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Bud Backer

AA unmovable

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A shame when the simulation is deliberately sacrificed on the altar of graphics.

An over simplification based on personal preference, and an understandable position. If we could snap our fingers we'd have them be able to limber up. Reality is life's all about choices and often one's personal preferences aren't inline with others'.

The primary reason most people play, and enjoy, Combat Mission is because of it's graphical environment. That was true even in the early days and in fact became a liability as CMx1's abstracted environment became further and further behind what technology could support.

The more the graphical environment is violated for the alter of grogginess the less the game will appeal to people. We do plenty of graphical compromises, but this was one that was over the line. And that should concern you because we'd be out of business if only the hardcore were interested in CM.

Steve

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...we'd be out of business if only the hardcore were interested in CM.

Too bad the hard core are not fabulously wealthy and could easily afford $10,000/copy. Just another of life's cruel little injustices.

:(

Michael

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Id personaly welcome wheels disappearing/appearing in thin air so the units where able to move. As is, setup becomes so crucial with regards to LOS.

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A possible work-around to this would be to remodel the gun, showing it on it's wheeled carriage. In this way it could then move, in the same manner as an AT gun, although set-up and pack away times would have to take into consideration the addition and subtraction of the wheels.

Since the gun could fire from the carriage anyway, it wouldn't look too out of place and, maybe, its setup could be something like an HMG whereby after a certain time it shows as partially employed (i.e. still on its wheels) and then becomes fully employed after more time elapses (although at that stage it would still show the wheels)

I suppose it boils down to perceived importance of the ability to move such guns against a graphical trade-off. Plus the time to alter the 3d model.

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Maby you could do it like they did in WWII Online?

When you use the flak 30 there it moves on a wheeled carriage, but when you set up, the carriage slides off and sits behind the weapon, and then when you want to move it slides back on.

Only video I could find of it (but it is sped up 400%):

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I suppose it boils down to perceived importance of the ability to move such guns against a graphical trade-off.

That and the perceived importance of light flak guns at all :D Obviously since we haven't had them in the game up until now we don't think of them as a critical part of the game. Our core responsibility to you guys is to stay focused on the things that are most important to the portrayal of WW2 tactical warfare. Flak guns used in the ground support role is such a minor part of that we'd be doing you guys wrong if we put too much attention into this.

Oddball_E8,

We did consider that possibility and, if we do ever allow them to limber, pretty much for sure that's the way we're going to do it. But there's quite a few complications even with that, at least in terms of the game coding aspect. There is no support for a two part weapon with independently moving pieces. I don't know how big of a deal it would be to add such behavior, but given how many other things you guys want (like ground to air combat) it's going to have to wait in line.

Steve

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Oddball_E8,

We did consider that possibility and, if we do ever allow them to limber, pretty much for sure that's the way we're going to do it. But there's quite a few complications even with that, at least in terms of the game coding aspect. There is no support for a two part weapon with independently moving pieces. I don't know how big of a deal it would be to add such behavior, but given how many other things you guys want (like ground to air combat) it's going to have to wait in line.

Steve

Thing is, this isn't really two pieces moving indipendently :)

They are still just one piece with basically an invisible bar linking them for movement purposes.

And since the carriage wouldn't be taking any separate damage (just like the wheels on a Pak40 doesn't take damage independently from the gun) they do not need to be modeled separately.

In short, it is just one model with a moveable part that "separates" from the main gun when setting up (like the legs on the AT guns spread out when they set up, only this part just moves further to the rear, still connected by that invisible connection).

I hope I'm making sense here :/

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An over simplification based on personal preference, and an understandable position. If we could snap our fingers we'd have them be able to limber up. Reality is life's all about choices and often one's personal preferences aren't inline with others'.

The primary reason most people play, and enjoy, Combat Mission is because of it's graphical environment. That was true even in the early days and in fact became a liability as CMx1's abstracted environment became further and further behind what technology could support.

The more the graphical environment is violated for the alter of grogginess the less the game will appeal to people. We do plenty of graphical compromises, but this was one that was over the line. And that should concern you because we'd be out of business if only the hardcore were interested in CM.

Steve

I understand you guys have to make compromises, but I'd point out that the limbering and movement of AT guns already looks and behaves horribly, so there isn't much of a quality bar to cross. It's not like there are animations of everyone rushing around packing up the guns, or animations of them properly pushing the guns.

And I mean this in the most positive and constructive way.

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I recall when AA gun first appeared in CMFI Gustav Line it was explained something like this:

The plan had been to hold back on AA until full functionality could be implemented. But with full AA still low in the queue on their programming to-do list they needed to make a decision. Either include AA as-is as a favor to players for tangential ground support duties, or hold back on AA guns entirely till all the bells & whistles are coded. They could've provided limbered guns with the necessary animations and bahaviors, and provided aircraft defense too - if just wouldn't have made it into this title. And maybe not the next either.

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Thing is, this isn't really two pieces moving indipendently :)

... it is just one model with a moveable part that "separates" from the main gun when setting up (like the legs on the AT guns spread out when they set up, only this part just moves further to the rear, still connected by that invisible connection).

... which, in other words, would be two pieces (albeit connected) moving independently.

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... which, in other words, would be two pieces (albeit connected) moving independently.

Not quite. No more than the barrel of a deployed AT gun moving independently from the chassis.

Once deployed, the wheeled carriage would not move independently from the rest of the unit. It would just sit there behind it waiting to be used again. Kinda like the "legs" on an AT gun does now.

The only thing moving "independently" would be the gun itself, just like it does now. (as in, the base of the AA gun doesn't move when the gun itself moves)

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I understand you guys have to make compromises, but I'd point out that the limbering and movement of AT guns already looks and behaves horribly, so there isn't much of a quality bar to cross. It's not like there are animations of everyone rushing around packing up the guns, or animations of them properly pushing the guns.

And I mean this in the most positive and constructive way.

Current AT guns don't split into two separate pieces when you unlimber them. You do understand how big of an issue that is with regards to the in game models right? An AA gun has one model, then all of a sudden after you unlimber it your one single model splits into two models in the middle of the turn on the fly. There isn't a single item in the game currently that splits into separate models ... not one. So assuming that its even possible for the game to split one model into two on the fly in the manner of a bacteria, the code would have to be written from scratch to allow it to take place in game. How much time and effort would that take (assuming its possible to do at all?). Who knows. All this for one single FLAK gun that was largely obsolete by 1944 anyway.

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Current AT guns don't split into two separate pieces when you unlimber them. You do understand how big of an issue that is with regards to the in game models right? An AA gun has one model, then all of a sudden after you unlimber it your one single model splits into two models in the middle of the turn on the fly. There isn't a single item in the game currently that splits into separate models ... not one. So assuming that its even possible for the game to split one model into two on the fly in the manner of a bacteria, the code would have to be written from scratch to allow it to take place in game. How much time and effort would that take (assuming its possible to do at all?). Who knows. All this for one single FLAK gun that was largely obsolete by 1944 anyway.

Not really seeing the problem here.

We have items in the game that have moving parts that deploy before firing.

One example would be the AT guns that have legs that move out to the side before being able to fire.

Another would be the möbelwagen.

If you make the part connecting the actual gun to the carriage invisible, it isn't actually two models, it is just one model with moving parts. The carriage moves backward on this invisible part so that it LOOKS like it is separate from the weapon, but in fact it is still one model. It never splits into two models.

I don't know how much simpler I can describe this, but people seem to keep missing the point.

One model. Never splits into two models, just has one part of the model move away from the other model (just like the legs on an AT gun does now) but connected through an invisible part of the model that makes it LOOK like the part moving away is actually separate.

SHOULD you actually put a non see-through texture on that part connecting them, what you would see is the carriage moving backwards from the gun on a railing basically.

This sounds like a relatively simple solution to me (admittedly I am no programmer or 3d modeler) since we already have units that move in this manner.

Imagine having the big 75mm AT gun, but put a texture on its legs that is half invisible (so that only the end of the legs show).

Wouldn't that look like a separate part of the gun was moving around? Wouldn't that look like two separate models?

I cannot explain it any simpler than that, so if some of you still do not understand what I mean, maby I'll have to draw it on a piece of paper and scan it so I can post it here...

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If you make the part connecting the actual gun to the carriage invisible, it isn't actually two models, it is just one model with moving parts. The carriage moves backward on this invisible part so that it LOOKS like it is separate from the weapon, but in fact it is still one model. It never splits into two models.

But that would be so...gauche!

:D

Michael

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I cannot explain it any simpler than that, so if some of you still do not understand what I mean, maby I'll have to draw it on a piece of paper and scan it so I can post it here...

First, I wasn't addressing your proposed solution but rather the post that I quoted in my response.

Second, you are making an assumption that a piece of a model can be made to be 'invisible' and not look foolish when the wheels are detached. Maybe it would be better for you to first demonstrate this invisibility on a current model using your modding prowess because models in the game begin life as a solid grey as far as I know.

Third, as I said in my initial response about the anticipated chorus of 'I know that you just said it isn't going to change but we still want it changed anyway.' it's definitely not going to change in a patch and Steve has already said its not on the list or even planned for inclusion on any list. I'm not sure what you are trying to accomplish here by pretending that we are not capable of understanding your proposed solution to a non problem. We get it. We understand it. At this point, your proposal has been rejected. I can't make it any simpler than that unless you want me to scan a picture and post it here (right back at you bud). ;)

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"Steve has already said its not on the list or even planned for inclusion on any list"

Mr. Flaming Picky, would like to point out that, as the issue is known and has been discussed and a decision made, along with a lot of other requested features, not to do anything about it, it therefore already exists on a list - the list of features that aren't planned for inclusion. I suppose it must also exist on the list of all requested features.

Thinking about it, if we change "list" for "set" then we could prove that CM is inconsistent and so get to a specialised version of Cantor's Paradox - that the number of features users would like to see included in the game is in fact larger than the number of features in the universe.

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Mr. Flaming Picky, would like to ...

Ah. I was wondering where you'd gotten to.

a specialised version of Cantor's Paradox: the number of features users would like to see included in CM is in fact larger than the number of features in the universe.

Sig material, right there.

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Current AT guns don't split into two separate pieces when you unlimber them. You do understand how big of an issue that is with regards to the in game models right? An AA gun has one model, then all of a sudden after you unlimber it your one single model splits into two models in the middle of the turn on the fly. There isn't a single item in the game currently that splits into separate models ... not one. So assuming that its even possible for the game to split one model into two on the fly in the manner of a bacteria, the code would have to be written from scratch to allow it to take place in game. How much time and effort would that take (assuming its possible to do at all?). Who knows. All this for one single FLAK gun that was largely obsolete by 1944 anyway.

Yeah I understand plenty of stuff.

Steve said that it is not happening because there was no solution that wouldn't look jarringly terrible (Paraphrasing).

I said that the animations for guns already look jarringly terrible so why not just do your best on the animations and get the functionality in there.

One idea suggested by someone else was to have a limbered and unlimbered model for these guns, which is perfectly practical, but I can see why even making the model is a very very low priority.

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Yeah I understand plenty of stuff.

Steve said that it is not happening because there was no solution that wouldn't look jarringly terrible (Paraphrasing).

I said that the animations for guns already look jarringly terrible so why not just do your best on the animations and get the functionality in there.

Because even minimal "best" is quite a lot of work.

One idea suggested by someone else was to have a limbered and unlimbered model for these guns, which is perfectly practical, but I can see why even making the model is a very very low priority.

Gamers have a tendency to take everything a game does for granted. They tend not to understand that sometimes the most obvious, seemingly simplistic, things take quite a bit of work to make happen. And if a developer takes the time to explain it there's usually disbelief and further uninformed commentary. It's the natural way it works and even I've been known to make such assumptions sometimes (as Charles can easily tell you!).

What happens when the wheels pop off a 20mm Flak 38? They have to go somewhere, right? Well, where is that "somewhere"? How about right in line with your intended line of fire, thus blocking your line of fire? I don't think anybody would consider that to be a minor problem. And if that happened how would you, the player, instruct the gun to stay still and the trailer to move? There's no command for anything like that because there's no unit in the game that splits into two pieces (do not think Soldiers, that's a whole different ballgame). So the trailer spits off and gets in the way. Or buried into the side of a hill, or something else totally unacceptable to the player.

OK, so what about having magical trailer on/off. No animations, no nothing. From a technical standpoint that is definitely easier. No pretense of trying to handle it realistically. You can simply have the trailer magically appear and disappear with an appropriate time delay. The owner of the gun doesn't have to worry about the trailer getting damaged or help give away his position. Not very fair to the attacker, especially since all the benefits of this feature go to the gun owner. That doesn't seem very balanced to me. Though I'm just the guy that gets the complaints and "fix or do somefink" comments thrown his way, so what do I care :)

Even with this simplistic approach there's still work to be done. New code will be needed so that when the carriage disappears the gun itself will mate with the ground and not just be floating in air. Currently models are not coded to have two different "bottoms", but it would be necessary in this case. We'd also have to code things so that the game would know that x part can disappear and leave y part as the functioning unit. And in reverse. There's also no support for something disappearing from the game, so that will involve some degree of coding to have something hide itself without the possibility of being spotted.

And that's just the stuff me, the non-programmer, can come up with in 3 minutes of thinking about it. Not to mention the normal rounds of testing/fixing that is required for a new feature like this. I'd not be surprised if I was only scratching the surface.

As I've said already, of course this CAN be done. In terms of total time spent it wouldn't be a huge effort. Certainly we've tackled a lot more challenging and time consuming things. But I'm guessing ground to air combat would be quicker to implement. So would burning terrain. So would dozens of other things people have asked for over a long period of time. Since AA Guns are almost not even within CM's scope, it doesn't seem right to focus on this one thing to the exclusion of others. Because whenever we do something, by definition it means we're not doing something else.

Steve

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Mr complaints office... Please "fix or do somefink" like ground to air combat would be quicker to implement.... or wait... burning terrain! Well that means....cue video ;)

You are so lucky it is not Friday :D

Have a great weekend and take nothing for granted.

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Re: Steve's reply.

Personally I'd be completely happy with an abstracted set of 'wheels' that turn off when not in use. To me this is still primarily a strategy games first and eye-candy is simply a nice plus. :-)

As to different 'bottoms' (fnar), can't they somehow be treated as AT guns are now? Have a simple set of wheel animations for when they are moving and then get them to simply disappear when unlimbered? It's not as if the graphics for hand-moved AT guns are completely realistic anyway and it doesn't have to be perfect (I know that Steve's answer was quick and different 'bottoms' may not be a real issue - but I just wanted to point out that I don't personally get hung up on such graphical fine details.)

But for the record. Fire & flamethrowers >> moving AA guns. ;-)

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