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Macisle

Engine's handling of connected section walls after modular section collapses

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Since this is where the eyeballs are are right now and the topic is relevant to some of the buildings in the CMSF2 demo, I thought I'd post here. I'm working on a map for CMRT that has a number of very large multi-section modular buildings and have a question/suggestion about how the Engine currently handles the remaining sections and their walls after a modular section collapses. As things stand, the Engine will maintain whatever original wall choices were made for the remaining connected sections. Meaning, if you had say, 13 levels of single doors, you will see a column of 13 levels of single doors. Here is an example from the CMSF2 demo (the top two levels had their walls knocked out by post-section collapse arty):

30754854767_ac3d3fb4b3_c.jpg

Obviously, this is very unnatural - both visually and tactically.

With large buildings like this, internal connecting section walls are sometimes removed by designers. This has a number of benefits, but in regards to section collapse, it creates a more realistic tactical situation in that remaining modular sections now have an open wall against incoming fire. Thus, for example a defending unit might have full protection from fire coming across intact outer walls, but much less protection from fire coming through sections with removed "internal" walls that were connected to the collapsed modular section. See the example below:

45645405202_395e7b2bf0_c.jpg

From the front, this building offers full protection, but much less from the rear. Thus, a realistic and juicy tactical situation is created in that the attacker could try to flank the strong point and take it from the rear. I've tested this on my map and it works a treat.

However, the downside is that the visual aspect is still not ideal. Sometimes it looks okay (like in the above pic, IMO). Others, very unnatural, depending on the building design and damage results. Like these magically floating buildings for example:

31823751018_0dd605cfe4_z.jpg

 

It seems to me that an obvious, low-investment solution would be for the Engine to simply swap out the wall sections on any remaining formerly-connected sections with the graphic and functionality of the current knocked-out wall section, whenever a connected modular section collapses. So, instead of a column of single doors or nothing, you get a column of knocked-out walls. That would both solve the visual issue and provide a realistic tactical situation (less protection and easier spotting, but still more than a removed wall). Here's a quickie graphic summing things up:

30754855047_e35c994019_b.jpg

 

Anyhoo, would love to see this addressed in an update/patch. Until then, I think case B is best for tall/very large multi-part buildings and I'm favoring that mostly on my map.

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A 'simple' solution assuming it can be programmed in easily enough. Gets my thumbs up but that doesn't count for much. :)

The other issue I've had with collapsing buildings, especially taller ones, is that when they collapse the rubble pile is as flat as a pancake. There's no difference after a 1 story or 14 story building collapse. I'm no building demolitions grog but all that destroyed rubble has to go somewhere. If a simple formula was created, say for every 3 stories that collapse it is replaced by 1 'story' of rubble, I think this would go somewhat towards creating more believable destroyed towns and cities in game. Not to mention the tactical problems of having sudden building entry points into upper levels, and troops possibly becoming trapped in lower levels. The rubble mound would also have to create a sloped mound over neighbouring action squares to allow troops to traverse etc. This may also add to the tactical problems the player has to face, particularly vehicle movement in tight areas.

I've noticed with some maps made for official releases and what I ended up doing with my own 'Lions of Carpiquet' campaign was to go in and manually create 'hills' where a ruined structure would be. Doesn't help for buildings that collapse in game but helps make a destroyed map look a bit more belivable at deployment. Sadly it's also an incredible time sink for a map maker.

My two cents plus sales tax.

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1 hour ago, Ithikial_AU said:

A 'simple' solution assuming it can be programmed in easily enough. Gets my thumbs up but that doesn't count for much. :)

The other issue I've had with collapsing buildings, especially taller ones, is that when they collapse the rubble pile is as flat as a pancake. There's no difference after a 1 story or 14 story building collapse. I'm no building demolitions grog but all that destroyed rubble has to go somewhere. If a simple formula was created, say for every 3 stories that collapse it is replaced by 1 'story' of rubble, I think this would go somewhat towards creating more believable destroyed towns and cities in game. Not to mention the tactical problems of having sudden building entry points into upper levels, and troops possibly becoming trapped in lower levels. The rubble mound would also have to create a sloped mound over neighbouring action squares to allow troops to traverse etc. This may also add to the tactical problems the player has to face, particularly vehicle movement in tight areas.

I've noticed with some maps made for official releases and what I ended up doing with my own 'Lions of Carpiquet' campaign was to go in and manually create 'hills' where a ruined structure would be. Doesn't help for buildings that collapse in game but helps make a destroyed map look a bit more belivable at deployment. Sadly it's also an incredible time sink for a map maker.

My two cents plus sales tax.

Yeah, the pancake look is definitely not ideal and I like your idea on the stories destroyed vs. stories of rubble created. That sounds like a hard coding job though, and maybe not doable for the current Engine,  since it would mean altering a fundamental map elevation state during the course of a battle.

I was trying to think in terms of the easiest way for BF to get a more natural state after section collapse. I've no idea how hard the coding would be, but since the knocked-out wall end state is already in the game both graphically and functionally and would solve the problem by simply applying it to any levels that were touching a now collapsed level (no matter what their initial state was), that would seem to be the way to go. If it were doable, that would sure be great to get into any upcoming patches/updates. 😀

CMRT Fester Platz Polozk is another good example of well-done "baked in" rubble. I may tackle some of that myself for the setup areas for battles 2-4 on my map (4 total planned currently) to show combat progress. But, like you say, it's very time intensive.  Not sure if I'm up for it. We'll see.

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22 hours ago, Macisle said:

Yeah, the pancake look is definitely not ideal and I like your idea on the stories destroyed vs. stories of rubble created. That sounds like a hard coding job though, and maybe not doable for the current Engine,  since it would mean altering a fundamental map elevation state during the course of a battle.

I was thinking BF could 'cheat' and replace the building and the surrounding action squars with 'new' indistructable buildings of rubble of X number of stories. No entry points, no windows but infantry could climber over and into neighbouring buildings.

Again all hypothetical from someone who isn't a programmer or knows how the guts of CM engine works. :P

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