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Matrix/Slitherine Press Event - 4/23/2012 11:40:39 PM   
Bullwinkle58


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I posted a thought to Erik R. over in the Press Event sticky regarding WITP2. It could use some Me Toos.

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RE: Matrix/Slitherine Press Event - 4/24/2012 6:27:41 AM   
LoBaron


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Done, not that it is difficult to notice what is the most active community on Matrix boards.

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RE: Matrix/Slitherine Press Event - 4/24/2012 7:03:21 AM   
Bullwinkle58


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quote:

ORIGINAL: LoBaron

Done, not that it is difficult to notice what is the most active community on Matrix boards.


When ya got it, flaunt it!

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RE: Matrix/Slitherine Press Event - 4/24/2012 2:08:12 PM   
Canoerebel


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Done.

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RE: Matrix/Slitherine Press Event - 4/24/2012 2:23:23 PM   
nashvillen


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Done. Everyone needs to post over there. Tell them what you feel about this game and what a "WITP:AE2" or whatever they call it would called would be nice to have.

< Message edited by nashvillen -- 4/24/2012 2:40:36 PM >


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RE: Matrix/Slitherine Press Event - 4/24/2012 2:43:42 PM   
PaxMondo


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done

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RE: Matrix/Slitherine Press Event - 4/24/2012 3:40:41 PM   
Lomri

 

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Over there is:
http://www.matrixgames.com/forums/tm.asp?m=3087775

For the lazy! (like me)

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RE: Matrix/Slitherine Press Event - 4/24/2012 4:21:12 PM   
geofflambert


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Done. 

Oh, and Schanilec, what is +1.23 ????? It's more than statute miles converted from nautical miles, and it's less 1 and 1/4 men (Charlie Sheen is still leaking brain cells). ???

< Message edited by geofflambert -- 4/24/2012 4:29:43 PM >

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RE: Matrix/Slitherine Press Event - 4/24/2012 4:47:04 PM   
nashvillen


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Keep up guys, lots of good comments over there.

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RE: Matrix/Slitherine Press Event - 4/24/2012 5:45:14 PM   
John 3rd


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At least Erik APPEARS receptive...


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RE: Matrix/Slitherine Press Event - 4/24/2012 6:43:21 PM   
Bullwinkle58


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quote:

ORIGINAL: John 3rd

At least Erik APPEARS receptive...



Erik is good at his job. He sometimes has to keep the zoo animals happy with hamburger when they want steak. Bottom-line is that Matrix/Slith. will sell AE for full price as long as customers appear. Which is fine. My point in endlessly trying to keep the issue before Matrix is not that I want cannibalization now, but that WITP2 will take a long time to get done. The time to plan for it is not when AE sales taper off and die.

That said, I wonder if the overall forum community's luke-warm reaction to the coming year's slate is worrisome. I've seen a lot of speculation on Usenet about what tablet computing will do to wargaming, if anything, and it now looks like several toes are going in the water. Obviously tablets are not conducive to deep, complex wargames like AE, or even a shorter, more grognard-ish "hard" title. More like "Panzer General" beer & pretzels titles. A mix might be good for Matrix's product portfolio steadiness over time, but too much and the developer community is going to run for the more-money-less-work mirage tablets might show in their early era. That would not bode well for us chickens in here.

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RE: Matrix/Slitherine Press Event - 4/24/2012 7:10:34 PM   
tocaff


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Chalk up another vote for 2.

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RE: Matrix/Slitherine Press Event - 4/24/2012 8:17:09 PM   
JWE

 

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Ya'll need to understand the playing field, here. Erik isn't just feeding hamburger. Matrix (Matrix/Slitherine) is a marketing company. Not to say they can't develop, they can and do, but the vast majority of their titles are from game "development" companys. WiTP was from 2x3 Games. WiTP-AE was from Henderson Field Designs, and so on.

Ya'll want WiTP-II? Ya'll need to form a development company; spec it out; spec out the game design; do a modicum of market penetration research; put your team together; and hold it together through hell and high water; and put it all into a simple prospectus, with everyone's nads on the block; and present it to Matrix. You do that, it just might happen. Wishing and poking and prodding won't get you doo-doo, because any developers you might get interested in the title will do it their way; which will NOT be your way. So if you really want it, you are going to have to seriously put your heads together and make it happen.

Sorry to put it so bluntly, but game players often forget the market imperitives that allow for games to exist. So please leave Erik/Matrix alone and let them get on with their new releases. If you all are serious, then get serious. I am positive that Erik/Matrix/Slitherine, as well as many others, will look favorably on a "functional" new model.

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RE: Matrix/Slitherine Press Event - 4/24/2012 8:33:28 PM   
Gräfin Zeppelin


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Argh there is it again, the hard and cold brickwall of reality

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RE: Matrix/Slitherine Press Event - 4/24/2012 9:27:02 PM   
JWE

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Gräfin Zeppelin
Argh there is it again, the hard and cold brickwall of reality

Not at all, Gräfin Zeppelin. Understanding how the system works is the first and best step to getting it to work your way. The "hard and cold brickwall of reality" merely says that 'wanting' don't cut it; 'doing' is the thing.

How in the world do ya'll think WiTP-AE was done; you think Matrix did it? No. Henderson Field Designs did it. Yes, ordinary grogs from the WiTP group; people just like you who had a vision. And yes, Joe Wilkerson had a relationship with Matrix people, but that was just to ensure a marketing channel for the title. You people have the same channel, if used wisely. So when you confront the hard and cold brickwall of reality, just ask yourself; "am I just a whiner?" or "am I a winner!!", and act accordingly.

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RE: Matrix/Slitherine Press Event - 4/25/2012 4:26:27 AM   
Bullwinkle58


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quote:

ORIGINAL: JWE

Ya'll need to understand the playing field, here. Erik isn't just feeding hamburger. Matrix (Matrix/Slitherine) is a marketing company. Not to say they can't develop, they can and do, but the vast majority of their titles are from game "development" companys. WiTP was from 2x3 Games. WiTP-AE was from Henderson Field Designs, and so on.

Ya'll want WiTP-II? Ya'll need to form a development company; spec it out; spec out the game design; do a modicum of market penetration research; put your team together; and hold it together through hell and high water; and put it all into a simple prospectus, with everyone's nads on the block; and present it to Matrix. You do that, it just might happen. Wishing and poking and prodding won't get you doo-doo, because any developers you might get interested in the title will do it their way; which will NOT be your way. So if you really want it, you are going to have to seriously put your heads together and make it happen.

Sorry to put it so bluntly, but game players often forget the market imperitives that allow for games to exist. So please leave Erik/Matrix alone and let them get on with their new releases. If you all are serious, then get serious. I am positive that Erik/Matrix/Slitherine, as well as many others, will look favorably on a "functional" new model.


Not to try to teach my grandma to suck eggs, and understanding your developer-hat perspective as well as IP professional knowledge, I still have to argue that, while you're right on this, you're only right to an extent. And that while I love AE and what Henderson Field did, you guys didn't write from a clean sheet of paper. If you had tried that, as dispersed and otherwise busy as you were with real life, you might still be at work.

My perspective is as a customer of games and wargames for several decades, as an observer of the industry for as long, as a former businessguy who did product development in a non-IT industry, as a former product manager on national packaged goods brands, and as an author who has dealt with the book author-publisher model which the games industry has largely copied. From that perspective I would argue that the development model you propose for WITP2 is non-feasible.

While I don't have your inside knowledge of the structure of WITP that existed legally and operationally when you approached Matrix I would speculate that successful prosecution of the project, as well as any WITP2, turns on possession of rights to two caches of gold--the OOB and the game algorithms. Rights to those items are legally held by some combination of 2x3, GG himself, Henderson F., Matrix, or some other entity(s). But it is possession of those which make any WITP2 financially feasible in today's market environment.

There is no wargame topic which has a wider required research base than the PTO on the scale of WITP/AE. There is no wargame topic which requires more, and more types, of combat resolution algorithms than the PTO on that scale. It's the largest, most-complex war theater in world history. Any start-up which proposed a WITP2 without recourse to those items would face the largest working capital exposure possible in the wargame industry. GG and 2x3 were only able to do WITP--at a fraction the size and complexity of AE--because they had royalty flows from other titles, possibly working capital injections from Matrix, as well as making 2x3 their full-time jobs. Added to that was GG's core knowledge of WWII and wargame design; it wasn't his first clam bake. To duplicate that from a standing start would take a pantload of money. Conversely, if Matrix released the AE OOB and the GG and AE algorithm libraries, perhaps after further rights negoitiation and royalty amendments, the project scope shrinks dramatically. It then becomes more focused on UI, graphics, player-level gameplay interaction, and a new AI architecture. It requires a much smaller team (no historical research), and it deals more with straight code and less with philosophical debate over focus and historical issues.

In the book world fiction is normally risk-assessed 100% on the author. You write a full manuscript, then try to get a publisher to buy it. In non-fiction the risk/reward is reversed. The author does a book proposal, sometimes with a sample chapter or two but usually not, writes a marketing plan, lines up credible contributors if needed, and pitches the publisher community. If no one buys the proposal the book isn't written. If someone does buy the author recieves an advance on sales to live on while writing. This second model is what you seem to be proposing for a WITP2.

But sometimes there is a third model. In some genres such as current events, true crime, political commentary, etc. the publisher prospects for an author, contacting prominent subject matter experts (former Sec. State is a good title to have then) and offering them a book deal on a specific topic. This is the model I'm proposing Matrix follow for a WITP2. They above all other wargame publishers have the mass, the heft, and the financial base to go put together a team on their own. They own the IP which the project requires to execute in a cost-effective manner and lead to a MUCH lower breakeven volume point. They have industry contacts. They know which developers are reliable, and which are currently unemployed.

Is this hard? Probably. Is it risky? That depends. They have some time to ride the AE sales train, but not an infinite amount. At some point the cow gets old and becomes hamburger. Their leading franchise--and it is a franchise by now--lingers and dies off. Did they get "OMG!!!" from their list of forthcoming games? No, they did not, at least on the forum here. Will tablet-based games convert the wargaming niche into a dynamo, leading to vast compound growth? No. That platform may end up a sub-sub-niche of gaming in general, but wargamers aren't going to start playing on trains and busses while commuting.

From a marketing standpoint Matrix also has a huge leg up for WITP2. As above the barriers to entry for a new, stand-alone PTO designer are very large. That offers Matrix pricing power. They also have a demonstrated demand base right here in the most active forum on their site. To your point above a new designer would have to prove they hadn't broken something in their "take" on the subject, while Matrix has cred that any WITP2 would still BE WITP and not New Coke. They have worked hard over a decade to earn brand equity in the WITP franchise. To let it fritter away would be no less than stupid.

What would be equally stupid, IMO, would be to wait for a fish to swim by holding WITP2 in its mouth. Matrix has the power and possibility to make that game happen. They don't need to wait for lightning to strike. I looked at the list of coming games and had the same thought Canoerebel did--I don't play wargames. I play WITP-AE. Give me a new one and you can price it substantially higher than the last time. I'll buy it. The upcoming list of games? No sale.

< Message edited by Bullwinkle58 -- 4/25/2012 4:34:30 AM >


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RE: Matrix/Slitherine Press Event - 4/25/2012 12:02:34 PM   
oldman45


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How many problems are players finding because of the short comings of the current algorithms and game engine? I agree with most of what you wrote Bull, but I feel that AE needs a complete overhaul with a new engine and algorithms before I would spend 100+ dollars. I am not sure something like that can be negotiated like AE was.


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RE: Matrix/Slitherine Press Event - 4/25/2012 4:33:12 PM   
Schanilec

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: geofflambert

Done. 

Oh, and Schanilec, what is +1.23 ????? It's more than statute miles converted from nautical miles, and it's less 1 and 1/4 men (Charlie Sheen is still leaking brain cells). ???

You mean 5.23? What I blew on my last traffic stop.

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RE: Matrix/Slitherine Press Event - 4/25/2012 5:11:41 PM   
Dili

 

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quote:

It's the largest, most-complex war theater in world history.


I have to disagree. Mediterranean War is the most complex. WITP-AE as is can't work in Mediterranean for example - just the fuel issue for Africa , land combat and special forces kill it. It is not enough. From biplanes to missiles to frogmen, aero-naval warfare, to big parachute operations, it is everything concentraded there.

What i would think might be good to get some money back is that the Games of this dimension could sell a digital database/map only for those - including for libraries, etc- that don't want to play a game. There is a giant mine of information in this type of game that would beat many books. Another idea a game build in top of the database and modifications can be made trough it. The tablet market makes it easier to sell something like this.

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RE: Matrix/Slitherine Press Event - 4/25/2012 5:22:01 PM   
Lomri

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: oldman45

How many problems are players finding because of the short comings of the current algorithms and game engine? I agree with most of what you wrote Bull, but I feel that AE needs a complete overhaul with a new engine and algorithms before I would spend 100+ dollars. I am not sure something like that can be negotiated like AE was.




I disagree. A UI overhaul ALONE would be worth spending a bunch of money on. Shift-selecting the ships to add to a TF, blah blah - all the modern stuff people are use to with any other application. Micromanagement would be easier if you had the tools.

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RE: Matrix/Slitherine Press Event - 4/25/2012 5:48:32 PM   
Bullwinkle58


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quote:

ORIGINAL: oldman45

How many problems are players finding because of the short comings of the current algorithms and game engine? I agree with most of what you wrote Bull, but I feel that AE needs a complete overhaul with a new engine and algorithms before I would spend 100+ dollars. I am not sure something like that can be negotiated like AE was.



I wrote that at about 0100 this morning. Just re-read it and I see I went a bit astray from my core point.

I agree up-front that a WITP2 can't be done as AE was. AE was properly scoped and not aimed at a re-write of the underlying spaghetti code. A new generation would need to establish a new, tight code framework on which to lay the OOB and algorithms gained from Matrix. That is what I was alluding to when I said "player-level gemeplay interaction." All of the usability and labor-saving things we've talked about here recently and in the past. Pilot training, intel management, economic planning, task force formation, etc. In there would need to be as well a re-examination of the turn phases. It might be that 12-hour pulses are not what that design needs and over the whole span of the war little is lost. I would also call for a core design which rested on global envronmental variables feeding from a much larger, more robust front-end set-up screen array so re-play variability would be enhanced. Maybe more, shorter grand campaigns with more "what if" built into the set-up variables. But overall, yes, I think the majority of the of code would need to be tossed and a new skeleton written.

Where I disagree is that the core algorithms ought to be tossed as well. I don't think any team put together by Matrix, or even a fan-based effort like Henderson Field was/is, is going to find a JWE or an Elf, real-world subject-matter experts on tactics, weapon perfomance, ballistics, etc. All the esoteric things you don't learn from designing wargames but do learn in certain government-funded professions and schools. To me those inputs were the most valuable thing about AE. Although I love the new map and love fiddling with things like ship repair it was the underlying algorithms' improvement from WITP which make AE so much better. As I've read this forum for three years now I have seen that, from my limited real world perspective (mostly subs) a lot of comments calling for this or that are from people who just don't know what they're talking about on a technical level. JWE, the Elf, and company DID, and AE shows it.

There is so much low-hanging fruit to be gained from UI, player routines, and a new AI architecture that I'd happily pay MORE than $100 for a game which re-used the AE OOB and algorithms (with Da Babes alterations of course.) I spent about $80 on WitE and largely wasted my money, which is my current cost-benefit yardstick. I will never buy a counter-based wargame again. That ship has sailed for me.

One other thing I didn't make clear in the first post either: IF (a big if) a new, stand-alone team were put togehter to do a clean-sheet mega-PTO game--and had to self-fund without help from Matrix--I would ask the next logical question. What would that team need them for? Publishers perform a basket of services, but in the past the two biggest have been funding and distribution and promotion. For those they took a very hefty cut. A lot of readers would be shocked if they knew how little of the retail price of a book goes to the author. But if a team is self-funding and has Steam and other Web-based distribution channels available, why do they need Matrix? I posited that they need them for the OOB and algorithm libraries, but if all they have is a blank screen and good wishes, and Matrix's future promise to put the game up on a low-traffic site while Matrix controls retail pricing, what's the updside there? A team can hire its own legal services. It can hire its own QA. It can rent its own development tools. One reason Matrix ought to be promoting a next gen of its core franchise is self-defense. As time and tech moves along big publishers are more endangered, more unneeded. Matrix has the current crown jewels in the OOB and algorithms. They ought not sit on them too long.

< Message edited by Bullwinkle58 -- 4/25/2012 6:00:09 PM >


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RE: Matrix/Slitherine Press Event - 4/25/2012 5:54:06 PM   
Blacksheep

 

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Once again I think the Moose has the right of it. +1

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