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Posts posted by 76mm

  1. To be clear, I doubt that many players would be interested in my particular campaign software, because it was built for my preferences.  But that's OK, because if they have access to the data, they (or somebody) can create whatever it is that they are looking for.  Without the data, none of this is really feasible, because detailed manual data entry before/after every game is just not interesting to 99.9% of players.

  2. Sorry, I lied, one more! One of my favorite things about my program was that it allowed me to track/manage individual commanders--who had the most wins, losses?  Who was currently unassigned? Who was wounded?   When was he commissioned, and how long had he been with this particular unit?  I could transfer, promote, or demote with the click of a button.  Gave a great role-playing feel to the campaign!


  3. A couple more screenshots.  The first one shows the report that the program would spit out to allow the player to set up the CMBB game manually, and then track kills/casualties for each unit after the battle.  The second one shows how data was entered back into the program after the battle.  The last one shows how you could create units in the program (which would take into account available resource points, etc).  OK, no more, I promise!





  4. Anyhoo, those screenshots show what I came up with to meet my own specific preferences, someone else could create whatever pulled their trigger.  The main problem with this program was that all CMBB game data had to be manually entered after each game, and then manually re-entered before playing the next game.   Not good.

    I used a home-made VASSAL module as an op layer.  It was great fun, played it for many years.  In fact it kind of ruined my gaming, because now I can't play any other way.

  5. 2 hours ago, Lethaface said:

    On the previous page Mos stated "I have no idea what it takes programming wise to make it all work. ", to which you replied "Frankly, it is not that hard...". Look it up if you don't believe me.

    OK, just to be clear, I thought he was referring to the data manipulation part, which is what I responded about.  😁

    27 minutes ago, Battlefront.com said:

    Someone else would have to create another program to do anything meaningful with that data.  And that is no small task.  Some of you old hands might remember that we partnered with someone to do just that with CM1, which is an infinitely more simplistic system compared to CM2.  The effort failed because the amount of work necessary to get even a rudimentary external campaign system up and running was too big. 

    I was involved in that project many moons ago (Hunting Tank Software, was it?); that kind of thing is certainly very ambitious and difficult, and encounters the same problem that you've already pointed out--everyone wants a different campaign system.  But that's not what we're talking about at all...

    The thing is, you don't need to create a whole op layer like that to be able to make use of CM game data for campaigns.  As long as players can have persistent units and terrain, they can use them to create any number of rudimentary campaign systems that suit their preferences.  I think it would have huge value for players--rudimentary campaign systems are far better than no campaign systems... 

    For instance, what I was talking about was not an op layer, but rather a program that could help players manage campaign units in various ways without tweaking them one by one in the editor.  As I've been saying (oh uh, not again!), this kind of thing is not difficult to create (once it has exported data to work with).  Or as someone else has suggested, even just a button that would allow saving unit states at the end of the game and then using them to create new scenarios (same with maps).

    [EDIT]  I'm going to try to post some screenshots of the program I created for CMBB to give you a better idea what I'm talking about...  But have to find it first!

  6. 3 hours ago, Lethaface said:

    However, stating that 'it' is 'frankly not that hard', based of your experience with some xml scripting / 'manipulating' as a lawyer, is rather 'ill informed' if I may call it that. You do indicate you're a lawyer and thus perhaps not the ideal candidate to make informed assertions about the difficulty of implementing a feature in software.

    Sorry, but I have no idea what you're going on about.  I have explicitly and repeatedly stated that I have no idea about how hard it would be to export data.  I really don't know how I could have been more clear?

    But--sorry if you don't like it--I am going to repeat my assertion--as ill-informed as it may be--that manipulating XML data after it has been exported (whew, trying to make it 110% clear) is just not that difficult.  How difficult it would be to re-import I will leave to the esteemed software professionals, because again I have no idea.

  7. 1 hour ago, IanL said:

    Oh yes, please. I would love to see that. There are many people who play in tournaments and campaigns at TFGM site that this would benefit - because those organizing them could do even more cool stuff.

    Zactly.  AFAIK this has been one of the most requested features (OK, at least by me 😎) since the beginning of the CM franchise.  I have absolutely no idea how difficult it would be to export/import data, but it would be a huge breath of fresh air for these games.

  8. 1 hour ago, Lethaface said:

    At the same time, because of the info on the endscreen and the fact that campaign carry over functionality does exist, one can imagine that the exact data is already neatly available and could indeed be relatively easily be exported (and of course an import interface is also necessary). And than perhaps they have other reasons not to desire this type of functionality for their product.

    AFAIK all of the data I'm talking about is available and visible to players at the end of the game, so the data must exist.  How difficult it would be to export I have no idea.  I'd be curious if there would be some reason this functionality would not be desirable?

    1 hour ago, Lethaface said:

    Edit: concluding that it's not so hard is, in my opinion, plainly wrong. And I  do have a professional background with regards to the subject matter 😜

    um, what is "it"?  I have no idea if exporting the data is hard or not.  But creating a program to manipulate XML data is not very hard...and I say this because I've taught myself how to do it from scratch, with virtually no experience.  Time-consuming?  Yes...  Especially difficult?  No...

  9. 44 minutes ago, MOS:96B2P said:

    I have no idea what it takes programming wise to make it all work. 

    Frankly, it is not that hard...I'm a lawyer and taught myself how to do all of this from scratch using free tools (plus some books).  I think for an experienced programmer it would be a tiddle.  Anybody with an interest should start playing around with this stuff.

    [EDIT]  And it depends on the format of the underlying data...XML is super-easy to work with because it is so structured.  I can't speak to data in other formats, could very well be harder to work with.

  10. 11 minutes ago, DerKommissar said:

    Just one button that loads an OOB from a save file into the QB force builder, would open up a world of possibilities.

    Indeed.  But being able to export the OOB to something like XML and then re-import would be even better, because it would allow you to manipulate the OOB outside of the editor...say you want to automatically provide X% reinforcements, or reduce fatigue, or resupply ammo between battles--this could all be done programatically without having to make the tweaks manually in the editor. 

    For CMBB I created a tool that would track units and leaders, tracking casualties inflicted and suffered per battle and over time, allowing leaders to be transferred, etc.  But ultimately to get these details into CMBB, I had to enter them manually in the editor for each battle, which was a hassle.

  11. 10 hours ago, Battlefront.com said:

    All I'll say is if the majority of our customers could agree on a single campaign system that was realistic to develop, we'd be all over it.  But that's not the case. 

    I totally agree with you here, and understand why you've not spent time/resources building a campaign system.

    BUT!  I think there is one (I think) relatively simple thing to do which would help players create whatever campaign systems they prefer:  allow end-game forces and maps to be exported and imported into another scenario, to allow for persistent forces and persistent map damage, etc.  If the export format were in readable format (XML, etc), the forces could also be managed by home-grown campaign editing tools (that would allow for replacements, or whatever).

    If these files are in some easily readable format, this kind of editing tool is not especially difficult to create--even I have done if for a different game--and I have little doubt that some talented folks here would take the ball and run with it.  Worst case, it would allow people to create their own manual campaigns.

    This is one feature which has been consistently requested for many years, and I really hope that it can be implemented some day.

  12. 1 hour ago, Attilaforfun said:

    -Marketing. I love you guys but I'll say it like I see it...your marketing is the worst (along with Tiller) I've ever seen.

    Not to pile on, but I think BF could improve here.  Despite the fact that I've been a forum member here for almost twenty years and have bought many of your games, I didn't get any e-mails announcing R2V pre-sales or release.  Or for any of the other recent games' pre-sales or release.  I suppose I should be glad that you're respecting my privacy, but just sayin'...  Heck, even Tiller sends out e-mails when new games are released.  

    20 minutes ago, Michael Emrys said:

    Were there that many formations that made it through the whole war? My impression up to now has been that they were expended and replaced pretty quickly. But I make no claims to being an East Front maven...

    On the German side I think there were quite a few, or at least right up until early 1945...most of the panzer divisions, Grossdeutschland, probably more.  Of course some of these units were destroyed and reconstituted (some multiple times), or transferred to the West, and sometimes back East, but you could at least put together a 2-3 year campaign.  On the Russian side it would be trickier, but could probably still be done with a bit of research.  

  13. 2 hours ago, Battlefront.com said:

    That make sense?

    Yes, thanks for the explanation; the timing aspect certainly adds a wrinkle or two.

    Although it seems like this could be overcome with some careful selection of module content, for instance representing a "slice" featuring units on both sides for a certain period, etc.  For example, an ancients game that I play (Field of Glory 2) releases DLCs on a regular basis; each DLC is optional and includes a couple of dozen ancient armies from a particular era/region that can fight each other.  While not completely analogous to your situation, the system works really well.  As an aside, engine updates are distributed for free when most DLCs are released, I suppose primarily to keep the player community from fracturing into different engine versions--multiplayer is very popular, and a key reason for the game's success, so it important to keep everyone on the same version.

    But as you mention, given the three categories listed above the issue is not particularly relevant.  

    Nice seeing you around, now get back to work (on whatever you're working on)!  😎

  14. 25 minutes ago, Battlefront.com said:

    From our experience Combat Mission customers tend to fall into one of three categories:

    1.   Not interested in the theater and either never buy into it or buy into it quite a bit later on (perhaps when there's bundles available)
    2.   Interested enough to buy the first release, scratched the itch, and either don't buy anything more or purchase something far down the road
    3.   Very interested and buy everything that comes out for the theater, if not right away then as soon as time/money is available

    I would agree these three categories pretty much cover the field, although I guess that could change if you started releasing say, 5-10 smaller "modules" per game instead of 1-3.

    25 minutes ago, Battlefront.com said:

    The primary issue with the "theater sandbox" concept is dependency upon previous releases. 

    Frankly, I don't understand why this is an issue, since at this point optional DLCs are a common feature of many games.  It seems like it would be even less of an issue since you have already disconnected engine upgrades from content?  Of course I can see how it would be too late to implement this for existing games or perhaps any future CMx2 games, but what about CMx3 (if there is any such thing)?

  15. 7 hours ago, Battlefront.com said:

    Now, before someone says it... we aren't ever going to have a "sandbox" game where there is one and only one central Game Engine with DLC added too it. 

    OK,  but I sure hope that CMx3 features "theater sandboxes" so that all of the East Front or West Front content, etc. can be played within a single East Front or West Front game, respectively.  I am not a fan of the current model, which would require four separate games for the the East Front, for example.  Why not provide front-specific content as DLCs?

  16. 36 minutes ago, IanL said:

    LOL the principal that people should not be payed for their work? That principal?

    ...most games don't upgrade old engines they put out more content on the old engine. BFC decided to do things differently and now CMBN is just as "new" a CMSF because they did the work to update engine and not just create additional content and let the old games just lag behind...Now I don't have to agonize over playing CMFB engine 4 with the spiffy new engine where MGs work as expected over CMBN engine 1 where they don't.

    I guess the crux of the problem is that many people don't agree with you that "most games don't upgrade the old engines."  I don't know about the games you play, but as mentioned previously just about every game I play has provided free upgrades for several years or longer.  The Panzer Campaigns games released twenty years ago have the same engine as those released this year, because they have released various free patches over the years.  For FOG2, every DLC includes some tweaks to the engine, which are released free to everyone, even if the don't buy the DLC.  The Campaign series has released a couple of major updates for their Mid East game, and will release another when they release their next game, which covers Vietnam, bringing it to the same standard.  CMANO released many updates over the last several years, before releasing a second version of the game a few weeks ago.

    You raise another point--at what point is something an "engine upgrade" vs a "patch"?  If MGs don't "work as expected" in CMBN is it reasonable to expect customers to pay to fix it?  

    For the record, I've never felt especially strongly about this issue, but from what I have seen, many people do.  And while you can disagree with them, I don't agree that they are crazy or being completely unreasonable, as many here seem to suggest.

  17. 1 hour ago, slysniper said:

    And would anyone not serious about buying the game even be on this site. 

    What a strange question!  Maybe they'd like to you know, find out more about the game before buying it?  Sorry if that is not "serious enough" about the game for you.

    But to your point, while it might make some of you feel good to try to convince some of us that it is perfectly normal to pay for an engine upgrade in addition to paying for a module, the fact is that a great many people--most of whom are not on this forum--don't think so--I've seen frequently on other forums.  While I guess that you might be happy that such non-serious players won't consider buying the game, it results in the loss of a $40 module because of a $5 upgrade (or whatever the exact prices are...), which some people apparently won't pay on principle.

  18. 1 hour ago, Offshoot said:

    ...only early buyers end up paying for the dev costs of the engine upgrades.

    I guess I just find it strange that BF would put people off buying modules by not including engine upgrades in the price of the module.

    I have to agree with this; it seems quite bizarre that any necessary engine upgrades are not included with the cost of the module, or that early buyers of a game have to pay for subsequent upgrades, not not later buyers.

    Also, from my experience, I can't say that any of the other games I deal with have a similar policy.  In fact, just about all of the games I've bought in the last several years provide "engine upgrades" for free.  Examples include FoG2, CMANO, the Campaign series, the Panzer Campaigns series.  The Panzer Campaign games in particular stand out, since many of them were released almost twenty years ago.  

    I haven't been particularly bothered since BF's cost for engine upgrades is not very high, and I only buy the ones for CMRT, but the fact remains that this policy has been unpopular with most gamers, and has served to fragment the players among people playing the various engine versions.  

  19. 19 minutes ago, MikeyD said:

    I wonder if Honda Motors gets many posters to its website claiming its cars are fundamentally flawed and if they only listened to the poster's instruction they could fix all of their problems.

    I wonder if Honda would sell many cars if it ignored users comments about what they liked and disliked about its cars, or if only positive comments appeared on its website?

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