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Andreas

PBEM in CMx2

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Perhaps the answer to the file size issue is to rethink the data which is required to make the play back file. The units will have memories built in now. Can that already stored game play memory be used to cut back the amount of data which needs to be transferred between the machines ?

They can make the TCP/IP work without choking the bandwidth of the customers then what makes TCP/IP data so different from PBEM data ? The way I see it the only real difference is the resolution of the orders needs to be consistent and if the benefit of the TCP/IP is real time two-way connection between systems then a simple solution would be to count the number of TCP/IP packets needed and compare them with the PBEM file. How much data is transferred over a (say) 2Mb DSL connection over a (say) 60sec orders phase in a TCP/IP game ? The data needs to be the same as between two 256k DSL (or even two 56k dial up connections). Unless of course slow DSL and dial up customers will have to upgrade or stop playing TCP/IP.

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Schullen ...

"I think BFC/BTS are quite aware of how popular PBEM is to those players who frequent the forums. However not all of CM's players frequent these forums (as hard as that is to believe for some people) and most likely forum members don't even constitute the majority of people who have purchased and played the game. Therefore, as much as we may not like to think so, our thoughts on how CM is played and what features must be in the next version may not match the overall reality or potential demand. "

I see a subtle distinction between those who purchase and played the game and those who purchase AND CONTINUE to play the game. I bought Shogun and have, and will never buy another in the series. There are other games that fall into this category.

One thing seems to be very evident - if Battlefront have established by research the market they are not giving us that impression. By the number of posts it would appear that nobody other than Battlefront knows the total sales so what proportion 16000 is of total sales we have no idea.

What is true to say is that it is most likely that REGULAR players do come to the forum.

My friends who do not play - all four of them do not come to the forum! Is this therefore the people who should be marketed to?

BFC are a commercial company and they can decide there own market strategy. That I think they are wrong in saying PBEM is a not MUST have is a legitimate opinion to express.

I am very pro BFC but everybody can make errors in judgement -

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Originally posted by Sanok:

I just did some reading in that thread, too, and was very surprised by several things. Firstly, it was amazing how rude Steve was. It's pretty sad a company representative would tell paying customers they're insane and pathetic, and that they're a bunch of whiners.

I'm suprised you're suprised, Sanok. You've been around since 2003, FCOL. I would have thought that anyone who had been around that long would have learned that BFC is great at making combat strategy games and not so great at customer relations. So what? They don't have the budget for slick tongued people. Maybe people who are passionate about their games aren't even fussed about relations.

Steve does take time to talk to us about what he thinks. That's good. He talks straight about what he thinks, and isn't too fussed about offending some folk. There are people out in there in the big world like that.

It's just how it is. I think it could be better myself, but hey... Work with what you've got.

Standing on someone's porch and yelling out to the world how rude you think the people in the house are is not the most polite thing in itself, is it?

GaJ.

[ February 28, 2005, 03:06 AM: Message edited by: GreenAsJade ]

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Originally posted by GreenAsJade:

</font><blockquote>quote:</font><hr />Originally posted by Sanok:

I just did some reading in that thread, too, and was very surprised by several things. Firstly, it was amazing how rude Steve was. It's pretty sad a company representative would tell paying customers they're insane and pathetic, and that they're a bunch of whiners.

I'm suprised you're suprised, Sanok. You've been around since 2003, FCOL. I would have thought that anyone who had been around that long would have learned that BFC is great at making combat strategy games and not so great at customer relations. So what? They don't have the budget for slick tongued people. Maybe people who are passionate about their games aren't even fussed about relations.

Steve does take time to talk to us about what he thinks. That's good. He talks straight about what he thinks, and isn't too fussed about offending some folk. There are people out in there in the big world like that.

It's just how it is. Work with what you've got.

Standing on someone's porch and yelling out to the world how rude you think the people in the house are is not the most polite thing in itself, is it?

GaJ. </font>

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It's one thing to say "I find this rude, and it suprises me". It's not rude to expect whatever you like.

It's another to say "It's a pretty sad company that...". This is making a negative judgement about a whole company. That, IMHO, is rude. If I were any BFC person reading that the first part of your message, I might have been given cause for thought. By the time I'd finished reading the second bit, I'd probably have been thinking "stuff him, rude bastard" :D

GaJ.

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**It's one thing to say "I find this rude, and it suprises me". It's not rude to expect whatever you like.**

I'm not expecting whatever I like. I'm simply expressing my surprise that a representative of BFC was rude and insulting to some of their paying customers. It's simply a poor business practice.

**It's another to say "It's a pretty sad company that...".**

I didn't say that. I said it was sad that a representative of the company was rude and insulting.

**This is making a negative judgement about a whole company.**

Perhaps, but you also admitted that BFC is poor at customer relations.

**That, IMHO, is rude.**

Okay. I don't think it is.

**If I were any BFC person reading that the first part of your message, I might have been given cause for thought. By the time I'd finished reading the second bit, I'd probably have been thinking "stuff him, rude bastard" :D **

If BFC feels that way about a paying customer, and I'm in no way saying they do, I find that disappointing and poor business.

Is it possible the humble, little company on the cutting edge of the genre, is beginning to think they're too big for their britches, now that they've tasted success and are growing? Again, I'm in no way saying this is their attitude. I'm merely speculating.

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The people on this Forum represent a small, but significant, slice of our total customer base. It is important to listen to you guys. But only when you make sense. We have far, far more to lose by purposefully game system far beneath or capabilities than we do if we are FORCED to drop PBEM in order to have the best game. You might not agree, but it isn't your butts on the line and therefore your opinion in that regard is irrelevant to us. So no, we have zero plans to start gutting the game design to make sure we can support PBEM, even though we have no idea if it is even necessary in the first place.

Steve

PR 101 this is not.

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Oh Andreas

You sure opened up a can of worms with this one.

As for the rest of you, I agree that Steve hasn't been at his most politic, there haven't been nearly enough smiley faces to defuse his posts. If you want an example of this,

;)smile.gifsmile.gifsmile.gif You people are idiots ;)smile.gifsmile.gifsmile.gif

See doesn't seem nearly as bad

But then again I see his point. If he wants to make money, changing a game to include PBEM is pointless. If he wants to challenge the wargaming boundaries, changing the game to include PBEM is pointless.

If you produce a game with reasonable processor demands, awesome graphics and solid gameplay (which fixes bloody borg spotting) then the loss of 500/1000 ppl from this forum that will no longer buy it will be neglible. The rest of us will buy it anyway because Battlefront have come through in the past and deserve a chance here. However, i reserve a right to whinge if after i buy it the AI is still terrible and it is all I have to play against.

Cheers

Will

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Originally posted by melb_will:

The rest of us will buy it anyway because Battlefront have come through in the past and deserve a chance here. However, i reserve a right to whinge if after i buy it the AI is still terrible and it is all I have to play against.

Cheers

Will

There you have it.

GREAT post

However, I reserve a right to whinge if after I buy it the AI is still terrible and it is all I have to play against.

I think that says it all.

Remember this is EXACTLY what Steve said:

Keep in mind that the ONLY reason PBEM might not be available is if it the necessary filesize is simply too big (multiple MB for even a simple scenario turn is what I am thinking). Whether we can pull this off or not is unknown to us now and is not a factor in designing the game. We can't hobble the game simply for the sake of a small file size... that's a rather poor self imposed design limitation.
So I am willing to give them the benefit of the doubt on this one.

smile.gif

-tom w

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98% of all games I play are PBEM...

It's the best part of CMx1.

If there is no PBEM in CMx2 I would be sadly disappointed. I can't say if I'd buy it or not, but I bought CMBB and CMAK because I knew I could PBEM, because that's how I play 98% of my games.

I believe Steve is entitled to voice his opinion. He does not have to be Dr. Bloody Diplomacy IMO.

It's his bat and ball.

Everyone has their bad days. You, me, Steve, everyone.

Steve has 16000 forum members on his case and I reckon he can't please us all.

Personally I don't give a damn about PBEM file size. I only have broadband to make CM more fun, and if it costs me $20 a month more to swap emails with unlimited access, I'll go down that road!

So PBEM for me regardless of file size please.

Richie

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This is MORE than true for MOST us here I would guess.

Thanks

:)

-tom w

Originally posted by Ardem:

That crap about Solo Play, I used to play solo play cause I didn't really know anyone in the community, now I know a few I have about 3-4 PBEM's running at one time from all over the world.

Things about understanding your customer base for CM. The average age is a lot higher, most people have kids and families so dedicating 2 hours to a game is impossible.

So PBEM suits it to a tee.

People like us in Australia play people from all around the world where time zones are not relevant or work styles. It allows me to meet and play all sorts of people.

You take away PBEM you take away my ability to do that.

Also PBEM suits a game about strategy where its not a click fest you can spend a whole day if you wished cotemplating before you move.

Look at your current customer base before you do away with PBEM, you may find you destroy a great community who will be discouraged at buying your product.

And who cares if it 10 Megs, I can still send and recieve that size file, if some people can't then I am sure the clever people of the community will make a program for splitting and reessembly of files.

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Originally posted by Wartgamer:

[QB] I would think any company would want to keep the existing customer base as much as possible.

Not necessarily. Consider a CMX2 that was a completely different game - with vs. AI only play but appealing to a younger demographic (the ones who can afford to spend hours at their computer thinking very little). They'd probably make much more money - port it over to the game systems too instead of just PC.

Existing customer base? There is a law of diminishing returns - again, ask the Squad Leader guys that. You're not going to sell more copies of Core Module Number Ten than you will copies of the rulebook..

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Originally posted by Tero:

Show of hands:

Who will reconsider buying the game if PBEM is out ?

If there's no PBEM, there's absolutely no reason for me to purchase the game. I don't play against the AI at all, and I'm not willing to set aside time for playing on line.

I've been playing nothing but PBEM since SuperTed's first CMBO newbie tournament, and I'll continue to play PBEM. If that means CMBB and CMAK are the last BFC games I buy, so be it.

If BFC wants to take their next game in the direction of the uber "realism" of console FPS games at the expense of PBEM, that's entirely their right and their choice. That doesn't mean I'll continue to support the company by purchasing games I don't want. I've seen this happen plenty of times before, where the emphasis on creating the ultimate product drove away the potential market. Can anyone say "Edsel"? How about "Battlecruiser 3000 AD"?

[ February 28, 2005, 08:40 AM: Message edited by: Dave H ]

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I only know of one person in my area that has CMAK and we have never played hotseat. I think it never occurs to me to want to. I plan moves while you leave the room? Seems odd. We play PBEM exclusively.

I have shown the game to a number of my friends and they dislike it. Even those who like guns/war-movies/etc. It just doesn't strike a chord in them. They aren't wargamers. Many of them like those FPS games but just can't get excited about CM.

I have never played TCP/IP.

I hardly ever play against the AI unless its a first run of a scenario or maybe testing out some odd anomoly or tactic.

Many games are burnouts on the shelf of my office. Korson Pocket is an example. Offers a limited amount of playing before it dries up. The PBEM options of CM, combined with the scenario creation aspect of the game, feeds the life into this community and anyone associated with the game, especially a developer of the game, should know that.

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Even after all the ranting here ...

I suspect they will do what they were going to do anyway. (Design and develop the game irrespective of any PBEM file size consideration, which is still the best course of action IMO)

MAKE the game and then see if they can make the PBEM files workable after the fact. THAT IS ALL STEVE EVER SAID!

Especially after all this ranting they will in all l likelyhood just give us the HUGE PBEM file size and let us deal with it.

THE ONLY reason it might not work is because Steve says they cannot be sure the PBEM file size will be small enough to be managable (whatever that is), so the easy decision is just to make the game and leave us all to our own devices to deal with Monster sized PBEM files then they can sit back and say... PBEM is in, but file transfer is up to you guys. smile.gif What could be a simpler solution?

Is there any problem with that?

smile.gif

-tom w

[ February 28, 2005, 07:39 AM: Message edited by: aka_tom_w ]

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Singed feelings aside, I think one of the things that I really appreciate about Steve and his colleagues at BFC is their honesty. While elegant corporate manners aren't in the greatest supply in the computer gaming world, I get a belly-full of elegant corporate etiquette from the real world on a day-to-day basis, and when well done it can sound quite sincere. BFC is a small shop, and Steve is not so much a representative of the company as development team leader. While it can be certainly be very creative (and I've seen it raised to an art form on more than one occasion), I really don't want that kind of intellectual muck clogging his synapses when he's trying to create what promises to be a ground-breaking game. So if ragging on whiney customers helps keep his intellectual arteries unclogged and the juices flowing, I'm prepared to cheer on a torrent of abuse. Steve is a cook and this is his kitchen, and he's sharing more than superficial insight into the process. I've known some pretty crabby cooks in my time, and you have to expect a few carrots whizzing past your ear from time to time.

The question that we should all ask ourselves is the following: do we like PBEM for the camaraderie, for the thrill of beating another human, or because it gives us a better game? I think that the need for PBEM would diminish dramatically if the AI were really up to snuff. It's pretty good as it stands, but I hate discovering that I can't play the side that I want to in a scenario because I know that the AI won't be up to mounting an adequate attack, or realizing, after the fact, that I just stomped the AI in detail because it couldn't organize a well-timed and co-ordinated counter-attack.

Solitaire play is the most convenient form of play, but PBEM seems to be the cure for (inevitable) deficiencies in the AI.

A few years back Robert Graves translated a poem by a retired Spanish bullfighter that went something like this:

Bullfight critics ranked in rows

Crowd the enormous plaza full

But only one is there who knows

And he's the one who fights the bull.

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Bullfighters function is to put on a big show while they kill something? Get the crowd into a frenzy? Not quite what is going on here (or is it?...).

Hopefully the spirit of CM will continue in cmx2.

The game is promising multiplayer down the road. I can only logically think that means TCP/IP multiplayer. That means a minimum of coordinating 3 people online at the same time.

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