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On 8/17/2019 at 4:27 AM, Aragorn2002 said:

I hope you're right , really. But I'm not optimistic.

Optimism or not, he is correct that the CMRT module has been in development for some time now.  I think as of this week all of the artwork will be complete.  That includes new 3D terrain models to give the game a bit more of an urban Prussian feel to it.

On 8/17/2019 at 4:27 AM, Aragorn2002 said:

I think BF could do worse than starting to listen to the community more.

This sentiment always amuses me because what it really comes down to is "I think BF could do worse than starting to listen to me more".  Sorry to inform you, our customer base has never, and will never, agree on development priorities.  However, Eastern Front fans have consistently been the ones to overestimate their relative size as a group.  And I say that as someone who has always had no problem telling you all that I think the Eastern Front is the most interesting theater to simulate.

On 8/17/2019 at 4:27 AM, Aragorn2002 said:

They could be produced much faster, make more cash and keep everybody happy.

Trying to make people happy who go out of their way to be unhappy is a fool's errand.  Gamers are notorious complainers, wargamers are even more so.  If we increased our output we'd be heavily criticized for a dozen reasons EVEN if we didn't sacrifice quality.  But especially if we sacrificed quality.

On 8/17/2019 at 4:27 AM, Aragorn2002 said:

Just my two cents, but I know that I'm not alone in my opinion.

There are many people that share the opinion that the world is flat.  What should the cartographers do with that information?

On 8/17/2019 at 4:27 AM, Aragorn2002 said:

You have the best wargame ever made and still websites like Wargamer hardly ever mention you, or just post some bad screenshots. They even make jokes about your release dates. Food for thought.

Doesn't bother us.  We've had these sorts of problems since 1998.  Consistently.  Look at the most successful games out there and you'll find people bad mouthing, slandering, and otherwise being right bastards towards the people that make them.  Of course I'd rather have people belittling our efforts while getting rich from them.  But we chose to make wargames, so we are destined to be belittled without the wealth.

On 8/17/2019 at 4:27 AM, Aragorn2002 said:

And last, but by no means least. Do something about your PR. Post regular information and screenshots on the forum. Keep us informed about your progress. Form a team of volunteers to post short AAR's or something. It will attract many forum members and publicity.

On this point I partly agree.  The problem with putting out more information is it increases expectations, which increases demands, which increases complaints when expectations and demands are not met.  We definitely could spend more time promoting our games, but that would come at the expense of production.  And since production appears to be your biggest gripe with us, maybe you might prefer us to keep things as they are?

Now, with all that said... we definitely won't ever try to make a Module as complex as Rome to Victory again.  We learned our lesson that doing something that expansive means either spending way more time on it than we want or it means cutting so many corners that it doesn't make sense to do it in the first place.  In fact, we will likely shift to Packs instead of Modules after we've put out the CMRT Module.  Less stuff, faster production, lower cost to customers.  It's probably the right way to go.

Steve

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Warts 'n' all said:

Brilliant!

That part of the discussion isn't about the world being flat or not. And Steve seems to agree with more I'm saying than he cares to admit. His remarks about packs instead of modules confirm that. Personally I would prefer packs over modules, if that means we can have them on a more regular base.

 

Edited by Aragorn2002

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Battlefront.com said:

On this point I partly agree.  The problem with putting out more information is it increases expectations, which increases demands, which increases complaints when expectations and demands are not met.  We definitely could spend more time promoting our games, but that would come at the expense of production.  And since production appears to be your biggest gripe with us, maybe you might prefer us to keep things as they are?

That argument has being used too many times and it not valid, als many, many people already have tried to explain over the past years. And the lack of information hasn't exactly been doing wonders for your production so far. So no, I definitely wouldn't want to keep things as they are.

Edited by Aragorn2002

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I recall BFC made a tactical error by opening the original CM2 game engine/CMSF(1) discussion forum much too early in the game's development. That allowed posters months and months to construct impossible fantasy cloud castles imagining what the new game engine would entail. Absurd, unachievable expectations that only resulted in the posters' disappointment when the real world game was released. The opposite was true of CMFI. The CM community didn't have a clue an Italian theater game was under development. Then one day a new discussion forum opened with preorder notices and the forum went wild with joy. No months-and-months to build expectations, they were simply happy with what they got.

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Posted (edited)
38 minutes ago, MikeyD said:

I recall BFC made a tactical error by opening the original CM2 game engine/CMSF(1) discussion forum much too early in the game's development. That allowed posters months and months to construct impossible fantasy cloud castles imagining what the new game engine would entail. Absurd, unachievable expectations that only resulted in the posters' disappointment when the real world game was released. The opposite was true of CMFI. The CM community didn't have a clue an Italian theater game was under development. Then one day a new discussion forum opened with preorder notices and the forum went wild with joy. No months-and-months to build expectations, they were simply happy with what they got.

I'm sorry, but that is such a non-argument. Announcing a game early also results in (by far the most) people being happy and looking forward to what is coming. Regular updates will encourage realism and prevent disappointment. Let's not forget that BF did raise the hope of the community by picturing a future in which base games would be followed by a whole series of modules and packs on a more or less regular base. Announcing a game in an early stage doesn't have to be a problem, as long as regular updates are provided about what can be expected and what belongs to the realm of fantasy. The radio silence of the past years has pissed more people off than the fact that it all takes a lot longer than expected. Against the time the CMRT module will be released, FIVE years will have passed (if we're lucky that is). That's what I call failure. Like Steve already mentioned lessons should be learned and another approach has to be chosen. Not because I say so. I'm just someone who thinks this world is flat. But this simply isn't working.

Edited by Aragorn2002

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Announcing things 'early' also comes with the benefit that hopefully a meaningful discussion between the developer and the customers can take place...

Every now and again it happens that we the customers come up with some ideas that the developers have not thought of...good ideas 😎...that can be implemented in the product.

Surely it must be a good thing for a developer to get a feel for what the customers want...what do they considder to be important...and what is less so...

Such an discussion oght to provide the developers with some valuable feedback...

Better to know what the buyers WANT...prior to release...prior to feature complete...as opposed to after...

 

 

 

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Posted (edited)

Personally, the development communication and release dates are of no concern to me.

A software company has a product and sells it. It does not sell what it does not yet have (except some pre-order exceptions). Whenever I am contemplating things that have not yet been released, it just means that I am probably bored. Which is fine in itself, as long as it doesn't get me annoyed. That is then my problem, not the software company's problem.

It was only the initial state of the v4 upgrades that I was not happy about. I have mixed feelings about that time between v4.00 and v4.02.

Edited by Kevin2k

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8 hours ago, Battlefront.com said:

Now, with all that said... we definitely won't ever try to make a Module as complex as Rome to Victory again.  We learned our lesson that doing something that expansive means either spending way more time on it than we want or it means cutting so many corners that it doesn't make sense to do it in the first place.  In fact, we will likely shift to Packs instead of Modules after we've put out the CMRT Module.  Less stuff, faster production, lower cost to customers.  It's probably the right way to go.

I definitely can appreciate this. R2V feels like it has "dragged," both its own development and development of other CM projects over the past few years. I also think that more packs is a good idea. I really like the two battlepacks that have been released thus far. More maps, scenario's and campaigns is always a good thing. Very much hoping to see (a lot) more of these in the near future. I also liked the vehicle pack for CMBN, and I really hope we see more vehicle and general packs like this in the future as well. Fore example, an engineering vehicle pack for the modern titles, even if it was just an M1 and T-72 with mine plows. Or a slightly larger pack that adds in a new formation, such as unconventional fighters for CMBS as an example. 

That said, the main issue I see with switching from larger modules to smaller packs is content getting spread out and piecemealed, which could fragment the multiplayer community. Perhaps the packs adding content would be better if it was more niche, out of the way content that isn't necessary for most people to enjoy the game, but still there for those who want it. A ready example in my mind is partisans in the WWII titles. Some really want to see them, but I think most are fine playing CMBN for its conventional warfare and wouldn't care about the lack of the French Resistance. I'm sure the guys at BFC who have to make these decisions for real have a pretty good idea of how to move forward. At the end of the day, as long as we are getting more CM content I'll be happy, and if that content comes out at shorter time intervals all the better. 

 

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Various packs being released sounds nice but the fact that BFC now considders modules to perhaps be to large a projects to be feasable sounds a bit worrying i have to say...

How about new basegames ? game engine updates ?...

Will we see any more of those going forward ?

 

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1 hour ago, RepsolCBR said:

Announcing things 'early' also comes with the benefit that hopefully a meaningful discussion between the developer and the customers can take place...

It will *not* be early enough, unless you are "announcing" something brand new that came out of a lunch meeting between Steve and Charles. See below...

1 hour ago, RepsolCBR said:

Every now and again it happens that we the customers come up with some ideas that the developers have not thought of...good ideas 😎...that can be implemented in the product.

Clearly listening to customers is the right thing.

Also clearly BFC have / are doing that. I know that's now what many people want to hear and not at all what @RepsolCBR is talking about but they are a successful company so they must be providing what people want.

The issue with what @RepsolCBR is talking about is that, once a plan for a new product, game, module has been created and is worthwhile announcing, the window for getting non trivial customer feedback has closed. Sure, you can tweak a little thing here or there but meaningful change to the plan is just not going to happen. I suppose unless you scrap it and start over.

The real value that customers, like us, can give is constructive thoughts on their current offerings. *That* feedback can be taken into that lunch meeting between Steve and Charles and the following planning meetings and consultation meetings with the other internal stake holders. What I am saying is that customer feedback goes into the products even earlier than the announcement. So, threads like suggestions, what we want to see in CM3, what theatres we are interested in and the various discussions about how the UI works and the commands we want to see or not see, those are the things that fedback into BFC's products.

Oh and don't forget that if you have feedback and those ideas never make it into a product that does not mean the feedback was ignored. I realize no one wants to hear their ideas aren't going to be implemented because they are not seen as workable, or just not as important as many other things. Myself included. But not having your ideas implemented is not the same as being ignored.

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11 minutes ago, IanL said:

But not having your ideas implemented is not the same as being ignored.

I agree with this...no problem there 😉

Maybe with things like modules, packs and simular having a lenthy discussion might not be all that neccesary...I'm pretty sure that BFC knows (researches) more then most of us with regards to the various equipment and TOE/OOBs and stuff as well as historical accuracy for their scenarios and campaigns...

But maybe with regards to any eventual CM3 upgrade having an 'open' (on this forum) discussion with the players might be a nice way to go...

Maybe something like Paradox are doing with their development diaries....They took quite a bit of flak with one of their latest releases (imperator rome) for not listening enough to the customers...and that game is in serious trouble as i understand it...to few players !

They seems to have learned from  their mistake and in their current development diaries both for imperator and EU4 they are sharing their thoughts on future updates as well as asking the comunity for their ideas/suggestions  as how to move forward. What it looks like the developers does not have to spend a lot of time participating in the discussion ones the initial annoncement (dev diary) has been made. The forumites are doing most of 'the talking'...Sharing their wiews on the suggested change and comming up with various suggested tweaks and changes. The discussions in those dev diaries are pretty lenthy...and as said...not many posts needed by the develeopers...

Something simular sounds like a good idea to me. Atleast with regards to any CM3 development...

ex.

- DEV.1.    We are planning on adding multiplayer co-op in CM3. What do you guys think of this ? How should this be implemented ? What features would you like ?

- DEV.2.    We're planning to redo the entire AI programing interface for CM3...What would you like to see with regards to this...

 

 

 

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Posted (edited)

I don't have a problem with seeing more packs. I'd love to see more packs! I don't think they've been utilized near as well as they can be. But I take exception to it being after the RT module (and I hope Steve is just blowing off steam here because he's frustrated and stressed). CMFB should get its due with a CW module just like FI and BN got, THEN we could focus on just packs for the existing titles. I am much more interested in vehicles, weapon, formation packs than anything else and have been looking forward to seeing some more. I thought BN's had a good amount of content for its price. And I'd be happy to see them for all game titles. But I warn you now, there'll be just as much bitching over them as there is about modules being late because wargamers are a miserable lot by default and never happy and if not done strategically you'll be accused of milking the poor destitute guys that blow a couple hundred a month on nothing.

 

Mord.

P.S. I guarantee you right now indignant chests are puffing and heads are exploding on various forums around the net after that tidbit dropped.

Edited by Mord

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5 hours ago, IICptMillerII said:

That said, the main issue I see with switching from larger modules to smaller packs is content getting spread out and piecemealed, which could fragment the multiplayer community.

I thought multiplayer had been set up to where you could still play a battle as long as one player owned the DLC content present in a scenario?

 

Mord.

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7 hours ago, MikeyD said:

Absurd, unachievable expectations that only resulted in the posters' disappointment when the real world game was released.

There was a lot more going on with SF's release than "unachievable expectations". Lets be honest. SF was easily 8 months early. Paradox walked away without a scratch though, didn't they? BF learned a painful lesson and worked their asses off to rectify it and have more than made up for it in the 12 years since. They may suck sometimes with communicating and stuff can be beyond long in coming at points but I've never doubted them once after watching them brunt the storm and wrestle SF into shape.

I can get irritated with the silence sometimes but I think Elvis has been doing a good job keeping people up to speed these past few months. People are forgetting that. Communications have actually gotten better.

Mord.

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Posted (edited)
15 hours ago, Battlefront.com said:

I think as of this week all of the artwork will be complete.  That includes new 3D terrain models to give the game a bit more of an urban Prussian feel to it.

Nice little bone everyone ignored. I want to know more! @BFCElvis we need some RT screenies STAT!

 

Mord.

Edited by Mord

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All the way back on the 70's seasoned board wargames were calling themselves Grognards, which was a term originally used for the Imperial Napoleonic Old Guard Divisions rank and file and meant grumbler.

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1 hour ago, Mord said:

Nice little bone everyone ignored. I want to know more! @BFCElvis we need some RT screenies STAT!

Mord.

Yeah wait till they come, you are gonna love this s**t.  And I am not once of those East Front grognards.

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1 minute ago, sburke said:

Yeah wait till they come, you are gonna love this s**t.

BOING!

 

Mord.

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3 hours ago, Mord said:

I thought multiplayer had been set up to where you could still play a battle as long as one player owned the DLC content present in a scenario?

 

Mord.

If that's the case then there isn't a problem, which would be ideal. 

2 hours ago, Mord said:

I can get irritated with the silence sometimes but I think Elvis has been doing a good job keeping people up to speed these past few months. People are forgetting that. Communications have actually gotten better.

Completely agree. Communication has been much better recently. Credit to where it is due, BFC are making a conscious effort to improve here and in my opinion they are succeeding. 

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Thanks for noticing and noting Elvis' contribution to the communications aspect.  He wasn't hired just to be a mascot ;)

What I think everybody can agree upon, even grudgingly, is the most important thing for all of us is the games we produce.  The best PR with the worst product is not what people want.  So if we have to err on either PR or product, product is obviously what we should focus on.  No gamer would want it any other way.

That said, it doesn't mean we couldn't do PR better.  Or for that matter, our games better.  Breaking news is that life isn't perfect, so neither are games or game companies.  Late breaking news is customers aren't perfect either :D  The reason why you put up with us and we put up with you is the same... love of the games we make.  As long as we're both happy with that, the rest is not all that important in the big picture.

Getting back to my comments about Packs vs. Modules.  CMSF2 and R2V both took much longer to do than we wanted.  In effect they delayed each other and everything else we were working on.  Each had too many openings for compounding development hurdles.  It was unfortunate that both happened to be in development at the time we realized the issues.  Which gets us to the problems of talking too soon about a game.  The sooner we talk about something, the sooner customers firm up their concept of what the game is going to be like.  It makes it difficult for us to scale things back a bit to speed up development.

Steve

 

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2 hours ago, Battlefront.com said:

 He wasn't hired just to be a mascot ;)

I always assumed that he was hired on the strength of his excellent showing at Carnival 2 in Brockwell Park in September '78. 

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8 hours ago, Battlefront.com said:

Thanks for noticing and noting Elvis' contribution to the communications aspect.  He wasn't hired just to be a mascot ;)

He's been a tremendous help on a number of fronts, very much appreciated.

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18 hours ago, RepsolCBR said:

Something simular sounds like a good idea to me. Atleast with regards to any CM3 development...

ex.

- DEV.1.    We are planning on adding multiplayer co-op in CM3. What do you guys think of this ? How should this be implemented ? What features would you like ?

- DEV.2.    We're planning to redo the entire AI programing interface for CM3...What would you like to see with regards to this...

I like the idea. I would love to participate in discussions like that.

I can see an downside though. As Steve alluded too in his last post on this thread talking about things too early leaves us alone with our imagination and we can be let down once the game comes out and doesn't have some feature that was discuss or it works differently than we imagined. Personally I think on balance it would be a net positive but you have to admit there are some that would post for years about how sad it was that feature X was not done right (aka their way). So, it may depend on how much of that Steve wants to live with :D

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The thing to keep in mind is that we've been listening VERY closely to you guys for 20+ years.  The cumulative knowledge we've built up is already baked into whatever designs we come up with before we've even conceived of what to work on next.  Since whatever we do is directly related to the decades of feedback (i.e. we are not working on a successor to Mindcraft or the next Pokemon Go.  There's another bone for you all ;) ) a lot of the important stuff is already being taken into consideration.

For the most part customer feedback is best when there is something to lay hands on.  Conceptual feedback, if broad and not too specific, is also very good. Narrow, detail oriented feedback about things which haven't been made yet tends to have very little practical application from our standpoint.  That's where the bulk of the complex, skilled engineering takes place.  That's not something that can be done with customers.  Doesn't matter what the product is, it's a universal truth.

Steve

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