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How I view most scenarios and the designers...


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2 hours ago, SimpleSimon said:

A childish excuse for what is just laziness on the part of the scenario designer. I am curious what scenarios you have been designing Squarehead if any? I just wan't to know who's scenarios I should be cracking open in the editor first before I waste any of my time trying to play through them. Should I include yours?  

It doesn't take a PhD to spot sloppy work. It doesn't even take a high school diploma to spot the salt of a bad craftsman who's realizes he's been caught by cheated customers. Don't you agree? 

Frankly I think you are talking out of your posterior.....Maybe craft us a scenario and show us how it's done.  :mellow:

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Hmm. Instant resort to ad hominem attack, plus entirely fanciful assertion that I have spent significant time commenting on your posts seems... faintly familiar. Mr. Tittles, is that you?

A number of revamped CMSF2 scenario briefings did get condensed to be more concise. I'm one of those who get intimidated by 'wall of text' orders, myself. Other orders got expanded. The purpose of ord

For purposes of my argument below I'm defining the following terms as: Tools - Units given the player to fight the engagement. Parameters - Map size, time limits, objectives etc, the variabl

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@MattisHonestly I have not messed with unpacking and repacking a campaign and can’t speak to how easy or not that is. I do however edit scenarios I really like a lot.  Circle the wagons is one of my favorite CMSF scenarios and I have created probably 4 different versions and then took the map itself and extended it.  You can also go in and relatively easily copy and paste AI plans and subtly edit the added plans to add replay value for those scenarios that have a limited number of plans.  Editing an existing scenario is a really good way to learn the editor and also vastly increases the value of the game. You can turn a scenario you like into multiple scenarios and with enough variability to make it a little more unpredictable.

I basically look at every scenario as sort of a food dish. The designer made it to their tastes.  I try it and then edit it to my tastes. The problem I have with a lot of the above comments is folks seem to be acting (using the same analogy) like walking into a restaurant and telling the chef how to cook. Now if your steak comes well done and you ordered medium rare that is one thing. But getting your home fries at breakfast and the cook doesn’t make it with onions (blasphemy!) well too bad, you’ll just have to eat elsewhere.

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2 minutes ago, Sgt.Squarehead said:

Frankly I think you are talking out of your posterior.....Maybe craft us a scenario and show us how it's done.  :mellow:

Yeah have to agree here. Put up a scenario designed the way you think it ought to be, hell take an existing one and “correct” it, but stop sitting in the cheap seats and trashing other folks work. 

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5 hours ago, domfluff said:

For a Tactical Decision Game, you can ask questions like "how would you defend this village from an armoured attack, with only handheld anti-tank weaponry?", and this can be an engaging puzzle, but the Sandbox style should be more like "How would you defend this village from an armoured attack with a rifle platoon?".

Actually I'd say neither of those scenarios is going to be very interesting, since the game is unable to mount a credible attack, and even the best scripted AI plan is going to be very limited.

That's why I love defending in PBEMs. Because the human opponent will actually make a sensible attack. Well, usually :)

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32 minutes ago, Sgt.Squarehead said:

Frankly I think you are talking out of your posterior.....Maybe craft us a scenario and show us how it's done.  :mellow:

Yeah you know what? I think scenario designing is hard, but it's not hard enough to entitle you to act like this. A child throwing a temper tantrum... If I was a simpler man reactions like yours would make me reconsider the sympathy I have left for the some of the designers, but I believe that most of them are not like you. So your...reaction, will not be held against anyone else. 

Before I /ignore you Squarehead maybe you'll at least do yourself the dignity of answering my questions and naming some scenarios you designed? If you have any respect for your own work you will at least do this. It will also give me the opportinity to see if I was wrong about you. Up to you. 

Edited by SimpleSimon
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6 hours ago, SimpleSimon said:

A childish excuse for what is just laziness on the part of the scenario designer. I am curious what scenarios you have been designing Squarehead if any? I just wan't to know who's scenarios I should be cracking open in the editor first before I waste any of my time trying to play through them. Should I include yours? 

It doesn't take a PhD to spot sloppy work. It doesn't even take a high school diploma to spot the salt of a bad craftsman who's realizes he's been caught by cheated customers. Don't you agree? 

The Sgt mostly works in CMSF so you may not be familiar with his work, but he has done some really creative fun stuff that has imho pushed design for that title up a notch. He is a very good example of someone who has decided what he’d like to see and then applied it.  Now keep in mind his work just like anyone else’s may not appeal to everyone.  However it is damn good work. As to being a customer, well that only applies if you paid for it.  That is true for one that comes with the game, but not for user created stuff which will be the vast majority of content over time. For those in effect you are getting something for free and then complaining about it as if you have some customer rights.  You don’t. You can only 1decide even at free it isn’t worth it to you or 2 provide specific feedback/suggestions to the designer in a manner that is productive and collaborative. #change your tone. 😁

Edited by sburke
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Meeting Engagement objectives are always somewhat atypical.  We can identify with hardpoints to hold, or swarm in an attack or defend scenario. But what objectives do you fight over when comparably sized task forces go BUMP. on a hill, in valley, in a forest. I think someone has a problem with these.  If you don't have any hold objectives to reach, one of two things will happen: Player one runs straight to the hardpoints and fights a defend battle against an equal sized opponent, of course he wins! Or player two camps back then shoots at anything that moves, wins by attrition. 

Units that did meet, whether planned, or unplanned fought each other as the objective, and the need to lay claim to the key immediate terrain features which could change the tide of the battle. A cross road maybe, but also the building that covers the cross road, or the forest that masks the enemy's movements. You can't just say "oh I'd go around the forest, that's not a real objective" Well no, too late. Its a meeting engagement and you have a forest to hold, or a choke point, a hill, or building  because your opponent will do it, if you don't.

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1 hour ago, SimpleSimon said:

Certainly not. The work that goes into scenario designing is heavy. That's why it's so painful when a designer is either unable or unwilling to go through the last smidgen of effort necessary to ensure the scenario works, and not just excuse themselves with useless smug one liners "oh lol war is hell" or groundless claims about "research". These things infuriate me because they are not at all a proper or valid response to customer feedback. Instead, I just note who gets salty and make a point never to play their scenarios without reviewing them in the editor first. I should not have to do this, but i've been driven to it. 

That's a lot of bitterness there @SimpleSimon :D

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Before we get deep down this rabbit hole, some people seem to be purporting the fallacy that if you don't agree the scenario designing is hard work then you must think that it's effortless. I will say now that anyone who is pushing this line, especially any scenario designer, is being unfair. 

I think making scenarios is hard, but it's NOT hard enough to respond to criticism the way Squarehead does. Nobody makes you design these scenarios and if you feel the community it too thankless for your taste I would encourage said designers to just not bother with it. Really, If that's how you feel then just do me a favor and don't exert yourself.  Volunteer work does not entitle you to resent the game community and I have zero interest in engaging with people carrying a chip on their shoulder about it. 

That the games ship with playable battles and campaigns is a great perk but its one im prepared to do without if the designers think theyre owed some kind of compensation for it...

Edited by SimpleSimon
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49 minutes ago, sburke said:

Honestly I have not messed with unpacking and repacking a campaign and can’t speak to how easy or not that is

It is not an easy thing to do at all - if there are core units involved. To create a campaign you create a core units file and then import those units into some or all of the scenarios. The compiled campaign does not have a separate record of those units so when you de compile a campaign there is no direct core units file to be extracted. The script is also not directly extractable. So you have to recreate both the script and the core units file. Using a tool like ScAnCaDe ( http://cmmodsiii.greenasjade.net/?p=5186) will get you the information you need for the script but the core units you would have to analyze all the scenarios for common units and then recreate a core units file. I believe you would then need to remove and re-add those units into each scenario taking careful notes about AI groups, unit objectives and reinforcements.

So, doable but not for the faint of heart.

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The timer in the current game engine is a necessary evil. Consider how a game could actually end without the timer forcing a points calculation?! One could capture all objectives and the game would still not end!  However for me, this begs a question and a nagging idea.

Was it not the case with earlier versions of CM  that at some point in a battle, the ratio of points acquired become so imbalanced that one side (*the computer side only) is forced to capitulate (not local surrender but game end capitulation) !?! That does not seem to occur from version 3 engine onwards at all - it always seems to go down to the clock now?!

If "forced surrender" were reinstated as a editable scripting mechanic (for mp games as well as sp), it could be employed to force a game end without time being an important parameter! For example, providing the designer with editable scripting tools to vary the "capitulation ratio" would help move scenario designer away from the clock and towards battles that terminate way before the clock has run down. This hypothetical capitulation formula could be adjusted by the scenario designer by merely selecting an overall force morale variable (not unit morale) which dictates the extent to which the ratio tilts before forcing general capitulation: A higher morale force obviously having more staying power than a force with very low morale. This would increase immersion which is what I'd suggest lies at the heart of this observational-complaint!
 

Edited by The Steppenwulf
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Honestly I have not been paying close attention here because this thread certainly didn't start out as constructive at all. And it hasn't really gotten better. But I did read some stuff from the last couple of days about time. I'll at my 2 cents about time - just a slightly different perspective:

I noticed that the general time criticisms focus on attacking across or reaching objectives. So, it is attacker centred which means the perception is there is not enough time. Makes sense but put yourselves in the defenders shoes. Now you want that clock to be as short as possible holding out for even 5 more minutes is really hard once your resources are depleted. Time *is* the main thing that defenders have on their side - well at least in a scenario with some sense of balance :) . I would argue that for the defender to have a reasonable shot at victory there must be some time restriction. There has to be a limit to how long they have to hold out.

Clearly these parameters have to be balanced to create a good fun scenario for both sides. I'll just point out that just increasing the time is not necessarily appropriate at all.

 

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9 minutes ago, The Steppenwulf said:

Was it not the case with earlier versions of CM  that at some point in a battle, the ratio of points acquired become so imbalanced that one side (*the computer side only) is forced to capitulate (not local surrender but game end capitulation) !?! That does not seem to occur from version 3 engine onwards at all - it always seems to go down to the clock now?!

Incorrect - that is still in place in CM2 nothing has changed. I frequently end a scenario by forcing the AI to surrender before I have made it to all my objectives.

Also note that there have been several threads over the years stating variations of "please add a feature that lets me keep playing after the AI surrenders, I hate it when the game just ends with out me getting to execute my cool set of orders to do X". LOL you won damn it :) celebrate.

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The timer is very important, arguably the chiefest source of stakes and tension in the games. Probably the most important element of its function is how simple and universal a measuring tool it is for overall performance. It'd be nice if scoring could be attached to it somehow so like accomplishing objectives sooner rather than any time in the mission would affect scoring. 

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10 minutes ago, IanL said:

Incorrect - that is still in place in CM2 nothing has changed. I frequently end a scenario by forcing the AI to surrender before I have made it to all my objectives.

 

In which case I'll draw the conclusion that I am definitely getting worse! 😄 

Even so, this does not apply for multiplayer games only sp right?

 

13 minutes ago, IanL said:

Also note that there have been several threads over the years stating variations of "please add a feature that lets me keep playing after the AI surrenders, I hate it when the game just ends with out me getting to execute my cool set of orders to do X". LOL you won damn it :) celebrate.

Yeah I don't get this either, but if it's immersion we wish to enhance (which is what most CM players would want) then giving designers the scripting means to raise or lower the bar that trigger a general surrender would be a useful editing tool and add great variation to scenario design.

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24 minutes ago, SimpleSimon said:

 It'd be nice if scoring could be attached to it somehow so like accomplishing objectives sooner rather than any time in the mission would affect scoring. 

Sure but this discussion is about how to limit the clock as a parameter not increase its importance/consideration for the player? 

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2 hours ago, SimpleSimon said:

Yeah you know what? I think scenario designing is hard, but it's not hard enough to entitle you to act like this. A child throwing a temper tantrum... 

You are the one ranting.  :mellow:

I've been in the editor attempting to get that AI unit to (mostly) do what I want it to, on an urban map.....So my brain hurts far too much to respond to your **** right now.  :blink:

Sorry.  ;)

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2 minutes ago, Sgt.Squarehead said:

You are the one ranting.  :mellow:

I've been in the editor attempting to get that AI unit to (mostly) do what I want it to, on an urban map.....So my brain hurts far too much to respond to your **** right now.  :blink:

Sorry.  ;)

Stop it guys. Yeah this is a subject with some strong feelings but we either can have it like adults without name calling and blanket denigrating people or we can not have it at all when Steve closes the thread. 

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What actually is the point of this thread?  :unsure:

It seems to me that it amounts to "I don't like some scenarios because [insert issue of your choice]":rolleyes:

Rather than denigrate the work of someone who has put in hours of effort, usually free & gratis, why not just go into the editor make the changes you desire and then (with permission from the original designer), share your modified version so we can all discuss it's merits (or lack thereof) compared to the original. 

It's really not that hard and it might just tempt you into designing something truly original of your own.....Then you can share the unmitigated joy of having it slagged off by non-contributors.  :)

 

Edited by Sgt.Squarehead
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I’m with the Sarge on this. Not much point to this thread until those that don’t make scenarios, and yet feel privileged to complain about them, make their own, better, ones. Or at least contribute by testing them for the scenario makers. (Added the last sentence because Erwin does a lot of testing for scenario makers.)

Edited by mjkerner
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2 hours ago, IanL said:

...there have been several threads over the years stating variations of "please add a feature that lets me keep playing after the AI surrenders, I hate it when the game just ends with out me getting to execute my cool set of orders to do X".

This is true.  Many wanted the pleasure of carrying on a successful mission to the bitter end - seeing a successful plan come to an emotionally satisfying conclusion -  even when the system has calculated that one side (esp the AI) has lost and wants to mandate a surrender - which was often frustrating to the winning player.

Equally, it is frustrating to play an otherwise xnt scenario and win in the first (say) hour and wonder around the map looking for additional targets for another hour only to realize that all other enemy are dead or routed.

It all comes down to the skill of the designer.  Some designers have a better sense of balancing the above extremes.

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So when has this crowd ever stayed on topic? 😂

the thread certainly wasn’t begun as anything other than a tongue in cheek slap at scenario time frames. However a discussion about how one builds victory conditions and scenario goals is never a bad idea and can lead to some creative ideas. As long as the discussion is respectful and approached as a creative problem solving approach there is no reason people can participate who haven’t created scenarios. Why limit your feedback pool just to folks who have designed? Hell I have created a grand total of 4 for BF. I can’t say I really enjoy creating scenarios, I do however love messing in the editor. I have taken the time to learn how to go about building an AI plan.  

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