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weapon2010

Why so few user made scenarios?

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My theory:

1) The QB generator got too good. CMSF was the heyday of user made scenarios. The very basic QB generator wasn't all one might hope for so if you wanted a city battle between X and Y forces you had to make it yourself.

2) Too-ambitious first time scenario makers. People would buy the game and immediately try to build all of downtown Antwerp. Nooooooo. Too much to tackle all at once! Accept that there's a learning curve involved. The phrase "Go big or go home" should not apply to scenario design.

3) Taking it all too seriously. I've seen people tackle a battle as though they were writing a doctoral dissertation. Relax! You won't be graded, its not an exam. You're supposed to be playing in the editor as a means to relieve stress, not create additional stress. Chillax - as the kids say B)

Oh, I forgot. There's also a 4) The better 3rd party scenario builders would often get poached for the Beta team so what once were user-made scenario are now in-house scenario made by the same people.

Edited by MikeyD

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1 hour ago, MikeyD said:

Oh, I forgot. There's also a 4) The better 3rd party scenario builders would often get poached for the Beta team so what once were user-made scenario are now in-house scenario made by the same people.

This is a big reason. The quality of stock scenarios and maps have gone up tremendously with the past few releases. This is because of what MikeyD said, many of the best scenario authors now make the stock scenarios for the newer games, which is good because it means the devs can spend more time working on the game itself, instead of being bogged down in the time consuming editor. 

Another reason I think we aren't seeing as many user made scenarios for CMFB is because it covers a niche part of WWII at the moment. I wouldn't be surprised if we see an influx of scenarios come winter. Plus, once a module comes along that extends CMFI and adds more forces (commonwealth, German formations, etc) we will see more scenarios being made as well. 

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I've also seen two common attitudes from would-be scenario makers. Either they fear snarky criticism of their efforts from trolls (which rarely happens here), or they've been disappointed at the lack of positive feedback when they have posted. An easy fix for that is to not give a ****. Say, "I did this, I like it, I'm uploading it out of the goodness of my heart for you to play. No additional player input required, thank you very much." Scenario that I've done in the past, either 3rd party or in-house, I have rarely received feedback aside from informing me of typos in the orders. Welcome to the wonderful world of game design!

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6 hours ago, MikeyD said:

I've also seen two common attitudes from would-be scenario makers. Either they fear snarky criticism of their efforts from trolls (which rarely happens here), or they've been disappointed at the lack of positive feedback when they have posted.

More like any feedback at all.

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10 hours ago, MikeyD said:

Scenario that I've done in the past, either 3rd party or in-house, I have rarely received feedback aside from informing me of typos in the orders. Welcome to the wonderful world of game design!

I think it's safe to say, the less feedback you get, the better the scenario is.
We're too busy playing the game to gush all over the forums.

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1 hour ago, PanzerMike said:

Making scenarios is dangerous indeed. Before you know it you are snatched by BFC and forced to join the Beta boys. And they be crazy!

;)

"The horror, the horror..." ;)

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I think the main reasons are its a lot of work and time. If you want a historical scenario you have to research it. Otherwise you might as well just use the QMB.

On the research part, I have attempted to make a few from old ASL scenario cards with mixed results. Another challenge is getting the units to do what you want them to do and

not just sit at the edge of the board. I realize there are are some tools like "triggers". I have not really passed the learning curve on all the subtleties. Like others I'd rather spend my

spare time playing than working.

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Eh, they're as much or as little work as you make them. I've quickly thrown together test scenarios to try out an idea or new equipment that have turned out to be considerably more fun to play than the ones I sweated blood over. A few of them have been cleaned up and made it into the various games as proper scenarios, or at least the maps donated to QB use.

My suggestion for starting on making scenarios is start VERY simple. Get the AI to move a squad from one copse of trees to the next at the designated time. That's it. Once you've mastered that try another task. AI design is like parallel parking. When you're first learning it seems impossible, there must be something wrong with the car! Eventually you're parallel parking with the best of 'em.

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I have made a few scenarios and have a couple on their way and I must say most of the time it is a lot of fun to make, especially the maps. Seeing them "come true" in 3D is a kick. AI plans on the other hand is a huge turn off for me so from now on only H2H scenarios (which is the way I play most of the time). Making historical scenarios is fun as the scenario becomes a re-enactment of a historical event, or as close as possible. The immersion of making such is greater but more time consuming. But I would urge people to just try the editor for a while and toy around with it - because even if you don't churn out a complete scenario it will make you appreciate well made scenarios all the more when you understand how they are made.

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Prospective scenario designers often suffer from over-ambition. Instead of a 3km+ map make a -1km map, instead of a battalion+ on the map put a -company, instead of a 2+ hour run time make it 40 minutes, instead of four victory objectives just place one, instead of a historically accurate city map build a fictional village. Scenario design can be fun if you let it be fun. Like woodworking can be fun if you'd just refrain from hitting your fingers with the hammer. Its not supposed to be painful.

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49 minutes ago, MikeyD said:

Prospective scenario designers often suffer from over-ambition. Instead of a 3km+ map make a -1km map, instead of a battalion+ on the map put a -company, instead of a 2+ hour run time make it 40 minutes, instead of four victory objectives just place one, instead of a historically accurate city map build a fictional village. Scenario design can be fun if you let it be fun. Like woodworking can be fun if you'd just refrain from hitting your fingers with the hammer. Its not supposed to be painful.

I make small, simple maps and don't bother putting flavor objects in them.

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