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      Final Blitzkrieg v1.01 released!   05/21/2016

      Once again proving that we don't sleep much, we have just released v1.01 for CM: Final Blitzkrieg.  There's lots of great improvements and fixes now just one download away.  Click HERE to see the release notes and download links.  Thanks to everybody for reporting issues and special thanks to the testers who make sure we don't overlook them.
    • Battlefront.com

      Special Upgrade 4 Tech Tips   12/27/2016

      Hi all! Now that Upgrade 4 is out and about in large quantities we have now discovered a few SNAFUs that happen out in the scary, real world that is home computing.  Fortunately the rate of problems is extremely small and so far most are easily worked around.  We've identified a few issues that have similar causes which we have clear instructions for work arounds here they are: 1.  CMRT Windows customers need to re-license their original key.  This is a result of improvements to the licensing system which CMBN, CMBS, and CMFB are already using.  To do this launch CMRT with the Upgrade and the first time enter your Engine 4 key.  Exit and then use the "Activate New Products" shortcut in your CMRT folder, then enter your Engine 3 license key.  That should do the trick. 2.  CMRT and CMBN MacOS customers have a similar situation as #2, however the "Activate New Products" is inside the Documents folder in their respective CM folders.  For CMBN you have to go through the process described above for each of your license keys.  There is no special order to follow. 3.  For CMBS and CMFB customers, you need to use the Activate New Products shortcut and enter your Upgrade 4 key.  If you launch the game and see a screen that says "LICENSE FAILURE: Base Game 4.0 is required." that is an indication you haven't yet gone through that procedure.  Provided you had a properly functioning copy before installing the Upgrade, that should be all you need to do.  If in the future you have to install from scratch on a new system you'll need to do the same procedure for both your original license key and your Upgrade 4.0 key. 4.  There's always a weird one and here it is.  A few Windows users are not getting "Activate New Products" shortcuts created during installation.  Apparently anti-virus software is preventing the installer from doing its job.  This might not be a problem right now, but it will prove to be an issue at some point in the future.  The solution is to create your own shortcut using the following steps: Disable your anti-virus software before you do anything. Go to your Desktop, right click on the Desktop itself, select NEW->SHORTCUT, use BROWSE to locate the CM EXE that you are trying to fix. The location is then written out. After it type in a single space and then paste this:

      -showui

      Click NEXT and give your new Shortcut a name (doesn't matter what). Confirm that and you're done. Double click on the new Shortcut and you should be prompted to license whatever it is you need to license. At this time we have not identified any issues that have not been worked around.  Let's hope it stays that way Steve
    • Battlefront.com

      Forum Reorganization   10/12/2017

      We've reorganized our Combat Mission Forums to reflect the fact that most of you are now running Engine 4 and that means you're all using the same basic code.  Because of that, there's no good reason to have the discussion about Combat Mission spread out over 5 separate sets of Forums.  There is now one General Discussion area with Tech Support and Scenario/Mod Tips sub forums.  The Family specific Tech Support Forums have been moved to a new CM2 Archives area and frozen in place. You might also notice we dropped the "x" from distinguishing between the first generation of CM games and the second.  The "x" was reluctantly adopted back in 2005 or so because at the time we had the original three CM games on European store shelves entitled CM1, CM2, and CM3 (CMBO, CMBB, and CMAK).  We didn't want to cause confusion so we added the "x".  Time has moved on and we have to, so the "x" is now gone from our public vocabulary as it has been from our private vocabulary for quite a while already.  Side note, Charles *NEVER* used the "x" so now we're all speaking the same language as him.  Which is important since he is the one programming them

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15 hours ago, Battlefront.com said:

....  For example, last night my wife and I finished rewatching one of our favorite TV comedies..... 

And Steve is on forum .....CMFI module is near.. ;)

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45 minutes ago, Battlefront.com said:

It was even more apparent seeing the Apple App Store figures :)  We took in as much money from CMT as we did CMRT's first year of sales, and most of it came from iOS not Android.  Downside was most of the revenue went to the developer of CMT and the two platforms.  The upside was we had proportionally less invested in it, which is why we were so happy with CMT.  Unfortunately, a combination of market shifts have made it inadvisable to try again.  The bar for app makers is very low.  That wouldn't be a problem if Apple, Google, Steam, etc. had a way for "serious" developers to not get drowned out by crap made by kids or shameless hacks.  The number of games put out on those platforms in 2017 was counted in the several THOUSANDS!  Yuck.  When I started doing this it was more like 100-200 per year.

That was very interesting too, and yet another peek at what goes on behind the scenes. Thanks again for your time.

 

2 hours ago, Battlefront.com said:

Been using a Mac since 1987 and PCs since before then.  Still see no reason to abandon it.  I don't have a smartphone of any sort.  US Celluar will have to pry my flip phone out of my cold dead hand before I tether myself to a handheld soul sucking device.  In fact, I'd run over my Mac with my tractor if I could.  In my former life I'm sure I was a Luddite

If you were a Luddite, then you were a very naughty one :)

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kraze   

We've reorganized our Combat Mission Forums to reflect the fact that most of you are now running Engine 4 and that means you're all using the same basic code.  Because of that, there's no good reason to have the discussion about Combat Mission spread out over 5 separate sets of Forums. 

Well I guess that is that common platform for all CM games I've been talking about :D

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Raptorx7   
9 hours ago, Battlefront.com said:

Cryptic because, honestly, customers have zero entitlement to the details of employees in an organization.  Customers sometimes deserve some sort of notification, but nothing more.  You guys were alerted to Chris' departure something like 2 weeks after it happened.  I don't see anything reasonable to complain about.

Testers are ALWAYS doing customer outreach of various sorts.  Not like Chris, for sure, but definitely you guys are not being ignored.  Testers brought me to this thread, for example :D

I exchanged emails with him on Friday and I did say "hi" from all you guys :) He knows he's missed, but working an intense job for a virtual company probably isn't in the cards for him any time soon.  As I said in my explanation about his departure, most people are not wired to do this sort of work at all, few can do it for more than a few years before they burn out.  Chris went 5 years, which puts him in a special group of people even though he also hit the virtual wall.

Steve

I hope I didn't come off like I needed to know exactly WHY he left, that is none of my business. I was just commenting on the fact that we didn't know when he had left!

I hope hes doing better and thanks for these answers Steve.

Edited by Raptorx7

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9 hours ago, BletchleyGeek said:

f you were a Luddite, then you were a very naughty one :)

I am a member of the Reformed Church of the Luddites.  We're allowed to use technology only as long as it doesn't piss us off too much ;)

9 hours ago, kraze said:

Well I guess that is that common platform for all CM games I've been talking about :D

:D

5 hours ago, Raptorx7 said:

I hope I didn't come off like I needed to know exactly WHY he left, that is none of my business. I was just commenting on the fact that we didn't know when he had left!

I hope hes doing better and thanks for these answers Steve.

No problem.  I just wanted to make sure it was clear to the whole audience that personnel issues are kept "close to our vest" for a variety of reasons.  You guys did find out about Chris' departure within a couple weeks of it being official internally.  Chris and I both tried hard to avoid it, but in the end he was burned out and there's no easy fix for that.

Steve

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IanL   
14 hours ago, BletchleyGeek said:

This is a very insightful comment, Steve. Thanks for sharing it. Crowdfunding isn't a money tree you walk up to, shake it a bit and walk back home. Those trees aren't trees, they are ents. Pissing off ents isn't a clever move, is it? More seriously, it has certainly lowered the barriers of entry into the business. That I think is a good thing. On the other hand, what were countless cancelled projects that nobody got to see (like Fallout Van Buren, Obsidians' Aliens RPG, etc), other than furtive glimpses due to occasional leaks by journos or former developers, are now what is called "crowdfunding failures" and happen in plain sight. The drama comes from the backers who, lacking the mechanisms for retribution that publishers have, turn out to other means to get back their due (morally, I supposed).

It's not easy to make crowdfunding work. If the people in charge of the crowdfunding campaign and the engagement with those stakeholders are industry old hands with a track record of being professional, things are mostly kept in hand.

Yeah, I have read a number of the pour money into dev and marketing, expectations are high, timelines are right and bad things happen stories. I lived one once. We took a really nice product that was making $100M a year and turned it into a steaming pile or crap whose follow on versions were always late and never good quality. Man that sucked.

I am now and did once before work at a startup that was totally self funded. They made money on good product and put the profits back into making them better or adding new ones but only at a rate that kept them in the black. Sure we messed up schedules now and then (OK frequently:-) but in the end slow and steady really is a way to win the race. First company made their founders plenty when it was finally bought.

I have watched couple of camera related hardware products succeed using crowd sourcing. The thing is though those were already developed with working prototypes they just needed the cash to put the $ into actually making the moulds and paying for the first manufacturing run. That's where that can work - when you have clear expenses and a turn the crank process to a product. At that point you are really just pre-selling.

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QuiGon   
On 12.10.2017 at 7:25 AM, Battlefront.com said:

Note to all... I reorganized all the Combat Mission Forums and made a Bone post in the new Combat Mission General Discussion area.  I planned on doing it months ago, but this thread prompted me to get off my duff and do it.  I hate to reward complainers, but sometimes they do have a point :D

Steve

Which is all what was needed. Getting some intel about what is going on from time to time about what's going on is all I can ask for, so thank you very much for this thread and the new forum. I really appreciate that, because it helps a lot with waiting, if you have at least some idea of what is actually happening or going to happen. So again, thank you!

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On October 10, 2017 at 4:54 PM, Battlefront.com said:

This is very true.  And the more specific a player's tastes are, the more likely Quick Battles are the solution.  Even with lots of people making lots of scenarios there's a sort of natural move towards a fairly narrow range of types of scenarios.  Same was true in CM1, too.  I mean, how many Barkman's Corner scenarios did people make? :D

Steve

Quick battles are only a solution of last resort, if you like well made scenarios. Currently, if you love 'Barkman's Corner' type battles you will be hard pressed to find another.  

I disagree, the more scenarios being made the more buckets you will need to sort them by type. 

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sburke   
42 minutes ago, FlammenwerferX said:

Quick battles are only a solution of last resort, if you like well made scenarios. Currently, if you love 'Barkman's Corner' type battles you will be hard pressed to find another.  

I disagree, the more scenarios being made the more buckets you will need to sort them by type. 

Depends on your point of view. A lot of players live by them (I am not one of them, pretty much never use this). Which only makes Steve’s point even more. Players are all over the place about what they like.  Best to assume that you are not the norm.  I am pretty certain I am not. 

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9 minutes ago, sburke said:

Depends on your point of view. A lot of players live by them (I am not one of them, pretty much never use this). Which only makes Steve’s point even more. Players are all over the place about what they like.  Best to assume that you are not the norm.  I am pretty certain I am not. 

This :D  It is very common for a player to think his wants/desires/styles are the "norm".  The Forum tends to distort that further as the members posting here tend to be the most enthusiastic, detailed orientated type of gamers.  The casual gamers don't tend to post here nearly as much or, when they do, it's not about the details of the games but things like "when's the next release?" or "what is the best use for X in Y situation?".  It's important that everybody keep this in mind because it makes for a better, stronger, happier community if we don't have arrogant individuals insisting that they are the most important thing to walk this Earth.  Plus, we ignore them anyway ;)

One of the best things about Combat Mission is that it is able to keep a huge range of gamers very happy.  The game's flexibility and features make that possible.  It also makes it IMPOSSIBLE to make everybody equally happy with everything that is in the game.  To do that we'd have to focus the game on a very specific subset of players and that would destroy the core of Combat Mission's appeal.  Obviously that isn't on our To Do List ;)

Steve

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IanL   
40 minutes ago, Battlefront.com said:

It is very common for a player to think his wants/desires/styles are the "norm". 

What! That's not true? :( I thought everyone wanted the same things I want. Now I'm sad :D 

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Another timely and totally relevant to this thread article...

https://boingboing.net/2017/09/25/gamer-culture-is-so-toxic-that.html

There's a lot of "hard truths" in this article for gamers to reject and scream about not being true or being someone else's fault :D We are very fortunate to be immune to the worst of this because our customer base is so old that by the time they think of something horrible to say they forgot what it was :D  OK, I'm going to stop being snarky and be serious for a bit!

The worst sort of gamers out there are the ones least likely to find any value in Combat Mission, so they mostly consist of people saying stupid stuff in the YouTube comment's section and other such places.  This helps a lot because it means the worst of the worst have "better things to do with their time" than waste it on us.  However, we still have our problem cases as high functioning sociopaths do seem to like wargames.

We are largely able to keep a lid on the worst sorts of behavior that does come our way by having a solid community that overwhelmingly discourages supporting such people.  We also have a moderated place which allows for disagreements without being disagreeable.  Usually when someone gets out of line here a simple warning is enough to do straighten 'em out.  Rarely do I have to give someone a "vacation" and even rarer that I have to ban someone.  This thread is a perfect example of what is acceptable.  Lots of negative stuff to find in this thread, but not so much as a warning from me to anybody.

There are certainly places outside our control where people do savage us.  Some participate here according to our rules, then behave like trolls in other places.  We can't control that so we don't sweat it.  We know that 99% of gamers out there think we're lame and will always think we're lame, so no point being upset by it.

We've worked hard over the last 20 year to foster a positive and productive (not to mention often hilarious) community here.  We're grateful for it because it our games to be much better than they otherwise would be, which in turn allows us to keep doing what we do, and that in turn gives you all something other game companies don't produce.  It's an all around good thing we have going here and we're not naive about how rare it is.  Kudos to you nutters for being different than the other nutters :D

Steve

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sburke   
1 minute ago, Battlefront.com said:

Another timely and totally relevant to this thread article...

https://boingboing.net/2017/09/25/gamer-culture-is-so-toxic-that.html

There's a lot of "hard truths" in this article for gamers to reject and scream about not being true or being someone else's fault :D We are very fortunate to be immune to the worst of this because our customer base is so old that by the time they think of something horrible to say they forgot what it was

Steve

Wait a minute, what were we talking about?  Never mind they just brought my mush.  Is it time to eat again?

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2 hours ago, sburke said:

Depends on your point of view. A lot of players live by them (I am not one of them, pretty much never use this). Which only makes Steve’s point even more. Players are all over the place about what they like.  Best to assume that you are not the norm.  I am pretty certain I am not. 

Hello sburke 

I think you misunderstood my post. I'm not knocking QB, the generator or those that prefer them. 

My post was all about Scenarios and those that prefer them, and most of all, miss there absence. Are we outliers? Are we outside the norm? Demanding the devs fulfill our esoteric requests. 

What I think you (and maybe Steve) are saying, is that everyone has different taste when it comes to Well Made Scenarios so probably better go with the QB. 

I completely understand that this is a business, and thus we will be sold on the gadget which the developers spent time and money on, but please don't paint me as being just one voice making demands outside the norm. 

I mean the issue of Lack of User Made Content (and participation) is frequently brought up on these forums. As is the decision not to attempt a user-friendly, CM1 style scenario editor.

Chocolate, vanilla and strawberry[ campaigns]. I believe that even 'the casual gamers' like chocolate. Do you?

 

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sburke   
23 minutes ago, FlammenwerferX said:

Hello sburke 

I think you misunderstood my post. I'm not knocking QB, the generator or those that prefer them. 

My post was all about Scenarios and those that prefer them, and most of all, miss there absence. Are we outliers? Are we outside the norm? Demanding the devs fulfill our esoteric requests. 

What I think you (and maybe Steve) are saying, is that everyone has different taste when it comes to Well Made Scenarios so probably better go with the QB. 

I completely understand that this is a business, and thus we will be sold on the gadget which the developers spent time and money on, but please don't paint me as being just one voice making demands outside the norm. 

I mean the issue of Lack of User Made Content (and participation) is frequently brought up on these forums. As is the decision not to attempt a user-friendly, CM1 style scenario editor.

Chocolate, vanilla and strawberry[ campaigns]. I believe that even 'the casual gamers' like chocolate. Do you?

 

Actually I don’t disagree with you about liking a well made scenario over a QB. Where I think we might part is feeling that somehow our view necessarily reflects anyone else.  The qb allows one to create a whole series of different kinds of match ups that one is never likely to find in a scenario. 

Scenario creation will never match the sheer quantity of what can be done with quick battles which I think we can agree is their very nature.  You expect more from a scenario and that can be anything form a more specific AI crafted response with triggers or a different type map or simply an immersive story.  I like urban combat.  Qbs by their nature can’t handle that well as you can have any type force there so the qb urban maps tend to not have the claustrophobic feel a user designed scenario might.  Even the little Venafro map would play hell with a qb that has vehicles.

Lots of folks apparently use the qb tools to create fun little matchups they can play in 30 minutes or less and just have a blast.  For me that really doesn’t do much and I expect for you either. 

My problem with the whole question of user made scenarios is BF gives us all the tools and all you hear are complaints that it is too hard and therefore someone else should do them.  Well waiting for someone else to do something you have been given the tools to create is a dead end.   Beta testers do create some really great stuff but there are only so many testers and a lot of other things they need to do. Steve and Charles have to make the game so guess where that leaves us? 

I don’t think you will ever find scenarios being generated as fast as you’d like.  The original creation of them can be time consuming. What anyone can do however is open an existing one and add additional AI plans.  The more practice people have with that, the better they get until they find they are capable of crafting their own. 

It wasn’t a “decision not use to use a friendly cm1 style generator”. Cm1 created easier scenarios because cm1 was a relatively unsophisticated product in comparison to cm2. It is apples and oranges. You want easily created scenarios use the qb generator.  You want a well crafted scenario, gonna have to roll up your sleeves.  There is no 3rd option. 

i prefer vanilla actually, but I won’t turn down chocolate.  If I have my choice i’d prefer a fine Cabernet. 

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1 hour ago, sburke said:

Where I think we might part is feeling that somehow our view necessarily reflects anyone else.  

Huh? I'm only one person. Never claimed to be representing anything but my point of view. Is this your way of dismissing my comments instead of arguing on the merits. 

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sburke   
11 minutes ago, FlammenwerferX said:

Huh? I'm only one person. Never claimed to be representing anything but my point of view. Is this your way of dismissing my comments instead of arguing on the merits. 

umm no.  I wrote a lot there about various aspects, is that all you got out of it?

 

As far as I can tell, your complaint or request is simply you want more user made scenarios?  Would you say that is accurate?  Forget the QB discussion.

Edited by sburke

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It is probably worth challenging the sweeping assertion/rose tinted view that making scenarios in CM1 was easy.  Does nobody remember that elevations had to be painted on every tile? Or the fact that the relative lack of AI controls available to the scenario designer meant that testing was at times pretty haphazard and that some types of action were impossible to make? I remember making a La Gleize map in CM1 only to find that the AI would refuse to attack from multiple directions.

I won't deny that making good scenarios in CM2 is not the easiest thing to do but doing anything well takes practice. Otherwise the scenario editor is accessible and does not require specialist knowledge (no scripts required to make good scenarios as in the ARMA series for instance).

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sburke   
16 minutes ago, Combatintman said:

It is probably worth challenging the sweeping assertion/rose tinted view that making scenarios in CM1 was easy.  

Yeah I have to say I am relying on previous assertions about that as honestly I never created a cm1 scenario.  As to the basis of other people's assertions- well they are on there own.  It is worth asking.  @FlammenwerferX did you actually create scenarios in cm1 or is that statement based on the relative volume of scenarios you saw in cmx1 or possibly something else?

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49 minutes ago, Combatintman said:

It is probably worth challenging the sweeping assertion/rose tinted view that making scenarios in CM1 was easy.  

Did I say it was easy!? Go back to my post. I think it was Mr. sburke that said it was easy.

 

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49 minutes ago, sburke said:

As to the basis of other people's assertions- well they are on there own.  It is worth asking.  @FlammenwerferX did you actually create scenarios in cm1 or is that statement based on the relative volume of scenarios you saw in cmx1 or possibly something else?

Yes, I was around in the heyday of CM1 and created many scenarios. If you were around back then, I'd bet you played at least one of them. 

And NO, making them was not easy, as Combatinhat said every elevation tile needed to be checked one by one. To make a good battle required time and effort. 

I remember back then the phrase was the scenario editor WAS the game. No one has ever said that about CMx2. There was a whole community of designers and websites buzzing with activity. Good times, people. Fun was had. 

 The editor was clearly not a priority for the new engine. Remember the lack of triggers and the Chinese-puzzle road tiles...etc

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