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Everything posted by benpark

  1. Not sure about that - I'd imagine your guess could be the closest to their original planning/reasoning. They did a pretty good job of anticipating hardware trends, but processor/GPU savings are always a balancing act for anyone that makes the computer-games. Too true. One experiment always seems to lead to another. There are so many adaptable things with this engine that can be tinkered with. Games within games to play with.
  2. Looks fantastic. Did you assign additional textures to the models in Bender? One of the problems with winterizing trees is the way the branches work in the stock versions - the snow effect has to be overall, or it gets randomized. Some snow might appear on the top of the branch, some might be on the bottom, defying gravity.
  3. Double check that you have the Core file loaded when doing the campaign wrap and save. For example - don't have your first scenario loaded when doing the campaign save - it must be the Core scenario file for the game engine to do the comparison against for all following ones where the forces are tracked. Otherwise, post your campaign tracking code file and those of us that have toiled on similar issues before may have some insight.
  4. Pen and paper, first, along with dozens of bookmarks. I use Photoshop for after that, with each battle a separate Layer with an "IN" and "OUT" flowchart - I keep everything movable, on one document. It is open to add or remove things, and is pretty simple. Like a script-writers room wall, in miniature. Anything like Powerpoint (or the Open Office version) would also let you do this graphically.
  5. I've just done a deep dive on this for a future patch at some point. Soviets are proving aggressive again in the second mission. Part of the issue with an underwhelming attack on the second battle is that this is conceived as a linked campaign from either side - it's tracked from BOTH sides, with some added support in case of a total wash in the first battle for the AI. If people completely destroy the enemy from either side, that means the night's fighting is basically done if there's no force left but the added assets. I'll probably branch it, adding another mission with only part of the force carrying over - there will be some benefit to decimating the enemy, but far less. I'll see about rethinking the German side a bit, as this is meant to exhibit some of the terrors of the advent of heavy armor versus man-portable AT assets in urban terrain in this particular instance as well as able. I'll look at the wall, and maybe swap it for the rubble one, which is lower.
  6. In the days of film, even! I think I remember Steve writing that he had a turntable setup, like a pre-3D scan, with scale models.
  7. Yes - this was a great use of branching. I also like the reveal of the AI Plan idea. I feel like there's probably other uses for that concept. The Campaign Script would have to be graphed out in my "scaled-operational" scheme. Since the CM campaign scripting choice is binary, the next choice is/must be as well. There can only be two choices per battle/iteration, so the next choice would again be one of two decisions. A hypothetical script concept outline start: -Battle 1/Choice 1: Using your method above - There are potentially two sub-units of a given force, deciding which Company with support, etc. to take into that particular battle. Let's say Company A and Company B of a given higher command with support. Next, we get into Branching. So, this is just one possible rung on the ladder to start us off with the outline. -Battle 2/Choice2 Choice A: Player is presented with a choice of areas to attack (example from the above map might be something like: SIMONTORNYA or CECE). AI side is part of the battle, as designed. Next battle would be set by Win or Loss on script. -Battle 2/Choice2 Choice B: Player is presented a choice of one of two battles that could be anything from an attack in a different direction/rest and refit/defensive battle. AI side is part of the battle, as designed. Next battle would be set by Win or Loss on script. Repeat for as many battles make up the campaign, using the follow on battle set by Win and Loss as your guide to what the heck is happening! It would be twice as complex with the force decision, but maybe twice as much fun. Would this hit a critical mass of mind-bending? Certainly, if overly ambitious (see above). It's really best for something more contained - say one segment of the fighting around St. Lo in Normandy, or the fighting just in the Deg to Simontorntya area seen here (a segment of the map would be used). Keep it to 4 or so main events, and it would be manageable hard work.
  8. Great! Yes - windows are oddities. They seem to knock out entirely, or not at all. Which makes little sense, so it must be a coded element. Layers are where Photoshop is most interesting., particularly when used in conjunction with the Opacity slider and the Blending Modes. Using those two tools in Photoshop (or an imitator) can really start to mix the new user textures to the original CM template ones - often where the originals are a guide, and replaced entirely. Opacity is the amount shown or not over the underlying layer (like tracing paper that gets progressively shown more closer to 100%, and not at all at 0% . Blending Modes set a given method of blending(!) two Layers, based upon a given Mode that you have set. Something like "Hard Light" simulates an intense illumination effect in the blending of the Layers. There a few of them , and they each do something unique. The on-line Photoshop knock-off (it seems to have most features): https://www.photopea.com/
  9. From the CMFR Cutting Room Floor. Any time there was a BFC switch over to another project, I'd try out something weird with the included tools. You may have seen a version of this in CMCW, which was an adaptation of this original concept. The idea is to have a visual to track the campaign over, with choices depicted "on map" for the campaign portion. This is simply a map that is zoomed way out to cover an operational area. Houses are towns, large buildings are urban areas, factories are industrial areas, and so on. The scale has been exploded to represent a potential campaign level view. The player would have a small unit representing their force on-map. I suppose you could have more than one unit, t depict multiple combat groups, but that is untested. Enemy forces would probably be tied to the scenario, but there may be some area for creativity there. The campaign script has two potential decisions per branch. That could be a choice between any number of scenarios - a choice between attacking one of two towns, etc. Something like this could used as a makeshift operational map. This concept could then be used (in whole or portion) to create branching battles on an "operational map" made from a standard map...but scaled up. I like the idea of using the entire map for this one, as it would keep a sense of progression (or not). Like CMMC, but without any extra engine stuff, and everything is tracked via the campaign script. It gives a graphic progression to the text-based campaign we currently have. My idea was to have a few new flavor objects for the towns and smaller trees, but it can be done with what we have (and maybe a 2D mod or two). I suppose there should be some standard for what the 3D stuff means (2 small barns= town, 4 large buildings= city, etc). It's getting the practical stuff on-map, then making sure it doesn't look like a dog's breakfast in 3D. The "operational map" where the high-level branching choices are is below - this map being for the area covered by Operation Spring Awakening. It was too much of a slog for a campaign, but the operational map remains. If you have CMFR, you will see some maps destined for this idea. In practical terms - The choice to the player would be "take the road to Deg, or take the road to Enying", then the player will move their campaign operational map Schwimmwagen/Jeep, etc. to that "town" on the map (or any choice trigger terrain), which will be linked to that battle as the next battle in the campaign in the campaign script. I the map attached, the Germans start at the west (just because of the current map rotation - really north), heading east (south, geographically) to Simontornya or Cece. The attached example is far too large, and was intended to be split into smaller sections. Doing something of this size would be unmanageable to make a campaign script for if the battles were numerous. Each operational sub-map would be its own campaign, with 6 or so branches. That's probably 12 sub-maps, which can be easily made from Master Maps, QB maps, etc. If I get any free time to cipher it out, I'll attach a script example for the branching for the first round using this map, and maybe others may wish to test the idea out on their own ideas. I have a few of my own, but they need a fair amount of time to percolate. Images, looking west to east. Hungary, Lake Balaton region.
  10. BMPs will work with Alpha Channels - the heaviness of the effect can be alleviated by using greyscale (any value between black and white, with black blocking, and white showing the effect), rather than absolute black (0,0,0 RGB) or white (255,255,255 RGB). There are some oddities to this. I attempted to create some broken glass shards remaining in the destroyed building for Berlin, but it wasn't "taking" - it's something Charles has had to do to get the model to work with the texture that has some limitation in game terms, expect. Roads should work with the Alpha Channels i BMP format, however. What they do for file formats and how they operate in-game in the future would be considered very carefully (I'd imagine, based upon experience). Any choice of files for future game engines would depend upon what the file must do, and based upon parameters such as use of Alpha Channels (or other opacity systems), and how the textures interact with the models they need to wrap around. BMP format does that well, and retains quality when sized, so it is a good choice for games where the texture has to have those aforementioned qualities. The file sizes also need to be manageable over many different systems, so that would also be a concern. BMP's do fairly well there, as well.
  11. This is good! It might be worth using that end of road "tab" with an Alpha Channel, to ad a little dirt spill from the Macadam-ized road onto the dirt.
  12. I'm attaching the Snow Roads (they have an associated Mod Tag attached, from FR). They might be useful as a guide. I'll get caught up on the last two pages of this thread when I get a free second to see if I have any other useful road experiments (aside from the many failures!). Snow Roads.zip
  13. Here's a "not ready for prime time" test I made for FR for muddy roads, to see a few joins with discrete tracks. Still a little angular, but everything lines up, with turning in mind. The joins are best done with all files open at the same time for comparing hue/saturation and image density. That's the best method for matching - seeing it all at once.
  14. Road joins are the ultimate horror. Those look good in the linear textures. You could grab the "trolley tracks" I did from RTFR as a guide for line-ups. That's the only one I can think of from the road textures where you would have a set of linear information to follow. Photoshop Guides will help line stuff up a bit, otherwise.
  15. The way to know is to Cease Fire at the end. In the release version, the Soviet AI groups somehow lost some assignments - so if you see large, unused Soviet groups left at that stage you should patch (you should anyway, as there are other fixes). Then, they should be quite aggressive (as in the first battle).
  16. The coding of that needs to specify a lot of variables - cover, morale, etc. - so the happiest medium for the most situations, while depicting "human" behavior is the goal. I suspect that some of the adjustment from the "hit the deck" behavior when faced with enemy fire may towards with a game-wide view of behaviors. If your pixelmen ducks under enemy fire, that impacts a coded AI player's behavior as well (both strat and tac). A trained squad should be able to maintain attack some degree of attack momentum in the face of light fire. For the majority of cases, the general movement behavior seems better than ever to me right now - there was a massive batch of testing prior to RT:FR on that - for all titles, but given the dense nature of some of the combat, and the issues people were seeing with bocage a few years ago, this received a lot of BFC attention. Getting an AI attack going was also something that I spent years on for FR (imperfect still that it is), and these fixes helped keep the AI from completely bogging down (along with lots of experimentation and testing). Could it be better - sure - I'd like an animation/separate state depicting something between Normal and Pinned. "Alert", maybe. They could swap their current Movement order to "Assault", following the same path as prior. Animation could have their heads ducked a bit, etc. The other thing about this balancing act is that the AI plays by the same Tac AI rules as the player does - no peeking, etc. It struggles with the same challenges of keeping their forces moving, without nearly as many powers of reaction. So having them stick to the plan as much as possible helps.
  17. I enjoy tuning in to these two streams, they are good at presenting what they are doing and why they are doing it. Same battle, two players, two different AI plans. Spoilers for Soviet campaign...
  18. The Soviets should be roaring out of the gate on that second one. Are you playing the patched version?
  19. That map looks great. Time to play some CMFI for a bit.
  20. The AI seems to like to select groups in QBs with a preference for allocating entire higher command groups to their own AI Group. I tend to hit the Random selection when playing a QB, and fixing that somewhat with adding another 2 formations, with the expectation that they will then be assigned to their own AI Groups. It seems to work for QBs larger than Tiny pretty decently, and seems more cohesive. The player would still need to prune these formations, to match the point total, using the system above. I will also start a QB, then save it, and forget about it for a few weeks. That keeps my selections forgotten, and random enough. Saved games are underutilized. It seems that they could also be saved and forgotten for a while/shared, to get the feeling of being dropped into command at a particularly busy phase of combat. I had considered a system for FR where I'd use AI Groups 1&2 for foot, and AI Group 3 for wheel/tracked plans. That way, people could select based upon those presumptions, and get a more appropriate AI Plan. I'm not sure adding lots of additional AI Plans above 5 or so would be to the strength of the AI, with the above in mind. Lots of penny-packet randoms running around, without the illusion of cohesion in many cases after testing this for some time a long while back.
  21. That could be a game engine thing, I believe. I think I had some of this when I was taking whacks at the buildings ages ago (they are...complex, and best left to Cassio's particular genius). The game doesn't do the next-generation ray-tracing deal, but there are directional shadows mapped. It seems to be based upon what models should be there, rather than what we might mod them to be. That may not hold for everything, though- helmets don't seem to cast shadows- but they can come off. If they are 2D based, the solution above would certainly do the trick. But these deep dives are rarely easy, as we know!
  22. The Alpha Channel on anything you want to not see will need to be converted to all black (0,0,0 RGB). It will be rendered invisible afterwards. As suggested, you will want these ModTagged. I'm not sure what other associations that file/files may have (other branches that may or may not be present in the scenario), but it will also affect any shared textures. Shoot me a PM if you run into issues with it still showing up.
  23. I'll post a bug report if it isn't producing a screenshot as intended with the standard combo, as I expect that impacts all titles if not working as intended. I don't expect that has been changed since the advent of CMx2. My old go-to screenshot utility FRAPS stopped working for me, maybe with Windows 10. I've had to go to the NVidia Tools as a replacement, which is good but you need to be NVidia-based.
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