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Pre-orders for Combat Mission Cold War are now open.


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For those looking to see the Soviet infantry:

To be as clear as possible: Cold War will release through Battlefront (BFC) in April as a completed game. All features, assets, and normal playability and functions will be present. This includes

Reminder for everyone to and get their friends to buy CMCW on battlefront.com, BFC gets more of a cut + like stated earlier; day 1 access.

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13 hours ago, BletchleyGeek said:

The facts of Slitherine PBEM++ system is that you don't need Dropbox. The files are exchanged over the cloud, through Slitherine's servers. There is a matchmaking service too, where you post "challenges" which can be open to the public, or protected with a password (so your buddies can get into it but no randos). Whenever a new turn file is available, you get an e-mail letting you know about it.

This system, in coordination with a third-party app like Discord (or even Steam internal chat system) I think is a pretty positive and a significant step forward.

I've used it for "War in the West" and it worked seamlessly for me.

Dave

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1 hour ago, Probus said:

Once Cold War drops, what are some of the mods you guys Invision happening first?

I already have a music mod ready to go. 

I also added some numbering to the T-64 turrets, although as of right now it is only 1 number so it will need a few more for variety sake. 

I'm excited to see what others come up with. Different camo patterns for both sides, reskins, maps... There is a ton of potential here. 

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23 hours ago, BletchleyGeek said:

The facts of Slitherine PBEM++ system is that you don't need Dropbox. The files are exchanged over the cloud, through Slitherine's servers. There is a matchmaking service too, where you post "challenges" which can be open to the public, or protected with a password (so your buddies can get into it but no randos). Whenever a new turn file is available, you get an e-mail letting you know about it.

This system, in coordination with a third-party app like Discord (or even Steam internal chat system) I think is a pretty positive and a significant step forward.

This is how I was playing Battle Academy and and a couple of other Slitherine based games with a friend. The problem with them is that if the developer changes platforms or you have issues, it is up to the developer to fix them. I don't think we'll have that problem with BFC though.

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16 minutes ago, Vet 0369 said:

This is how I was playing Battle Academy and and a couple of other Slitherine based games with a friend. The problem with them is that if the developer changes platforms or you have issues, it is up to the developer to fix them. I don't think we'll have that problem with BFC though.

My biggest problem with the system - as usually implemented by developers published by Slitherine - is that if there is trouble getting across a handshake with the server, the game (client) gets stuck in a inconsistent state, or you find yourself dismissing a pop-up with a obtuse error message over and over again. Some developers have the resources to work out the possible failure modes in a graceful fashion, others do not.

If I have to be negative/pessimistic about this, the major potential issue I see with adopting Slitherine PBEM++ system, in the hypothetic case that this is indeed the MP feature Steve was talking about, is the sheer size of the PBEM game files. Their size is obviously related to the size of the map and number of units: for the largest scenarios out there (e.g. CMFI "Lancing the Abscess", CMRT "Studienka", CMBN "Counterattack at Son") you can produce files north of 100MBytes in size.

Before I managed to get a decent fiber to the home connection, uploading those files to Drobpox, could take like 20 to 25 minutes on a "decent" DSL connection, in the evening. This kind of transmission time is way above what you usually get with most games on Slitherine's platform (Wite2 saved games amongst the biggest, like 5 to 10 MB). With compression, CM saved files get reduced between a 5% (ZIP) to a 10% (7Z/LZW). 

Besides transmission time, the other issue is server side... as if say, at any point in time there are like a few thousand (optimistic figure that one) active PBEM games, and you want to keep at least one file as a back up, the footprint of the gaming is significant in terms of hard disk space. But this is probably not much of a concern these days.

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44 minutes ago, Thewood1 said:

Can you explain how the impact on uploading/downloading files sizes and storage space are impacted vs regular PBEM?

Not much. As I wrote on my original message, Slitherine system automates the logistics of exchanging game files, making it almost transparent to the players (you don't get to handle the files themselves).

And as I wrote on the previous message, the difference versus regular PBEM is failure handling. If your Internet connection goes pop while uploading your file to Dropbox, there's no drama, as you're in full control of the process. When the game (the PBEM++ client) is the one in charge, there may be issues like for instance, the files not being easily accessible (game data being written to a temporary file) etc. or lost (if the game writes the data in "streaming" into a socket). Some Slitherine published games handle these eventualities more robustly than others.

In the worst case, you may need to redo your turn, if the game crashes as a result of not being able to execute the file exchange protocol, and temporary files may be deleted when the game closes. This has happened to me like twice or three times since 2009, when I started using the service playing Field of Glory online (once with the first WitE, and a couple times with the newer Field of Glory 2).

Edited by BletchleyGeek
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35 minutes ago, Thewood1 said:

I have never played the Slitherine PBEM++ system.  Can you explain how the impact on uploading/downloading files sizes and storage space are impacted vs regular PBEM?

Most of our play was on earlier iPads (iPad 1s I think), although I also played on a 2010 MacPro, and my buddy also played on a PC. I don’t really remember any issues relating to file size or download/upload times. I honestly don’t remember if the files were kept on the system or in the cloud. It’s probably been 6 or 7 years since we were able to play Battle Academy or Comander: The Great War. Ok except been gaming for the most part on a PC since 2017, but might still have the games installed on my Mac. They won’t run at all on the newer iPads. 

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As an FYI, Slitherine is setting up a special server just for CM due to the file sizes.  After we get the system up and running internally, we'll need you Cold War players to hammer on it to see how it goes.  Honestly, nobody knows!  We've never worked with their system before and they've never had a game with such massive save files.  In theory everything should work (that's been checked already), but we all know how that can go ;)

Steve

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9 minutes ago, Battlefront.com said:

As an FYI, Slitherine is setting up a special server just for CM due to the file sizes.  After we get the system up and running internally, we'll need you Cold War players to hammer on it to see how it goes.  Honestly, nobody knows!  We've never worked with their system before and they've never had a game with such massive save files.  In theory everything should work (that's been checked already), but we all know how that can go ;)

Steve

Great to hear that - obviously you guys had "war gamed" some contingencies... others will turn up when the service goes live :)

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Unless I missed something, the regular ordering has begun. That's what I saw when I took the pre-order link given in this thread. All I saw offered was the basic game for $60.00, with no mention of anything else. Got some money and was going to pre-order to get all the goodies, though I know full well I presently simply am in no shape to play ANY CM.

Regards,

John Ketter

Edited by John Kettler
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2 hours ago, Battlefront.com said:

As an FYI, Slitherine is setting up a special server just for CM due to the file sizes.  After we get the system up and running internally, we'll need you Cold War players to hammer on it to see how it goes.  Honestly, nobody knows!  We've never worked with their system before and they've never had a game with such massive save files.  In theory everything should work (that's been checked already), but we all know how that can go ;)

Steve

Hi Steve

As a Mac (m1) player, will this new feature be available to me? 

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On 4/10/2021 at 5:00 PM, Artkin said:

Ah yes this seems just slightly automated. You still need dropbox... IMO - unacceptable.

This would never work, or make sense to push as a proper "MP". People in the "mainstream" gaming hemisphere would never accept this.

I was hoping for genuine multiplayer Real Time support, as most RTS are. BFC will never make it big if they dont push real time multiplayer IMO. The audience that wants to play Xcom and similar games is just too small.

 

Uhm, real time multiplayer over the internet is already available in all the current CM games?!

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Yeah, I played a few games of that with a friend connecting over LAN using a Hamachi server. What CM really needs on top of that is multiple players on each side or co-op so each can take care of their own formations. Frankly, I would pay for an engine upgrade that includes this.

Edited by Frenchy56
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3 hours ago, Frenchy56 said:

Yeah, I played a few games of that with a friend connecting over LAN using a Hamachi server. What CM really needs on top of that is multiple players on each side or co-op so each can take care of their own formations. Frankly, I would pay for an engine upgrade that includes this.

I'm with you, the idea of this game being coop is kind of what drove me to buy it as it was a feature that was advertised around the 2007 shock force release that never came to fruition. Which was/is a bummer but there's still time. Now that BFC are doing some defense work maybe some of those features can get in the game.

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A lot of us use Combat Mission Helper, currently it's the best way to play the game in my opinion. For those who haven't used it; it will send and insert turns from and into your game files for you via dropbox. You can do PEBMs completely hands off. You simply just have to open the game and click play then it's sent. I hope Slitherines servers work like this. The ease of play and speed of turns going back and forth is a unbelievably huge QOL improvement.

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15 hours ago, BletchleyGeek said:

And as I wrote on the previous message, the difference versus regular PBEM is failure handling. If your Internet connection goes pop while uploading your file to Dropbox, there's no drama, as you're in full control of the process. When the game (the PBEM++ client) is the one in charge, there may be issues like for instance, the files not being easily accessible (game data being written to a temporary file) etc. or lost (if the game writes the data in "streaming" into a socket). Some Slitherine published games handle these eventualities more robustly than others.

In the worst case, you may need to redo your turn, if the game crashes as a result of not being able to execute the file exchange protocol, and temporary files may be deleted when the game closes. This has happened to me like twice or three times since 2009, when I started using the service playing Field of Glory online (once with the first WitE, and a couple times with the newer Field of Glory 2).

Sounds like an important test case we should push on. Finish a big turn press the BRB wait a moment or two and pull the LAN connection and wait for it to time out and see if we can get bad things to happen.

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