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Survey: Do Graphics matter much in CMs case?


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From my experience graphics don't matter *if they're good*. If they're good you kind'a forget they're there. If they're bad they call out for your attention. I'm thinking in particular of the CMBN commonwealth module Porsche Tiger. The initial release version kind'a made its presence felt, if you know what I mean. The patch revised Tiger with much improved model and skin was more successful and so less jarring onscreen. Think of the number of times you've played the game and simply forgot you were looking at a rendering of a tank or a painting of a machinegun. 'Not noticing' is a compliment. :)

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Yup, what MikeyD said. We all got so used to the test version of the Porsche Tiger and Lynx that they slipped out to you guys. And boy, didn't we get an earful about that ;) When the correct, final graphics went out to you guys some people did say thanks and that they looked great. But it's not like people were starting up new posts to discuss how much better they looked.

If we released the same exact game but with CMBB/BN models and textures I am positive sales would be significantly lower. Maybe by as much as 50% lower. Best case is CMBN would have done alright, but each subsequent release would find fewer and fewer people interested in buying.

CM battles are particularly fun because of the atmosphere. I wouldn't blame anybody for shying away from CM if we had bad graphics. Though I don't think we'd get many more customers if we could suddenly have big publisher (aka $10m budget) graphics.

Steve

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It's strange, but in this genre graphics are a touchy subject. Many of us happily play larger scale games with simple 2D maps and little counters to move around. The gameplay is what sucks you in.

At this level of combat, the company size tactical engagement, a 3D environment really adds to the atmosphere. This, IMO, is why the original CM series was as successful as it was. Now, as our 'average' expectations increase with the advances in hardware, the minimum level of graphical fidelity we will accept raises with it.

I have played most of CM's direct competitors, and I always find myself back 'home' with CM. The combination of graphics, gameplay, and fidelity of the simulation is unmatched IMO.

Granted, there is no wargamer in existence who doesn't have a little 'gripe' about their favorite game, and I am no exception. I echo the feelings of others about maybe having some more animations. But I constantly remind myself, whining about the little things in CM is like complaining the your mother of pearl spoon has a little chip missing while eating caviar. We have things pretty darn good!

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It matters. My first exposure to Combat Mission was a CMBO screenshot. I remember thinking "that looks like Steel Panthers, except in 3D" (I used to play Steel Panthers a lot). I probably would never have bothered with CM if it looked like every other hex-based counter pushing game I had been playing for 20 years.

Oh, and about the new KT and Lynx models: thanks, they look great. ;)

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I'm reminded of the difference between silent film stars Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton. Chaplin is hailed as a genius and his work is studied in college cinema classes. But if you watch his films you may appreciate the technique but you rarely actually laugh. Buster Keaton, on the other hand, you laugh out loud. You hurt yourself from laughing. It seems a lot of big game titles are 'Charlie Chaplin' games - they deliberately wear their cleverness on their sleeve, you're too busy 'appreciating' the fancy technique to actually enjoy them. CM series are 'Buster Keaton' games, too busy enjoying them to bother 'appreciating' them. :)

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They definitely do matter. In most areas I think CMBN and CMFI is doing well, but one area where I still think they aren't up to snuff are the rifles carried by the various combatants (minus the Italian ones, which look really good). Most of the rifles look like they were unpacked from the shipping crate an hour before the battle started, and then there are egregious mistakes like the Lee-Enfields missing the buttplate and MG34s sharing the same receiver shape as the MG42.

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Most objects look wonderful to me!

Sometimes I forget that this is a tactical game.

I would love to see a few more animations, like troops holding the rifle at trail and the occasional waving or gesturing nco or officer or tank commander. A kind of water semitransparency also would be nice. The one thing which like to see more expanded is vehicle damage. Not neccessarily as detailed as in "Theatre of war", but the occasional turret of or askew and loose tracks and some more damage to softskins like loss of a wheel would be great.

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Graphics are fine the way they are. The only thing that pulls me out of the simulation is when trees stick through vehicles or other vehicles or vehicles run over infantry. This is probably not easy to fix but I hope its somewhere near the top of the list of things to fix.

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The one thing which like to see more expanded is vehicle damage. Not neccessarily as detailed as in "Theatre of war", but the occasional turret of or askew and loose tracks and some more damage to softskins like loss of a wheel would be great.

I know this is not a wish list but THIS^^^^^^

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I wouldn't say that better graphics is an irrelevant issue for CM, but they are not where I would put my emphasis. I was quite satisfied with the graphics in CMx1, and in retrospect they were quite horrid. It's just that they were adequate to convey the information I was interested in in order to play the game. Beyond that, I simply ignored them. I applied a few mods to CMBO, but I don't think I bothered with any after that.

So while continued improvements in graphics would be welcome, in my view they definitely take a back seat to gameplay issues and historical authenticity. That should give you a clue as to how I would like to see BFC allocate its development resources.

Michael

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Graphics should support two main functions- as immersion and as a way to relay information visually to the player. CMx2 graphics do both quite well. Think about the "pinned" state, for instance. That animation relays information that is indeed backed up by the UI, but who wants to always be looking there when you can be on the immersion side and watching the action. You know what's happening in a visceral, graphic way. That's well thought out, but something that has yet to occur in many (practically all "wargames") other games.

That said, would a few more animations be nice for "tired" troops, damage to vehicles, etc.- always. I have no doubt they will be continually improved at available intervals.

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I'm reminded of the difference between silent film stars Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton. Chaplin is hailed as a genius and his work is studied in college cinema classes. But if you watch his films you may appreciate the technique but you rarely actually laugh. Buster Keaton, on the other hand, you laugh out loud. You hurt yourself from laughing. It seems a lot of big game titles are 'Charlie Chaplin' games - they deliberately wear their cleverness on their sleeve, you're too busy 'appreciating' the fancy technique to actually enjoy them. CM series are 'Buster Keaton' games, too busy enjoying them to bother 'appreciating' them. :)

I can't express in words how happy it makes me to see someone make a Chaplin vs. Keaton reference on a wargaming forum. :D

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I think this thread went from a survey about what people think about the graphics to one about what people want graphically. I don't mind it at all because i agree to most of the things you guys are saying, such as better animations, visible damage on vehicles and now to put in my own saying. What about models for planes or helicopters, now that would be really cool just seeing Thunderbolts Swoop down and strafe men and vehicles. :)

Edit: So i think we can all agree new animations and visible damage :D

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It's strange, but in this genre graphics are a touchy subject. Many of us happily play larger scale games with simple 2D maps and little counters to move around. The gameplay is what sucks you in.

At this level of combat, the company size tactical engagement, a 3D environment really adds to the atmosphere. This, IMO, is why the original CM series was as successful as it was. Now, as our 'average' expectations increase with the advances in hardware, the minimum level of graphical fidelity we will accept raises with it.

I have played most of CM's direct competitors, and I always find myself back 'home' with CM. The combination of graphics, gameplay, and fidelity of the simulation is unmatched IMO.

Granted, there is no wargamer in existence who doesn't have a little 'gripe' about their favorite game, and I am no exception. I echo the feelings of others about maybe having some more animations. But I constantly remind myself, whining about the little things in CM is like complaining the your mother of pearl spoon has a little chip missing while eating caviar. We have things pretty darn good!

+100 to this comment

With time, our expectations rise because of what we see from other games.

But I enjoy what we have and glad they are to the level they are at.

Its one of the reasons I cannot go back to CMx1, I just cannot handle seeing the old 3 man squads. I am spoiled.

As to improvemnts. Yes always room for that.

There is only one that really drives me crazy, AT guns seem to be terrible at times, not with how they look, but with the animation of them and the crew as they move or load . At times it just acts terrible, maybe it has improved, but I never watch them for a long time now, because they are so unrealistic. So I only check on them to see if they are in place and ready to fire.

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More animations...some blood...new death animations like dismemberment..or seeing dead in vehicles, falling out the door etc..though I think we need more animations allround. Though my biggest wish over anything is at least be able to fan out in kine formation..

Actually, I am kind of glad they have stayed away from the blood and grusome dead bodies That we now see in many other games and movies.

Yes, some more might be ok. But I know what bodies would really look like after a Big arty strike, do I want it in the game - Its a area of debate.

I have started to find, that when the entertainment goes to that level. Am I entertained or am I being dehumanized. It is not entertaining and I am not proud to tell others that this is a game or for enjoyment.

So, just my view point

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I think CMx2 graphics are well done but of course there is always room for improvement and animations definitely need some work. I would like to see some randomness in the way the infantry models move so as to eliminate some of the robotic feeling you get when watching your troops.

I always thought that having rifles pointing in different directions while moving would look more realistic. Some to the right, others to the left and not all soldiers would walk or run at port arms. Some might move with the weapon pointed up and others move with the weapon pointed downward. Some might use a modified port arms with the weapon in the crook of the arm. German soldiers would sometimes carry their weapon hanging down by their side while running or a MG gunner might carry his weapon on or across the shoulders to help distribute the weight.

One big pet peeve of mine is that skating animation that you see when soldiers seem to slide into that last action square at the end of a movement. That animation really kills the realism for me personally but that's just my OP

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