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On 7/9/2020 at 2:44 PM, Probus said:

. I just have to agree to disagree that modding always brings chaos. After closely working with the Kerbal Space Program community, it seems like it can absolutely be done right. Just check out SpaceDock and CKAN for example:

Or just look at the Linux community.  :)

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The CMx2 engine is thirteen years old,  and it shows. So I say let's drop the demands for new theaters and new features and instead urge and allow them to focus on an entirely new game engine, CMx3.

I'm still buzzing over CMRV. I would never have named Indian, South African and Free French forces as additions I would love to see, but I've been enjoying them immensely since the game came out.

Almost every scenario & campaign ever made for CM (even officially) are semi-historical at best... do not overestimate the historical accuracy of the computer game that you play. I suspect fa

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11 hours ago, Freyberg said:

I just wish there were a bit more positivity in the community - we're all grown ups, aren't we? We realise that hard work is actually hard work...?

+1   Game software development is very hard - especially the AI part. 

In addition, while it is wonderful that BF have a govt contract earning them well-deserved extra cash, my experience with the govt is that there are always time-consuming "mission creep/extra requirements" that the govt often expect you to do (often for no extra money).   That raises a concern that BF CM2 development for the commercial market (ie us) may be slowed even more.  Another issue is that if the govt work is lucrative it will be very hard to not have that become the primary work of BF, regardless of what their stated intentions may be.  Been there, done that.  Money is very tempting.  

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CM philosophy is more 'historical tactical sim' than 'game' and a lot of effort goes into getting the physics, ballistics, force structure and equipment availability right. Opening up game data to be monkeyed with defeats the whole purpose. If CM were ever to produce that 'Space Lobsters' fantasy game they've joke about opening up game data wouldn't be an issue. Whose going to argue about the proper rate of fire of a Martian space blaster?

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2 minutes ago, MikeyD said:

CM philosophy is more 'historical tactical sim' than 'game' and a lot of effort goes into getting the physics, ballistics, force structure and equipment availability right. Opening up game data to be monkeyed with defeats the whole purpose. If CM were ever to produce that 'Space Lobsters' fantasy game they've joke about opening up game data wouldn't be an issue. Whose going to argue about the proper rate of fire of a Martian space blaster?

There's a difference, though, between the engine and the data - or maybe there isn't with CM, but in theory at least, giving someone the ability to add data e.g. weight, speed, calibre, ,muzzle velocity, rate of fire for a given vehicle, gun or small arm isn't the same as letting them muck about with how the engine crunches that data. That, of course, should be BF's and BF's alone to mess with. In addition, BF could act as gatekeeper for new additions, the data for much of which is already known, so they could do things like make sure nobody is trying to sneak a 90mm gun onto a Matilda.  :)

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7 minutes ago, MikeyD said:

Opening up game data to be monkeyed with defeats the whole purpose.

I think the real purpose is something entirely different.

How would the players react if they saw in reality how simple things are in this game?

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22 minutes ago, Bufo said:

IHow would the players react if they saw in reality how simple things are in this game?

I don't follow, in reality it's always either a 0 or a 1. We have many discussions here where deciding whether it should be a 0 or a 1 is shown to be anything but easy.

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2 hours ago, Erwin said:

my experience with the govt is that there are always time-consuming "mission creep/extra requirements" that the govt often expect you to do (often for no extra money)

I have worked on a lot of government bids and contracts.  You pray for mission creep post-award.  One thing the US government is good at is handing out paid change orders.  In reality, its how smart contractors make a lot of money.  You bid on the bare minimum requirements, plan on making almost nothing on the original bid, then make all your margin on the change orders.  Been that way for a long time.  All the work is up front getting into the procurement queue and winning your first contract.  And there are good reasons for doing it that way.   The key is having a very good project manager who can be disciplined and force discipline on your customer without pissing them off.

If anyone is complaining about not making money on a government contract, they are either being short-sighted or doing it wrong.  Also, if the government is asking you to do things you didn't agree to, you better look at the contract and SOW you signed.  That's your fault as much as their's.

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btw, my comments also reflect back on why it is somewhat favorable for BFC to be working with Slitherine on the MoD contract.  Slitherine has already done a lot of heavy lifting upfront to create an on ramp for companies like BFC.  It sounds like they have very competent project management process.

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On 7/8/2020 at 9:08 PM, RepsolCBR said:

 

Although the battle for Berlin has not really been on the top of my list as far as reading or playing goes... the upcomming CM release has sparked my intrest in this period far more...

I'm really looking forward to the game 😎

 

Me too.BF never disappoints. After all is said and done these guys are simply the best developers of wargames in the world. The module will be breathtaking, of that I'm sure. Although I also have a wishlist like everybody else (Eastern front 1942-1943, Finland 1939-1944 and North Africa 1940-1943), I will have everything I could possibly wish for when Fire and Rubble comes out. I have no idea what the future will bring after this module and we should prepare ourselves for even longer development times, but of one thing I'm sure: it will be stunning and second to none.

Edited by Aragorn2002
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I have a relatively small list...

-Distant gunshot sounds, they don't need to be specific for each weapon... it could be more generic (like the current "gun shot trail" sounds) but the sound of battle should go further than ~800m.

-Intermediate distance bitmaps... currently, for terrain, CM runs either at high detail or uses the tiny distant "minimaps". There seems to be no in between... which is strange as virtually every other thing on a CM battlefield has a range of various distant LOD's (perhaps the oddest exception being vineyards in CMFI... they are either visible or invisible, there's no in between).

-Individuality & independence is nice & all... however community is not without its merits.

Could a small independent company not work with other small independent companies to share things? The people behind reshade might know more about shaders than anybody at BFC, the people who make independent first person shooters might have better sounds to share? There are small independents working on amazing things in areas like voxel physics & learning AI... a deal with BFC might help them to train up the next Skynet.

You've seen yourself that working, with Slitherine, in areas that you might be lacking, can be beneficial for both parties.

Surely, as you're all competing against AAA games (and budgets of tens of millions of dollars), agreements could be reached?

-CMx2 was launched with a totally new theatre never seen (or even imagined) by most CMx1 players. Obviously, that means CMx3 should launch in Vietnam!

Edited by 37mm
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4 hours ago, Bufo said:

I think the real purpose is something entirely different.

How would the players react if they saw in reality how simple things are in this game?

That's just mean - and unfair. :(

You can't possibly believe the programming in this game is simple. Have you ever played other strategy games??

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7 hours ago, MikeyD said:

CM philosophy is more 'historical tactical sim' than 'game' and a lot of effort goes into getting the physics, ballistics, force structure and equipment availability right. Opening up game data to be monkeyed with defeats the whole purpose. If CM were ever to produce that 'Space Lobsters' fantasy game they've joke about opening up game data wouldn't be an issue. Whose going to argue about the proper rate of fire of a Martian space blaster?

I know I am talking to some true wargaming grognards. But, if BF just allowed new equipment, that would make a big difference. The developers could easily add a flag to anything added to the game.

  Many additions could be in the form of text files that a player could check for correctness. (I don't think the company would have time to check mods). e.g.

ADD VEHICLE (M901)

 {

  NAME = "M901 ITV";

  WEIGHT  = 12; // tons

  CREW = 4;

  ENGINE = V50XYZ; 

  MODEL = M901.mu; //based on M113

  TURRET (M27) // Hammerhead

  {

    WEAPON = M220A1; // TOW

    @ROF = 3.567; //Adjusted ROF of TOW

    POSITION = 1.1, 2.2, 3.3; 

OK, Thats way too much work!!!  I could imagine 100 variables that need to be setup. Not to mention the 3D model and textures. Plus separate equipment files. That's too much like real work. 😬

 

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I think my biggest concern with opening up the game for modding is that it would further split the community. It can already be tricky to find opponents for games and multiplayer campaigns who play the same games, modules and patches as I do.

So if people started modding too, you would also have to agree on what mods to use. And tactics that work with one mod wouldn't work with another, etc.

I like that everybody is on the same level playing field.

Edited by Bulletpoint
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6 hours ago, Bulletpoint said:

I think my biggest concern with opening up the game for modding is that it would further split the community. It can already be tricky to find opponents for games and multiplayer campaigns who play the same games, modules and patches as I do.

So if people started modding too, you would also have to agree on what mods to use. And tactics that work with one mod wouldn't work with another, etc.

I like that everybody is on the same level playing field.

Good point @Bulletpoint.  A system would have to be in place to assure version checking for multiplayer or only allow vanilla games.

Edited by Probus
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On 7/11/2020 at 12:37 PM, Thewood1 said:

I have worked on a lot of government bids and contracts.  You pray for mission creep post-award.  One thing the US government is good at is handing out paid change orders.  In reality, its how smart contractors make a lot of money.  You bid on the bare minimum requirements, plan on making almost nothing on the original bid, then make all your margin on the change orders.  Been that way for a long time.  All the work is up front getting into the procurement queue and winning your first contract.  And there are good reasons for doing it that way.   The key is having a very good project manager who can be disciplined and force discipline on your customer without pissing them off.

If anyone is complaining about not making money on a government contract, they are either being short-sighted or doing it wrong.  Also, if the government is asking you to do things you didn't agree to, you better look at the contract and SOW you signed.  That's your fault as much as their's.

Working as an engineer for the DoD I really hate your comments!!!  No matter how true they are!!!

Not exactly the same situation but there is creep and there are Creeps:

We had a contractor about 7 years ago who underbid all our other contractors significantly.  We asked them to check their numbers and they were fine with them.  We asked contracting to exclude them and instead, they awarded them the contract.  Since all we build are prototypes they knew there would be  changes and charged us each time anything was changed.  Fair enough.  So when the charges made up for the difference between their bid and the next lower bid, we froze all changes and made them internally. 

Then they were hit by flooding and started missing all their due dates.  That's OK, act of God, we gave them more time.  Then they started talking to us at design reviews about changes they wanted to make.

  "Since these 10 wires in the cable are spare, can we remove them?".  "Sure" we would say.

  "These label plates came back wrong from the printers, can we put labels over them?".  "No problem" we'd tell them.  And on and on.

Contract over, everything delivered.  In comes this giant bill for $100s of thousands of dollars where they had charged us for every allowance and mistake they made and fixed.  BTW, the SOW stated they had to inform us of the cost before any change was made to the design.  We now have a term for it.  Litigating your profit. (We later found out all the owners of the company were scum... I mean lawyers).  Its been 4 years and it is still in litigation.  Wouldn't surprise me if the JAG doesn't just give it to them.  The only consolation is that we have not bought nor have they won a single contract since this all began.  Fool me once, shame on you.  Fool me twice, shame on me.

Anyway, back to Battlefront...

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In your situation, there is a problem in either how you bid the job or in project management on the DoD side of things.  None of the project managers we have worked with on Army projects would have allowed any of that to happen.  Every change, whether agreed to verbally at first, had to documented.  No payments went out without a change order signed by project managers on both sides.  Revenue recognition was completely based on that.  Our customer would never have paid any final bill without documented and signed change orders.  And we as the supplier know not to do anything without the project manager and a change order.  Were there exceptions?  Yes, but they were escalated and negotiated by procurement, as needed.

Thats is why you have so much paperwork and overhead on DoD projects.  To avoid that stuff.  Even people on this forum complain about the paperwork in DoD work.  But your story is the exact reason for it.  If they are billing you for changes, they either have documentation or they don't.  If they don't, its an easy case.  If they do, then someone on the DoD side screwed up. 

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2 hours ago, Thewood1 said:

But your story is the exact reason for it.  If they are billing you for changes, they either have documentation or they don't.  If they don't, its an easy case.  If they do, then someone on the DoD side screwed up. 

I'm pretty sure it was our side (DoD) that allowed this to happen. We worked with several other contractors (all small business) that were trustworthy and ethical. This was the first time we were bitten. 

  We setup and switched all of our prototyping to IDIQ contract and beefed up our internal manufacturing with 3D printing and a more modular design. Now 4 out of 5 prototypes are done organically leaving the oddballs for IDIQ (Indefinite Delivery, Indefinite Quantity).

   We can build a prototype in 1/2 the time it takes to get it on contract (60 days) and at almost the same cost.  We have the problem of our Technicians costing the same as our Engineers. 

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5 hours ago, Probus said:

Good point @Bulletpoint.  A system would have to be in place to assure version checking for multiplayer or only allow vanilla games.

I think it's not just about making a technical system to discourage cheating... it's also a matter of whether people would be able to agree on what kind of game to play. Each one would be used to his selected mods, and not like the idea of playing a game without them.

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Go look at the sordid history of modding in the Harpoon PC game universe for how things can go horribly wrong and basically end the game.  Its an extreme example, but is a good point in the favor of a closed database.  The only thing good that came out of that fiasco was one part of the splintered community went out and built Command: Modern Operations.

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Was Harpoon a multiplayer game? I tried some searching but can literally find no information about it except a pretty dead Matrix forum.


IMO these worries about the games "integrity" are misplaced. I couldn't fathom a situation where that would occur and generally suspect that people just don't like people playing outside of their preferred style. It doesn't help that I cannot find a game where modding has damaged the game but can off the top of my head name several where mods breath consistent fresh life into the game.

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On 7/10/2020 at 5:09 PM, Probus said:

Some of the KSP modders have a strange sense of humor also. Smoke made out of elephants, my little pony helmets, and a cat that bounced around like Pong on April Fools Day.  Just to name a few.  But things were far from total chaos. And there are some extremely historically accurate mods too. 

  There are some extremely talented modders out there. I can't see the cons outweighing the pros of having great content created for "free".  Is someone afraid of getting sued?  Or maybe BFC believes that modded content will somehow reflect badly on official content?

  Now I could see BFC thinking that modded content would somehow make it into a MoD briefing or the like. But surely not. 

I think the reason they don't want people modding the game is that they're afraid it would undercut their profits - that people would buy fewer games and modules and whatnot if they can just get new theaters and armies and time periods to play with for free.

If someone could add in their own units and vehicles into CMRT so that it looks like CMBN, then fewer people are gonna pay $60 for CMBN, plus another $70 for the two modules, and then another $20 on top of that for the vehicle pack.

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Ahhh why not. It's been a few years since I posted to a thread like this...

1. North Africa

- Base Game in Tunisia and work your way back from there.

- Only way I'm ever going to see Aussies in a CM title again I'd imagine.

2. East Front - 1941 and 1942

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As regards modding, if you look at a game like IL-2 1946, you could say modding is the only reason anyone still plays it. The modded game is light years away from the original, and i believe so good in its latest form that it detracts from people buying Il-2 Great Battles the modern equivalent.

The base game was released roundabout 2001 i believe, so your talking of a 20 year old game, that due to modding is still being played and does not look out of place alongside more modern titles.

 

50099784736_18b51afd09_k.thumb.jpg.4672b6e04f0e6d9ecc8535e74006eb2e.jpg

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Some posters seem to be assuming a false dichotomy when it comes to modding:  that either new material comes direct from the developers only or else it's the wild west. What I'd like to see is something more along the Linux model, where people can make/suggest changes, but only one authority can authorise their release into the game, and this would only refer to the more data-driven mods i.e. new theatres. The current system where visual and sound mods can vary according to the tastes of the player, would continue, because that doesn't affect anything important - for all you know, you opponent's panthers could be pink. In an ideal world,  I would see the place for modding - or third party development - would be in the area of new campaigns or theatres e.g. some modders get together and put together a package for the Winter War, and so the uniform graphics, the research for the weapons, maybe tweak some weather to account for extreme winter, etc. The weapon, TO&E, and vehicular data would be provided in a format specified by BF.  The modders or TPDs would run their own playtesting and provide the results to BF for review. BF would then run some of their own quality control and when satisfied, release it as a new module, which players would either have or not have, just as it is now with other modules. 

All in an ideal world, of course.

(Actually, in an idea world, BF would release one game including everything between 1936 and 1953 - next week... no, make that tomorrow...wait..this afternoon...:))

 

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