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Nearly 3 years since release - 4/10/2013 3:54:05 PM   
wodin


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and Dave is still here putting out patches for the game..commitment..not half...big applause.

Hoping though that the next final patch is the final one for BTFB..and we can look forward to some new releases (3 years is longer than we've had to wait before for a new game and I think were still a couple of years away from one..sadface...)..

(On a patch issue has Dave been notified on the possible fastest move bug\issue chaps?)



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RE: Nearly 3 years since release - 4/10/2013 4:23:10 PM   
Jafele


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Don´t know Dave´s plans for the future of BTFB but I´d love to see more patches and/or expansions. There´s no hurry, this game is so special (a classic IMO) that needs a constant support. It´s not the typical consumists "game" with an expiration date. Still there are many things that can be improved. Never forget quite a few classic games were ruined due to lack of support.

What do you think about it guys?


< Message edited by Jafele -- 4/10/2013 4:33:24 PM >

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RE: Nearly 3 years since release - 4/10/2013 5:02:52 PM   
wodin


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Thats all well and good but the trouble is as they are a small outfit we would never get any new releases. I for one have been waiting for a move from the West front tot eh east since RDOA came out..what ten years ago.

So yes I want to see BFTB finally put to one side just as HTTR and COTA was so we can move forward with the new game with the extra features it will have. Otherwise if we went with what you want with updates and patches indefinitely we'd still be on HTTR or RDOA even.

Also from a financial viewpoint Dave needs new games with new theaters to bring the money in..patches for older games I'm sure don't bring in the money like a new title would. If he just stuck with BFTB and constant patches and expansions (though an expansion covering a new OOB and area no yet covered would be a huge undertaking and I reckon it would be more worthwhile making a new title with some new features)isn't going to keep Panther afloat in the long run.

So it maybe no no rush to you..but from my point the sooner the EF game comes out the better..same with Bil's tactical game which is relying on the improved EF game features.

If Dave stopped support tomorrow we can hardly complain that this game hasn't had great support..you can't ask for more still releasing patches three years after release.

Though mos money is made through military contracts..Dave and Panther still need to make money through CO aswell..it's not a charity and can't be run on fresh air...so new games and moving on is something that has to happen and is also ebst for the CO series.

< Message edited by wodin -- 4/10/2013 5:06:20 PM >


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RE: Nearly 3 years since release - 4/10/2013 5:09:55 PM   
dazkaz15


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Jafele

Don´t know Dave´s plans for the future of BTFB but I´d love to see more patches and/or expansions. There´s no hurry, this game is so special (a classic IMO) that needs a constant support. It´s not the typical consumists "game" with an expiration date. Still there are many things that can be improved. Never forget quite a few classic games were ruined due to lack of support.

What do you think about it guys?



Well if Dave, (and I think Bletchly-geek is working on the game as well is he not?) continue to support this game, with the patching and mini expansions with new features, at a reasonable cost, then I'm in no rush at all to move on to new content, as there is still so much for me to explore here in this game. I have still only played a handful of the scenarios so far.
But I am quite new to this game, and can understand why the guys that have been around longer like wodin are wanting a change.

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RE: Nearly 3 years since release - 4/10/2013 6:51:25 PM   
wodin


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The game will never get new features in a patch or mini expansion I'm sure..maybe little extras but not big new features. Those come with a new title altogether. I just can't see Panther being around long if all they did was create patches and mini expansions for BFTB.

Three years is already a long time to keep patching a game and at some point it's time to move on. Hopefully that will be soonish. get the two mini expansions out then move on to the EF game which will have BIG new features.

I loved COTA but I certainly wasn't bothered when it was time for a new game..COTA never got the long term attention BFTB has but I knew and wanted a new game in the series. COTA still for me is the best game in the series solely down to the scenarios. BFTB just doesn't make the engine shine in my opinion and the scenarios are all on the same difficult terrain. COTA had a massive variation in scenarios and terrain.

Anyway hopefully once the EF title is out you'll get a BFTB mini expansion with the chance to have dismounted Inf ops!! SO why not look forward to that...rather than little improvements here and there.

I was hoping when BFTB came out the EF title would be here in say three years..three years are now up and yet really we have no word that any work has been done on it, all we've seen is scenarios using the current BFTB engine version.

I do want to see BFTB bug free but I would like it to be finalised soon rather than later.

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RE: Nearly 3 years since release - 4/10/2013 6:51:39 PM   
phoenix

 

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+1 Daz. Lol, Wodin is very keen for his east-front fix, always has been!

There's plenty here still. Look forward to the COTA pack - that will provide, for me, hundreds of hours of fun.

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RE: Nearly 3 years since release - 4/10/2013 6:57:34 PM   
wodin


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So surprised you can't see the financial aspect here.

You all say you've got hundreds of hours still to play esp when COTA is released..well thats great then because that means your all busy whilst Dave starts on the EF title that others can look forward to. We are all happy.

It's really annoying to be honest that you all have what you want and see no reason for Dave to move on so others can get want they want aswell.

Wodin is very keen..it's not like I haven't been waiting long like many other who want the EF title aswell. It's not like it's been a few months..or a year..or three years..or five years even..lets say three years since it was announced it will be the next title..though it was asked for at the end of Cota..so say five. I think it's only fair that I may actually start to want Dave to move onto it fulltime..no?

< Message edited by wodin -- 4/10/2013 7:00:37 PM >


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RE: Nearly 3 years since release - 4/10/2013 7:04:21 PM   
wodin


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Would be great if Dave gave a rough idea on when he thinks BFTB is finalised and when full time work starts on the next title.

Will it be after the mini expansion comes out covering the Bulge again? Or are there more plans again for mini expansions and the EF title is on hold indefinitely.

I applaud the three years support though. I certainly think it's getting to the time that if bugs are squashed it's time to move on (give or take a mini patch for the expansions). As they all say here they'll have plenty to get their teeth into anyway.

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RE: Nearly 3 years since release - 4/10/2013 7:09:38 PM   
phoenix

 

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I too look forward to the EF thing, Jason. But I don't want any hurry in finishing off this engine. As people have remarked - work here is work on the EF iteration and all others. It needs to work as best it can, reasonably. And - though I hate to say this - you don't actually play the game very much yourself, do you, presently? Which might account partly for why you're always very keen for Panther to sign things off and move on... Not said nastily. Just a fact, right?

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RE: Nearly 3 years since release - 4/10/2013 9:31:27 PM   
dazkaz15


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wodin
As you know the support Dave gives to the game is second to none, and it's quite often this support, that's bringing new customers to the game.
If you look back to my first post....must be a few months back now, one of the main reasons that I bought, the game was from reading this forum and seeing the interaction between the players, and the developer.

I was so impressed by that I payed for the full version, and the expansion HTTR, little did I know that the game experience for me would match the quality of the support I saw on the forums. From that point on I was hooked.
I don't know how many other people have had the same experience in that regard as me, but I should imagine there have been a few more sales from people reading the forums, and seeing what the fans have said since then, so I hope that this trickle of income is enough in the short term, before any big expansion, to keep the company afloat.
I think mini expansions would be a good idea, even if was just as an experiment to see what kind of interest it gets.
If Paradox can get me to pay for a sprite pack I didn't even want then I'm sure Panther will have some success with rolling out features for this great game, one at a time if they are priced right.

I guess what we need is a few more Dave's and Bletchly-geeks to work on the different things we want


< Message edited by dazkaz15 -- 4/10/2013 9:35:04 PM >

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RE: Nearly 3 years since release - 4/10/2013 10:00:17 PM   
phoenix

 

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I guess what we need is a few more Dave's and Bletchly-geeks to work on the different things we want

I guess it's Dave and Paul, mainly, these days, no? Plus BG, now. And Richard is still involved, no? Actually - not sure who exactly Panther 'is' (aside form Dave) at present - seems a bit of a moving feast, but I had the impression that Dave and Paul were the core of it, in terms of programming (as opposed to testing). In fact, I had the impression Dave and Paul were ALL of it, in terms of programming....

Someone can correct me, no doubt.

< Message edited by phoenix -- 4/10/2013 10:01:31 PM >

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RE: Nearly 3 years since release - 4/11/2013 12:12:47 AM   
jimcarravallah

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: wodin

and Dave is still here putting out patches for the game..commitment..not half...big applause.

Hoping though that the next final patch is the final one for BTFB..and we can look forward to some new releases (3 years is longer than we've had to wait before for a new game and I think were still a couple of years away from one..sadface...)..

(On a patch issue has Dave been notified on the possible fastest move bug\issue chaps?)


It's quite obvious that those who may be fans of "wargames" aren't necessarily in tune with the business of the same.

Looking at who has posted regularly in the BftB thread (me included) there are probably 20 people (a WAG estimate) who are guaranteed sales for any update to the game engine for the guys who have developed the engine.

Yeah, I'd like CotA scenarios rolled into the revised Command Ops system and yeah, I'd like some scenarios organized around the issues in Holland (Veritable), but those desires are little more than wishes I don't have to invest any intellectual property to create.

the economic viability of the game is based on what the new customer perceives as desirable vs. what "original owners" want for free.

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RE: Nearly 3 years since release - 4/11/2013 4:09:41 AM   
Bletchley_Geek


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quote:

ORIGINAL: phoenix

I guess what we need is a few more Dave's and Bletchly-geeks to work on the different things we want

I guess it's Dave and Paul, mainly, these days, no? Plus BG, now. And Richard is still involved, no? Actually - not sure who exactly Panther 'is' (aside form Dave) at present - seems a bit of a moving feast, but I had the impression that Dave and Paul were the core of it, in terms of programming (as opposed to testing). In fact, I had the impression Dave and Paul were ALL of it, in terms of programming....

Someone can correct me, no doubt.


I'm just a helpful manservant figuring out things





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RE: Nearly 3 years since release - 4/11/2013 7:56:19 AM   
phoenix

 

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Lol, BG

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RE: Nearly 3 years since release - 4/11/2013 1:56:15 PM   
simovitch


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I help out when I can, early mornings and weekends for the past 6 or 7 years when RL doesn't interfere. I'm not an employee of Panther Games, just someone having a lot of fun working with a group of guys with the same interest and goals.

Dave can tell you that I have had his life in my hands in more ways than one...

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RE: Nearly 3 years since release - 4/11/2013 2:03:17 PM   
Arjuna


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Yes and it had something to do with a gear lever and the Ardenne.

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RE: Nearly 3 years since release - 4/11/2013 3:03:57 PM   
altipueri

 

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Stop fiddling with the engine (trying to continue gear lever thing) and look where the passengers want to go.

You've built the best thinking, situationally aware AI for operational games. A sort of real time The Operational Art of War - as opposed to turn based.

If you want loads of new customers your great selling point is surely you can have "any battle any where" - sort of.

So how about more maps, more OOB - standard sets and the grogs can tailor to their historical hearts desire.

Oh, and the random scenario generator.

You are not the only game company wedded to customer loyalty + historical accuracy VS need sales revenue to pay for wife and mistress.

Frankly I'd go for the mistress - it's a rent don't buy decision. There, that moved it from cars to girls.

PS - I once spent £xxx on car only to be told it was crap because it didn't have a vanity mirror (for checking lipstick) on the back of the passenger sun visor! Bad buy - poor customer research.

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RE: Nearly 3 years since release - 4/11/2013 4:22:08 PM   
phoenix

 

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Well, as far as this passenger is concerned they're going where I want to go.

'Fiddling with the engine' is essential.

You're surely talking about getting more passengers, Altipueri - a different thing.

And though I realise you are only wanting greater success for something you already admire, there's always compromises when you want to 'commercialise', and usually you end up with something different to what you wanted, with what made you put in the effort in the first place. I'm guessing this is a labour of love for Panther, not a financial thing. It might spoil the whole thing to make the changes that would be necessary to get proper money out of it.

I think they're doing great. Still going after 3 years of this game, still producing quality.

< Message edited by phoenix -- 4/11/2013 5:57:26 PM >

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RE: Nearly 3 years since release - 4/11/2013 4:50:03 PM   
Txema

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: phoenix

I too look forward to the EF thing, Jason. But I don't want any hurry in finishing off this engine. As people have remarked - work here is work on the EF iteration and all others. It needs to work as best it can, reasonably.


I fully agree with Phoenix !!

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RE: Nearly 3 years since release - 4/11/2013 7:10:49 PM   
PokerWolf


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Hi guys new to the game but I'd like to add a few points to this discussion. It is the commitment of Dave and all those involved with fine tuning this engine that has now made me a loyal supporter of this series. I have not seen this level of support and interaction from a developer since my days of playing combat mission.

I believe that what Dave is doing is in fact working on or towards the development of future titles as we speak. The new titles will be based on this engine so it's important that these titles are built on a solid foundation so as to minimize any future snafus that can arise when Dave starts adding some new major features to the mix. This can be a long process but the game will shine all that more for it. In addition to the critics who say that the game is too expensive can look to this almost unprecedented level of support and say it was money well spent. I for one can say this game is worth every penny and more.

I would love to see an eastern front expansion. I was also excited to hear that they are going to reintroduce an older title into this build of the game which coincidentally was what I was hoping they would do (and wish other companies would learn from this). I can't express how impressed I am with everyone involved in this game. I will sing your praise to ever grognard and newbie wargamer that I meet. You have my support in taking whatever time you need to iron out all the wrinkles from what will be the war game that will set the bar for all game developers who take any pride in their work. One last thing been out of gaming for about 5 years and just got back into it lately and was disappointed to see how many big developers don't support their games leaving them in a buggy state and treating their fans like peons. It is refreshing to see a developer that listens to and treats their fan base with respect. Keep up the good work it has not gone unnoticed or unappreciated. So to end this long long post I say Dave and company I salute you and will patiently await your future releases.

< Message edited by PokerWolf -- 4/11/2013 7:15:39 PM >

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RE: Nearly 3 years since release - 4/11/2013 7:44:20 PM   
Ramses


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As far as I am concerned the core of the game, the engine, needs to be in order. If that is the case it can be used for years as a solid base for expansions, spinoffs etc.... There are multiple games that keep milking the same engine over and over again (Cod, anyone?). Unfortunately the engine for BftB still has some issues in the latest beta (borked timings for attacks and arty), but there have been some major improvements in the latest string of beta's. Real showstoppers like 'the casualty issue' have been adressed during this string of beta's if I am not mistaken and (in my case at least) ctd's have been fixed, so after ironing out the latest wrinkles the final patch should make the engine stable and able. I think they are very close to that point.

If that is achieved, there is no need to hold back on further releases etc...


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RE: Nearly 3 years since release - 4/11/2013 7:55:06 PM   
Jafele


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Eventually I have reached some conclusions but have some questions:

1-It looks most of customers don´t wanna let die BFTB.
2-Customers buy games.
3-If customers feel dissapointed due to common narrow-minded financial "interests", then they will buy less games. What kind of financial interests would be interested in losing?
4-EF can be an expansion, in the same way that HTTR. Why to make a new game if the engine is really good? Wouldn´t it be better to focus energy and time on improvements over a solid basis?

In other words, financial interests are nothing without customers support.

< Message edited by Jafele -- 4/11/2013 10:50:36 PM >

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RE: Nearly 3 years since release - 4/12/2013 3:03:52 AM   
wodin


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Jafele..the next game is using the same engine..the series has always used the same engine..just each new game has new features added to it.

common narrow minded financial interests...WTF??

I'm talking about Dave needing to make money to finance the CO series..

EF wont be an "expansion"..as it has a whole new OOB..new terrain sets and new major features..just like BFTB wasn't a COTA expansions..and COTA wasn't a HTTR expansion. You think they are going to do all that work on EF and then sell it as an expansion at expansion price? You really do want to see them go out of business then.

I agree that fixes here help the EF game..thats obvious..however at some point the next title needs to be worked on..an EF game will sell very well indeed..far more than any expansions for BFTB.

Also the new features the EF game will have most notably dismounted ops is massive. Something that BFTB could really have done with. So who knows the EF game may get a BFTB expansion. The you all get BFTB again but with some lovely new features. Plus we have LOTB which brings a whole new scale to the engine..and this will be using the EF engine version I believe.

I don't want to see BFTB left broken..or have game breaking bugs..but no game will ever be bug free, I reckon you could keep tweaking BFTB for another five years..but why would you? Get BFTB working without any obvious bugs or game breaking issues then move on to the EF game and get those new features in.

Oh I will say once COTA hits CO..you'll have plenty of opportunity to make Africa, Norway and Sealion..all of which where made for COTA. Not sure but if the COTA OOB is merged with the BFTB OOB you may be able to do some Italy battles.

Anyway lets remember each new major release is a big step forward RDAO to HTTR...HTTR to COTA and then COTA to BFTB. After playing COTA I found it difficult to go back to HTTR and I'm sure once the next major release is out I'll find it difficult to go back to BFTB. Not because of the theater but because of the leaps forward the sim makes with each major release. I bet when the EF game comes out..you will all be begging for a BFTB expansion pack and if you get one you'll wish you'd have had it sooner;)

< Message edited by wodin -- 4/12/2013 3:15:00 AM >


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RE: Nearly 3 years since release - 4/12/2013 10:41:05 AM   
Jafele


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Wodin, even after three years the game is alive, I see every day tons of people interested in it. Sincerely to leave it bugged is absurd. I would understand your point if the game were a bad business or a bad one. About Dave´s financial interests I suppose he´s mature enough to know what to do, this is not my business. You said "an EF game will sell very well indeed" but that´s not a fact just an opinion, perhaps people would prefer to buy expansions (less expensive than a whole game) instead of buy another game+future expansions. Matrix have to think in economy but people too... As I said companies interests are nothing without customers support. Anyway this is only my opinion, we should let Dave defend his own interests.

Do you remember CMX1 and Toaw III? Maybe one day we´ll have the same issue, but at least I´ll feel proud to have said NO to let BFTB die.

< Message edited by Jafele -- 4/12/2013 11:42:22 AM >

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Post #: 24
RE: Nearly 3 years since release - 4/12/2013 11:41:20 AM   
Jafele


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Deleted

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Post #: 25
RE: Nearly 3 years since release - 4/12/2013 1:11:31 PM   
phoenix

 

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This conversation with you - about the EF thing/ditch the tweaks to BFTB - keeps coming back, eh, Wodin? I realise the game isn't really your thing right now, that you don't really play it, that you need an EF version to really enjoy playing it, yet still I'm never really sure there's anything to talk about, or why you keep mentioning the matter. Because you say (above) - Get BFTB working without any obvious bugs or game breaking issues - and that about sums it up. That's what you want, you say, and that's all Jafele was asking for. All anyone is asking for. All Dave is doing. So there's no argument is there? That's all that's happening, all that's ever been happening, is that Panther are trying to Get BFTB working without any obvious bugs or game breaking issues

Sure enough, once that happens I'm sure everyone will be delighted to move on to new content for BFTB and new titles such as EF, etc. And pay for them.

< Message edited by phoenix -- 4/12/2013 6:53:04 PM >

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RE: Nearly 3 years since release - 4/12/2013 2:53:32 PM   
Ramses


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quote:

ORIGINAL: phoenix
Panther are trying to Get BFTB working without any obvious bugs or game breaking issues

Sure enough, once that happens I'm sure everyone will be delighted to move on to new content and new titles. And pay for them.


This

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Post #: 27
RE: Nearly 3 years since release - 4/12/2013 3:07:18 PM   
Arjuna


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Well I think we are there now phoenix. Tomorrow morning, barring any last minute showstoppers, I plan to do the next build. This will be the final patch #4. We will then switch to getting the COTA Ex Patch ready for release. Hopefully by the end of next week I can sign off on that too.

With all the spare time we have had of late we have been discussing the way forward on the Panther Dev Forum. It's still in a state of flux but my thinking at the moment is that once the COTA Ex Pack is out I would like to focus on developing Command Ops 2 (CO2). The aim would be to give the engine a new look and feel especially in regard to the UI. There are some items we need to include in order to support the next KOAD Ex Pack and then the East Front title.

I would like to make CO2 a low cost of entry product, say around $30. It would only include the apps, tutorial, maybe two other smaller scenarios, a short manual and the tutorial videos. We would continue to enhance this product with a series of upgrades. Each upgrade would include new features. We would provide a means to convert any existing data pack so that it can run with the latest engine upgrade.

In conjunction with the engine development we would aim to release a series of Data Packs. Each pack would have around a dozen scenarios and sell for say $30. By keeping the packs to this size we can do two things - keep the price down and hopefully release more packs more regularly. We need to do this to improve our cash flow.

By segregating the engine from the data content we enable users to buy just what data they need. If they are not interested in BFTB then they can pass on that and instead buy the engine plus say HTTR. It also helps us make minor patches more regularly. These will be for free but they will not include enhancements.

As to what features will be included in the first rendition of CO2 well we are discussing that now. We have a plethora of features on the table. The trick will be to break these up into digestible chunks and then schedule these in conjunction with the data packs.

Once we get a bit further down the track I'll post our provisional thoughts up here for you all to comment. But I won't go into that in any detail right now.

One other thing I would like to say is that I was a bit sceptical of making public beta releases. But I have been encouraged by the outcomes and the spirit by which you all have embraced it. Thank you very much.

_____________________________

Dave "Arjuna" O'Connor
www.panthergames.com

(in reply to phoenix)
Post #: 28
RE: Nearly 3 years since release - 4/12/2013 3:15:51 PM   
phoenix

 

Posts: 1849
Joined: 9/28/2010
Status: offline
Thanks, Dave. Look forward to the final!

And the future. Thanks for the update on what's going to happen. I think releasing data packs of scenarios more regularly, and charging, as many have suggested, is a great way forward.

Now, I am destined to ask the inevitable........when? Any time frame at all possible?

(in reply to Arjuna)
Post #: 29
RE: Nearly 3 years since release - 4/12/2013 5:35:12 PM   
Jafele


Posts: 427
Joined: 4/20/2011
From: Seville (Spain)
Status: offline

quote:

ORIGINAL: phoenix
Sure enough, once that happens I'm sure everyone will be delighted to move on to new content and new titles. And pay for them.


Sad but true: History repeats itself...

(in reply to phoenix)
Post #: 30
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