will make it a team decision when they have a team.

Title at first had a CM sound to it but he pulled back from that as BF didn't give him the warm & fuzzy beyond cheerleading. (I can't imagine those BF guys in cheerleader outfits with pom poms and pony tails. Yikes. Hope you can't either!). Future titles might be termed like COH (combat operations Husky) and OB (Operation Bagration).

All sounds reasonable and seems legit.

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