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What should Matrix be doing with Harpoon?

 
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What should Matrix be doing with Harpoon? - 11/22/2011 5:54:35 PM   
TonyE


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Continued from: http://www.matrixgames.com/forums/tm.asp?m=2953309 but with the hope of avoiding the implicit advertising of that thread.

So what should Matrix be doing with Harpoon?

I agree with ParachuteProne that it is a very good question. I have not been able to come up with a great answer and it has been on my mind literally for years. Here are some of my mostly random thoughts colored by my familiarity with Harpoon Classic.


  • Matrix cannot afford to pay commercial rates to create a new Harpoon equivalent. Not to mention Matrix is a publisher, nor a venture capital organization!
  • Matrix has offered art assistance to HC and I/we did not capitalize on that offer. This illustrates many things but the one I focus on here is that Matrix is just one participant in this process.
  • Matrix could drop support for Harpoon and potentially be rid of a thorn in its side.
  • Matrix could devote time to better understanding Harpoon and how to work within the 'political' structure or consider attempting to disrupt that structure.
  • Matrix could market the game more effectively, even within its own customer base.



< Message edited by TonyE -- 11/22/2011 5:55:00 PM >


_____________________________

Sincerely,
Tony Eischens
Harpoon (HC, HCE, HUCE, Classic) programmer
HarpGamer.com Co-Owner
Post #: 1
RE: What should Matrix be doing with Harpoon? - 11/23/2011 8:43:34 AM   
YankeeAirRat


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Tony,

I think the issue is endemic all across the wargaming genre both in board and computer types. About 8 or 9 years ago I was read an editorial in either "Computer Games and Strategy Plus" or "PC Gamer" that talked about the demise of SSI and H4 specifically. Basically the editorial writer blamed us wargamers for the demise of the wargaming genre. The question is that most of us grognards want to be "number crunched" with accurate (or nearly accurate) stats and to an extent want a game that will best represent the scenario we are trying to create or recreate. With that most of us are also old enough to remember sitting around with a "Beer and Pretzel" game like Axis&Allies or even some other counter and hexboard game. So when it comes time to designing a game we don't want pretty graphics or splashy stuff; we want to see those stats and we want to see either a compentent AI (to train against) or the ability to play against others even if it is PBEM. Add in just like I have recently seen while getting back into the boardgaming side of wargames, the infighting that happens with groups as people like older editions of the rulesets or because of just dealing with people they have issues with each other in that group. So on a whole it makes those casual gamers that we would want to attract afraid of a game like this.

What should Matrix do with Harpoon?
Maybe AGSI, Larry Bond and Matrix should be working together to produce a computer version of the whole Admirality series of games. Have a game engine where one could recreate the battles from the Dawn of the Battleship during the Russo-Japanese war up to the modern day. Convert the computer Harpoon into Computer Admirality game set. That might expand the customer base so that those that aren't as interesting in trying to throw missiles around and rather would be interested in trying to manuver to cross the "T". There might also be folks who are put off by the strategtic level of Matrix games (such as Uncommon Valour, War in the Pacfic-Admirals Edition, and other strategic games). So they just to boss a few destroyers around in the Slot or stop a Russian push out in the GUIK gap.

One of the other issues across all of Matrix games has been the randomness of having updates, patches, and improvements to the game. I have been buying Matrix games since Uncommon Valour came out almost ten years ago. When a game opens for a while it gets updates if not almost daily then weekly. Then somewhere, somehow, either the designer drops off the face of the earth or something happens; but updates start to become more and more random with regards to patches or even the future of a game. The same was true when HCE and H3ANW hit. For a while there were patches coming out and then all of a sudden HCE evolved to HUE with patches disappear while the change to HUE was coming along. Which caused some hate and discontent in the community. So it might be a situtation where AGSI needs to work out a specific and set schedule of when updates/patches come out. Even if the update isn't anything more then fixing some typos or a db change, so be with the idea of having a quarterly cumulative fix come down the pike.

As to the art thing, it might be nice to see the art, videos and game engine on a whole update to reflect that we are no longer operating in the DOS world with those limitations. So AGSI and Matrix might want to get together to produce an improved game engine where one has some improve art. Such as improved game videos for HC where instead of the MS Paint looking ships launching lines, instead we have a top down design that accurately looks like a Kirov launching its Shipwrecks or a side view of a H-6 dropping bombs on a ground target. Maybe even the potential to scroll in on the map screen and view a 3d model in H3ANW, of the units engaging in combat with potentially lines representing where missiles/torpedoes/gunfire is going to and having stylized explosions happening on the recieving end. With the idea that if these visual improvements can increase sales and people want this then upgrade to having Future Harpoon products having a full on 3d engagement series like what SSI/Ubisoft had promised years ago with H4.

I think, and this is just me spitballing here, what might really help the community grow is look at how to produce a "Light" version of the game. Sort of similar to the older Captains Edition of the boardgame side of the house. Not a demo mind you, but something that could produce a randomize scenario built around some basic mission styles (like convoy escort, carriers, sub ops, defend the zone from all comers, etc) but keep the scenarios in the small to medium size range where all one does is pick the battleset they want to play and the type of mission they want and from there the engine decides to give one the randomize units to play with on the field. For example select Med region and select convoy escort. Get assigned to escort a convoy from Gibraltar to Greece with eight units (lets say a couple of Italian Destroyers, a US DDG, and a French Cruiser along with four container ships) the opfor is randomized as well. The whole scenario can be played in under 30mins of a players time. That way maybe we can introduce some casual players into the game via this "light" version and then let them have a chance to try out the Harpoon world and then say to the customer that if you like this version come on and get HUE or Future Harpoon programs for an chance to build your own scenarios, play against other people, etc. It might open up more customers or it might not, but it should give those who like to have a causal game to play a chance to try out Harpoon.

As to politics in the group. It is what it is, the best thing to do is basically let Matrix and AGSI decide on how to handle those that want to bad mouth the product or support the product. The politics is what has dragged me away from the computer version numerous times only to see it die off and when I start to come back, I see someone new start thier issues. I will also admit that I have seen the same in various other games supported by Matrix, specifically the Gary Grisby games, where some folks who are trying to improve/mod the program better (or worst) have just as had catfights as what use to be on the mail listings use to have. At times some of these fights run of this forum board for days/months and seemingly years, where at times the mods try their best to be a wet blanket all the way around when those threads start. Like I mentioned earlier I have seen the same thing at various other hobbies that I have, I just roll my eyes towards most of the politics in the groups.

_____________________________

Take my word for it. You never want to be involved in an “International Incident”.

(in reply to TonyE)
Post #: 2
RE: What should Matrix be doing with Harpoon? - 11/23/2011 1:35:18 PM   
CV32


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That's a well reasoned post, YankeeAirRat. Thanks for offering your thoughts.

_____________________________

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HC3 development group member for HCE
Author of HCDB official database for HCE
Harpgamer.com Co-Owner

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RE: What should Matrix be doing with Harpoon? - 11/23/2011 10:14:57 PM   
TonyE


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Thank you YankeeAirRat. You certainly reinforce my opinion that it will take far more than just Matrix to revitalize Harpoon.

_____________________________

Sincerely,
Tony Eischens
Harpoon (HC, HCE, HUCE, Classic) programmer
HarpGamer.com Co-Owner

(in reply to CV32)
Post #: 4
RE: What should Matrix be doing with Harpoon? - 11/24/2011 12:20:52 AM   
ruixilyy


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Matrix had earned enough money on this game and now it shifts focus to Panzer Crops and other series. Harpoon is a discarded child. Why should Matrix put any more efforts on it? Only unofficial supports from Harpoon fans can keep this game alive, definitely not Matrix Games.

< Message edited by ruixilyy -- 11/24/2011 12:21:24 AM >

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RE: What should Matrix be doing with Harpoon? - 11/24/2011 5:08:06 AM   
YankeeAirRat


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Ruixily,

Harpoon is a discard child, but like I mentioned early on wargaming on a whole has become a discharded child. The only wargames that seem to be succeeding are clones of the Dawn of War/Company of Heroes style. Some of this is only to be blamed on the consumer based in my honest opinion. Add in that if you look at other companies out there like Ubisoft, EA, Microsoft, or even Apple. As soon as the new flavor of the month appears they being to drop support for the older stuff. That is the way business works. I seriously doubt you will be able to get support for either a Gen 1 Iphone or even Gen 1 Ipod from Apple anymore because they are on generation 4 and 6 respectively. I would also note that Matrix seems to be the niche of niche publishers since they are republishing classic games from the days of old that were developed by TalonSoft or SSI, even if these are updated versions of the game to run under the most modern OS. The question is how can we as the customers help the developers modernize or even sustain thier company so that we can have more modern versions of our classic games? I saw in another thread you aren't going to give Matrix another dime for this game since it doesn't offer anything "new", which is totally your right. Yet, it seems to me to be hypocritical to be in this thread bemoaning how Matrix isn't supporting Harpoon anymore. If no one is buying it why should they support it?

_____________________________

Take my word for it. You never want to be involved in an “International Incident”.

(in reply to ruixilyy)
Post #: 6
RE: What should Matrix be doing with Harpoon? - 11/24/2011 3:44:47 PM   
TonyE


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Yup, Matrix has no particular reason to support it beyond a patch or two for HUE. The future past that isn't up to the publisher (Matrix), it is up to other parties.

Larry Bond, Chris Carlson and AGSI have to decide where they want to take computer Harpoon. It isn't a Matrix thing at all imho. You can probably guess that I have much to say on this topic but alas a very public forum is not the place for me to say it!

_____________________________

Sincerely,
Tony Eischens
Harpoon (HC, HCE, HUCE, Classic) programmer
HarpGamer.com Co-Owner

(in reply to YankeeAirRat)
Post #: 7
RE: What should Matrix be doing with Harpoon? - 11/25/2011 4:37:05 AM   
noguaranteeofsanity


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quote:

ORIGINAL: TonyE

Yup, Matrix has no particular reason to support it beyond a patch or two for HUE. The future past that isn't up to the publisher (Matrix), it is up to other parties.

Larry Bond, Chris Carlson and AGSI have to decide where they want to take computer Harpoon. It isn't a Matrix thing at all imho. You can probably guess that I have much to say on this topic but alas a very public forum is not the place for me to say it!


That is probably a large part of the problem. While I realise Matrix are not responsible for patching and updating the game, nor am I one to 'bash' the game and publicise massive lists of bugs elsewhere on the web, which probably hasn't helped sales of HUE, but when people complained about having to purchase HUE in order to obtain future updates, it was explained this was necessary to fund continued development of the game. I understood this decision and purchased HUE, hoping to see a game I loved, continue into the future.

However twelve months later, where are the patches and updates to the game? Only one patch has been released for ANW and that was 10 months ago. By not releasing the promised updates for the original ANW and providing no updates for the HUE version of ANW, AGSI/Matrix has basically proven all those who complained about the decision to release HUE, correct and made it appear they are simply trying to flog a dead horse. Even communicating with the community and keeping them informed of upcoming developments, if there are any, would be better than seemingly abandoning the game.

I realise Matrix is financially limited in what they can do, but any future development of Harpoon is going to be competing ironically, with former members of the Harpoon community who have jumped ship, if you excuse the pun and begun development of their own replacement, the name of which I won’t mention to avoid this becoming an advertisement. Community 'politics' aside, the game being developed, despite not being released, probably has a more active community behind it already and many features which simply make Harpoon seem out-dated and very limited in functionality, especially to those who are new to naval wargaming or are used to modern games with vastly superior graphics. These include a colour map similar to google earth which is far more attractive than the ANW map, with the ability to include satellite imagery, realistic mine laying and sweeping, ability to launch and recover boats or land troops on a beach, as well as land units that are actually able to move or stop to deploy and launch their weapons, to name just a few. It is features like these that would heavily influence someone who was looking to purchase a new game and if they compared the two, Harpoon would certainly come off as second best. This isn't meant as a plug and I am in no way associated with the other game, but it is simply a reality check and it would be foolish to ignore what the competition are doing. Unless Harpoon is able to compete in this niche market, it probably does not have much of a future.

I also realise that Harpoon has to follow the Harpoon rules and decisions about its development are not made by Matrix, but listening to feedback from the community and realising that a computer game does not have as many restrictions as a tabletop game, would help improve the game, with the changes to the ECM model being an example and one reason some people have stated they abandoned the game. After all strict adherence to the tabletop rules will mean the game will never improve or strive to be something better than it is now, apart from cosmetic changes. The development of War in the Pacific, Admirals Edition, based on the original WITP by Gary Grisby is a good example of how things can always be improved, even if they do not neccasarily stick to the original rules or design.

Finally, without bringing up past problems I think what really killed the game or more specifically the community that use it, was the community itself. Matrix can only do so much and when the community split and fractured, I am not exactly sure what Matrix or AGSI could have done to resolve that issue. However it was the scenarios developed by former members of the community that made Harpoon interesting for me, without those members producing new scenarios and the lack of patches or updates, Harpoon certainly seems to have become the 'discarded child', appearing to be abandoned by a large portion of the community, as well as the developers and publishers. Sadly any future for Harpoon will also require Matrix to somehow solve this situation within the community and from a business point of view, it probably was a mistake to have allowed things to have reached this point and alienated or upset so many of their former customers, who did much to improve the game.


< Message edited by noguaranteeofsanity -- 11/25/2011 6:34:28 AM >

(in reply to TonyE)
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RE: What should Matrix be doing with Harpoon? - 11/25/2011 1:59:23 PM   
TonyE


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Well said, thank you for taking the time to type it out.

_____________________________

Sincerely,
Tony Eischens
Harpoon (HC, HCE, HUCE, Classic) programmer
HarpGamer.com Co-Owner

(in reply to noguaranteeofsanity)
Post #: 9
RE: What should Matrix be doing with Harpoon? - 11/26/2011 10:54:52 PM   
rich12545

 

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Tony, you and I (and several others including Erik) discussed pricing a year ago. I thought $35 was way too much to spend just to get future HCE patches. Almost everybody slammed me for this opinion. The money was for future development they said. Turns out I was right. I have yet to see an HCE patch for HUE only. It looks like there won't be one coming. The money was supposed to be for future development and there isn't any except for non-paid volunteers like yourself. So, where did the money go? Yep, just as I said last year, a rip off profit for the companies involved. And you're wondering how MG can help. I'll tell you. Spend some of that money on future development like they promised. Pay YOU to come up with a patch with new features.

So now I can buy HUE for S16.95 and I'm wondering if it's even worth that much. For HCE, what will that that get me?

(in reply to TonyE)
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RE: What should Matrix be doing with Harpoon? - 11/28/2011 3:32:27 PM   
TonyE


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I'm thinking your questions are rhetorical but anyway...

Where did the money go? 
  • To Matrix for publishing duties
  • To AGSI for development duties
    • AGSI pays an unspecified sum to Bond/Carlson for the Harpoon name, rules, data
    • AGSI spends some amount on its own operations (website, accounting,...)
    • AGSI hopefully spends the bulk of their chunk on H3 ANW development.
    • AGSI royalties to the likes of me (they aren't much and are unrequested but they do happen)
As for paying me to add features and fix 20+ year old bugs (and many younger bugs), that would be great for individuals to fund on an individual basis.  Trouble with me from the Matrix perspective is that I'm expensive as compared to say a nice little game development shop in Romania.  Not to mention I don't work in a vacuum, someone needs to test the fixes, make database adjustments (go CV32!), etc.  If Matrix wanted to spend money on HCE, giving it to me probably isn't terribly efficient.  Sure I know the game well and the game has value to me beyond the money but that only goes so far when you can hire 4-5 cheap programmers for the cost of one me. 

Anyway, I think the monies have gone to H3 ANW development.  I haven't asked for or expected differently; we keep chugging along on the HC front as time permits and at least in the current structure that is all you can expect as a customer.  As a customer knowing that I would expect that ANW patches will surface now and again.


_____________________________

Sincerely,
Tony Eischens
Harpoon (HC, HCE, HUCE, Classic) programmer
HarpGamer.com Co-Owner

(in reply to rich12545)
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RE: What should Matrix be doing with Harpoon? - 11/28/2011 5:09:32 PM   
ruixilyy


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Now it is proved, the thread 'Harpoon: Ultimate Edition and Our Philosophy' <http://www.matrixgames.com/forums/tm.asp?m=2498149> is actually a blatant lie to those who bought HUE (like me). Can someone still believe in what was claimed in that thread?

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RE: What should Matrix be doing with Harpoon? - 11/28/2011 8:45:15 PM   
TonyE


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quote:

ORIGINAL: ruixilyy

Now it is proved, the thread 'Harpoon: Ultimate Edition and Our Philosophy' <http://www.matrixgames.com/forums/tm.asp?m=2498149> is actually a blatant lie to those who bought HUE (like me). Can someone still believe in what was claimed in that thread?


You might need to be more specific, I can't see a single statement in that post that isn't true.





_____________________________

Sincerely,
Tony Eischens
Harpoon (HC, HCE, HUCE, Classic) programmer
HarpGamer.com Co-Owner

(in reply to ruixilyy)
Post #: 13
RE: What should Matrix be doing with Harpoon? - 11/28/2011 11:09:30 PM   
rich12545

 

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Tony, you might have seen in the other thread I finally broke down and bought ultimate. So I ask, respectfully, what improvements we're likely to see in the next year.

(in reply to TonyE)
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RE: What should Matrix be doing with Harpoon? - 11/28/2011 11:21:12 PM   
ruixilyy


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1. Paragraph 2: 'Harpoon: Ultimate Edition will include both a new version of Harpoon 3 Advanced Naval Warfare and a new version of Harpoon: Commander's Edition.'

--Are these two game in HUE 'new'? They are the game most of us already owned for several years. The so-called 'new version' is actually the addition of the 3.10 patch and 2009.44 patch for HCE. They should be released as free updates, like all the previous updates for these two games. And now the patched version of the game becomes a new game. What a 'new' version it is! I spend the money on the orignally free updates! I did use the beta updates of these two games months before the release of HUE and i find no real difference.

2.Paragraph 6: 'We believe that continuing to improve the fidelity of the simulation and continuing to advance the state of the art for computer Harpoon is the best way to serve our customers. Harpoon on the computer should always look forward and continue to improve along with the latest improvements and updates from the system models, rather than look back. We give credit to Harpoon's past on the computer, but its future is not in backwards compatibility, but rather in continuing to improve along with the authoritative state of the art models from Bond and Carlson that are simply not available anywhere else. '

-- What a good announcement! So where is the latest improvement and future updates since the release of HUE?

3. The last paragraph: 'We believe the new features and content in the upcoming Harpoon: Ultimate Edition...'

--Anything new apart from those already in the beta updates? Do not tell me the old versions of harpoon games are the 'new content' mentioned here.


(in reply to TonyE)
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RE: What should Matrix be doing with Harpoon? - 11/28/2011 11:30:59 PM   
ruixilyy


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I bought the HUE boxed edition on May 18, 2011 so as to 'collect' HUE and wait for the promised updates. They did release one--only to fix the ridiculous time expiration issue. It's not an update at all, only a hot fix.

In my opinion HUE is only a setback. They include a coloured manual for H3ANW and a black and white one for HCE but no printed manual for HUE. What an ultimate collection! Look at WITP AE, Panzer Command Ostfront and Panzer corps-- all these games are collection or renewed game of previous masterpiece and they do make me feel like I am not only buying the game but also collecting the game--very good updates (see Panzer corps and WITP AE for example) and I am especially happy with the 'CL' manual. Then look at HUE, no manual, so I have to use my HCE and H3ANW manual.

(in reply to ruixilyy)
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RE: What should Matrix be doing with Harpoon? - 11/29/2011 1:16:49 AM   
TonyE


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quote:

ORIGINAL: ruixilyy

1. Paragraph 2: 'Harpoon: Ultimate Edition will include both a new version of Harpoon 3 Advanced Naval Warfare and a new version of Harpoon: Commander's Edition.'

--Are these two game in HUE 'new'? They are the game most of us already owned for several years. The so-called 'new version' is actually the addition of the 3.10 patch and 2009.44 patch for HCE. They should be released as free updates, like all the previous updates for these two games. And now the patched version of the game becomes a new game. What a 'new' version it is! I spend the money on the orignally free updates! I did use the beta updates of these two games months before the release of HUE and i find no real difference.

The text says new version, ANW 3.10 is a large update and most certainly a new version since the old one was 3.9.x. HCE wasn't a huge step but it brought the game from 2008.044 to 2009.050, the database updates for HCE were more impressive than the game updates imho. In any event that was a new version. So no lie there on Matrix's part.

quote:


2.Paragraph 6: 'We believe that continuing to improve the fidelity of the simulation and continuing to advance the state of the art for computer Harpoon is the best way to serve our customers. Harpoon on the computer should always look forward and continue to improve along with the latest improvements and updates from the system models, rather than look back. We give credit to Harpoon's past on the computer, but its future is not in backwards compatibility, but rather in continuing to improve along with the authoritative state of the art models from Bond and Carlson that are simply not available anywhere else. '

-- What a good announcement! So where is the latest improvement and future updates since the release of HUE?


You've seen them if you have been grabbing updated databases from HarpGamer for HCE and if you've been trying out the beta builds. On the ANW front you can look forward to ANW 3.11 and already sample the HUD-4 database improvements. You can see in ANW 3.10 the beginning uses of the Harpoon 5 models.


quote:


3. The last paragraph: 'We believe the new features and content in the upcoming Harpoon: Ultimate Edition...'

--Anything new apart from those already in the beta updates? Do not tell me the old versions of harpoon games are the 'new content' mentioned here.


That statement was posted before HUE was released so the statement applied to the release of the game, not future updates. So that content would be the digital military art, ANW 3.10 improvements, database updates,...



_____________________________

Sincerely,
Tony Eischens
Harpoon (HC, HCE, HUCE, Classic) programmer
HarpGamer.com Co-Owner

(in reply to ruixilyy)
Post #: 17
RE: What should Matrix be doing with Harpoon? - 11/29/2011 1:25:02 AM   
TonyE


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quote:

ORIGINAL: rich12545

Tony, you might have seen in the other thread I finally broke down and bought ultimate. So I ask, respectfully, what improvements we're likely to see in the next year.


You know as much as I do about what is coming for ANW. I know there is a version 3.11 in the works and that most (all?) of the game engine improvements are ready, the database (HUD 4 version 1) is frozen except for any critical changes, and scenario development is underway. I don't have a list of bugs fixed or a release date. UncleHarpoon or someone working on H3 ANW might have more information that can be shared.

For HCE I have no idea what will be accomplished in the next year. I would very much like to have quasi-multiplayer games working (where an umpire enters orders for all players and the players view the action and send text orders to the unpire in a client. With that capability are the pieces I'm deep into now, fleshing out the full implementation of multiple sides (moving away from the bipolar Red vs Blue). There has been quite a bit of time spent on a couple of HCE bugs as well (ex. submarines stopping when they shouldn't, just can't nail this one down).



_____________________________

Sincerely,
Tony Eischens
Harpoon (HC, HCE, HUCE, Classic) programmer
HarpGamer.com Co-Owner

(in reply to rich12545)
Post #: 18
RE: What should Matrix be doing with Harpoon? - 11/29/2011 1:25:57 AM   
rich12545

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: rich12545

Tony, you might have seen in the other thread I finally broke down and bought ultimate. So I ask, respectfully, what improvements we're likely to see in the next year.


Ahem. You got hung up on those two posts and I think you didn't see this one.

(in reply to rich12545)
Post #: 19
RE: What should Matrix be doing with Harpoon? - 11/29/2011 1:55:11 AM   
noguaranteeofsanity


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quote:

ORIGINAL:  ruixilyy

1. Paragraph 2: 'Harpoon: Ultimate Edition will include both a new version of Harpoon 3 Advanced Naval Warfare and a new version of Harpoon: Commander's Edition.'

--Are these two game in HUE 'new'? They are the game most of us already owned for several years. The so-called 'new version' is actually the addition of the 3.10 patch and 2009.44 patch for HCE. They should be released as free updates, like all the previous updates for these two games. And now the patched version of the game becomes a new game. What a 'new' version it is! I spend the money on the orignally free updates! I did use the beta updates of these two games months before the release of HUE and i find no real difference.

2.Paragraph 6: 'We believe that continuing to improve the fidelity of the simulation and continuing to advance the state of the art for computer Harpoon is the best way to serve our customers. Harpoon on the computer should always look forward and continue to improve along with the latest improvements and updates from the system models, rather than look back. We give credit to Harpoon's past on the computer, but its future is not in backwards compatibility, but rather in continuing to improve along with the authoritative state of the art models from Bond and Carlson that are simply not available anywhere else. '

-- What a good announcement! So where is the latest improvement and future updates since the release of HUE?

3. The last paragraph: 'We believe the new features and content in the upcoming Harpoon: Ultimate Edition...'

--Anything new apart from those already in the beta updates? Do not tell me the old versions of harpoon games are the 'new content' mentioned here.




To be fair as Tony said, after I had posted they did announce details of the upcoming patch, a new version of HUD and a new battleset, along with a very understandable reason to explain the delays, including the unfortunate death of Darren Buckley.  This negates my critcism above about the lack of communication and no updates.

EDIT: details are here: http://wiki.computerharpoon.com/index.php?title=H3ANW:311:ChangeLog

quote:

ORIGINAL:  ruixilyy

They include a coloured manual for H3ANW and a black and white one for HCE but no printed manual for HUE. What an ultimate collection! Look at WITP AE, Panzer Command Ostfront and Panzer corps-- all these games are collection or renewed game of previous masterpiece and they do make me feel like I am not only buying the game but also collecting the game--very good updates (see Panzer corps and WITP AE for example) and I am especially happy with the 'CL' manual. Then look at HUE, no manual, so I have to use my HCE and H3ANW manual.


I would imagine that the printing of several different manuals would add significantly to the cost of the game and given that many people probably purchased it via download, would seem unneccasary.


< Message edited by noguaranteeofsanity -- 11/29/2011 1:57:45 AM >

(in reply to rich12545)
Post #: 20
RE: What should Matrix be doing with Harpoon? - 11/29/2011 2:56:00 PM   
ruixilyy


Posts: 111
Joined: 1/26/2008
From: Brighton, UK
Status: offline

quote:

ORIGINAL: TonyE

quote:

ORIGINAL: ruixilyy

1. Paragraph 2: 'Harpoon: Ultimate Edition will include both a new version of Harpoon 3 Advanced Naval Warfare and a new version of Harpoon: Commander's Edition.'

--Are these two game in HUE 'new'? They are the game most of us already owned for several years. The so-called 'new version' is actually the addition of the 3.10 patch and 2009.44 patch for HCE. They should be released as free updates, like all the previous updates for these two games. And now the patched version of the game becomes a new game. What a 'new' version it is! I spend the money on the orignally free updates! I did use the beta updates of these two games months before the release of HUE and i find no real difference.

The text says new version, ANW 3.10 is a large update and most certainly a new version since the old one was 3.9.x. HCE wasn't a huge step but it brought the game from 2008.044 to 2009.050, the database updates for HCE were more impressive than the game updates imho. In any event that was a new version. So no lie there on Matrix's part.

quote:


2.Paragraph 6: 'We believe that continuing to improve the fidelity of the simulation and continuing to advance the state of the art for computer Harpoon is the best way to serve our customers. Harpoon on the computer should always look forward and continue to improve along with the latest improvements and updates from the system models, rather than look back. We give credit to Harpoon's past on the computer, but its future is not in backwards compatibility, but rather in continuing to improve along with the authoritative state of the art models from Bond and Carlson that are simply not available anywhere else. '

-- What a good announcement! So where is the latest improvement and future updates since the release of HUE?


You've seen them if you have been grabbing updated databases from HarpGamer for HCE and if you've been trying out the beta builds. On the ANW front you can look forward to ANW 3.11 and already sample the HUD-4 database improvements. You can see in ANW 3.10 the beginning uses of the Harpoon 5 models.


quote:


3. The last paragraph: 'We believe the new features and content in the upcoming Harpoon: Ultimate Edition...'

--Anything new apart from those already in the beta updates? Do not tell me the old versions of harpoon games are the 'new content' mentioned here.


That statement was posted before HUE was released so the statement applied to the release of the game, not future updates. So that content would be the digital military art, ANW 3.10 improvements, database updates,...




The title of this thread is 'what should Matrix be doing with Harpoon', not other sites such as HarpGamer. As far as I know, it is totally free of charge to download new database from HarpGamer so it is irrelevant to 'the things that Matrix should do'. Also, making use of free things to charge customers is not a right way. Both 3.10 for H3ANW and 2009 update for HCE should be released free of charge but now it became a 'new feature' of HUE.

Then you mentioned of 3.11. I don't know whether it is a beta update but in the Members Area on Matrix Games there is no download for such a beta update. I recall in H3ANW era members who registered their purchased game are accessible to the beta update prior to the formal release of the update. This is not the case for HUE. So according to your logic, customers of HUE have no choice but to visit HarpGamer to get 'improvements' such as updated database and beta updates. In my opinion, this is what Matrix should do--to keep customers informed of the improvements on Matrix site, not a third party site.

(in reply to TonyE)
Post #: 21
RE: What should Matrix be doing with Harpoon? - 11/29/2011 3:06:21 PM   
ruixilyy


Posts: 111
Joined: 1/26/2008
From: Brighton, UK
Status: offline

quote:

ORIGINAL: noguaranteeofsanity

quote:

ORIGINAL:  ruixilyy

1. Paragraph 2: 'Harpoon: Ultimate Edition will include both a new version of Harpoon 3 Advanced Naval Warfare and a new version of Harpoon: Commander's Edition.'

--Are these two game in HUE 'new'? They are the game most of us already owned for several years. The so-called 'new version' is actually the addition of the 3.10 patch and 2009.44 patch for HCE. They should be released as free updates, like all the previous updates for these two games. And now the patched version of the game becomes a new game. What a 'new' version it is! I spend the money on the orignally free updates! I did use the beta updates of these two games months before the release of HUE and i find no real difference.

2.Paragraph 6: 'We believe that continuing to improve the fidelity of the simulation and continuing to advance the state of the art for computer Harpoon is the best way to serve our customers. Harpoon on the computer should always look forward and continue to improve along with the latest improvements and updates from the system models, rather than look back. We give credit to Harpoon's past on the computer, but its future is not in backwards compatibility, but rather in continuing to improve along with the authoritative state of the art models from Bond and Carlson that are simply not available anywhere else. '

-- What a good announcement! So where is the latest improvement and future updates since the release of HUE?

3. The last paragraph: 'We believe the new features and content in the upcoming Harpoon: Ultimate Edition...'

--Anything new apart from those already in the beta updates? Do not tell me the old versions of harpoon games are the 'new content' mentioned here.




To be fair as Tony said, after I had posted they did announce details of the upcoming patch, a new version of HUD and a new battleset, along with a very understandable reason to explain the delays, including the unfortunate death of Darren Buckley.  This negates my critcism above about the lack of communication and no updates.

EDIT: details are here: http://wiki.computerharpoon.com/index.php?title=H3ANW:311:ChangeLog

quote:

ORIGINAL:  ruixilyy

They include a coloured manual for H3ANW and a black and white one for HCE but no printed manual for HUE. What an ultimate collection! Look at WITP AE, Panzer Command Ostfront and Panzer corps-- all these games are collection or renewed game of previous masterpiece and they do make me feel like I am not only buying the game but also collecting the game--very good updates (see Panzer corps and WITP AE for example) and I am especially happy with the 'CL' manual. Then look at HUE, no manual, so I have to use my HCE and H3ANW manual.


I would imagine that the printing of several different manuals would add significantly to the cost of the game and given that many people probably purchased it via download, would seem unneccasary.



As i have said before, why should customers from Matrix go to other website such as computerharpoon to know the news of HUE? Is Matrix responsible for keep customers well informed of the development progress of new improvements of the game, or any delay and the cause of delay?

Regarding the printed manual, I think all those CL edition games released by Matrix sold well. Matrix do provide coloured manual for WITP AE, Panzer Command Ostfront and Panzer Corps-- especially worth mentioning is the manual of WITP AE, more than 300 pages and people own the boxed edition are quite happy of the manual (save for the small format of the text). Yes WITP AE is an expensive game but what about Panzer Command and Panzer Corps? Both are not as expensive as the HUE, and they still include the CL manual. Why? Because these games are collectible edition and they intend to let customers feel that they are collecting the classical game, as I said in the above reply. HUE should provide the printed manual otherwise it should not boast itself as a collection of bla bla bla. I still recall that when people learned that HUE will not provide any printed manual, most of them felt deep disappointment.

(in reply to noguaranteeofsanity)
Post #: 22
RE: What should Matrix be doing with Harpoon? - 11/29/2011 5:24:47 PM   
Vincenzo Beretta


Posts: 440
Joined: 3/13/2001
From: Milan, Italy
Status: offline

quote:

ORIGINAL: noguaranteeofsanity
While I realise Matrix are not responsible for patching and updating the game, nor am I one to 'bash' the game and publicise massive lists of bugs elsewhere on the web, which probably hasn't helped sales of HUE


If Naples is hit by a Cholera epidemic, for sure it will not help tourism in Naples. However it should fall upon Italian authorities to warn people and to fix the problem, not to independent individuals. OTOH, lacking the former...

(in reply to noguaranteeofsanity)
Post #: 23
RE: What should Matrix be doing with Harpoon? - 11/29/2011 6:15:20 PM   
TonyE


Posts: 1508
Joined: 5/23/2006
From: MN, USA
Status: offline

quote:

ORIGINAL: ruixilyy
As i have said before, why should customers from Matrix go to other website such as computerharpoon to know the news of HUE? Is Matrix responsible for keep customers well informed of the development progress of new improvements of the game, or any delay and the cause of delay?


Customers don't have to go to other websites. Matrix will announce any patches shortly before they are released, just like Matrix seems to do for every other game (and did for the prior Harpoon packages).

quote:

ORIGINAL: ruixilyy
I still recall that when people learned that HUE will not provide any printed manual, most of them felt deep disappointment.

Sure, everyone would like a 500+ page manual (iirc (can't look from here) the HC manual alone is around 200 pages). That would not have fit in the DVD package that Matrix uses. I doubt very much people would have wanted to pay the additional cost of a printed manual that size, not to mention a color one! Matrix didn't deceive any buyers though, the product page indicated that there would not be a printed manual.


_____________________________

Sincerely,
Tony Eischens
Harpoon (HC, HCE, HUCE, Classic) programmer
HarpGamer.com Co-Owner

(in reply to ruixilyy)
Post #: 24
RE: What should Matrix be doing with Harpoon? - 11/30/2011 2:48:55 AM   
noguaranteeofsanity


Posts: 257
Joined: 11/24/2009
From: Sydney, Australia
Status: offline
quote:

ORIGINAL: ruixilyy
As i have said before, why should customers from Matrix go to other website such as computerharpoon to know the news of HUE? Is Matrix responsible for keep customers well informed of the development progress of new improvements of the game, or any delay and the cause of delay?

They don't have to go to any other site as Tony said, I actually copied the link and info from the announcement in the "H3 Databases and Scenarios" sub-forum.

< Message edited by noguaranteeofsanity -- 11/30/2011 2:49:26 AM >

(in reply to ruixilyy)
Post #: 25
RE: What should Matrix be doing with Harpoon? - 12/26/2011 2:39:58 PM   
michaelm


Posts: 9492
Joined: 5/5/2001
From: Sydney, Australia
Status: offline
Are the 3.11 Betas from "H3ANW:311:ChangeLog" at http://wiki.computerharpoon.com usable with HUE?
I tried to use it (31014) with the UANW portion of HUE, and it said that it had expired 12/01/2011 (1 Dec 2011).




_____________________________

Michael

(in reply to noguaranteeofsanity)
Post #: 26
RE: What should Matrix be doing with Harpoon? - 12/27/2011 6:46:56 AM   
Vincenzo Beretta


Posts: 440
Joined: 3/13/2001
From: Milan, Italy
Status: offline
The only way I found to get past the expiration date is to change your system clock to before Dec 1, 2011. Maybe there are others, but I found only silence on the matter.

Getting the Beta patch to actually run is another problem in and of itself, but I got bored after the usual active attempt to annoy you right from the start.

(in reply to michaelm)
Post #: 27
RE: What should Matrix be doing with Harpoon? - 1/12/2012 9:21:55 PM   
Mobeer


Posts: 366
Joined: 1/17/2007
Status: offline
It's been a while since I bought a version of Harpoon. It now looks way to complicated to find the latest game:

1) Have a new version number - seriously "Harpoon 4", and only one version. Forget Harpoon Commanders Edition, Harpoon 3, Harpoon Advanced Naval Warfare, Harpoon miscellaneous A, Harpoon miscellaneous B etc.

2) Have one database, that ships with the game, that works with the game, that is (mostly) correct.

3) Make it look new, even if the calculations underneath are old. Ignore 3d, just a better 2D display would be nice.

4) I want a game that works out of the box - when I see the reputation of Harpoon 3 on forums it doesn't fit the bill (think huge lists of unresolved bugs)

(in reply to Vincenzo Beretta)
Post #: 28
RE: What should Matrix be doing with Harpoon? - 1/13/2012 5:20:45 PM   
TonyE


Posts: 1508
Joined: 5/23/2006
From: MN, USA
Status: offline
Thanks Mobeer.  The only one I'll comment on is #4 and I'll say that any game as involved and changeable as the current Harpoon computer games will have a laundry list of bugs.  That doesn't mean the games don't work or aren't fun.  I mainly play/program the Harpoon Classic line (HC, HCE, HUCE, ..............) and I'm pretty confident it has just as many bugs as the H3 family (ANW, ....). 

That doesn't stop me from playing and enjoying the game though, rarely do I encounter an issue that bothers me enough to ruin the experience.  I do understand that isn't the case for everyone and I do what I can with what hobby time I can spare with Harpoon to remedy as many of the HC issues as I can.

_____________________________

Sincerely,
Tony Eischens
Harpoon (HC, HCE, HUCE, Classic) programmer
HarpGamer.com Co-Owner

(in reply to Mobeer)
Post #: 29
RE: What should Matrix be doing with Harpoon? - 2/22/2012 3:03:37 PM   
Major SNAFU


Posts: 524
Joined: 11/3/2005
Status: online
So my two cents is, for starters, make it much, much more clear what the difference are between HCE and H3/ANW/??? (I have been trying to get this straight literally for days and I still am uncertain that I even have the nomenclature straight, hence the ???).

A comparison table would be the only good way to go with this.

For instance, just reading the bullet list for HUE where it talks about the two major different versions it is not clear is the bullet points mean that only that particular version has that feature, or if they both have it, but in slightly different forms, etc.

From what I see, from what I remember back when I owned the first Harpoon, and from what I can tell from HarPlonked videos I think the I am most interested in H3/ANW. But I can only try a demo of HCE (over some older version, I think).

So I am left in a quandary with no good way to efficiently collect additional data prior to purchase. I am pretty sure I would like H3, I see some behavior (especially with subs) that I know will drive me crazy (I play a LOT of Dangerous Waters.) But the additional features look very nice.

But I am undecided and will have to keep researching to see if I can make a decision.

So my major recommendation to Matrix is make this all much more transparent and easier for the prospective customer to evaluate the various major versions (A demo for H3/ANW is an absolute must). I still can't figure out if the H3 AI can handle coordinated airstrikes by mixed types of aircraft, or if the player has to walk the sim through the process ( i.e. will the AI send in the SEAD A/C first, then the 'Varks, and keep the fighter cover placed correctly?)

The barrier to making an informed decision is, at this point, way too high. I love naval warfare and was willing to put in the time to try and figure all of this out, but I wonder how many are, or they just give up after reading the first few posts on the forums with (often) vague references to versions and differences.





< Message edited by Major SNAFU -- 2/22/2012 3:07:12 PM >


_____________________________

"Popular Opinion? What I suggest you do with 'Popular Opinion' is biologically impossible and morally questionable." -

"One ping to find them all,
One ping to link them;
One ping to promote them all,
and in the darkness sink them"

(in reply to TonyE)
Post #: 30
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