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Off topic. Road To Moscow


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This post being off topic, I apologize in advance. Along with CM, I have been following another game development; Road to Moscow, published by Interactive Magic. I think that this forum is the place to ask "Grognards" and others about their take on this game, taking into account both the quality and maturity of people posting here.

I purchase 2 or 3 games a year in average (read as; only 2 or 3 a year are worth buying IMHO), all WWII related. Having already preordered CM, I am trying to gather some info & advices on RTM, before even considering acquiring it. Any feedback would be appreciated.

Thank you for your time,

Karl

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It has been in development for so long you'd thihnk John Romero was designing it. They've had multiple publishers drop out from under them IIRC, but the game sound enticing if it can be finished. A contimuous time (that can be made to run 'real time') game that models all of the Eastern Front? Down to what the company level? SHeesh! It sounds like it could change alot about wargames... or it'll fall on it's face. A couple people over on c.s.i.p.g.war-historical have wrked on the beta. You might ask there for some informed opinions.

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Xyphorus,

Road to Moscow, or as I've taken to calling it "Road to Moscow 3000AD" in honour of its expected release date ( a name first given it by a wag I know wink.gif ) is one of the most famous so-far vapourware wargames around.

I think that even if everything works out perfectly it "MIGHT" be out within a year. However, I don't expect it to be released succesfully. If it is, by some miracle, released I expect it to be bug-ridden and hugely problematic.

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

___________

Fionn Kelly

Manager of Historical Research,

The Gamers Net - Gaming for Gamers

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First thanks for your feed back.

howardb,

Go to the www.wargamer.com, they do have a RTM HQ, which was updated a couple of weeks ago.

Compassion,

As you put it, this game seems to be one of a kind. But as Fionn pointed out, it is almost too good to be true. The whole Eastern Front would be covered, with micro & macro managment of all fighting forces, including Romanians, Italians, Finns, and Hungarians. Quite something!

Fionn,

Could you please elaborate on why you think that the game may be "bug-ridden and hugely problematic." Would it be due to the game engine itself, or rather its design? Or do you think that the game is too ambitious to be achieved? Also, I have seen it listed for sale online by 01/03/00. I believe it was at gamesdomain, but not 100% positive. I assume it must be some marketing hype on the part of the online store.

Thanks,

Karl

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Let me clear a few things up about RtM.

First off I was a beta tester for iMagic for the game, I used to email James DeGooey back when it was at Arsenal quite a bit, and I was to be the lead tester when it got to the point where they had a stable build for UbiSoft (the new publisher).

The game was very stable when I last saw it, the only problem (at the time) was that the larger scenarios consumed monstrous amounts of CPU power because of the daunting task of trying to simulate (IN REAL TIME) every small unit action on the East Front wink.gif. I would say (and safely say) today that the newer systems coming out would have no problem with it. I have a PII300 with 64M of RAM and it ran for me (even the largest of the campaigns/scenarios) just fine, if not a tad slow.

The biggest problem is that this game started development a good 5 years before the technology was there to support it. Imagine CM on a 386 with EGA graphics wink.gif. Arsenal was a small company and just simply could not support this game's development for sucha long period of time (which was compounded by the underestimate for what sort of computer would have to run this game).

After paying a hefty sum to buy the rights to RtM from Arsenal they shopped around for publishers and eventually landed at iMagic. The iMagic testing was going fairly well and the game had just entered beta and we were seeing some real improvement with each build when iMagic decided to go out of the publishing biz.

Then Ubisoft got it. Unfourtanetly BDG had been using proprietary iMagic networking code all throughout the game. It literally took them several months to carve this stuff out and put in DirectX compatable networking code into the game. Then some family problems cropped up (Lead Designer's daughter got married and a death in the family) which took more time. Then out of frustration in how long everything was taking there were a few silly mistakes made in trying to baseline which verison of DirectX to use. That leads to now.

Honestly these guys have thrown a large sum of money (their OWN money) at this game so I know they want to finish it. I know it is currently still being worked on as we speak, by a one man programming team. What the future has in store for it is anyone's guess to be perfectly honest. I know if Ubi drops them they already have some plans to self distribute the title if it comes to that.

So right now I honestly don't know where the game is headed. It is sad that they have had such bad luck with publishers to be perfectly honest. I understand it also because a game like this requires a lot of money in development costs but it probably will NOT sell well because of it's complexity and nature. However if they do pull it off it will be just like CM, a game that redfines a genre as far as realism goes. Just as CM is touted as the ultimate in wargaming because of it's realistic 3D graphics and physics model, RtM was in the fact that you could finally detail war on a large scale down to the individual small scale battle's of a campaign.

Sorry for the long post but I wanted to fill the new guys on the block on the real history of RtM.

Thanks smile.gif.

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

Richard Arnesen

The Wargamer

http://www.wargamer.com

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Well what Richard says is right so far as the facts go.

However there are many cases where the facts don't give the full story. I often refer to the "flavour" of a story or a battle as being as important to understanding it as the facts...

Anyways, my basic reason for saying that I expect it to be a failure if released are as follows:

1. I have heard from many people who have seen recent betas and all have been dissapointed in it.

2. The team so hugely misunderstood what would be necessary to run the game some time ago that this saps confidence in their technical ability.

3. The DX version is only the latest in a long line of technical problems. The fact that this many technical problems are being encountered and publicly mentioned (underline the last two words) leads me to really worry about how the rest of it is faring.

4. I really hope it succeeds but I just have my doubts.

I've not gotten an evaluation copy and would love one if they'd send it to me but in the absence of playing a beta myself I guarantee that I won't buy it unless all the reviews by reviewers I trust are complimentary (or I get to review it myself and find it good).

I just think that any game with such a troubled development history is bound to have a number of uneasy compromises stacked upon one another which will cause problems come release.

When it started to be developed 40 Mhz 386s were around. Now we're on Win 200 and close to 1 GHz CPUs. Games designed when 386s were around have limitations not necessary nowadays, code rewrites of applications etc would be necessary as entire new OSes appeared etc..

I think the long development cycle has stored up a lot of trouble.

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

___________

Fionn Kelly

Manager of Historical Research,

The Gamers Net - Gaming for Gamers

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Richard said:

<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>So right now I honestly don't know where the game is headed.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Well, let's hope it gets somewhere. I don't care what Fionn says, I've had too much emotion invested in RTM for way too long NOT to buy the damn thing when and if it finally appears. If for no other reason than to salute the sheer balls of the guys who thought it up, even if they couldn't pull it off in the end. I don't care if it runs at all smile.gif.

Hey Steve, how 'bout hooking up with these RTM zealots? Like's been said, if RTM can be most of what it wants to be, it'll be as revolutionary as CM.

-Bullethead

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Well,

I have to admit that I admire the guys from RtM for being determined in making their project a reality. Determination is sometimes able to make a difference. Like Bullethead, I will certainly get the game, not simply to support the RtM team, but also to get a game that dares to do something that no mass-market oriented products will ever do; being different, true, and breaking the rules.

Thank you all for the feedback, that was indeed very informative.

Qui vivra, vera!

Ciao,

Karl

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