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Good point Alex; the aircraft sim DCS does a good job of this (for Battlefront's reference): 

https://www.digitalcombatsimulator.com/en/news/2018-07-27_YAK52/

They just lay out some of the things they are planning, generally to work on, which I think people interested in whichever aircraft is being discussed, find interesting, and gives them the sense that work is progressing - especially when, like these games, it might take one or two years before the product is ever seen.

Below is an example of one of their updates:
 

  • Complete the AIM-7 with addition of FLOOD, Home On Jam (HOJ), and LOFT sub-modes.

  • Integrate AIM-120B/C for STT employment (TWS employment will come later).

  • Integrate AIM-9X Block I. This includes both flight dynamics and new tones. Afterwards, in August or September, we will add the Joint Helmet Mounted Cueing System (JHMCS).

  • Complete RWS air-to-air radar mode with such features as Non-Cooperative Target Recognition (NCTR), AACQ mode, Latent Track While Scan (LTWS) mode, Pulse Repetition Frequency (PRF) settings, ability to change radar settings with TDC along outside of radar tactical area, radar speed gate setting, COLOR option, and more.

  • Complete radar warning receiver functionality with contact symbols and modifiers, EW HUD, and the OFFSET function.

  • Integrate Paveway II series laser-guided bombs (GBU-10, 12, and 16) with JTAC designation.

  • Further tuning of flight model with touch and go performance, gear drag, half flaps drag, takeoff pitch characteristics, and extreme angle of attack performance.

  • Brightness control for the HSI display.

  • Multiplayer carrier deck spawning issues.

  • Wingtip vortices errors at low airspeed.

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I don't think anyone is asking for huge dev diaries here. Although if you're looking for an example of a niche company absolutely killing it in once-a-week posts,

https://forum.paradoxplaza.com/forum/index.php?threads/stellaris-dev-diary-122-planetary-rework-part-2-of-4.1115992/

In any case, I think people are more asking for simple, general things.

- What kind of changes are in the patches

- What kind of additions are coming to CMFI

- What (broadly) will be coming to CMRT

- What bugs/TOE/OOB/suggestions by the community have the devs noticed, and what has been passed on to developers

 

An example of this done right is how BTR's great post in the CMBS tech forum was received

What would bring this to a level I think would absolutely impress the community is to say, "Coming with the CMBS patch are the changes pointed out to us by community member BTR back in 2015!" with a side-by-side of fixed models.

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"...if you're looking for an example of a niche company..."

It's hard to understand why companies like Paradox are being used as examples that BF should find it easy to duplicate.  Paradox Interactive is not a little niche company like BF.  It can afford staff to do all the things requested:

On May 31, 2016, trading in Paradox Interactive commenced on Nasdaq First North under the symbol PDX.[1] The initial price offering was 33 SEK (3.96 USD)[6] valuing the company at 3,485 million SEK (420 million USD).

 

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True, but there are plenty of examples of studios that are composed of very small teams providing community updates: Graviteam, John Tiller's teams, DCS and their contractors, and hey, the Unity of Command guys post blogs monthly - and their team is two people: https://unityofcommand.net/blog/

Again, not meant as criticism, but lots of people are doing it on a shoestring, nearly alone. VR Designs literally only has one developer (he makes the Decisive Campaigns series), and he provides design blogs as well: http://www.vrdesigns.net/?p=1829

Actually, speak of the devil, the John Tiller guys just posted their first video: http://www.wargamedesignstudio.com/2018/08/23/panzer-battles-north-africa-1941-youtube-video-1/

Edited by Snake726

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One also has to look at the complexity issue.  The examples above are of relatively simple top down 2D games that have well-established engines.  What BF has successfully accomplished is to create families of complex 3D games based on their own very unique proprietary engine with good AI that normally would take a much larger team and a much larger budget.

It's as if BF was competing with a huge outfit like MS.   It is not surprising (to me at least) that BF is fully time-committed to completing their (relative to the games noted above) very complex CM2 tasks.  

Perhaps the issue here is that folks who love social media and expect 2 b in constant communication with others and having instant info gratification find it hard to be out of contact.  

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Families of 3D games that use the same engine for over a decade now.  I'll grant that they have done some very nice updates to the engine in that decade but they have not been starting from scratch with each release.

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@Erwin you're going to pretty fantastic lengths to excuse bad communication. As several people have pointed out numerous times, we're not asking for much more than a couple sentences every so often, which would maybe take five minutes to compose.

"In CMRT's next module we will be including the Polish First Army as a Soviet force. We had the units and oob largely in game already and used voice files from the other titles. Polish vehicles will display the white eagle crews often painted, rather than the red star."

 

 

Screen Shot 2018-08-24 at 4.59.14 PM.png

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53s followed by an unending thread asking additional details and don’t suggest for a moment that won’t happen.  Yes BF could post something like that, but let’s not imagine for even 53s that it would satisfy those asking for more info. 

The only thing that would satisfy this demand is an ongoing open communication channel with Steve. 

Edited by sburke

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We just had a pretty big info dump a few months and weeks ago. I could understand the b****ing before that but as of right now it's just pointless. They just upgraded the website, posted a bunch of SF2 stuff with screen shots (though Steve promised some more) and are in the middle of trying to get the game out. I don't care about updates, as of now I want them to get the game into my hands. Once that happens, Ok lets hear more stuff about whatever, but until then. Just. Give. Me. SF2.

 

Mord.

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2 hours ago, sburke said:

The only thing that would satisfy this demand is an ongoing open communication channel with Steve. 

It looks like that's what some want.  Ideally BF should set up a permanent video link broadcasting Steve and/or the BF team working, eating, sleeping etc. just so those who have to know what is going on minute by minute could have gratification.

Is this a generational phenomenon?  Some of us (seemingly older guys who have been camp followers since CM1 days) have no problem getting on with our lives for several months without any briefings from BF.  Others (social media generation) apparently require more interaction...   Maybe we need to feel sorry for them actually.  The ability to switch off and NOT be bombarded by info all the time is a wonderful luxury imo.

 

Edited by Erwin

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9 minutes ago, DougPhresh said:

Here's a one-man wargame that was well-received by RPS and Wargammer and he manages to post on a regular basis, explain how progress is coming along, explain why his updates are occasionally infrequent, and otherwise take the time to engage with the people who will buy his product.

http://www.armouredcommander.com/blog/

LOL you are kidding right?  That is an arcade game.  C'mon man let's keep this even within orchard items must less an apples to apples comparison.

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I'm not talking about the content, I'm talking about communicating the content.

Quote

– Added movement sounds for wheeled vehicles
– Reduced base bonus move chances slightly for all types of terrain
– Reduced base to-hit chances slightly for point fire
– If a unit is destroyed and it had been selected as the player target, the player target is now cleared
– Added an input event flush to the Wait function, should avoid the Windows spinning wheel of death again
– Changed from a “hatch open / hatch closed” system to a “Crew Exposed / Button Up” one
– If a position has no hatch, crew can only be BU
– For some weapons, crew must be CE to fire (eg. the MG on the PSW 221)
– For some very exposed open-topped vehicles, crew can only ever be CE
– Changed some code so that vehicles can have “turret”-mounted weapons without a rotatable turret, such as the Kfz 13

Is that really much different than an update on a CM title would be?

 

or this

https://unityofcommand.net/blog/2017/05/02/developer-diary-10-performance/#more-2339

Quote

It’s been a few months since the last diary entry, so frankly you’d be excused to think we’ve all gone AWOL or something. BUT! – we were in fact cheerfully working on various low level systems, and actually managed to get a lot of work done. The screenshots below show you approximately where we are with the rendering engine, that is, almost everything works now.

I was happy enough to load the game onto a laptop and start showing it, somewhat gingerly, to other developers at the Reboot Develop conference last week in Dubrovnik. We got a lot of positive feedback, which may or may not be down to devs being a supportive bunch and all. It did feel good to have a working game again.

 

Edited by DougPhresh

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35 minutes ago, DougPhresh said:

I'm not talking about the content, I'm talking about communicating the content.

Is that really much different than an update on a CM title would be?

or this

https://unityofcommand.net/blog/2017/05/02/developer-diary-10-performance/#more-2339

it sure is if you are talking about a lot less programming time required on the game.  You can't disconnect the content as workload from communicating a bunch of information (that is essentially useless other than to feed a user need to know they can do nothing with till the game is out) that is also workload.  C'mon man, look at it this way.  Would you like it if you had to stop what you were doing on your job to provide trivial information periodically to people just to feed their feeling they need to know.  I know I wouldn't.  Really IF they did this:

1. what would you do with that information other than use it as the basis to ask for more?  Answer that honestly. 

2. If you aren't going to ask more, what did getting that information really do for you? 

3. Was it worth the developers time no matter how brief?

Those are the questions I get stuck on.  If you can provide decent answers to those other than "I'd like to know" then maybe you have a shot at convincing them.  Some developers are answering and blogging because it is a way to generate interest.  It is marketing.  BF doesn't need to market, they need to produce. (I bet some part of you agrees with me 100% there :D )

I don't disagree that it would be nice to hear from Steve more on the game, but I don't see it as a requirement (that may be a strong word, but I think you get the gist).  Part of why I don't see it as important as invariably he gets asked or he suggests a timeline I am absolutely sure will be wrong and I cringe when he does it as I know when that time is up we will be back to - Steve SAID it would be out.

 

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As one who is not currently playing CM (all games still on my machines), I still stop by to see what's happening, so it has been very gratifying to see the information about upcoming releases. "When it's done" has always worked for me as a release date but that doesn't offset my desire for information about the development of releases. So thanks to Steve for the recent information and thanks to all the developers and the betas for this truly remarkable family of games. Now, about CM3...

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5 hours ago, sfhand said:

As one who is not currently playing CM (all games still on my machines), I still stop by to see what's happening, so it has been very gratifying to see the information about upcoming releases. "When it's done" has always worked for me as a release date but that doesn't offset my desire for information about the development of releases. So thanks to Steve for the recent information and thanks to all the developers and the betas for this truly remarkable family of games. Now, about CM3...

A quote to bump up a gentleman who is the epitome of class and civility.

And, yeah, what he said. ;)

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If what I read earlier in one of these threads - more frequent updates with less in each - then I will be happier.  As it is I've stopped playing CM games till the fix for running away from a perfectly good defensive position to stand in the open a few feet away issue is fixed.  I didn't want to revert back a release since that is usually a pain to keep straight.  Any other developer taking a year and  half to fix that would go on my never buy from again but BF has enough goodwill stored up that I'm still buying the next game ASAP.

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On 8/24/2018 at 7:54 AM, Erwin said:

One also has to look at the complexity issue.  The examples above are of relatively simple top down 2D games that have well-established engines.  What BF has successfully accomplished is to create families of complex 3D games based on their own very unique proprietary engine with good AI that normally would take a much larger team and a much larger budget.

Oh come on, quit making excuses like this. It's crazy. 

Go look at what 1CGS does with a small team and a limited budget for the IL2 Great Battles series - an extremely complex, 3D game based on their own unique proprietary engine. They are able to publish weekly updates very consistently and, if one isn't forthcoming, someone from 1CGS will post that a development isn't coming that particular week. It's become such a tradition that there's a very active topic where people discuss what they think is coming in that week's update. 

Again, that's from a team with a very limited budget and where every dollar and development hour has to be properly accounted for. This isn't EA or Ubisoft we are talking about here.

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On 8/24/2018 at 9:04 PM, sburke said:

what would you do with that information other than use it as the basis to ask for more?  Answer that honestly. 

Well, what's wrong with that? The point of a forum is to well, discuss the game. If people are asking more questions, that means they are interested in what's being developed. That's how good rapport is developed. 

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2 hours ago, LukeFF said:

Well, what's wrong with that? The point of a forum is to well, discuss the game. If people are asking more questions, that means they are interested in what's being developed. That's how good rapport is developed. 

wasn't a question of right or wrong - just clarification.  A lot of this is stated as BF should give some kind of periodic update and folks would be happy with that.  The question was is that really what is being asked, just a periodic update or more of an interaction?

Now you know what the odds are of getting Steve involved in a regular interaction and also knowing how small a shop BF is, do you really think that is the best use of the devs time?  The point of a forum is interaction, but not necessarily interaction with the developer.

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This whole "time" excuse is bizarre. Here are two very small, very complicated, niche wargames. How much "time" are the developers wasting by posting updates?

Because they have been hitting their release dates, while updating the community and  listening to feedback.

http://nws-online.proboards.com/thread/1445/rule-waves-2-developers-journal

http://forum.game-labs.net/topic/22735-work-in-progress-dreadnoughts/

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On 8/24/2018 at 4:59 PM, DougPhresh said:

"In CMRT's next module we will be including the Polish First Army as a Soviet force. We had the units and oob largely in game already and used voice files from the other titles. Polish vehicles will display the white eagle crews often painted, rather than the red star."

🤗 Any word on the Warsaw Uprising?

11 hours ago, SgtHatred said:

Wouldn't it be wonderful if people just shoveled money at you when you asked for it and kept their damned mouths shut otherwise? Don't ask questions, just give money.

It would be! The only way to accomplish that is to either become a government or a bank.

All snarky-ness aside, I recently got my hands on FB  -- so I can wait for half a year or whatever. This being said, many mods I follow for various games have monthly updates. Every month they put up a big update with screenshots, estimates and changelogs. On many projects, modders got a community manager person. Volunteers, maybe from the community, that do what the devs can't. Sometimes, these guys also function as moderators, and keep the community in check. All of this frees up dev time.

I really liked the AARs for CMSF2, they were well-informative for me.

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4 hours ago, DougPhresh said:

This whole "time" excuse is bizarre. Here are two very small, very complicated, niche wargames. How much "time" are the developers wasting by posting updates?

Because they have been hitting their release dates, while updating the community and  listening to feedback.

http://nws-online.proboards.com/thread/1445/rule-waves-2-developers-journal

http://forum.game-labs.net/topic/22735-work-in-progress-dreadnoughts/

I don't see much value in comparisons. Why can he do this but I can't? etc

Also I thought this subject was addressed in Steve's posts last months. He basically agreed that they had be silent for too long. Also he explained why he won't be doing weekly/monthly dev updates or the likes of that. Steve explained that for him there is no easy 'going on the forum for a minute'. If he goes, he goes full retard ;-). All kidding aside, I understand that when he posts something he wants to be there to read the response and reply follow up questions.
It's not 'possible' for him to just post something in a few minutes and than move on. First, thinking what to post exactly takes up time. Than he will want to add some this and that to it and before you know it (half) a day has passed. Iirc that's basically his explanation and I dig it.
He theoretically could just come on the forum once a week, drop some info while timeboxing himself and go do other things. But that's not how he rolls, which is in the end his decision.

Personally, I'm fine with this organized chaos. When the time is right, information will come. If you have interest in the info's, just check the website at your leisure. To entertain you in the mean time, a forum is available to discuss the game if one is not to busy playing it. 

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Unity of Command 2 is not simple, or 2D - for the second game, two developers are creating an entire 3D engine, and then the game system, and then the content, on top. It's taken them about two years so far. Nothing simple about that. 

DCS is also not simple - each plane or helicopter is essentially a new, separate physics engine inside of the core game, taking at least a couple years to develop.

The John Tiller games are probably the most similar to the current state of Battlefront development - neither team is currently developing a new engine, but rather are developing new content for their existing engines. Whether it is 2D or 3D does not matter in terms of content creation: both require map creation, OOB research, art assets, scenario creation, campaign creation etc.

Again, some of these teams are literally two people. Battlefront can find the time if they wish to. You don't need to pay several salaries to write a blog post. If you don't know what you're working on, and so can't think about how to write an update post, then there are bigger problems at hand.

Battlefront doesn't *need* to do anything - fans are just suggesting that the series might do well to keep up the appearance that the lights are on. This is why so many other very, very small studios in the same niche wargaming space are making an effort to do so. People are suggesting this as a positive addition, not a criticism to be ardently defended against - as if the Battlefront team needs every waking moment to work, and the rest to sleep - they don't even have time to eat, let alone write a blog post one every 6 months: such a thing will slow down development! [/s]

Edited by Snake726

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