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We Need Another "The Road Ahead" from BF.


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I agree. Especially regarding their plans for a whole new engine to take the series to the next level. Won't mind buying more games based on the current system, with tweaks and updates, but I also think it's about time to move on and take the same leap as from CM1x to CM2x. There are so many things that could be done to improve graphics, immersion and fidelity of the simulation.

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There are so many things that could be done to improve graphics, immersion and fidelity of the simulation.

 

There sure are. But we need to remember that BFC has a very limited staff compared to other game developers, so we´re not likely to see the same quality of graphics or simulations that the big ones are able to produce.

 

it's about time to move on and take the same leap as from CM1x to CM2x.

 

I´m pretty sure BFC disagrees. As I understand Steve´s previous comments in the forum, they are going to stay with CMx2 for quite a while yet (and imagine if they switched to CMx3 and then started with another modern Middle East game and a new version of Normandy: We´d never get to play Operation Barbarossa games!)

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There sure are. But we need to remember that BFC has a very limited staff compared to other game developers, so we´re not likely to see the same quality of graphics or simulations that the big ones are able to produce.

 

A little goes a LONG way. Wouldn't need to be blockbuster game level. Just making explosions look more realistic would be great. That is, adding more dust and making the dust get thrown upwards more in a V-shape rather than just an expanding sphere.

 

Little things like the hit decals also work wonders. They come much appreciated. But other small things seem to be impossible in the current engine. Such as having tanks actually lower their guns sufficiently while firing hull-down, or merely being able to target the upper floors of a house even though the lower floor is partly obscured... Having MGs on tanks fire at realistic rates without speeding up the main gun too.. I'm sure most of us agree that these things would be so nice to see improved.

 

I´m pretty sure BFC disagrees. As I understand Steve´s previous comments in the forum, they are going to stay with CMx2 for quite a while yet (and imagine if they switched to CMx3 and then started with another modern Middle East game and a new version of Normandy: We´d never get to play Operation Barbarossa games!)

 

 

Well, they might start with a Barbarossa game in the new engine, then work the other way :)

 

In any case, I love the game, and I hope to see it improved going forward. I don't want to see it end up like another favorite of mine, "Close Combat", that was a blast to play back in the day, but then fell into the routine of releasing the same game over and over again with very minor improvements. One day, I found another game and never looked back. Not because it was "newer", but because it was so much more detailed and nuanced. That other game was Combat Mission.

Edited by Bulletpoint
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Little things like the hit decals also work wonders. They come much appreciated.

Yes, to pinpoint unspotted ATGs to the exact action spot. Really great...

Chess vs checkers.

Trying to attract checkers players to play chess can only result in losing both in the long term.

CM is WAAAY to complex to be attractive for the masses EVER. It will always be a niche product.

Chess will also NEVER appeal to the masses. NEVER. One could pump up the graphics of chess and make it look like a FPS, but after the initial spike of shallow interest, it will again only be played by chess players who are not interested in explosions and action, but like the challenge of the mind.

The same is with CM. I think the core CM-player was interested in realism above all.

Now what will have the bigger impact on sales: those that like CM more because of hit decals, and therefore will buy the next game, or those disappointed customers who no longer perceive guns as threat after the first shot because of hit decals?

I believe each of a disappointed core customer is a customer who bought all their products - contrary to those who are quickly attracted by shallow visual effects like hit decals and other gimmicks at the cost of degrading realism. Graphical effects attract quickly but the same crowd is also moving on to the next shallow effect in the next game.

But beneath everything the core of the problem seems to be something completely different:

The main game designer plays the game not in the mode the vast majority of wargamers play his products. That's never good, if you develop something and don't know, what your core customers need. There are no ladders, no campaigns, nothing played realtime. One could say: realtime does not exist among the wrgaming community.

The result of this dramatic discrepancy could be observed since CMSF was released.

The spotting problems as a result of keeping the calculation affordances as low as possible to make realtime play possible. Spotting works good enough for realtime but often not good enough for turn based.

And I think this has dramatic consequences for potential new turnbased customers: they try the demo, recognize a strange spotting behaviour and lose interest. The 1:1 representation makes things even worse, since it leaves much less room for imagination than a symbolic representation. So again: 1:1 is attracting the visual oriented player, but if there are discrepances between presented action and results, itdegrades the experience of the customer who is interested in realism.

The majority of realtime customers cannot be attracted, because FPS games offer them the much better quick action and cooler graphics. Additionally the game concept is so extremely different, that 99% will only shake their head. So the core group is lost and the big part of the massese cannot be attracted because it is chess and not checkers.

I will never forget the disastrous relative hotkeys-concept when I tried CMSF the first time. What a punch into the face of WEGO-players that was.

Or the water-effects since CMRT breaking FOW. Sounds from unspotted units? A problem since CMSF. But in combination with hit-decals since engine v3 this problem has been even increased instead to become solved. How easily foxholes can be spotted. Bunkers and trenches breaking FOW. And much more.

I believe all these are results of a design process done from a realtime-player's perspective and therefore many of the problems are only discovered very late in the design process, or even too late after implementation.

Instead that Battlefront had followed their former clear path torwards realism and protected and taken care of their brilliant WEGO-child, they lost this focus and now, with an ageing engine, they are sitting between the chairs, trying to keep new shallow action-customers somehow interested while they lose more and more of realism-focused wargamers which one after the other slowly give up, because the problems persist year after year and game after game and sometimes even become worse.

Edited by Parker Schnabel
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Instead that Battlefront had followed their former clear path torwards realism and protected and taken care of their brilliant WEGO-child, they lost this focus and now, with an ageing engine, they are sitting between the chairs, trying to keep new shallow action-customers somehow interested while they lose more and more of realism-focused wargamers which one after the other slowly give up, because the problems persist year after year and game after game and sometimes even become worse.

A realism-focused wargamer who gives up on CM is no longer a realism-focused wargamer. CM may not be perfect, but there simply is nothing that can match it.

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Yes, to pinpoint unspotted ATGs to the exact action spot. Really great...

Chess vs checkers.

Trying to attract checkers players to play chess can only result in losing both in the long term.

CM is WAAAY to complex to be attractive for the masses EVER. It will always be a niche product.

Chess will also NEVER appeal to the masses. NEVER. One could pump up the graphics of chess and make it look like a FPS, but after the initial spike of shallow interest, it will again only be played by chess players who are not interested in explosions and action, but like the challenge of the mind.

The same is with CM. I think the core CM-player was interested in realism above all.

 

If you read my post, you'll realise that I'm not a "casual" player. I'm wishing for more fidelity in the simulation most of all.

 

But I like all those little touches they have included that make the game world come alive. Decals are one of those. Roadsigns are another. An old wheelbarrow left on the field. And so on. But I'm not asking for BF to 'dumb down' the game, quite the contrary. I'm hoping they will build on the realistic gameplay formula and expand it.

 

By the way, I never knew hit decals can be used to trace back AT guns. I only play single-player. Not sure how tracing would work, as you just have a single hole/mark on the front of your tank, and it seems to me you'd need at least two to trace a line...

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Anybody smell something a bit "off" in one of these posts? Perhaps the stink that comes from someone who has been banned repeatedly from this Forum for grinding axes and carrying around big chips on his shoulder? I know I sure do! I am even fairly certain I know which one. Almost certain enough to just go ahead and ban him now. But I'll let the charade go on a bit longer if he wishes to.

Steve

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What lies ahead for CM? Well, short term Battle of the Bulge and more content for the existing CM games. There's a lot of stuff out there that people do not have yet and have said they want. Since the new content leverages previous investments of time and money, this is definitely a good thing for customers.

New features will be added a little here and there, as will tweaks to existing ones. About once a year we'll release an Upgrade with significant new features added that bring the game to another level. What will the 4.0 Upgrade look like? I honestly don't know as we've got lists of things but we've not started working on it yet.

Longer term, there are plenty more games and added content planned for CMx2 before we retire it.

As for a new game engine, akin to going from CMx1 to CMx2, there is one in the works for sure. But it will be quite a long time before you experience tactical warfare with it. It's simply not that soon on the horizon.

Aside from that, let's not go down the road of arguing that realism and atmosphere are mutually exclusive goals. That those concerned with realism don't want their games to look good, nor that people who want their games to look good don't care about realism. It's the sort of argument that a fanatic comes up with and fanatics are, by definition, fringe thinkers. We've never believed it, even in CMx1 days, and we'll never believe it in the future either. That's a non starter discussion to have.

A better one is figuring out what the right balance is for our customer base. The past two Upgrades have offered a mix of game mechanics improvements, including some that were in CMx1 and others that have been requested since. Others were designed to make the game's atmosphere more engaging and immersive. Still others were designed simply to make the game run smoother and faster. It's been a really good strategy for us as borne out by reception on these Forums and in our sales. It would be moronic to discontinue this strategy because it works.

Steve

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Chess will also NEVER appeal to the masses. NEVER.

 

So, the most popular board game ever with more sales than any other board game ever will NEVER appeal to the masses. Hmmmm. I may have to reassess what "popular" means.

Edited by Pak40
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Yes, to pinpoint unspotted ATGs to the exact action spot. Really great...Chess vs checkers.Trying to attract checkers players to play chess can only result in losing both in the long term.CM is WAAAY to complex to be attractive for the masses EVER. It will always be a niche product.Chess will also NEVER appeal to the masses. NEVER. One could pump up the graphics of chess and make it look like a FPS, but after the initial spike of shallow interest, it will again only be played by chess players who are not interested in explosions and action, but like the challenge of the mind.The same is with CM. I think the core CM-player was interested in realism above all.Now what will have the bigger impact on sales: those that like CM more because of hit decals, and therefore will buy the next game, or those disappointed customers who no longer perceive guns as threat after the first shot because of hit decals?I believe each of a disappointed core customer is a customer who bought all their products - contrary to those who are quickly attracted by shallow visual effects like hit decals and other gimmicks at the cost of degrading realism. Graphical effects attract quickly but the same crowd is also moving on to the next shallow effect in the next game.But beneath everything the core of the problem seems to be something completely different:The main game designer plays the game not in the mode the vast majority of wargamers play his products. That's never good, if you develop something and don't know, what your core customers need. There are no ladders, no campaigns, nothing played realtime. One could say: realtime does not exist among the wrgaming community.The result of this dramatic discrepancy could be observed since CMSF was released.The spotting problems as a result of keeping the calculation affordances as low as possible to make realtime play possible. Spotting works good enough for realtime but often not good enough for turn based.And I think this has dramatic consequences for potential new turnbased customers: they try the demo, recognize a strange spotting behaviour and lose interest. The 1:1 representation makes things even worse, since it leaves much less room for imagination than a symbolic representation. So again: 1:1 is attracting the visual oriented player, but if there are discrepances between presented action and results, itdegrades the experience of the customer who is interested in realism.The majority of realtime customers cannot be attracted, because FPS games offer them the much better quick action and cooler graphics. Additionally the game concept is so extremely different, that 99% will only shake their head. So the core group is lost and the big part of the massese cannot be attracted because it is chess and not checkers.I will never forget the disastrous relative hotkeys-concept when I tried CMSF the first time. What a punch into the face of WEGO-players that was.Or the water-effects since CMRT breaking FOW. Sounds from unspotted units? A problem since CMSF. But in combination with hit-decals since engine v3 this problem has been even increased instead to become solved. How easily foxholes can be spotted. Bunkers and trenches breaking FOW. And much more.I believe all these are results of a design process done from a realtime-player's perspective and therefore many of the problems are only discovered very late in the design process, or even too late after implementation.Instead that Battlefront had followed their former clear path torwards realism and protected and taken care of their brilliant WEGO-child, they lost this focus and now, with an ageing engine, they are sitting between the chairs, trying to keep new shallow action-customers somehow interested while they lose more and more of realism-focused wargamers which one after the other slowly give up, because the problems persist year after year and game after game and sometimes even become worse.

God. What a load of bollocks. If there are things that aren't perfect or make missing in the game it's because of limited time and resource and nothing to do with this garbage. Jesus, do I ever get sick of these kinds of post where someone comes here positing their own poorly thought out theories around building the best war game there is and all they achieve is to illustrate they actually know nothing about it at all. You would achieve more poking around with the fluff in your navel in the time it has taken you to write this crap.

Go out. Build and design the best war game ever made and out of which I get more value for money than anything I have ever bought anywhere for anything and then post your thesis. Until then I Will treat it with the contempt it deserves.

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Ps ... 're Steve's post. Is it Dorosh or is there another self opinionated twat i don't know about?

And I also have no idea how hit decals reveal the location of hidden at guns. I don't want to know either. Maybe that's part of your problem.

Edited by JRMC1879
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And I also have no idea how hit decals reveal the location of hidden at guns. I don't want to know either. Maybe that's part of your problem.

 

I agree, the only thing that's revealed is the relative direction from which the round came but even that can be deceiving from a glancing blow. This is no more revealing than a real life crew knowing that a round impacted the front, right or left side of the tank.

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I don't think it's Dorosh. I was under the impression he eventually converted to liking the new games as he certainly has made plenty of mods for them. Anyway he's not here to defend himself so I'm hesitant to continue talking about him.

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Steve, can you tell us some more about the progress regarding the Bulge? Show some screenshots perhaps? You were going to at the beginning of this year, but something went wrong at the last moment. Give us some bones to keep us busy for a couple of months please.

Edited by Aragorn2002
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