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panzermartin

Improving the look of CM Normandy

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Also don't forget the war-specific doo-dads:

Rommel's Asparagus

Beach Obstacles

Dead Cows, of course

Crashed Waco Gliders

Used Parachutes

Dead soldiers/Paratroopers(not attached to one of your units, but ones you could sprinkle around the map and have your men forage for ammo)

Those are just some off the top of my head. I think if they could pull off the dead men idea, they could easily also put in ammo dumps for resupply purposes.

And yes, I also realise many of these are only applicable to D-Day/Normandy beachhead, and the game sounds like it's meant to cover everything up to and including Operation Cobra. But D-Day sells, and who doesn't like paratroopers?

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with almost every game it feels like the combat troops teleport out of thin air. the civilian & natural scenery may look great, but it's almost like it and the combat troops would not exist in the same dimension. if there's eye candy, add eye candy that makes it look like those grunts have actually lived there, that the rear & support elements are around, that the area has seen warfare. make it less clean, less sterile.

just some pics after super quick googling:

wreck_pz_iv.jpg

destroyed_sherman.jpg

reginamortar.jpg

1.jpg

retreat.jpg

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Another effect it would be nice to have, is drifting leafs, or moving low mist clouds, in hazy conditions.

Also, random uniforms/equipment among german squads, quite typical of the chaos in 1944's wehrmacht :

(Art from Ron Volstad)

file.php?id=156747

CMSF has nice infantry models but they feel a bit like cloned plastic figures out of the box. I expect to see more variations in Normandy compared to the tidy and clean modern US troops.

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URC,

make it less clean, less sterile.

Give us a couple million bucks and we can create all kinds of mess with it ;)

There are three reasons why games, even the very big budget ones, have environments that are more "clean" than in real life:

1. Artwork is expensive to produce, takes up resources in the computer, and slows down the framerate. In other words, the "dirtier" the battlefield is the more impact it has on everything else.

2. Trash, litter, debris is something that is by definition chaotic, unpredictable, and site specific. That is extremely hard to do convincingly in a dynamic environment like CM compared to a preset environment like the various FPS games. In the FPS games you experience a couple dozen "levels" which are hand created (at great expense) to look they way they do. In CM maps are custom made by the user and therefore thousands and thousands are produced. That shredded PzIV in the above picture was probably knocked out by heavy bombers. How often do you think people want to see that same exact busted up PzIV? In premade environment you would only see it one time for that one level, not again.

There's absolutely no way a free-form environment is going to look as good as a premade one, and even the premade ones are only now starting to look decent.

3. Debris, clutter, etc. is a result of dynamic real world activities. In a virgin battlefield you don't have combat debris and clutter, or at least it's probably minimal. The debris and clutter come from the battle you, as the player, are fighting. So perhaps by the time you're done the battlefield looks like the pictures above, but DURING the battle it doesn't. Unless, of course, it is a fight over the same ground as before. Unfortunately, this further complicates the above mentioned problems.

Bottom line is that computer game environments are sterile for reasons that have nothing to do with creativity of the developer. Only very expensive, premade battlefields can get even somewhat close to what things look like in real life. And even then, not all that close. We are going to do what we can, within the constraints I just mentioned, but the point of diminishing returns on atmospheric stuff happens very quickly. Therefore, keep expectations for what we can do low :D

Steve

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Well, she is may be 92 years old now or somefink.

Given Emrys' age she's just a spring chicken then. In fact, given the age difference, it's probably illegal for them to be alone together.

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I am not so sure, If I need all these artifacts cluttering my screen, if they are not functional. I am talking about the doodads, that is. Of course some details, will help to improve the immersion effect.

However, I would really appreciate if we have below terrain features included, some are already mentioned.

- small brooks (Anyone remembers Thomas Klimisch Marsh mod for CMBO?...that was in 2000, anno 2000 like in 1 B 911).

-please let water flow over various levels in the terreain and don't lock to one level if tiles form one continous stream. (An implementation in CMAK, I actually never liked)

-Bridges : Besides the typical arched stone bridges,

-Small wooden bridges:

pt24072.jpg

-Medium Steel Bridge:

pont-basculant.jpg

-and of course, Arnhem style bridges.

-Furthermore, we need quays, you know the straight walls, that go into the water along rivers, canals and docklands. Please add a river barge or two or a fishing trawler.

-Same with station buildings, please add some quays and, as already mentioned, some lost railcars on the railyard, which give at least some cover or concealment.

- Water towers for the FO's with a death wish.

Rowhouses

10682568.jpg

Obviously, you have different style of rowhouses in the cities than in the villages.

I think you should also be able to put houses next to each other on different level in climbing streets, hilltop villages etc...

- Factory building, smoke stags...

- Cobbled stone roads (Think bicycle race Paris Roubaix)

- Barbed wire fences,

- Castle farms or chateau :

Activite-3086-Image_1.jpg

Did you see the gate and the iron fence?

- And especially in the 'bocage', we need sunken roads and of course the... hedgerows.

Else, medieval towngates, railroad tunnels, locks or dams, and most important, the chicken scoop and the backyard dunny.

That's it, should be easy, no ?

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I think we might be giving Steve a Migraine as he watches us dream up graphics he and Charles can in no way produce, or at least produce and have it done in time before the engine is completely obsolescent).It might be a little mean of us.

Oh well. So anyway, How about Mine Dog Units transported in Horse Drawn Carts That can hide in full FOW Trenches?

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I can understand that Battlefront is limited in how much they can improve the game's look given limited computer resources. Given all the ideas mentioned above, I think the most needed visual improvements for the game ranked by order are:

1. improved smoke graphics for burning wrecks & buildings

2. improved building rubble

In addition, I would like to see a toggle option for removing the "Questionmarks" on the map when a spotted you goes into hiding. Similar to what we can do for objective flags or unit icons. The battlefield map is so beautiful and those "questionmarks" spoil the immersion for me when I watch the movie playbacks.

Finally, I hope Battlefront can find a way visually to allow players to better see the map terrain elevations better either through shading, or through the use of some kind of hexgrid toggle option on the map.

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Tacwar - you can already toggle icons on and off, I think its shift-I of Alt-I or something.

I definately agree with you on the smoke and rubble - those combined would make for some very atmospheric street fighting! Someone also mentioned decals showing hits on vehicles, if that could be applied to buildings too then the combined effect would be awsome!

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I want roofs! Lots of roofs. I want mansard, gabled, hipped. I want slate, wood, straw! I want the ballistic properties of the different materials modelled! Does slate protect against artillery more than straw? How do the shells' fuses get affected by the slate or straw? Will falling slate injure my men sheltering under the eaves? Can I scale the gutters to storm the upper floors without going up the stairs?

I won't even start on chimneys.

Ken

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Give us a couple million bucks and we can create all kinds of mess with it ;)

my point was that if you are going to include purely eye candy details, it would be cool if you could make some of those details to be related to military gear instead of just civilian environment.

That shredded PzIV in the above picture was probably knocked out by heavy bombers. How often do you think people want to see that same exact busted up PzIV?

yeah, it doesn't need to be as heavily damaged as the one in the photo. you already have all sorts of damage to vehicles in the game. perhaps allow those models to be used in the maps, with some extra editability like ability to place them partly dug in ground and such. i realize it takes development time and you most likely won't do it.

3. Debris, clutter, etc. is a result of dynamic real world activities. In a virgin battlefield you don't have combat debris and clutter, or at least it's probably minimal.

let's not get into this sort of argument. :) there is no virgin battlefield if there have been military units in there, with or without a previous battle, with or without prep arty or air strikes. but let's not get in this, it's not important.

We are going to do what we can, within the constraints I just mentioned, but the point of diminishing returns on atmospheric stuff happens very quickly. Therefore, keep expectations for what we can do low :D

i know :)

i am the last person to ask for more eye candy. that's not my point at all.

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Agree with Tacwar's priorities.

Collapsing big buildings could deform the terrain mesh to form a 3D pile of rubble.

For the burning vehicles, the most important "fix" would involve the smoke particles not starting with radius zero, but rather with a bigger radius that engulfes some of the little fire objects.

Better yet would be to have the smoke come from either the hatches or the engine deck depending on where the tank got hit.

It all sounds simple to me ... :) ... After all, the little flame objects already know where they should go on a tank, so that information is stored somewhere.

Best regards,

Thomm

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Some media:

Fire coming from turret hatch of burning M1 tank in COD4

Burning tanks in Ossetia: simply put fire FX on ground.

The famous Cologne Panther: fire from the hatches:

Best regards,

Thomm

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I love all the suggestions, but how about at the least, some very basic--and essential for WWII--details: sandbagged dugouts/firing positions and wire. Just various sand bag formations (straight and semi-circular sections and straight lengths of "regular" barbwire and concertina wire).

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I personally ask for more attention in world objects because vehicle models are already top notch and perhaps one of the best in the market now. On the other hand, environments are somewhat below the market average imo, with straight roads, boxed buildings and some problems in trees and effects.

I would agree with the more sensible positioning of fire coming from wrecks. It would take some more work though to do this for every tank and vehicle but yeah it would be nice if flames didnt come from the fenders but from inside the hull/turret, poping up from hatches, and engine decks. And as I said, smoke should look more dynamic, transparent and random. When a CMSF map is filled with burning hulks, smoke columns look wierd having all the same volume, dynamics, height etc.

This is a good point also:

Finally, I hope Battlefront can find a way visually to allow players to better see the map terrain elevations better either through shading..

I expect to see a lot more overcast maps in Normandy. The bad thing is that elevation shading is almost gone when clouds gather over CMSF maps. Maybe a kind of secondary ambient lighting is needed to give maps solid shadows, perhaps combined with a hazy effect to distingiush overlapping rolling hills better.

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