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Will there be a 5.0 game engine?


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On 5/23/2017 at 10:39 AM, Bulletpoint said:

There was just a new version released, so the next one is probably years away at best. And the new versions add quite few substantial changes anyway, so it's still going to be pretty much the same if you feel burnt out now.

I doubt we will ever see a Cm3x, because by the time they cover the whole war, the guys doing this will be in retirement.

But try leaving the game for some time and then coming back to it. Or try playing against a human opponent if you haven't already. It really changes the game.

   So there is a fellow who feels burned out because the game is not evolving fast enough and/or may never become what he hoped for. But there are those, or at least one who appreciates this Combat Mission series and how far it has come. I remember well the days I played Advanced Squad Leader using map boards, cardboard counters, hard bound THICK rule book, and dice. My games simulating a firefight that took 20 minutes to an hour in real life but it took 6 - 8 hours to "simulate" it. So I appreciate CMx2 for what it is.  If Bulletpoint's suspicion is true, that we wont see Cm3x , but coverage of the whole war (or most of it); what if we were offered a choice: 1. Battlefront continues CMx2 to cover other parts of WW2 OR 2: They make a CM3x covering only the theaters we now have. I wonder what the majority of players would prefer?

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On 5/23/2017 at 5:50 PM, CarlWAW said:

Sure.

I have got a motivation problem, because I have the feeling scenarios more or less are always the same. The kind and the chronology how every battle develops is always the same. Even before I start, it's already 100% guaranteed, that an enemy will be there. And that a battle will follow. And the own forces will be adequate. Never a wrong briefing. Never wrong intel. Scenarios show more or less always only the culmination of a battle, after all recon has been done.

I identified as source of that problem:

1. No real possibility to use recon vehicles for recon because there is no possibility to make them evade, if they face a threat. Which would be crucial to recon big maps and find an enemy, for example.

2. The Campaign system: only one "battle" on one map. No uncertainty. No recon phases before a battle, no mop up phases. Map destruction not preserved: no difficult attacks, which need recon, cancel of attack, additional recon, try from another direction,... - for example against heavily fortified positions.

 

IMO each one is already a severe restriction - but both combined are emphasizing the problem to the point, where tactical variety becomes heavily reduced.

I'm not sure I agree with the premise about how much "the intel should be limited"  Seems to me, Commanders had a pretty good idea what they were going up against. Now they probably did not know exactly what enemy units were in a particular sector, but if the objective was strategic: An important town, bridge, hill top, or whatever, they knew they could expect certain units there. They knew that the Herman Goering division, or 12th SS Panzer, or whatever division had been deployed to the general region, and so knew the quality of tanks, troops and support units. A lot of intel was from aerial reconnaissance which seems to be overlooked. Was the mission of the recon units to do long searches in vast areas? I'm not sure that was so common. Armored cars were more like mobile scouts trying to draw fire and run away in hurry. You have to be really careful using them because they die easily.

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3 hours ago, J Bennett said:

what if we were offered a choice: 1. Battlefront continues CMx2 to cover other parts of WW2 OR 2: They make a CM3x covering only the theaters we now have. I wonder what the majority of players would prefer?

Personally, I would definitely choose CM3x, because the gameplay is what matters most to me, and there are so many fundamental things I would like to see fixed or improved. But I am sure there are others who have different ideas.

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4 hours ago, J Bennett said:

Seems to me, Commanders had a pretty good idea what they were going up against.

I think there were numerous occasions, where suddenly the neigbour was gone and the regiment and the division knew nothing what is happening.

While I played CM I did not prefer historic scenarios over fictional ones. As long as it was fun, I was fine. :D

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1 hour ago, Bulletpoint said:

Personally, I would definitely choose CM3x, because the gameplay is what matters most to me, and there are so many fundamental things I would like to see fixed or improved. But I am sure there are others who have different ideas.

Does that mean, that no 5.0 engine, but a CM3x in development?

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I do not see a new 3rd engine coming soon or maybe never. Not from BF anyway. I think they will ride out this version 2 engine as long as they can. so we are on update number 4 for the engine and likely will see 4.x numbers for awhile working out minor issues. 5.0 maybe never, what would it add at this point.

If they do get energetic and do a 3rd engine from scratch, I hope they continue on with different periods of time for the game setting instead of going over the same ones they did in CM2, at least for awhile anyway.

But the truth is, I do not see any drastic changes coming to their game, I figure the only way that might happen is, they get tired of it themselves and decide to make some additional money by selling the engine programming off to some other firm. (We could hope some other group with different views and programming skills pick it up and does a massive change as to how it is programmed and create a new engine on the design concepts).

No one ever calls me optimistic

 

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Their buisness model may not be wrong and there may not be a zillion would-be wargamers out there that are willing to pay a hefty sum to get a massivly updated game engine.
But... i can't quite shake the feeling that...
 
"Is the company, Battlefront, currently  'danger small' ?"
 
Are they to few ?
 
Will they be able to maintain the intrest in this game among a sufficient number of CM:ers considdering the current rate of progress with the game engine and the rate of wich new playable contents are released.
 
I sure hope so !
 
There are however some reasons for concern imo. I have not followed this especially but IIRC one of the main programmers have left the company and this has resulted in the delay we are now seeing when it comes to new releases.
Some time back BFC described their goals and projected schedules when it comes to releasing new stuff like...
Game-engine updates, base games, modules and battlepack etc
 
We could expect multiple releases each year...
 
These goals seems to have failed. BFC mentioned that the rate of wich new products would be released should see a noticable increase during the next few years. That has not really been the case.
 
As i understand it their plan was to be able to work on several projects simultaneously.
Hopefully BFC have a number of projects that are far along in their development but not much have been mentioned about them as far as i know recently...
 
A new module for CMRT scheduled to be released later this year, a module for CMFI maybe and some hints about CMSF2.
 
These will no doubt all be very good add-ons to the CM-family but will it be enough ? and when will they actually be finished ?
 
Unfortunatelly we need to rely on Battlefront and a few 'outsourced' scenario creators (doing stuff for BFC) to provide us with new playable content.
The amount of new community made scenarios and campaigns are- and have been, for quite a long time, very limited.
 
I very much doubt that the community made stuff will be able to maintain intrest in this game on their own. It is just to limited.
 
We need Battlefront !
 
A few things on their to-do list....
 
- After we do get the next/last module for CMFI we will need additional CMFI-battlepacks from BFC to keep the intrest alive in a sufficient way i fear.
- We will most likely need additional battlepacks for CMBN to keep that theatre intresting(playable content).
- The eastern front will require multiple new basegames and modules to provide us with playable content for the entire war
- CMBS will need a new module and CMSF2 will no doubt require a massive amount of man-hours put into its development.
 
To add to this the game engine would also benefit from continues upgrades. There are many things still that could be improved.
 
We need a constant flow of new stuff to be made avaliable to us to keep up the intrest in this game.
Will Battlefront be able to handle this in a timeframe that is acceptable to the majority of players ?
 
Judging by the activity on the BFC forums during the last year(s).
 
Maybe not !
 
The activity amongst the forums have been very limited and for long times almost dead. Take away the post made by the 10 most active forum posters and there really is not much being discussed on these boards.
Happily though there seems to be a slight increase in forum activity though in the last few months imo...
 
Good !
 
Besides being under presure to deliver more stuff for the products already avaliable BFC might also miss out on many potential new theatres and historical and fictional wars that would be well suited to simulate with this game-engine.
The possibilities are massive for new products to be released if only BFC had the capability/manpower of making them.
 
Unfortunatelly they don't.
 
That is a shame...They would sell just fine i'm sure if only they could be procuced.
 
I konw i, along with several others, have mentioned this before but i feel that BFC may not have much of a choise other then to find a way of increasing their manpower if COMBAT MISSION is to survive and atract new players..
 
And the answer is...NO ! that is not possible
 
But maybe it will be neccesary...The progress may be to slow right now.
 
After all these "negative waves" let me just say...that i love this game. It is the best ! and that i will most likely keep it on my hard drive forever...
But i'm a little bit worried for the future...Can't be helped...
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2 hours ago, slysniper said:

so we are on update number 4 for the engine and likely will see 4.x numbers for awhile working out minor issues. 5.0 maybe never, what would it add at this point.

Oh I could think of plenty of things to add. Things that would be super easy to program within the current engine and add a lot of gameplay.

Just one example: Reinforcements by trigger. They already have the reinforcement groups in the editor, the touch objectives and the trigger system. Would take an hour to code and half a day to playtest.

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So easy to program, right, you have no clue as to how hard it is. If they could do it with ease, it would have been done. Just look how long version 4 has invested their time.

Anyway, I hope for the best for them, but agree, time is not a friend and they lose support because they are not able to produce fast enough for the casual gamer.

What they have is die hard grogs, no clue as to how many. but so far enough to keep them in a job. 

 

I know I will continue to support them with anything they provide.

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39 minutes ago, slysniper said:

I know I will continue to support them with anything they provide.

And so apparently do a lot of gamers who seldom or never post on these forums. There are probably hundreds and possibly even thousands who like to play the games and are willing enough to pony up the price of admission, but who are not chatty about the experience.

Michael

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The casual gamer?  They can't even produce for hardcore gamers.  A module a year or so and slowly diminishing 3rd party scenario development has made CM a minor topic on wargamer forums like grogheads, wargamer, etc.  Outside a couple blogs and a one or two older competitive sites, there is almost no activity in other forums.  Unless you frequent this site or 1-2 other older competitive (ladder) sites, you would have no idea what is going on with CM.

I actually think they have the opposite problem of what some are driving to in this thread.  I think the game and its delivery has become so complex as to slow development and support to a crawl.  I think a game trying to cover so much breadth in so much detail needs to simplify itself a little.  Get rid of OpenGL and the overly complex DRM.  Don't support two playing methods (WEGO and RT).  There are a bunch of things that can be done to make the game less ornery to players beyond those who have invested heavily in BFC games.  You go around to SimHQ, Steel Beasts, Graviteam, and other wargame forums and you can see there is a solid niche for CM-type games.  But it seems each year, BFC narrows down the audience of those willing to take on the burden of getting the best performance out of CM on new hardware and then updating CM to its latest version.

As it stands, CM is a great game that seems to be drowning in its own development and support complexity.  Beta testers and those who, like me, profess the length of time they have been playing CM have a hard time grasping just how difficult and intimidating starting into CM and the forum.  CM/BFC isn't competing against graviteam per se, they are competing with all the other games and platforms that want a player's time.  And I would bet the average age of a CM gamer goes up close to a year, each year.  I would also bet,  based on number of releases and new people we see on the forum, BFC is seeing lackluster revenue increase, if they are increasing at all.  At some point, I wouldn't blame the people at BFC for throwing in the towel.

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15 hours ago, slysniper said:

So easy to program, right, you have no clue as to how hard it is. If they could do it with ease, it would have been done. Just look how long version 4 has invested their time.

Come on, they are obviously smart people. The reason they haven't done it is either that they are not aware that it's something people would like to have, or that they simply decided against it for some other non-technical reason. Not that it's hard to do. Especially since most of the functions are already there. Who knows, maybe they just don't like the idea.

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18 hours ago, Bulletpoint said:

Just one example: Reinforcements by trigger. They already have the reinforcement groups in the editor, the touch objectives and the trigger system. Would take an hour to code and half a day to playtest.

That is a very good idea, I was kind of hoping it was already possible.....I think this is probably a MUST HAVE for CM:SF II, to facilitate properly timed insurgent attacks from previously undiscovered positions. 

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16 hours ago, Thewood1 said:

I actually think they have the opposite problem of what some are driving to in this thread.  I think the game and its delivery has become so complex as to slow development and support to a crawl.  I think a game trying to cover so much breadth in so much detail needs to simplify itself a little.  Get rid of OpenGL

Getting rid of OpenGL is a total engine rewrite. That will not get more games out in the near term. I am not arguing against the idea of doing that at some point I'm just saying it runs counter to your stated goal of speeding up releases.

 

16 hours ago, Thewood1 said:

and the overly complex DRM.

?? compared to what? People occasionally mention this but I just do not see it. The vast majority of the time it just works. Every other time support can get customers up and running. There is nothing overly complex going on here. The issue is that DRM is specifically designed to stop the game from running. Except for a restricted happy path anything out of the ordinary and the DRM will balk. It is what DRM's do. As a development manager at a past company half my day was dealing with DRM and licensing issues from customers. *We* had an overly complex DRM and not only that we tried to implement features using it (customers wanted to monitor usage with it). Man *that* sucked and sucked the time from my team too. I *hate* DRM. I get why we have it but man it is a pain. The DRM they are using is the least intrusive that I have seen.

 

16 hours ago, Thewood1 said:

 Don't support two playing methods (WEGO and RT).

Yikes, please don't open that can of worms. There was discussion back in the CMSF days of going RT only. Kiss of death - at least for me. If that had been the decision I would literally not be playing this game. If they make that move and drop WEGO I will no longer buy new products. Yeah strong statement but the fact is, other than testing, I only play against humans and I cannot play for hours at at time at any point in my day therefore RT is out. For me.

 

1 hour ago, Bulletpoint said:

Come on, they are obviously smart people. The reason they haven't done it is either that they are not aware that it's something people would like to have, or that they simply decided against it for some other non-technical reason. Not that it's hard to do. Especially since most of the functions are already there. Who knows, maybe they just don't like the idea.

My bold - my guess is this. I, personally, don't like the idea either.

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Again, look at the confusion that reigns for new players and updates.  Read 3rd party forums where people aren't versed in the nuances of how things work or beta testers.  The store is still kind of a mess, etc.  Its easy to say it works well.  It works better now, but look at how many years went by with DRM issues before we even got t this point.  That is the memory most people have of the game.

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2 hours ago, Sgt.Squarehead said:
20 hours ago, Bulletpoint said:

Just one example: Reinforcements by trigger. They already have the reinforcement groups in the editor, the touch objectives and the trigger system. Would take an hour to code and half a day to playtest.

That is a very good idea, I was kind of hoping it was already possible.....I think this is probably a MUST HAVE for CM:SF II, to facilitate properly timed insurgent attacks from previously undiscovered positions. 

I was thinking it could be used in WW2 titles as well, for example by requiring the player to clear out (occupy or touch) a potential ambush spot before the tanks would be sent forward as reinforcements. Or make B Company appear once A Company has reached phase line 1. Or have artillery assigned to your sector in case the enemy breaches your first line of defence.

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17 minutes ago, Bulletpoint said:

I was thinking it could be used in WW2 titles as well, for example by requiring the player to clear out (occupy or touch) a potential ambush spot before the tanks would be sent forward as reinforcements. Or make B Company appear once A Company has reached phase line 1. Or have artillery assigned to your sector in case the enemy breaches your first line of defence.

Those all sound like good ideas to me. The catch might be in getting it to work right of course.

Michael

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"I was thinking it could be used in WW2 titles as well, for example by requiring the player to clear out (occupy or touch) a potential ambush spot before the tanks would be sent forward as reinforcements. Or make B Company appear once A Company has reached phase line 1. Or have artillery assigned to your sector in case the enemy breaches your first line of defence."

This could make recon valuable.  You'd have to spot certain units or occupy one of several OP's before the main force can arrive etc.

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6 minutes ago, Erwin said:

 

This could make recon valuable.  You'd have to spot certain units or occupy one of several OP's before the main force can arrive etc.

Exactelly my wiew on this...

Let us have it ! ;)

I really like the idea of having more options when i comes to reinforcements.

Not only being tiggered by terrain objectives but also things like UNIT SPOTTED and UNIT KILLED.

Like you mentioned. This could make things like the recon part of a scenario more tailored towards that to start with and then followed by a full assult.

Kind of two scenarios in one...:)

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cracks me up to see this thread heading down the doom and gloom route.  Does anybody here actually have any hard numbers on BF sales and financial health?  No?  I didn't think so.  Any insight into BF long term plans?  No?  I didn't think so.

Let's all just calm down and trust that the company that has delivered for us for almost 20 years now hasn't suddenly gone dumb on how to remain successful.

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Maybe Battlefront could provide us with a situation update as of mid 2017...

What are they currently working on ?

Any rough release Estimates ?

How is the personell situation looking ? now and for the future ?

What is the main thing they are currently struggeling with (if any) ?

I apologize if this has been mentioned in some thread and i have missed it. But maybe it would be a good thing to make an entire new sticky thread and describe the current situation

in some greater detail.

Thanks ! :)

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