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If player A purchases the upgrade for CMBN & CF, but player B does not, will they still be able to play by email together? In other words will the save game be compatible between the two versions?

I plan to buy it as I am an avid fan. Some of the guys I have talked into buying the base game and remain lukewarm about it may not.

Very unlikely

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Glad you like it :) You guys have been asking for this sort of thing since CMBB was announced, so it's really nice to finally be in a position where this strategy is viable going forward. We really had to wait until the core engine settled down because backwards compatibility is one of the most difficult things to work around and yet probably the most important thing for customers.

As stated, unfortunately the engine's internals didn't fully stabilize until we got to CMBN. Hence the inability to offer the upgrades to Shock Force and Afghanistan. If we could have, we would have for sure.

Answers to some questions here:

1. Upgrades are Family specific. If you purchase an Upgrade 2.0 for Normandy you won't suddenly have access to Eastern Front units or terrain from Italy or whatever. The Families remain distinct and separated. However, the Upgrade does apply across all Modules within a given Family. Meaning if you have a Base Game and 3x Modules, you only need one Upgrade and all existing content will work without further Upgrades.

NOTE: some Modules will require a certain version number for them to work. Individual players will have to decide for themselves if they want to Upgrade so they can use that Module or not.

2. Games already in progress will need to be finished up before Upgrading. If a multiplayer game is in progress that will need to be finished. Players using different versions also won't work because the code expects the same version to be present on the other side. To do otherwise would involve a ton of work and testing. For example, Player A has CMBN 2.0 and Player B has v1.20. If they play a RealTime TCP/IP game, what happens when Player A hits the Pause button that Player B doesn't have? The coding and testing time to identify all potential "gotchas" like this is just not economically viable.

Steve

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How did you guys manage to make waypoints moveable? I thought they were highly dependent on action spots? I am guessing then that you move them and they snap to a spot?

With this new upgrading system (which I LOVE) say some new feature is introduced, such as fire or ground to air combat, will you add new units in with the upgrade for the appropriate theater/period as well? Like the Croc or Wasp for Normandy or Wirbelwind?

Mord.

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Crocs & Wasps....I'd love to see a few crocs & wasps.

I'm already prepared to add parts of the 79th AD to my CMBN project. ;)

(I'm also hoping that since certain other models will rear their heads in Italy, that the models will also be added to at least the final module in the CMBN family....Dingos, NA75, Humber SC, etc).

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How did you guys manage to make waypoints moveable? I thought they were highly dependent on action spots? I am guessing then that you move them and they snap to a spot?

They've always been on the exact spot you place them, though certain effects are of course abstracted to the 8x8m Action Spot. Implementing the dragging was more straight forward than CMx1, but still a bit of work. We have always intended on getting this feature into the game. Just took longer to get there than we all wanted.

With this new upgrading system (which I LOVE) say some new feature is introduced, such as fire or ground to air combat, will you add new units in with the upgrade for the appropriate theater/period as well? Like the Croc or Wasp for Normandy or Wirbelwind?

Good question. Something like flame throwing tanks will need code support to work as well as the TO&E/Units to use them. If it goes into an Upgrade and you Upgrade a game without such units, the feature isn't going to do anything for you right then and there. But it will be all ready for a future Module that has units that require those features.

Upgrades will never contain content such as units, terrain, etc. Only game related stuff.

Steve

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That's fine with me.

I plan on picking up the MG module (and the possible 'odd & sods' 4th module if it ever comes to fruition) regardless. If the code to support Crocs & Wasps gets included in the upgrade and I have to wait for the module to add the units, I'm still quite pleased to wait. I can even help provide OOB info if it's needed. Whatever helps. :)

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When I read the announcement for the new features in CMFI, my first thought was "shame they can't go back and add that to CMBN".

I am very pleased to read that it is not only going to happen, but with this new progressive upgrade system, it will happen again when even more features are added, and older families won't be pushed aside by the new ones that come out. So we won't be forced to choose what front to play based on game features, and all the families will stay fresh.

I also have to admit that my knee jerk reaction was against the idea of paying for the upgrades, but on reflection I do think it is fair, if reasonably priced, as it is not unreasonable for BF to make money from the time and resources invested.

BF is proving that you don't need "Planned Obsolecence" to make money. Why can't other companies do this?

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Good question. Something like flame throwing tanks will need code support to work as well as the TO&E/Units to use them. If it goes into an Upgrade and you Upgrade a game without such units, the feature isn't going to do anything for you right then and there. But it will be all ready for a future Module that has units that require those features.

Upgrades will never contain content such as units, terrain, etc. Only game related stuff.

Awesome stuff. Fully modular, upgradable, extendable and backwards compatible - it is the holly grail of programming. Nicely done!

Looks to me like you guys have made the right decisions about separating engine from content and after a lot of work are poised to take full advantage. My hat's off to you.

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2. Games already in progress will need to be finished up before Upgrading. If a multiplayer game is in progress that will need to be finished. Players using different versions also won't work because the code expects the same version to be present on the other side. To do otherwise would involve a ton of work and testing. For example, Player A has CMBN 2.0 and Player B has v1.20. If they play a RealTime TCP/IP game, what happens when Player A hits the Pause button that Player B doesn't have? The coding and testing time to identify all potential "gotchas" like this is just not economically viable.

I presume that you can have the upgraded CMBN 2.0 along side an install of CMBN 1.01 and an install of the patched version 1.1 (with the CW module) such that you can start which ever one you want.

This is how you can continue to play your on going CMBN PBEM games and start playing around with the upgrade features too. I currently have CMBN:CW (1.1) and CMBN 1.01 sitting on my hard drive. I have one game going in the 1.01 version and several in the 1.1 version some CW related and some not.

That way you never have to choose between playing your ongoing commitments and playing with the new stuff.

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Good question. Something like flame throwing tanks will need code support to work as well as the TO&E/Units to use them. If it goes into an Upgrade and you Upgrade a game without such units, the feature isn't going to do anything for you right then and there. But it will be all ready for a future Module that has units that require those features.

Upgrades will never contain content such as units, terrain, etc. Only game related stuff.

Steve

Ok, but say Normandy for instance, completes it's module cycle and fire wasn't implemented. Then say it shows up somewhere in the East Front lines of titles. Would you create a small module that included these fire using units that we could purchase for Normandy?

And how far into the CM future will these upgrades go. By that I mean, if there's a new breakthrough, cool addition in the last East Front title, four years from now....will those features still be backward available for Normandy?

Mord.

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I don't believe you will. The only problem, probably, will come from finishing-up ongoing battles and playing against people who didn't upgrade. And those are transient problems as old battles get completed and as everyone upgrades. You will need to install multiple basegames to play multiple titles, though.

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I presume that you can have the upgraded CMBN 2.0 along side an install of CMBN 1.01 and an install of the patched version 1.1 (with the CW module) such that you can start which ever one you want.

Yes, thanks for mentioning that! Yes, this is of course possible.

Ok, but say Normandy for instance, completes it's module cycle and fire wasn't implemented. Then say it shows up somewhere in the East Front lines of titles. Would you create a small module that included these fire using units that we could purchase for Normandy?

Theoretically, sure. Thanks to our control over online distribution we could make a very small "Module" with very few items and price it accordingly. There's got to be a really good reason to do this since every release we do, no matter how small, has overhead (costs) to us.

And how far into the CM future will these upgrades go. By that I mean, if there's a new breakthrough, cool addition in the last East Front title, four years from now....will those features still be backward available for Normandy?

The plan is to offer an Upgrade every time we release a game with new features significant enough to make people happy with an Upgrade purchase. People will not be able to jump directly from v1.x to v5.x four years from now. Gotta stay current or repurchase. Same thing that goes on with pretty much all software out there. I've had to repurchase multi hundred Dollar programs several times because I don't tend to stay current.

Steve

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Would be nice if I would not need to install multiple base games to play all the content available.

We honestly did take a look at going this route. Theoretically it could be done, however we looked at the technical side and had some concerns about it. Not for any one release, rather taking into consideration more releases. Right now things are nice and isolated by Families and that's helpful from a production standpoint. We decided we should retain that.

Steve

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We honestly did take a look at going this route. Theoretically it could be done, however we looked at the technical side and had some concerns about it. Not for any one release, rather taking into consideration more releases. Right now things are nice and isolated by Families and that's helpful from a production standpoint. We decided we should retain that.

Steve

As an optimist I read this as a possibility "further down the road" :)

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Theoretically, sure. Thanks to our control over online distribution we could make a very small "Module" with very few items and price it accordingly. There's got to be a really good reason to do this since every release we do, no matter how small, has overhead (costs) to us.

Excellent. LOL I am sure we could give you a thousand reasons why we HAVE to have a handful of fire breathing vehicles!

The plan is to offer an Upgrade every time we release a game with new features significant enough to make people happy with an Upgrade purchase. People will not be able to jump directly from v1.x to v5.x four years from now. Gotta stay current or repurchase. Same thing that goes on with pretty much all software out there. I've had to repurchase multi hundred Dollar programs several times because I don't tend to stay current.

Steve

Gotchya. That makes plenty of sense. I pretty much figured that. It's only fair.

So, basically every game title will benefit from an upgrade offer for as long as you guys keep making CMX2 series games (and the upgrade is pertinent to that setting). For instance if you have say 6 titles at that point (from CMBN on up), and title 7 comes out, the previous 6 will all have an upgrade offer? CMBN won't ever lag behind? Normandy will stay fresh and sparkly as the newest title, code wise?

LOL sorry, not trying to be thick headed just don't wanna mislead myself.

Mord.

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AWESOME! AWESOME! AWESOME! Really looks like some good steps in the right direction. Really like the addition of the new features like FoW icons, and additional unit icons. Also, the return of great features like the adjustable waypoints, and target Armor Arc will give the players welcomed better control. The only thing I was a little disappointed with from the screen shots is it doesn’t look the graphic for arcs have been able to be toned down to something subtler at this point in the build. Any plans to make this graphic far less overpowering in the future? Meanwhile, I’ll just play some “Purple Haze” in the background to go along with the “Mellow Yellow” ;)

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