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Interfaces of wargames

 
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Interfaces of wargames - 6/22/2009 6:27:54 PM   
aknaton

 

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Is it only me, or are most computer wargame interfaces a bit old (that is of traditional type boardgames not RTSes). Its almost always a top down 2D view of a map. Often ugly and slow to scroll and with only one or two magification degrees.

I think wargames could really benefit from 3D-maps/programming. How hard can it be? I made a quick test in OpenGL with an old Ambush map and some fake counters. It was really nice. Seamless zoom and unlimited possibilities to twist and turn the map to get your best view of the situation. So even if takes place on 2D I think it will benefit from a 3D rendering.

Heres a picture from my testing (before I added counters).



What does you other wargame players think in this matter. Would you also like to see games with 3D interfaces?


regards

/aknaton



< Message edited by aknaton -- 6/22/2009 6:59:59 PM >
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RE: Interfaces of wargames - 6/22/2009 7:53:23 PM   
Arsan

 

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Hi!
Heh! i just answered to this same post your posted also on the ageod fourms
I thnik i will do a copy and paste of my answer here

"Personally i find zero advantages to a 3D rendering of a 2D map like the one you show
Why should i like to drag and tilt around a flat boardlike map??
I think real 3D can be useful in some instances, like on tactical games where it can better show the lay of the land (for example on Combat Mission compared to Close combat games).
But on an operational/strategic games it usually only increases the hardware requirements and make the interface handling more difficult and offer no advantage.
Recently there was a discussion just about this on the Wargamer forums. Maybe you will find it interesting.
Take a look here
http://www.wargamer.com/forums/tm.aspx?m=351726

Cheers!

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RE: Interfaces of wargames - 6/22/2009 8:21:28 PM   
V22 Osprey


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Pointless if it's just a the same old 2D map execpt being able to view it from an angle.The only way for it to work is to make the units and map features fully 3D.Look at John Tiller's Campaign Series.The 3D view would suck if the map and units weren't fully 3D.

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RE: Interfaces of wargames - 6/22/2009 8:58:17 PM   
JudgeDredd


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I agree. Nice attempt, but I see no advantage, in fact I can see several right away. The "skewing" effect would make it extremely difficult to read maps and counters.

On the other hand, real 3D could have some big benefits.

Besides, although "old", 2D works for wargaming. I do think 3D could, in the right circumstances and the right game.

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RE: Interfaces of wargames - 6/22/2009 10:35:57 PM   
Sarge


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quote:

ORIGINAL: V22 Osprey

Pointless if it's just a the same old 2D map execpt being able to view it from an angle.The only way for it to work is to make the units and map features fully 3D.Look at John Tiller's Campaign Series.The 3D view would suck if the map and units weren't fully 3D.



Actually in Tiller's Campaign Series units are 2D along with the map not 3D.


No matter what view your looking at……









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RE: Interfaces of wargames - 6/22/2009 10:46:36 PM   
V22 Osprey


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What are you talking about?JTCS has a 3D view and 2D view.

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RE: Interfaces of wargames - 6/22/2009 11:22:31 PM   
JudgeDredd


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I think he's saying, and you can correct me if I'm wrong Sarge, that the game is actually 2D - regardless of your PoV...not true 3D. I think...

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RE: Interfaces of wargames - 6/22/2009 11:26:12 PM   
V22 Osprey


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Oh, now I see.JTCS is not 3D in terms of company of heroes, its just a bunch pics arranged a certain way to give the illusion of 3D.

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RE: Interfaces of wargames - 6/22/2009 11:43:32 PM   
Greybriar


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A 2D map well done looks better than a 3D map poorly done.

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RE: Interfaces of wargames - 6/23/2009 4:00:50 AM   
E

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: V22 Osprey

What are you talking about?JTCS has a 3D view and 2D view.


I think he's talking about Tiller's Panzer Campaigns, where the pieces are 2d in both 2d & 3d views.

I like the 3d 2d map. It'd be a great way to do board wargaming, like the 3d Chess programs do for Chess.

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RE: Interfaces of wargames - 6/23/2009 4:26:53 AM   
06 Maestro


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I have to agree that there is not much practical use for a tilt-able strategic map. I did have one such game-Making History. The game was not really to my liking, but I have to admit that the 3d map was cool-even if not practical. It also had a rather extreme zoom capability.

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RE: Interfaces of wargames - 6/23/2009 4:33:38 AM   
Ron

 

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I don't know, I have always hated the limitations of top-down 2D maps on the computer. I like this idea, if you can get a better overall view of the board ala a real boardgame then I am all for it. The problem is a lot of wargamers here are luddites, if it ain't broke don't fix it attitude etc :)

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RE: Interfaces of wargames - 6/23/2009 4:33:42 AM   
Sarge


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quote:

ORIGINAL: JudgeDredd

I think he's saying, and you can correct me if I'm wrong Sarge, that the game is actually 2D - regardless of your PoV...not true 3D. I think...


Exactly,

There is no 3D models in the Campaign Series.



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RE: Interfaces of wargames - 6/23/2009 6:29:10 AM   
Veldor


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Something I think some might be forgetting is that with 3D you can see the whole map in a similar way to how you would at a table. Whereas with 2D you have to scroll around more or zoom in/zoom out. However that said I might tend to agree that, in a simplified application, it could be wasted. Because the far view of your map is likely distorted in the same way that zooming out is. Of course the closer stuff is less so but graphics in general for this stuff just tends to work better with 2D. Most 3D games, even Matrix ones, I find the controls too clunky and its just harder to manuever through the interface. I really like the "Black & White" game approach where you grabbed the map in order to move around... seemed very intuitive..vs other methods.

I could not possibly agree more with your intent or goal in thinking this 3D approach better. I just don't think anyone has figured out the right formula/interface to go along with it yet. So being your #1 fan in concept, I'm actually the polar opposite historically as a purchaser. Unfortuneately the 2D stuff just ends up being more straight forward to use.

Of course my suggestion (posted a little while ago) was to just get the Microsoft Surface tabletop PC and then the whole thing is moot as your 2D map lays flat and feels "normal" again to the boardgame player (without having to necessarily even be 3D). Of course, on average, that wasn't a very well received idea either.

Our greater group is pretty stubborn to change. I'd be curious how old you are approx (My guess is just under 40). What I've seen is those on the younger end of the spectrum like yourself make observations like yours as opposed to those in the middle to older end which absolutely feel like there isn't anything broken in the first place.


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RE: Interfaces of wargames - 6/23/2009 7:36:40 AM   
JudgeDredd


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Might I point out that Battlefront are being attacked from all sides from a varying range of people of varying ages....why? Because they "departed from the norm".

They move Combat Mission into a new era and people tore the shirt from their backs and burned their bras - people of all ages and because they (Battlefront) departed from the norm. It's because, in the views of many, they broke something.

Same with Paradox moving EU from 2D maps to 3D....regular players, again of differing ages, hated the move.

These weren't necessarily ludites...they simply saw no benefit to destroy an interface they had become accustomed to for no real gain.

I would like to see the wargaming interface taken further...god knows some of them out there don't even have the basics right yet, but I've mentioned before where elevation is key I think a 3D map would be an awesome feature (Panther Games Airborne Assault series). What you suggest, a "tilting" of the 2D map would be pointless imo. No benefit whatsoever. If the map was true 3D, then yes...a good idea.

I am with some others though...Paradox 3D map in EUIII was a wasted feature and wasted resources...it serves no benefit to the user at all.

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RE: Interfaces of wargames - 6/23/2009 10:08:18 AM   
Tomus

 

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I wish the Airborne Assault Series had 3D maps....

I still struggle to read the terrain correctly in those games despite the large amount of tools they give us. I can't see how difficult it would be implement on the game maps.

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RE: Interfaces of wargames - 6/23/2009 10:55:12 AM   
JudgeDredd


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Tomus
...I can't see how difficult it would be implement on the game maps.

Very difficult if you've programmed one way and the new interface requires a re-write.

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RE: Interfaces of wargames - 6/23/2009 4:18:58 PM   
V22 Osprey


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Tomus

I wish the Airborne Assault Series had 3D maps....

I still struggle to read the terrain correctly in those games despite the large amount of tools they give us. I can't see how difficult it would be implement on the game maps.


Its simple, learn to read a Topograhic map.

(in reply to Tomus)
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RE: Interfaces of wargames - 6/23/2009 4:38:50 PM   
Yogi the Great


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Once again - 2D or 3D I could care less.

The quality of the Game is what is important.

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RE: Interfaces of wargames - 6/23/2009 5:18:24 PM   
aknaton

 

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To Ron @ #12

quote:

The problem is a lot of wargamers here are luddites, if it ain't broke don't fix it attitude etc :)


What is luddities (a word that does not exist in my non-native English vocabulary)?

To Veldor @ #14

quote:

Our greater group is pretty stubborn to change. I'd be curious how old you are approx (My guess is just under 40).


Just over in fact .


/aknaton



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RE: Interfaces of wargames - 6/23/2009 5:20:27 PM   
Jeffrey H.


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I think it might be useful for some games to have a 3D "map". MOre intuitive and interesting than a plain topo map.

However we've all been through the 3D mania in the past where anything that was done in 3D was most likely trash. It was almost like someone had to check a box off without even thinking how 3D could be integrated into a game and just went for some glitzy nonsense.

If it's not taken in context to a game, then forget it. If you think of a great game using 3D as an integral part of the game then I think it could be very cool.


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RE: Interfaces of wargames - 6/23/2009 8:26:44 PM   
JudgeDredd


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Ludites - from memory it was to to with people resistant to change. I think it was back in the Industrial Revolution in the UK - people resisted change and were called Ludites...cannot remember the reason why.

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RE: Interfaces of wargames - 6/23/2009 8:27:59 PM   
JudgeDredd


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From www.fredictionary.com

quote:


1. Any of a group of British workers who between 1811 and 1816 rioted and destroyed laborsaving textile machinery in the belief that such machinery would diminish employment.
2. One who opposes technical or technological change.


And it's spelt Luddites.

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RE: Interfaces of wargames - 6/24/2009 2:27:49 AM   
madgamer2

 

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The only real pleasing 3D map I have seen of late is Koei's ROTK 11 which if you have the ngraphic ability Is stunning. It looks a little like a Chinese brush painting done in 3D. You can freeze the rotation but it looks so nice as you zoom in and out.
Combat in the east during the Romance of the Three Kingdoms is different than western combat but the map and the combat and units all compliment each other.
I like well done 3D but exclude HPS from this list. 3D is not really needed to enjoy a good game as most of us are old 2D map and counter players anyway.

Nadganer

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RE: Interfaces of wargames - 6/24/2009 2:30:19 AM   
madgamer2

 

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you may not like the game but Romance of the Three Kingdoms 11 has some good looking 3D looks

Madgamer

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RE: Interfaces of wargames - 6/24/2009 9:09:28 AM   
Tomus

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: V22 Osprey

quote:

ORIGINAL: Tomus

I wish the Airborne Assault Series had 3D maps....

I still struggle to read the terrain correctly in those games despite the large amount of tools they give us. I can't see how difficult it would be implement on the game maps.


Its simple, learn to read a Topograhic map.


I can read a topographic map however whenever I have had to the geographical feature is normally right in front of me.

In COTA it isn't and I have trouble visualising the 3D faeture. Personally I would prefer a 3D map that showed contours.

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RE: Interfaces of wargames - 6/25/2009 5:38:14 PM   
Matti Kuokkanen

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: aknaton

What does you other wargame players think in this matter. Would you also like to see games with 3D interfaces?

I'll demonstrate you with practical examples from MegaMek game. First default 2d view of the map:





And here is experimental 3d version:





Now answer me this: why bother with 3d? What's the point?

2d - it simply works

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RE: Interfaces of wargames - 6/25/2009 7:31:59 PM   
V22 Osprey


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Exactly.From the looks of it, I would play Megamek in 2D anyway.

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RE: Interfaces of wargames - 6/25/2009 9:07:00 PM   
JudgeDredd


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What you've knocked up there is similar to how JTCS works - and it does work.

However, I'd be more inclined to go with 3D for realtime - and by that I'm mainly speaking of the Panther games.

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RE: Interfaces of wargames - 6/25/2009 10:10:51 PM   
gunny

 

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I think you are referring to 2.5D. Seriously skewing to an isometric pov is more of a two and a half D effect. Its unfortunate more games did not take this approach. Pleasant on the eye, toy can use shadows and other terrain effects without all the 3D gamer scrolling and manouvering.

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