Author Topic: Combat Mission status  (Read 21969 times)

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Offline Yskonyn

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Re: Combat Mission status
« Reply #450 on: October 17, 2018, 07:44:11 AM »
No I meant the realisation by BFC that those scenarios would take many hours of work to re-release. I have no beef with Steve, but this last statement by BFC is just plain annoying.
You could even take it as an insult; first going in heated debates with customers over some ligitimate questions all the while knowing ( or did they? Which is even more questionable) the crapton of work still needing to be done.
Just post something like Ssnake did on the delayed SB update: donít expect anything until xx month. Period. Then when xx month comes and its not ready, post a small update explaining the sitrep and again state now dont expect news until xx month. You only promised news, not a release.
Its not exactly rocket science.

When we are facing a delay of whatever kind on a flight the worst things you can do are:
1) lie to your passengers
2) promise something you cant make good on

Other than that youíll probably have little problems as long as you keep communicating at set intervals even if you have no news.
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Offline RyanE

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Re: Combat Mission status
« Reply #451 on: October 17, 2018, 07:52:37 AM »
That was my point too.  Steve has been pulling this same crap for years.  And insulting is a good word.

Offline Michael Dorosh

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Re: Combat Mission status
« Reply #452 on: October 17, 2018, 08:03:57 AM »
I suppose it's possible they switched plans in midstream - i.e. were just going to release the original scenarios without modification but then decided to go back and rework them, which would throw their timetable off.

I don't think reworking the scenarios would be trivial work by any stretch.

I noticed one of the demo scenarios was reworked by someone other than the scenario designer. No doubt they are doing this rework of the whole game without the input of many of the original scenario designers (I am one of them and not surprisingly have not been contacted :-) ) Point here is that I don't know what 'reworking' each scenario needs, but without the original designer for some of them, it may take longer to understand the various issues of reinforcement timing, etc. - also, the scen designers now have more sophisticated tools such as triggers available. Even if they *did* have the input of all the original designers (and really, after 10 years, even for them looking at the scens again would pretty much be starting from scratch so really no difference between fresh eyes and the original designer), the changes in the trigger functions alone would I think make it labour-intensive to go back and optimize them. BFC should get kudos, I think, to take the time to revamp all the scens and have them as good as they can make them using the new features.

Worth noting that the scenario designers are all unpaid volunteers. The turnover over the course of the CM titles has been fairly high, I think. In 2000 the big names were Wild Bill Wilder and Rune, and now it's GeorgeMc - probably an overall plus having fresh eyes into the mix. One of them - Dan "Berlichtingen" Brown - has even passed away (he famously designed To The Volga for CMBB). What hasn't changed is the challenge of trying to ride herd over guys who have life and work outside their volunteer scenario designing. Not to mention all those tools such as triggers make the scenario design process take longer, not less time. The tools are not there to optimize the process but to make the AI more complex.

When I was inside the tent, I found the coordination of scenario design efforts was pretty minimal. Both Moon and Rune would have, I thought, ridden herd but it didn't really seem to work that way. I only recall one conversation with any clarity, and that was Moon telling me I needed the Syrian defenders to move around more in the Objective Normandy scenario. My response was that they were in prepared positions and "why would they give away their positions by moving around". My expectations were certainly subverted but I think most play and beta tests are like that - I had pictured an online salon of all these designers giving detailed notes to each other and perhaps even some congratulatory back-slapping, but mostly I think it was a bunch of guys designing and playing stuff in isolation (I would not be surprised to learn that introverts are overrepresented among scenario designers). The lack of feedback was frustrating, and only receiving a single snarky comment about moving guys around did not endear me to the process. I remember putting a highway on the map of another scenario, and putting a big wall running parallel to it, like a sound-break, to separate it from the civilian housing. When it was published, I was surprised to see huge swaths of the wall missing. I suppose it fixed whatever pathing issues I had created, but recall some surprise on my part that no one had discussed it with me first. I may have talked to Steve about it - it's 10 years ago now - and while it wasn't a big deal (I accepted it needed to be done), it kind of highlighted that the coders were busy with their own stuff, the scenario guys were probably all struggling to find time to work on their own stuff so never mind playing other people's stuff, and communication, even in the private forum, was hit or miss.

All of which is to suggest that if communication from BFC on how stuff like that is going is slow - it may be that they honestly don't know where a lot of it stands. A scenario designer promises to update one of his scens, then goes silent for a week - you'd have no idea what was going on. If they're redoing four different sets of campaigns and scenarios now - it would probably be like herding cats unless they've gotten dramatically better at intercommunication.
« Last Edit: October 17, 2018, 08:40:25 AM by Michael Dorosh »

Offline Yskonyn

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Re: Combat Mission status
« Reply #453 on: October 17, 2018, 08:17:24 AM »
Could be. I donít think their intentions are under scrutiny here.
I like the games they make and happily wait for a proper finished or fixed product.

I also like to fly and accept delays are part of the deal with so many interacting parties to get airplanes from a to b.
But just like it would irk me if the crew of that given airline would not be communicating (like my example above) when we have substantial delay it irks me how Steve has communicated these last few weeks.

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Offline Michael Dorosh

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Re: Combat Mission status
« Reply #454 on: October 17, 2018, 08:29:01 AM »
Could be. I donít think their intentions are under scrutiny here.
I like the games they make and happily wait for a proper finished or fixed product.

I also like to fly and accept delays are part of the deal with so many interacting parties to get airplanes from a to b.
But just like it would irk me if the crew of that given airline would not be communicating (like my example above) when we have substantial delay it irks me how Steve has communicated these last few weeks.

I just edited my post above to add some more detail, but will note here that if it's any consolation, during my brief time on the original beta team, communication within the team was just about as poor as the communication with the customers. It may honestly be that they themselves simply don't have a clue what is going on from day to day, particularly as far as coordinating all the 'contractors' such as skin artists and scenario designers.
« Last Edit: October 17, 2018, 08:38:33 AM by Michael Dorosh »

Offline Michael Dorosh

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Re: Combat Mission status
« Reply #455 on: October 17, 2018, 09:40:16 AM »
Having said all that - it would be interesting to see what the process (if they have one) is for reworking the scenarios. They certainly have the opportunity to do a lot of good PR with this - could do a whole series of blog or forum posts dissecting one of the original scenarios and showing how the engine changes alter the balance and design, talk about reworking the AI plans to include triggers, etc. But again - the BFC guys don't do that themselves, it's all volunteers. Maybe they need to open their wallets and promise a few dollars to guys in the community for creating social media content of high quality. Maybe some of those scenario designers would even stick around longer. :-)

Showing the differences in design and gameplay would be enlightening, and might even be a good learning tool to get more people interested in scenario design. The more tools you build into the editor, I just wonder if it tends to persuade, or dissuade, people from using it.

Offline Yskonyn

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Re: Combat Mission status
« Reply #456 on: October 17, 2018, 11:02:43 AM »
I have several ideas in my head -and have so for a long time now- of scenarios I would like to create for CM. I have tried to sit down and learn the tools at a few instances now, but the process is so time consuming that Iíd rather play the game than spend that time fiddling with the editors!

I canít believe anyone who isnít retired would be able to find the time to create a proper scenario! So I have lots of respect for those that spend their free time to create a piece of entertainment for me to play. And I am always amazed at the research and knowledge that went into the historical ones!

It must equally be very hard work having to rework someone elseís scenario for a new game version!
Respect for those willing to put in the time to do, without a doubt, tedious work.

BTW that reminds me, Michael, of a previous episode of the 2 Half Squads; didnít you devise some kind of scenario making tome earlier for ASL?
Respect!
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Offline Michael Dorosh

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Re: Combat Mission status
« Reply #457 on: October 17, 2018, 11:46:40 AM »
I have several ideas in my head -and have so for a long time now- of scenarios I would like to create for CM. I have tried to sit down and learn the tools at a few instances now, but the process is so time consuming that Iíd rather play the game than spend that time fiddling with the editors!

It's definitely challenging. I am not an expert by any stretch, so take with grains of salt - just a duffer - but my own experience is similar to yours. There are some amazing tools now - the elevation controls in the map editor, for example, and the AI triggers. But it is all pretty labour intensive and even when I get a really good idea for something to simulate, I find just opening the editor has me exhausted. So like you, I think hats off to those guys who do stay the course and not just wrestle the interface but actually do great research, design and testing to put forth high quality work.

Quote
I canít believe anyone who isnít retired would be able to find the time to create a proper scenario! So I have lots of respect for those that spend their free time to create a piece of entertainment for me to play. And I am always amazed at the research and knowledge that went into the historical ones!

I agree.

Quote
BTW that reminds me, Michael, of a previous episode of the 2 Half Squads; didnít you devise some kind of scenario making tome earlier for ASL?
Respect!

To be honest, much of the book is listcruft - TO&E data for the major combatants, a list of published articles about scenario design, a table showing the different mapboards and which products they come from, even a list of all the phases of the moon from 1939 to 1945. The meat of the scenario design discussions are actually not original. I decided to write it the same way a military history would be written - I looked at different scenario design discussions over the years and decided to use the words of the real experts - the guys who have been published, and who have written about the process. I think it worked out okay, and like you, gives me a new appreciation for the really talented guys like Pete Shelling, etc., who manage to continually put out good scenarios.

CM, ASL, whichever game you're talking about, the process itself isn't rocket science (look up some details, create a map, forces, and VC, then write the briefings) - but there are definitely limitations imposed on the process, by the creativity of the designer (or lack thereof), the quality of the tools available with which to work, and the ability (or willingness) of the designers to test and fine-tune their creations. The target audiences are generally small and willing to forgive a certain lack of polish - and to heap praise on those who consistently turn out professional looking stuff.

Online Grim.Reaper

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Re: Combat Mission status
« Reply #458 on: October 17, 2018, 05:59:31 PM »
I don't recall SF1 very well, but reasonably enjoying this version so far as playing the demo.  I am not an expert enough to notice all the things other folks do, probably better that way so I don't become frustrated:)  Although not a big fan of the company and approach, still enjoy the game enough to consider the full purchase.

Offline Cyrano

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Re: Combat Mission status
« Reply #459 on: October 17, 2018, 06:36:48 PM »
Liking the demo a great deal, actually.

This is honestly the release I was most excited for knowing how far away early Barbarossa likely is.

Strange road to get here no doubt, but it's good to see the king of the form back in business.

I do share the regrets some have expressed re: the difficulty in crafting scenarios these days.  I used to do it for my own amusement in CMx1, but found in unrewarding in this iteration.



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Offline Elvis

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Re: Combat Mission status
« Reply #460 on: October 17, 2018, 07:20:15 PM »
I share the same opinion as others here regarding the editor. I barely touched the CMx1 editor but when I did I could fumble around enough the lash together something's. The new editor is far more powerful but I've touched that even less.

That said, to a couple pojnts mentioned about the beta testers who make the scenarios,  I think of them like hockey goalies or drummers in a rock band. They are wired differently than me. Almost all of the current designers enjoy the process of creating a scenario far more than they enjoy playing the game. What is tedious to me if fun for them. Fookin weirdos. 😀

Offline WallysWorld

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Re: Combat Mission status
« Reply #461 on: October 18, 2018, 03:36:06 PM »
Just an FYI that BF released an updated demo with the following items updated. You need to download and install the demo again.

1.  "Bradleys" changed to "Strykers" in the Training Scenario

2.  Fixed UI piece to show that the Artillery Support tab is actively selected

3.  Fixed missing building damage artwork (shows up black)
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Offline GJK

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Re: Combat Mission status
« Reply #462 on: October 19, 2018, 07:03:04 PM »
I'm sure that I'll find it before I see a reply here, but where is the demo link (CMSF2)??


Edit: Yes, found the link in the forums.
« Last Edit: October 19, 2018, 07:15:23 PM by GJK »
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Offline fran

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Re: Combat Mission status
« Reply #463 on: October 20, 2018, 03:42:08 AM »
Battlefront support:

I had to contact battlefront recently for support, logged a ticket and the first reply back was on a Sunday. They sorted the issue in a short period of time.

Online Grim.Reaper

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Re: Combat Mission status
« Reply #464 on: October 20, 2018, 06:04:08 AM »
Probably dumb question...often I still like to play the we go mode vs real time.....but sometimes find it hard to string commands together.  Is it possible to issue move and dismount/mount orders in same turn?  For example, if I want to move to point A, then dismount, then move to point B.  can you plot all in one turn?  Or does dismount have to be in separate turn?  Can't figure it out.