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Battlefront Reveals Course of CM x 2--Including WW II

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  • Battlefront Reveals Course of CM x 2--Including WW II

    Here's the post from April 8, with spell check and some emphasis added:

    Posted by Battlefront.com (Member # 42) on April 08, 2008 11:49 PM:

    "The question many of you have been asking as of late is "where does Battelfront go from here?" now that v1.08 is out. Well, that's a valid question and I hope I can answer it to the satisfaction of most. But remember... we try to not to get too specific about low level changes because we do not wish to set up false expectations. Therefore, what follows is a more philosophical answer than a list of highly detailed descriptions of feature changes. First, an explanation of who makes Combat Mission...

    Battlefront is 5 full time employees and a bunch of regular contractors. The primary force behind the games is Charles and myself (Steve, if you didn't already know). I do most of the design work and historical research while Charles does all of the coding. Charles has a significant amount of impact on the design elements since, obviously, he has to code them. Charles also has some great ideas of his own, of course, so at times he is the main brain behind a particular feature and I simply flesh it out. If Charles nixes something for coding reasons I usually manage to work around the problem areas so the feature can be included in some form.

    Moon (our fearless President), KwazyDog (our lead pixel pusher), Madmatt (Battlefront's jack of all trades), and Rune (master of the monster scenarios ) handle a lot of things besides CM:SF, so although they have other responsibilities other than testing CM:SF night and day. Which is a good thing because someone has to do the other stuff!

    For the day and night testing shifts we have a bunch of volunteer testers who were hand picked from this Forum. They are the ones that kick the tires and tell Charles that something needs more time in the oven You have no idea how much work they put into testing and therefore can't appreciate how much good they do for the game as a whole. Whatever faults people see in the game I can assure you that it isn't because of the testers are failing at their job.

    Last, but not least, are the people posting on this Forum. Without public input none of the CM games would be what they are today. Overall the information we gather here is very valuable and worth having to sometimes dig for, even when it's buried under a pile of poo someone deposited It's not easy to handle a gaggle of highly opinionated people who aren't afraid to speak their minds (even when they've misplaced them), but that's an unavoidable part of an online discussion forum. Gotta take the good with the not-so-good. People can agree or disagree with how I handle this... I don't care. It works for us, therefore in the long run it works for everybody.

    OK, with that out of the way, onto the outline...

    Way back in 2003 we made a long range plan based around what is now called the CMx2 game engine. I can say, without any doubts, that things have gone according to plan and that we are overall pleased with the position we are in now. I know, I know... how can I say that after all the bugs and rancor that came about after its initial release? Well, easy... we take the long view and keep things in perspective. Of all the millions of things that could have gone wrong between 2003 and now, things have gone pretty much according to plan. Obviously things haven't gone perfectly, and we are no more happy about that than you guys are, however that's small potatoes compared to the things that could have gone wrong. Like what? Well, going out of business would have been a bit worse! [???!!!]

    Our plan has been partially explained to you before, however in case you've missed it the next thing we will release is the Marines Module for CM:SF. More modules for CM:SF will follow in parallel with development of our next major release (aka "Title"); WW2 Western Front. The initial release will be situated in Normandy between US and German forces with subsequent addons (aka "Modules") introducing additional forces, weapons, vehicles, and some other things. The first Module for the WW2 Western Front game will be focused primarily on Commonwealth Forces, though with German and some American additions as well. We do not have release dates to announce for either the Marines Module or the initial WW2 release, however I can say that the Marines Module is very far along and the WW2 stuff has already been started on. This is the beauty of the CMx2 system... we can do parallel work and still get things done faster than we could for one topic using the CMx1 system.

    What we are doing now, behind the scenes, is planning out the specific features that will find their way into the first WW2 title. Will these features make every single one of you reading this happy? Certainly not... that's not possible to do. But will these features make some of you who are currently a sitting on the fence or sitting on the sidelines happy enough to enjoy our next Title? Based on the months of feedback here, definitely. Others will continue to sit there with their arms crossed and tongues sticking out at us. Oh well, can't please everybody

    For the most part our plans for the future of CMx2 have not changed since CM:SF was released. However, the emphasis on certain elements has been changed based on user feedback. Briefly, the short term priorities for us are:

    Introduce a new Quick Battle system - It's been clear to us for quite some time that the existing system has some serious shortcomings in the eyes of many players. Therefore, a new QB system is a very high priority for the next major release. The primary improvements are some form of unit Cherry Picking system and semi-randomly generated maps. Think of this as a bridge between the good features of both CMx1 and CMx2 QB systems.

    Features necessary for simulating WW2 ETO - Many of the things people have felt are missing in CM:SF aren't supposed to be there or aren't really all that relevant or necessary to the Syrian setting. Obviously moving to France means that some of these things need to be included. Besides the obvious stuff (temperate terrain/weather and WW2 units) major things to expect are water, bridges, AT guns, on map mortars, infantry riding on tanks, expanded defensive works, and other stuff like that. Obviously TacAI goes right along with this since these things all require new TacAI and/or improved existing TacAI. (note that TacAI is a long term "work in progress" and will never, ever be considered "done").

    Features not necessary for simulating WW2 ETO - Some of the things that make contemporary warfare what it is are things which WW2 fans find "not fun". This has caused some to be unhappy with the Syrian setting simply because it isn't WW2, regardless of all other factors. Things like the extremely high lethality, asymmetric forces, the lack of "familiar" equipment, the whiz-bang technological stuff, etc. It should be obvious that this stuff will not come along for the WW2 titles, however it appears that this can get forgotten at times. Consider this a reminder

    Some additional MultiPlayer options - I don't want to over commit us here, but I will say that it is likely that there will be a form of TCP/IP WeGo for the Normandy game. Will it be exactly what WeGoers want? Probably not due to some technical issues and the time we'd need to make sure we could work around them. Therefore we have come up with what we feel is a viable compromise system that should give WeGoers most of what they want. More on that in a couple of months when we get into the coding.

    Graphics improvements - We're as unhappy as some of you are about the inconsistent performance of CM:SF's graphics on various systems. As some of you know, we've been frustrated from the start by videocards and their drivers not doing what they should. We have some ideas on how to work around the problems better and also fix some of the oddities that some of you have experienced more than others. Time is limited so some of the graphics glitches people have noted have not been high up on our fix list so far. Besides straight graphics stuff I'm also thinking about some of the WeGo playback issues.

    Some changes to the UI - Any game developer will tell you that designing a UI that makes a majority of gamers at least moderately happy is a tough task. Many have forgotten that CMx1's UI was generally frowned upon when first experienced. Complaints generally only died down when people got used to how it worked. CMx2's UI has also taken a lot of punches and, with some patched improvements, people have also gotten used to it. However, it is my sense that there is more resignation than acceptance than we would like when compared to CMx1. So it's not quite back to the drawing board, but we are are exploring ways to improve what we have.

    There are lots of finer points than this, so please don't think that if you don't see something mentioned on this list that we aren't going to address it in the short term. I can't speak much to the details yet at this point anyway, so this is more or less a heads up about the general direction rather a written in stone list of specific features and what we intend on doing with them.

    In conclusion... we know why we are here, we are happy with the overall position we're in, and we're looking forward to continuing on for years to come. Having faith is an option, but a total lack of faith is unhealthy. People need to figure this out for themselves because all we can do is keep blazing the trail that we are on. There is no turning back even if we wanted to. And we don't want to

    Now, a special message for those of you who have so far "rejected" the new game system for one or another reason. I know for sure a lot of you will be quite happy with the WW2 game when it comes out, if for no other reason than it is WW2 and not modern Syria. Others will be less sure, but at least find it more enjoyable than CM:SF. However, it is certain that some of you will find nothing good in what I've said here and continue to be extremely hostile towards CMx2 just like many Steel Panthers and Close Combat guys were towards CMx1. I'm sure the latter group of people have something better to do with their time, so my hope is that they realize this so everybody can be a lot happier for it. [Steve's charm offensive continues...]
    Thanks,

    Steve

    P.S. Support for CM:SF has not ended. It continues in parallel with Marines and WW2 development as it has for the last 2 months already."

    Link:

    http://www.battlefront.com/cgi-bin/b...2;t=004118;p=0
    Kampfgruppe Vice Kommandir
    http://www.kampfgruppe.us

  • #2
    interesting

    I hav'nt yet played any games mentioned here, but I just might check some out in the future!!

    Cheers

    Tom

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    • #3
      Speaking as a long time CM1x fan and as a CMSF 'poo depositer', I do hope that CM2x will have some form of campaign, maybe dynamic, maybe random as in PC:K.
      The great unmentionable evil at the center of our culture is monotheism. From a barbaric Bronze age text known as the Old Testament, three anti-human religions have evolved.

      - Gore Vidal

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