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      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
Macisle

Kharkov Map Sneak Peak

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On 11/12/2017 at 2:59 AM, Aragorn2002 said:

Gorgeous map, Macisle. The centre of Berlin. Keep them coming please.

Thanks! Actually, it's Kharkov. I'm not doing any official work for the new CMRT module.

It's not a historical map. I'm generally just recreating whatever I see in Google Maps, but cutting building heights down (trying to keep them relative) to save on performance. I had some very tall buildings, but cut them recently to save on frame rates. I'm giving the project the working title of "Kharkiveskya." In other words, Kharkiv(Kharkov)-esque.

The original idea was to have a 4-hour H2H mini campaign covering the whole map. Basically, the equivalent of 3-4 scenarios under one roof, with persistent damage. The full map can absorb a ton of heavy artillery and I got beautiful results playing around with it. The "terra-forming" added a great dimension and would make the map change each time it was played, creating new tactical and supply line dynamics. Alas, as I expected, the system chokes on the number of units that eventually come in. So, I'm going to have to slice up the map.

(Note: this thread was relocated from a sub-conversion in another thread. Thus the seemingly out of context jump to the following topic.) Here are a couple of examples of the building complexes I'm talking about in relation to the suicidal rout issue. First, the ring effect I mentioned:

38313210552_f14736cf1f_b.jpg

Again, regardless of height, troops in the tall section who panic will tend to run all the way down, then through the ring and right out into the street to their death...negating the whole value of the structure (see edit below).

EDIT: The above building is not one of the actual buildings that displayed the problems encountered during the free-form QB test I posted about above. I was just using it for posting here because it is a nicer-looking example of the kind of "ring-base" building complex I was talking about. However, I just ran two structured tests using this specific building and the defenders actually used the complex quite well. I tried it with Vet High Motivation and Reg Normal Motivation (all other attributes 0/neutral) with the same results. Hmm..that is weird. I never meant to say that the suicide rout issue happens every time, but more testing is definitely needed. These tests used mostly incoming small arms fire and no artillery. -Will do more tests as I have time.

I've had better luck with the one below, but when they panic, defending troops still tend to run outside toward the enemy rather fall back deeper into the safety of the building. Oh, and to be clear, the door paths needed are there.

24473317168_2bcd727e4c_b.jpg

Edited by Macisle
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1 hour ago, Aragorn2002 said:

It looks stunning and makes me long for a 1942/42 module for CMRT, imagine this map in the winter and fighting the Third battle of Kharkov on it.  Mouth-watering....

Thanks!

Yeah, that's really want I want--the early equipment. Here's hoping we might get some kind of early war bones, even though the time frame is late to end of war. I may do a winter and summer version so folks can choose. I am planning to have the Germans be SS, but with the Soviets attacking. I also may do some original textures to give a more authentic city architecture feel. Looking at the stock independent textures from RT and BS, I might be able to adapt them to make some acceptable modular textures for that.

I would definitely want to use those on the palace-like building from above. Here is that building from the front:

24481284198_60c5c5977a_b.jpg

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17 minutes ago, Macisle said:

Thanks!

Yeah, that's really want I want--the early equipment. Here's hoping we might get some kind of early war bones, even though the time frame is late to end of war. I may do a winter and summer version so folks can choose. I am planning to have the Germans be SS, but with the Soviets attacking. I also may do some original textures to give a more authentic city architecture feel. Looking at the stock independent textures from RT and BS, I might be able to adapt them to make some acceptable modular textures for that.

I would definitely want to use those on the palace-like building from above. Here is that building from the front:

24481284198_60c5c5977a_b.jpg

Imagine that building against a grey sky, while the cold Eastern wind is blowing and the snow is whirling down. Magic.

A vehicle pack with early war tanks and stuff for CMRT. Yes, that would be something.

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Thanks for the kind words, guys!

Well, since the cat's out of the bag on this project, I'll go ahead and post a few more pics. Again, it's early days and this won't be out until after the next CMRT module is released (KV-1, baby! Plllleeeeeaaase!) I've only added temporary foliage in areas where the door networks are largely done so I can get a little test combat going there. Also, I obviously, haven't finished adding all the buildings, let alone fleshing out the other terrain elements in those areas (or most of the areas with buildings). Since I'm going to have to slice up the map, I'll be adding some tall buildings back in later that are currently cut down in size.

Here is an overhead. I just grabbed the Google Map screen on the right, so this is not my working overlay. Currently, my plan is to have the Soviet attacker start in the SE corner. I'd like to thank the people of Kharkov for providing a ready-made setup zone in the form of a large park and cushion of buildings!

38317709446_831107c442_b.jpg

 

Here's the elevation overlay I did (which is, of course, matched to my working overlay). I will be doing some polishing work later, once everything else is in. Sorry for any seizures or flashbacks!

30608084764_0ce5c15551.jpg

 

It's not Stalingrad, but in winter, this area might serve for a little "Fallen Fighters" combat.

38372431521_4f4d4fc378_b.jpg

 

Another angle on same area:

38317709596_fe54e03698_b.jpg

 

And lastly, a bird's eye of one of the little neighborhood areas. I'll call this shot "Mean Streets."

38317709686_3e7a46f67b_b.jpg

 

That's it for now. It may be awhile before I have additional pic-worthy content. I'll post it as I have it, along with any interesting combat test results (suicidal rout, path bugs, arty effects, etc.).

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On 12/11/2017 at 7:35 AM, Macisle said:

The original idea was to have a 4-hour H2H mini campaign covering the whole map. Basically, the equivalent of 3-4 scenarios under one roof, with persistent damage. The full map can absorb a ton of heavy artillery and I got beautiful results playing around with it. The "terra-forming" added a great dimension and would make the map change each time it was played, creating new tactical and supply line dynamics. Alas, as I expected, the system chokes on the number of units that eventually come in. So, I'm going to have to slice up the map.

Reminds me of the fun I had making the ruined Carpiquet for the second half of my campaign. The abilitiy to import the state of a map after a 'battle' would have saved so much time and probably made the end result far more random than it was with me manually placing every crater. It's amazing how easy it is to see patterns in your own work once you review it in the 3D environment. :P

I also hope for your own sanity whenever there is an early / mid war east front title there is someway to import this work across.

Anyway impressive. Keep up the good word. :D

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6 hours ago, Sgt.Squarehead said:

My sympathies on the building/door/window placement thing, it's a total chore to do, but once it is done it really does make a world of difference to the playability of a map.  B)

Definitely. Speaking of which...

Here's an initial stab at putting back in some big buildings. Just finished the doors on 'em. Taking these puppies are likely to be among the Soviet player's first tasks.

38369649452_ac85da749f_b.jpg

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17 hours ago, Ithikial_AU said:

Reminds me of the fun I had making the ruined Carpiquet for the second half of my campaign. The abilitiy to import the state of a map after a 'battle' would have saved so much time and probably made the end result far more random than it was with me manually placing every crater. It's amazing how easy it is to see patterns in your own work once you review it in the 3D environment. :P

I also hope for your own sanity whenever there is an early / mid war east front title there is someway to import this work across.

Anyway impressive. Keep up the good word. :D

Oh, yeah. Man...I don't even want to think about trying to redo this sucker from scratch. But speaking of importing, seeing as how it is essentially modern Kharkov, it could be a good candidate for port into CMBS if that ever becomes possible.

On damage:

Pre-placed damage can really add to the atmosphere of a map. But if possible, I like to let the player make his own. For the battles in this campaign, I'll probably just add a very light amount for flavor in the overlap zones between map slices. That means that some buildings may magically reappear, but better that than eliminate cover. One of the tricky things will be deciding how to deal with the river and bridges in regards to slicing. For realism, the defender needs to be able to put fire on the attacker from across the river if he holds that terrain, but the map cutting will create decision-making work on how to facilitate that (isolated units across river or with a path across a bridge? If so, where? How many setup zones? Etc.).

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28 minutes ago, 76mm said:

wow, amazing map. When it is finished, or close to finished, will you post a link?  I'd like to include it in my CMRT map database.

Thanks!

I'd love for it to be included in your db. It will be uploaded to TSDIII and a link put here. Currently, there is no ETA on it, other than sometime after the next CMRT module. I want to integrate the new material from that and have tons more work to do on it as well.

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On ‎11‎/‎12‎/‎2017 at 6:41 PM, Macisle said:

 

Here's the elevation overlay I did (which is, of course, matched to my working overlay). I will be doing some polishing work later, once everything else is in. Sorry for any seizures or flashbacks!

30608084764_0ce5c15551.jpg

 

@Macisle, how did you create this???

 

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1 hour ago, c3k said:

@Macisle, how did you create this???

 

IIRC, I got the technique off the forum (a post by Pete W?). You give Google Earth a solid color image to use as a layer mask and set it to mask everything in relation to an elevation. Then you take screenshots using different transparency levels and layer them to identify the elevation lines. IIRC, I gave up on that exact process and instead took a bunch of GE mask screen shots, then made the color layers in photoshop, working with each elevation layer one-by-one. It's been about a year since I did it. I don't have time at the moment, but I'll check my files when I can to see what I have to spark my memory. Maybe I still have that link (or the author will see this and chime in). I do remember that it was a LOT of work. The close proximity of so many of the lines was a bit of a pill and has created some areas I need to polish (got some buildings with "sinking" first floors, too.)

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4 minutes ago, Macisle said:

IIRC, I got the technique off the forum (a post by Pete W?). You give Google Earth a solid color image to use as a layer mask and set it to mask everything in relation to an elevation. Then you take screenshots using different transparency levels and layer them to identify the elevation lines. IIRC, I gave up on that exact process and instead took a bunch of GE mask screen shots, then made the color layers in photoshop, working with each elevation layer one-by-one. It's been about a year since I did it. I don't have time at the moment, but I'll check my files when I can to see what I have to spark my memory. Maybe I still have that link (or the author will see this and chime in). I do remember that it was a LOT of work. The close proximity of so many of the lines was a bit of a pill and has created some areas I need to polish (got some buildings with "sinking" first floors, too.)

Ahhh....I remember that. The layers were a pita. Kudos to you!

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49 minutes ago, Macisle said:

Okay, this really will be the last map screenshot for awhile, but I couldn't resist a little QB action on the new section and caught this cool little moment:

38415967581_8ee4509b43_b.jpg

Superb stuff! I never gave a Stalingrad module much thought, but now I start to realize it would be great.

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1 hour ago, Macisle said:

IIRC, I got the technique off the forum (a post by Pete W?). You give Google Earth a solid color image to use as a layer mask and set it to mask everything in relation to an elevation. Then you take screenshots using different transparency levels and layer them to identify the elevation lines. IIRC, I gave up on that exact process and instead took a bunch of GE mask screen shots, then made the color layers in photoshop, working with each elevation layer one-by-one.

The article about doing that I have on my FAQ post is form @StoneAge:

In case anyone is wondering...

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