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I prefer larger maps and set ups away from the edges. I don't like arbitrary limits to my plans. Make the map edges into terrain features that are clear reasons to be AO boundaries. I prefer creeks/streams or ridges.

It is an immersion thing for me, and if the other side really, really wants to play flanking maneuver then no gamey edging is needed if the map is roomy enough.

Plus, if the terrain and vehicles allow, one could even get behind an enemy on a larger map with objectives near center and setup zones halfway between objective(s) and friendly map edge.

Larger maps also allow for multiple mini-battles to occur for various terrain features and/or objectives, without the ability for almost instant reinforcement from other forces.

Two Companies with a few attachments sent on a task for a reinforced Btn sort of scenarios/battles. You probably have enough to do the job... but darn that's a lot of diverse places to hold. :)

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Is a 2 km plus map even realistic, without resorting to running around with multiple battalions? Just how large were the fronts and unit densities for these sorts of actions in dense-ish terrain? There's no problem that you like these maps of course, but I take issue with the idea that maps must be big to be "realistic". Sub "realistic" with "what I like to play" and I think that's a bit more accurate. ;)

Really large maps (we're talking multiple square kilometers here) take exponentially more time to create, test, and tune, so I'm afraid that the people who like their maps really large aren't going to have a sprawling plethora of these pseudo-operational level battles to play at first. Otherwise the game would be shipping with a third as many maps as it normally would be.

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I'll confess the last seven scenario maps that I've made over the last three titles I first built to completion, then playtested, then added another 100m to one side. Playtested again then added a further 150m to another side, etc. My maps get bigger, rarely smaller. But I'm shooting for sufficient room, not all-the-game-can-handle. It does my scenario no favor to have a very pretty 2 sq km patch of uninhabited forest to my north if my framerate's going to fall every time I point the camera in that direction.

Lets also remember someone's got to construct the AI opposition. There's only so many variables an AI planner can account for. You put the AI opponent into an impossible situation (monster map), do an improbable maneuver (going for a 2 hour walk along the map margins), then complain afterward that the AI isn't responding properly.

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Lets also remember someone's got to construct the AI opposition. There's only so many variables an AI planner can account for. You put the AI opponent into an impossible situation (monster map), do an improbable maneuver (going for a 2 hour walk along the map margins), then complain afterward that the AI isn't responding properly.

therefore this game needs simple triggers - i hope they are on top of bf's list. i don't expect editor script features like in sudden strike or armed assault but please make the ai capable to counterattack or shift defenses.

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Keep in mind that I know absolutely nothing about any CMx2 game. The last game I purchased from Battlefront was CMAK.

One of my biggest enjoyments with CMBO/CMBB/CMAK was the quick battles and the fact that the AI generated a new, different map for each quick battle, based on certain user defined parameters (village, farmland, etc.). Does CM, Battle for Normandy not have this capability? Do we have to use pre-built maps (or build our own with the map editor) when we play quick battles? Educate me, please.

The Quick Battle map system is very different from CMBO et al. and the current iteration of CMSF et al.

Generation 1 (CMBO) had a QB map generator. You'd select a few parameters and the game would create a map on the fly, just for you.

Generation 2 has a QB selector. All the QB maps are pre-existing. They are saved in a file labeled "QB Maps". When you fire up a QB, the parameters you select determine which map from the QB Maps file gets selected.

If you only have 2 maps in your QB Maps file, well, the game will only have a choice of 2 maps whenever you select a QB. If, however, you have 4,500 maps in your QB Maps file, you will not likely see the same map twice. (Depending on your level of addiction.)

I do not know how many will ship with the game, but I would anticipate many dozens, possibly in the hundreds. (No guarantees.)

Anyone in the community, including yourself, can create as many QB maps as you'd like.

Each QB map gets labeled (by its creator). That label helps the QB map selector determine which type of map it is. E.g., "Small Village" lets it know the map should be considered whenever the QB selection is set for small or village or small village.

Each QB map SHOULD get created by its author with an AI plan for both forces. That allows that map to be played solo vs. the AI, with the player being either side. The requirement for an AI plan is one of the reasons why the QB maps cannot be generated by the game. It takes a cunning human touch to add that realism to the enemy force's actions.

A minimal install of CMSF on this machine shows 226 QB maps. (My other machines have far, far more. I just haven't loaded them here.) The number of maps possible is unlimited. The community is a huge source of more maps.

The above discussion is not exhaustive. Nor have I tried to compare and contrast the strengths or weaknesses of either approach. There are many threads extant with that sort of debate. Some folks get quite heated about it. Do a forum search.

Regards,

Ken

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In CMx1 wasn't there a way to set the "horizon"? I think this allowed a person to see more detail further out toward the map edge.

How is this handled in CMx2? This limited view takes a load off the CPU and makes a larger map not have such a big frame rate hit.

Bocage has a lot of detail, but if the view is limited per detail over distance then would that help frame rate without having an impact on game play?

Still wouldn't change the work of the map maker though.:)

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I'll confess the last seven scenario maps that I've made over the last three titles I first built to completion, then playtested, then added another 100m to one side. Playtested again then added a further 150m to another side, etc. My maps get bigger, rarely smaller. But I'm shooting for sufficient room, not all-the-game-can-handle. It does my scenario no favor to have a very pretty 2 sq km patch of uninhabited forest to my north if my framerate's going to fall every time I point the camera in that direction. quote]

What would be the ultimate graphics card to prevent framerate loss on larger maps? I hear that the graphics are dependent on OpenGL.

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In CM:BN the tree cover extends to the horizon (and improvement over CMSF) so you're given an option to toggle trees. Either lose the closest tree foliage to get to your nearby units or lose all the trees to see everythnig hidden under the tree cover. The game doesn't contract or expand the map edges, though.

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But I'm shooting for sufficient room, not all-the-game-can-handle. It does my scenario no favor to have a very pretty 2 sq km patch of uninhabited forest to my north if my framerate's going to fall every time I point the camera in that direction.

I think you have nailed the essence of the original question: "will the game (engine) handle maps that are sufficiently large for good interesting scenario construction?"

One reason the answer might be "no" is if the max map size you are allowed to create is too small. However, 4km wide is absolutely heaps.

If the framerate drops unacceptably on "normal" platforms with "sufficiently big" maps, then obviously the answer is "no".

From what I've heard, this probably is not a big deal either though ... it sounds like if you toggle trees off things will be OK? This is the case with CMx1 also.

A factor I hadn't thought of came up in this thread: the sheer effort of creating a map. Has it become way harder to make a decent map?

Another thing I hadn't picked up before is that it seems that QBs are played on human-created maps - is that right? There's no "autogeneration" of maps?

GaJ

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Lets also remember someone's got to construct the AI opposition.

Only if the scenario is for "vs AI", right? I know that lots of people out there like to play scenarios vs AI, but personally I couldn't care less about that :D If scenario designers put their effort into creating nice H2H scenarios, and don't worry about the AI plan, that will be fine for me :D

GaJ

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There are no randomly made maps for QBs. Never will be as far as we're concerned. A Search of this topic will produce a couple hundred posts about why, so I'm not going to repeat myself here :D

The thing about map size is just like force density. We were astonished that people wanted to play CMx1 with close to a Regiment on both sides. The game was never, ever intended to do that and we personally don't think it handled it well from a realism standpoint. But for the ones who really liked those monster battles, the option was there. The other 98% of our customer base played something else :) So for us explicit support of massive battles is not something we care about catering to. The fact CMx2 handles it about as well as CMBO did (better in some ways) is incidental.

And for the record, we have not purposefully hobbled either the game or the scenario designer's creativity so that everything is playable in RealTime. People made what they wanted to make and did a mighty fine job at it. However, like all previous CM games there are no scenarios on the disk that just about break the game or anything other than a brand new computer. We'll leave that for someone else to do ;)

Steve

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Thanks for the answer, Steve.

I indeed played a CMMC game where there was a regiment of inf + AT support versus a Bn of enemy elite Italian paratroopers. It was great. The only issue would be ammo if the game was too long. This has improved in CMx2.

Needless to say I am a huge fan of your work ;)

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So the game is designed for smaller battles but as Steve pointed out others may press well beyond those. BF has allowed this to some degree by limiting the area to a large 4K by 4K. It's up to customers to upgrade their computers to deal with it, if they choose. Looks like my GeForce GTX 470 will handle the load well. Any chance the game moving to 64 bit so more RAM can be applied?

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The map makers have done a great job guys, you dont have to fear seeing hastily designed maps from these guys. While most are smaller ranged battles than Batt or Regimental sizes, I have no doubt the coming years will have more of the huge ones you guys are pining for.

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I'll confess the last seven scenario maps that I've made over the last three titles I first built to completion, then playtested, then added another 100m to one side. Playtested again then added a further 150m to another side, etc. My maps get bigger, rarely smaller. But I'm shooting for sufficient room, not all-the-game-can-handle. It does my scenario no favor to have a very pretty 2 sq km patch of uninhabited forest to my north if my framerate's going to fall every time I point the camera in that direction.

Bingo.

I started with scenarios rather than maps and this is what happened to me in CM1 time and time again. I would design a mission, assign forces to accomplish and prevent, then start on the map.

It would grow slice by slice to accomodate what I wanted to happen.

It seemed that historicals were popular, and I couldn't match that fidelity. So I made large maps that could be sectioned as needed.

A La Carte maps. Take what you want.

Now that it seems that C2 is more constrained, the battles may not take up as much space. You can't have a double command bonus HQ stretching a 'toon out for hundreds of meters before the command line goes red. So that may be a factor in map sizes compared to CM1.

---

And yes, I was one of those that designed and played Btn/Reg sized scenarios and QB maps. :D I will be again too.

--

Edit - I believe some small amount of confusion/discord is due to some taking the 'Normandy' part of CMBN more seriously than others in regards to map design. Historicals will be shipping, and there will be many more of extremely high fidelity soon™ after release. The open tank country calls us with its siren's song. The Ardenne whispers with threats and opportunities. The map editor tempts us with its mountain-creating elevation possibilities. I will see miles of Bocage in other maps... give me the range my 88s need baby.

No need to wait for the equipment and troop modules to make the maps they will play on in a few months time. ;)

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A large map wouldn't be so bad if there were multiple objectives, such as several small towns that need to be held/taken, instead of one large objective in the middle of the map. A mix of bocage, hills, streams, and open farmland would be nice as long as the extra map has purpose rather than uneventful time wasting terrain to negotiate before the two sides meet up for one epic battle.

It would be interesting to have a large map with multiple company sized elements coming in at different locations doing recon, being responsible for thier own objectives, and then only meet up with each other if support & reinforcements are needed.

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A large map wouldn't be so bad if there were multiple objectives, such as several small towns that need to be held/taken, instead of one large objective in the middle of the map. A mix of bocage, hills, streams, and open farmland would be nice as long as the extra map has purpose rather than uneventful time wasting terrain to negotiate before the two sides meet up for one epic battle.

Which brings us full circle back to the real answer to the initial question IMO- as a designer it's what you do with the editor that counts, not the size of the map.

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I wouldn't mind having a large battle with an average force where the only objective was to eliminate the opposition - points awarded for each unit killed. Especially with the German advantage in range with tigers and panthers it would great an interesting dynamic.

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