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RE: TOAW 3.5 approaches ?

 
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RE: TOAW 3.5 approaches ? - 12/19/2012 8:12:39 AM   
BearFlag

 

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quote:

Curtis Lemay:
A complete falsehood. Norm made major engine changes to TOAW all the way till Talonsoft folded.


Of all the things to single out and declare false, you chose the one most easily defended, the one that was mere observation. My only condemnation of that pattern which is so prevalent, and for so long, in the hobby and, yes, in Koger's series was limited to the pervasive assumption that this is the only marketing approach. And indeed hard experience has repeatedly taught this lesson to game companies. Most wargame companies and wargame designers are hesistant to deviate from the tried-and-true. My suggestion was that this particular niche may lend itself to a model other than "release once" or "release and expand"

That said, tweaking an engine does not a new game make. There is no better argument that TOAW is indeed a series, following the general pattern, than that is, well, a series. If TOAW II wasn't a topical expansion then I'm an unky's muncle.

As for direction and progress, I think we're talking on different levels entirely. To be sure, many changes have turned blue. But these are nearly all mechanical aspects of the game (calculations, unit behavior, graphical tweaks, fixes). Important, no doubt, but decidely not the direction indicated by scenario designers, IMO. I'm looking at what scenario designers have tried to construct using a system that is just not up to the task. And I've already listed some of those areas which have seen little or no evolution.

At any rate, I've said my piece. Ruffled some feathers. I'll return to my own projects and, maybe every once in a while, play TOAW ... until something better comes along.

(in reply to wodin)
Post #: 91
RE: TOAW 3.5 approaches ? - 12/19/2012 9:45:27 AM   
Jo van der Pluym


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Joined: 10/28/2000
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It's now 6 days for Xmass. it's that there is mayby no
Xmass release. But with Oberst Klink

https://www.change.org/petitions/matrix-games-keep-toaw-iii-supported

I have hope that there is a future.



_____________________________

Greetings from the Netherlands

Jo van der Pluym
The CrazyDutch

(in reply to Jo van der Pluym)
Post #: 92
RE: TOAW 3.5 approaches ? - 12/19/2012 11:59:59 AM   
Rodia


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Joined: 9/19/2012
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Hey, I signed as well.

Maybe we should aid promoting the game by adding some reviews and scores in the Matrix TOAW page.

Anyways, Oberst_Klink, did you contact with "Punta de lanza"?

I'm not registered there but I ask because I can translate to language of Spanish TOAW compadres.

(in reply to Jo van der Pluym)
Post #: 93
RE: TOAW 3.5 approaches ? - 12/19/2012 12:34:49 PM   
Cfant2

 

Posts: 164
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Signed the petition. To buy TOAW was some kind of a hit into the heart. Didn't have that in years. Civ was such a thing and Wing Commander. Back in the old days...

(in reply to Rodia)
Post #: 94
RE: TOAW 3.5 approaches ? - 12/19/2012 12:39:37 PM   
josant

 

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From: Spain
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quote:

ORIGINAL: Rodia



Hey, I signed as well.

Maybe we should aid promoting the game by adding some reviews and scores in the Matrix TOAW page.

Anyways, Oberst_Klink, did you contact with "Punta de lanza"?

I'm not registered there but I ask because I can translate to language of Spanish TOAW compadres.




Yes "punta de lanza" is informed, I put a message in this forum yesterday.

(in reply to Rodia)
Post #: 95
RE: TOAW 3.5 approaches ? - 12/19/2012 1:36:50 PM   
Oberst_Klink

 

Posts: 1300
Joined: 2/10/2008
From: Germany
Status: offline

quote:

ORIGINAL: josant


quote:

ORIGINAL: Rodia



Hey, I signed as well.

Maybe we should aid promoting the game by adding some reviews and scores in the Matrix TOAW page.

Anyways, Oberst_Klink, did you contact with "Punta de lanza"?

I'm not registered there but I ask because I can translate to language of Spanish TOAW compadres.




Yes "punta de lanza" is informed, I put a message in this forum yesterday.

Muchas gracias compañeros!

I am trying to figure out how to display the signatories; but hey. A petition can be done here as well. I am sure there a re 100+ forum members who got TOAW and who LOVE it! Remember the Ardennes AAR of the Year from Korfax at Punta de Lanza?

Klink, Oberst

_____________________________

Ceterum censeo Carthaginem esse delendam
(Marcus Porcius Cato Censorius)

Visit the Gefechtsstand!

(in reply to josant)
Post #: 96
RE: TOAW 3.5 approaches ? - 12/19/2012 5:15:10 PM   
Curtis Lemay


Posts: 7071
Joined: 9/17/2004
From: Houston, TX
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quote:

ORIGINAL: BearFlag

Of all the things to single out and declare false, you chose the one most easily defended, ... That said, tweaking an engine does not a new game make. There is no better argument that TOAW is indeed a series, following the general pattern, than that is, well, a series. If TOAW II wasn't a topical expansion then I'm an unky's muncle.


Then consider yourself one. The differences between the combat engines of TOAW I and TOAW II were profound. And let's not forget that your statement - which you think is so easily defended - was: "Add some new scenery, some new scenarios and some new equipment and re-release it." That doesn't even allow for engine "tweaks". It was, and is, a complete falsehood.

quote:

As for direction and progress, I think we're talking on different levels entirely.


No. We're really not. We just differ on the right way to get there.

quote:

To be sure, many changes have turned blue. But these are nearly all mechanical aspects of the game (calculations, unit behavior, graphical tweaks, fixes). Important, no doubt, but decidely not the direction indicated by scenario designers, IMO.


Clearly, what you considered to be the high priority task list differs from the direction development has taken so far. But those priorities are just your opinion, and not a very well thought out one. To pursue "blue sky" expansion into areas TOAW had never been intended for before addressing the miriad of problems it had in areas that it always was intended for would have been insane. This is especially the case when you understand that the expansion that you want is so difficult a task it was mostly beyond the entire coding budget TOAW III has so far expended. Had we followed that path, we'd still be working on it without a single update. What has come before it was more important, more beneficial, more cost effective, and, contrary to your opinion, just as desired by the fanbase.

Honestly, I'd ask anyone to compare the change list for TOAW III and compare it to WitP's. There's no comparison, and WitP must have sold x10 to TOAW III. For anyone to suggest that we haven't gotten our money's worth out of Ralph is just absurd.

(in reply to BearFlag)
Post #: 97
RE: TOAW 3.5 approaches ? - 12/19/2012 7:01:06 PM   
Panama


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Curtis Lemay
For anyone to suggest that we haven't gotten our money's worth out of Ralph is just absurd.


George the mechanic built me a very nice car. It has beautiful wheels, great paint job, power seats and windows, fabulous sound system. The motor sounds great. And he did it all for a very small sum. However, he left off the drive shaft, the brakes, the transmission and the windows. I don't have the knowledge to finish it even if I had the rights. Did I get my moneys worth?

I guess it makes a great outdoor sound system. If it had any wiring.

(in reply to Curtis Lemay)
Post #: 98
RE: TOAW 3.5 approaches ? - 12/19/2012 8:08:38 PM   
governato

 

Posts: 525
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From: Seattle, WA
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quote:

ORIGINAL: Jo van der Pluym

It's now 6 days for Xmass. it's that there is mayby no
Xmass release. But with Oberst Klink

https://www.change.org/petitions/matrix-games-keep-toaw-iii-supported

I have hope that there is a future.




+1 Let's focus on what could actually help speeding up things a bit or to at least improve communications.

(in reply to Jo van der Pluym)
Post #: 99
RE: TOAW 3.5 approaches ? - 12/19/2012 9:27:53 PM   
Oberst_Klink

 

Posts: 1300
Joined: 2/10/2008
From: Germany
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The Swedish Defence College uses TOAW for training; I just hope they don't use AAA equipment in non-AAA counter units... <pun>

The IMPORTANCE of TOAW (and therefore support of it) can be found here:

Unexpected game calculations in
educational wargaming:Design flaw
or beneficial to learning?

http://www.digra.org/dl/db/11310.31521.pdf

Klink, Oberst






Attachment (1)

< Message edited by Oberst_Klink -- 12/19/2012 9:28:31 PM >


_____________________________

Ceterum censeo Carthaginem esse delendam
(Marcus Porcius Cato Censorius)

Visit the Gefechtsstand!

(in reply to governato)
Post #: 100
RE: TOAW 3.5 approaches ? - 12/19/2012 11:08:17 PM   
General Staff

 

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A few comments on some of what's been posted from more of a player perspective, though I do know the scenario editor and how it works if only to see what comes in where, when (events, troops etc...) to support my good efforts or thwart the enemy's intentions. So I (think I) appreciate some of their issues too. First:

quote:

ORIGINAL: Oberst_Klink
No other person than me would like the issue about the unsupplied, fortified, hero-garrisons with 1 Rifle Squad being fixed... But what to say? Even I am powerless and unable to summon the patch/hot fix sages :(

I'm using this only as example, but I rarely see documented cases in point of bugs mentioned posted or linked anywhere. It's perfectly possible to use a file post/retrieval service like Dropbox ( http://db.tt/ieqdpshA if you don't have something like this and want one- thanks for putting some extra GBs of storage my way), create a minor scenario that illustrates your found bug and post something that's utterly obvious to all and eminently repeatable. So that one heroic rifle squad can replay its staggering defence unparalleled in the history of warfare as many times as you care to see it- or the programmer needs to crush (debug) it. Can someone put up an example of this that we can all unequivocally see, since I haven't though maybe that's a function of the scenarios I play? Too often bugs seem (to me) nebulously reported and I never see any hard evidence- just it seemed to do this or that... or I found... or it looked like...

Second, items we need answers too in time for Christmas, so we know where to go and what to maybe buy- given these hard times- download-wise:

quote:

ORIGINAL: berto
1. Who de jure or de facto owns the TOAW franchise now -- Ralph or Matrix?

quote:

ORIGINAL: Curtis Lemay
2. We thought we were finally at the point by 3.5 that some serious expansion could be addressed. Unfortunately, that's when Ralph's issues seem to have cropped up. We still don't know why.
3. Games are still being played; scenarios are still being designed. I fully expect 3.5 to be completed. I just can't say when.
4. Hmmm. You mean like a made from scratch TOAW IV? I wonder...

Above all, who can answer these Qs? The obvious answer is MG, so it might be nice to hear from MG before we plough more useless effort into a system seemingly destined for extinction. To the particulars above:

1. Matrix, though Ralph obviously has a copy of the source code. If MG or Ralph know different or there's any dispute, it would be nice if MG could let us know on either count, so we can stop wasting our time spinning our wheels.
2. OK, let's have cards on the table, what are they and how do we (MG, Ralph, the TOAW Community) resolve them? If we know what the problems are, we have step 1 to a solution. Can someone at MG let us know?
3. Yes, and yes, though a lot of design work seems on hold pending 3.5. Who can say when? Again, it would seem only MG, if only to kindly put us all out of our misery and let us know there are no plans, there were but they're on hold because xyz, or sorry but you've been f...f...f...fleeced over, boys, and after I, II, Flashpoint Kosovo, Elite Edition, A COW and III do you really want to bend over for a possible IV too...
4. Hmmm, me too...

So it would seem all questions and roads lead to MG. I know it's the festive season, but is anyone there? With this in mind I still believe in Christmas and Santa and fairies and... well...Ralph... With only 6 days to go, sure that he's looking on, and knowing the character of TOAW fans such as himself, I'm sure he'll chime in with at least a Christmas message to at least temporarily raise or finally dash our hopes...

< Message edited by General Staff -- 12/19/2012 11:12:30 PM >


_____________________________

Tactics are based on Weapons... Strategy on Movement... and Movement on Supply.
(J. F. C. Fuller 1878-1966)

(in reply to Oberst_Klink)
Post #: 101
RE: TOAW 3.5 approaches ? - 12/20/2012 12:13:50 AM   
General Staff

 

Posts: 436
Joined: 4/13/2006
From: Dublin
Status: offline

quote:

ORIGINAL: Curtis Lemay

quote:

ORIGINAL: BearFlag

Of all the things to single out and declare false, you chose the one most easily defended, ... That said, tweaking an engine does not a new game make. There is no better argument that TOAW is indeed a series, following the general pattern, than that is, well, a series. If TOAW II wasn't a topical expansion then I'm an unky's muncle.


Then consider yourself one. The differences between the combat engines of TOAW I and TOAW II were profound. And let's not forget that your statement - which you think is so easily defended - was: "Add some new scenery, some new scenarios and some new equipment and re-release it." That doesn't even allow for engine "tweaks". It was, and is, a complete falsehood.

quote:

As for direction and progress, I think we're talking on different levels entirely.


No. We're really not. We just differ on the right way to get there.

quote:

To be sure, many changes have turned blue. But these are nearly all mechanical aspects of the game (calculations, unit behavior, graphical tweaks, fixes). Important, no doubt, but decidedly not the direction indicated by scenario designers, IMO.


Clearly, what you considered to be the high priority task list differs from the direction development has taken so far. But those priorities are just your opinion, and not a very well thought out one. To pursue "blue sky" expansion into areas TOAW had never been intended for before addressing the myriad of problems it had in areas that it always was intended for would have been insane. This is especially the case when you understand that the expansion that you want is so difficult a task it was mostly beyond the entire coding budget TOAW III has so far expended. Had we followed that path, we'd still be working on it without a single update. What has come before it was more important, more beneficial, more cost effective, and, contrary to your opinion, just as desired by the fanbase.

Honestly, I'd ask anyone to compare the change list for TOAW III and compare it to WitP's. There's no comparison, and WitP must have sold x10 to TOAW III. For anyone to suggest that we haven't gotten our money's worth out of Ralph is just absurd.

I'm not sure this is helpful, trashing someone who's trying to help and has posted just 3 times, though in it with his 10 years worth of accumulated wisdom with TOAW.

I know there's some difference between how players and designers view the game. I never bought TOAWII or FK or EE precisely because of the points Bearflag has made- they looked like, to me and as he says, a re-release of "some new scenery, some new scenarios and some new equipment", and I didn't see much point paying to find out the 'profound' differences- largely playing solitaire at the time I didn't care as a player. And can anyone remember- and tell me- what the dazzling differences were between II, FK and EE, scenarios of (contemporary topical) interest aside, which only reinforced my cynicism?

I don't see any high priority list mentioned, just the fact that what designers were trying to accomplish (EA, your own or Stauffenberg's scenarios as examples) was proving difficult or either impossible/severely constrained by the Scenario Editor's prior state. All of this more in the vein of TOAW's evolution over his- and my- 10+ year experience of the product rather than the more narrow focus since TOAD became involved to move it from ACOW through 3.4. If you put this in perspective, the opinion to my mind is well thought out, and more importantly is his own and he's entitled to it. The changes to get to 3.4 were important and there seems no criticism, implied or otherwise, of the approach taken by TOAD- everybody, including Bearflag I think, sees this, so I'd hardly say it was contrary to his opinion. Nor do I see any intimation in Bearflag's post that 'we haven't gotten our money's worth out of Ralph' so that statement strikes me as absurd.

What we're looking to is the future of TOAW, with a lot of experience of its past. And bearing in mind Talonsoft's prior and MG's current experience. It's blindingly obvious the direction wargaming is following as you look at MG's- and others- attempts to wring $s from the hobby with their intimate knowledge of the #s- you only have to look at what MG is doing with Decisive Campaigns and Panzer Corps to see it's a basic game and add-on/follow-up expansions (scenarios anyone?) that pursue what revenue is available, and in that universe TOAW is about as useful as a shot in the foot, providing a relatively useful scenario editor that provides for almost unlimited replayability at zero additional cost to the owner and revenue to the publisher.

And in that respect, Bearflag I think is right- you really are talking on two different levels- you as the custodian of the 3.5 wish list, absolutely imperative for the future whatever it is, Bearflag looking at the development of the system in a more strategic light, and maybe we should all hope he continues to bring his experience and opinions here, since I for one find them- and yours- useful, so thanks to both of you.

_____________________________

Tactics are based on Weapons... Strategy on Movement... and Movement on Supply.
(J. F. C. Fuller 1878-1966)

(in reply to Curtis Lemay)
Post #: 102
RE: NextGen - 12/20/2012 12:59:45 AM   
General Staff

 

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Joined: 4/13/2006
From: Dublin
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quote:

ORIGINAL: BearFlag

Hi all,

1) This is probably a very bad first post. But as an (old) newbie, perhaps I can get away with speaking the unspeakable which, likely, is on the minds of some.

2) Suffice for brief intro that I've played TOAW for ten years mostly as a solitaire escape, have played wargames for over thirty years, have lurked here for a few years and have an extensive techie background.

3) That said, I'll stir up a hornets nest. I'll defiantly call out the (much thinned) crowd of torch bearers and pitchfork wielders.

4) Describing progress on the game as glacial would be understatement. Matrix took over the series in 2006 and has failed to establish a direction. And let's face it, versions 3 and 3.4, while cool, were not groundbreaking. Many of the things the game desperately needs, it still needs. Release times are now measured in years and maintenance releases have become none existent.

5) One could level the charge that Matrix's handling of TOAW has been visionless, but I doubt it is a lack of creative spark. Instead, I imagine the reality is more common and familiar - money. And who can blame them. A game and a company has to pay the bills and TOAW is not a big seller. This has been a chronic problem in the wargaming world since the days of Avalon Hill and SSI. There's just not a big audience. The series is caught between a rock and a balance sheet.

6) It is long the wargamers' lament that the genre will never see the success (or resources) of "Call of Duty" or "Starcraft." Perhaps the nearest turn-based game that made a load of cash was the "Civilization" series and its knock offs. But then, Civ was never really a wargame. Given the continued interest in TOAW and its obvious utility as a "game system" or "game maker", it occupies a niche which, to the best of my knowledge, has no other competing peer and so has a future.

7) But as is, the TOAW series is dead. It has exceeded its lifespan. It remains a fun game but is very long in the tooth. Developmentally, it's a corpse. Those changes (some listed below) that MUST be part of a nextgen "TOAW" are not forthcoming. And I think everyone knows it.

8) Because there is a niche, TOAW faces the certain prospect of replacement. The only real questions are when and whether that replacement is a further development of TOAW or a newcomer being written, perhaps right now, in a dark basement.

1) No, very good IMO. Me too- on my mind that is, the unspeakable is seeing TOAW fold...
2) Ditto, though my post count is higher...
3) Tx. We could use all the help we can get...
4) They did give it a significant dust down and mechanics++ upgrade, but I take your points.
5) Absolutely correct.
6) Agreed. How to make it turn a $ for its publisher, and a repeatable $. The problem or solution, depending on your point of view, is- look at Gary Grigsby- a game is published, generates revenue, is deliberately allowed to languish while a successor is groomed. Repeat process. How to design, build and market a win-win for customers and publishers?
7) Debatable. My thought is to get to a stable 3.5 then redevelop from ground up. Ditch the NK moniker and remove any legal obstacles to it becoming a completely new game in its own right.
8) Agreed.

quote:

ORIGINAL: BearFlag

The possible futures for this game, this game type and niche are...

a) Do a massive revamp and devote the resources for a near complete rewrite. You could retain the current series name (with whatever legal hooks are involved) and renew dominance in the niche before someone else does.
b) A totally new game. If TOAW does not evolve, this is going to happen any way ... in that basement. It will mean the death (and the death of sales) of TOAW.
c) A complete rewrite. A new name. As an MG project.

I'm guessing, however, that current sales of the game are too low to justify options a) or c). Oddly enough, if someone undertakes b) it may well end up in MG's stable as many wargame writers are independent and go through a distributor like Matrix.

Continued incremental development of the game could follow a few paths:

d) As is. Which is to say barely. Sell it while you can. Kiss it goodbye when someone does b) above.
e) Adopt a more open development model in cooperation with the community. Put it up on secured SVN, vet a few (a couple? one?) player-programmers, have them sign non-disclosures, put Ralph in overall charge and see what happens.
f) Make it open source. This will not happen, of course. Just being thorough in presenting possibilities.

I could be wrong, but I believe TOAW singularly occupies its niche even after 14 years. It is less a game than an operational/strategic game-making system. A lot of games come with a scenario designer, but none achieve the scale and scope of TOAW. If there is another, please let me know. I'd like to switch. I've played TOAW for years but not much lately. It's a tired old game. Its limitations remain. Its irritations remain. And there seems to be no prospect for serious revamp.

So what would a nextgen TOAW (or new replacement) look like? Well, one need only look at the extensive and lovingly assembled Wishlist. You don't need to research interest groups; it's all there.

In the bigger picture however, there's also a need to recognize what the TOAW community and scenario designers have done with the system. In general, the urge has been toward big and strategic. The popular scenarios tend to this. This is also a direction that exposes TOAW's severe shortcomings. Consequently, the next evolutionary plateau for this niche would lean toward the strategic (but strive to still handle company-level battles) and provide much more refined scenario design controls. The fine details of the Wishlist aside, the "big" items would include:

1) Force identity and hex control: more exclusion zones (possibly with attributes), non-player/multi-player hex control, true neutral countries...
2) Players: multi-general, multi-player. The ramifications of such are extensive but well within reach of game modelling/programming
3) Multi-player implies levels of diplomatic engagement (and governing program). Imagine an operational wargame combined with the wheeling/dealing of the old Diplomacy game.
4) Strategic implies economy. The current equipment-based units and replacement system nearly begs for an economic model to input feed the replacements system.
5) Of course - better sea/air
6) Scenario design: almost EVERYTHING should be accessible to the scenario designer. This means easily pluggable graphics (much more soft rendering and much less hard blitting), granulated access to program variables, fine control of replacements (start, stop, numbers, bolus). The goal strongly suggests a script-driven event system with the option (not requirement) for complex triggers and results.


Finally, money. The uniqueness of this niche, its lack of contenders and its possiblities may well support an entirely different business approach. It's not that there's "Call of Duty"-like cash out there, but there is the opportunity support the company and the game with a new marketing model.

Bring on the pitchforks... ;)
I'd agree on all these as possible options. I'd prefer (e) Ralph leads a band of (>1 preferably several, on the 'run over by a bus' caveat) developers, failing that (b) ex-MG, ex-NK with no legal issues- new game, new title, new developers, new publishers.

Maybe for ongoing development- or post 3.5 use a P500 system such as GMT Games (they had/have some great board wargames!)- http://www.gmtgames.com/t-GMTP500Details.aspx

Some great ideas and thanks- haven't thought this much about TOAW's future for ages.

< Message edited by General Staff -- 12/20/2012 1:21:35 AM >


_____________________________

Tactics are based on Weapons... Strategy on Movement... and Movement on Supply.
(J. F. C. Fuller 1878-1966)

(in reply to BearFlag)
Post #: 103
RE: NextGen - 12/20/2012 1:47:28 AM   
Michael H

 

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I would very much like to see 3.5 and TOAW patched, improved, and generally built upon. I think it's one of (if not the) finest games in the genre. It seems to be up against the problem that I see in other wargame forums, however: development is restricted to one or two individuals who either move on to something else or no longer have the time to work on the project. This is not restricted to TOAW by any means, but it's just the nature of the business. Ralph and the previous developers put in years of fantastic, hard work and given wargamers countless hours of entertainment - let's not be too quick to forget that!

I feel very strongly that the wargaming community would greatly benefit from an open source war game. I wouldn't hold our collective breaths to get our hands on the source for TOAW, so it's up to the community to make it happen. Money is a factor that makes development in any niche market a gamble. One needs money to pay programmers, artists, musicians, and generally keep the lights on. If you can remove money from the equation, it removes a lot of the obstacles (and presents a few more). Wargamers have a lot of passion, and I think a venn diagram would show interest in programming and wargaming overlap quite a bit. It seems like it would be ideal, however, to remove the two limiting factors (money and single-point-of-contact development) could lead to a lasting wargame that will live on past the participation of one or two people and not be hindered by the needs to fulfill certain market needs or a bottom line. One person is not smart enough to make it happen, but the community is. One person can't do it all, but a community can.

I've looked, and I have yet to find something like TOAW in the open source world.(If it exists I would be very excited to find it!) atWar has a fantastic community and is a great game, but they have their area that doesn't quite seem to overlap with what I'm most interested in: a hex-board, turn-based, operational-level, 2D wargame system that allows for a large diversity of scenarios and game elements. Is that a tall order? Absolutely. Can a team of developers recreate TOAW or something similar any time soon? Probably not. As they say, however, the best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago, though the second best time is today. Maybe we should get started...

edit: A useful byproduct is that an open source team can put some time and effort towards areas of the world that are sorely in need of some wargame love, namely OSX and Linux! There are plenty of cross-platform libraries and languages that could get the job done.

< Message edited by Michael H -- 12/20/2012 2:04:13 AM >

(in reply to General Staff)
Post #: 104
RE: TOAW 3.5 approaches ? - 12/20/2012 2:35:02 AM   
Curtis Lemay


Posts: 7071
Joined: 9/17/2004
From: Houston, TX
Status: offline

quote:

ORIGINAL: General Staff

1. Matrix, though Ralph obviously has a copy of the source code.


No. Actually it's Take-Two. Matrix has a license from them to sell it. But what really matters is who has the source code. So far as I know, that's only Ralph.

quote:

2. OK, let's have cards on the table, what are they and how do we (MG, Ralph, the TOAW Community) resolve them? If we know what the problems are, we have step 1 to a solution. Can someone at MG let us know?


Only Ralph knows what his problems are, and he's not talking.

quote:

3. Yes, and yes, though a lot of design work seems on hold pending 3.5. Who can say when? Again, it would seem only MG, if only to kindly put us all out of our misery and let us know there are no plans...


Again, this isn't anything Matrix can answer. Only Ralph.

(in reply to General Staff)
Post #: 105
RE: TOAW 3.5 approaches ? - 12/20/2012 2:53:56 AM   
Curtis Lemay


Posts: 7071
Joined: 9/17/2004
From: Houston, TX
Status: offline
quote:

ORIGINAL: General Staff

I'm not sure this is helpful, trashing someone who's trying to help and has posted just 3 times, though in it with his 10 years worth of accumulated wisdom with TOAW.


Sounded more like someone who's helping to trash instead.

quote:

I know there's some difference between how players and designers view the game. I never bought TOAWII or FK or EE precisely because of the points Bearflag has made- they looked like, to me and as he says, a re-release of "some new scenery, some new scenarios and some new equipment", and I didn't see much point paying to find out the 'profound' differences- largely playing solitaire at the time I didn't care as a player. And can anyone remember- and tell me- what the dazzling differences were between II, FK and EE, scenarios of (contemporary topical) interest aside, which only reinforced my cynicism?


As I said, the profound differences were between I & II. But Norm continued to work on the game engine all the way till Talonsoft folded.

quote:

The changes to get to 3.4 were important and there seems no criticism, implied or otherwise, of the approach taken by TOAD- everybody, including Bearflag I think, sees this, so I'd hardly say it was contrary to his opinion. Nor do I see any intimation in Bearflag's post that 'we haven't gotten our money's worth out of Ralph' so that statement strikes me as absurd.


Matrix took over the series in 2006 and has failed to establish a direction.

Developmentally, it's a corpse.

Development of the game, both old and new, has progressed little in the direction suggested by its common use.

It's future is half-assed patches

Gee, he's practically a cheerleader. But be sure and carp Matrix about getting Ralph back to work on the next half-assed patch we're all waiting on.

quote:

What we're looking to is the future of TOAW, with a lot of experience of its past. And bearing in mind Talonsoft's prior and MG's current experience. It's blindingly obvious the direction wargaming is following as you look at MG's- and others- attempts to wring $s from the hobby with their intimate knowledge of the #s- you only have to look at what MG is doing with Decisive Campaigns and Panzer Corps to see it's a basic game and add-on/follow-up expansions (scenarios anyone?) that pursue what revenue is available, and in that universe TOAW is about as useful as a shot in the foot, providing a relatively useful scenario editor that provides for almost unlimited replayability at zero additional cost to the owner and revenue to the publisher.


If Matrix was just interested in profits, they would get out of wargames altogether.

< Message edited by Curtis Lemay -- 12/20/2012 2:56:48 AM >

(in reply to General Staff)
Post #: 106
RE: TOAW 3.5 approaches ? - 12/20/2012 3:13:58 AM   
Shazman

 

Posts: 118
Joined: 1/4/2009
Status: offline

quote:

ORIGINAL: Curtis Lemay

No. Actually it's Take-Two. Matrix has a license from them to sell it. But what really matters is who has the source code. So far as I know, that's only Ralph.

Only Ralph knows what his problems are, and he's not talking.

Again, this isn't anything Matrix can answer. Only Ralph.


How did Matrix let it come to this. Only Ralph. Unbelievable. The game is being held hostage by one uncaring or unconcerned individual. Only Ralph needs to give up the source code if his is the only copy, as short sighted as that seems. How did it come to this?

(in reply to Curtis Lemay)
Post #: 107
RE: TOAW 3.5 approaches ? - 12/20/2012 5:41:18 AM   
Jo van der Pluym


Posts: 479
Joined: 10/28/2000
From: Netherlands
Status: offline
t's now 5 days for Xmass.

And on this thread gives me little hope

< Message edited by Jo van der Pluym -- 12/20/2012 5:42:12 AM >


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The CrazyDutch

(in reply to Jo van der Pluym)
Post #: 108
RE: TOAW 3.5 approaches ? - 12/20/2012 12:46:28 PM   
VadeS

 

Posts: 25
Joined: 11/9/2012
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What do you think about dynamic scenarios (scenario generator) in TOAW 3.5 ?

(in reply to Jo van der Pluym)
Post #: 109
RE: TOAW 3.5 approaches ? - 12/20/2012 3:49:40 PM   
Erik Rutins

 

Posts: 32913
Joined: 3/28/2000
From: Vermont, USA
Status: offline
Hi everyone,

We're listening and we understand that the commmunity wants TOAW to thrive and be supported. That's our goal as well. First, I want to say that the TOAD team has done an extraordinary job with TOAW to date with post-release support beyond what most titles, even here at Matrix, receive. With that said, TOAW is definitely a special title for us all and we would all like to see it continue to grow and improve in the future. We've been talking with Ralph about future plans. We'll have a big discussion in the New Year to chart the best path forwards and we'll let you all know what the outline of that plan is regarding TOAW.

Regards,

- Erik


_____________________________

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Director of Product Development


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(in reply to VadeS)
Post #: 110
RE: TOAW 3.5 approaches ? - 12/20/2012 5:05:20 PM   
rgflores


Posts: 41
Joined: 1/14/2007
Status: offline
That´s excelent news! Thank you Erik from a TOAW fan from Brazil.
Seems that the petition worked :)

< Message edited by rgflores -- 12/20/2012 5:06:22 PM >

(in reply to Erik Rutins)
Post #: 111
RE: TOAW 3.5 approaches ? - 12/20/2012 5:07:56 PM   
berto


Posts: 4472
Joined: 3/13/2002
From: metro Chicago, Illinois, USA
Status: offline

quote:

ORIGINAL: Erik Rutins

We've been talking with Ralph about future plans.

Now that is reassuring. Very good to know.

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(in reply to Erik Rutins)
Post #: 112
RE: TOAW 3.5 approaches ? - 12/20/2012 5:20:05 PM   
Panama


Posts: 1362
Joined: 10/30/2009
Status: offline
This is great news. Thanks for the information Erik.

(in reply to berto)
Post #: 113
RE: TOAW 3.5 approaches ? - 12/20/2012 5:32:55 PM   
General Staff

 

Posts: 436
Joined: 4/13/2006
From: Dublin
Status: offline
quote:

ORIGINAL: Curtis Lemay

quote:

ORIGINAL: General Staff

I'm not sure this is helpful, trashing someone who's trying to help and has posted just 3 times, though in it with his 10 years worth of accumulated wisdom with TOAW.


Sounded more like someone who's helping to trash instead.

quote:

I know there's some difference between how players and designers view the game. I never bought TOAWII or FK or EE precisely because of the points Bearflag has made- they looked like, to me and as he says, a re-release of "some new scenery, some new scenarios and some new equipment", and I didn't see much point paying to find out the 'profound' differences- largely playing solitaire at the time I didn't care as a player. And can anyone remember- and tell me- what the dazzling differences were between II, FK and EE, scenarios of (contemporary topical) interest aside, which only reinforced my cynicism?


As I said, the profound differences were between I & II. But Norm continued to work on the game engine all the way till Talonsoft folded.

quote:

The changes to get to 3.4 were important and there seems no criticism, implied or otherwise, of the approach taken by TOAD- everybody, including Bearflag I think, sees this, so I'd hardly say it was contrary to his opinion. Nor do I see any intimation in Bearflag's post that 'we haven't gotten our money's worth out of Ralph' so that statement strikes me as absurd.


Matrix took over the series in 2006 and has failed to establish a direction.
Developmentally, it's a corpse.
Development of the game, both old and new, has progressed little in the direction suggested by its common use.
It's future is half-assed patches

Gee, he's practically a cheerleader. But be sure and carp Matrix about getting Ralph back to work on the next half-assed patch we're all waiting on.

quote:

What we're looking to is the future of TOAW, with a lot of experience of its past. And bearing in mind Talonsoft's prior and MG's current experience. It's blindingly obvious the direction wargaming is following as you look at MG's- and others- attempts to wring $s from the hobby with their intimate knowledge of the #s- you only have to look at what MG is doing with Decisive Campaigns and Panzer Corps to see it's a basic game and add-on/follow-up expansions (scenarios anyone?) that pursue what revenue is available, and in that universe TOAW is about as useful as a shot in the foot, providing a relatively useful scenario editor that provides for almost unlimited replayability at zero additional cost to the owner and revenue to the publisher.


If Matrix was just interested in profits, they would get out of wargames altogether.

It's useful to know- from someone better clued in than most or all designers/players- what the state of play is, other than of course MG themselves. So Take-2 owns it, Matrix licenses it. Only Ralph has the source code. Well isn't that just f...f...fantastically great. How does anyone get a copy?

I suppose if all the problems are Ralph-specific, why can't we just ask for a copy from him- presumably if he has little or no time to continue on development, he surely wouldn't begrudge the community the source code to continue his excellent work? Neither I'd imagine would Take 2 or Matrix, given Ralph was given the source code and permission to develop the code as part of the TOAD effort.

When 3.5? Surely someone on the TOAD team has a phone # for Ralph, and can call him to see what's up and mention some of these points? Or surely MG has some idea of what the difficulties are- if any- in asking for and getting the source code back?

As to other comments, I'm sure Bearflag wasn't here to trash anyone's efforts, either Norm's or Ralph's, just to point out some unpalatable truths, and squabbling among ourselves doesn't help the community cause much it seems to me on issues like this. In MG's shoes I might well think these Community-led initiatives- dependent on noise level- were more trouble than they're worth, and just ignore them.

Some of the points you'd mention I'd disagree with also:

Direction. Matrix did/does have a direction- profit. If it doesn't help in that direction, it won't get much air time. Which is why it got handed off to TOAD, since improvements for free could increase revenue for little or no cost.
Development. It hasn't yet roped in to completion the 'big' items Bearflag mentions and that have been documented in the 'wish list', and these are the directions 'suggested by its common use'. As you point out we needed to fix the basics and get a decent baseline first. As to 1/2 assed, to date I wouldn't agree, but I think nobody would quibble if I suggested that any development effort is almost by definition 1/2 assed (I'd suggest completely bolloxed myself) when the owners of the product- Take 2, Matrix or TOAD- can't get their hands on at least a release version of the source code (3.4 say) any time they want.

The thrust of what is being said- along with all available future development 'avenues'- is that we seem to be dead in the water here with TOAW, a curious irony given the game's lack of a 'Naval' dimension . In an ideal world, I'd look for an open source solution, but we're unfortunately not in one. At the end of the day the main obstacle I see in this regard is that various profit-incentivized entities will want to hang on to any vestiges of potential future revenue for as long as possible, and by then it will be too late for TOAW.

So then we'd have to go to your last point that if MG 'was just interested in profits, they would get out of wargames altogether' and agree. But the corollary of this is that if they were interested in wargaming's and TOAW's future they'd be engaging more with the TOAW community on these issues, wouldn't they?

And with this last thought in mind, and since all roads seem to lead to Ralph, I'm hopeful he, as a dedicated TOAW-er will chime in with some sort of Christmas message for the troops, and I wish him and MG a very Merry Christmas and all the best for 2013.

[LATE EDIT] I only saw MG's comment after I posted and I'm grateful, but I'll leave comments as is, since they represent what I thought at the time, and in the hope what's expressed might be useful, particularly the last thought.

< Message edited by General Staff -- 12/20/2012 5:40:54 PM >


_____________________________

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(J. F. C. Fuller 1878-1966)

(in reply to Curtis Lemay)
Post #: 114
RE: TOAW 3.5 approaches ? - 12/20/2012 6:03:52 PM   
Oberst_Klink

 

Posts: 1300
Joined: 2/10/2008
From: Germany
Status: offline
Indeed very good news; the High Command will be very pleased :)

I am happy to report that feedback is 'pouring' in, from all over the world! Apparently TOAW is as much loved in Indonesia, Malaysia, India as it is in Persia! Now that's something, no?

In case we wake up an no Quetzalcoatl shows up tomorrow, we can outline the future for Norm's child in his 15th year of existence :)

Klink, Oberst



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Visit the Gefechtsstand!

(in reply to General Staff)
Post #: 115
RE: TOAW 3.5 approaches ? - 12/20/2012 7:12:30 PM   
Major SNAFU


Posts: 491
Joined: 11/3/2005
Status: offline

quote:

ORIGINAL: Shazman

How did Matrix let it come to this. Only Ralph. Unbelievable. The game is being held hostage by one uncaring or unconcerned individual. Only Ralph needs to give up the source code if his is the only copy, as short sighted as that seems. How did it come to this?


I had to re-read this a few time to make sure I wasn't imagining things. I have only interacted with Ralph directly a few times, and always with great satisfaction.

Uncaring? Unconcerned? You should be ashamed to have written that, IMHO.

I have owned this game since TOAWI. As great as it was then, it is greater now.

And people wonder why many of the great mod creators, and people who assist development of games in addition to their other duties, walk away in disgust.




_____________________________

"Popular Opinion? What I suggest you do with 'Popular Opinion' is biologically impossible and morally questionable." - T. Bartlet Rile, Prof. Irish History in Frank Delany's "Ireland: A Novel."

(in reply to Shazman)
Post #: 116
RE: TOAW 3.5 approaches ? - 12/20/2012 7:35:21 PM   
Oberst_Klink

 

Posts: 1300
Joined: 2/10/2008
From: Germany
Status: offline
<deleted>

< Message edited by Oberst_Klink -- 12/20/2012 7:47:50 PM >

(in reply to Major SNAFU)
Post #: 117
RE: TOAW 3.5 approaches ? - 12/20/2012 7:36:34 PM   
Oberst_Klink

 

Posts: 1300
Joined: 2/10/2008
From: Germany
Status: offline
<deleted>

< Message edited by Oberst_Klink -- 12/20/2012 7:48:17 PM >

(in reply to Major SNAFU)
Post #: 118
RE: TOAW 3.5 approaches ? - 12/20/2012 7:36:45 PM   
Oberst_Klink

 

Posts: 1300
Joined: 2/10/2008
From: Germany
Status: offline
We all have to work together despite different views or opinions. For the cause!

Klink, Oberst

_____________________________

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Visit the Gefechtsstand!

(in reply to Major SNAFU)
Post #: 119
RE: TOAW 3.5 approaches ? - 12/20/2012 8:37:40 PM   
Panama


Posts: 1362
Joined: 10/30/2009
Status: offline
quote:

ORIGINAL: Major SNAFU


quote:

ORIGINAL: Shazman

How did Matrix let it come to this. Only Ralph. Unbelievable. The game is being held hostage by one uncaring or unconcerned individual. Only Ralph needs to give up the source code if his is the only copy, as short sighted as that seems. How did it come to this?


I had to re-read this a few time to make sure I wasn't imagining things. I have only interacted with Ralph directly a few times, and always with great satisfaction.

Uncaring? Unconcerned? You should be ashamed to have written that, IMHO.

I have owned this game since TOAWI. As great as it was then, it is greater now.

And people wonder why many of the great mod creators, and people who assist development of games in addition to their other duties, walk away in disgust.





When I tell someone I am going to do something I understand that the responsible thing to do is what I said I would do. If, for some reason, I can't complete what was promised in a reasonable time I communicate that. Not to do either of those two things would be irresponsible. It would demonstrate that either I didn't care about my commitment or was unconcerned about the consequences of not finishing my stated obligation. Now, if any of this is untrue please tell me.

Furthermore, if my inaction, in this case holding onto the code, prevents someone else from finishing that task that I have been complacent towards then it worsens the situation.

Now maybe you and Ralph are good buddies. And if that is so perhaps you should have, long ago, interacted directly with Ralph concerning the long delayed 3.5 and we wouldn't even be having this conversation to all of our greatest satisfaction.

Also, there is no mention of the game being bad. BTW, your last paragraph is a good attempt at hyperbole. Wrong but a good attempt.

What disgusts me is when something is amiss and fanbois bury their heads in the sand and pander to the very ones who hold the entire fan base hostage.

< Message edited by Panama -- 12/20/2012 8:39:11 PM >

(in reply to Major SNAFU)
Post #: 120
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