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RE: BFTB (Mini-Guide): Material TBD

 
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RE: BFTB (Mini-Guide): Material TBD - 7/15/2009 4:09:02 PM   
GoodGuy

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: JudgeDredd

...it is still hard work trying to find somewhere to put your AT gun to cover the approaches - it's one of the PITAs of the engine at present for me. It is simply too painful to place a unit...I click pretty much everywhere on the map trying to find the best place to stick a unit - whether that be for long range, or a short "ambush" range...it's one of those "micro management" features I think could do with removing imo.


pita

Pronunciation: ˈpē-tə

1: any of several fiber-yielding plants (as an agave)
2: the fiber of a pita ; also : any of several fibers from other sources
3: pit(t)a bread -> traditional flat bread in Greece, usually sliced and stuffed with meat (gyros), salad, onions and feta cheese.

So, what's PITA?

Ok seriously now, well there are several solutions regarding LOS and LOF present in games these days:

1) Games like TOW(2) feature 3 functions:

  • a) If a given enemy unit exits the line of sight, it simply disppears from the map, it becomes invisible,
  • b) pushing the FIRE/ATTACK button will draw a line from the selected unit to the mouse pointer, with the line turning red if the view is not obstructed (= clear LOF) and dark red/black if there are obstacles, i.e. buildings or trees,
  • c) the user has the same overview as a Bn or Div commander, as all informations/sightings are drawn. But once he selects a given unit, he will just see what this particular unit would see. This can be quite thrilling, as the user might hear an enemy tank approaching some crossroads in a village, but he will not get to see it before it turns around the corner, unless he deselects the unit to go back to the commander's chair/HQ to administer all incoming sightings/messages.
This approach is one of the best solutions for a 3D-game.

2) Other 3D-games compute LOF/LOS in real time, too: "Men of War" would be a good example here, as its engine computes LOF/LOS across the 3D-environment in real time as well, the devs just decided to do without the actual "LOF-line", in fact they use 3 lights/dots:
Blue would be a clear LOF to a point on the ground, yellow would mark either a clear line to the target OR mark the point of impact on an obstacle where then red would illuminate the target, to tell the user that there is no clear LOF. In such a case, the user would have to adjust the cam and see what part of the terrain would block it and relocate the vehicle/weapon/soldier. Big guns would be able to destroy an obstacle, as like 98% of the environment can be destroyed (maybe except for concrete walls, etc.).

The "illumination" system is actually necessary, as the game allows the user to operate individual soldiers or vehicles himself (filling 3 roles: driver, gunner, MG-gunner), so this system simulates the gun sights in an inventive way, and it incorporates realistic elements, as the user has to wait for the slow moving turret to finish its 180° turn, if he wants to fire at a target behind him, for example.

The game's engine and especially the AI is superior to TOW2's engine, but Men of War is somewhat gamey, hvy weapon ranges are not realistic, small arms fire is less mortal, soldiers can be patched up with bandages .... they balanced stuff to make the game accessible for the masses.

Anyway, in these types of games enemy units are visible all over the map and all through the mission. So, while targeting (and bullet spread) turns out to be very realistic, the intel is not.

3) But even some 2D-games provide one or another feature mentioned above, namely the view of individual units. Once you select them you get their particular LOS and even more important their LOF, where enemy units outside the LOS area may disappear, and enemy units outside the LOF would be shaded/greyed out.

It's obvious that using the LOS area tool in the AA system is cumbersome, making it hard for some people (especially without contour lines) to place units in favorable (defensive) positions, as these users may be forced to switch between LOS tool and LOS area tool multiple times, just to find a good spot.

That said, connecting the LOS area tool to individial units may be a good solution. Once the user would click on a given unit, this particular unit's LOS area would show up, giving the user the opportunity to relocate units to the best firing positions.
This should be made an option like the grid, which can be turned on/off as needed.

EDIT: There are 3 more useful functions or features that would be a good addition to CmdOps:

1) "Target lock".
While many nations employ a method of what I'd call "relative indepency" (means small bodies are allowed to act independently regarding target selection or type of approach - to some degree), officers (CO or NCO) may still force their sections to target a particular enemy unit. With the current engine, there are situations like where a given Inf unit may fire at a laaaarge enemy Arty Rgt nearby, although an assaulting enemy unit may pass on the left side just to charge right into a reorg'ing friendly Bn in the rear, for instance. If i am correct, the threat level would suggest that the friendly inf unit should focus on the (bigger) Arty Rgt, as it may fire at the friendly unit, even though the assaulting enemy unit appears to be the bigger threat: maybe even for the entire sector.
Having the possibility to target and lock individual enemy units would improve the game experience for sure.
Adding a function to have the friendly unit chase a "locked" unit, would be even better.

2) The LOS area function I suggested above could be coupled with the view system from other games, in particular the method to grey out enemy units, to indicate that the selected friendly unit has no clear LOF to that enemy.

While most of the infos (intel - i.e. estimated enemy strength, enemy status - i.e. assaulting, reorg'ing / dug in etc.) in the CmdOps engine are brilliantly put together so that they can be accessed quickly and easily, the presentation of LOS/LOF appears to be somewhat cumbersome, maybe even ancient. IMHO, the threat level indicator could be removed, and replaced with something that I'd call "Direct LOF"-Indicator:
When selecting a given friendly unit all nearby enemy units residing in its LOF should be marked (with a green outline, for example)

3) An improved artillery system.
Currently, artillery pieces like infantry guns have either limited or no indirect fire-capabilities. If I am not mistaken, even German 75mm IGs had a range of up to 2.8 kilometers, enabling them to serve in a short-range arty role. This indirect fire range doesn't seem to be rendered by the engine and the "bombard"-button will be greyed out. On a sidenote, they had AT capabilities, using HEAT rounds.
In turn, currently, German 88mm-Flak units have limited direct fire (AT) capabilities due to the low range, even though official reports confirmed (tank) kills at 1800 meters in Africa, some veteran accounts even claim 2200 meters. Their optical gun sights actually allowed for long-range engagements.

< Message edited by GoodGuy -- 7/15/2009 5:46:51 PM >


_____________________________

"Aw Nuts"
General Anthony McAuliffe
December 22nd, 1944
Bastogne

---
"I've always felt that the AA (Alied Assault engine) had the potential to be [....] big."
Tim Stone
8th of August, 2006

(in reply to JudgeDredd)
Post #: 151
RE: BFTB (Mini-Guide): Material TBD - 7/16/2009 7:35:50 AM   
JudgeDredd


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I'm not talking about LOS or LOF from units here - I'm talking about understanding and quickly understanding the lay of the land in order to place your units in a good position.

For example, if I'm the attacker, I'd possible like to find the highest peak on my side of the advance so I can put a recce unit there. You simply cannot do this quickly or easily in COTA. Same goes for defending...I may want a little valley surrounded by hills so I can place an AT unit down there on the main road, so the enemy armour turns the corner and bingo - suprise. It's click, click, click all over the map looking for that good position.

Looking at COTA's map and the LOS tools does not make this easy. It's cumbersome. I love the game - but it's way WAY too difficult to find out the lay of the land - and that's where a "3D" map would come in so very, very handy.

I haven't bought the game yet, General Commander, but I will be - but one of the things I like about it is it's map layout. From the screens, they look enticing. Probably not as functional as I may have hoped - perhaps the scale is wrong, or the land just doesn't have the range of height to make the map more functional with regard to the "perfect" spot for a unit - but still, the idea is there.

Conversely, I was disappointed when EUIII went to 3D maps. I don't think it particularly did the game any harm - aesthetically I thought it didn't look as good - but my main gripe was they didn't need to - the game had no "tactial" value for going 3D - Panther games engine DOES. Maybe just a popup showing the 3D lay of the land - but watching their unit icons marching through a 3D map, large hills to the left, right and ahead would imo be awesome.

The sooner PG move to a 3D map so I can see at a glance by moving my mouse around where the peaks and troughs are the happier bunny I will be.

I love PG and I love your engine - but it's my opinion that it leaves the user ALOT of work to get the tactical advantage using land.

< Message edited by JudgeDredd -- 7/16/2009 7:36:05 AM >

(in reply to GoodGuy)
Post #: 152
RE: BFTB (Mini-Guide): Material TBD - 7/16/2009 7:51:58 AM   
Arjuna


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Thanks for the feedback Judge ( and to GoodGuy for his suggestions ). I must admit I too would like to have a 3D map for our games as well as the 2D map. Players could then switch between either depending on their requirement/taste etc. However, before we can add in a 3D map we want to change the underlying map classes so we can utilise industry standard GIS data. Then we would be able to pull in and use data that has already been developed, without the current massive investment in time to generate our own maps from scratch. Both the conversion and the addition of 3D are big jobs. Let's hope that BFTB sales are really good and we can hire some some more staff.

_____________________________

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www.panthergames.com

(in reply to JudgeDredd)
Post #: 153
RE: BFTB (Mini-Guide): Material TBD - 7/16/2009 10:59:40 AM   
JudgeDredd


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I totally understand the cost issue - and I'm not shouting for it - I would just love to see it and wait for it - hopefully our system will get it and implement it before some other system.

One thing that stuck out from GG's suggestions was to enable the LOS area tool to a unit - so when you click it, it shows you the LOS area viewed by that unit. That would at the very least save on extra clicks. Taking that further - highlighting the "local" HQ enables the LOS Area tool for each of the subordinates. I wouldn't want to do this at higher levels - but at Regiment HQ level would be cool.

As for sales of BFTB - I'm in - just make some money so you can get a nice 3D map going. COTA would've been transformed for me with massive undulations all around my little NATO symbols.

(in reply to Arjuna)
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RE: BFTB (Mini-Guide): Material TBD - 7/16/2009 1:08:54 PM   
TheWombat

 

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I agree that 3D mapping and improved LOS tools would be nice enhancements down the road. I wouldn't want things to get too "Combat Mission-y" though, because these games are a different sort of experience, at a different level of command. I'd rather see enhancements to how the user/commander can perceive terrain and its effects, and enhancements to the ability of the AI to pick proper deployment areas. That's really what it's about--as commander, the player tells that AT company to set up to cover this road. The unit AI then should pick the optimal location subject to the formation, frontage, aggression, etc. settings. That's happening now, I guess, but perhaps there could be better feedback or indications of what's going on so the player could fine-tune things if desired (and if the command penalty was worth it). So it is more a matter of how information is presented than anything else, perhaps.

Personally, when I'm commanding a brigade I don't want to have to place AT guns mysefl. That's why we flog junior officers up and down hills.

(in reply to JudgeDredd)
Post #: 155
RE: BFTB (Mini-Guide): Material TBD - 7/18/2009 8:59:45 PM   
GoodGuy

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: JudgeDredd

I'm not talking about LOS or LOF from units here - I'm talking about understanding and quickly understanding the lay of the land in order to place your units in a good position.

[].....It's click, click, click all over the map looking for that good position.


I know where u were coming from, and you've said that some sort of 3D-aid would make things easier, some time ago - IIRC.

My post was meant to explore possibilities to enhance the current 2D-system, without having to invest 3-4 years of development to build a 3D-engine from scratch - licensing an engine would be too expensive.
The only option for the current system here would be to implement contour lines - coupled with the LOS area/LOF-indicator I suggested above. A 3D-pop-up window wouldn't justify the effort (investment of man-hours) imho, as it would just be a half-assed "Ersatz" for a real 3D mission area.

quote:

...that's where a "3D" map would come in so very, very handy.....
[].... the game had no "tactial" value for going 3D - Panther games engine DOES. Maybe just a popup showing the 3D lay of the land - but watching their unit icons marching through a 3D map, large hills to the left, right and ahead would imo be awesome.

The sooner PG move to a 3D map so I can see at a glance by moving my mouse around where the peaks and troughs are the happier bunny I will be.


For these type of games going 3D can be a great risk.
What are units supposed to look like? Should a dev use counters in a 3D evironment?
There'd be 3D-vets who'd call for accurately rendered 3D models of tanks and equipment - for sure, even though the simulation is about operational warfare. They may call for rendering of supply trucks too, to enable them to actually see and bombard supply efforts, as in so many conflicts (since WW2) one of the main goals was to maintain an operational supply chain and communications - while trying to interdict the enemy's supply/communication/coordination efforts.

If an imaginary 3D panther engine would stick to counters, die-hard 3D-vets may think that such an engine would be neither fish nor fowl. Ppl may also wish for more immersion, even if let's say tanks and inf would just be rendered (or denoted) as little black dots, where you could see actual frontage/formation and speed.
Actually, that's how I imagined the game could look like, if it should ever go 3D, because
  • 1) an operational wargame doesn't have to render units on a CM/TOW2/MenOfWar level,
  • 2) nor would it be able to compete with those games (ie. regarding manpower -> programmers / 3D-programming experience / texture art, or sales figures).

So even with 3D, Panther would have to try and find a new niche... or do it better than the devs of "General Commander" (which shouldn't be too hard - AI-wise - though, lol) and kick 'em out of their niche .

Another issue would be how 3D data should be processed. Using sat/gps data would deliver an extremely accurate mission area, but it would still hold today's data only, so - since you can't just take actual sat images as textures - the scenario designers would still have to draw (historically correct) location and alignment of roads, woods, and historical landmarks, and the devs would have to create all new design tools.
So, do you just take (GPS/Sat) height data and create your own overlay (pretty much like the current gfx, but with woods, buildings, embankments etc. showing up with their respective elevations), or do you go through the lenghty process of creating a complete redesign of all layers/structures (i.e. the current "rough terrain" layer would have to use bumpmaps)?

I'd like to see CmdOps going 3D, but there's quite some room for failure, if it's done the wrong way. It takes a really good designer to keep the current engine's flair.

A quick example: There was a RTS called "DarkReign" (1997 ?). The game featured 2D but included a real time LOS system that incorporated height values, so the engine (successfully) imitated LOS effects of real 3D terrain. The game had the most sophisticated AI (enemy + friendly), the player could send out units on "harrass" missions for example, pretty much like a "hit-and-run" tactic, enabling the player to put his focus on building up his base. With certain aggro settings, the player could have his planes go back to the repair yard automatically, once their damage level turned yellow/red.
DarkReign's system was way superior compared to Blizzard's very successful StarCraft, it just didn't deliver the same amount of eye-candy and Blizzard's lobby/ranking system for multiplayer.
DarkReign2 then went 3D. The flair was gone, the AI less aggressive/"intelligent", the gameplay was slower and the 3D environment demanded top-hardware. The reception was bad, most DR fans stopped playing DR2 after a few test sessions. I never played more than 3 or 4 missions.

So, what 3D system would you have in mind, Judge?

< Message edited by GoodGuy -- 7/19/2009 11:00:42 PM >


_____________________________

"Aw Nuts"
General Anthony McAuliffe
December 22nd, 1944
Bastogne

---
"I've always felt that the AA (Alied Assault engine) had the potential to be [....] big."
Tim Stone
8th of August, 2006

(in reply to JudgeDredd)
Post #: 156
RE: BFTB (Mini-Guide): Material TBD - 7/18/2009 9:24:12 PM   
GoodGuy

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: TheWombat

Personally, when I'm commanding a brigade I don't want to have to place AT guns mysefl. That's why we flog junior officers up and down hills.


Well, in a reply to one of MarkShot's posts I outlined that micromanagement does make sense and that it may have a decisive effect on quite some occasions. There are quite some documents and books pointing towards Rommel being a rather bad leader regarding planning of logistics and mantaining supply lines, suggesting that he should not have led more than a division. But on the micromanagement side (directing combat units), often being right behind the front or even with frontline units, he was one of the best commanders in the field (ok, let's ignore his 1st attack on Tobruk ).

If a player decides to place a given AT unit himself, the engine should provide him with the tools to accomplish this in a timely manner.

_____________________________

"Aw Nuts"
General Anthony McAuliffe
December 22nd, 1944
Bastogne

---
"I've always felt that the AA (Alied Assault engine) had the potential to be [....] big."
Tim Stone
8th of August, 2006

(in reply to TheWombat)
Post #: 157
RE: BFTB (Mini-Guide): Material TBD - 5/17/2010 6:40:06 PM   
Henri

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Arjuna

Thanks for the feedback Judge ( and to GoodGuy for his suggestions ). I must admit I too would like to have a 3D map for our games as well as the 2D map. Players could then switch between either depending on their requirement/taste etc. However, before we can add in a 3D map we want to change the underlying map classes so we can utilise industry standard GIS data. Then we would be able to pull in and use data that has already been developed, without the current massive investment in time to generate our own maps from scratch. Both the conversion and the addition of 3D are big jobs. Let's hope that BFTB sales are really good and we can hire some some more staff.


Actually you DO have a 3D map of the battle areas. Since you have the Google Earth overlays, you can simply use the Google Earth 3D representation (by changing the viewpoint), and the overlays fit over the 3D Google Earth map.This is not so useful for the Ardennes battles where there are no mountains, but it certainly helps visualizing the land in some of the CoTA battles.

Henri

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RE: BFTB (Mini-Guide): Material TBD - 5/18/2010 12:11:19 AM   
captskillet


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quote:

Let's hope that BFTB sales are really good


I'm ready to do my part Dave........how close are we to gold?

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RE: BFTB (Mini-Guide): Material TBD - 5/18/2010 12:47:06 AM   
Arjuna


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Extremely close!

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RE: BFTB (Mini-Guide): Material TBD - 5/18/2010 1:40:43 AM   
Prince of Eckmühl


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3D graphics in determining LOS...

"In real life," with all a human's perceptual sophistication, reading terrain is an art. Being able to discern the "military-crest" of a hill is far easier said than done. And, frequently, you don't know where it is until you're standing on it. For simulations sake, should PG require players to post a unit to a location to generate the same information, regardless of the mode in which the terrain is displayed?

Another poster mentioned Combat Mission. Same deal in that game. When it comes to LOS, the game's 3D environment doesn't offer a thread's worth of advantage over a 2D-map. To use the LOS tool, players have to post a unit to the location in question. On anything else other than a REALLY flat map, assuming that you've got an LOS, or that your opponent DOESN'T have one, is a recipe for disaster.

Conversely, there are many, many hex-based games out that render determining LOS little more than child's play. I'd cite a popular game function that allows a player to select a unit, hit a key, and voila, every hex on the map that's visible gets highlighted somehow. Even a low-tech game like ASL allows players who know the rules and can count to discern the relationship between hexes, in terms of LOS, and to do so in a fashion that's bulletproof. Hex A either has an LOS to hex B, or it doesn't.

In summary, I see no advantage in using 3D terrain graphics (over 2D) when it comes to helping players interpret the "lay of the land" in a wargame.


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RE: BFTB (Mini-Guide): Material TBD - 5/18/2010 8:10:24 AM   
wodin


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Here is a game that I had forgotton about even though I own it....well I bought it when you had to pay now its free (no AI means no play also a horror of an interface)....it uses a 3d map and counters and I imagine would be how a 3d panther rgame would look like.

BATLLECOMMANDLINK



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RE: BFTB (Mini-Guide): Material TBD - 5/18/2010 3:33:28 PM   
Prince of Eckmühl


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quote:

ORIGINAL: wodin

Here is a game that I had forgotton about even though I own it....well I bought it when you had to pay now its free (no AI means no play also a horror of an interface)....it uses a 3d map and counters and I imagine would be how a 3d panther rgame would look like.

BATLLECOMMANDLINK


Very cool, but do you think that anyone from outside this little world of ours would be satisfied with the counters? And if PG did 3D vehicles/troops/guns, what would be a suitable ratio of men and equipment to models?

PG doesn't do tactical games, they do operational games. At the risk of stating the obvious, in real life, command of a battle at that level was done from a headquarters. That was the only way to coordinate the units and tasks. Rommel may have taken local control of a situation, but he could only do so over what he could see. His Storch may have provided a "satellite-view" of sorts, but he couldn't run a battle from up there, because he would have needed his 2D maps, radios and staff to manage things for him.

BTW, I actually fiddle with things when I'm playing the same way that GG does. I don't pause the game to adjust units, but I only take command at critical points in the battle. In effect, I become Rommel, having jumped out of my staff car or landed in the Storch, and taken control. Most everything else is left to run wide open on its own. Perhaps PG should include a "Rommel-unit" that represents the player on the map, one that will allow a player to take control of an AT gun, IF the player is close enough!

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RE: BFTB (Mini-Guide): Material TBD - 5/18/2010 4:35:58 PM   
wodin


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Well the counters look like wargame counters but are 3D.

I wouldn't change anything about the Panther game mechanics but this games graphic approach could work.

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RE: BFTB (Mini-Guide): Material TBD - 5/18/2010 9:23:05 PM   
Prince of Eckmühl


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quote:

ORIGINAL: wodin

I wouldn't change anything about the Panther game mechanics...


I'd do oodles of stuff:

-Expand engineer functions
-Decrease the grid size (now that computers can handle the math)
-Add off-map/off-shore artillery
-Allow for additional altitude layers
-Add terrain types like minefields
-Improve support for longer operations
-Expand/improve the post game AAR
-Expand air operations, Stukas, Typhoons, etc.,.

That's just for starters. The problem with the items that I cite above is that they'd require a significant expenditure of funds for programming. And there's the bind. Do players want the money spent on programming or on 3D art (both of which expensive)?

That's a real question.

Thoughts, a poll perhaps?






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RE: BFTB (Mini-Guide): Material TBD - 5/19/2010 12:05:44 AM   
wodin


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More features than 3D for me.

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RE: BFTB (Mini-Guide): Material TBD - 5/19/2010 10:12:44 PM   
Deathtreader


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Hi all,

As much as I would like to have 3D..... I have to agree with wodin & PoE. More features first, last and always!!

Umm, I don't suppose there's a realistic chance of having one's cake and eating it too??

Rob.

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RE: BFTB (Mini-Guide): Material TBD - 5/20/2010 1:13:59 AM   
James Sterrett

 

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Features over 3D for me.

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RE: BFTB (Mini-Guide): Material TBD - 5/20/2010 2:59:55 AM   
Llyranor


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Features, always features.

(psst, co-op)

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RE: BFTB (Mini-Guide): Material TBD - 5/20/2010 3:49:14 AM   
Prince of Eckmühl


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Llyranor

Features, always features.

(psst, co-op)


Llyranor, if you don't object, I'll add that to the items that I cited above.

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(in reply to Llyranor)
Post #: 170
RE: BFTB (Mini-Guide): Material TBD - 5/20/2010 6:53:46 AM   
Chaudart


Posts: 35
Joined: 11/24/2008
Status: offline


quote:

ORIGINAL: Llyranor

Features, always features.

(psst, co-op)


Yeeess!!
It would be fantastic!! :D

(in reply to Prince of Eckmühl)
Post #: 171
RE: BFTB (Mini-Guide): Material TBD - 5/20/2010 12:29:33 PM   
PirateJock


Posts: 457
Joined: 9/14/2006
From: North West, UK
Status: offline
Features with uncomplicated interface (map & controls) every time. The pretty games are what my PS3 is for.

(psst .. campaign)

(in reply to Chaudart)
Post #: 172
RE: BFTB (Mini-Guide): Material TBD - 5/20/2010 1:07:17 PM   
Arjuna


Posts: 17636
Joined: 3/31/2003
From: Canberra, Australia
Status: offline
Goodguy,

I must have missed this post of yours. It's very good. Much appreciated.

quote:

ORIGINAL: GoodGuy
There are 3 more useful functions or features that would be a good addition to CmdOps:

1) "Target lock".
While many nations employ a method of what I'd call "relative indepency" (means small bodies are allowed to act independently regarding target selection or type of approach - to some degree), officers (CO or NCO) may still force their sections to target a particular enemy unit. With the current engine, there are situations like where a given Inf unit may fire at a laaaarge enemy Arty Rgt nearby, although an assaulting enemy unit may pass on the left side just to charge right into a reorg'ing friendly Bn in the rear, for instance. If i am correct, the threat level would suggest that the friendly inf unit should focus on the (bigger) Arty Rgt, as it may fire at the friendly unit, even though the assaulting enemy unit appears to be the bigger threat: maybe even for the entire sector.
Having the possibility to target and lock individual enemy units would improve the game experience for sure.
Adding a function to have the friendly unit chase a "locked" unit, would be even better.


This is already on the wish list. I must admit though that I am ambivalent about allowing the targeting of specific enemy units. On the one hand this occurs rarely in real life and I'm a bit worried that it will introduce an unrealistic capability, especially in a dense or cluttered battlefield, where it is often hard to pinpoint or distinguish between what is one unit or another. On the other I can see uses for it, in particular for counter-battery fire and for chasing the lone enemy unit.

quote:

2) The LOS area function I suggested above could be coupled with the view system from other games, in particular the method to grey out enemy units, to indicate that the selected friendly unit has no clear LOF to that enemy.

While most of the infos (intel - i.e. estimated enemy strength, enemy status - i.e. assaulting, reorg'ing / dug in etc.) in the CmdOps engine are brilliantly put together so that they can be accessed quickly and easily, the presentation of LOS/LOF appears to be somewhat cumbersome, maybe even ancient. IMHO, the threat level indicator could be removed, and replaced with something that I'd call "Direct LOF"-Indicator:
When selecting a given friendly unit all nearby enemy units residing in its LOF should be marked (with a green outline, for example)


I agree it would be a good addition.

quote:

3) An improved artillery system.
Currently, artillery pieces like infantry guns have either limited or no indirect fire-capabilities. If I am not mistaken, even German 75mm IGs had a range of up to 2.8 kilometers, enabling them to serve in a short-range arty role. This indirect fire range doesn't seem to be rendered by the engine and the "bombard"-button will be greyed out. On a sidenote, they had AT capabilities, using HEAT rounds.
In turn, currently, German 88mm-Flak units have limited direct fire (AT) capabilities due to the low range, even though official reports confirmed (tank) kills at 1800 meters in Africa, some veteran accounts even claim 2200 meters. Their optical gun sights actually allowed for long-range engagements.


You might be pleased to know, that based in part on some of your earlier feedback, we have reviewed the way we treat German Inf Gun units for BFTB and these now have an indirect fire capability. 88s too now have an AArm range out to 3000m, albeit their accuracy drops off from over 60% at 1500m to just 33% at 3000m.

_____________________________

Dave "Arjuna" O'Connor
www.panthergames.com

(in reply to GoodGuy)
Post #: 173
RE: BFTB (Mini-Guide): Material TBD - 5/20/2010 2:12:47 PM   
Prince of Eckmühl


Posts: 2449
Joined: 6/25/2006
From: Texas
Status: offline
quote:

ORIGINAL: Arjun88s too now have an AArm range out to 3000m, albeit their accuracy drops off from over 60% at 1500m to just 33% at 3000m.


That's good, but they sure are gonna go through ammo fast!




_____________________________

Government is the opiate of the masses.

(in reply to Arjuna)
Post #: 174
RE: BFTB (Mini-Guide): Material TBD - 5/21/2010 1:37:06 PM   
Greup

 

Posts: 25
Joined: 6/26/2006
Status: offline

quote:

ORIGINAL: Prince of Eckmühl
Do players want the money spent on programming or on 3D art (both of which expensive)?

That's a real question.



Features over 3D but I'd be happy to see elevation lines on the maps, if possible.


(in reply to Prince of Eckmühl)
Post #: 175
RE: BFTB (Mini-Guide): Material TBD - 5/27/2010 9:09:02 PM   
MarkShot


Posts: 6611
Joined: 3/29/2003
Status: offline
Okay, sports fans, I just loaded my retail copy of BFTB and exploring like the rest of you.

First, I just wanted to see how it runs on my PC and how fast it will run. I used a little trick which I checked for in the docs and did not see. As you will note, BFTB has four different speeds of execution: PAUSED, >, >>, >>>. Now, you would think that >>> is the fastest you can get, but actually you can do a little bit better.

When you click on >>> do that while holding down the SHIFT key. Basically, that will drop some graphic frames from being displayed and further accelerate the clock. Of course, if you are running BFTB on an overclocked 80486, I don't think that will help. Also, note that the graphics (movement of units) will appear a little jerky.

---

Remember if you have a multi-core system, do let BFTB run on two of those cores. I have it from the Top Tech, Paul Scobell, that BFTB will take advantage of two cores if present. The game was designed from the get go to be multi-threaded.

---

I skimmed the PDFs. It seems there is no single page keyboard reference. I put something together for my own use about a year. I just checked it, and it looks pretty accurate still. I will see if I can attach it to this message or get Erik to put it in the members area.

---

Lastly, I do apologize for not doing the AAR and other tips stuff that was promised in the thread title. Sometimes, life just happens and you got to deal with it.

---

PS: I just checked and I cannot upload a PDF. So, I have converted it to a JPG. You can grab it and print it as such. Not as sharp as a PDF, but should be good enough.

Attachment (1)

_____________________________

Panther Games (RDOA/HTTR/COTA/BFTB) Beta Tester

(in reply to Greup)
Post #: 176
RE: BFTB (Mini-Guide): Material TBD - 5/27/2010 11:51:18 PM   
stian


Posts: 99
Joined: 10/16/2001
From: Oslo, Norway
Status: offline
Nice to hear about the multi-threading, I have a quad so should run smooth - do you know if it also will use more than 2 if available?

(in reply to MarkShot)
Post #: 177
RE: BFTB (Mini-Guide): Material TBD - 5/28/2010 12:21:01 AM   
henri51


Posts: 1049
Joined: 1/16/2009
Status: offline

quote:

ORIGINAL: stian

Nice to hear about the multi-threading, I have a quad so should run smooth - do you know if it also will use more than 2 if available?


They said earlier tht it would support multiple processors, so I presume that it is not more difficult to support 4 than 2 (I have both a 4 and a 2, and it runs smooth as silk on both 3GHz computers).

Henri

(in reply to stian)
Post #: 178
RE: BFTB (Mini-Guide): Material TBD - 5/28/2010 6:50:07 AM   
Panther Paul


Posts: 667
Joined: 3/29/2003
From: Newcastle, NSW, Australia
Status: offline

quote:

ORIGINAL: henri51


quote:

ORIGINAL: stian

Nice to hear about the multi-threading, I have a quad so should run smooth - do you know if it also will use more than 2 if available?


They said earlier tht it would support multiple processors, so I presume that it is not more difficult to support 4 than 2 (I have both a 4 and a 2, and it runs smooth as silk on both 3GHz computers).

Henri


The game runs two main threads, the UI and the AI. Plus some networking threads, but they don't add much over head. So we make pretty good use of two cores, to get more performance out of 4, 6, 8 etc core machines we need to do some rework. Our current thought is to break up the AI thread some how, a lot of work, but if we did it would mean we could support really BIG battles. Like the whole of the Bulge in one Scenario, but don't expect to see it this year, lets put it that way


_____________________________

Paul Scobell
Panther Games Pty Ltd

(in reply to henri51)
Post #: 179
RE: BFTB (Mini-Guide): Material TBD - 5/28/2010 1:42:16 PM   
James Sterrett

 

Posts: 1619
Joined: 7/7/2004
Status: offline
Question from the clueless:

How do I allocate processors to programs?

(in reply to Panther Paul)
Post #: 180
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