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open source, fan extensions.


braxen
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Hello,

Will it be possible to tweak around with the graphics, data, maps so that skilled fans can develop the game beyond its initial baby (yet to be born) life?

I believe it's a great way to make a game popular and not necesseraly contradictory to battlefront interests.

regards

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The map, scenario and campaign creator which was used to make the scenarios you will play in the shipped version WILL SHIP WITH THE GAME. (This is like Steel Panthers but unlike Close Combat.)

YOU will have the exact same tools which were used to make the in-game scenarios and campaigns from Day 1.

Graphics and Sound are simple BMP and Wav files and can be modified.

Data: Nope.. IF there are any data errors then BTS will fix them. Not allowing hacking prevents people breaking something while trying to fix something else AND ensures that everyone is playing off the same starting point in PBEM games..

I've heard reports of Shermans armed with 88s in Steel Panthers PBEM games wink.gif

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___________

Fionn Kelly

Manager of Historical Research,

The Gamers Net - Gaming for Gamers

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<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Graphics and Sound are simple BMP and Wav files and can be modified.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Yeah, ever since I made my guys wear Ray-Bans (5000.BMP), they act much cooler and are less prone to panic ... or is this just my imagination wink.gif ?!

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OK I meant developping as well new mods, such as combat in vietnam, 1973 Sinai campaign, lebanon 82, Afghanistan...You guys won't have the time to develop everything everybody wants.

Absolutely no way to market the engine with all the cool features and let addicts push it even further? It works pretty well with Microsoft Flight simulator and it is a huge success, commercially as well.

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If it was open enough to allow that then people WOULD use the openess to do WW2 mods and put in false data and cheat etc etc.

Also, there's lots of things which need to be CODED due to differences in terrain in various regions which mean unless you were given the actual code any mod would be pretty poor compared to BTS' rendering of the conflict.

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___________

Fionn Kelly

Manager of Historical Research,

The Gamers Net - Gaming for Gamers

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Guest Madmatt

"I've already hacked some of the tank data in the game..."

Anyone else just get a cold chill? frown.gif

No offense meant Peter...

Madmatt out, and a little worried

p.s. See the thread on 'Cheating' if you wonder why I am just a tad bit concerned!

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Guest Big Time Software

Peter...

I wouldn't waste much time with this. We haven't bothered to code up the security stuff yet wink.gif

One thing to keep in mind. You will NEVER be able to change the models. The data is compiled externally to the CM code. This data is then dumped into the game. So even if you make your T34 data work in the full version, it will still always look like a StuG or something very unRussian like wink.gif

As for opening it up to other eras... the game is simply not set up to handle anything other than WWII. Lots of elements, especially vehicular ones, aren't there for a more or less modern warfare game. One major one is no wire guidance systems. Kiss your Milans goodbye wink.gif

Steve

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Hey people,

stop being paranoid. See CCII & CCIII, and SPII WWII, and Rogue Spear+...

There have been great mods out there. We are not talking about WaReZ but -extension-, playing around with the game data as it is the case in every crystalized hardcore community.

Although I can understand, the 'no, don't touch my baby' (booo we lose control over the product, what is going to happen next?...)

there is no fear to have.

I fully appreciate the work involved and WILL purchase my copy, and WILL advertise for the game but not making it more open is ,in my view, restrictive and patronizing. Period.

That's your go people. I know developing a game is tough (see below for sympathy)

http://slashdot.org/features/99/08/20/143215.shtml

Anyway, relax and have my appreciation and support for the game.

regards

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Guest Big Time Software

Braxen, you overlook all the problems that came from the hacking of CC2/3. Crashes, historicaly inaccurate data replacing historically inaccurate data, incompatibilities, CRAZY gamey stuff, etc. In short... chaos! We aren't paranoid, we just don't want CM to be turned into an environment of uncertainty (i.e. I wonder what my opponant is playing with?). We don't what to have any part of that.

CM is intended to be *the* definition of realism for wargaming. If someone can show that we have an error, we WILL fix it officially. That means EVERYBODY playes with the fix, not just a portion. We are the gate keeper, and that is a good thing.

You must keep in mind why CC2/3 needed so many hacks. It was because the developer refused to make patches for game data mistakes. We are not about to do this, so the need for hacks is not there.

I hope you can see it from the larger picture. Everbody having their own flavor of CM is *harmfull* to the game and the overall gaming experience. If CM were flawed this could be excused to some extent (as with CC3 especially), but this is not the case.

Steve

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Good point on the fact that many hacks are done to correct game flaws, but there are plenty of game hack that were done to enhance the game.

Hacking may diminish the global game IYO, but my hacks enhance my gaming experience, so I will most likely continue to do them.

Peter Western

A Minion of Fabled Answers

[This message has been edited by Peter Western (edited 11-15-99).]

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Guest Scott Clinton

Speaking as someone that worked on the REALRED data for CC3 if Atomic was literally on tenth as open to suggestions as BTS REALRED prob. would never have happened.

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The Grumbling Grognard

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I Truly do not like Hacks in war games...anything else I could care less..I would like to play a PBEM game of CM without having to worry about some schmoe having his rifle platoon holding 88's instead of rifles...its just plain lame...although I do like the sound of a vietnam era CM..as long as its historicaly acurate.

just my 2 cents

Thanks

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I just had a problem with the send and I don't know what went through.

So let's resume. BTS position has been made quite clear, and my views are known too.

May I recall that the issue here is not 'hacks' and 'cheating'.

But could we see in the editor a feature called 'import unit' that would let us load a custom design unit according to specifications in the database.

For instance, let's suppose I want to define 1942 French foreign Legion. I could change the moral and give the unit the closest weapon to my test from the encrypted database. The uniforms would be changed given my own bitmaps. In fact that woud be just using the database to attribute values to custom units. That would be a great feature.

For tanks, we could use generic platforms provided in the database specifically for custom units, arm them with the closest caliber for main gun and machigun, define speed... and provide the model and bitmaps. Thus the database would not be not accessible to hacks.

How does it sound?

still, my three cents.

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Braxen,

It sounds like a good way to make 12 man strong squads armed with nothing but LMG42s and completely unbalance games wink.gif

One of the major points of CM is the EXTREMELY accurate OOB and small unit tables of organisation and equipment.

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___________

Fionn Kelly

Manager of Historical Research,

The Gamers Net - Gaming for Gamers

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Good point about OOBs there Fionn, BUT there are no Russian, Finns, Canadians, French, Italians, Japanese , Spanish, . . .

And as for an unbalance games, why do you care if another gamers (my) games are unbalanced.

It is MY OPINION that the encoding unit data to maintain some sort security that players won't cheat limits the potential of the game, and that the arguments for the encoding data do not out weight limiting that potential.

It is also a moot point as BTS has made it clear that they won't change the way that the unit data is encoded. In fact it looks like they are going to encode the data further.

Peter

[This message has been edited by Peter Western (edited 11-16-99).]

[This message has been edited by Peter Western (edited 11-16-99).]

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Peter,

I think you're getting me wrong here. I don't care one whit if you give all your squads 12 MG 42s when playing at home against the AI.. That's fine since you're only playing it vs the AI.

My point is that people would use their "custom" squads in tournament games with really nasty consequences for play-balance and cheating in internet play. My point is people would definitely cheat and use HMG squads which looked like HMG squads but had 6 HMG42s instead of 1 in internet games. They'd make HMG units be able to run etc etc etc. Just simply making those two changes to one infantry team would hugely unbalance tournament games.

I don't care at all what you do in the privacy of games against the AI wink.gif. I do care to try to stop people being given easier ways to cheat in internet games (as would happen).

Now, I'm not saying anyone here would cheat in internet games I'm just saying that among the thousands of people who get CM some who do not have the ability to really go in and hack files etc WILL cheat in internet games using this if given the chance.

One other minor point: Peter said "Good point about OOBs there Fionn, BUT there are no Russian, Finns, Canadians, French, Italians, Japanese , Spanish, . . "

Well actually there ARE Canadian and French in the game already. There's German, UK, US Canadian. French and poles.

The Russians, Finns, Italians and possibly the SPanish (Blue division IIRC?) will be in CM2.

I do get what you're saying and I amn't opposed to people having fun at home with made-up units BUT if this was made easy to do then you WOULD end up in a situation where cheating was rampant on the net and there would be no point playing tournaments since only the best cheaters would win and NOT the best players. It has happened with lots of other wargames and it would happen with CM too. it's to protect pBEM and tournaments that I would support keepping the data very difficult to modify (since it can't be impossible to modify wink.gif )

Cheers,

___________

Fionn Kelly

Manager of Historical Research,

The Gamers Net - Gaming for Gamers

[This message has been edited by Fionn (edited 11-16-99).]

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Hi there,

For everyone who wants to customize the German vehicules with SS divisional markings have a look at

http://www.icubed.com/~avgst1/wssdivlist.html

the .jpg are of good quality and very easy to insert in the CM vehicles .bmp files. (for beginners as me, e.g. with Photoshop: make the insigna lines more white (bucket tool), select menu --> select color area (the white insigna - tolerance 50%), copy , paste in the vehicle .bmp, menu image --> manual transformation (reduce the size ), save as .bmp (don't forget to backup the original files !!)

Does anyone know a good site where the exact positions of the German vehicle markings are showned ?? And good links for US insignas too ??)

Now I can decorate my soldiers with the iron cross for their bold actions in "Last defence" (isn't it Mattias ?? :))

Cheers,

Stephan

PS: sorry for my english ! :)

[This message has been edited by Stef (edited 11-16-99).]

[This message has been edited by Stef (edited 11-16-99).]

[This message has been edited by Stef (edited 11-16-99).]

[This message has been edited by Stef (edited 11-27-99).]

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I second that, Pete.

Fionn, thanks for taking the time to answer and explain BTS policy.

Well, I understand that the issue is pretty much closed on BTS side.

Though, the arguments presented by Fionn do not convince me, I am afraid to say.

BTS, and it is legitimate, will have the last word, but what about opening one's mind.

Look at SP II, SP, CCIII (ever played the French campaign in 1940? One of the best Mod ever.)

If I follow you, we are talking about players and their interests, aren't we, Fionn? So what about taking a poll and see if people are interested in open data and/or an 'import unit' feature? But that's not the issue.

I purchased all my games, most people I know did, and we don't play cheaters because it is not fun and it is easy to detect them.

So what is it really all about? Losing control? Do we have to lock on in a Yes-No fight, can you take time to think it over?

yeah, over and out,

uncriptedly...

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ANYTHING I post here is just my take on things. I'm just a tester and strategy games reviewer etc. I can tell you what I THINK BTS' take on things is but I have been wrong in the past when giving what I think the situation is. usually though I'm pretty much on the money.

I just wanted to make it clear that if I say something it isn't the "official policy" really. It's just what I figure the situation is from someone pretty close to the game wink.gif.

Braxen,

I'm only giving my opinion on this. Believe it or not I have given your idea some thought BUT I have run into players in SP with little Cromwells which had been hacked to have 88mm guns. I've played many games which have been ruined by cheating ESPECIALLY in tournaments.

That's why I don't like the import a unit feature.. It opens the door wide to cheating IMO.

FWIW just because I don't happen to agree with you does NOT mean I have a closed mind or haven't given ANY thought to your ideas Braxen. In the same way as you disagree with me BUT I am sure have thought about the points I bring up I have thought about the points you bring up but merely haven't been persuaded that the benefits outweigh the negatives.

Also, this is just me, not official BTS policy wink.gif. I think you don't have a very good chance of getting the an import unit feature in for 2 reasons:

1. CM is meant to be a rigidly historically accurate wargame and so importing units would damage what the core of the game is.

2. There's a VERY good technical reason to do with the location of the unit data. I don't think I can say exactly what since I don't want to give stuff away to hackers etc but if I'm right then you'd be talking about a whole code rewriting or something to implement it.

___________

Fionn Kelly

Manager of Historical Research,

The Gamers Net - Gaming for Gamers

[This message has been edited by Fionn (edited 11-16-99).]

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Fionn,

Thanks for the additional info on what nations will be included in CM. I don't think I have seen anything from BTS that states this that is why I assumed only Germans, USs and Brits would be in the first release of CM. If you could point me to where BTS list the OOBs to be included that would be great.

Your point on the game being "a rigidly historically accurate wargame" is a draw back on some levels IMHO. This rigidity prevent gamers from exploring alternative, I might feel that the game might be a good model for running Spanish Civil War engagements, but the I'm limited to the period that CM is originally designed to portray. I have no doubt that the OOBs that will be include in CM are and will be some of the most accurate OOB provided by any wargame, but I do doubt that they will be exhaustive in terms of the whole of west front must less the whole of WWII, and for you and I to argue about that is also moot because I don't not have access CM OOB data base. Also I'm not fully aware of what is CM editors are capable so some of my concern may be addressed by it.

And as for recoding the game, that would be a game stopper and BTS could simple end any further dialog on this point by simple stating this fact.

As to concerns over cheating I think that there are several ways to solve this problem without encoding the data info, some are as simple as bit counting and other might include more complex methods. But perhaps BTS has explored these ideas and rejected them, but I do not recall seeing them comment on this.

LOS

How about a BFG for your inf squads and Jump Packs smile.gif

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Peter Western

A Minion of Fabled Answers

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