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Timescale for Eastern front CMx3 or CMx4?


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I was sure I'd read somewhere that CMRT was going to be upgraded to CMx3 and that it was going to be a paid upgrade so I held off my purchase. Is that still on the roadmap?  Or was I mistaken and should I just go ahead and purchase the existing product?

 

--

Reviewed (and loved) the original Combat Mission in 2000 http://www.mindjack.com/games/combat.html. Played mainly CMBB, lapsed and am looking to get back into CM (WWII)

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CMRT is already using the 'version 3.0 engine'. I believe the next full game after the 'Bulge' series MIGHT be based on the 'version 4.0 engine'. When that is released, I assume most games (but possibly not ALL of them) may get an 'engine upgrade' that will have a fee associated with the upgrade. It may take awhile to upgrade all of the titles they intend to offer the 4.0 engine for.

 

I would guess that a 'version 4.0 engine' game is around a year and a half away and possibly around 2 years for updates to the older/previously-released titles. So as Blazing 88's said, you may want to purchase CMRT now rather than wait.

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Ah great! Thanks. Gives me a good excuse to help fund one of my favourite devs... Am I right in thinking that the full game may work better than the demo? I will be running it on my (fairly new) Macbook Pro - I had problems getting it to run on my selected resolution but I assume that's the demo not including all potential resolutions of artwork?

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Terminology refresher:

 

CMx1: The first three games (CMBO, CMBB, CMAK). The first generation of the engine. 3 iterations of it, all basically the same, with Larry, Curly and Moe for an infantry squad, and 20m "homogenous terrain" Action Spots.

 

CMx2: The current game engine used for CMSF, CMA, CMBN, CMFI, CMRT and CMBS. Announced to be being used for the Bulge title (CM: Ardennes Counterattack? so CMAC for reference in this post only). CMx2 has been through four major versions. The first version was used for CMSF and CMA and does not permit upgrading. Starting with CMBN v1 (so covering FI, RT, BS and AC) the engine has been made upgradeable. These upgradeable iterations are referred to as "versions" (vn) v1 was first seen with BN. v2 was first seen with FI, and an upgrade for BN to v2 was shortly thereafter made available. RT heralded the coming of v3, and BN and FI received upgrades. BS was released on the most-recently-patched version of v3 and AC will be released on another version of v3, and each of the other families will probably get a patch to bring any minor features that are relevant into the older titles.

 

v4 has not been discussed by BFC to my knowledge. Any speculation about its release and or feature set is pretty much groundless.

 

CMx3: the anticipated next version of the engine. Nobody from BFC has said anything concrete about this yet, which is hardly surprising since they haven't even started discussing v4 of CMx2 yet. Maybe (there's a big emphasis on the "Maybe" - this is all utterly unofficial conjecture by someone not connected to BFC in any way) x3 will be the move away from OpenGL that BFC has said they will probably be taking at some date. Maybe it won't. Maybe that'll be x4. 

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Ah great! Thanks. Gives me a good excuse to help fund one of my favourite devs... Am I right in thinking that the full game may work better than the demo? I will be running it on my (fairly new) Macbook Pro - I had problems getting it to run on my selected resolution but I assume that's the demo not including all potential resolutions of artwork?

The demo will work just as well as the full game. The thing to be aware of with the demo is that it's not necessarily been upgraded. I think the BN demo is still v1.11, the FI demo is v2.[something]. So if you want to see the full feature set, you'll need to grab the RT and/or BS demos, and take the previous families as more "illustrative of units" than as complete demos of all the current features. They're still fine things, the BN and FI demos, but they're not completely SotA product.

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The CMRT demo should run at your 'desktop' resolution. It's possible that the menu/splash screen may be limited to 1024x768, but once in the 3D screen (and possibly other menus) it should go to your full screen resolution. Does the CMRT Demo not run on your Mac at all or is it only a resolution issue that you're having ?

 

Refunds are a bit iffy. You may get one if it is determined that the game will not run on your Mac, but that is going to be a very rare situation. You may want to contact the Helpdesk and ask about the issue you're facing with the CMRT Demo. I'm not specifically aware of anything in the 1.03 patch that would address issues with running the game on a Mac though.

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CMRT is already using the 'version 3.0 engine'. I believe the next full game after the 'Bulge' series MIGHT be based on the 'version 4.0 engine'. When that is released, I assume most games (but possibly not ALL of them) may get an 'engine upgrade' that will have a fee associated with the upgrade. It may take awhile to upgrade all of the titles they intend to offer the 4.0 engine for.

 

So, after we were sold on the idea that all of the titles would be upgraded, for a fee, whenever a new version came out, we're just now finding out that it's a possibility that this will not be the case anymore, and that we will see titles not upgraded?

 

Since the beginning of the Combat Mission, more than a dozen years ago, customers have asked for the ability to keep their favorite games up-to-date with improvements made for newer games. After years of careful planning we are happy to announce that Upgrades are soon to be a standard option for Combat Mission customers.

A few months after the new game releases, owners of previous Combat Mission games can purchase Upgrades to add those features to CM products they already own. The delayed availability is necessary to ensure that our small team has enough time to ensure quality control (especially backwards compatibility) before releasing them.

http://community.battlefront.com/topic/103753-upgrades-qa/

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I don't think that it was intended to support older games in perpetuity. Past statements by Steve have suggested that games MIGHT see as many as TWO engine upgrades and then no longer receive such updates. There haven't been any solid announcements about the way this may work and it is possible that some games may have such a user base that it still makes sense to release updated engines for them, beyond the standard two that may have been planned in the past. CMBN would be among the oldest titles to be 'updateable', but it is also one of the bigger sellers among the CMx2 releases, so it may make sense to still release updates for it since there may be a lot of interest in the upgrade. However this is a lot of work, since there could be 5 games (CMBN, CMFI, CMRT, CMBS and 'Bulge') that need engine updates once the 'version 4 engine' is released.

 

Admittedly this is all speculative at this point and I don't have any particular insider info as to what the plans are long term. With a lot of games to update once a new engine has been created, it may take awhile to offer the updates for sale for each game. Newer titles MIGHT be a bit easier to upgrade, while older ones may require more testing (and potentially tweaking of scenarios/campaigns, etc.). The 'version 2 engine' upgrade required quite a lot of graphics work since it changed the way vehicles were rendered. I don't know what is on the plate for 'version 4 engine' updates, but there is the possibility of quite a bit more work beyond compiling the code with new engine features. Such work does delay newer base games and modules.

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I don't think that it was intended to support older games in perpetuity. Past statements by Steve have suggested that games MIGHT see as many as TWO engine upgrades and then no longer receive such updates.

 

 

That's news to me. I've paid pretty close attention since the whole upgrade deal was setup and never heard anything said about limiting them outside of features that might not fit a particular setting...but especially nothing about stopping at two. That sounds like some kind of internal talk unless I completely missed it.

 

I can think of a few features that would fit in all settings right now, fire being one.

 

And I don't have a problem waiting for the updates, that's fine by me just as long as my games stay at the same version, I am cool.

 

Mord.

Edited by Mord
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For what it's worth, I do hope there is a way of keeping the games upgraded to the same version of the engine. Even if say the work is rolled into and released with the next module rather than as a separate release.

 

The fact that I can pick up a CMx2 WW2 titles and everything works the same is I think one of the strongest selling points of the series. No other tactical wargame series I can think of has it set up where the 'rules are the same behind the scenes.' Where an MG42 in a West Front game will behave just the same as on an East Front game. This truly lets the different theater's attributes such as terrain features and TOE of the forces involved really shine through.

 

Two cents plus sales tax. :)

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It is possible that the updates for the existing titles will come toghether with the new modules for such games (FI/BS/RT). Once all the modules for a given title have been released new updates might come in form of specific engine/game upgrades such as the 3.0 for CMBN, but it won't be in a close future.

 

There's really no reason to hold on any purchase, because right now the titles that are going to be expanded are Fortress Italy, Red Thunder and Black Sea, with the Boulge main title release among them. Any sort of specific upgrade won't come before such modules have been released, the modules themselves will contain all the necessary upgrades and they will receive their own Patches afterwards.

Edited by Kieme(ITA)
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I don't think that it was intended to support older games in perpetuity. Past statements by Steve have suggested that games MIGHT see as many as TWO engine upgrades and then no longer receive such updates. There haven't been any solid announcements about the way this may work and it is possible that some games may have such a user base that it still makes sense to release updated engines for them, beyond the standard two that may have been planned in the past. CMBN would be among the oldest titles to be 'updateable', but it is also one of the bigger sellers among the CMx2 releases, so it may make sense to still release updates for it since there may be a lot of interest in the upgrade. However this is a lot of work, since there could be 5 games (CMBN, CMFI, CMRT, CMBS and 'Bulge') that need engine updates once the 'version 4 engine' is released.

 

 

What he meant by the two engine upgrades is that older versions of the same title will not be sold in perpetuity.  In other words, if you own CMBN 1.0 and we are now on CMBN 3.0 (of engine x2) and you all of a sudden want to upgrade your game you are out of luck because you missed the window.  You would now have to purchase a new game rather than upgrade the old game.  That's what he meant by not supporting older titles into perpetuity.  CMBN 3.0 will still be available for purchase and when the 4.0 engine upgrade (of engine x2) becomes available everyone will still have the option of upgrading their games. 

 

As far as the Battlefront Store goes I think they were still selling CMBN 1.0 in the store up until 3.0 came out (of engine x2).  Once 3.0 was completed they then took down the CMBN 1.0 from the store and now they probably only offer new sales as 3.0.  The original plan, I think, was to continue selling CMBN 2.0 until CMBN 4.0 upgrade came out, but I think they realized that wasn't going to be very efficient and now I think everything is sold at 3.0 (although I'm not positive about that since I don't visit the store page ... well ever). 

 

It is obviously a lot of work to put together the upgrades for each title or family because we are now up to ... what ... four active families with one more on the way?  So it only makes sense to make the upgrades more feature intensive and be released less frequently in order to cut down on the work of upgrading multiple titles.  If you upgrade with each release of every family you will end up with almost constant engine upgrades, but once you separate the families from the upgrades then you can continue to release content for the different families as before while making the workload of upgrading every title a little more manageable since the upgrades are less frequent.  The coders can spend more time on creating new stuff rather than spending most of their time upgrading old stuff.  You can also pack more new features into each upgrade because the coders can spend more time working on each upgrade before releasing it.  So while the gamer will get new features less often, when the gamer does get an upgrade they will get more new features for each upgrade and they will have to pay for these upgrades less often across all titles.  So while some may complain that the new features aren't coming fast enough I think most people should realize that it is much better to separate the families from the upgrades so that both the developer and the customer can benefit by that separation.  The customer gets more bang per upgrade and pays for fewer upgrades that have more features in them while the developer makes the workload more manageable by making the upgrades less frequently.

 

edited to add that this is my personal interpretation of the way forward on the upgrades and only Steve or Chris themselves can make an official statement on the situation. 

Edited by ASL Veteran
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That's understandable. I hope that is the case. And it makes sense because I do remember Steve saying stuff about not supporting 1.0 and 2.0 etc. forever. That's basically where my head was at already. And like I said I don't have a problem waiting for upgrades.

 

 

Mord.

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For what it's worth, I do hope there is a way of keeping the games upgraded to the same version of the engine. Even if say the work is rolled into and released with the next module rather than as a separate release.

 

The fact that I can pick up a CMx2 WW2 titles and everything works the same is I think one of the strongest selling points of the series. No other tactical wargame series I can think of has it set up where the 'rules are the same behind the scenes.' Where an MG42 in a West Front game will behave just the same as on an East Front game. This truly lets the different theater's attributes such as terrain features and TOE of the forces involved really shine through.

 

Two cents plus sales tax. :)

 

Ithikial_AU, I totally, 100% agree!  This is noticeable when I go back to CMSF or CMA and find little differences between the engines feel quite big!

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Honestly, WHen  will be the "final word" in the CMx  series  CMx3 ?? CMx4 ?? CMx5??  When can a classic cover most of the theatres of a War and let it just be the "final word" in that game system. One of the things about the "old" ASL board game I like better than computer games is the game is now "set" for the ages. The "game system"  has long since stopped evolving although there may a few more modules or kits done by MMP.

Dont get me wrong I love the CM games but I am not going to live forever, I;d like to see CM in its "final iteration" with all modules and packs finished and allowing me perhaps a few years left in my life to enjoy it.  Is that asking too much ?

Edited by J Bennett
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Tactics II man, Tactics II, that one I think fits your bill

 

http://www.ebay.com/itm/TACTICS-II-2-Vintage-Military-War-Strategy-Board-Game-1961-Avalon-Hill-/261921185809?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item3cfbb82011

 

You do realize as long as you only want to play single player mode you can just stop upgrading whenever you want.  CMBN 1.0 is "set for the ages".

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What he meant by the two engine upgrades is that older versions of the same title will not be sold in perpetuity.  In other words, if you own CMBN 1.0 and we are now on CMBN 3.0 (of engine x2) and you all of a sudden want to upgrade your game you are out of luck because you missed the window.  You would now have to purchase a new game rather than upgrade the old game.  That's what he meant by not supporting older titles into perpetuity.  CMBN 3.0 will still be available for purchase and when the 4.0 engine upgrade (of engine x2) becomes available everyone will still have the option of upgrading their games. 

 

As far as the Battlefront Store goes I think they were still selling CMBN 1.0 in the store up until 3.0 came out (of engine x2).  Once 3.0 was completed they then took down the CMBN 1.0 from the store and now they probably only offer new sales as 3.0.  The original plan, I think, was to continue selling CMBN 2.0 until CMBN 4.0 upgrade came out, but I think they realized that wasn't going to be very efficient and now I think everything is sold at 3.0 (although I'm not positive about that since I don't visit the store page ... well ever). 

 

It is obviously a lot of work to put together the upgrades for each title or family because we are now up to ... what ... four active families with one more on the way?  So it only makes sense to make the upgrades more feature intensive and be released less frequently in order to cut down on the work of upgrading multiple titles.  If you upgrade with each release of every family you will end up with almost constant engine upgrades, but once you separate the families from the upgrades then you can continue to release content for the different families as before while making the workload of upgrading every title a little more manageable since the upgrades are less frequent.  The coders can spend more time on creating new stuff rather than spending most of their time upgrading old stuff.  You can also pack more new features into each upgrade because the coders can spend more time working on each upgrade before releasing it.  So while the gamer will get new features less often, when the gamer does get an upgrade they will get more new features for each upgrade and they will have to pay for these upgrades less often across all titles.  So while some may complain that the new features aren't coming fast enough I think most people should realize that it is much better to separate the families from the upgrades so that both the developer and the customer can benefit by that separation.  The customer gets more bang per upgrade and pays for fewer upgrades that have more features in them while the developer makes the workload more manageable by making the upgrades less frequently.

 

edited to add that this is my personal interpretation of the way forward on the upgrades and only Steve or Chris themselves can make an official statement on the situation. 

 

 

This is all as I understood it as well.  Also note some of the strategy was changed by another announcement.  The licensing model changed.  Now everyone downloads the full installer and their license unlocks the pertinent modules.  That did two things 1 it reduced patching issues and 2 it meant there really is only one release supported, the current one.  I think that was a good move all around.

 

 

I think you also hit the nail on the head.  One issue we did voice concern about was the amount of time that would be spent keeping each family current.  I think the last thing any of us want is for releases to slow to a crawl because the workload to keep titles consistent expands geometrically as titles are added.  That BF would look for a process that is manageable and still commits them to supporting each family is the best for all even if it means we have to exercise a little patience about how quickly a particular feature may take to show up in our favorite title.  I am speaking of CMFI of course, everyone's favorite.  :D

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Then why play CMX2? According to you things are better when they are frozen in time. So, CMX1 should be the end all be all. You obviously must've found short comings (or things lacking) in CMX1 to attempt CMX2. And yet here you are wishing BFC would do the very same thing that made CMBO/BB/AK outdated and stale. LOL. Logic...awesome stuff.

 

And if you don't like having your opinions challenged maybe you shouldn't post them in public. Write them in your diary and you can agree with yourself all day long without all those outside "opinions" getting in your way.

 

 

Mord.

Edited by Mord
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