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Bulldog

? to CMSF Play testers

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Why did nobody pick up on these path finding issues during play testing. I have been a combat mission fan for a long time and rarely post here, but this should have been caught during the testing phase that went on for a year or more. Anyway I know this group has always been dedicated to resolving issues that arise and look forward to seeing what 1.04 brings to the game.

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Thanks for the reply and the info. However, some of us started questioning the pathfinding within the first few days of playing the released version. I don't believe for a second that none of the testers tried blasting thru a wall of a building and sending in a squad to find out they still decide to run thru the front door.

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Beg your pardon, but are you privy to the work that went on during the testing phase?

From what you are saying, you make it sound as if the beta was an unchanging product that could have all problems isolated and dealt with.

Not a fluid series of interrelated design changes that had to be released at a date fixed by a distributor outside the desing team, which I suspect is closer to the truth.

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Bulldog, BFC has acknowledged that CM:SF was released in an incomplete state. I'm sure nobody missed this stuff, there just wasn't time to fix it all. And I'd imagine that the NDA the testers sign means you'll never get an answer about that.

Also, as flamingknives points out, QA on an ever-changing product is nearly impossible. If the devs are constantly fixing stuff then there's constantly stuff to test. It's tough to make regression testing (which I'm hopeful pathfinding would fall into at that point in the process) happen in that situation.

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calm down, I just feel, in my opinion, that this pathfinding issue didn't just pop up as a "result of the fluid interrelated design changes made duing beta testing" maybe it did. I feel that this had to be an issue that started very early in the beta testing. You can't really feel that way, at least I hope you don't, because you seem like a smart guy.

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in reply to phil,

If they did aknowledge the game was released in an incomplete state. Wouldn't you have more respect for the designers to say, "We have some serious pathfinding issues we have to work out before releasing the product" I think they would have got better reviews, which in turn would lead to more people buying the game. Sorry, but it just breaks my heart heart to watch 9 guys storm the front door after I blew a hole in the back wall of a building.. Such meaningless deaths!!!

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Needless to say I agree with Bulldog. This is a fundamental issue. Moving units is something that happens almost every turn. Say what you want about the flow of design changes, this is a core issue and if it isn't made right then nothing else matters. It's like having a car with a motor that doesn't work, no matter how many cup holders or how fancy a digital display it has it is still broken.

[ September 23, 2007, 08:09 AM: Message edited by: sgtgoody (esq) ]

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Sorry i'm with Bulldog here,

If the feature is in the game it should have been tested and passed. If you can blow a hole in a wall and pass through it that should have been tested. If it was what changed to break it? why wasn't it tested after code had been changed?

I mean we are only talking about one thing here there was a lot of stuff not right with the release version surely some of it was known? and if it was then the game really shouldn't have been released if it wasn't...WHY!!

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Thanks guys,

So what we really want to know here playtesters (I use this term with much hesitation). Did any of you try to blow a hole in a wall and run a squad through. If so, didn't it bother you that the pathfinding is wrong? Why was this blown off and the game released anyway? But as I said before I know it will be fixed and much more playable. My feeling is when I read a below average/average review of a game I usually don't but it, or check up on it 4 months later. I don't think magazines will be re-reviewing CMSF: ver 1.04, even though the game will be 10 X's better once ver 1.04 is released. or at least I hope it will be better

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Originally posted by Bulldog:

Thanks guys,

So what we really want to know here playtesters (I use this term with much hesitation). Did any of you try to blow a hole in a wall and run a squad through.

I can't speak definitively, but probably.

Often enough to map out the problem, amongst everything else?

If so, didn't it bother you that the pathfinding is wrong? Why was this blown off and the game released anyway?
The game was released when it was due to a contract with Paradox. It is quite likely that there simply wasn't enough programming time to deal with all the bugs that popped up.

I can think of glaring errors in some other software code that would have been more rigorously checked.

MLRS firecontrol, under certain conditions, would go haywire and calculate the trajectory by going the other way around the great circle (180 degrees out)

F22 navigation software couldn't handle crossing the dateline and had to be flown back to a US base under VFR the first time they tried it.

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Originally posted by Bulldog:

Thanks guys,

So what we really want to know here playtesters (I use this term with much hesitation). Did any of you try to blow a hole in a wall and run a squad through. If so, didn't it bother you that the pathfinding is wrong? Why was this blown off and the game released anyway? But as I said before I know it will be fixed and much more playable. My feeling is when I read a below average/average review of a game I usually don't but it, or check up on it 4 months later. I don't think magazines will be re-reviewing CMSF: ver 1.04, even though the game will be 10 X's better once ver 1.04 is released. or at least I hope it will be better

Hold on there Bulldog: The CM:SF Testers...A term you use with much "Hesitation"? That is not a fair comment at all. The testers themselves CAN NOT comment but I think all the forum members can agree that testing this baby was a bitch. You kicking them to the curb is an insult. Testers test, pass on information, and wait for the next version, test it, pass on information, and wait for the next version. Where is it in this formula that they FIX what they TEST. I've tested a lot and never once Fixed a game. Sorry, I'm ranting...you just hit a nerve on this one.

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I agree with you guys too -- the game shouldn't have been released if these issues were caught. If the team really didn't have time to test these things (a conclusion which flamingknives' response leads me to), then they were even farther behind schedule than I thought.

More pointedly, to Bulldog -- I would definitely have respect for a developer who said that. Not every developer has the chance to really say that, however, least of all a small one. BFC, if I'm reading everything right, did not get the chance to say "we're months behind schedule."

It was released because they were obligated to release it. The state of the game seemingly had very little to do with it.

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Being a tester of numerous games to my credit, I still cant believe the idiotic comments that come from gamers.

First off, BFC is like a mom and pop store. They cant compete in lots of ways because they dont have a $2 Million budget for testing, they dont have money to pay testers to quit thier day jobs and play for 18 hours a day. They dont have every video card sent to them by the makers to ensure stability.

How they compete is SERVICE, product quality, and by reputation.

Now what the idiotic masses cant comprehend is that being a small company, with 1 and I mean 1 programmer, who cant work 30 hours in a day (even though I think he has to go beyond the 24 hour mark quite often) have developed an engine that is leaps beyond CMx1, was rushed out the door because they not only wanted to make a few extra dollars for thier 4.5 years of development and went through a publisher who can actually deliver it to more people, hence giving you guys a better overall experience.

Oh and ya they arent supporting thier product right? No patches are coming, they are closing up shop and taking your $45 and going to Tahiti to wear a grass skirt and drink drinks with palm trees and hula girls.

I mean you guys act like they did this to **** with you on a personal level. I am sure Moon is sitting on a white sandy beach typing into his Alienware Laptop with a 8800 GTX ATI card, "Memo to Charles: Break the pathfinding algorythms today so we can piss off Bulldog, oh and just to be extra evil, make sure ATI cards are ****ed up too!"

Have fun in the sun BFC.

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Okay, so from here it looks a lot like the crux of the problem was a rigidly fixed release schedule. Previously, BFC's motto was that "it will be ready when it's ready" and they pretty much stuck with that. It didn't mean that there were no problems at all requiring updates, but it meant that the games were at least playable from the release date. I haven't played CMSF and it doesn't much look like I ever will, so implying that the game is unplayable would be out of bounds for me. But a lot of people who have played it are suggesting something along that line. And it makes me sorry for BFC that they got themselves in such a jam. My experience of them is that they are good guys who want to produce a quality product, but too much slipped out of their hands this time.

Michael

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You can blame distribution arangements or the hand of the god or Charles running short of nutrient fluid for his tank all you want. The fact is that a BASIC function of this game is moving units from point A to point B and it is screwed up. It looks real good though. Take from that what you will.

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Originally posted by Sixxkiller:

Being a tester of numerous games to my credit, I still cant believe the idiotic comments that come from gamers.

First off, BFC is like a mom and pop store. They cant compete in lots of ways because they dont have a $2 Million budget for testing, they dont have money to pay testers to quit thier day jobs and play for 18 hours a day. They dont have every video card sent to them by the makers to ensure stability.

How they compete is SERVICE, product quality, and by reputation.

Now what the idiotic masses cant comprehend is that being a small company, with 1 and I mean 1 programmer, who cant work 30 hours in a day (even though

oh yes all those idiotic customers all the time. they are just a pain in the ass. Why they dont just buy whatever we sell them and pay whatever we charge them. There should be a law for that.

Good thinking. So the only thing i have to do is open a small underfunded company and I can sell any crap i want. Or did i miss something here.

so they compete with product quality and reputation. so i sincerely congratulate for the great product quality of cmsf and the reputation it will build.

oh yes the idiotic masses again that really expect value for money. its really a shame

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Originally posted by sgtgoody (esq):

You can blame distribution arangements or the hand of the god or Charles running short of nutrient fluid for his tank all you want. The fact is that a BASIC function of this game is moving units from point A to point B and it is screwed up. It looks real good though. Take from that what you will.

So...

You've signed a distribution deal with the boys at DistribuConGlom.

You're pushing up against your latest Drop Dead date. Guy calls you up and says "Hey there, sport. Time to release SgtGoody Mission: Esquire."

And you say "But it's not ready yet."

And he says "You said that last quarter. We pushed it out for you. Time to let it out."

And you say "But it's not ready yet."

And he says "We already bought space for ads for NOW. You close that puppy up and certify it NOW."

And you say "But it's really not ready. The basic SgtGoody emulation is still way back at CplGoody level. And the Esquire part? We're still working on getting it to be a gardener, let alone an Esquire."

And he says "Does it work at all? Does it have a beginning, a middle, and an end?"

And you say "Well, yeah, sorta, but it's not what we want to put our names on."

And he says "Well, a big fat zero for this quarter is not what I want to put my name on, so ship it. NOW."

What do you do? WHAT DO YOU DO?!?

Me, I shoot the hostage, but if the above happened to you, what's your solution?

-dale

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Originally posted by sgtgoody (esq):

I spend the 3 years I have been working on the game getting the BASIC functions of the game to work. If I have to release it early atleast it will work. Later I add the bells and whistles.

BZZZT!

Dodging the question. Despite your best efforts and best intentions, you don't have "SgtGoody Mission: Esquire" on release day - you have "CplGoody Mission: Gardener".

What do you do? smile.gif

-dale

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Release it or release it. The others options are not desirable.

Very little after I got the game I allready said I would give it 6 months more of development to consider it a "releaseble" game or what 1.0 should have been. If afteer that soem issues still there or are game breakers (honestly, I can have fun with the game NOW, but yes soemtiems is disapointing), I'll accept some design decissions are flawed.

Until then I will think they have taken the correct path for the next 5-6 years (until we have CMx3 if we ever have it), I'm confindent on them. Most issues are fixable or being able to be improved (including QBs, WeGo, WeGo over TCP/IP, pausable online RT or whatever).

I would even gone farther probably with the hardware projection ahead, funny enough that probably would have eliminated some of the problems that seem attached to the current action spot/map grid system. But that game would be playable only at top line systems so I think they have done what they could given the potential customer. I would also hire an other programmer ;) (yes have said this too many times allready lol).

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Originally posted by dalem:

Dodging the question. Despite your best efforts and best intentions, you don't have "SgtGoody Mission: Esquire" on release day - you have "CplGoody Mission: Gardener".

What do you do? smile.gif

Start work on the sequel immediately: "Gardener Mission: Banging the MILF."

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Originally posted by dalem:

</font><blockquote>quote:</font><hr />Originally posted by sgtgoody (esq):

I spend the 3 years I have been working on the game getting the BASIC functions of the game to work. If I have to release it early atleast it will work. Later I add the bells and whistles.

BZZZT!

Dodging the question. Despite your best efforts and best intentions, you don't have "SgtGoody Mission: Esquire" on release day - you have "CplGoody Mission: Gardener".

What do you do? smile.gif

-dale </font>

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