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JeanAllTrekkie -> Strategy Wargaming (8/5/2011 5:21:10 AM)

So Im a LONG time strategy gamer... back from the days of Garys Grisbys Pacific War. Since then games have changed a lot. We now have Main Stream Gaming and Strategy gaming. 99% of the industry focuses on 1st person shooters, MMO's etc., while the other 1% focuses on Strategy war gaming. Now we did part our separate paths years ago but we still must learn from one another and I believe our group is missing the boat.

One great thing that I do love to see is a lot of tactical and strategic strategy games out on Matrix Games, HPS Simulations, etc., but were just putting out the same old same old and not growing or evolving.

One Major issue is strategy war-games need to push the envelope of wargaming. At this point were just taking 1 hit title and replicating that into different themes. Start by seeing what has not been done before. Take what has worked and combine this into 1 brand new revolutionary title.

Forge of Freedom had this idea... they took tactical combat and mixed it with strategic gameplay. This definitely has took strategy wargaming up a notch. They do need to improve the game because many facets are clumsy and difficult to manage. The learning curve needs to be reduced for this game to appeal to a larger audience... and it must be simpler.

What I would like to see done is take Civil War General 2 (Voted Gamespots Best Civil War Game Ever Made) and expand on it. Combine strategic gameplay with that tactical combat represented in CWG 2. This will make a incredible title. Give the player the ability to decide their own battlefield... make their own victories and defeats. The player needs to be able to control all facets of the war but yet remain simple and not micro manage it all. If done properly we will have a game that will attract attention from not only our wargaming community but the mainstream audience as well.

The second boat were missing is The Tablet and Mobile market. Every publisher, developer and entrepreneur is investing into this market. From war-games (sliterine studios) to 1st person shooters ( Battlefield Bad Company) all is being developed at a astonishing rate. At this point there are more games in The Apple App Store than has ever been made on all consoles and PCs ever. The amount of money being generated is incredible (Over 6 billion in Developer Revenue Alone). One teenager made a simple puzzle game and began making 6 figures after the 1st month. This is the market Strategy War Game Developers need to invest in. Many people today are picking up iPads because they find it VERY easy to use. These are the people who are your future market. These are the people that are willing to shell out money to see if they can whip Lee at Gettysburg. Make them a simple strategy war-game and you'll have a award winning title on your hands, not to mention a great deal of profit.

I hope our strategy game developers do invest in this market... if not they will find themselves realizing most people no longer use PC's. Everything is moving to Tablets and Mobile Devices. Companies need to see that otherwise they will go under. Desktops are going to left to professionals who edit videos, need the screen real estate for their work. Casual people are going to utilize iPads, iPhones, Androids for their day to day needs.

Dont count my 2 cents out just yet... i predicted years ago the dive into sandbox gaming with grand theft auto (thats how i got hired by Activision) and see the industry changing now. I work for Apple currently and see the change in the market. Its astonishing at how fast its changing.





Iain McNeil -> RE: Strategy Wargaming (8/5/2011 9:28:12 AM)

The issues is money. As you say 99% of the money goes to mainstream games so the amount of money left for the strategy market is much less than it used to be so development budgets are either cut or develoeprs die. Developers have to work smarter and work harder than they used to just to stay alive. Alternatibvely they just produce much simpler games that are quicker to develop and sell for a dollar or two. Raising budgets of games to raise quality would need to increases revenues by more or its not worth it and the issue is that generally it doesn't. It's not always true but as a general rule the cost benefit is not there. The developer graveyard is littered with those who tried to do that kind of thing and failed.




sterckxe -> RE: Strategy Wargaming (8/5/2011 10:12:39 AM)

quote:

ORIGINAL: JeanAllTrekkie
The second boat were missing is The Tablet and Mobile market. Every publisher, developer and entrepreneur is investing into this market. From war-games (sliterine studios) to 1st person shooters ( Battlefield Bad Company) all is being developed at a astonishing rate. At this point there are more games in The Apple App Store than has ever been made on all consoles and PCs ever. The amount of money being generated is incredible (Over 6 billion in Developer Revenue Alone). One teenager made a simple puzzle game and began making 6 figures after the 1st month. This is the market Strategy War Game Developers need to invest in. Many people today are picking up iPads because they find it VERY easy to use. These are the people who are your future market. These are the people that are willing to shell out money to see if they can whip Lee at Gettysburg. Make them a simple strategy war-game and you'll have a award winning title on your hands, not to mention a great deal of profit.

I hope our strategy game developers do invest in this market... if not they will find themselves realizing most people no longer use PC's. Everything is moving to Tablets and Mobile Devices. Companies need to see that otherwise they will go under. Desktops are going to left to professionals who edit videos, need the screen real estate for their work. Casual people are going to utilize iPads, iPhones, Androids for their day to day needs.


Couple of points :

Matrix/Slitherine has "Egypt : Engineering an Empire" out for the iPad, I like it very much, but it's not looking as though it has really caught on in the iPad world. I also hear that the guys from HexWar (Field of Glory) are working on something.

Apart from these titles, no other pc wargame publisher has announced anything for the tablet market while boardgame manufacturers seem to be more quickly on the ball : board wargame conversion in development for the iPad include Across Five Aprils, Battles of the Bulge, Hornet Leader : Carrier Air Operations, Manoeuvre, Pelopponesian War, R.A.F., Soviet Dawn, War Patrol, Waterloo and Washington's War.

So, yes, there are wargames being developed for the tablet market, only not by the established pc wargame publishers.

The notion that all gaming is moving to the mobile platforms is a false one imho. I like playing games on the iPad, but it's not a platform that's ready for the really super-duper heavy wargames like Battles from the Bulge, nor will it be in the next 5 years, so my digital gaming time will for the forseeable future remain split between pc and iPad

Greetz,

Eddy Sterckx




terje439 -> RE: Strategy Wargaming (8/5/2011 12:01:17 PM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: JeanAllTrekkie
Forge of Freedom had this idea... they took tactical combat and mixed it with strategic gameplay. This definitely has took strategy wargaming up a notch. They do need to improve the game because many facets are clumsy and difficult to manage. The learning curve needs to be reduced for this game to appeal to a larger audience... and it must be simpler.


Tbh I find part of this true, and parts of it way off.
Yes, mixing tactical and strategical gameplay was something really sweet.
Clumsy and difficult to manage? Seriously? I do not see how to make it easier without dumbing it down (which is sort of what you say later on). Then you run the risk of falling between two chairs, it becomes neither mainstream nor strategy.

What Matrixgames could be better at, is utilizing their perhaps best feature, the forum. I have never asked a question in here that was not promptly answered, and often by the Devs themselves.

That being said, I understand what you say, and I partly agree, however I think that it is not easy to please both camps. Look at the direction the Civ-series is going, it is being dumbed down. The result - players that have been loyal to the series since Civ are put off the series since it is no longer Civ but a Civ-lite. The kids out there want games with pretty colours, flashy graphics and instant action. That is simply not imo what strategy games is about (it is a nice BONUS but not the main thing).

Anyway just my oppinion.

Terje




sterckxe -> RE: Strategy Wargaming (8/5/2011 12:31:31 PM)

quote:

ORIGINAL: Iain McNeil
Alternatibvely they just produce much simpler games that are quicker to develop and sell for a dollar or two.


Simpler to develop does not equal simplistic.

I know at least half a dozen board wargames which are simple in the sense that they have 8 pages of rules instead of 200 and 100 pieces instead of 5000, yet are deeper games, with lots more strategy than the monsters that get produced in the pc wargame world.

Some examples :

Manouevre
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/17396/manoeuvre

Hammer of the Scots
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/3685/hammer-of-the-scots

No Retreat
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/38877/no-retreat

.. and a special mention of my current wargame-light favourite : Lancaster

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/96913/lancaster

Games where the thinking time/execution time ratio is 80/20 instead of the other way around as in many, many pc wargames

<edit>
Just learned that this wargame is *right now* getting demo-ed on the iPad at GenCon.
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/96564/engage
</edit>

Greetz,

Eddy Sterckx




JeanAllTrekkie -> RE: Strategy Wargaming (8/5/2011 6:52:43 PM)

quote:

ORIGINAL: Iain McNeil

The issues is money. As you say 99% of the money goes to mainstream games so the amount of money left for the strategy market is much less than it used to be so development budgets are either cut or develoeprs die. Developers have to work smarter and work harder than they used to just to stay alive. Alternatibvely they just produce much simpler games that are quicker to develop and sell for a dollar or two. Raising budgets of games to raise quality would need to increases revenues by more or its not worth it and the issue is that generally it doesn't. It's not always true but as a general rule the cost benefit is not there. The developer graveyard is littered with those who tried to do that kind of thing and failed.


Developers Should always work smarter. Not because of survival but to develop themselves and their market. You should always push the envelope of what's possible in your games.. A lot of developers now are just making copies of hits (ie. Medal of Honor, Operation Flashpoint (Current)etc. When I came in to the market developers were just making level based games than We came in and made sandbox what it is today. You don't need millions of dollars to run a studio... You need creative imagination. That's much more valuable. If you have that great idea you can get money for it or start a independent studio... Look at Pop Cap Games success with Plants vs Zombies.

There's a studio i know that had no money no financial backing but made a game on their spare time.... A publisher saw this title and immediately supported it... You know the title by Take Command 1861. There is a developer graveyard because these are studios that refuse to adapt and grow... They were satisfied with replicating... Which leads to death.

Innovate and you will grow... Replicate and you will die.




JeanAllTrekkie -> RE: Strategy Wargaming (8/5/2011 7:24:43 PM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: sterckxe

quote:

ORIGINAL: JeanAllTrekkie
The second boat were missing is The Tablet and Mobile market. Every publisher, developer and entrepreneur is investing into this market. From war-games (sliterine studios) to 1st person shooters ( Battlefield Bad Company) all is being developed at a astonishing rate. At this point there are more games in The Apple App Store than has ever been made on all consoles and PCs ever. The amount of money being generated is incredible (Over 6 billion in Developer Revenue Alone). One teenager made a simple puzzle game and began making 6 figures after the 1st month. This is the market Strategy War Game Developers need to invest in. Many people today are picking up iPads because they find it VERY easy to use. These are the people who are your future market. These are the people that are willing to shell out money to see if they can whip Lee at Gettysburg. Make them a simple strategy war-game and you'll have a award winning title on your hands, not to mention a great deal of profit.

I hope our strategy game developers do invest in this market... if not they will find themselves realizing most people no longer use PC's. Everything is moving to Tablets and Mobile Devices. Companies need to see that otherwise they will go under. Desktops are going to left to professionals who edit videos, need the screen real estate for their work. Casual people are going to utilize iPads, iPhones, Androids for their day to day needs.


Couple of points :

Matrix/Slitherine has "Egypt : Engineering an Empire" out for the iPad, I like it very much, but it's not looking as though it has really caught on in the iPad world. I also hear that the guys from HexWar (Field of Glory) are working on something.

Apart from these titles, no other pc wargame publisher has announced anything for the tablet market while boardgame manufacturers seem to be more quickly on the ball : board wargame conversion in development for the iPad include Across Five Aprils, Battles of the Bulge, Hornet Leader : Carrier Air Operations, Manoeuvre, Pelopponesian War, R.A.F., Soviet Dawn, War Patrol, Waterloo and Washington's War.

So, yes, there are wargames being developed for the tablet market, only not by the established pc wargame publishers.

The notion that all gaming is moving to the mobile platforms is a false one imho. I like playing games on the iPad, but it's not a platform that's ready for the really super-duper heavy wargames like Battles from the Bulge, nor will it be in the next 5 years, so my digital gaming time will for the forseeable future remain split between pc and iPad

Greetz,

Eddy Sterckx



One thing developer studios need to realize is that the work doesn't stop after making the app... you need to reach out to your audience. You need to do advertising. Now yes this takes money, money most strategy war gaming studios do not have, so what you do is you approach this at a different angle. You reach your target audience by other means. One such means is Reenactments. These are large events that host approx 50 - 70,000 people nearly every year, all of which are interested in history. So now when you make a civil war game the first thing you should ask is when is the next reenactment. You get a team together, rent a vendor table and get your game out to the public. Also you get some hands on feedback that you won't ever get anywhere else. Feedback you take to improve your game.

I show up to these events and CANNOT believe no studios are taking advantage of it. You need to go where the people go.

I was not aware that these titles are in development - do you have links to them? I hope they complete the work and release the titles.

I disagree with you. The Mobile Platform is already changing how people use computers. If you ever get a chance go to Wall Street, 14th St, large metropolitan locations in cities... take a look at what people are using... notice the change people are implementing. Yesterdays laptop user is todays tablet. This change is happening to all social classes. My mother is a great example - never really used a computer... didn't like them because they were too complicated... she bought a iPad and is now on everyday ... even on Facebook lol. Her example is repeated everyday when I walk into The Apple Store. Thousands of people walk in everyday and start using a Tablet as their primary computer. Only people like you and me who require the screen real estate need a desktop. Plus I love my iMac ;)




JeanAllTrekkie -> RE: Strategy Wargaming (8/5/2011 7:36:22 PM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: terje439


quote:

ORIGINAL: JeanAllTrekkie
Forge of Freedom had this idea... they took tactical combat and mixed it with strategic gameplay. This definitely has took strategy wargaming up a notch. They do need to improve the game because many facets are clumsy and difficult to manage. The learning curve needs to be reduced for this game to appeal to a larger audience... and it must be simpler.


Tbh I find part of this true, and parts of it way off.
Yes, mixing tactical and strategical gameplay was something really sweet.
Clumsy and difficult to manage? Seriously? I do not see how to make it easier without dumbing it down (which is sort of what you say later on). Then you run the risk of falling between two chairs, it becomes neither mainstream nor strategy.

What Matrixgames could be better at, is utilizing their perhaps best feature, the forum. I have never asked a question in here that was not promptly answered, and often by the Devs themselves.

That being said, I understand what you say, and I partly agree, however I think that it is not easy to please both camps. Look at the direction the Civ-series is going, it is being dumbed down. The result - players that have been loyal to the series since Civ are put off the series since it is no longer Civ but a Civ-lite. The kids out there want games with pretty colours, flashy graphics and instant action. That is simply not imo what strategy games is about (it is a nice BONUS but not the main thing).

Anyway just my oppinion.

Terje


terje439... you can make FOF easier by improving the UI. The UI is in desperate need of improvement. The tactical mini map needs a overhaul to better represent units on the map. The map REQUIRES a zoom functionality. Having no zoom in tactical combat is impairing gameplay. Also the developer needs to allow the player to select which unit he chooses to move not which he is forced to move. A great game they need to take some inspiration from is Civil War General 2. That title won Best Civil War Game by Gamespot. A Title not easily won. So what you do is investigate what made that game so great ... and adapt it for your title.

I agree... Matrix does do a great job with the forum. Their realizing where many other studios fail to... that communicating with your audience will guarantee you better games. Taking recommendations from your fans will help improve your games and in the end lead to more sales... and most importantly a loyal fan base. Good Examples of this is Cryptic Studios and DICE.

I agree our games should not be dumbed down by any means. But you can make it easier to for players to use the game. A Great UI system, Excellent Tutorial, better notification system, etc. You don't need to dumb down a game to reach a larger audience... you need it to be more attractive for them to use it. I said it before ... Civil War General 2 did this while maintaing a great strategy system.




Jeffrey H. -> RE: Strategy Wargaming (8/5/2011 7:56:24 PM)

I recently found two titles by "DK Simulations" on the Andriod market, a North African and an East Front game app. I got the free/demo verisons for my HTC Thunderbolt.
I haven't played them yet, I think I'll have some time to in the near future when I'm stuck on a plane for 20 odd hours.

I see the development of mobile games as analagous to the emergence of the consoles a few years ago. Bigger audience, new interfaces, new hardware.

I don't believe this means a dramatic shift in stategy type games, because there isn't going to be some magic crossover of casual gamers into strategy because of the device.





Greybriar -> RE: Strategy Wargaming (8/7/2011 8:04:35 PM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: JeanAllTrekkie

So Im a LONG time strategy gamer... back from the days of Garys Grisbys Pacific War....

I've been playing strategy games for a few years longer than that. And I will continue playing them--on my PC.

No consoles, Tablets, Mobile Devices, iPads, iPhones, or Androids for me.




sterckxe -> RE: Strategy Wargaming (8/8/2011 7:48:31 AM)

quote:

ORIGINAL: JeanAllTrekkie
One thing developer studios need to realize is that the work doesn't stop after making the app... you need to reach out to your audience. You need to do advertising. Now yes this takes money, money most strategy war gaming studios do not have, so what you do is you approach this at a different angle. You reach your target audience by other means. One such means is Reenactments. These are large events that host approx 50 - 70,000 people nearly every year, all of which are interested in history. So now when you make a civil war game the first thing you should ask is when is the next reenactment. You get a team together, rent a vendor table and get your game out to the public. Also you get some hands on feedback that you won't ever get anywhere else. Feedback you take to improve your game.

I show up to these events and CANNOT believe no studios are taking advantage of it. You need to go where the people go.


Just a tiny example : John Tiller has a new wargame out. You'd think someone of the developer/publisher team would spend 5 minutes to copy & paste a note about it to the barely half a dozen wargame forums out there ...

quote:

ORIGINAL: JeanAllTrekkie
I was not aware that these titles are in development - do you have links to them? I hope they complete the work and release the titles.


Engage - iPad version got demo-ed at GenCon
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/96564/engage

Manoeuvre : http://www.gmtgames.com/news.aspx?showarticle=195

Peloppesian War : http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/613492/bgg-wargame-designer-of-the-month-mark-herman

Eric Skea : http://www.wargamer.com/article/3007/slitherine-matrix-european-press-event-

All the rest : http://www.projectsimonsen.com/ + http://ericleesmith.com/blog/our-games/

Greetz,

Eddy Sterckx




Perturabo -> RE: Strategy Wargaming (8/8/2011 2:39:20 PM)

quote:

ORIGINAL: sterckxe

quote:

ORIGINAL: JeanAllTrekkie
One thing developer studios need to realize is that the work doesn't stop after making the app... you need to reach out to your audience. You need to do advertising. Now yes this takes money, money most strategy war gaming studios do not have, so what you do is you approach this at a different angle. You reach your target audience by other means. One such means is Reenactments. These are large events that host approx 50 - 70,000 people nearly every year, all of which are interested in history. So now when you make a civil war game the first thing you should ask is when is the next reenactment. You get a team together, rent a vendor table and get your game out to the public. Also you get some hands on feedback that you won't ever get anywhere else. Feedback you take to improve your game.

I show up to these events and CANNOT believe no studios are taking advantage of it. You need to go where the people go.


Just a tiny example : John Tiller has a new wargame out. You'd think someone of the developer/publisher team would spend 5 minutes to copy & paste a note about it to the barely half a dozen wargame forums out there ...

Exactly. You don't need a full advertising campaign with psycho-manipulation and professional hype-building to increase sales.
Increasing awareness of potential customers by posting information is more than enough - neglecting it is a pretty stupid way to lose potential sales. Especially when we're talking about people who play rather cerebral games without "next-gen" graphics.

There's a lot of stuff that when reading even a cold description sounds awesome and makes me want to buy it but I simply don't know about.
Like for example with solitaire wargames. A year ago I had no idea that such thing even exists despite being on computer wargame forums since 2006. In last 3 months I have bought 4 such games and one expansion and I plan to buy more. Without any advertising.




sterckxe -> RE: Strategy Wargaming (8/8/2011 4:02:25 PM)

quote:

ORIGINAL: Perturabo
Exactly. You don't need a full advertising campaign with psycho-manipulation and professional hype-building to increase sales.
Increasing awareness of potential customers by posting information is more than enough - neglecting it is a pretty stupid way to lose potential sales. Especially when we're talking about people who play rather cerebral games without "next-gen" graphics.


I've actually given up on most wargame developers/publishers - they're so amateurish in the pr and marketing department that it pains me. They spend months trying to get the OOB for the 53rd Kitchen Company correct, but can't be bothered to spend half a day on actually promoting their new game - drives me bonkers.

Greetz,

Eddy Sterckx




Jeffrey H. -> RE: Strategy Wargaming (8/8/2011 7:29:48 PM)

...or on the interface Eddy.

FWIW I think smartyphones are not really as adaptable as tablets are to strategy games. I think the tablets hold some considerable advantages over laptops/pc's/smartyphones.





Perturabo -> RE: Strategy Wargaming (8/8/2011 8:23:27 PM)

quote:

ORIGINAL: sterckxe

quote:

ORIGINAL: Perturabo
Exactly. You don't need a full advertising campaign with psycho-manipulation and professional hype-building to increase sales.
Increasing awareness of potential customers by posting information is more than enough - neglecting it is a pretty stupid way to lose potential sales. Especially when we're talking about people who play rather cerebral games without "next-gen" graphics.


I've actually given up on most wargame developers/publishers - they're so amateurish in the pr and marketing department that it pains me. They spend months trying to get the OOB for the 53rd Kitchen Company correct, but can't be bothered to spend half a day on actually promoting their new game - drives me bonkers.

Greetz,

Eddy Sterckx


I think they were spoiled by the years when big publishers were putting their ads in gaming magazines and demos of their games were on all cover CDs.




ilovestrategy -> RE: Strategy Wargaming (8/8/2011 11:26:20 PM)

I'll say this much. The interface on the games in our little world need work. Most of them are clickfests. For example in Storm over the Pacific the battle menu resets everytime I click it so if I have 20 carriers in a task force I have to look for my carriers everytime I click on "airstrike" because the menu won't stay on the segregate by type option. Same for repairing ships too.

I think clumsy interfaces hurt our area of business as gamers more than anything else. It's not fun at times.




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