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Based on how many things you need today to add content...

CMBN will need an obscene amount of years to get only a 20% of the content available in CMx1 engines.

May be it's true that the code for the new CMx2 Engine is more organiced and hepls to speed coding of features... but there are so many areas that grow in man-hours of work, that the final result is a much slower develompent pace if we count the number of features.

For example, will be impossible to wait for a Finnish, Romanian, or Italian army... or even for complete set of URSS, Germany, and USA for a time period from 1941 to 1945.

The only solution to this situation, in order to complete a minimum of the content available on CMBB & CMAK, would be to add a huge amount of extra work force.

Is there any plan to outsource the expansion of content with a greater number of companies?

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The community can have as much content as it is willing to pay for. I would cheerfully pay a $50 p.m. subscription for CM (as long as it included WEGO TCP/IP), maybe more (depending on how good a mood Herself is when I had to make the decision). However, I am sure I am in the minority. The decision on investment/return can only be made by Battlefront and I am sure they know what they are doing.

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BFC has already worked with the Russian company Snowball to publish the CM:Afghanistan game, so the precedent is there for BFC to work with other companies in order to increase the number of titles and content available that use the CMx2 engine.

Whether there are any companies out there interested working with BFC to do this for WWII content, I don't know... it actually occurs to me that the East Front would be the most likely area to do this, because BFC already has a relationship with a Russian Company (Snowball) that has experience with publishing under this game engine, and the Russian market itself is a fairly large, obvious place to try to sell a game like this so there is economic incentive.

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Well after the work that snowball did with A-stan, i wouldnt trust any other company with CMBN...the mechanics where as always great, but the campaigns just did not grip me. I wouldnt mind other companies making the content, but people from this community should make the scenarios and campaigns. IMO.

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"Blah blah blah... CMx1". Like a broken record. Making believe that CMSF, its modules, campaigns and scenarios don't even exist. Yeh yeh, I know "I'm not into modern war" they always say. Reminds me of all those CMBO players who obstinately refused to touch CMBB 'on principle'.

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We continue to ramp up our ability to produce more content in a shorter period of time. We know that we could sell more content to you guys if we had it available. That's a pretty strong incentive for us to produce more.

However, MikeyD's point is very correct. The amount of vehicles, formations, etc. we've produced in the last 4 years is not all that much larger than some people may realize. Sure, we don't have Finns in CMx2 yet, but we didn't have modern US, Brits, Germans, Dutch, Canadians, and Syrians in any CMx1 game. So let's keep in mind that CMx1's content is only now starting to be covered and CMx1 will soon have less total content than CMx2.

Steve

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I cant believe you guys are trying to outsource haha. We have only the base game out but you guys are already think there's not going to be x amount of content. Come on guys even I dont know exactly what is going to be in come Market Garden, Bulge, EF and Modules.... You guys will not be happy until you have even the Le Chabanais modeled with the correct sized panties of the working girls. I kinda understand that. :P

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I was thinking about this thread and it would be nice to have more content available and of course to have it more quickly.

What about smaller add ons? German Para set at $10? SS troops. Perhaps a utility to trade mods easily. Terrain sets etc. When there was enough different sets to constitute a complete module then they could be sold as a group.

We wargamers would be happy having more to play with and BFC might enjoy a more consistent cash flow.

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Mostly I think its art work that chews up time. You can't really automate the production of that kind if stuff too much.

There's very little that can be automated. There's only so much work that can be done concurrently too. Can't test to see how Tigers and Shermans behave until you have Tigers and Shermans in the game. And so on.

The good news is that much of the time spent making CM:SF was basic engine stuff. People take things for granted, such as mouse clicks and scenario load dialogs, but those things do need to be designed, coded, tested, and tweaked just as much as snipers and armor penetration. Much of the time spent making CM:BN was the temperate and WW2 settings.

The good news is that we're now in the phase of adding new stuff instead of creating basic stuff. This means we have more flexibility about what we include, which in turn means flexibility in when we can release. That doesn't mean we can spit games out every month, but it does mean we can do things faster now.

As for outsourcing... it's difficult to do and takes a lot of time to make viable. New artists can't just come in on a Monday and start cranking out perfect models for the game. So if you don't have someone you think can stick it out for the long haul, outsourcing can actually make things take longer overall.

Steve

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On a slightly different tack, why don't Battlefront allow the CMx2 game engine to be modded 'under the hood' so to speak. Remember the awesome mods for Close Combat et al? I think they said something about stopping cheats before but isn't that cutting off ones' nose to spite ones' face?

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On a slightly different tack, why don't Battlefront allow the CMx2 game engine to be modded 'under the hood' so to speak. Remember the awesome mods for Close Combat et al? I think they said something about stopping cheats before but isn't that cutting off ones' nose to spite ones' face?

Because it would make technical support for BF a living hell.

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On a slightly different tack, why don't Battlefront allow the CMx2 game engine to be modded 'under the hood' so to speak. Remember the awesome mods for Close Combat et al? I think they said something about stopping cheats before but isn't that cutting off ones' nose to spite ones' face?

Opening up the engine to modding would cut off our entire head, not just our nose. So we're never, ever, EVER going to go that direction. Allowing people to mod the core game would utterly destroy the CM community by fracturing it up into sub groups, it would make support a living Hell for us, and the last thing we want to do is compete with our own customers.

In short... opening up the game engine to modding = going out of business. And it doesn't matter what people think of this position because we're the only ones with our butt's on the line and the experience to make a truly informed decision.

Why, that sounds great! Get cracking then :P

But really... is it not time for a first module bone? This dog is hungry. There must be something to show.

Heh... thanks for catching a significant typo. New artists can NOT just show up one day and start cranking out models. It takes a long time to get familiar with the format we need within the game. And model making is definitely time consuming even after being fully up-to-speed with the format.

Steve

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  • 2 weeks later...
Opening up the engine to modding would cut off our entire head, not just our nose. So we're never, ever, EVER going to go that direction. Allowing people to mod the core game would utterly destroy the CM community by fracturing it up into sub groups, it would make support a living Hell for us, and the last thing we want to do is compete with our own customers.

Which is unfortunatly IMHO the truth. But you could at least promise to open it if you ever do this Bahamas thing I've read in other threads! :)

But seriously there are places where you could open up with out risking your business. I think about giving the players more statistical data about the battle fought. Troops at the beginning, at the end, who was lost/killed/missing and when.

Or lets get a bit fancy: you most probably have an internal coordinate system. Log each event with that coordinate and also export a birdseye view of the map as png. The resolution maps to the coordinate system.

Just throw more data at us - it will be used for good.

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I really think computer gamers are spoilt rotten compared to miniature wargamers. Work out how much money you need to start Flames of War, with the basic rulebook and an infantry company plus platoon of armour! Even if you buy GHQ 1/285th models you are looking at a steep outlay. Most PC gamers, outside the FPS community, have a decent disposable income and would pay more for more, I particularly like z1822's idea of buying smaller chunks of the game.

Still BF are still here, unlike many so they do have a working strategy, that does not mean they should not explore other avenues, which I'm sure they are doing. Bottomline work out how much CM games cost and divide by the hours of enjoyment, then try and find purchases with a similar cost/enjoyment time ratio!

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What is starting to confuse me is the CMx1 nostalgia. If you miss it that much -its been made, play it!

I for one - do not wish to go back to abstracted troops, etc. The biggest improvement by far has been one to one modelling of the soldiers. Makes it way more realistic.

Also try explaining all the abstractions to a non wargamer. -sigh-

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What is starting to confuse me is the CMx1 nostalgia. If you miss it that much -its been made, play it!

I for one - do not wish to go back to abstracted troops, etc. The biggest improvement by far has been one to one modelling of the soldiers. Makes it way more realistic.

Also try explaining all the abstractions to a non wargamer. -sigh-

+1

I removed my old CMx1 games. Much as I liked them, there is no going back. It isn't just that I can see my individual troopers, it is how they interact on the battlefield. The tactical nuances CMx2 is capable of simply stomp Cmx1 into the dust. No offense, I loved those games, but there is a new King on the block.

And in terms of value, I think at the rate things are going I will likely owe BFC as I am getting far more out of this than other games I have purchased in any price range.

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Also try explaining all the abstractions to a non wargamer. -sigh- .

I read this as if people thought there were no abstractions whatsoever in CM:BN. There are: 8mx8m action spots, C2 links via runners "abstracted", malfunctioning radios, artillery delays, ability to fire through active vehicles, etc. It's about finding a sweet spot regarding fidelity, playability and computational tractability :) The definition of a "wargamer" is more like "someone who is open up to the possibility to have fun with metaphors of war with dice and counters and a board or with a computer" than anything else. And I've been surprised often by people I couldn't imagine enjoying - and becoming - wargamers.

Regarding the original topic. I'm fine with the modules marketing approach and all that, it's not that much of a problem. Being the models - not only the 3d but the actual thing model - so faithful I don't think we'd ever see anybody reworking the full TO&E's for the US Army. Just too much work for it being a hobby.

The one thing I'd certainly love - and I'm not sure it qualifies as "modding" - would be the ability of loading from the editor topographic data in some way. Optimally some sort of watered-down GIS-like layered representations of topographic maps, values in each "cell" being mapped to a certain CMx2 engine terrain element - minus flavor objects, possibly. That would allow anybody to programmatically generate maps opening many interesting kinds of possibilities to generate on-line communities around CMx2.

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<snip>The one thing I'd certainly love - and I'm not sure it qualifies as "modding" - would be the ability of loading from the editor topographic data in some way. Optimally some sort of watered-down GIS-like layered representations of topographic maps, values in each "cell" being mapped to a certain CMx2 engine terrain element - minus flavor objects, possibly. That would allow anybody to programmatically generate maps opening many interesting kinds of possibilities to generate on-line communities around CMx2.

+1 for anything that helps create maps. Considering the number of people who make maps and scenarios and the importance of having good maps and scenarios, any investment in making the map editor easier to produce good maps will pay off great dividends over time.

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