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I don't want the amount of content of CMBB, if that means that most of the new stuff is infantry formations. Who cares? What I want is game mechanics development, bug fixes and something done about the horrible UI (apart from the DRM scheme that disables people who they plug in USB joysticks or soundcards, WTF?, and the so-called distribution that has broken patch files with no checksums on third-party websites and cuts off downloads after some period although all downloads are bit-for-bit identical, WTF^2).

CM went from a game representation where units were point-like (which looks bad of course) but had the same level of positioning and control to a scheme which is incorrectly called 1:1 - because now the representation is 1:1 but control is not. This looks better but had exactly the consequences some of us predict back when it was announced, which is that the TacAI for positioning those sub-control soldiers isn't smart enough (surprise!), that there are many edges around combat that have unrealistic results, that fortifications have been made even more difficult to get right, that players need a PhD in "action spot mechanics", and to top it all off the 3D performance, especially when panning, isn't anywhere close to acceptable with all that junk being drawn. And that is after completely naive LOD (level of detail) which looks like crap. Add to that loss of e.g. unit scaling which made CMx1 much more playable without ruining anything (because you can scale back to real size with a keystroke). At least we got rid of the stupid command delays but that's just one of those things when commenting out some misguided code in CMx1 would have been a fix, too.

So, anyway. Now we see a release frequency (games and modules) that is way below targets stated by Moon, even recently, and not only that, the list of new stuff in CMx2:MG is just ridiculous considering the time that passed, if you don't find new infantry formations exciting.

On top of that we can shake our heads about that big deal Steve made out of the "problem" of duplicate units, and infantry formations at that.

If you find that all the development effort, hour for hour, is put into the right place, more power to you. But since everything is behind every timeline that BFC themselves posted, you might be a little alone in that.

So yes, you think they should have stuck with CMx1 and just done a few tweaks here and there. So now, because they went through all the trouble of creating this new complicated engine which completely ruined the game, CMx2, you will never be happy because the poor old CMx1 gameplay will never be revisited and upgraded. So when you saw sales figures of (not actual figures, just guestimate figures based on percentages Steve used in the past)

CMBO 100,000 units

CMBB 50,000 units

CMAK 25,000 units

Mr Redwolf of Redwolf Software Inc's vision for the future is ......

I see the trend and it has become obvious that sales are shrinking 50% with every release. The main problem is that we didn't make good enough demos and those improvements we did make to the game were the wrong type of improvements because they slowed the game down. The game itself is solid so we just need to stick with what we've got and forge ahead with a few tweaks.

So after making CMBO, CMBB, and CMAK what would be the next project for the Redwolf Software Inc's CMx1 strategy? Would you go back and remake CMBO with a few tweaks or try your luck with some other theater of operations? I guess the only option left that wasn't already covered would be either the Pacific Theater of Operations or Early War Blitzkrieg stuff ...? Do you think either of those projects would equal CMBO sales figures and get Redwolf Software back into the black? I don't know for sure what the situation was at BFC after CMAK was released, but I'm going to guess that if CMSF was a total bust it could very well have been lights out at BFC soon after.

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Yes we pick and continue to see younger players enter the hobby, but not in the same quantities. Their age group have other interest and most of that age group do not have the ability to want to think deep tactics. They have learned run and gun is what works and thinks that is what war is all about. Oh dear, help our future.

Completely agreed. Its a shame what my generation has turned out to be, most of my friends who play games like men of war, COH, and total war don't understand games like CM, they all try to blitz through scenarios and get all their men killed. Don't have the patience or thinking like you said. BUT not everyone is like that, maybe i'm different because i was introduced to CM at a very young age and i have enjoyed history for as long as i can remember.

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What was that release frequency?

FWIW. These posts were made at the end of June, last year, on "The Road Ahead" thread in the CMFI forums.

Combat Mission fans have a lot to look forward to in the next year as the CMx2 game engine continues to produce games at an every faster pace. At the moment we have three games in active development and more planned. While we aren't in a position to make detailed announcements right now, we can tell you what the three are about (in no particular order):

1. CM: Battle for Normandy Module 2. This Module picks up where CM:BN and Commonwealth left off... with the September push out of France to the German border. The content centers around Operation Market Garden, though it covers more ground than just that. The game includes a number of new vehicles, formations, and new terrain models/textures. Adding new terrain, a first for any Module so far, ensures that you feel like you're fighting near Germany and not still back at the beacheads.

2. CM: Eastern Front 1. The first of four Eastern Front "families" starts with Operation Bagration (June 1944) and eventually covers through to the end of the war (May 1945). For many tactical warfare enthusiasts, this period is considered the most tactically interesting since both sides were at their peak of their military technology, organization, and experience. The scope and scale of the combat offers plenty of subject matter to explore.

3. CM: Shock Force 2. Our return to modern warfare is long overdue! Given how close Shock Force 1 was at predicting a conventional conflict in Syria, we're a little nervous about choosing a topic this time around. Especially because we've chosen to simulate a full spectrum conventional conflict between NATO and Russia in the Ukraine. This gives players a rich tactical environment to explore with the most advanced militaries the world has ever seen. Having said that, we hope the politicians aren't insane enough to try it for real. Even thought this is great stuff for a game, it's the last thing this world needs in real life.

We have more games planned for 2013, however we are making no formal announcements at this time. These three mini-announcements should be enough to keep you busy for a while.

Yes, this is the roadmap for the next 12 months. All of these are in active development already.

When we moved to the CMx2 engine we said one primary reason was to optimize the backend stuff so we could crank out games quicker. If anybody has been tracking the release dates they will see that we have been progressively shortening development times since the initial CM:SF release. That's the result of us finding bottlenecks and dealing with them effectively.

The last year gives you guys a pretty good look at where we're headed. We released Battle for Normandy, Commonwealth Forces, and Fortress Italy. That's 2 Base Games and 1 Module. In the next year I would expect to see another 3 Base Games and probably 3 Modules.

Steve

I'd say - and here I'm not implying anybody is lying or selling us snake oil, mind you - that obviously something didn't go according to the plan. The actual delivery was a Module (Gustav Line), the v.2.0 upgrade for CMBN and the port of CMSF into MacOS X.

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With the exception of the Gustov Line module, every game BFC has ever made has shipped late, including all 3 CMx1 games. It's not a CMx2 thing or even a BFC thing, it's a software development thing.

The timeline Moon posted was a much accelerated schedule compared to what BFC has previously stated as their goal:

Our first WWII ETO game might be just Normandy between Americans and Germans from this date to that date. You get it into your hands after only 12 months of development instead of 24. You have a blast with it... then 6 months later maybe there is a "module" that is released that offers something different... like Commonwealth in Normandy from this date to that date. Price is lower than the full game, but the full game is required. The "module" can be done by an auxillarly development team which allows us to keep going forward on the next title. So 6 months later you might have CM- Pigs In Space; The Baccon 6 Conundrum.

By that measure their current pace of some new product every six months is about on schedule. Why they planned more recently to release 4 in one year I don't know. That is an insane pace. What other wargame developer, or any game developer, puts out stuff that fast? I question if it would be a good idea even if they could.

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Completely agreed. Its a shame what my generation has turned out to be, most of my friends who play games like men of war, COH, and total war don't understand games like CM, they all try to blitz through scenarios and get all their men killed. Don't have the patience or thinking like you said. BUT not everyone is like that, maybe i'm different because i was introduced to CM at a very young age and i have enjoyed history for as long as i can remember.

Well said. I've gotten my 11 year old son into CMSF. The WWII games don't appeal to him, but the modern titles do. Like you say, he tried to bull his way through like it was an XBox strategy game, but is learning. There is hope.

It's also nice for my ego to beat him soundly after being dominated for countless hours playing Halo w/him & his friends.

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Well said. I've gotten my 11 year old son into CMSF. The WWII games don't appeal to him, but the modern titles do. Like you say, he tried to bull his way through like it was an XBox strategy game, but is learning. There is hope.

It's also nice for my ego to beat him soundly after being dominated for countless hours playing Halo w/him & his friends.

Very good of you! My dad actually plays a mixture of Black Ops 2 and CM, i can decimate him in Black Ops 2 (Which i dislike playing), but he usually wins most our Hotseat games (With heavy casualties of course :)).

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Thanks, ForwardObserver, for posting those earlier statements from BFC. I hadn't known about the NATO-Russia modern title. The idea of playing a game shooting terrorists has never appealed, but that one sounds fascinating.

Of course, the Eastern Front title is the one I'm awaiting most eagerly. It's probably the most interesting period both historically and - as they say - in terms of weapons, units and technology.

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What part of the Bf quote do you think you guys are saying you are holding Bf too that is incorrect.

It mentions they are not formal announcements so no real dead line is given and it said they were wanting to release in 2013.

So we still have close to 6 months in the year, with no promise to begin with that they would make it out this year and you all have your panties in a knot because they dont have them in your hands yet.

Grow up and play with the toys you have and take a chill pill.

I can see them releasing one or two more things possible this year. And that would be amazing if they did. If not. My world will not be impacted in the least. I have plenty to do without their latest release being needed.

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I'd say - and here I'm not implying anybody is lying or selling us snake oil, mind you - that obviously something didn't go according to the plan. The actual delivery was a Module (Gustav Line), the v.2.0 upgrade for CMBN and the port of CMSF into MacOS X.

Okay, and what's the significance of this 'finding' in your mind? Right now I'm reading your post and my first thought is .... and your point is? :confused: I suppose it must mean something to you and Redwolf because otherwise you guys wouldn't continually bring it up, but what that meaning might be is a little beyond my understanding.

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So yes, you think they should have stuck with CMx1 and just done a few tweaks here and there. So now, because they went through all the trouble of creating this new complicated engine which completely ruined the game, CMx2, you will never be happy because the poor old CMx1 gameplay will never be revisited and upgraded. So when you saw sales figures of (not actual figures, just guestimate figures based on percentages Steve used in the past)

CMBO 100,000 units

CMBB 50,000 units

CMAK 25,000 units

Mr Redwolf of Redwolf Software Inc's vision for the future is ......

So after making CMBO, CMBB, and CMAK what would be the next project for the Redwolf Software Inc's CMx1 strategy? Would you go back and remake CMBO with a few tweaks or try your luck with some other theater of operations? I guess the only option left that wasn't already covered would be either the Pacific Theater of Operations or Early War Blitzkrieg stuff ...? Do you think either of those projects would equal CMBO sales figures and get Redwolf Software back into the black? I don't know for sure what the situation was at BFC after CMAK was released, but I'm going to guess that if CMSF was a total bust it could very well have been lights out at BFC soon after.

You are putting things in my mouth I never said. You should be more careful, otherwise the people who don't want this thread messed up will be upset :)

There are two aspects here. One of them is the year 2003 and the decision where to move. This isn't very interesting except for the archeology of opinions, but since you are so interested in the history of my opinions I can as well repeat it.

The other aspect is what to do now if it is indeed complexities in the engine and complexities caused by the engine that cause the snail pace of releases.

--

The archeology part is simple: the old model where unit of player control and unit for combat calculations were identical (point-shaped per unit) has a simplicity to it that has it's own advantages. It looks ugly because attempts to put the graphical representation at better than that point-shape for the unit lead to the 3-soldier hack, and that is what BFC identified as a problem.

Anyway, back in the day several of us already said that moving to something that gives up the 1:1 mapping between player control and unit for combat calculations will be trouble, namely in the TacAI field. Now you have TacAI positioning soldiers with no player control and we all know the result. We also had the view that few people considered the ugly 3-men squads a big problem to go on this crusade. What we said that what people asked for were (a) bigger battles (and the huge success of the mega-scenarios indicates that, too) and (B) multiplayer per side and © more modability. Let's forget the latter which is never happening with BFC, but the first two would be a path of development.

So no, I didn't say stick with CMx1, I said develop it in a different direction than going away from the 1:1 model of control and calculations. Bigger battles in the old point-shaped-units model would have required writing helper software to have unit movements to reduce player workload. But both Airborne Assault and Panzer Command have put these things to practice and they work well enough. This is technically doable.

--

So the second aspect is, is there anything that could be done today if indeed the mismatch between unit of control and unit of combat calculation is the problem, short of dumping endless resources into try-and-erroring the TacAI? I think there is. Let's look at it in more details, what levels do we have? We have more than 2:

  • #1 The level of player control - squad in both CMx1 and CMx2
  • #2 The level of combat calculations - squad in CMx1, individual soldier in CMx2 (and the combat outcome is driven mostly by the 3D model)
  • #3 The graphical representation - 3-men squad in CMx1, individual soldier in CMx2

So what BFC really wanted is #3, so that the game doesn't look cartoonish. #2 is unattainable. You will never write a good enough TacAI to sort out the positioning in a way that never leads to unrealistic casualties. And because you will never be able to make the 3D scene rich enough with all the junk real soldiers find cover behind in real life (just look at defenders in a church). I think that nobody from either camp for either game concept wants to move away from #1.

However, that would still allow you to move combat calculations back from the mostly 3D driven model to a more abstract model, centered around what the terrain is like based on the location the player picked for the squad. As opposed to the location that the TacAI picked for the individual soldier. You can keep the already developed AI for positioning dudes so that you can keep #3 pretty.

And don't tell me I'm a heretic for suggesting this. What do you think are "action spots"? Abstractions exactly in the way I describe, except that the way they are currently implemented you still don't have 1:1. Player control still lets the TacAI pick random action spots that the player didn't want and hence causes unrealistic casualties. There's a lot more abstraction already going on than the original concept indicated, and that's good. You won't be able to drive the 3D environment to be a credible source of realistic results in a WW2 firefight involving machine guns and mortars. And BFC knows that and already made many adjustments to that effect.

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The other aspect is what to do now if it is indeed complexities in the engine and complexities caused by the engine that cause the snail pace of releases.

The melodrama isn't helpful. No they are not achieving the ridiculous pace Steve had mentioned they were shooting for. However two game families with two modules already released in the space of 2 years is hardly "snail pace."

Secondly, it is a really dumb statement to say "what to do now if it is indeed complexities in the engine and complexities caused by the engine that...". what to do if? You obviously do not know if the complexity of the engine is causing anything, hell you said so yourself. So why the conjecture that it requires.. something? Worse though is this assumption on your part that you should somehow have some say in it. Get over it dude. BF is Charles and Steve's business. They will decide (and have decided) that they like the way it is going and it is none of your business. You don't like it, then don't buy it.

And for Christ's sake, stop patting yourself on the back about saying 1:1 representation would have an impact on the TacAI. Stating the obvious doesn't establish your street credentials. The issue was never that, but whether they could feasibly handle it. The resounding answer from the overwhelming majority of us is hell yeah! Sure the game is still in progress, but is it hardly unplayable as you and your band of pubescent brothers over at GS would like to suggest.

Simply put, we don't really care if you like BF's direction or not. It is what it is and we like it. People can check out Amazon sales all they want, the vote that counts is the one we have done with our wallets. BF is increasingly successful and no thanks to any suggestions originating from you and your cohorts.

So can we now get back on track? The title of this thread was not "The start of actual news on Redwolf's opinion of Battlefront".

BF throw us a bone for god's sake so we can stop listening to this nattering.

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Okay, and what's the significance of this 'finding' in your mind? Right now I'm reading your post and my first thought is .... and your point is? :confused: I suppose it must mean something to you and Redwolf because otherwise you guys wouldn't continually bring it up, but what that meaning might be is a little beyond my understanding.

Did you get PTSD because of bad rolls while playing ASL, mate? I'd expect more clarity from a veteran of a notoriously complicated and contrived tactical wargame :)

Jokes aside:

Vanir was asking for a reference to the release schedule that Redwolf mentioned, so I brought it up, since Redwolf seems to think that doing that himself debases him or something. That's the point.

As everybody knows, BFC never "really" commits to release dates. So those statements I quoted, and where some definite expectations are created, are a quite notorious outlier. If that doesn't attract your attention, then I wonder why you bother with these posts, really.

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Lately some folks have latched on to a post Steve had made about BF hoping to have another 3 base games and modules this year. Now I have no idea what provoked Steve to state they may triple their output this year. I personally thought that was a bit bold and figured either he had had a really cool discussion with Charles about their future and was just overly excited or maybe he'd had one too many beers and was overly excited.

What was important to me though was that he WAS excited. One of the things I like about BF is they have no shareholders. It is a couple gamers living the dream. They have their own company, a product most of us really love and enough business to do it solely (I think) for a living. So periodically when they aren't too busy Steve will pull up a chair so to speak and try to share with us his thoughts on the game, the industry, BF's standing etc, which is also very cool. It is purely informal and in a sense peer to peer. It is a conversation gamer to gamer. Granted it is his game, but as long as the conversation is civil he entertains a lot of questions and feedback.

To have those moments thrown back in his face as "proof" that BF is failing is offensive. I don't know how Steve feels (probably doesn't give a rat's a**), but I feel it threatens the relationship and in that sense it is stealing something from me and all of us who value this informality. So the next time you feel you need to quote Steve to prove the superiority of your position and how he has failed on some "commitment", think twice. Steve isn't going to care, but the rest of us are gonna be a bit pissed at how much of an a**hole some people can be.

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The other aspect is what to do now if it is indeed complexities in the engine and complexities caused by the engine that cause the snail pace of releases.

A new product every 6 months is "a snail pace"? Since you like to talk about how much better the CMx1 games are perhaps we should take a look at their development schedule and see how much less work they required.

CMBO: June 2000

CMBB: September 2002

CMAK: December 2003

Well what do you know. CMBB was over 2 years in the making and CMAK 15 months. If CMx2 development is proceeding at a snails pace, what would you call the CMx1 schedule? Glacial?

We also had the view that few people considered the ugly 3-men squads a big problem to go on this crusade. What we said that what people asked for were (a) bigger battles (and the huge success of the mega-scenarios indicates that, too) and (B) multiplayer per side and © more modability. Let's forget the latter which is never happening with BFC, but the first two would be a path of development.

"Multiplayer per side" is a feature that would be used by a very small number of people and only appeals to the hard core segment. It is also the hard core wargamers that didn't mind the 3 man squads. It is odd that you earlier bemoaned the shrinking of the wargame hobby and lack of appeal the CMBB demo had to the casual segment, yet now you propose a development path targeted to the existing hard core segment as if that were somehow going to grow the customer base.

However, that would still allow you to move combat calculations back from the mostly 3D driven model to a more abstract model, centered around what the terrain is like based on the location the player picked for the squad. As opposed to the location that the TacAI picked for the individual soldier. You can keep the already developed AI for positioning dudes so that you can keep #3 pretty.

There is an abstract cover value associated with terrain in CMx2. You seem to be aware of that but for some reason ignore it. If the amount of cover in CMx2 is too low, and I think it probably is, the quickest and easiest way to remedy that is to increase the abstract values that are already there.

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come on everybody!

STEVE

STEVE

STEVE

STEVE

STEVE

STEVE

yaaaaahhhhhhhhh!!!!!

as you see the band slowly re-emerging from back stage for an encore....

....un ahh seal-edddd on a porrrrrrch a letter sat, and she said I wanta leave it again...

rotflmao, I have no idea what that last line is, but it sounds funny.

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I preferred Garcia crooning this ;)

Leave your stepping stones behind, something calls for you

Forget about the dead you’ve left, they will not follow you

The vagabond who’s rapping at your door

Is standing in the clothes that you once wore

Strike another match, go start anew

And it’s all over now, Baby Blue

C'mon Steve, we're chatting up favorite concert encores now.

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To have those moments thrown back in his face as "proof" that BF is failing is offensive. I don't know how Steve feels (probably doesn't give a rat's a**), but I feel it threatens the relationship and in that sense it is stealing something from me and all of us who value this informality. So the next time you feel you need to quote Steve to prove the superiority of your position and how he has failed on some "commitment", think twice. Steve isn't going to care, but the rest of us are gonna be a bit pissed at how much of an a**hole some people can be.

Very fine points all of the above. Will keep them in mind, rest assured.

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...They have their own company, a product most of us really love and enough business to do it solely (I think) for a living...

No - there are also into logistics. They even kept the acronym (look at the yellow truck in the middle):

http://balticforwarding.com/

;)

I've actually met one of their trucks on the autobahn but unfortunately couldn't take a picture.

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