Battlefront's CM x 2 Road Map

Michael Dorosh

der Spieß des Forums
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
Feb 6, 2004
Messages
14,826
Reaction score
1,525
Location
Calgary, AB
First name
Michael
Country
llCanada
So, what's your take on this Jag?

I thought the point of CMX2 was to get a nice firm ground code established from the getgo so that they could start pumping out expansions really quickly with a minimum of fuss and without messing up the base code too much. A year after the initial release, they're still trying to sort out what the core features are going to look like (Quick Battles, WEGO TCP, etc.) and which games are going to have them (some of the "new" features in Normandy may or may not be backwards compatible to CM:SF).

Seems like they're stumbling already. Which isn't fatal, I just think they got too ambitious and over-confident after the success of CMX1. Which is human enough. It was a great series that they deserve to be proud of.

But that mousepad. My word, what were they thinking?

Do you think they can pull it together and get their game plan in motion? i.e. assemble one solid base game engine to go forward with, or will there always be backpedaling on game features?

What does that thread tell you?
 

KG_Jag

KG Vice Kommandir
Joined
Aug 5, 2002
Messages
1,782
Reaction score
180
Location
New Braunfels, TX/Reno, NV
Country
llUnited States
What follows are my initial thoughts, having concentrated on what Steve posted (and what he did not):

1. Battlefront's brand (read CM x 1) brought them a great many sales of CMSF in the first days of its release. After that--my guess is that sales tanked due to the legend of problems and deficiencies, all of which have been discussed in great detail on these boards and on many others.

2. Battlefront is two years behind in its business plan. It is a year behind what it expected to put out after CMSF was released.

3. The game engine will not essentially change. So the CM x 1 fans who prefer WEGO and large games will probably not see much improvement in these areas beyond the current state of CMSF.

4. Creating the various terrain and weather involved in the summer and fall of 1944 will be a major undertaking from what we have seen in CMSF. So I don't expect to see much new in Normandy except some yet unspecified changes in QB's.

5. Once we move away from each Title Release, there will be a further and continuing fracturing of the gaming community. Battlefront agrees that each person will own a differing array (if any) of modules for each title game.

6. In the CM x 2 WW2 world, the first Family developed will essentially, as a package, cover the same subject matter as CMBO. The second Family is unknown, but will remain on the "Western" Front. My guess is a period of the war in Italy. The third family will turn to the Eastern Front late in the war and start with Bagration. The five year plan does not include any PTO games.

7. My magic 8 ball tells me to expect to see the release of Normandy in late 2009. An optimistic forecast for the release of the following WW2 title games is 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 years after the one before it. This assumes no major problems with the Title games and the third party modules that requires Charles to pull away from what he is slated to do.

8. I and most others are glad to hear that each Title and module is supposed to have a demo--hopefully issued contemporaneously or before the release of the title/module to which it pertains. Like most others in the CM x 1 community, Battlefront will not get my money until I can play the demo. If the demo doesn't work properly or fails to engage my interest, there will be no sale.

9. My current level of interest in the WW 2 CM x 2 is higher than for the Marines, which I don't plan to buy, but much lower than it was for each of the CM x 1 titles.

10. I hope the Cm x 2 are great games of the type I enjoy playing. However, after the CMSF release debacle, I am more than a little skeptical and cautious. I was born in Missouri and they will have to show me before I spend another nickle.
 

Kineas

Colonel General
Joined
Jul 21, 2006
Messages
153
Reaction score
0
Location
n/a
Country
llHungary
What does that thread tell you?
  • They are relieved from an enormous pressure because the Marine module sells well. Which means they will survive 1-2 years to come, which is forever with game software company standards. That's good news, really, the last year was probably crazy for them. Just remember the time when they didn't visit their own forums.
  • Steve happy because the strategy worked (there wasn't any problem with the strategy - only with the implementation).
  • They are obviously not up to the (technical) task. They still have recurring bugs, pathing problems etc. The one champion-programmer model clearly does not work, I don't know when they will admit that.
  • Lots of users are happy with singleplaying RTS with nice military vehicles against a decent AI. Who knows, maybe they really found a new market?
  • Steve continues to emphasize the term 'wargaming company' what I found a bit of an exaggaration but this can be my own nitpicking.
  • Demos for each module is good news, but this product line will never turn into a deep, competitive wargame.
That's the BFC analyisis for October, 2008.
 

Redwolf

Member # 3665
Joined
Sep 2, 2002
Messages
5,113
Reaction score
44
Location
MA, USA
Country
llUnited States
My today's CM opinion weather is stormy.

I think that at this point I want a serious review of vehicle breakdowns, of weapon setup times, of artillery delay times, of the vehicles pathfinding (I mean path-inventing, which I hear got worse in 1.10 again) and trenches subject to FoW.

I also want a straigt "pick a Sherman M4A1 and a truck" interface in the unit editor. And a "continue play" button at the end of a battle, because there's a serious problem with the scenario designers picking the right "length" of the battle.

I don't like all these combat pessimations slowing things down, none of them are supported by ex-military players other than Huntarr nor are they found in games that have been designed by actual military officiers like TacOps and ATF/AATF.

I really hope BFC eases up a little again. They improved some factor like these between CMBB and CMAK, so there's hope. They also seem to be willing to give people what they want (such as a straight unit pick) now that they are in more trouble.
 

Palantir

Member #86
Joined
Aug 7, 2002
Messages
4,877
Reaction score
1,620
Location
The Heartland
Country
llUnited States
For BFC' sake I hope some players like the CMx2 family.

But I still have no interest in CM:SF and even less in a RT click-fest WW2 tactical game.
 

KG_Jag

KG Vice Kommandir
Joined
Aug 5, 2002
Messages
1,782
Reaction score
180
Location
New Braunfels, TX/Reno, NV
Country
llUnited States
Steve now is claiming that CMSF was released in August 2007 instead of July 2007. See his post #101 on page 11 of the link posted at the opening of this thread.

In another context, it might be just a little funny and no big deal. But Steve has credibility problems enough without misstating (in the form of "correcting" a poster on his own forum) when the seminal release of their CM x 2 game engine occurred. Even a sleep deprived Steve must certainly remember the problematic release. He certainly should have checked page 162 of the CMSF of the Battlefront forum, which clearly shows the release date as no later than July 27, 2007. See:

http://www.battlefront.com/community/forumdisplay.php?f=56&order=desc&page=162

See also:

http://groups.google.com/group/comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.war-historical/browse_thread/thread/61bc6e4fb95133ca/82762de769959402#82762de769959402

and

http://forums.gamesquad.com/showthread.php?t=68820
 
Last edited:

Redwolf

Member # 3665
Joined
Sep 2, 2002
Messages
5,113
Reaction score
44
Location
MA, USA
Country
llUnited States
I stopped reading Steve's posts.

When he's making any statement about the internals of the engine his gives very little information about what's going on, but he wraps into into lengthy essays that clearly aim to make the system appear more complicated or sophisticated than it is.

Furthermore, pretty much anything he writes these days about CMx1 is incorrect and downplays the sophistication of that system.

Of course, he always knows better what we want than we know, so there.

As far as I'm concered, they should throw CMC on the market and better make sure CMBB included in CMC has the worst bugs leveled and runs with more screen resolution, and with whatever bug NVidia has in the DX10 drivers. If they do, there might be a surprise in there for Steve, and one that keeps his shop afloat. It's not that I think that the operational layer in CMC can anything but suck extra-gravity donkey balls. But you give me a single code change in CMBB related to things I noticed and you have several sales. I have tankhead friends who need gifts.
 

Michael Dorosh

der Spieß des Forums
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
Feb 6, 2004
Messages
14,826
Reaction score
1,525
Location
Calgary, AB
First name
Michael
Country
llCanada
What follows are my initial thoughts, having concentrated on what Steve posted (and what he did not):

1. Battlefront's brand (read CM x 1) brought them a great many sales of CMSF in the first days of its release. After that--my guess is that sales tanked due to the legend of problems and deficiencies, all of which have been discussed in great detail on these boards and on many others.

2. Battlefront is two years behind in its business plan. It is a year behind what it expected to put out after CMSF was released.

3. The game engine will not essentially change. So the CM x 1 fans who prefer WEGO and large games will probably not see much improvement in these areas beyond the current state of CMSF.

4. Creating the various terrain and weather involved in the summer and fall of 1944 will be a major undertaking from what we have seen in CMSF. So I don't expect to see much new in Normandy except some yet unspecified changes in QB's.

5. Once we move away from each Title Release, there will be a further and continuing fracturing of the gaming community. Battlefront agrees that each person will own a differing array (if any) of modules for each title game.

6. In the CM x 2 WW2 world, the first Family developed will essentially, as a package, cover the same subject matter as CMBO. The second Family is unknown, but will remain on the "Western" Front. My guess is a period of the war in Italy. The third family will turn to the Eastern Front late in the war and start with Bagration. The five year plan does not include any PTO games.

7. My magic 8 ball tells me to expect to see the release of Normandy in late 2009. An optimistic forecast for the release of the following WW2 title games is 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 years after the one before it. This assumes no major problems with the Title games and the third party modules that requires Charles to pull away from what he is slated to do.

8. I and most others are glad to hear that each Title and module is supposed to have a demo--hopefully issued contemporaneously or before the release of the title/module to which it pertains. Like most others in the CM x 1 community, Battlefront will not get my money until I can play the demo. If the demo doesn't work properly or fails to engage my interest, there will be no sale.

9. My current level of interest in the WW 2 CM x 2 is higher than for the Marines, which I don't plan to buy, but much lower than it was for each of the CM x 1 titles.

10. I hope the Cm x 2 are great games of the type I enjoy playing. However, after the CMSF release debacle, I am more than a little skeptical and cautious. I was born in Missouri and they will have to show me before I spend another nickle.
I'd get a refund on that magic 8-ball if I were you.

But it's not like any of the rest of us were any more clairvoyant.

Except maybe dalem. But he's just a hater, so it doesn't count. :mad:
 

Geordie

CM Moderator
Joined
Jan 27, 2005
Messages
2,111
Reaction score
13
Location
Scotland
Country
llUnited Kingdom
Well, Steve once said it was a definite 2009 release for a game which by all accounts won't see light until sometime in 2011, no idea when though. I would guess at summer time.
 

Michael Dorosh

der Spieß des Forums
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
Feb 6, 2004
Messages
14,826
Reaction score
1,525
Location
Calgary, AB
First name
Michael
Country
llCanada
Well, Steve once said it was a definite 2009 release for a game which by all accounts won't see light until sometime in 2011, no idea when though. I would guess at summer time.
Time to set up another pool I think.
 

Mad Russian

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 7, 2005
Messages
1,372
Reaction score
188
Location
texas
Country
llUnited States
Yup, Dale said NEVER. So far he's the odds on favorite for winning it all.

Good Hunting.

MR
 

Zonso

Member
Joined
Mar 2, 2009
Messages
300
Reaction score
2
Location
A station near you
Country
llCanada
I didn't know BFC had planned on incorporating improved QBs into CM:N over two years ago. I was under the impression from comments here it was due to the lacklustre sales/market of CMSF and the influence of perceived opinion from GameSquad posters. Who knew?

Kind of an important comment from Steve:

"The CMx2 game engine is not a monolithic product with a set of features that basically remain unchanged over the life of the engine itself. That was the way we did things with CMx1 and it was, largely, out of necessity because the code was difficult to work with. Instead, CMx2 is designed to evolve over time. Features we don't have time for today might show up tomorrow. Stuff that people aren't as thrilled about now will possibly be changed later. Things that people see as having great potential will be expanded upon, while features that don't seem to get people's hearts beating will stay as they are. So on and so forth.

The point is the game engine is an ever evolving platform for our wargaming hobby. It will never, ever have everything you guys want to see in it, but it will continue to have more than any other game company is willing (or even capable of) providing. Some will be unhappy with specific decisions we make, others will be overjoyed about the very same ones. The first rule of wargaming design work is to realize that you can't make everybody happy, therefore someone is always going to be upset. Focus on the wrong group and that will be the last game you make. Fortunately, we get to make that decision since it's our butts on the line. :laugh:"
 
Last edited:

Mad Russian

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 7, 2005
Messages
1,372
Reaction score
188
Location
texas
Country
llUnited States
WOW! I'm truly impressed by those words of wisdom.

Don't like it? We might change it.

Want more? We might add it.

As it ages the code will evolve.

Man, that's deep stuff this time! Steve overextended himself.

Every project I ever worked on, or heard of, was exactly that same way with those exact parameters. Whatever.

I was under the impression from comments here it was due to the lacklustre sales/market of CMSF and the influence of perceived opinion from GameSquad posters. Who knew?
Nobody here is under the mistaken impression that BFC cares a whit about what we think. They don't even listen to their own responses on their own forum. They sure won't make changes to anything we have to say. In fact, I would believe it to be just the opposite.

Good Hunting.

MR
 

Zonso

Member
Joined
Mar 2, 2009
Messages
300
Reaction score
2
Location
A station near you
Country
llCanada
Interesting perspective you have Mad Russian and off the cuff sounds like disgruntled employee syndrome. It's obviously one that not everyone shares! :)

After reading more through the initial link, I'm finding quite a few nuggets in there, especially the last one, and all from about a year post CMSF release.

Steve wrote:

"CMx2 was always, and I mean ALWAYS, designed to be an ever evolving game engine. This is because it is impossible to give you guys everything you want at one time. CMBB took 5 years to make, cumulatively, and the gripe and wish lists for that game were still enormous. We understood the reality problem between customer expectations and what we can deliver at one time and built CMx2 around that. It's a full featured game, by any SANE and reasonable definition, already. It will only get better as we go along because we planned on it working that way."

"I can understand people being disappointed with the initial state of the game's release, as well as fundamental changes we have made from CMx1, but from a Big Picture standpoint it was a very minor bump in the road."

"We didn't throw out 3 years worth of coding, as some suggested we should, yet we spent many months not only fixing what was broken but also adding in new features that people requested we put in. And for some of those things which we agree with, but are not practical right now, we've said we'll get to them as soon as we can (committing to a timeframe for some, not for others). Since the early days we've been accused by people of not listening to our customers... it's never been true, and never will be. What is true is that we don't listen to the customers that would wind up putting us in the unemployment line."

"The marketplace will correct us if we're wrong, not a couple of curmudgeon Grognards They've never, ever, since the beginning of time been able to keep a game company in business. At least not for long."
 

British Tommy

Member
Joined
Dec 9, 2004
Messages
737
Reaction score
9
Location
mission control, UK
Country
ll
Just keep in mind Zonso that most posters here have seen it all before. Empty promises, insults (you just don't get it eh?) and snide remarks on the BF MB about the posters here. So while uncle Steve is not the hot favourite person here, I would say 95% of us care about the CM series and the direction Battlefront has taken. Again, most posters here honestly want the company to succeed, especially with CM Normandy.
Thankfully we can come here and post what we think of Steve, the company and it's games. Try doing that on the BF MB.
 

KG_Jag

KG Vice Kommandir
Joined
Aug 5, 2002
Messages
1,782
Reaction score
180
Location
New Braunfels, TX/Reno, NV
Country
llUnited States
"I can understand people being disappointed with the initial state of the game's release, as well as fundamental changes we have made from CMx1,...
Except at that the time of CMSF's release and for years thereafter he clearly and vocally did not understand--not even a little. Truth be told--he still doesn't.
 
Top