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Jim Harrison

Senario Designers Tip

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All the research in the world is USELESS unless "properly" applied to the GAME MECHANICS.

You not only have to know what units were there you need to know what advantages the GAME gives to vet vs reg troops, how the AI handles arty, etc etc.....

I am soooo tired of guys making senario's with all kinds of work put in, but ignoring how the game handles things, thereby making what was great historic fight into a joke in the game.

I am continually editing good senario ideas into a good fights in the game because the designer gave one side all vet troops and the other all reg troops (he did this cause that is what the history claimed was there). All the guys who have been in actual combat know that you become a "vet" in about 5 minutes in a fire fight or you become dead. The game makes a BIG destinction between vet and reg troops (much bigger IMHO than there really was in the battles).

My point is always keep how the game handles things when making a design.

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Hey Jimmie Boy

If it bothers you that much... than dont download them... you ever think that the designers are making scenario's and spending their time for their own pleasure and hopefully that of others (90% or the scenarios at the depot or the proving grounds dont claim to be historic)... I know that I get a satisfaction out of creating them... so bitch if you want... create your own... its funny that your good at fixing others... while bitchin...

IMO.... <smile>... you probably dont like all the mods too cause.. opps someone didnt put the camo in the right spot....

FredRockinontheedge

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Jim I know exactly where you are coming from and I totally agree - but you have to understand that the designers are more in to designing then playing the games. Sure some do play their games and they try to get it to be a fun playable game but what they enjoy is creating scenarios not necessarily playing them so they relieve on us to provide feedback and let them know what needs to be changed or corrected. This is the problem I see in playing scenarios. We want them to be fun first of all and fair but to the designers if they are trying to create realistic games they have to satisfy the history buffs so have to go with what actually took place and it wasn't always fair or balanced in real life. I'm sure you know all this and I'm certainly not disagreeing with you but you are coming across pretty harsh especailly to guys that aren't being paid a red penny for all their time, energy and work. I say let's appreciate them all and give thanks that we have designers of scenarios at all. Negative comments like this don't help anybody. After all I am sure not one designer out there ever created a game trying to piss us off. You think? Now saying all that I suggest to you that you should visit The Proving Grounds. This is a site that designers try out their scenarios begging people for feed back before they release them as ready scenarios to places like the scenaro Depot. Bunch of good guys there and it's a very new site that could use some scenario playing guys like yourself. Hope I didn't offend you as I certainly didn't intend to. Please visit us at http://www.garykrockover.com/cmbb/

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ah great!

a new enthousiastic reviewer,please dl my scenarios from the depot and review them.

I want critics whit which I can do something creative,negative or positive it doesnt matter 3

As long as you dont forget to add constructive thought s on how to improve the negative parts:)

Waiting for your review(which will help a designer make better scenarios)

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Hey Freddie Boy

I did just what you suggested since I find my own designs a heck of lot more fun to play, and if you think just reworking senario's is too easy why don't you try it, you might like it. As for mods I don't use em, too much work for "eye candy" which as one poster indicated should probably have been included in at least CMBB but wasn't perhaps CMAK will have it.

Lee, I will be happy to take look but as you can see I don't really DL many senario's anymore. I just create my own and play from there.

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Hey Jimmey Boy

Thats cool... you play with yourself and with your own scenarios... and if you ever want to share let all of us know.. and yes I have tried to fix many an other, but then again I dont want to live in a perfect world...good luck in your own world...

Oh by the way are you worried about posting your scenarios <since they must be perfect>..put them up at the The Proving Grounds and we will see what you got.... worried about feedback... Im not, crappy is crappy... and thats whats great about this... <smile>... we all have the same addiction... guess I came on a little to strong for you.... sorry.... are you that good... send me an PBEM... your pick...

FredRocker...

Oh by the way lets play one of yours.... where are they posted

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Well Freddie boy,

I just downloaded your Goomerville senario and I can now see why your soooo upset about my remarks. This is typical of the overloaded unbalanced senarios I have seen in the past, picking a "regular" mix for the US forces results of course in half of them being "green", the wet ground prevents the tanks from taking any route after crossing the bridge except the road since the AI will bog any who go off road, the fog ensures that the US attacker has USELESS arty cover since his spotters cannot get more than 190 meter line of sight (while the German defender has the luxury of preplanned target hexs for his arty fire). I played the first couple of turns to see how much "extra advantage" the AI would give itself and of course with my men totally away from the fixed target hex's and its spotter unable to see my troops thru the fog it rained down accurate arty fire on the platoon causing all the "green" troops to become broken.

IMO the US Troops have plenty to overcome without being "Green" troops so I would have eliminated any of the Green troops (which wouldn't take much away from the defender since he has the high ground and is hiding). I would for an AI game take away all the defenders arty since the AI uses "borg" spotting and ruins the senario. The turn limit is too short for any "proper" advance on the objective since the armour is limited to using the bridges and NO commander would send his armour over an unsecured bridge without proper recon. The map is well done and I like the concept but the balance is a very tuff row to hoe for the attacker. This is the old "hey you get alot more troops and tanks than the defender" ploy leaving out that these attackers must come thru a funnel, much like Burnsides Bridge in the Civil War. I am sure playing the German side would be tough against the AI since the AI would ignore the fog rule and rain down accurate arty on the AT guns (altho the one in the building might survive). This one is fixable for an AI game and is "probably" ok for a PBEM as it is sans the "green" troops.

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All I can say is that I am tired of people who think that a battle has to be balanced. In real life there were very few cases of balanced forces. As for green US troops, in most cases that is very unrealistic because all US troops had a level of basic training, which cannot be said for all German (late war) or (early war) Russian troops.

All the research in the world is USELESS unless "properly" applied to the GAME MECHANICS.
I cannot disagree with that point. Designing a map and the forces on it are only "half the battle" to to speak.

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That would be fine panzerman, but the game mechanics donot lend themselves to "what was" in fact if you try to recreate "what was" with CMBO you normally wind up with some unwinable lopsided senario for one side or the other. I guess some guys like that sort of thing, but if I want to see what "really" happened I can read a book, for me the "fun" of these types of games is trying to win with the equipment of the times in basically fairly "even" terms in relation to cover, ground condition, etc... The game is unable to reproduce exact historical matchups due the wide disparagy between how the game handles the different ratings of troops, the perpensity of tanks to "bog/breakdown". etc etc... Obviously the makers of the game agree somewhat since they keep improving the product with the likes of CMBB and soon to be released CMAK. CMBO is a great game but in my mind to make good senario's you need know how the game will handle what you have put in.

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No game, not the way they are made now anyway, will ever recreat what really happened; if anyone thinks otherwise they are day dreaming. I would have to agree that CMBO didn't do as good a job, and thus I haven't played it in almost a year. It depends on what kind of player you are really. To say that the way other people like to play the game is wrong is, lets be frank, wrong in itself. Everyone has a different view on a good battle, I enjoy playing some balanced battles, but I also like to play battles in which the odds are not in my favor. To me winning all the time is no fun, why because that's even more unrealistic than anything else.

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Hey Jim,

Good to know you are talking about CMBO,I thought at first you meant CMBB.

I played CMBO from the early beginning,i.e. from the days of the beta demo since 1998,jeez where does time go.....

My first scenario for CMBO evolved from a test scenario to see effects of shells on bridges.

With some modifications it entered the depot and it received a negative review.

But very well written review with suggestions too which were helpfull to change the battle.

The scenarios after that were much better,once I found out about the mechanics and how the AI plays.

Testing yourself against the AI with FOW on to see how it moves and after that sending my scenario to veteran players.

Specially in the early period I have spend many hours testing in PBEM or TCP mode,with some very good opponents giving many helpfull ideas.

My may 1940 scenario is a good example receiving 5 very good critics.

I am very proud of the Canadian scenario which saw a lot of research and which have a historical very accurate map and OOB.

Very helpfull was the coordination with an other player who made a operation of that same historical battle.

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Panzerman,

I am not saying balanced to a point where EVERYTHING is equal, but rather balanced to where with right tactics EITHER side has a chance to win. I see many senario's where there is NO way to win in the time alotted, no matter how good your tactics are. I own both CMBO and CMBB and I find them both enjoyable if I can setup a senario that doesn't allow some AI "features" to change the outcome (to be fair some of these senario's were clearly ment for PBEM). As an example: one side has a bunch of trucks (which die to one barrage or MG fire) and those lost trucks count the same in the end as lost tanks as in "vehicles lost column", this is IMO is to be avoided as it gives unrealistic results.

Stoffel,

Hey I salute you guys who work so hard to make these things. I have been just hoping to give some insight to what I think makes good one's so all the work is not lost.

[ September 22, 2003, 09:59 AM: Message edited by: Jim Harrison ]

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Jim,

I can only say again,review a scenario if you played it.

Every critic good or negative(as long as they are constructive)can only add to a scenario.

Too many people forget to review scenarios after playing,without feedback you cant make good ones smile.gif

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Hmmmmmm...I have had over 300 people download my 3 scenarios in the last 6 weeks and have not gotten 1 review for any of them!

I even posted on my first one that I would like to have feedback so I can improve my scenarios and see what the other players want fixed. Even if you say my scenarios are the worst you ever played....let me know why so I can improve.

Bill ;)

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Hiya Jimmie Boy

Thanks for the feedback... I enjoy all feedback good, bad or ugly, it will just make me a better designer..... Only thing.. I did play Goomerville as a hotseat with my neigbor a few weeks back and I didnt have any bogging problems...though I believe he had one of his reinforcement Panzers bog after coming out of the east woods. maybe I was lucky... as a 2 player I ended up with a minor victory if I remember correctly 61-39 or something like that...

Again thanks for the feedback its good to get different prospectives... smile.gif

FredRocker

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I think every scenario designer has their own underlying reason for devoting their time to the craft. Some strive for the perfect balance against AI or 2 player, others for strict re-creation of a historical moment in time (i.e. good scenario or bad, this is how it was...). Others i've noticed go for the laugh, and a few others produce pure wastes of time with no public merit whatsoever, except they apparently just wanted to say that they produced something, anything...

It's all good fun for designer and player alike.

I purchased CM because I saw that not only could I create a 3d battlefield that i could zoom and pan around in, but I could also put some tanks and soldiers in it too! I am a land surveyor and an engineer and I have the tools at home to accurately digitize, if you will, a topographical map into a CM landscape rather easily. For years I wanted to see what the woods trail looked like that the 12SS drove on in it's drive to elsenborne ridge. i finally saw it on a recent trip to Belgium, but to have a "flyover" of the area via CMBO was a treat (for me).

So the result is my scenario "Rollbahn A" on the depot(review, anybody???) historically accurate OB and map, but probably a real turkey to play. but I posted it anyway. In retrospect I could have made it more balanced and fun ala Jim Harrison, but I would have made myself lose the "historical" label, and that was not a price I wanted to pay.

Simovitch

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Hi Simovitch,

If you like such scenarios than you should check out the ones made by McAuliffe.

Very accurate reproduction of maps in Belgium and in most cases also very accurate OOB of the battles fought in the Ardennes campaign.

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Originally posted by simovitch:

So the result is my scenario "Rollbahn A" on the depot(review, anybody???) historically accurate OB and map, but probably a real turkey to play. but I posted it anyway. In retrospect I could have made it more balanced and fun ala Jim Harrison, but I would have made myself lose the "historical" label, and that was not a price I wanted to pay.

You made the right choice. Never design scenarios for anyone but yourself. There are two reasons for that.

1) If you design for yourself, you will do your best work. There is enough player diversity that it will appeal to some (you'll never appeal to all anyway).

2) Once you start designing for someone else, it stops being fun and becomes work.

Do it for the fun, and do it for yourself... that will ensure that the public gets your best effort

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stoffel,

yes I have downloaded all of McAuliffe's stuff from the getgo - top shelf stuff, as is most of the work by Dan B., Andreas, Wild bill and Moon. Rune and Franko are also worth mentioning, and there is probably a couple more designers out there that i'm forgetting.

And thanks a heap for the review on the depot! Believe me, being the Leo that I am i check the depot almost daily for a review on my stuff, and I have tried to post a review for the games I have played that had no review. seems like the heyday of CMBO reviews petered out in mid '02. too bad...

simovitch

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Lol

I am a leo too,24th july smile.gif

Yes,most people play CMBB only these days.

But every now and than one of the newbies posts a review.

I have my day of the wasp scenario dl-ed 600+ times with only 1 review :(

You should really try may 1940 and Bourqebus ridge battles.

Henk

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thanks for the review!

just imagine I had to tweak the german OOB,they had about 25 times more guns of various types available in the real battle smile.gif

in real life the battle ended in a big slaugther too

mc Auliffe made a great operation about this battle.

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May I interject some thoughts here, gentlemen, please?

Having designed over 1300 scenarios and campaigns for over a dozen games, I know a little bit about what Jim is saying.

The main problem here is that some designers do their work and don't have it properly tested. Many times they don't even play them...they just stick them out there.

So you become the tester instead of the player. That is too bad.

As Dan has said, "design for yourself." If you don't like your scenario enough to try it out yourself, don't stick us with it.

Once I finish a scenario, I'm dying to play it. I also enlist outside eyes to catch what I'm missing. I love testers. They are GRUNTS. They do hard work for little glory. Any success I have achieved I owe to those who have tested my scenarios, given me good ideas and pointed out my mistakes.

The other point is that the designer must make a good mix of historicity and playability. There are many ways to do that.

One does not have to give up one or the other. You can have both but it is a delicate balance.

Usually there are enough tools in the editor for a designer to give you the ability to put both elements, historicity and playability into a well rounded scenario.

Finally, to new designers: START SMALL! Most designers think that bigger is better. Not so. The well crafted smaller scenario is an even greater challenge, can be tested quickly and gets one accostumed to creating them.

How do you know whether a scenario is what you want?

1. Does it cover an area or battle of interest to you.

2. Does the name of the scenario designer give you pleasant or unpleasant memories?

3. Is the intro text appealing. Usually if the designer does a sloppy job with the text, the scenario will be the same.

Using some guidelines will help you pick and choose the right ones.

Wild Bill

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Bill,

A small remark to your third statement:

Not everybody here speaks or writes perfect English,I once wrote a briefing which I thought was perfect.

An English teacher looked at it and made more corrections in the text than my own teacher at school ever did in my whole school carreer smile.gif

Meaning even though the text is bad the scenario can be good.

Henk

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