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Brit

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- Some more game options, like Quick Start, better game-setup menus

I agree this is a bit of a weakness. There is also the problem with a relatively small active community that relying on user created content might be a weak point of the game.

I'd like to see maybe ten or so official "missions"/unit sets that can truly showcase what the engine can do. EoS could easily be relaunched as a wargame construction kit.

You can still make use of user created material just give it some quality control and include it in the release by default (with the author's permission of course). Combat mission has its scenarios created almost exclusively by unpaid beta testers.

Maybe releasing a free "content pack" would allow you to make an announcement and get more old players back, as well as getting some buzz for new players.

I have to say that its pretty hard to understand what's happening during a battle. On my machine its too small and to quick to really get a handle on. I usually don't care, but nonetheless it would be nice to have a slower more zoomed in lview if you wanted it.

Yes I've been trying to get more of a insight into what is going on during a battle with my posts in the other thread.

Battles taking a bit longer and having some sort of report of what is happening as units literally trade blows would be cool. Allowing for reinforcements, withdrawals, pincers (unit facing bonuses) might be good additions.

One other observation is that the demo seems to be rather generous. The maps you get in the main game aren't vastly different to the demo map, and the demo allowing players to go through a whole game allows players to get their fill and get sick of playing before they ever have a chance to crave more and buy the game. I was quite keen to buy EoS but the long beta demo knocked the edge off my enthusiasm. I eventually bought to support the development of the game and mainly to play with the unit editor.

I'd suggest a turn limited demo that allows maybe 40 turns at most of gameplay. Probably you could give access to the ruleset editor as well, just prevent saving of the ruleset as a demo limitation. I think this would be much more of a "one more turn" incentive to buy th full game.

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I like the new map editor video. Excellent !!! I didn't know you could use this feature to build a map.

Follow up with the next one and then do some overall Videos showing some game action and strategies.

I believe this will really help sell the game.

Good job. Now I'm off to try and build a map. :-)

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I like the new map editor video. Excellent !!! I didn't know you could use this feature to build a map.

Follow up with the next one and then do some overall Videos showing some game action and strategies.

I believe this will really help sell the game.

Good job. Now I'm off to try and build a map. :-)

HI, i am new, i just bought the game. i wanted to let you know that i bought

it thanks to the video described above.

and i don't have any regret.

Of course, i'm a wargamer. So i think you should target grognards and wargamers audience BUT , your game is so easygoing that you could also target a more casual audience like the one who plays WEEWAR

you are in what we frenches call a ``niche`` (a nest) , so you just have to

be a sniper at targeting audience, and you ll be fine.

You could also communicate a little more around your user created content INTEGRATED tools (with no funnel effect) , because that is the future and you are already there.

Don't forget your 2 targets :

1- wargamers who like historical realistic stuff BUT ARE FED UP with Matrix Games stupid mission editors ! they want to be able to create a theatre in 15 min.

2- casual turn based players who plays Weewar and Advanced war

and also , i did not hesitate a long time before to buy it because i played Combat Mission series and love them. so because it is labeled BATTLEFRONT ,

i trusted. give trust is what you do well , but this takes LOTS OF TIME , so the last advice is , keep the good work , cheap and smart !

Thanks for this nice game tho. :)

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Thanks. Glad you like the video. I was thinking the other day that I could probably create some tutorials - that would help people learn how to create some of this stuff, and also display some of the features of the game. I'm sure there's plenty of videos I could make if I started doing tutorials.

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ok now that i spent a few hours playing, i can say that

this game has the Sid Meier's "on more turn" syndrom. i just can't stop !

awesome.

i ll recomend it.

good job !

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My current interpretation of this is that gamers hear about the game first, then look for a place to buy it.
Sorry Brit, but no - it's exactly the other way around (unless we're talking a major hyped title, like StarCraft II and like).

If you try out Impulse and Steam you'll see first-hand why these systems generate extra sales. I've done impulse-buys on both platforms after watching the review videos - the "Buy now" link is never far away :)

Steam, being my personal favorite, is more than a distribution system. It's a online gaming community, including Friend's list, ingame chat, ingame awards system and more. This means, you'll see which games your friends are playing and how they're doing (awards, virtual medals :) ), enticing you to buy the same games to play with them. It's very much a "X-Box Live" community for non-console gamers.

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Brit,

I have some inputs for you, and I will try to be nice, and polite about them. I mean well, and I will try to not step on your toes.

1) Your price point is too high for the product you are selling. When EVERY review keeps harping on this, you should consider listening to them.

2) Your game, as good as it is, has zero brand recognition. Until your brand name increases substantially, you will be unable to charge premium prices.

3) A digitial distribution service such as Steam will gain you a lot of money. It will also, through these increased sales, lead to additional sales.

4) Unless you are a one-trick pony, the exposure to a HUGELY larger base, through HUGELY increased sales through steam, will allow your NEXT product to sell that much faster.

5) I would call it a day on this one, open it up to steam, and start developing the next full version of this product, or an expansion. You will get more money through an expansion of this product, via steam, than you will by selling two copies a week on this site.

6) Red Army and Blue Army and Green Army aren't going to get people excited. Consider the following options:

---Calling them Germany, Russian, etc., and releasing the first expansion as Empires of Steel: Germany, or Empires of Steel: World War 2

---It would be trivial to adjust the research to have Bf109a, and/or FW-190 as German fighter upgrades, instead of fighter 3 and 4.

---A T-34/85 is a lot sexier, and will give the player more emotional involvement than Tank, level 3.

7) Develop some additional skins, make all the land vehicles into hover-type craft, change the animation from BOOM! to ZZZZZSSSSSTTT!, and develop this into a science fiction theme.

---link scenarios from one "planet" to another, and you have a 4x game. I LOVE science fiction 4x games, as do millions of other people.

---there is more room for a science fiction 4x game in the market place, ESPECIALLY a beer and pretzels version, than you can imagine. I STILL play Masters of Orion.

---a relatively small adjustment to the interface would allow you to customize the weapon systems, add or delete ranged weaponry, add or delete transport capability.

---you have already done the heavy lifting to develop this in a totally new direction..a direction that would, in my humble opinion, give you a 10X increase in revenue.

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Sorry Brit, but no - it's exactly the other way around (unless we're talking a major hyped title, like StarCraft II and like).

If you try out Impulse and Steam you'll see first-hand why these systems generate extra sales. I've done impulse-buys on both platforms after watching the review videos - the "Buy now" link is never far away :)

Steam, being my personal favorite, is more than a distribution system. It's a online gaming community, including Friend's list, ingame chat, ingame awards system and more. This means, you'll see which games your friends are playing and how they're doing (awards, virtual medals :) ), enticing you to buy the same games to play with them. It's very much a "X-Box Live" community for non-console gamers.

I also purchase games online, in many cases, not knowing about them in advance. They call it "impulse", for a reason.

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Brit,

I have some inputs for you, and I will try to be nice, and polite about them. I mean well, and I will try to not step on your toes.

Don't worry, I'm not in a position where I can get touchy about advice.

1) Your price point is too high for the product you are selling. When EVERY review keeps harping on this, you should consider listening to them.

To be fair, a lot of those reviews were when the price was $45. We knocked $10 off that price a few months ago. I think knocking us for the $45 price was a fair criticism, and we should've launched at the lower price. I don't know if you're talking about the $35 price being too high.

2) Your game, as good as it is, has zero brand recognition. Until your brand name increases substantially, you will be unable to charge premium prices.

3) A digitial distribution service such as Steam will gain you a lot of money. It will also, through these increased sales, lead to additional sales.

Maybe. I had talked to Battlefront about this a month or so ago. They tried selling their games on Steam. They said they saw some increased sales, but it sounded like it was basically offset by the cut Steam takes (which is 20% or 30%, I don't remember right now).

4) Unless you are a one-trick pony, the exposure to a HUGELY larger base, through HUGELY increased sales through steam, will allow your NEXT product to sell that much faster.

Well, that may be. At this point, I need to make EoS a success before I can think about how exposure will increase the demand for next product. I haven't reached that point yet.

5) I would call it a day on this one, open it up to steam, and start developing the next full version of this product, or an expansion. You will get more money through an expansion of this product, via steam, than you will by selling two copies a week on this site.

To be fair, the sales have been roughly stable since January. I'd like to increase them, and worry that they might fall - since that's the expected trend for game sales. I'm not also not in a financial position to make a completely new version of the game. As things currently stand, if I decided to make a big expansion or completely new version of the game, my preferred course of action would probably be to go get a day job for a few years, pay my debts, build up my savings and then return years from now.

6) Red Army and Blue Army and Green Army aren't going to get people excited. Consider the following options:

---Calling them Germany, Russian, etc., and releasing the first expansion as Empires of Steel: Germany, or Empires of Steel: World War 2

---It would be trivial to adjust the research to have Bf109a, and/or FW-190 as German fighter upgrades, instead of fighter 3 and 4.

---A T-34/85 is a lot sexier, and will give the player more emotional involvement than Tank, level 3.

True, true. Although, I might have to change a few things - like limiting the game to a small subset of nations (no longer letting people play under whatever flag they want) and making custom units for each nation. (It would be weird to let the US player build Tiger tanks.) Of course, this gets into another issue - whether the units and technology is balanced well enough to fit historical reality. For example, do Tiger I's perform as well as they should against Sherman tanks? What about unit cost, maintenance cost, reliability, etc? I might be able to get away without getting too in-depth with those details, but once I give them names of historical units, some people will expect them to behave like their historical counterparts.

7) Develop some additional skins, make all the land vehicles into hover-type craft, change the animation from BOOM! to ZZZZZSSSSSTTT!, and develop this into a science fiction theme.

---link scenarios from one "planet" to another, and you have a 4x game. I LOVE science fiction 4x games, as do millions of other people.

---there is more room for a science fiction 4x game in the market place, ESPECIALLY a beer and pretzels version, than you can imagine. I STILL play Masters of Orion.

---a relatively small adjustment to the interface would allow you to customize the weapon systems, add or delete ranged weaponry, add or delete transport capability.

Well, yes, I have had some thoughts about making the technology/research system more in depth and interesting. It would be nice to add things like tactics, too (example: "you've learned advanced infantry tactics") along with military academies to give various improvements. It would take some big time investment into the underlying game system.

---you have already done the heavy lifting to develop this in a totally new direction..a direction that would, in my humble opinion, give you a 10X increase in revenue.

At this point, I do think that I need to do something bigger with the game to attract more attention. Incremental changes and fixes are nice, but it seems unlikely to grab a whole bunch of new players. The gaming press is also unlikely to pay much attention to the game anymore, now that it is 8 months old - so I don't have that benefit on my side.

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I'd much prefer you add positional tactics to the game then have a unit learn advanced tactics. I'm saying giving units an attack advantage if they hit someone from three sides at once that type of thing. Or units taking damage every turn they are surrounded because they are cut off.

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I agree that there is no way the game will have a big jump in sales with only incremental updates.

One big thing I've mentioned a few times is the lack of OFFICIAL content for the game. That 1940 ruleset played with resources OFF is great fun, why not give us a couple more, or even one official scenario? I see that North Africa map in the videos, but is that even playable?

Relying on user content gets you a fractured community who spend more time creating new rulesets than playing together in online games. It also gets you a lot of mediocre or experimental content for your customers.

How about a Sci-Fi ruleset or an Ancient Greek Ruleset? It would require the cities to be modded a bit too, and new art of course, but it would be doable.

I'd suggest a content pack released as a free update, combined with a better UI to launch scenarios and maps. A release like this might get a bit of press.

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The content pack is a good idea. And I think the basics should be finished. Sorry to keep harping on this but there a few things undone.

1. Aircraft carrier AI needs to be improved.

2. Paratroop AI needs to be improved.

3. The AI should have a system to get its units repaired. I suggest that when hit points reduce to 55% of max the AI sends the unit to the nearest repair facility for that type of unit.

4. Additional terrains as discussed. Jungle and maybe a few others.

Plus any other kind of basic that I can't think of. It's hard to build when the foundation is unfinished.

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I see that North Africa map in the videos, but is that even playable?

Yeah, the North Africa scenario is taking longer because there were so many new features that needed to be added. (Those features should also be useful for other scenarios.) This means not only all the new units and play-balance, but I also want to turn off the ability of cities to build units, handle supply lines (because supply-lines were very important in that battle), stuff like that.

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Please release this on Steam. Ask any indie developer who used steam and ask how much their games have grown and gained popularity. You NEED Steam. I can't stress this enough. If you release this on steam I will personally get on a plane just come and say thank you in person. YOU NEED STEAM.

edit: on a side note, the entire Theatre of War series was just recently released on Steam. That is a popular Battlefront game. I don't see why you can't.

Did I mention the fact that YOU NEED STEAM?

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Please release this on Steam. Ask any indie developer who used steam and ask how much their games have grown and gained popularity. You NEED Steam. I can't stress this enough. If you release this on steam I will personally get on a plane just come and say thank you in person. YOU NEED STEAM.

edit: on a side note, the entire Theatre of War series was just recently released on Steam. That is a popular Battlefront game. I don't see why you can't.

Did I mention the fact that YOU NEED STEAM?

Ok, ok. I'll start talking to Battlefront again about getting it on Steam.

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lol, I'm just going by what I've seen so far with other indie developers.

Tripwire Interactive's Killing Floor - Tripware themselves have stated they would be no where without steam. Because of Steam, pretty much any PC Gamer I've seen knows about this game.

Arcen Games' AI War: Fleet Command - x4000, the head developer's codename, has now sold thousands of copies of AI War, released an expansion and the recent Puzzle game Tidalis. He started from scratch. Now, largely because of the grown popularity on Steam, he now pays his salary including his team, and even recently hired a graphics artist.

Oh, and after this:

http://store.steampowered.com/sub/4696/

Battlefront has no excuse not to let you put EoS on Steam.

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Somehow I suspect it isn't that simple, EoS is a still a work-in progress as far as I can see. But I support anything that allows Brit to work on games full time until he's old and grey.

I ended up putting my money where my mouth is for that reason, and its rare that I part with cash for anything other than a bargain-bin big title game that's been out for a year. EoS is probably the most expensive game I've bought in two years,and that may also say something about the price-point. Most impulse buyers won't be so sentimental ;).

Brit, I think Battlefront's storefront has enough visibility to get you your sales, but I think even $35 might be a bit too much. Consider the international buyer, who converts to USD and pays a small conversion fee. EoS cost me over $40 Australian and that's compared to a full price new-release PC game of $90-110 and a bargain bin version of the same at about $20-30.

I've impulse buy'ed several games where the demo grabbed me off similar developer owned sites like BFC, but I'd suggest $25-30 US might be a better invitation to join the club. A good demo and a good price point combined with a bare minimum of promotion should get you a bit of momentum. When you consider Steam taking 30% maybe you could just reduce the price by 30%? Thats my EWAG.

I'd also suggest you consider my earlier comments about limiting the turns in the demo and opening up the ruleset editor but disabling saves of rulesets, maps, scenarios. There's nothing more teasing than getting into an editor and getting excited about the possibilities therein only to find you can't test what you have created. Maybe you could even create one or two tiny demo scenarios rather than one random map.

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Steam. that will get you some more attention to the game. After that a new expansion to get the game talked about on review sites again.......then the expansion at steam............ followed by a new game....

Empires of the Stars.......... you have conquered your own world,...now to conquer others.

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Expansions could come as packs that give rulesets/unit sets/research trees, for specific time periods.

An expasnion that covers just world war 2 time period. A pack that covers the crusades time period. A korea/vietnam era pack. A pack that covers modern technology/units. Futuristic units,...etc. A few 'alien' unit sets,...so we can push back that alien invasion,....or invade the homewolrd. Maps could be included, giving historical/ hypothetical setups. This will also give us some 'official' variations intead of having several different user created scenarios with nobody agreeing on exactly which one should be used.

They could be released as individual, low cost packs, or could be bundled into 1 expansion.

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3. The AI should have a system to get its units repaired. I suggest that when hit points reduce to 55% of max the AI sends the unit to the nearest repair facility for that type of unit.

By the way, the AI has had a repair system in place for a while. If it's not using it frequently, then there's either a bug in the system that's blocking repairs entirely, or maybe it's simply not getting repairs frequently enough.

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By the way, the AI has had a repair system in place for a while. If it's not using it frequently, then there's either a bug in the system that's blocking repairs entirely, or maybe it's simply not getting repairs frequently enough.

Oh. I've been playing with no repair in the game so as not to take advantage of the AI so I don't really know how it's working.

A while back you wrote that the AI had no system for units going back for repairs when needed. And I hadn't seen any mention of it in any updates. But if there is one, this makes it possible to make a ruleset with buildings that can build and repair different kinds of units. It opens up a lot. Would you mind elaborating on how the system works?

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Oh. I've been playing with no repair in the game so as not to take advantage of the AI so I don't really know how it's working.

A while back you wrote that the AI had no system for units going back for repairs when needed. And I hadn't seen any mention of it in any updates. But if there is one, this makes it possible to make a ruleset with buildings that can build and repair different kinds of units. It opens up a lot. Would you mind elaborating on how the system works?

I'll take a look to see if the AI is ever doing repairs, and whether he uses repairs as frequently as he should. As far as the repair system, the Official 1900-2030 ruleset uses different buildings for units based on whether they are land, sea, or air. Barracks repair ground units, shipyards repair sea units, and Airbases repair air units. I believe it's also possible to setup cities and airfields to do repairs - which is something that is useful if you're creating a ruleset that doesn't really use city improvements.

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What I've been thinking about for a while is a ruleset that uses all those buildings for making and repairing units, where it takes resources to build them and to build units but none for maintenance. And simple tech. Like infantry levels 1,2,3,4,5. I mentioned this in another post. So I'll be very interested in seeing if the AI not only does repairs but sends units to the proper building to have them done when needed like when hitpoints reach half of max.

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So I'll be very interested in seeing if the AI not only does repairs but sends units to the proper building to have them done when needed like when hitpoints reach half of max.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Hi Brit, just wondering if you ever figured this out?

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