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I regret that I have had to cancel the development of Combat Mission Campaigns, at least in its present form, and possibly in any form.

What went wrong

CMC was a major undertaking, and I certainly underestimated how long it would take to develop. I was probably way too ambitious. Just building an interface to CMBB was one thing, and a tricky one at that, given that CMBB had not originally been designed with that end in mind. But as well as that there was an engine that enabled 'relative spotting' for each commander, given the reports that he would have access to from his subordinates, including communication delays and so on. I had never seen this done before in a comprehensive way, for any game or simulation, and it caused some considerable complexity.

CMC was designed to be a 'grognard's dream', with every aspect of WWII warfare included at some level. It has a very sophisticated supply model, air forces, weather and 9 different ground conditions with associated (2D!) graphics, artillery support, tactical reserves, entrenchment, etc, etc. There is a ridiculously large code base handling everything from medals to soldier promotions to strategic AI.

The problem is that it took too long to develop, and the core engine proved unstable and difficult to fix. I find myself in the position this New Year of having something that is arguably 99% done, and yet we cannot nail the key bugs which prevent release (and no one wants to release something that is deficient). Just like the same time last year. And the year before that.

There have been some talented people dedicate work to the project, only to leave for a variety of reasons throughout (better career, family tragedy, etc). Each time this happens, on such a small team, it causes disruption and complication in new people coming up to speed. It generally takes some months for them to be at peak productivity.

Unlike most major commercial titles, but similar to CMBB, this was developed on a 'shoestring', without the support of a major backer. That means that it cost me personally the bulk of my life savings and my earnings over the last few years. I have run out of passion for working on it, and money to fund it. Keeping one or several programmers busy simply from the funds I personally earn in the computer industry has been possible, but increasingly painful.

It has been clear for some time that any proceeds from the sale of the game would not meet the expenditure. Nevertheless, I persisted with it because I did not wish to see the effort go to waste, I wanted to provide something entertaining, and I am very, very stubborn.

Work ceased over a month ago now. I already feel better, like the man who stops hitting his head against a wall. Apologies for not releasing news of this earlier, but there are some processes.

Apologies and Thanks

I lend my apologies to the fans who wished to see the kind of campaign system that CMC was intended to provide.

Thanks to the beta testers who helped out, creating maps, campaigns, providing feedback, testing buggy software, etc.

An even greater apology to those who volunteered time and effort to help with manual development or graphics. Especially so, Marco Bergman who personally created THOUSANDS of graphical images covering units, vehicles, interface, etc. I feel badly for someone who has worked so hard voluntarily and does not even see the title released. And there were others.

Battlefront, through Martin and Charles, have put a lot of effort into this game as well, while pushing forward with their other titles.

The Future

As promised, we have made the source code and other assets available for the community. Too much work, sweat and blood was invested by too many people to let it simply vanish. And who knows, maybe there are skilled individuals out there who have the time and energy to take what we have and lead it to a conclusion.

The source code and other files have been uploaded and are available as an open source project from sourceforge.net here:

http://sourceforge.net/projects/cmcampaigns

If you are interested to become part of the project, please feel free to join the sourceforge.net project.

There are two important things to note:

- the files are released AS IS. There is a set of documents released and downloadable from sourceforge. That is all the documentation you're going to get. There will be no further support for this project from us.

- all files are released under the GNU GPL Copyleft license. This means that not only are they open source, any derivates based on them have to be open source, too, and may not be commercially exploited. We strongly suggest that you read the GNU GPL 3.0 license text (it's available under the "Documentation" tab on the sourceforge project) to avoid any nasty misunderstandings about this in the future.

If I had ever released the game, I would certainly have dedicated it to those who fell in that terrible conflict, whose suffering puts all our troubles in perspective.

Cheers,

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Thank you for trying the impossible!

I hope that you can benefit from the experience in ways that may not be obvious to you now! I made the experience that hard work is seldom done in vain!

Thank you also for the generosity shown in releasing the work done so far! Hopefully you will see your dream game come to life in one form or the other.

Best regards,

Thomm

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The things that are OpenSource, they can't be used to interface with a CMBB, right? It's for a standalone CMC, right?

Is there any hope to get a CMBB (payed for) with the required modifications?

Bruce can correct me on that when he's up but the source code released on sourceforge includes a new CMBB.exe which interfaces with CMC and vice versa. Obviously the CMBB code won't be further changed, but what you get *may* be enough.

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If nothing else, the release of the new CMBB.EXE file with the import/export features available will spawn tens or possibly hundreds of new campaign generators and managers!

Having this project released as open source is the best thing that could have happened to it. Unfortunately it leaves Hunter with no way to earn back the money he has put into it, but it sounds like he'd reached that point already whether it had been made available to the community or not. A painful decision to make, but ultimately the best one for the community and the code base. Hopefully Hunter will be able to find some satisfaction in seeing new people with new enthusiasm taking up the project. Some of that enthusiasm may even rub off on him again! Time will tell.

Thanks, Hunter. Perhaps you should open a paypal "Please contribute if you find this useful" account. I know I've got a few bucks to spare.

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My daily ritual for the last god knows how long of, come home from work, log on and check for any CMC development news, has come to a sad conclusion. I really thought we would see this released and it is a real shame for everyone that all the work has come to naught. Hunter, thanks, you gave it your best (and more by the sound of it), so chin up pal, thats all that can be asked of anyone, regardless of the outcome.

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Sorry to hear about that, but understandable. :( Well, at least all efforts can go now into CM:N! :)

Releasing the code as open source to volunteer programmers is quite a good thing, but it´ll surely take 1-2 years before something workable will see the light. From my past experience with the Panzer Elite Developement group, who as well received the source code for further developement and final non commercial release, it´ll very hard to step into code, that is not well documented or not at all. One can be glad if programmers leave "remark" lines in the code to help understand certain modules ect. Not an easy undertaking indeed, but this way not everything is lost.:)

Thanks for the efforts so far! Now looking forward to CMX2: Normandy! 8)

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Sad news indeed, I was one of many that were still holding out for this gem. One things for sure, if anything ever becomes of the open source files, I'd say your name will be at the top of the credits/dedication list.

Hey Hunter, at least you gave it a shot, very few have the balls for that.

Hats off to you for that. ;)

Thanks to you and all those that put effort into it.

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Actually, I saw that sourceforge has a donation program built-in to the whole thing.

We would need to know Hunter's sourceforge account name. Right now I see that only you, Moon, are associated with the project. If Hunter were to create a sourceforge account and join the project then we could use it to donate some money to him.

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Question is whether the documentation describes the interface in sufficient detail to use it, and whether there are bugs inside the CMBB exe.

This would be the first item on the agenda for this project. Create a document (if it doesn't already exist, I haven't had time yet to check!) about how to use the new import/export feature of the CMBB.EXE file and what format is required for the data. Any of the current campaigns out there (Onion Wars, anyone?) will then be able to almost immediately be able to start putting together a system that will hugely unburdon the campaign GMs. That alone is a potential saving of hundreds of hours!

Moon... If the community manages to make this work, what are the chances of a new CMAK.exe file being published that will also include the import/export features? Please don't say zero....

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