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Kursk 1943 - 2/1/2013 8:39:05 PM   
Conrad mana


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Hi!

Currently I'm working on an alpha version based on the events of the Kursk operations 1943 (south salient: Belgorod/Prokhorovka)
Allthough I'm familiar with editing and creating graphics, I only lack the skills to actually insert them into Pitf, I did come across CCmunger and will give it a try. But is there a tool for 32-bit map making?

About the image posted: Most of the elements such as vehicles and structures are created in 3D and then converted to 2D.


Kind regards,
Conrad

PS: I'm still looking for help with the technical aspects such as inserting the graphics.






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RE: Kursk 1943 - 2/1/2013 10:31:43 PM   
PEWPEW

 

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Very nicely done tanks.

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RE: Kursk 1943 - 2/1/2013 11:37:19 PM   
Manu

 

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great work but are your vehicles and houses not oversized? Don't forget soldiers are oversize in the game (12 pixels by meter, vehicles have the 10 pixels/m and map graphics are 8 pixels/m).
There are no map making tool for pitf yet. And I hope it will come.

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RE: Kursk 1943 - 2/2/2013 9:57:57 AM   
Conrad mana


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Here's a quick scale comparison, on the right the regular Pitf soldiers and vehicles and on the left a random photo of how big a tank actually is.

If you would put a close combat soldier displayed on the Pitf screenshot inside the sherman tank it would never fit; the scale is more or less cartoonish.

I developed these houses and tanks so the soldiers would actually fit inside realistically.


I just hope there is not a maximum amount of pixels for the vehicles that would mean that they are doomed to one scale :-)




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RE: Kursk 1943 - 2/2/2013 10:33:43 AM   
Manu

 

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I understand what you mean but I had the same problem with my first mod (the different scale between the soldiers and the other graphics was even more unbalanced 5 pixels by meter and soldiers of 12 pixels by meter). The problem can be that the graphics aspect of your map will be disproportionate compared with the distances calculated by the game engine.
But it is top art, I'm happy to see other people busy modding this game! keep up your work!

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RE: Kursk 1943 - 2/2/2013 3:10:13 PM   
Conrad mana


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Thank you manu, I have the ambition to make the game as detailed and realistic as possible :-) To see releases like Pitf makes me more motivated.

But I must admit I'm confused about the scales. As I understand it now (correct me if I'm wrong) is that 1 meter on the map stands for 8 pixels, vehicles 10 and soldiers 12 pixels. Why are there 3 different scales for one unit? it would make more sense to me that there would be one scale such as 12 pixels is one meter for everything. Or am I missing something?

What if in my case I would ignore the engines scales and carry on with my current graphics what would go wrong?

Thanks in advance!

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RE: Kursk 1943 - 2/2/2013 4:17:25 PM   
Manu

 

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you are right now. In fact it is a legacy from the past : the first CC had a scale of 5 pixels by meter to allow bigger maps (I suppose) but this scale was to small for soldiers so the trick that was used is to make the soldiers scale bigger (12 pixels by meter) -> it was a sort of abstract representation. Actually, as the game has no zoom, I think that 12 pixels by meter would be too restrictive and will prevent us to see enough on our screens.

And if you release your mod with big graphics I think it will distort the gamers perception of the right distance.

< Message edited by Manu -- 2/2/2013 4:19:21 PM >

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RE: Kursk 1943 - 2/3/2013 5:20:21 PM   
Conrad mana


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Thank you very much manu,

It was very naive from me to start building without taking the scales of close combat that serious. So my apolgies for that.

I see I dug up some old cows out here and found out that there are allot of people that have different opinions on this subject, some are not even bothered. I must admit that I understand why people do not bother to be so precise since computer representations of the reality never touch the real thing :-)
But I like precission and cannot ignore it since I discovered the scale isn't perfect yet.

Since data can be edited in close combat Pitf can the scale data also be edited? (for example the LOS which is connected to the map/terrain data)


I'll design some new elements to prove myself wrong or right and post it out here if you'd like. Because I stil beleive that every element should have one scale before making things too complicated.


Anyway thank you for your time!



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RE: Kursk 1943 - 2/6/2013 11:25:34 AM   
Conrad mana


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Hi!

I've come across a different thread which DAK_Legion pointed out that also covers the subject of scale

I came to the conclusion that the choice of scales are esthetically and are relative to conventions.
As the current soldiers are overscale the rest of the elements are under, probably due to the distance covered in maps and what players actually see on their screens in pixels to meters. I also think due to the year in which the game was developed people didn't have large screens and big resolutions as today.

It makes more sense to me that due to the big resolutions of today one scale can be used and now it is just a matter of breaking the convention.
I've put this to practice (see attachment) where I took the 12 pixels a meter and calculated the actual objects from meters to pixels by deviding it. This should be more or less a realistic scale.

So a map of 4800 x 4800 should represent 400 x 400 meters right where most common close combat action took place (25 - 200 meters) As for tank combat it goes from 200 to 1000 meters.


Kind regards,
Conrad





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RE: Kursk 1943 - 2/6/2013 7:12:58 PM   
Pvt_Grunt

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Conrad mana

I also think due to the year in which the game was developed people didn't have large screens and big resolutions as today.

A very good point. I "upgraded" to a 15" monitor in 1998 to play games! The small soldiers would be un-seeable at that size.

The tanks do look HUGE in your picture. It doesnt look right, but after 15 years of CC it's just not what I'm used to.

One of the complaints of large (correctly sized) vehicles is that they are too difficult to maneuver in towns and tight places, but really this is realistic.

Tank battles too place in open areas, not towns. The tanks were too vulnerable in tight streets.

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RE: Kursk 1943 - 2/6/2013 8:12:52 PM   
Conrad mana


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Hi Grunt,

Yes indeed, I keep resizing them all the time so I understand why most of the vehicles are small in current releases. But the large tanks are as it supposed to be. The drawback is that the old viewing distance wil be a different experience, this will be compensated by the resolution.

I've come across photographs of many T34's and Tigers and they are just huge, tanks are just big (except for french tanks ofcourse )


Anyway I'm currently working on some tests together with Dak_legion so I'll keep the thread up to date.




< Message edited by Conrad mana -- 2/6/2013 8:14:00 PM >

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RE: Kursk 1943 - 2/9/2013 12:52:34 AM   
davidss

 

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Been trying to figure out the different scales also.
Here's my take on it

Paved road width is the base from which to start, since vehicles need a certain amount of room to maneuver through city streets, over bridges, etc.
Looking at the paved road width in PitF, it seems very close to the scale of the PitF vehicles. So let's say roads and vehicles in PitF are the same scale.
And if the object of this is to simulate real world objects, distances between them, and realistic size ratios ... then it would seem logical to have buildings be in scale with the paved road width.

One way of testing this is to grab 600m width of real world google earth terrain, and overlay it on a 600m PitF map.
After doing this, it appears the paved road width is nearly identical in both worlds.

Now let's see if PitF vehicles can move through in city streets.

I'll post an image on this ... note that some PitF buildings have been allowed to be seen in the image, which can be used to compare sizes of buildings too.

Vehicles can move through these streets, but stone fences and objects near the road need to be removed when they project into the street to far. I just coded the areas that were too restrictive as paved road to see if it is possible to use real world distances and ratios between buildings, vehicles, and paved road.

It seems it will work, but with some map making tweaks ... like removing stone fences and obstacles that make the road too narrow and/or moving some buildings away from the road a bit.

Buildings in PitF appear somewhat larger than real life when compared with paved road width ... which leads me to believe that buildings in PitF are scaled closer to the soldier scale of 12pix versus the 10pix of vehicles.

In my opinion most buildings are ok being a little smaller, but think a compromise between the two would be best.

So now we have paved roads, vehicles, and buildings all in comparative real world distances and size ratios.

Next, the soldiers. Soldiers need to be larger so they can be seen. I think this is a necessary abstraction and is best the way it is.

What about distances in the overall map compared with the distances seen measured by the game using the fire order?
Let's use the same small town example in the attached image. I think there are two ways to go:

1.If you want to portray the fields outside the town, you need to increase the size of the map to 960 meters (PitF max). That will give some field space around the map and possibly some terrain obstacles like hedges, valleys, and rises in terrain.
The advantage of having the map completely in real world scale is ... the distance in the terrain is the same as the distance the game measures, therefore simulating the real world.

2.Or keep the town's buildings and roads in the real world scale, but allow distant terrain features to be compacted in distance so that there is more in less map space (like in other CC versions). For example, 1200m of real world terrain equals 600m in the map.
The advantage of compacting the distant terrain is ... you get to have more terrain features in a smaller map and therefore less scrolling to see long range engagements. But distances between worlds are an abstraction.

Like Kursk, Operation Goodwood involved tank combat ... some of which is in open space at longer ranges. How to best portray this in CC is the question. Having lots of real world open space may involve some engagements where extra scrolling or use of the compact map view would be necessary, but the benefit would be the possibility of strategic tank formations.





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< Message edited by davidss -- 2/9/2013 2:43:14 AM >

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RE: Kursk 1943 - 2/10/2013 2:25:00 PM   
Conrad mana


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quote:

Like Kursk, Operation Goodwood involved tank combat ... some of which is in open space at longer ranges. How to best portray this in CC is the question.


That's a very good comment, I've been thinking about this too. What I've experienced in close combat is that long distant combat always involved scrolling no matter what scale. During Kursk 1943 close and long range combat took place I'm not focussing on only long ranges neither small.

quote:

Next, the soldiers. Soldiers need to be larger so they can be seen. I think this is a necessary abstraction and is best the way it is.


I'm not sure if it is necessary, there has been a range of scales including smaller soldiers. Rather it is a constant debate between conventions and personal esthetics.


quote:

Paved road width is the base from which to start, since vehicles need a certain amount of room to maneuver through city streets, over bridges, etc.


When you start from the paved road as base you need to concider it's current scale. It's a choice to make; do you go for the map scales, soldier scales or maybe the vehicle scales.

In your image you assumed the current Pitf map scales as base but I'm not sure that's where to start from. It is possible ofcourse and that's a choice which is based on personal esthetics.

Anyway I'm not trying to say mine is right yours is not vice versa. To me it is a matter of personal choice and I would totally accept your approach if it would be put into practice.

It is also a matter of making a clear choice for me, which is: I want the soldiers to appear like they would fit inside vehicles. And that means making all the elements +/- 5% larger

I've done some tests already and cannot see a big difference from the old scales. It appears to be more balanced to me. With the emphasis on 'to me' :-) so your very welcome to test the alpha version soon!


kind regards,
Conrad


< Message edited by Conrad mana -- 2/10/2013 2:37:43 PM >

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RE: Kursk 1943 - 2/10/2013 5:13:29 PM   
Stwa


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quote:

ORIGINAL: davidss
So now we have paved roads, vehicles, and buildings all in comparative real world distances and size ratios.


Me thinks you are on a real Crusade.

Structures (sizes or scales) are almost imposible to evaluate from one comparison to another, whether they are taken from the game screenshot or from google. Roads can be the same way, becuase you must assume a base scale at some point. Also, in the measurements we have made so far, we examined 1 tank and 1 road. Not that its all that important. For one thing its hard to measure them. In previous measurements when the scales were assumed to be 8 pixels per meter, which was given to us by McClaire, nothing on the map seems to match that. Neither Tanks, roads, soldiers, buildings, leetle boxes of ammo, etc..




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RE: Kursk 1943 - 2/10/2013 5:43:59 PM   
Conrad mana


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I think you have a good point stwa, Most of these objects such as the roads are dynamic in size and very hard to measure.


Now I kind of regret that I started an old and silly discussion :-) But I'm going to continue with my ruler and see where I can draw the line, then we'll see.


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RE: Kursk 1943 - 2/10/2013 5:49:09 PM   
Stwa


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Conrad mana

Hi!

I've come across a different thread which DAK_Legion pointed out that also covers the subject of scale

I came to the conclusion that the choice of scales are esthetically and are relative to conventions.
As the current soldiers are overscale the rest of the elements are under, probably due to the distance covered in maps and what players actually see on their screens in pixels to meters. I also think due to the year in which the game was developed people didn't have large screens and big resolutions as today.

It makes more sense to me that due to the big resolutions of today one scale can be used and now it is just a matter of breaking the convention.
I've put this to practice (see attachment) where I took the 12 pixels a meter and calculated the actual objects from meters to pixels by deviding it. This should be more or less a realistic scale.

So a map of 4800 x 4800 should represent 400 x 400 meters right where most common close combat action took place (25 - 200 meters) As for tank combat it goes from 200 to 1000 meters.


Kind regards,
Conrad






IMHO, you are on to something here, but in the end, it will be mostly predicated by what you expect the game to model. For me, infantry combat (as opposed to vehicle combat), is more fun to do and observe. Infantry combat could probably benefit with another increase in the visual scale (12 meters / pixel). Having buildings, doors, window, and other map features match precisely to the soldier scale (12 meters / pixel) will make CC a brand new game never experienced before. Soldiers will be able to move amongst the map features, going in and out of structures in a more believeable way.

Conversely, vehicle combat will suffer under the kind of scale increases that are being mentioned. Even now, in a CC game, most vehicle combat is at point blank range. It does not seem very realistic either. It's also a pain just operating vehicles, not to mention the pathing issues that always seem to come with them.

With the larger scales, it is possible, that vehicles will find a new role, or method for their use, that might actually RESOLVE the dilemas of using them in previous CC titles. With larger scales (and smaller sized battlefields in meters), vehicles might actually become static defenders, or attackers that only move short distances to support infantry. Gone will be any notion of tank battles on a 400 m x 400 m battlefield. In addition, you may tend to use just a single vehicle or a pair at most, during the tactical game.

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RE: Kursk 1943 - 2/10/2013 7:02:54 PM   
Tejszd

 

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Good point Stwa!

Soldiers and vehicles, along with the lower resolution monitors/video cards that were the norm when CC was created, forced the developers to use different scales;

Soldiers needed to be seen thus they are oversize
Vehicles needed more map space to show the impact of different armour and guns thus the under size scale

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RE: Kursk 1943 - 2/10/2013 11:39:06 PM   
Stwa


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Hi,

Well, it might be hard to believe, but I am fine with the stuff I have now. And that means 9.5 pixel soldiers. I use a 32" 1360 x 768 monitor, and the game looks great. The tank set I use is a mix of CC5 and CC4 tanks, and I love those too. So, I am old school. It just doesn't get any better that this ...





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< Message edited by Stwa -- 2/11/2013 12:04:03 AM >

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RE: Kursk 1943 - 2/10/2013 11:47:38 PM   
davidss

 

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interesting points made by all ... thanks for the discussion :) 

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RE: Kursk 1943 - 2/11/2013 12:37:31 AM   
Stwa


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Sorry guys here is another one. I really can't help myself.

les Chevres is just as brutal as Dog Green.

I like human wave tactics.




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RE: Kursk 1943 - 2/11/2013 12:58:49 AM   
davidss

 

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perhaps something else to consider is ... the relationship between the size of vehicle graphic and its associated hitbox, and if gameplay will be affected.

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RE: Kursk 1943 - 2/11/2013 1:21:52 AM   
Stwa


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Davidss,

Excellent point! And now that I think about it, I have the perfect screenie that clearly demonstates the relationship of the hitbox to the size of the soldiers (in this case).




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RE: Kursk 1943 - 2/20/2013 12:17:47 PM   
CSO_Talorgan


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Conrad mana

About the image posted: Most of the elements such as vehicles and structures are created in 3D and then converted to 2D.


What 3D software did you use?


quote:

ORIGINAL: Pvt_Grunt

The tanks do look HUGE in your picture. It doesnt look right, but after 15 years of CC it's just not what I'm used to.

One of the complaints of large (correctly sized) vehicles is that they are too difficult to maneuver in towns and tight places, but really this is realistic.


If it is realistic then I vote that we change to it.

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Post #: 23
RE: Kursk 1943 - 2/24/2013 9:26:11 AM   
Conrad mana


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I'm using Blender 2.64 and I'm really happy with it because for me it works better than Maya or 3D Studio Max.

This is probably because it is open source and free to use. IMO all software should be free

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RE: Kursk 1943 - 2/24/2013 2:59:07 PM   
Cathartes

 

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quote:

'm using Blender 2.64


I've poked around in blender. How steep is the learning curve time-wise? Can you export shadows from this?

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RE: Kursk 1943 - 2/24/2013 3:35:49 PM   
Conrad mana


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I've been trying it for 1 year now and it's quite easy since they introduced a new interface.

If you wish I can make a small tutorial on importing and exporting objects and shadows. There are allot of options inside blender and there are some tricks to make it go perfect with cc graphics. How can I contact you?


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RE: Kursk 1943 - 12/29/2013 5:59:06 PM   
Tejszd

 

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Conrad, any update on this mod?

My assumption is that there has been little or no progress since "Close Combat - Gateway to Caen" would be your priority....

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RE: Kursk 1943 - 1/4/2014 2:19:57 AM   
johnsilver


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I check in on this one periodically also Tejszd. it's one of the more interesting mods for any CC that was under development and was also going to be curious to see how it played on PITF period.

Shame so many D-Day and D-Day plus 30 or so. Russian front, Italy, or late war west front are in short supply, even non existent (Italy). Kursk would have been pretty nice. Hopefully Conrad has the time one day to work on this, but everyone has real life situations.

_____________________________

Sailing The 7 Seas...

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RE: Kursk 1943 - 1/9/2014 10:14:36 AM   
Conrad mana


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You're right about that, there hasn't been any progress since I'm working on 'Gateway to Caen'

It's plausible that i'll be working on 'The Bloody First' as well.



But my intentions are to finish Kursk 1943 sooner or later. Perhaps based on GtC or tBF.

(in reply to Tejszd)
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