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Squad is a rather niche game being developed by the old Project Reality developers, its only been 3 days and 1,700 backers and they already almost hit there first goal of 150,000$. I wouldn't underestimate peoples willingness to send money developers way if they are offering what they want.

 

I understand Steve's position though.

 

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/offworldindustries/squad/comments

Here's the thing, though. The potential audience for that game is measured in the millions. Of that they got a tiny fraction of the audience to kick in a fairly substantial amount of money for a mod. How much do you think they would raise if their game inherently and a total audience of 100k? How about 50? How about 25k? How about 2 guys, but only this Sunday? You see where I'm going with this? :D

So yes out of the millions of FPS players out there they managed to fire up .01% and raised less than we would need to even think of doing something different than we already are. If we got .01% of our customer base fired up I don't think you'd even see a virtual beer coaster added to the game :)

That said, we do understand that we could be surprised by the fund raising opportunity. As I said before, it has been discussed internally for several years now. It's not ruled out, but I don't see it coming around any time soon.

Steve

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Squad is a rather niche game being developed by the old Project Reality developers, its only been 3 days and 1,700 backers and they already almost hit there first goal of 150,000$. I wouldn't underestimate peoples willingness to send money developers way if they are offering what they want.

 

I understand Steve's position though.

 

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/offworldindustries/squad/comments

Fairly impressed, but it is a FPS genre.  Watched one of their vids and it frankly looks like Arma lite.  They even comment on that themselves.  So on average folks kicked in a bit over $75.  Heck I'd kick in that just to have the ability to open a saved game to the editor and save as a new battle. :D

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Heck I'd kick in [$75] just to have the ability to open a saved game to the editor and save as a new battle. :D

Me too--this is exactly the kind of thing I'm talking about--not whole new games or even major new projects, just (seemingly) simple add-ons that aren't very high on Battlefront's internal priority list.

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80 million from gamers? That don't sound right.  I expect Steve is on target for that one, sounds like some venture capital.  As to our community, for f**k's sake, they complain about a $5 upgrade and start griping before a game is even released that there isn't enough material to warrant the few dollars more that a base game costs over a module.  Some of this community is so tight, their a**es could make diamonds out of coal.

I would have phrased it a little differently, but I agree with you. I have said it many times before, I consider the price for this game a steal. The number of hours of fun you get out of these games is huge. I consider us lucky to have these games at all. Niche market etc. The guys of BFC need to eat too, so asking a little money for a big engine upgrade only makes sense. 

 

The day BFC stop making games like this will be a sad day indeed. I do not want to see that day. No Sir. 

 

Steve et al, I salute you  :)

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The $65mill figure was what their funding timeline on their website said. Maybe they cut that off at that point and stopped beating that particular drum. But all of that is from "pre-sales" to customers, not investment capital. They made $6million last November alone when a particularly popular ship was released. As I said, I believe there is some venture capital involved as well, and the subscriber fees are on top of that pile. While there is a parsimonious segment of the CM fanbase, there is also an avowed "would pay much more for the game if asked to" segment, and BFC at least already have a game out, not just a tech demo "pre-alpha" of one aspect of their eventual release product.

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This is a fascinating thread, one with a very high level of discussion. Since I haven't played CMRT, other than briefly screwing around with the Demo scenario that starts out with tankodesantniki on T-34/85s on a road through woods, my comments will be an argument by analogy, using CMBN as my substitute. Though the memories have grown fainter over time, I still pine for the simplicity and scope of  CMBB, despite certain military-technical defects regarding Russian weaponry, so ably detailed by JasonC, and the absence of a bunch of larger caliber weapons the Russians used for street fighting. The ones north of 100 mm.

 

For me, the discussion is moot, since I no longer have a Power PC based Mac, thus, can't play any of my CMx1 games. While theoretically I may be able to work around it via a program called SheepShaver, my goose is pretty much cooked. Still, some points can be made.

 

It was much easier to get into, set up and play in CMx1 than it is in CMx2. Ordinary E-mail sufficed in CMx1, where it was stupid simple to do PBEM, thanks to the capability being built directly into the game. CMx2 requires DB and manual file copying (click and drag won't work) or GaJ's H2H. While I freely grant my brain was in far better operating condition then than now, I simply can't conceive, even if I had my CMBB period brain, a brain which once sustained 5 simultaneous tournament PBEMs (mit AARs for every turn or small group thereof), of being able to play the immense, complex and amazing Trappenjagd scenario in PBEM using CMx2. The workload would've been overwhelming. No ifs ands or buts. When I look at Macisle's monster battle, my head explodes. It would explode even without the split squads, yet huge as it is, it's tiny compared to Trappenjagd. Speaking of split Russian squads, I'd love to see the evidence. Even during the Cold War, the Russian rifle squad fought as a single entity, not three fire teams. That's straight out the pertinent DIA pub, circa 1980.

 

In moving to CMx2, while we obtained enormous granularity and 1:1 infantry modeling, along with lots of other things, including Relative Spotting, we lost many vehicles, weapons (lots more work to do one under CMx2) and capabilities, such as the LOS tool (Target, check LOS, then Clear Target is a pain) command lines (until CMRT), the Ambush command, flamethrowers, both manpack and vehicle mounted, daisy chain mines, and acquired some nasty new problems, such as the standing on one's head to site an ATG (mine usually had no LOS no matter how carefully sited, insisted on being outside of cover, stuck into wooden buildings and halfway through stone walls); the PIA infantry behavior of leaving cover despite direct movement path orders to stay in it; the loss of the ability to pick up an ATG or IG, move it, use it, then move again (helpful before in meeting engagements and important in fallback and prepared defense; practically a necessity on big CMx2 maps, where if you drop trail in the wrong place, you're screwed); tacair but no defense against it until CMRT; fully visible entrenchments (speaking of entrenchments, why are they open ended?), with significantly more vulnerable occupants than in CMx1 (very tough to break a unit in a trench in CMx1), and that most certainly goes for entrenched guns, which are now better off in the grass. Rather counterintuitive!

 

Until CMRT, we had no way to put men on tanks, and we still don't in CMBN. That capability loss alone created many headaches for the players. When I started playing CMBN, I couldn't for the life of me figure out for several attempts why my orders to infantry and weapon teams to mount were maddeningly ignored.

 

Simply put, it's harder to play CMx2 than CMx1. It demands more work up and down the line, and the more chaotic the fight becomes, the more which must be monitored, noted, factored in and addressed. I tend to channel saturate quickly and find, even with iterated replay, that lots of times I have no idea who shot my men or AFVs in CMx2, coupled with very little sense of what sort of shape the men are in. And you can never bring back troops who've broken and run, never mind a plethora accounts of good officers doing exactly that. How people play CMx2 in RT is beyond me, and I guarantee I couldn't have played CMx1 that way, either. I played quite a few battles in CMx1 which would be impossible for me in CMx2, even with a consistently game functional brain. Trappenjagd I've mentioned, but another is CMAK's masterful Tiger Valley, and CMBO's Fire on the Mountain would've been outright madness inducing. I can't conceive how a full recovery to my brain status before the accident would ever allow me to be able to play such scenarios recast into CMx2 terms. Simply overwhelming workload. Thus, shifting from CMx1 to CMx2 has drastically descoped what battle size I can handle, in the process greatly reducing my gaming horizons. To me, there's no real way of comparing CMBB to CMx2 anything. They differ in scale, scope, time span, granularity and so much more. They are two entirely different gaming experiences. The great thing about CM is there are lots of choices. Sadly, some of them are frozen in time, their wonderful flexibility and impressive in-game capabilities not withstanding.

And while you're here, Steve, would you please put out some CM T-shirts? the hard part, the art, is already done. Not only would your customer base happily pounce on them, but they would be great marketing, too. Why? The average T-shirt graphic is seen by 10K people over the life of the shirt, or so I've read. Below the graphic you could stencil: Inquire within. The best way to sell is word of mouth. Ever tried to shut up an excited CM player? Just think of the exposure! There are hordes of gamers who've never heard of CM, and this would be a great way of exposing them to the game. Many moons ago I showed my nephews CMBO, and when CM: Touch came out, it wasn't hard at all to explain it as being like CMBO but not needing a computer (the nephew who bought Touch plays on his Android cell phone). This was a big selling point because neither he nor his brother had a computer several years ago when I visited. That's the power of word of mouth

 

Regards,

 

John Kettler

Edited by John Kettler

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Steve, would you please put out some CM T-shirts?... The average T-shirt graphic is seen by 10K people over the life of the shirt, or so I've read. 

Heh, I'd probably buy one, but I'd guarantee that 10k people wouldn't see it, because I probably wouldn't wear it in public.  

 

Most of the questions I'd get would be more along the lines of "I didn't know you were a Nazi/Communist?" rather than "Wow, looks like a cool game, where I can I sign up?".   YMMV.

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76mm,

 

Controversy creates buzz. If you don't believe me, send some kid to school these days in T-shirts covering one a host of issues, then watch the fur fly."Now, with the CM tees out, imagine this headline.

 

Boy, 12, sent home for wearing zero gore historical wargame tee to school. Boy's parents ask "If they teach the subject of WW II, why can't he wear it?"

 

Speaking on behalf of Battlefront.com, which he co-founded, game designer and prescient historian Steve Grammont, whose combat sims have repeatedly eerily predicted major crises, denounced the school administration's act as "unwarranted overreaction to a nonproblem." He went on to point out "Contrary to what you might think, most wargamers are pacifists, for they, far better than most, other than those who've seen the elephant, and we have many former and current military personnel in our audience, understand how horrible and destructive war is, having studied it studied it in detail. "Combat Mission is not, has not been and never will be about gore." He then went on to quote the famous George de Santayana passage "Those who refuse to learn from the past are destined to repeat it," then closed by decrying the lack of history knowledge in the American public and the consequent negative impacts on the body politic.

 

Can you imagine that that sort of thing could do to get the CM word out? Who knows? Even trending on Twitter might result!

 

As for getting grief from people, I'm reminded of the great cartoonist Al Capp's 1960s fictional protest group in L'il Abner called SWINE--Students Wildly Indignant About Nearly Everything. Sad to say, we live in a social environment these days in which if you so much as breathe in the wrong place and time, someone will be offended. I have been reamed by family members and friends for daring to laugh aloud at a dress rehearsal for a musical--after being specifically asked by the director of the play to do so because his cast was demoralized when seniors in prior rehearsal audiences laughed at nothing. As Mom used to say when feeling oppressed by someone, "Pardon me for breathing!"

 

If kids can parade around in T-shirts as bloodbaths (one of my nephews loves such things and delights in shocking his mother), seems to me that grown men should be able to wear historically themed tees and use them as a vehicle for one on one education. Time and again, even without any kind of message shirt, I have found myself unexpectedly having a deep conversation, in the unlikeliest of places. If someone dings you for a Russian themed shirt, you can point out the US and Russia were allies during World War II and talk about Lend Lease--including what Khrushchev said about the vital contribution of SPAM!  If wearing something German themed, simply say "I despise the Nazis, but the Germans had some cool looking armor." 

 

Regards,

 

John Kettler

Edited by John Kettler

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Squad is a rather niche game being developed by the old Project Reality developers, its only been 3 days and 1,700 backers and they already almost hit there first goal of 150,000$. I wouldn't underestimate peoples willingness to send money developers way if they are offering what they want.

 

Have a look at the number of Youtube subscribers for a FPS channel - eg ARMA 3, which isn't the biggest FPS drawcard, generates some 100k subscribers for two key channels (eg Jester814 and Dyslexi) .

 

A dedicated Combat Mission channel appears to max at the 1k subscribers mark (eg ithikeal).

 

I wouldn't be suprised if these numbers would also be reflected in kickstarter, with Battlefront much more at risk at not achieveing their funding target through that means.

 

I guess what I'm saying is 'hard core' WW2 ground level tactical simulation is very much a niche market.

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Have a look at the number of Youtube subscribers for a FPS channel - eg ARMA 3, which isn't the biggest FPS drawcard, generates some 100k subscribers for two key channels (eg Jester814 and Dyslexi) .

 

A dedicated Combat Mission channel appears to max at the 1k subscribers mark (eg ithikeal).

 

I wouldn't be suprised if these numbers would also be reflected in kickstarter, with Battlefront much more at risk at not achieveing their funding target through that means.

 

I guess what I'm saying is 'hard core' WW2 ground level tactical simulation is very much a niche market.

 

It isn't a dedicated Combat Mission channel, but I was surprised to find this guy on Youtube with over 100,000 subscribers putting up a lot of CM content.

 

https://www.youtube.com/user/DiplexHeatedHD/videos

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I guess what I'm saying is 'hard core' WW2 ground level tactical simulation is very much a niche market.

Very true, but also very dedicated, and also less likely to watch YouTube videos than FPS players; I think I watched the YouTube video for CMRT before it came out, but that's it.

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I guess what I'm saying is 'hard core' WW2 ground level tactical simulation is very much a niche market.

It's a niche of a niche. The market for strategy games is already minimal these days and what's there is pretty much 40K or Starcraft depending on whether we're talking about P&P or virtual. I don't think a day for these games will never come, but I don't see it in the immediate future. It's simply not the sort of thing most consumers are into. The learning curve is steep, the results are unpredictable, and their is little sense of empowerment. In the west video games are usually seen as a form of release, not challenge.

Their is also a public misconception that the setting of a game has a bearing on whether or not it's a good game. The World War 2 stuff in particular is still really burned out in the mainstream due to "overfarming" of the market in the 1998-2006 years. Most of those games were shooters though, and that whole genre is very, very static.

Personally i've been putting down controllers for dice these days. Table top games are often way more interesting, but have a large logistics trail and elusive player base. (Though this is being solved more and more with tablet support-apps.) I've always considered CM as more of a virtual table top game than a straight out tactical sim, and believe it should be marketed to that audience.

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Personally i've been putting down controllers for dice these days. Table top games are often way more interesting, but have a large logistics trail and elusive player base. (Though this is being solved more and more with tablet support-apps.) I've always considered CM as more of a virtual table top game than a straight out tactical sim, and believe it should be marketed to that audience.

I'd agree that CM is the logical extension of the tabletop wargame into the computer space, and would further add that it facilitates a whole bundle of features that tabletop wargamers desire and tabletop wargames aspire (and generally fail miserably) to provide. Flames of War seems to be a popular "contemporary" tabletop figures game, and to my mind suffers from all the flaws (and more) that have kept my 1:72 figures in boxes in the loft for the last quarter century. However, since tabletop wargames (from chess on up) are, themselves, simulations of conflict (abstracted to a greater or lesser degree), I don't believe you can say CM isn't a tactical sim. It's just a far more detailed and faithful tactical sim than any tabletop wargame can ever be.

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I always smile when we get players trying to figure out how to get CM games out to the masses and that the masses will want to join in and play the game.

I really have come to a personal conclusion that these games have no appeal to the masses. There is no interest for many in what these games offer.

I have shown, had friends play, and talked up these games the best I could - to people that I thought would like them because of their interest and figured these games would appeal to them. To again, and again and again, find that they show absolutely no interest at all in them, even after I have them playing one of the better exciting scenarios or something.

Basically, these type of games appeal to a very small group of people that have traits that the majority of our population do not.

Have you ever taken the test to tell you what type of person you are.

Well, My test always shows me as a (ENTJ)Extraverted intuitive thinking judging - another name for these four attributes together is called FieldMarshal rational (less than two present of the population has these four attributes together. I can promise you, a much larger group of CM players do.)

Not that this is the only type of person to gravitate to this hobby, but most have at least two or three of these trait types.

These games appeal to every one of my personal traits, but I also work as a engineer and with architects. A field that also have many people with these type of traits. But there is only a few that have interest in games or want to spend the time playing them. There is also only a few that show interest in WWII or War at a tactical level.

So what I am trying to point out is that there is a reason this hobby is such a niche, there is a very small percentage of people that this type of product could even appeal to, no matter what you do with it. So informing the masses of its existence will not make it into a mainline title - will more join, of course, but they will never see the numbers as with some main-line games.

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All of the Baby Bells seemed to love these tests starting back in the late 80's and into the mid 90s.

 

I think I took the damned thing a dozen times in a ten year period. After the third one I could actually skew the results to come out any way I wanted them to, which is probably one of the main drawbacks with personality tests. I don't know if slysniper is on to anything or not, but it might be fun if BFC tested all of their forum members, other than being a bit nuts, what else do we all have in common?

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I'd agree that CM is the logical extension of the tabletop wargame into the computer space, and would further add that it facilitates a whole bundle of features that tabletop wargamers desire and tabletop wargames aspire (and generally fail miserably) to provide. Flames of War seems to be a popular "contemporary" tabletop figures game, and to my mind suffers from all the flaws (and more) that have kept my 1:72 figures in boxes in the loft for the last quarter century. However, since tabletop wargames (from chess on up) are, themselves, simulations of conflict (abstracted to a greater or lesser degree), I don't believe you can say CM isn't a tactical sim. It's just a far more detailed and faithful tactical sim than any tabletop wargame can ever be.

Its funny you mentioned this. I am a big fan of tabletop and board wargaming. Though lately when I buy a set of rules or a scenario book I look at the maps and scenarios and immediately think to build it in combat mission. A few months ago I bought toofatlardies Let's Go! 29th ID Normandy campaign supplement for Chain of Command. I really liked the linked platoon level scenarios and maps, so instead of setting them up on the table I built them in CMBN and fought them that way. It was neat to see the maps translated into 3d. I was looking at some Mout scenarios and TDGs and decided instead of fighting them on the table I built Shugart Gordon in CMBS and then fought them there. Did the same for Copehill Down.

Even a month ago I set up on the tabletop a small Bulge scenario for Chain of Command, had all the terrain and. Troops set up, I then decided to sit down w kolenklaus CMFI bulge mod, built and fought the mission there. the tabletop ended up set up unplaced for a month. I guess I'm lazy...

Los

Edited by Los

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Copehill Down

 

There's a place I haven't thought about in a few years.  When I first experienced its facilities it had only just opened and was very much a village on the Inner German Border !

 

P

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There's a place I haven't thought about in a few years.  When I first experienced its facilities it had only just opened and was very much a village on the Inner German Border !

 

P

 

Finished just in time for the Cold War to end ... bit like the Afghan Village they built in Stanta a couple of years ago.

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All of the Baby Bells seemed to love these tests starting back in the late 80's and into the mid 90s.

 

I think I took the damned thing a dozen times in a ten year period. After the third one I could actually skew the results to come out any way I wanted them to, which is probably one of the main drawbacks with personality tests. I don't know if slysniper is on to anything or not, but it might be fun if BFC tested all of their forum members, other than being a bit nuts, what else do we all have in common?

not Bf, but I think it was the wargamer sight that did just that, they had a link to one of these sights and then had all the players report their results to their site.

Its been way too many years ago, to remember much. But I recall that the result had most everyone falling into 3 groups with only a few falling into other areas. And I remember the averages where way higher than what the percentages were showing from the test sight.

Plus I also remember that some of the fellows that did not fall with the most consistent categories is some of the guys you see on other sights with terrible win, loss records. In other words their interest in the hobby steams from areas that has nothing to do with being a tactician by nature.

Anyway , the whole thing did make me think of some science fiction writings out there that talk about the day when we would test people and assign them their future careers instead of letting them just do their own thing.

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First, any discussion of how to make CM appeal to a wider audience must first start with how to remake CM from the ground up to appeal to a wider audience. Because as is, there's no way.

Second, said redesigned game is likely going to not appeal to a large number of existing CM fans. It's pretty much assured. Just look at the crap we went through when we transitioned from CMx1 to CMx2! That was akin to transitioning from a Domino's Pizza to an artesian pizza and yet we had a whole bunch of people say "it's not pizza any more because it doesn't taste like cardboard". So understand that if you, personally, are arguing for it to be broader than you, personally, might be very unhappy with the resulting product.

Third, who let Mace in? Man, we have got to get that backdoor lock fixed :D

Steve

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People don't seem to realize that if BFC really followed everybody's sage business advice that logic would dictate that they abandon CM altogether and turn their attention to making Manga comic book inspired video games for the Japanese iphone market. I'd say let sleeping dogs lie and be happy you're getting what they're giving you. Because you probably wouldn't much like the alternative (though million of Japanese twelve year olds would be pleased)  ;).

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