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IMPORTANT: State of the Game and Future Plans as of June, 2015

 
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IMPORTANT: State of the Game and Future Plans as of Jun... - 6/11/2015 6:25:07 PM   
Erik Rutins

 

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It's been over a year (albeit a very busy one) since we took a step back to post a more comprehensive look at where we are and where we are going with MWIF. Thank you all for your patience and support of MWIF over the many months since release and we hope you will stick with us as we are continuing to work on and support this release. A large number of the issues we've been able to resolve have come directly from customer reports, both automated and manual and we greatly appreciate the involvement in improving the game that this shows from the community. Let's start with what we've done since release and then we'll take a look at the future.

From the release until about a week ago, thanks to the diligent and invaluable efforts of Steve Hokanson and feedback from customers and hard work from the testers, we have resolved about 3,300 issues and have received or created ourselves over 3,800 save game files for debugging purposes. Some of those issues turned out to be duplicate issues, so each one is not necessarily a unique bug, but that's the total number that we've had entered into our to do list that have been able to be removed thanks to being resolved. We still have about 400 issues remaining on our list and of course it's not static as new issues are periodically added.

In general though, we've been making good progress and gaining ground and the game has reflected that progress. At the same time, the sheer size of this effort also reflects the many issues that we did not realize existed until after release and I'm sure there will be others that continue to appear as unique new situations arise within the many nearly infinite interactions that MWIF makes possible. It's important to note that when you remove duplicate issues and look at issues that arise from various symptoms or interactions caused by one core issue, then the total number of issues is less daunting. However, at the same time each time we resolve something that allows players to more fully explore parts of the game that had blocking issues before, we do find new issues that in turn need to be resolved.

A few more breakdowns on those statistics. We currently have about 70 issues still to resolve from the test team, about 97 still to resolve that came in through our help desk and about 235 still to resolve that have been received through various e-mail addresses. That gives us our total of around 400 known issues and these cover the entire spectrum from minor or rare issues to more serious ones.

After spending most of 2014 resolving the most serious and common solitaire issues, we renewed our focus on NetPlay with the goal of getting the Barbarossa scenario entirely playable and hopefully soon thereafter the campaign game. The problems with NetPlay have been a long-term frustration for all of us and we never expected that we would still be working to resolve them in mid-2015. However, while we have continued fixing other serious or important issues, our attention has remained on NetPlay and fortunately that focus seems to be succeeding. We are down to a total of 20 known unresolved NetPlay issues, of which many are not critical. The result of this is a recent new public beta update 1.4.10 that made great strides in solitaire play as well as other areas and an upcoming public beta update which we hope to release by the end of June which should finally resolve the remaining known issues which affect Netplay in scenarios and the global campaign. In other words, MWIF NetPlay will in theory be fixed with the next major update.

As always, there are enough complex interactions in MWIF that we have no doubt new bugs will be found as games proceed, especially with different playstyles and combinations of optional rules. However, we're getting very close to sounding the "all clear" on our side to ask customers to dive back into NetPlay and kick the tires, so to speak. We're hoping it won't take many more iterations after that to get to a long-term stable state for the vast majority of players and fulfill our promise to get the NetPlay issues resolved.

Solitaire has similarly improved along with NetPlay and the state of the game now is much better than it was when I posted the 2014 State of the Game update. For many players, solitaire can now be played with relatively few bugs or problems, though for some playstyles and rule combinations and some areas of the core rules, there are still serious issues that we have to fix.

Our primary goal for the rest of this year is to finish working through the remaining issues list and to make sure that solitaire and NetPlay are as bug-free and stable as possible for the vast majority of players. We also plan to address any core rule issues first before we move onto optional rules and other additions to the game. Because of the complexity of MWIF, putting a timeline on this is near impossible, but the steady progress of the last year gives us some optimism that we are getting nearer to that goal every day and that it is possible we will reach that point this year.

In terms of future plans, some of which may begin in parallel with a few of the remaining issue fixes, this is our current priority list. We're focusing on what we promised to add to the original release first. Again, we do want to make sure we have a stable solitaire and NetPlay version available with all major bugs resolved before we start adding these in.


Please note that timelines here are very much estimates and may change significantly once we get into each of these areas, given the nature and complexity of MWIF so far. I decided to give some timelines as without them there's no way to compare these areas in terms of work or effort required. While we may end up spending the rest of this year making sure Solitaire and Netplay are fully fixed and stable, it's also possible that we may be able to start working on these sooner than that. In either case, these are somewhat optimistic goals and our past experience with MWIF indicates that some will likely take longer than expected.


0. Finish Fixing Solitaire and Netplay (details above)

1. Additional Optional Rules


If you look at the beginning of Vol. I of the Player's Manual, you'll see a list of additional optional rules to add, with those that are closest to completion marked with asterisks.

The exact order of implementation for optional rules remains to be decided. We would welcome community input and feedback on which optional rules are of greatest importance to you. The below are currently the closest to completion:

- Optional Rule #47 (Isolated Reorganization Limits)
- City-based volunteers (this is already mostly implemented)
- Guards Banner Armies
- Kamikazes
- Rough Seas
- Naval Supply Units (this one is harder and will be left as one of the last)
- Convoy in Flames (this is likely the hardest and riskiest of all - we're expecting to get to this only once we're very happy that the vast majority of issues have been resolved)

We expect about 1-2 months of development to be spend adding in some of the additional optional rules, depending on which make the final list.

2. Additional Scenarios

- Fascist Tide
- Day of Infamy

Each of these will need about 1 month of development time. We're planning on Fascist Tide first, but much of the required work will apply to both, mainly in terms of how the off-map forces/assets/production are handled.

3. NetPlay expanded to 4 players (possibly 6)


Only after we're sure that NetPlay is very solid for 2 players, but we do not expect 4 or 6 player NetPlay to generate many issues that would not already appear in 2 player NetPlay. This is estimated to take 2-3 months of development time.

4. The AI (post-2015)

This is still something we plan to and want to do, but will nevertheless be a large task. Realistically this is not going to happen this year, but could be started before the end of next year. When we get started on this, more information and details will be provided. This could swap places with 4 player NetPlay in the priority order depending on community preference, though we expect 4 player NetPlay to be a much smaller task once we get to that point.

Regards,

- Erik





< Message edited by Erik Rutins -- 6/11/2015 10:21:37 PM >


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Post #: 1
RE: IMPORTANT: State of the Game and Future Plans as of... - 6/11/2015 6:26:36 PM   
Erik Rutins

 

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Here's a further breakdown of the remaining issue areas:






Attachment (1)

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(in reply to Erik Rutins)
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RE: IMPORTANT: State of the Game and Future Plans as of... - 6/11/2015 9:42:18 PM   
Cohen

 

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What about the aerial optional rules?

Bounce Combat, En Route Interception, etc?

I feel the En Route Interception quite important truth be told - because otherwise planes litterally "teleport" on the target.


< Message edited by Cohen -- 6/11/2015 10:46:37 PM >

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RE: IMPORTANT: State of the Game and Future Plans as of... - 6/12/2015 1:31:53 AM   
Viktor_Kormel


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Thanks Erik for your report, I think that is the correct planification.

< Message edited by Viktor_Kormel -- 6/12/2015 2:32:22 AM >


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RE: IMPORTANT: State of the Game and Future Plans as of... - 6/12/2015 4:47:09 AM   
Jagdtiger14


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On your list above:

1. Isolated re-org
2. Kamikazes
3. Guard Banner armies
4. City based volunteers
5. Convoy's in Flames
6. Naval Supply units

Forget about Rough Seas (very few play with this)

I don't care about the additional scenarios and think that is a waste of time. Barbarossa is good enough.

Getting Netplay to work with 4-6 players I think should happen before AI and the additional scenarios.

As Cohen mentions, there are other optionals that get played with a lot, and he mentions them...and there are more.


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Conflict with the unexpected: two qualities are indispensable; first, an intellect which, even in the midst of this obscurity, is not without some traces of inner light which lead to the truth; second, the courage to follow this faint light. KvC

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RE: IMPORTANT: State of the Game and Future Plans as of... - 6/12/2015 11:38:22 AM   
pzgndr

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Jagdtiger14
I don't care about [insert your selfish pet peeve] and think that is a waste of time.


Logic clearly dictates that the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few. Or the one.

Back on topic. Thank you Erik. Optional rules and then the additional scenarios. Hopefully we can be playing Fascist Tide, at least solitaire, by year's end while we wait for AI. Onward...

(in reply to Jagdtiger14)
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RE: IMPORTANT: State of the Game and Future Plans as of... - 6/12/2015 2:17:14 PM   
Jagdtiger14


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pzgndr: the few or the one?...why don't you put that to a vote? The few or the one might refer to yourself.

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RE: IMPORTANT: State of the Game and Future Plans as of... - 6/12/2015 2:28:57 PM   
chemkid


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Erik Rutins
[...]
Thank you all for your patience and support of MWIF over the many months since release and we hope you will stick with us as we are continuing to work on and support this release. [...]

erik, thank you for giving us an update.

have a nice weekend.

best regards,
robert

(in reply to Erik Rutins)
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RE: IMPORTANT: State of the Game and Future Plans as of... - 6/12/2015 3:39:07 PM   
bo

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Jagdtiger14

pzgndr: the few or the one?...why don't you put that to a vote? The few or the one might refer to yourself.


Hi Jagd, a vote huh! Yeah right, we did a vote in 2010 about the AI, want to go back and check that vote Jagd? I do not agree with every direction we are heading but I bow to the more knowledgeable beta testers, Erik and Steve.

The problem with a vote is who is left here to vote, you look at the posters in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 this place hummed every day but not now. There are two distinct groups here, the WIF players and players who just want a good computer WW2 game with or without netplay but must have an AI.

The board game players want netplay as a priority and it is easy to understand why, the other group including me would be okay with netplay some wheres down the road but they would most likely appreciate an AI now.

The hottest new game on the Matrix and Slitherine servers is Order of Battle Pacific, I just wonder if in the stats column it said no AI available now, guess what, there would be no posts on the game.

I know only one poster here, of the very few who are left, is begging for Fascist Tide, at least he brings it up but there are plenty more out there who would love to see it implemented, but I would like to see a vote by all members here as to what is more important a few obscure optional rules or the two half maps, [optional rule 47 not included in that comment] I keep reading it is a niche game, I do not buy that one for a moment.

I still feel that if this game had come out with every thing intact it would have been the biggest selling computer war game ever made to this date now.

Bo

< Message edited by bo -- 6/12/2015 4:42:57 PM >

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RE: IMPORTANT: State of the Game and Future Plans as of... - 6/12/2015 3:47:18 PM   
pzgndr

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Jagdtiger14
pzgndr: the few or the one?...why don't you put that to a vote? The few or the one might refer to yourself.


Yeah, I suppose all of my past support for all of the bug fixing and NetPlay for others as the priority all this time, and agreement with the future priorities that will continue to delay the additional scenarios and AI implementation for another year or more, could easily be misinterpreted as some sort of selfishness.

(in reply to Jagdtiger14)
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RE: IMPORTANT: State of the Game and Future Plans as of... - 6/12/2015 4:37:46 PM   
Jagdtiger14


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pzgndr: See Bo's post...that makes sense. You have your opinion, I have mine. What ever happens, happens. I have no control over development in this game. Erik solicited opinions on options...I added my 2 cents on the rest of the progression as well while I was at it. At least respect my right to an opinion and not be so condescending with your response. If you disagree, then fine...add something valuable to this discussion, regardless of any value you added since 2004.

I highly doubt players would want to see development of the scenarios to take away from time devoted to Netplay going to 4-6 AND AI. #2 should be #4, moving the rest up. Can you give me a convincing reason why that should not be?...rather than quoting Spock?

Live long and...er...a...prosper?

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Conflict with the unexpected: two qualities are indispensable; first, an intellect which, even in the midst of this obscurity, is not without some traces of inner light which lead to the truth; second, the courage to follow this faint light. KvC

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RE: IMPORTANT: State of the Game and Future Plans as of... - 6/12/2015 6:59:54 PM   
bo

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Jagdtiger14

pzgndr: See Bo's post...that makes sense. You have your opinion, I have mine. What ever happens, happens. I have no control over development in this game. Erik solicited opinions on options...I added my 2 cents on the rest of the progression as well while I was at it. At least respect my right to an opinion and not be so condescending with your response. If you disagree, then fine...add something valuable to this discussion, regardless of any value you added since 2004.

I highly doubt players would want to see development of the scenarios to take away from time devoted to Netplay going to 4-6 AND AI. #2 should be #4, moving the rest up. Can you give me a convincing reason why that should not be?...rather than quoting Spock?

Live long and...er...a...prosper?


Spock ouch! Please gentlemen I do not wish to see another thread closed down I have no problem with 2 man netplay, which in the Barbarossa scenario may occur soon, not sure of that, if 4 man is more complicated then maybe it should be done later.

Jagd you know I am AI through and through, but lets discuss my reasons why the half maps. I rarely ever play or test Global War as I find it daunting to say the least. There are many new players here, sure they are gamers but they have never seen a game like WIF on the computer.

I find Fascist Tide all this little brain can handle without getting into the Pacific theater of war but that is just me, the 2 scenarios Barbarossa and Guadalcanal are fine as an introductory to MWIF, one teaches the air and ground war the other of course the naval aspect, but both are far too short to really play a meaningful scenario.

Again Global war too long, the other two way too short, I just feel the half maps might relieve some of this overwhelming feeling of this very complicated game. On the Matrix server complexity scale this game is listed as Advanced Expert. Now I did not check this out but how many games have you seen on any server with that rating?

I think if players might feel like I do, that they like the thought of complex complicated games, thought is one thing getting into them and playing them well is another, and getting discouraged with a very complicated game is another.

Bo

< Message edited by bo -- 6/12/2015 8:20:08 PM >

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RE: IMPORTANT: State of the Game and Future Plans as of... - 6/12/2015 7:36:06 PM   
pzgndr

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Jagdtiger14
At least respect my right to an opinion and not be so condescending with your response.


An opinion is one thing. You (and others have done this also) specifically commented that you don't care about some such feature important to other players and specifically commented that any development work on such features for others is a waste of time. Just how much more disrespectful and condescending of how other players choose to play their games can a person get??

FWIW, despite my personal desires to play Fascist Tide versus the AI with a certain set of optional rules that others may or may not agree with, I still support the Matrix priorities to get the game up and running so that everyone can play and enjoy the game he chooses to play. I do not begrudge the veteran multiplayers, and I want them to get going with NetPlay to ensure the game works well. But dollars to donuts some narrow-minded individuals always come out of the woodwork with their "My way or the highway" attitude, critical of how anybody else could possibly play and enjoy games any differently than yourselves. And then you get pissed off when somebody objects to such selfishness. Fine. Get over it.

I'm done here. Erik, again thank you for the update; it makes sense. I will continue to wait patiently for the additional scenarios and the AI. Moving on...

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RE: IMPORTANT: State of the Game and Future Plans as of... - 6/12/2015 8:01:55 PM   
Cohen

 

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Also - now that I put the Optional in front of me ...
The NO ZoC on surprise is quite important and historical in my eyes.

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RE: IMPORTANT: State of the Game and Future Plans as of... - 6/13/2015 12:50:27 AM   
Jagdtiger14


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pzgndr: Wow, that's a lot of straw-men you knocked down, congratulations! "I'm done here" is the best comment you made on this thread. FYI: Its not my way or the highway, I'm looking forward to the next on-sale opportunity to buy this game. See-ya!

Bo: I hear you and respect what you wrote. I can now understand a player's desire to have something more than Barbarossa and less than the Grand campaign. Would you prefer the AI be worked on before the additional scenarios?...I would. Expanding Netplay to 4-6 players was said to take very little time.

Cohen, I have to disagree with you on NO ZOC on surprise...its way too strong concerning Poland, Netherlands, and Belgium. Although it is probably historic.

_____________________________

Conflict with the unexpected: two qualities are indispensable; first, an intellect which, even in the midst of this obscurity, is not without some traces of inner light which lead to the truth; second, the courage to follow this faint light. KvC

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RE: IMPORTANT: State of the Game and Future Plans as of... - 6/13/2015 1:07:56 AM   
bo

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Cohen

Also - now that I put the Optional in front of me ...
The NO ZoC on surprise is quite important and historical in my eyes.



Your not listening Mr Cohen. or is that your not reading?

Bo

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RE: IMPORTANT: State of the Game and Future Plans as of... - 6/13/2015 1:15:15 AM   
bo

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Jagdtiger14

pzgndr: Wow, that's a lot of straw-men you knocked down, congratulations! "I'm done here" is the best comment you made on this thread. FYI: Its not my way or the highway, I'm looking forward to the next on-sale opportunity to buy this game. See-ya!

Bo: I hear you and respect what you wrote. I can now understand a player's desire to have something more than Barbarossa and less than the Grand campaign. Would you prefer the AI be worked on before the additional scenarios?...I would. Expanding Netplay to 4-6 players was said to take very little time.

Cohen, I have to disagree with you on NO ZOC on surprise...its way too strong concerning Poland, Netherlands, and Belgium. Although it is probably historic.


I feel the additional scenarios should be done as soon as the netplay is resolved for at least 2 players and it can be used in Barbarossa. It annoys me about the AI but I realize now it has to be put off due to the heavy concentration that Steve will have to put into the AI program. This is the problem when he has no back up and no professional help to assist him for the AI, it is what it is.

Bo

< Message edited by bo -- 6/13/2015 2:16:36 AM >

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RE: IMPORTANT: State of the Game and Future Plans as of... - 6/13/2015 3:27:49 PM   
Jagdtiger14


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As for the AI, at the very least he can draw from lots of experienced players to make the AI as good as can be. I don't know if he's put those people together, but that's a big thing to have ready to go...and should save lots of time.

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RE: IMPORTANT: State of the Game and Future Plans as of... - 6/13/2015 3:32:45 PM   
bo

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Jagdtiger14

As for the AI, at the very least he can draw from lots of experienced players to make the AI as good as can be. I don't know if he's put those people together, but that's a big thing to have ready to go...and should save lots of time.


I am starting to like you Jagd, please send Steve an e-mail on that one

Bo

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RE: IMPORTANT: State of the Game and Future Plans as of... - 6/15/2015 5:41:28 AM   
Smokey2

 

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Thanks for the belated feedback. If it was me I would look at bringing the AI forward in the process, perhaps items 0-1-4-2-3. But looking at the proposed process I don't need to check back in until next year when hopefully some work on the AI has at least commenced.

Smokey

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RE: IMPORTANT: State of the Game and Future Plans as of... - 6/15/2015 3:08:49 PM   
bo

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Smokey2

Thanks for the belated feedback. If it was me I would look at bringing the AI forward in the process, perhaps items 0-1-4-2-3. But looking at the proposed process I don't need to check back in until next year when hopefully some work on the AI has at least commenced.

Smokey



Post more Smokey I know you probably linger on the posts, reading them now and then to keep in touch. As far as the AI goes I am one of the biggest advocates of it, no Matrix game to my knowledge has ever been released without an AI. It should have been done first, end of story.

Now for reality, without all the major bugs being fixed and the 2 half maps put into the game there is not point for the AI at this time, netplay was the course decided on by the powers that be, right or wrong .

There are some who want all the optional rules coded before the AI . To me that makes no sense at all, get the game up and running with net play, solo, whatever, and when it all looks secure put in the remaining optional rules. Why, because some of these optional rules are tough to program and if they are put in now they could cause other problems that have already been resolved.

I am speaking as a non professional programmer who knows nothing about programming as 99% of the posters do not understand programming about what Steve faces each time he goes to put in an optional rule. I believe that sleek and clean is the way to go for the rest of 2015.

Bo

< Message edited by bo -- 6/15/2015 4:10:58 PM >

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RE: IMPORTANT: State of the Game and Future Plans as of... - 6/15/2015 4:45:49 PM   
GARY L

 

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Erik

I vote for AI

Gary

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RE: IMPORTANT: State of the Game and Future Plans as of... - 6/15/2015 7:11:20 PM   
Centuur


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I vote against it. What is the estimated time to be spend on the AI? A year? Two? Three? That's far too long compared to the other things which are easier to do...

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RE: IMPORTANT: State of the Game and Future Plans as of... - 6/15/2015 10:29:33 PM   
Cohen

 

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If I am to vote for the AI, I'd vote for the AI to be last - and in my books the AI should be done only for Barbarossa and Guadalcanal scenario for learning sessions.

It will be a hell to code an AI with all the optionals in mind too - some much gamechanging like defensive shore bombing or the limited oversea supply.
Probably the AI also will require, whenever present and implemented - a standard set of Optional Rules.

But as I said, AI should come last. Heck if it was for me, updating to RAW8 would be better than adding an AI (But maybe I have the luck to have a human opponent to play against. Not that people cannot find someone around among the other forumers)

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RE: IMPORTANT: State of the Game and Future Plans as of... - 6/16/2015 2:37:06 AM   
paulderynck


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I agree with Cohen.

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RE: IMPORTANT: State of the Game and Future Plans as of... - 6/16/2015 5:32:34 AM   
flipperwasirish


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I agree with parts of Bo's position, parts of Cohen's position and everything in between.

My hope is that coding goes well for Steve and by the end of 2015 MWIF is in a state that is solid
enough with the base game and Netplay that the AI God's grant me one wish. That wish is that the only
bugs that pop up in 2016 and beyond be so minor (hopefully cosmetic tiny ones) that when Steve fixes them
nothing else breaks.

While I wouldn't bet on this, sometimes miracles DO happen.

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RE: IMPORTANT: State of the Game and Future Plans as of... - 6/16/2015 12:37:22 PM   
pzgndr

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Erik Rutins
In terms of future plans, some of which may begin in parallel with a few of the remaining issue fixes, this is our current priority list. We're focusing on what we promised to add to the original release first. Again, we do want to make sure we have a stable solitaire and NetPlay version available with all major bugs resolved before we start adding these in.


Steve and Erik have had plenty of time to consider all of the inputs on this forum for a very long time, ad nauseam. The current priority list is fine. We will all get there when we get there.

(in reply to Erik Rutins)
Post #: 27
RE: IMPORTANT: State of the Game and Future Plans as of... - 6/16/2015 3:25:54 PM   
cataphract88


Posts: 474
Joined: 10/5/2012
From: Britannia
Status: offline
In my opinion, the AI should be prioritised over the optional rules.

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Richard

(in reply to pzgndr)
Post #: 28
RE: IMPORTANT: State of the Game and Future Plans as of... - 6/16/2015 9:44:53 PM   
Numdydar

 

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Joined: 2/13/2004
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The AI really needs to come last unfortunately. There really is just no other way to do it earlier.

This is due to needing to actually have all the optional rules in the game and coded properly. Otherwise the AI would need to be redone every time a new optional rule was added as some of these optional will have a major impact on an AI. And you cannot code the AI as if the optional rules were in the game as you do not know exactly how the rules will be coded until they are.

So if everyone wants an AI to come first, then we need to lock down the optional rules we currently have and not add any more (or add them in as expansions for an extra cost).

So the choices are:
No more optional rules to be added and any future optional rules added past these will cost more money in order to have an AI faster

or

Keep adding optional rules to complete a core 'set' and then add an AI after these are done an tested

Anything else will create a much worse game than we have now It is just the way programming works.

(in reply to cataphract88)
Post #: 29
RE: IMPORTANT: State of the Game and Future Plans as of... - 6/17/2015 7:05:46 AM   
flipperwasirish


Posts: 1714
Joined: 2/25/2003
From: The Nutmeg State
Status: offline
IMO, your view is "the" reality MWIF faces, and well said.

From experience I know the nightmare which will come if the program is not "locked" before Steve goes full speed ahead programming the AI.
I do not believe enough time (at least in my life (I am 55)) exists to make multiple successful attempts programming the AI.

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Flipper

(in reply to Numdydar)
Post #: 30
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