Battlefront Says Progress Has Been Made In CMC

KG_Jag

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Here's the latest from today's entry in the Battlefront bog:

"Progess this week!


Combat Mission Campaigns is making progress! A power session between Charles, Rob (main CMC programmer) and Bruce (CMC mastermind) last week has allowed the team to squish half a dozen critical bugs in the interaction between the strategic (CMC) and tactical (CMBB) layers. This allows the team to make a major leap towards the next large and more stable beta release. Keep your eyes and ears open, because we're going to make a public call for beta testers once the time comes."

Link:

http://www.battlefront-store.com:8080//index.php?option=com_myblog&show=Flipping-out.html&Itemid=213
 

thewood

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I wonder if Matrix's new Panzer Command is or will put any pressure on getting this out.
 

Palantir

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Well if Pz Command does (or is going to include) what we wanted "upgraded" in CMx1 I suspect so.

It just seems interesting that BFC would go to all this trouble for dead and buried CMx1 when CMx2 is such a huge success...
 

thewood

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Well if Pz Command does (or is going to include) what we wanted "upgraded" in CMx1 I suspect so.

It just seems interesting that BFC would go to all this trouble for dead and buried CMx1 when CMx2 is such a huge success...
Yeah, considering the issues they still have with CMSF and coding on the Marine Module, I am a bit surprised that Charles took even a minute to push a long a game system they consider dead.
 

KG_Jag

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Yeah, considering the issues they still have with CMSF and coding on the Marine Module, I am a bit surprised that Charles took even a minute to push a long a game system they consider dead.
I'm not too surprised. By now even Steve knows that he has a big customer relations problem with large segments of the CM x 1 community. Dumping CMC, whose sales forecasts are almost certainly meager but whose crestion also involves minimal BF money and time, would deepen that hole. On the other hand a little bit of programing time might make this long promised product a reality at some point, which (if it works) can only improve things with the CM x 1 community.
 

KG_Jag

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Here's more today from Moon on the Battlefront boards:

"Once the time comes" refers to the next beta release. One key goal is to make installation easier than what we have right now (it requires a bit of juggling of CMBB and CMC files currently). We just got a new version of CMBB that integrates better with CMC (this integration was a source of many problems in the past) and once the installer for a new complete version is ready we'll start the call for testers (after trimming the current/old team back a bit)...

Martin

Link:

http://www.battlefront.com/discuss/ultimatebb.php?ubb=get_topic;f=53;t
 
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Redwolf

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Folks,

PzC and CMC are not even remotely comparable.

CMC is a game with a playable strategic layer. You play the high-level moves and then you can get down to fight out individual tactical moves.

PzC has a campaign system where you do not play the strategic layer. It is used to drop you into tactical battles with resources determined (without your help) by the campaign layer based on your previous performance.

I still don't think CMC has a chance. The CMBB interaction was bound to be a problem and while it's great that Charles found some time to help them it doesn't change the fact that there is probably too much required. Compare to PzC, which exports and imports pretty much everything CMC would need as XML files.
 

thewood

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I think they are comparable from a standpoint of providing a new campaign engine. PCK's is more like a Steel Panthers Campaign and CMC is more like TOAW with tactical battles fought in CMBB. IMO

But the export function would let someone develop a CMC-like layer without much support.
 

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I think they are comparable from a standpoint of providing a new campaign engine. PCK's is more like a Steel Panthers Campaign and CMC is more like TOAW with tactical battles fought in CMBB. IMO

But the export function would let someone develop a CMC-like layer without much support.
Then of course, even from conceptual point of view, CMC is much much more difficult. I really hope they can get this one out, it will be real cool!
 

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So does this mean they have tweaked CMBB??? This could mean you would have to buy the 'new' version of CMBB to use with CMC.
There were some pretty nifty bugs in there such as fortifications always counting as loss points for the owner. They can't possibly let them in.

I also don't see why they wouldn't bring in some corrections from CMAK such as turn rates and bogging chances.
 

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So does this mean they have tweaked CMBB??? This could mean you would have to buy the 'new' version of CMBB to use with CMC.

We were so spoiled when we first purchased CMBB, you should want to pay Steve a bit more now.........................:laugh:

I would think the upgrade would be built into CMC. The install disk could handle all that.
 

Michael Dorosh

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Guys, read what Moon said carefully. The "new" CMBB is simply a tweaked version. It means that CMC couldn't interface with the extant version of CMBB so they had to change some code. That's all I get from his statement. If anyone thinks that they are actually going to add features to CMBB at this late date, I am afraid they are most likely mistaken. Don't know what exactly will be released publicly - will be watching for the release with as much interest as the rest of you.

There were some pretty nifty bugs in there such as fortifications always counting as loss points for the owner. They can't possibly let them in.

I also don't see why they wouldn't bring in some corrections from CMAK such as turn rates and bogging chances.
Because according to Steve, the CMX1 code was a hacked up un-remarked unworkable mess that simply sucked up Charles' time? The conspiratorial answer is that they simply don't give a crap about their customers. The real answer? Anyone's guess. I still don't understand why they didn't have a 1.04 patch for CMAK to switch the British AFV crew icons for the proper ones and replace the Stens with Thompsons. Honestly, they could have reworked CMAK/CMBB til the cows came home, it wouldn't have provided them a single extra nickle, fixing stuff for a game that was already in the hands of everyone likely to buy it.

How many nickles do you think they've made with CM:SF patch 1.02, 1.03, 1.04, 1.05, 1.06, 1.07, 1.08 - probably a few as better word of mouth gets around, but how many new customers will be lining up for CM:BB because of CMC? They've been talking about this software for almost three years now, and released what - half a dozen concept screenshots? Not a hint of an AAR, not an enthusiastic squeal from a playtester, or an encouraging grunt from a developer? Compare to the Matrix forums in the pre-release lead up to PC:K, or even the lead up to CM:SF.

Ask Moon about any of that on the BFC forum. See how happy he is to provide an answer.

And according to him:

- posted 13 October, 2005 These guys started shortly after CMBO release (!) and worked under strict secrecy oaths [Wink] for years. It was a bumpy ride, but the end is near. This is a work of love, folks...!
The work has been going on possibly since the turn of the century, to produce half a dozen screenshots and little else that anyone is talking about. No features list, no listing of which battles will be covered by scenarios (or whatever they will call them) on the release disc (if it will be released on disc, who knows?), no nothing.

There are guys in the CM:SF forum still wondering where the Mac version for CM:SF is, others are wondering when they can start playtesting the Marines, no one knows how many more patches will be necessary for the basic game and Steve is promising enhanced QBs, multi-player play, you name it. I don't have any inside info on what CM:BB will look like after the CM:C interface is released, but I'm thinking Charles will be hands-full enough not to worry about fixing bugs...err...modifying features... of a dated game that they publicly declared they weren't touching after the final patch - how many years ago, now?
 
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Michael Dorosh

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As for who has the superior campaign model - if PC:K develops to include such things as editable end-game files and the full-blown map editor that Erik has promised to add to the to-do list, coupled with deformable terrain and all the things we've been asking for, it is no contest. Bright boys can write their own campaign software to order - stuff that all the meta-campaigners in CM could only dream of.

In all honesty, I'd rather have the ability to do multi-multi-player freeform campaigns - which were always hamstrung by BFC's refusal to do simple things like make end game files editable. To me, this would be preferable to anyone else's vision of a campaign, be it a SP or CMX2 or CC type of scenario-string, or an operational layer such as CM:C purports to be (check out JasonC's posts in the CM:C forum, though, about his opinion on playing every CM engagement on a 2km x 2km map regardless of the size of forces involved).

I think the Operations model that CMX1 had used was the closest thing to the "best" kind of campaign for a tactical game to adopt - pity Steve declared it was "too hard" to make work and vowed to "never, ever" attempt to try such a thing again. The ability to fight over the same ground in successive engagements was the most realistic and engaging of any of the systems I've seen.
 
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Michael Dorosh

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Based on what I've seen of CM:C, including this -

http://www.battlefront.com/products/cmc/index.html

- it looks like a litany of more bad design decisions in my opinion.



The main problem is this clunky-looking operational map. You're going to be manipulating platoons and companies but instead of having a detailed look at the terrain on something like a 1:50,000 map - which a real battalion or regiment commander would have - you get this display which is right out of Soldiers At War with goofy looking icons? Each battle is supposed to be fought out on a 2 x 2 CMBB map, but how do you tell what those maps will look like from some goofy looking tile? Will there be a map preview linked to each tile so that commanders can at least choose the terrain they'll fight on? If so, why the extra step? That would get tedious if one is trying to visualize the entire map and plan operations for his entire regiment or division.



These are the kinds of options for editing the operational map - in other words - little relation to what the actual battle maps will look like. Each tile of the operational map is a 2 x 2 km battle map. That is a LOT of terrain to try and depict with a couple of cute little houses and squiggles of wheat or trees.



By way of comparison, this is an actual 2 x 2 map that Sergei did with a bit of tweaking from myself for some terrain outside of Mtzensk based on actual Russian maps of ground covered during fighting in the Tula operation in the autumn of 1941. You can't see the elevations, but there is a bit of everything in here - stream, buildings, hills, woods - how do you depict that in a cute little icon on the operational map shown above, such that you can decide to deploy a tank battalion there or not? Getting tanks in through the natural defile caused by the woods and stream would be tough. But it's yet to be seen how the "front line" will be drawn on these maps between battles, either - will it be as in Operations where forces are left on the map, or will entire map sectors simply default to whomever is in control of the playing area at the end of each battle?

And what happens when I send a single platoon into battle against another platoon - they both materialize on a 4-km square battlefield to duke it out for 60 turns? I understand there is an autoresolve feature, but isn't that beside the point? Isn't CM:C supposed to be about creating fun CM:BB battles to play in context - not a game unto itself? It's my understanding based on JasonC's discussions on the forum that there is no map scaling or time scaling - you simply throw the forces onto the entire 4 km map surface and go at it for an hour instead of scaling down the action to the point of greatest importance.

Unless any of this has been addressed in the last 8 years of production - but where are the screenshots or AARs or playtest reports? There's been no willingness to discuss a single thing publicly, and given the absence of discourse on the public forum, they haven't been accepting input from anybody not on the design team. Good luck to the fellows who are now volunteering for the beta team - it will be interesting to read their comments in coming weeks.



Something as simple as importing the actual map data, and overlaying it with elevation points, then making it scalable (the way, say VASSAL does with game maps) would have allowed anyone to see the exact terrain and plan actual operations on it. But, it wouldn't have that wargame glitz to it...
 
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