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Steve Grammont interview.


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The vibes i'm getting from this interview is that CM2 is indeed nearing its end...No more larger game-engine updates, no more major editor updates but rather...

"adding a host of “niceities” "

And the "having at least one Module"   comment kind of sounds like these three modules will be the last ones...After these three have been delivered...

CM2 is finished as far as BFC goes....

any battlepacks and such can (and probably will) be made by 'partners'...

Hopefully this means that CM3 is not all that far away 😎...two years ??? 😊

 

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9 hours ago, Erwin said:

Excellent interview.  Good that very specific questions were asked and answered by Steve.  

Some highlights:

It's unsurprising that CM3 was not mentioned.  If customers knew that CM3 was a few years away, they would stop buying existing CM2 products and wait.

Maybe, but the flip side of that is, let's say you are new to CM and shock force really appeals.  Are you going to wait hoping they redo it again in CM3 or get it now?  I know what my answer would be. :D We have no idea what the roadmap for CM3 might be and even less on where BF would start.  They have said Europe Western front is their bread and butter, but in releasing CM2 they went elsewhere presumably to iron stuff out before hitting the big dollar item. Most folks don't sit on gaming money for years.  Heck if folks heard CM3 was gonna come out in say 2023 I doubt they would sit on their money... especially knowing that is "steve time".  😛 

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Glad you guys enjoyed the interview!  Charles (the interviewer) promised me really good questions and he did not disappoint. 

4 hours ago, Gkenny said:

Steve:   We are stepping away from creating brand new Families (Base Game + Modules + Packs) and instead are committed to having at least one Module for each of our existing 8 Families.  At present that means adding Modules to Black Sea, Final Blitzkrieg, and Cold War.  We are also interested in adding various types of Packs to other Families.

 

Hmm, 8 Families - Does this mean CM:A is going to get brought back into the fold? I remember Steve saying he was going to reach out to the Russian devs in the New Years thread from this year...

Yeah, goof on my part.  From a product management standpoint we have 8 CM "Families" (9 if you count the discontinued CMSF1 games), but one of those is indeed CM:A.  I should have said 7 CM Families.

As far as I can tell nothing is going to happen with CM:A as we don't own the content and we're having difficulty getting authorization to do something with it.  I did manage to track down one of the guys that helped develop it (the company is defunct) and we exchanged some emails.  He said he'd contact the guys who own the rights and get back to me.  I haven't heard back from him even after a follow up nudge.

If we ever have the chance to strike a deal with the CM:A guys we will definitely look into porting the content over to CM2.  But it might prove too much effort for too little interest.  Porting over CMSF1 (same version of the engine as CM:A) was a massive undertaking.  Yes, partly because of the quantity of stuff in CMSF1's four releases, but mostly because we changed all the unit, model, and TO&E data formats between Engine 1 and Engine 2, with a little bit for Engine 3, and a small bit for Engine 4.

Still, I'm definitely open to the possibility of CM:A2!

Steve

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Just now, Battlefront.com said:

Glad you guys enjoyed the interview!  Charles (the interviewer) promised me really good questions and he did not disappoint. 

Yeah, goof on my part.  From a product management standpoint we have 8 CM "Families" (9 if you count the discontinued CMSF1 games), but one of those is indeed CM:A.  As far as I can tell nothing is going to happen with that one as we don't own the content and we're having difficulty getting authorization to do something with it.  I did manage to track down one of the guys that helped develop it (the company is defunct) and we exchanged some emails.  He said he'd contact the guys who own the rights and get back to me.  I haven't heard back from him even after a follow up nudge.

If we ever have the chance to strike a deal with the CM:A guys we will definitely look into porting the content over to CM2.  But it might prove too much effort for too little interest.  Porting over CMSF1 (same version of the engine as CM:A) was a massive undertaking.  Yes, partly because of the quantity of stuff in CMSF1's four releases, but mostly because we changed all the unit, model, and TO&E data formats between Engine 1 and Engine 2, with a little bit for Engine 3, and a small bit for Engine 4.

Still, I'm definitely open to the possibility of CM:A2!

Steve

It's nice to hear that you've been pursuing it, Steve. I hope they get back to you. Porting CMA to CM2 would be simply awesome!

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About our thoughts for Engine 5.

There's all kinds of things that have come about in the 'puter world since we started coding CM2.  No really, it's true!  Some of the improvements translated very easily, even automatically, into improvements for CM's overall performance.  However, over time APIs change and expand to offer control of new hardware capabilities.  These often times require a lot of work to tap into.

For the majority of CM2's development time we've favored adding features and content to CM2 with performance improvements being sprinkled in here and there.  For a while that was fine because hardware really hadn't improved that much.  But as the years passed the gap between what CM2 does and what it could do has grown wider.  And at the same time the list of major feature requests that large amounts of players agree are super important AND are within reason for us to deliver has grown shorter.  Yes, yes, yes, I know each of you has at least 1000 things you want to see added :)  That's not what I'm talking about.  What I'm talking about are the features that are common to large chunks of players and viable for us to implement.

This is why we are focusing on performance stuff more than game features for the first time since 2007.  It's about time we did, me thinks ;)

Fortunately, there's a list of performance stuff that were uncovered when doing Engine 4 that we didn't have time to implement.  We're going to dust those off and see which ones of them are still promising.  Trust me, we know all the places we want to improve, we just don't know which ones are worth doing.  Just getting an answer to that one tiny question can take weeks of coding time.

We'll let you know what we've come up with when we have something solid to discuss.

Steve

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@Battlefront.comSo you said that you wouldn't be realeasing any new games for a while, but will instead be focusing on modules (not gonna argue with that prioritization, since I'm eager to see some Cold War modules. But in the far future when you do get back around to releasing new titles, would a Combat Mission: Great War be something that could ever be on the table? Or is that never going to happen in a million years?

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10 minutes ago, Battlefront.com said:

This is why we are focusing on performance stuff more than game features for the first time since 2007.  It's about time we did, me thinks ;)

Ok yeah that makes sense. I'm pretty happy with the features that are currently in the engine. But when it comes to performance...I have noticed that it isn't hard to push the game to the point where frames per second become seconds per frame.

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9 hours ago, Battlefront.com said:

Glad you guys enjoyed the interview!  Charles (the interviewer) promised me really good questions and he did not disappoint. 

Yeah, goof on my part.  From a product management standpoint we have 8 CM "Families" (9 if you count the discontinued CMSF1 games), but one of those is indeed CM:A.  I should have said 7 CM Families.

As far as I can tell nothing is going to happen with CM:A as we don't own the content and we're having difficulty getting authorization to do something with it.  I did manage to track down one of the guys that helped develop it (the company is defunct) and we exchanged some emails.  He said he'd contact the guys who own the rights and get back to me.  I haven't heard back from him even after a follow up nudge.

If we ever have the chance to strike a deal with the CM:A guys we will definitely look into porting the content over to CM2.  But it might prove too much effort for too little interest.  Porting over CMSF1 (same version of the engine as CM:A) was a massive undertaking.  Yes, partly because of the quantity of stuff in CMSF1's four releases, but mostly because we changed all the unit, model, and TO&E data formats between Engine 1 and Engine 2, with a little bit for Engine 3, and a small bit for Engine 4.

Still, I'm definitely open to the possibility of CM:A2!

Steve

Thanks for the response Steve, hopefully they get back to you and a deal can be made. I would love to see an updated version of CMA, it truly is a very interesting period.

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9 hours ago, Battlefront.com said:

Still, I'm definitely open to the possibility of CM:A2!

Steve

+100   Very exciting that this is a possibility as CMA is one of the most if not the most interesting eras and situations.  Re units, notice how CMA's era (1979 – 1989) dovetails nicely with CM:CW era.

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12 minutes ago, Erwin said:

+100   Very exciting that this is a possibility as CMA is one of the most if not the most interesting eras and situations.  Re units, notice how CMA's era (1979 – 1989) dovetails nicely with CM:CW era.

So agree.  I would LOVE to have a CM:A 2!

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12 minutes ago, Erwin said:

Re units, notice how CMA's era (1979 – 1989) dovetails nicely with CM:CW era.

Excellent point. If BFC can get the rights then a CMA2 might be a good jumping off point for expanding the CMCW timeframe forward as far as 1989.

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13 hours ago, Glubokii Boy said:

The vibes i'm getting from this interview is that CM2 is indeed nearing its end...No more larger game-engine updates, no more major editor updates but rather...

[snip]

...kind of sounds like these three modules will be the last ones...After these three have been delivered...

CM2 is finished as far as BFC goes....

[snip]

Hopefully this means that CM3 is not all that far away 😎...two years ??? 😊

 

I wouldn't read that far into it. The time scale to get a module out for everything that needs it isn't clear, and could be protracted. Speculation beyond that goal at this time might just be inappropriate. Things do seem to keep popping out of the woodwork: FI was a bit of a surprise when that dropped, and CW even more so. Who knows what astonishing idea might occur to 'em in the time it takes to polish up the engine and make a module for CW?!

Still, though, I have to join you in the hope that a splendid new engine won't take til the next decade to emerge.

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Although it is true that we do pop out a big surprise every now and again (Fortress Italy and Cold War being two huge ones, with Afghanistan and Touch being more nichey surprises), we're really not planning on anything like that.  Though, to be fair we didn't plan on any of them before either ;)  So all I can say for now, for sure, is that we do not have another "Cold War" type game surprise up our sleeves, not that there never will be another one.

As I said in the interview, we are at a minimum committed to making Modules for Black Sea, Final Blitzkrieg, and Cold War along with several Battle Packs.  Several of these are well underway already.  We'll be talking about them in detail pretty soon.

Steve

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Quote

Steve:   We are stepping away from creating brand new Families (Base Game + Modules + Packs) and instead are committed to having at least one Module for each of our existing 8 Families.  At present that means adding Modules to Black Sea, Final Blitzkrieg, and Cold War.  We are also interested in adding various types of Packs to other Families.

So I take it that a CM2 game covering Barbarossa is still not in the cards?😪

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1 minute ago, kgsan said:

So I take it that a CM2 game covering Barbarossa is still not in the cards?😪

eh, I'm finding the CM1 games to be perfectly serviceable. When BFC gets back around to releasing brand new titles I'm hoping for campaigns that they have never covered before in any title. Things like Poland 39, France 40, WW1, Korean War, etc...

I would love to have North Afrika and Barbarossa updated to CM2, but only if we could somehow magically have that AND all of the countless campaigns that they haven't done at all yet.

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13 hours ago, kgsan said:

So I take it that a CM2 game covering Barbarossa is still not in the cards?😪

Correct.  As I've said whenever this is brought up, the differences in equipment and TO&E from what we have already in the game is massive.  Aside from some Soldier stuff (basic model, helmet, rifles, etc.), it would be like making a brand new game from scratch.  We don't think the market will reward such a huge development expense.

Steve

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50 minutes ago, Battlefront.com said:

Correct.  As I've said whenever this is brought up, the differences in equipment and TO&E from what we have already in the game is massive.  Aside from some Soldier stuff (basic model, helmet, rifles, etc.), it would be like making a brand new game from scratch.

Good idea :)

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12 hours ago, Battlefront.com said:

Correct.  As I've said whenever this is brought up, the differences in equipment and TO&E from what we have already in the game is massive.  Aside from some Soldier stuff (basic model, helmet, rifles, etc.), it would be like making a brand new game from scratch.  We don't think the market will reward such a huge development expense.

Steve

Contact the CMFI sponsor and see if he lusts for Barbarosa?

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