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BFC - Time to Rethink the 'Roadmap'?

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I think the statement about CMBB outselling CMBO is incorrect.

I recall comments from Steve saying that Yes CMBB had great sells from the true war gamer (those that tend to seek such games) but that they had more sells for CMBO from the casual gamer market which is and by far a much larger market and that is a majority a American market and they only buy games with American forces. Thus almost every game company will always start a series with a match up with American forces involved.

I also remember each game had less sells. CMBO outsold CMBB which outsold CMAF (between code issue and declining sells, that was what brought about CMII)

If CM3 does ever happen, it will be for similar reasons.

I have a hard time not believing each release is declining in sales. There is nothing to show any growth going on that I can tell.

and second, its already been mentioned in many threads as to the limits they have hit in this engine and that they re not going to be able to do much more with it.

 

So at some point those two things will fuel a change if the change ever happens.

So if enough keep buying and can live with the present capabilities of the current engine. Then maybe more past the list I mentioned could happen. But from what I sense, we keep losing more and more players to other things and more players keep expecting improvements that will never come under the present engine.  So sales will continue to drop til they bite the bullet and start again or they just say, time to retire.

 

 

 

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To confirm...

CMBO kicked arse

CMBB kicked butt

CMAK kicked tush

:)

Anybody that thinks an Eastern Front game could outsell a Western Front (1944/45) game is living in an alternate universe where such a thing is possible.  The world we live in doesn't work that way.  CMBO was the best seller (by far) for CM1, CMBN has been the best seller (by far) for CM2.  Whenever CM3 comes into being, whatever Western Front game we have for it will most likely outsell all the others (by far).  The great thing about Eastern Front games is that they sell pretty well forever, whereas some of the other areas lose some luster over time.  That said, we're pretty pleased by the continued sales of all of our CM2 games.  Hence us continuing to add content for them.

As for the speculation of a future new engine (CM3), for sure it won't have the same content of CM2 as CM2 didn't have the same content as CM1.  One can not just upgrade a part of an Engine without having to re-engineer pretty much everything else.  The best that can happen is what we call "cribbing" of code.  Oh, say something like the core of armor penetration calculations.  Those can be moved over, but a lot of work is needed to get them to work within the new environment.  Remember, code like this interacts with the 3D environment.  Change anything about the 3D environment and guess what?  Gotta change anything that interacts with it.

Cripes, look at how difficult it has been for us to move CMSF1 (CM2 Engine 0) content over to CMSF2 (CM2 Engine 4).  So many basic things changed between CMSF2 and CMBN, and since CMBN, that it's taken us more than a year to move the stuff over.  Moving to an entirely new engine is basically starting over again.

Steve

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1 hour ago, Battlefront.com said:

Cripes, look at how difficult it has been for us to move CMSF1 (CM2 Engine 0) content over to CMSF2 (CM2 Engine 4).  So many basic things changed between CMSF2 and CMBN, and since CMBN, that it's taken us more than a year to move the stuff over.  Moving to an entirely new engine is basically starting over again.

Steve

One could imagine the TOE could carry over as well which is also a bottleneck.

Even if a hypothetical new engine would use its own TOE format, the information can be stored in an engine independent format and conversion to the correct format can be automated.

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3 hours ago, Battlefront.com said:

Cripes, look at how difficult it has been for us to move CMSF1 (CM2 Engine 0) content over to CMSF2 (CM2 Engine 4).  So many basic things changed between CMSF2 and CMBN, and since CMBN, that it's taken us more than a year to move the stuff over.  Moving to an entirely new engine is basically starting over again.

Steve

So once CMSF 2 is done, it shouldn't take much time to release the modules for CMFI and CMRT?  I sincerly doubt that. If all this proves one thing, it is that CM has become too complicated for such a small team.

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4 hours ago, Battlefront.com said:

CMBN has been the best seller (by far) for CM2.  Whenever CM3 comes into being, whatever Western Front game we have for it will most likely outsell all the others (by far).

Not saying you're wrong about Western Front bringing in more customers, but there could also be a bit of a first mover bias here, for lack of better term. The first game in a new series is often going to sell the best, since it will be on the market the longest and will be the first game to showcase new technology, gameplay, graphics, etc. So if you keep going back to Normandy every time you update the engine significantly, then of course Normandy will be what sells the most.

In a game like Combat Mission, where the core gameplay and engine are very similar between games, a lot of people will want the first game, then many will want the second game, some the third game, but very few will buy all of them. Because there comes a saturation point where diminishing returns kick in, seem from the player's perspective.

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Interesting to note that in the golden era of cardboard wargames, Eastern Front was by far the most popular - and the largest market was the US.  Everyone wanted to play the Germans (only a few preferred to play the US or Brits - and you had to practically pay people to play the Soviets). 

So, not sure if time and/or demographics has changed the demand for theatres of WW2 or, as you say,  if it's a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Edited by Erwin

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20 hours ago, Sublime said:

Also like Kaunitz mentioned fortifications - Kaunitz IDK how long you.ve been around, did you play the original SF?  Because fortifications are actually very relevant to this if you look at the trench issue. In SF trenches were actual depressioms in the map, like.. A real trench would be. They looked kinda huge because the 8x8 but whatever. The problem was... The enemy could see the trenches immediately - they were part of the map and there was no way to fog of war it.  Eventually they got foxholes and trenches of a different sort in to BN and ditched the old system.  Of course then we had nigh on endless problems with the troops staying in the holes, or finding reason enough to purchase these fortifications in a QB that justifies the points.

 

Still I think that this issue is probably surmountable in the current engine if you would allow soldiers to clip through the ground mesh? Not pretty but it could solve problems functionally? I don't know anything about the inner workings of the engine so I can't tell.

I'm not denying that there are issues/things that could be better (fortifications, crew-served weapons can't be remounted, urban warfare, targeting the ground for area fire) but I think many of them could be solved/improved with some effort within the current engine? The engine seems to be quite flexible (just take the "look around the corner" thing that got patched into the game).

 

@Erwin:

Blame it on "Saving Private Ryan" (1998). And Band of Brothers (2001).

Edited by Kaunitz

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32 minutes ago, Erwin said:

Interesting to note that in the golden era of cardboard wargames, Eastern Front was by far the most popular - and the largest market was the US.  Everyone wanted to play the Germans (only a few preferred to play the US or Brits - and you had to practically pay people to play the Soviets).

Erwin is telling the exact truth. Another surefire seller, if not quite in the same league as the East Front, was the Desert War in North Africa. The reasons for this, I think, are mostly demographic, which is a complex subject I will save for another time.

Michael

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20 minutes ago, Kaunitz said:

Blame it on "Saving Private Ryan" (1998). And Band of Brothers (2001).

I think that has a lot to do with it. In the '60s, '70s, and '80s (which were as Erwin puts it, "... the golden era of cardboard wargames...") players were of a generation or two that had grown up in an era where there was a great deal of access to documentaries about WW II. If the information therein was not always accurate or complete, nevertheless there was a broad consensus about what took place, why it unfolded the way it did, and why it was important. Since the '80s, a new generation has grown up in something of an information vacuum about the war, which vacuum has been partially filled by popular entertainments that are largely hogwash structured by formulae that have little or nothing to do with historical truth. And to a very large extent younger gamers seek games that allow them to reproduce what they experience in those entertainments rather than anything that might have actually gone down in the real war. And they may react with disappointment if offered anything else, even if it can be pointed out that what they are being offered is backed by substantial historical documentation.

SPR and BoB are fun entertainments, but we need to be careful before we confuse them with factual presentations. Even worse are any movies featuring such big stars as Tom Cruise, just to take a name out of the hat.

Michael

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52 minutes ago, Michael Emrys said:

Since the '80s, a new generation has grown up in something of an information vacuum about the war, which vacuum has been partially filled by popular entertainments that are largely hogwash structured by formulae that have little or nothing to do with historical truth. And to a very large extent younger gamers seek games that allow them to reproduce what they experience in those entertainments rather than anything that might have actually gone down in the real war. And they may react with disappointment if offered anything else, even if it can be pointed out that what they are being offered is backed by substantial historical documentation.

I think this argument is very interesting, but I'm not totally convinced it's true.

Instead of an informaton vacuum, I think we're now living in an information deluge. Accurate information about the war has never been easier to come by, but of course that supposed people are interested in historical accuracy.

I think for those of us who are fascinated by real history, it can sometimes be difficult to imagine that many other people are less concerned with historical accuracy than we are. It's not that they can't access the real information, it's just that they find imagination and fantasy more entertaining than what actually happened. It's not that they don't know it's not true, it's that they don't really care.

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1 hour ago, Kaunitz said:
22 hours ago, Sublime said:

like.. A real trench would be. They looked kinda huge because the 8x8 but whatever. The problem was... The enemy could see the trenches immediately - they were part of the map and there was no way to fog of war it.  Eventually they got foxholes and trenches of a different sort in to BN and ditched the old system.  Of course then we had nigh on endless problems with the troops staying in the holes, or finding reason enough to purchase these fortifications in a QB that justifies the points.

 

Still I think that this issue is probably surmountable in the current engine if you would allow soldiers to clip through the ground mesh?

Or make the ground deform dynamically when the trench is spotted, like a crater is made every time a shell hits the ground.

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23 minutes ago, Bulletpoint said:

I think for those of us who are fascinated by real history, it can sometimes be difficult to imagine that many other people are less concerned with historical accuracy than we are. It's not that they can't access the real information, it's just that they find imagination and fantasy more entertaining than what actually happened. It's not that they don't know it's not true, it's that they don't really care.

I think you've made a very good point. As I posted earlier, it can be a very complex subject. There has indeed been a deluge of written material over the last 40 years on various aspects of the war, and one can certainly learn a lot if one is willing to exert the effort. But the popular media, which is all that a huge majority of the populous are interested in, have a tendency to bias perceptions away from critical acuteness. They aren't making an effort to sift through the available materials and instead just gulp down what they are spoon fed.

Michael

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Thanks Steve

Nice to have a comment from the source.

It sounds like everything is doing well as to your continued sells of games. (so we known you guys will be around for a while still giving us a great product.)

Second, it also seems you do see a day when CM3 will happen. (So sounds like retirement is not a thought process that is strong at the moment)

So if nothing else, it appears we will be given you our business for many years to come.

 

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"Anyone who thinks so is living in another universe.." - Steve

Wow a little harsh for a 'IIRC' about sales? LOL you make it seem like I claim there was psychic contact with aliens, or Nazi VBIEDs, or some such. :D

i love BFCs work but they seem to be the inverse on calculating time as my boss in real life. We.ll have to paint the inside of an apartment and he.ll be telling me it.s gonna take all week; I bet him it.ll be 2 days tops, we argue, put money on it, he loses. 

BFC always is a bit over optimistic on like... Every release ever. Which is fine, Id rather see finished products that the beta products everyone gets away with selling these days.

That said... Just to release SF2, the FI, RT, FB, and BS modules (lets just say 1 apiece) I could easily see taking us to mid 2020.

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9 hours ago, Battlefront.com said:

Whenever CM3 comes into being, whatever Western Front game we have for it   

new engine (CM3), for sure it won't have the same content of CM2 as CM2 didn't have the same content as CM1. 

Moving to an entirely new engine is basically starting over again.   

Interesting .................... I think this might mean the first game of the CM3 engine will be World War Two, Western Front?  

I admit I don't understand the "won't have the same content" statement.  Maybe because CM1 was before my time.   My interpretation of "content" is armor, light armor, infantry etc. arranged in their historical TOE by nationality.  However it doesn't seem like my simplistic interpretation is really what was intended.  So, I'm not sure what content means in the above quote.          

The last sentence quoted is easy enough to understand:  New engine = a lot of work = a lot of time. 

Interesting topic. 

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31 minutes ago, MOS:96B2P said:

Interesting .................... I think this might mean the first game of the CM3 engine will be World War Two, Western Front?  

 

Not necessarily. CMSF was the first game of CMX2. IIRC the team wanted to go somewhere different after dwelling in WWII for years.

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47 minutes ago, Sequoia said:

Not necessarily. CMSF was the first game of CMX2. IIRC the team wanted to go somewhere different after dwelling in WWII for years.

It's time for...

SPACE LOBSTERS OF DOOM!!!

:D

Michael

Edited by Michael Emrys

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1 hour ago, MOS:96B2P said:

 

I admit I don't understand the "won't have the same content" statement.  

Hopefully it does not mean that the scope of the individual basegames/ modules will be even more narrow then we have now with CM2. Something like 3-4 months timescale, fairly limited formations to chose from as well as somewhat limited to what theatres/ locations that can be simulated with each CM2 product.

That would be the wrong way to go imo...narrower scope that is.

What i mean is that the scenarios that would come with such a narrower release might be 'good enough' to SELL but naŕrowing the scope further might risk limiting the room for imagination amongst the community scenario designers...it might become difficult to come up with new cool scenario idea in such a narrow timeframe with limited forced/equipment to chose from. That would be BAD ! Combat mission needs the community stuff to maintain intrest in the game between releases. CM2 is already 'close' to being to limited in scope with each individual release imo...CM3 does not need to be even narrower...

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5 hours ago, Bulletpoint said:

Accurate information about the war has never been easier to come by

And more people not interested in acquiring accurate knowledge about history.  We live in an era where most are just trying to keep their heads above water and only us older baby boomers have the luxury of time-consuming intellectual (vs wrist twitch) hobbies.

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1 hour ago, MOS:96B2P said:

My interpretation of "content" is armor, light armor, infantry etc. arranged in their historical TOE by nationality. 

Oh I am pretty sure they will want to stick to the formula of accurate TO&E. When CMBN came out it didn't cover the same units as CMBO and had less of them modelled in the TO&E. Over time I think they have more equipment types in the game after adding the modules and the vehicle pack. I think he just meant that if and when the next engine is developed it the first content will be what makes sense to the game and will also use up to date research so the coverage will not be route from the old one.

That's what I think anyway.

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1 minute ago, RepsolCBR said:

I don't understand the "won't have the same content" statement. 

Wonder if they are looking at a modified "Star Citizen" model - players have to buy individual units and packages and getting access to all features costs a lot more $.

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2 hours ago, Sublime said:

"Anyone who thinks so is living in another universe.." - Steve

Wow a little harsh for a 'IIRC' about sales? LOL you make it seem like I claim there was psychic contact with aliens, or Nazi VBIEDs, or some such. :D

While I clearly cannot speak for Steve I doubt that was directed at you as a put down. We have had this conversation about Eastern Front vs Western Front many many times and there are people that just will not accept the fact that Western Front games outsell Eastern Front games. You can already see it in other people's answers above.

Steve has had this argument with people before - he has actual sales date to go by. Some Eastern Front fans just don't accept that there are actual reality facts behind Steve's opinion.

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5 minutes ago, FlammenwerferX said:

Wait, but is CM3 more than just speculation at this point? 

11 hours ago, Battlefront.com said:

As for the speculation of a future new engine (CM3)

Sounds like just speculation to me :D

It can be fun though.

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