Hello, I am Bill Macon (pzgndr) and I will be helping Marshall Ellis with EiANW code development. I've long been an advocate for this outstanding Napoleonic wargame and I've been helping with the game manual updates since around v1.05. My intent is to continue development where Marshall left off and help improve the game. I've monitored the forum discussions and arguments over the years, often getting into arguments myself for better or worse (I apologize!), but always with a desire to help improve the game. Marshall is still around but just way too busy with real life. I am not taking over, just helping. This is purely an unpaid hobby enthusiast effort on my part and I have my own busy real life. As a reality check, I offer the following comments to let everyone know where we stand and what's going on:
1. EiANW was originally programmed using Borland C/C++Builder. After the v1.08.07 official patch in 2012, Marshall migrated the code to the newer CodeGear C++Builder 2007 compiler. The latest compiler is Embarcadero C++Builder 10. Migrating the code further along the Borland-CodeGear-Embarcadero line or completely updating the code to a different language or compiler (e.g., C#, Visual Studio, etc.) would require significant effort and not likely to happen anytime soon. For the foreseeable future, the priority will on maintenance of the current code to resolve long-standing issues and implement modest improvements and enhancements. Hopefully without introducing new bugs.
2. The Mantis bug tracker still contains useful information but its continued reliability is questionable. Del recently updated Mantis to fix error messages so it should continue to function. However, in lieu of trying to introduce a new bug tracker program/database and transferring old data, I have copied the ~150 or so open issues in Mantis to a document and will be manually tracking/updating this as issues are resolved. There are already plenty of documented bugs and suggestions to work off as time permits. As new patches get released for public beta testing and official release, please use the Tech Support forum to post new bug reports related to new issues in the updates.
3. There are about 16 major bugs related to loaned unit behaviour, naval issues, lending money, Poland, guerrillas, and AI that warrant priority resolution. Beyond that, there are over 100 other minor issues related to: game bugs, PBEM bugs/enhancements, rules deviations, AI bugs/enhancements, user interface bugs/enhancements, and other game enhancements. All of these are already captured in the bug tracking and probably about 90% of them could/should be eventually resolvable. Some game enhancements related to implementing new game features and other issues requiring significant effort are not likely, but perhaps possible down the road.
4. There is strong demand for a classic EiA map and order of battle, we all know that. A new and separate EiA map may fall into the significant effort category and may not be likely in the near future but perhaps possible down the road. Regardless, the map differences themselves are not too significant but the EiH minor country statuses are noticeably different and these can be adjusted accordingly. What should be doable is to at least create new and separate data files and setups for the 1805 campaign for both classic EiA v3.1 and for alternate EiH v4.0; this should be acceptable for most players to use for the foreseeable future and/or further edit themselves. Some additional work is still needed on the scenario editor and the game code to implement the 1812 scenario (for both classic EiA and alternate EiH) and other custom scenarios, but this should also be doable down the road.
5. There is also strong demand for online play for faster games, either TCP/IP or via a server like NetPlay. Based on other forum discussions for the World in Flames wargame and noting the challenges of implementing NetPlay capability for that game over the past couple of years, this item probably falls into the significant effort category and is not likely to happen unless Marshall Ellis or another programmer gets involved. Sorry.
OK. We are where we are and I assume EiANW players still want to continuing moving forward towards a better game. The plan is to complete a v1.21 official release in 2016 to build upon the work already done for v1.20 and v1.21, and also to tackle some of the major bugs and several other minor issues. This should also include new setups for EiA v3.1 and EiH v4.0. Beyond that, subsequent patches will tackle the remaining issues; at this point there are no estimates for what or when. A LOT depends on learning/understanding the legacy code structure and carefully deciding how best to proceed forward, so this will be time consuming for the first several months but should get easier as time goes on. Please be patient. Thank you.
Empires in Arms Development Team