From: Newark, OH
And now the rest of the story...
Ok. After FPG was released and updated a good number of times for both content, play and some minor bugs, Rob and I set out on the ME path. Now at that time as a two man team, both working day jobs, both with family issues here and there, we slowly worked on the new game. Things started out ok and we started working on maps (still square with smaller cells for art bits) and data and code. We had originally decided to cover 48-79. Mistake number one! Too much to chew for a two man team (try saying that 3 times fast) with one person (yours truly) trying to get TOE and OOB for the forces over those years. Getting the equipment with all of our books and games and websites was easy enough as was the unit art (but time consuming none the less). The OOB side of things was a nightmare. You can't rub two sources of info together and get close. Strike two. I spent a fair number of month trying to gather it up and make sense of it. In frustration, Rob picked up the gauntlet and ran for about 6 weeks or so and told me it was absolutely maddening (picture his great Canadian accent when he says that). The next great hurdle after that would be historically accurate scenarios. In a cold war game there is no real history. Bam any scenario is legit (as my 12 year old would say). Not so with a ME scenario. Even more of an issue is the fact that everyone and their wargaming brother will be on forums and boards complaining and pointing out every flaw and historical inaccuracy (not that that has ever happened to any game, ever). I digress. We had working code. We had a semi-functional square map system. We had some data that was good and some not so much. We also had some routines that on the outside look and sound easy to do. Take the ability to limber and unlimber towed weapons or load and unload troops to separate unit counters. Seems pretty simple and for most humans it would be, but when the AI for both sides has to do it, and do it at the right times, and deal with losses to transports, and you can see where this goes. This creates a massive AI issue. In fact, any thing the AI does is an exponential code effect. Most folks don't get that. People will ask for the AI to just shoot at blue tanks. Now every other AI based routine has to tie back to this condition.
So with all of these game issues abounding let fast forward to about a year ago. We start talking with some other folks who are interested in a game. Rob and I start looking into what we can do. We come to realize that the ME project we have worked on for years does not any real home. There are no signed papers by anyone to do anything. Strike three in a big way. So in about a span of a week or two we are talking to other parties about projects and ME has no home and a few issues under the hood. So in the midst of all of this we get a call from Erik (Matrix Honcho) asking if we would be interested in doing an update to FPG. After some discussions in-house and with Erik a project with paper and signatures and such. Flashpoint Germany 2: Red Storm is born. And then rebranded to Flashpoint Campaigns: Red Storm to properly cover the full intent of the game engine and what we want to do with it.
So where is ME? On the shelf with a fair amount of art and data already to be used. It will need maps and historically accurate scenarios and OOBs. Some of this will be easier with a 4-5 man team and also a number of content creators who want to move things along. ME will also have the benefit of a 2.1 or 2.2 game engine with those problem routines sorted out and new capabilities added in. With the RS project I have a better source of OOBs and will use them for ME when the time comes. I don't really see any show stoppers as long as we stick to releasing modules set in decades. This will keep the flow of new material fairly consistent and avoid the massive burnout of trying to haul in 30+ years of stuff.
So there is the "rest of the story" as Paul would say back in the day. Probably more then you wanted, but it was a fair question to ask what happened to the game.
Time to get some dinner.
We are working hard on Southern Storm!
Cap'n Darwin aka Jim Snyder
On Target Simulations