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To kick things off... a poll of sorts...


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We plan on announcing the subject matter for the 1st and 2nd CMx2 games in a few weeks. Screen shots and other visual materials will accompany the announcement. But until then, we'd like to talk about some of the game stuff in general terms prior to getting into discussions tied to specific subject matter. Our thinking is that once we've revealed the subject matter we'll likely get swamped with questions about how this or that detail will work rather than Big Picture stuff. Right now, at the point of development we are at, the Big Picture is more important to us and we'd like to pick your brains about a few things in particular. Plenty of time for discussing nitty gritty stuff afterwards.

For those of you who aren't aware, CMx2 is a ground up game engine based on the concepts of CMx1 (CMBO/CMBB/CMAK). The main goal of this new engine is to provide us with the ability to cover a wider range of subject matter in a shorter period of time with greater depth than was possible with the old system. Oh yeah, and we've made the game's graphical environment cutting edge too.

We're curious to know what you guys think are the top 5 things you don't want to see changed from CMx1 and the top 5 things you want CMx2 to do differently. Please keep it to a 5 and 5 only because we're going to tabulate the answers and anything over 5 will be ignored. Also keep the list of things to game mechanics and NOT nitty gritty details. Example of what we're looking for:

I'd like to have a campaign system where I shepherd a core group of units from battle to battle

This is not what we're looking for:

I want the chin armor of the Tiger 1E to be simulated so that it has more detailed armor ratings

The first kind of comment is quite valuable to us because it is about the game system. And since we are coding up a game system, these sorts of things are obviously good for us to keep in mind. Specific comments about armor on this or that tank, the look of a particular small arm, or the type of underwear worn by SS Hampstertruppen is really uninteresting and rather worthless. Without the proper context such detail type suggestions are worthless. So for that sort of stuff please hold off until we have are actively discussing that specific setting. And especially do NOT sound off about what setting you'd like to see. We've already made decisions for the first two games that are irreversible, so there is absolutely no point in voicing that sort of an opinion.

Since this question is sure to come up, I'll ask and answer it right now: "How much influence do you gamers have over the shape of CMx2's first release?". Well, since we're about 2 years into coding and are expecting to finish up in early 2006, the honest answer is "not much". So why bother asking you guys what you think? Think of this as a last chance double check. The CMx2 design is a culmination of 9 years worth of work and about 8 years of online discussions with you guys. We should be pretty much on the mark because we HAVE been paying attention all along. However, if we find ourselves seriously offbase in a particular area, now is the time to figure that out. We can still make a significant course correction or redirect some development effort towards one feature vs. another if we see the need for it.

In the end you must remember that game design is not a democratic process. To put it in feudal terms... we are enlightened monarchs, you are the loyal subjects ;) It is in our best interests to please you and keep you from stabbing us with pitchforks, but in the end we're in charge and we call the shots. And that is as it should be. Anybody that has experienced "design by committee" projects knows exactly what we mean. We didn't fall into this trap with CMx1 and we won't do it with CMx2. Yet in both cases your feedback is critically important and that is why we're asking for it.

So let rip with the 5 and 5 lists!!

[ August 24, 2005, 10:35 PM: Message edited by: Madmatt ]

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Hmmm, what he said...

Will second grog Dorosh on

1. Realistic terrain.

2. Flexible victory conditions (i.e. AI can defend an area if it doesn't have a flag on it); also:

3. Simple playability - please don't get more complex - CM is complex enough as it is.

The following are non gratis anus rodentum, IMHO:

1. Campaign mode (I have enough imagination without BFC having to name all my pixeltruppen for me)

2. Over-detailing of 1:1 (see post 3 & 1, above) - still wanna play realistic unit warfare without having to get to know my pixeltruppen personally, y'know?

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All I need is MadMatt's address to send the anthrax spores I have been cultivating since CMAK to just I case I am disappointed by CMX2!

Otherwise what the above posters said, plus....

HQ <-> subordinate relations not usurped by closer HQs.

Straffing runs for CAS using MGs or Canon .i.e. they effect a strip of terrain rather than just one target.

More control over Artillery, including pattern, # rounds fired (plus quick/slow), and creeping barrages.

Soft Vehicles treated as AFVs for direct fire.

Wrecked vehicles providing cover and concealment (Shermans and T34s or Iraqi T-72s must serve some purpose).

The ability to export, import data in the form of text files to allow 3rd Party Campaign systems as BFC is not providing one.

Individual skins for vehicles allowing different camo / slogans / numbering when using multiple vehicles of the same type.

Sectional buildings that are not * ** *** destroyed as in CMX1. Instead partial destruction as per reality.


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I can't think of 5 things just now, so I hope I get to vote again until I've used my 5 up.


1) I'd like to see some kind of command relationship between superior and subordinate HQs. I'll get into the nitty-gritty of this when it's time. But basically, I want higher HQs, if present in the game, to perform their historic functions of command, control, and coördination.

2) I'd like to see a more intuitive control of camera position. The present system is workable but a little clunky. Too often I have had to stop and correct a mismove of the camera or at least stop and think about how to do what I need in order to see what I want.

3) Agree that the artillery system needs serious work. The air system is even worse if that's possible.

More to come.


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Taking the bones I already know about as givens, and in no particular order …


Change round:

1) No more angels on the head of a pin

Currently a section of up to 12 men, or an armoured vehicle weighing up tp 60 tons, is a point in space. When moving, the unit is either completely hidden, or completely exposed. Have units occupy a circle, or an ellipse, and vehicles a cube. And have their exposure, firepower, and vulnerability based on how much and what is exposed.

2) Obstacles ahead

Currently obstacles are bought in arbitrary clumps. Change the purchasing of obstacles to some linear or area measure, then let the player lay that out. So, buy a 100m^2 minefield, which can be laid out as an area 10m x 10m, or 100m x 1m, or something in-between. Set it using the mouse – ‘click here for the first point, then stretch out and click again for the diagonally opposite point’. Or sumfink. Clearing obstacles – be it mines, wire, or laser force fields – clears a small area, not the whole damn thing. So a 5m wide path could be cleared through a 100m wide minefield.

3) Spread out

The OoB editor in the scen editor laid out as a fully functional spreadsheet, with all fields editable in the spreadsheet. No more dozen-clicks to change the ammo load of a unit. No more restrictions on how a company or bn will be organised. No more restrictions on ranks or chains of command. You guys did a passable job on OoB research, but let us change it where we think it should, or needs, to be changed. If it exists within the module already, let us decide how to put the meccano together. If you can’t get that kind of functionality into the game, make the scen files open, and let someone else do it. You know they will, and they’ll do a good job.

4) Listen to me

Units maintain their pre-existing chain of command in the presence of higher commanders unless you specifically tell them otherwise.

5) Help us up mate

Make the file structure more open and amenable to third party programs. Allow the game to be used in ways you (or I) can’t even imagine. There is no reason – that I can see – to encrypt the raw scen files, or the end-of-game files.


As you were:


Well, maybe change it (though really, three emails per turn isn’t that much of a burden), but don’t get rid of asynchronous playability.

2) Power ups

I like the way power-ups are handled now just fine.

3) Deep Blue

Don’t spend a lot of time on the AI. It’s an OK sparring partner as it is now, but it’ll never be as good as a meatsack. Well, ok, it’s already better than Dorosh, but so is my cat.

4) But it existed on paper

Don’t fret about one off’s and odd-balls. Although, given that, see also ‘Don’t Change #3” above.

5) Brown nose

Your commitment to excellence. Meh, I couldn’t think of anything else. redface.gif




[ August 25, 2005, 12:36 AM: Message edited by: JonS ]

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1) keep pbem of some sort please

2) keep the movement command to the unit, not individual man.


1) vehicles and infantry can get cover from being behind other vehicles

2) ability to have slow surpressing artillery fire or different shapes ( line along a ridge etc), or slow fire smoke to keep a screen up

3) follow vehicle or follow road command

4) work on CAS ( I just got strafed not 20' from 2 enemy infantry units, too close )

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1) AI. I don't buy the "AI will never be as good as a human" (given some of the people I have played!). If you don't try you will never achieve and everything can be improved. Vital for solo gamers.

2)Robust C&C which stresses the importance of higher level HQs to manage and co-ordinate - maybe nationality based.

3)More varied victory conditions, especially for the QB generator. So a "Fall Back" type of defence may produce a very small defending force relative to the attacking force and so on.

4)Convoy/road movement/follow my leader.

5)Greatly improved artillery/indirect fire.

This should allow virtually anything, on map or otherwise, to fire indirectly given some sort of OOP system. It should also have a variety of arty missions such as "drop five rounds on this co-ordinate" and so forth.

Damn, thats five. But ammo resupply and a pre-battle OOB (like Steel Panthers) would come a close sixth and seventh.

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No particular order.

Cowardice and fanatacism, some will hold out, others break and run.

Limits on what terrain you can see, so that details will be lost or lower behind hills. probably a lower detail level, or blanked out but you would be able to consult a map of the terrain to check what was there.

Fewer dead before a side buckles ( I know casualties don't represent dead as such ), It just would fell better if units broke and ran before being destroyed.

National tactics, don't really now a better phrase, a german unit would move different from a US one given the same command because of different training and or doctrine.

Again I like the idea of tank formations, but again it should reflect national doctrine.


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Don't change:

*The WEGO system smile.gif .


*I'd like a campaign system added. I'm not talking a historical correct campaign with the exact right markings for each and every unit , but something simple where I move a few units on a map and sometimes get resupplied from an HQ somewhere. Something to put my battles in context and see changes in the big picture when I loose a tank/made an enemy loose a tank.

I don't want a campaign like this that goes on for ages but somthing simple. Like the RTW campaign but in a much smaller scale (and with less units).

*And like karch I want my infantry to able to take cover behind a tank.

*Oh, don't pour all your resources into it , but try to improve the AI a little (I know it's hard , but just make it a little better if possible.).

*Also I'd like multiplayer with more players then 2 . Up to 6 players would be kind of cool smile.gif .

That's all I can think of now.


Looking forward to the next big thing in gaming ;) . No pressure tongue.gif .

[ August 25, 2005, 03:34 AM: Message edited by: Salkin ]

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Improved affects of battle on environment: eg better representation of building damage.

More terrain options.

Better modelled artillery procedures eg fall patterns etc.

ACCURATE vehicle representation (eg don't use the Wespe as a Grille etc).

Multiplayer options.

and especially, more sheep. :D

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1) Improved Battle Editor

2) More detailed terrain, in particular integration of buildings (sloping etc)

3) Improved artillery system (including direct-fire airbursts)

4) Add pioneer battle (if appropriate to scale)

5) Add .txt output file for battle results to allow umpired multiplayer campaigns

Don't change:

1) WEGO system

2) Bias towards realism over gameplay in design

3) User modability (scenario editor, graphics mods)

4) Availability of hard-core realism options (casualties, extreme FOW)

5) Open-ended game scale (i.e. though designed for battalion combat team, ability to simulate larger scale action)

All the best


[ August 25, 2005, 06:16 AM: Message edited by: Andreas ]

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This list is based on the things that we KNOW are in CMx2, that is, I do not write relative spotting or 1:1 representation!

Please do NOT change

(1) Turn-based game + movie playback.

(2) Realism

(3) Easy Editor

(4) Campaign style (moving window approach)

(5) Shockwaves ;)

Please change:

(1) Reduce time per game to an average of an hour

(2) Add convoy / formation commands.

(3) Put an emphasis on persistent smoke and dust!

(4) Some form of WIA management.

(5) Add terrain reading aids (shading, contour lines)

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Stuff to keep:


2) Realism(?) over eye-candy

3) Straightforward/easy artillery system (for those of us who don't want to pre-plan the trajectory of individual shells)

4) WWII emphasis - don't compromise tanks/infantry/artillery for the sake of horses/flaming pigs/space lobsters


5a) Did I mention PBEM?

Things to change

1) PBEM - just two messages per turn please

2) Open up the file formats allowing 3rd party map design/scenario design/campaign management

3) SOPs - at least convoy movement

4&5) All the good stuff you've already told us about

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Ability to import OOB from an external file such as a spreadsheet or db file. Ability to export that same OOB a the end of the battle.

Ability to cancel a move order and revert to the original order, such as with the arty command now.

Keep the ability to Mod the graphics.

Add the ability to Mod the weapons charateristics, or characteristics of most things for that matter. (Wouldn't it be nice to mod a light building to become a jungle hut for Vietnam, or a floating restaurant in Aberdeen, Hong Kong for a future fictional?)

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1)A prone command or firing

from the prone.

2)To be able to chose/edit Ammo loadout:

A)Armor-Tungsten/HC/AP/HE to chose like

I want Stug-42-105mm to have 10HC rnds

and 20HE or Churchill VIII 95mm same as


B)Infantry ammo loadout-more ammo or


c)Arty loadout-or to give FO more rnds

but a amount that's not overkill.

3)Axis 88mm FO also to direct airstrike

like arty in game/scout planes.

4)Use PLt-HQ or any infantry in spotting

with on map mortars plus the use of

Armor/SP-guns/on map infantry guns in

same manner.

5) Better Arty like in CMBO.Also during

battle to tell Armor to use certain rnds

and command to limit HE fire like to

fire only 3 HE rnds in this turn or

use Tungsten at this Panther.

Misc-Keep PBEM.

Don't change the you go I go system....

Keep borg spotting why because he's

your grunt or crew member in the game

spotting for you-still in most sence a game.

[ August 25, 2005, 01:03 PM: Message edited by: TufenHuden ]

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Please change:

- Borg Spotting (!!!)

"nice to have":

- a campaign game mode that allows me to lead my troups through several battles over several months where the outcome of one battle influences the available troups and their condition in the next

Please don't change:

- PBEM-capability. IMHO the feature I love most at CM - next to the realistic approach.

Oh, and I would like to run CM2 on an AMD Athlon 2000 MHz System with Radeon Mobility 9000 graphics. But that's just a personal preference... smile.gif


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Things I'd like to see:

1. Vastly expanded Victory Conditions / Scenario Editor. Example: VC should be able to include and combine things like secure, hold or arrive at location for (at) certain period of time, maximum number of casulties, certain units intact etc. For inspiration look at VCs for the old Harpoon game.

2. More players than 1 per side in multiplayer games.

3. WYSIWG Map editor, to flip back and forth between editor and map modes gets old very fast.

4. More detailed model of buildings, more floors, several rooms per floor and above all a more complex/detailed destruction sequence.

5. Reserved for something I will think of when I've posted this.

Don't change:


Bias towards realism/extreme fog of war etc. (Thks Andreas)


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Don't change :

1/ WEGO system

2/ Intuitive scenario/map editor

3/ Intuitive and easy-to-recall order system (one letter for each order)

4/ possibility to mod vehicles, uniforms, terrain features

5/ hardcoded 3D models (no freaky multi-turreted Panthers possible... :rolleyes: )

Change (if possible) :

1/ in a QB, possibility to see the map before purchasing units

2/ more terrain tiles variety, in particular the possibility to recreate small rivers (less than 20m wide)

3/ real mutliplayer mode (maybe up to 6 players ?)

4/ toggle shockwaves off/on :cool:

5/ allow the player to select specific ammo type for AFVs (HE, AP, Sm, WP...)

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