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RE: If you could add one feature... - 11/17/2016 3:53:33 PM   
CapnDarwin


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There are a couple people working on making maps similar to what William does. There are a couple threads in the scenario mods forum that show the tools and techniques being used. Check those out to get an idea of what goes into just making the map art.

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RE: If you could add one feature... - 11/17/2016 9:21:51 PM   
kevinkin


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Not sure what you mean. Are you saying the process is so cumbersome that a Pro edition would have little to no appeal? I tried scenario design and it was not bad at all. A discount on Hexdraw would be cool if it could be arranged. The free mapping tools available can be used but do not compare. Just an idea.

Kevin


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RE: If you could add one feature... - 11/18/2016 4:45:38 PM   
CapnDarwin


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What I am saying is scenario design on an existing map is easy. Using the map values editor on a map image takes some time to do, but it is feasible. Making a map image using any type of third party tools will vary in complexity. Making a map to the level of William's work takes a number of tools and days of work. My point is that there is no simple point and click tool we can make that will equal what he does to get a final map image and map data file. We could look at some type of point and click hex filler post Southern Storm with the understanding it will not look as good or have the flexibility of style his maps bring to the game.

A lot here for everyone to chew on and think about.

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14 Update in the works! Everyone is working hard on Southern Storm!

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Post #: 63
RE: If you could add one feature... - 11/19/2016 4:50:55 AM   
kevinkin


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As an example. I was making a Korea '85 scenario back in August and, try as I might, the map was not up to the same quality as if I had purchased Hexdraw and with it the ability to import the nice ground textures. Laying a great topo on a perfectly aligned hex grid still was not what fellow players would expect to battle on. There was no visual way to signal elevations without using cartoon-like freeware map software. I was thinking a partnership with Hexdraw might be an efficient way to extend the engine. Custom maps may have limited appeal so to have a relationship with Hexdraw might not be worthwhile since it would only benefit a few folks like myself.

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RE: If you could add one feature... - 11/20/2016 11:02:11 AM   
W1ll14m


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quote:

ORIGINAL: kevinkin
As an example. I was making a Korea '85 scenario back in August and, try as I might, the map was not up to the same quality as if I had purchased Hexdraw and with it the ability to import the nice ground textures. Laying a great topo on a perfectly aligned hex grid still was not what fellow players would expect to battle on. There was no visual way to signal elevations without using cartoon-like freeware map software. I was thinking a partnership with Hexdraw might be an efficient way to extend the engine. Custom maps may have limited appeal so to have a relationship with Hexdraw might not be worthwhile since it would only benefit a few folks like myself.


Thanks for the feedback and suggestion.

We are a small team, and the map editor is a secondary issue; in order for people to want to create maps, the core game itself should be great first. Any time spent on the map editor is not going towards making the core game great.
So, organizing the map creation such that more of it can be done better with external tools is a great idea, and something we've been looking into.
However, instead of doing more with HexDraw (aimed at the "looks" of the map), we are doing more with (free) QGis (aimed at efficiently handling digital elevation data and overlays from Google / Openstreetmap).

This is for the following reasons:
For a good map, we need a clear 'map values' bitmap for scanning, so the game understands the terrain, and a clear 'pretty' bitmap for display, so the player understands the terrain.
HexDraw doesn't support that distinction, and doesn't let you swap art styles for a given map. So it forces you to compromise both maps into a single map. Either the map is looking pretty, and the map designer has to manually provide a lot of corrections/annotations each and every time he changes the map and scans it anew. Or the map is looking really basic and scans well.
HexDraw also doesn't support reading topographic data (such as digital elevation data), so you'd have to edit the elevation for each and every hex.
HexDraw's art falls short when you want to display the contours of a multiple elevation step on a hex side (for example, going from elevation 1 to 3), especially when combined with a stream running along the hex side. Southern Storm's terrain is more hilly and its terrain representation is a bit richer than Red Storm's, and HexDraw doesn't support this fully.
HexDraw isn't free, and the demo didn't support creation of a full size map for Red Storm.

We have gone the other way, creating templates and styles and a tutorial to create clear 'map values' bitmaps from topographic data using the free QGis tool. (See this thread). This speeds up map creation for the 'map values' bitmap and corresponding .fp10 terrain file part. I value that a lot, having to create most of the maps.
QGis does nothing to make maps look pretty though. For the pretty maps part, I'm using a 'home-grown' tool that reads the .fp9/.fp10 terrain file and renders that terrain in a 'pretty' way. It's not art based, but creates a 3D model of the terrain, and renders that in 2D with contours and shading, then populates it with houses, trees, and nicely curved streams and roads. It also guarantees consistency between what the game thinks is the terrain and what the player sees as terrain.
The big downside of this tool is that it is a command-line, Linux based, memory hungry tool, and not easy to turn into a friendly Windows GUI based tool; putting it behind a web-site based UI probably is more feasible.

I have been supporting the map creators who use QGis with renders of their .fp9 terrain files, which they can edit afterwards. I should be able to do this also when Southern Storm launches.

William

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RE: If you could add one feature... - 11/20/2016 4:13:22 PM   
kipanderson

 

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William,

thanks.. that sounds great.

Thanks.

All the best,
kip.


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RE: If you could add one feature... - 11/20/2016 5:02:51 PM   
kevinkin


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Thank you. I did not know that option existed. Missed the thread in September and/or it's significance. I will download and check it out for the Korea project. But first a silly question or two: what is a QGI? Google brings up nothing relevant. Also, other than the example maps with the tutorial, are any other maps created with this technique available to play on?

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RE: If you could add one feature... - 11/20/2016 5:15:46 PM   
CapnDarwin


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I believe it is QGIS. https://www.qgis.org/

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Post #: 68
RE: If you could add one feature... - 11/22/2016 11:12:23 AM   
larrybush


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quote:

Just a tough one to figure out.

quote:

We are a small team, and the map editor is a secondary issue; in order for people to want to create maps, the core game itself should be great first.


Yes programming is an art and a science! You certainly have made a very good game system with plenty of potential.
I understand business enough that knowing you service a fairly "niche" market makes it all the more difficult!

And if I ever sound like I'm in a hurry and want everything right now, it's just because at 64 with health that is just "Meh", one of these days I'm gonna wait for a game and well you know what. Makes me in a rush for games I suppose.

Thanks for the reply and the good game!

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Post #: 69
RE: If you could add one feature... - 12/17/2016 11:33:01 AM   
MikeJ19

 

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I am getting the game for Christmas and looking forward to playing and joining the community. In reading the rules, I did not see any option for "fire planning" with the artillery. I was an artillery officer and this is one of the important skills we practiced a lot. In game terms, it would involve having the ability to plot a number of fire missions with timings - say three different target locations over 15 minutes while an attack is going on.

Is this clear?

I can't wait to start playing...

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Post #: 70
RE: If you could add one feature... - 12/17/2016 2:34:23 PM   
RobertCrandall


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MikeJ19 - I hope you enjoy the game when you get it!

Yes, you can fine tune your arty impact times to the minute. The default is just to wait a few minutes and then space each barrage at five minute intervals to get the fastest possible delivery but you can change that in the waypoint editor.

Set up 1 to 3 arty target reference points in the usual way and then right-click on any of them to bring up the waypoint editor. A screen shot is show here. You can see the timings of the shots and there is also a voluntary delay cell in the row before each shoot. Click on that gray cell and you can set an extra delay in minutes. If you delay the first shoot by say 5 minutes then it will bump back the second and third shoots by five minutes too. You can play around to your heart's content.

Normally the command of a brigade would not worry about such details but once in a while you really, really want to synchronize a key attack to the n'th degree and this will do it for you!

You can use the same technique for varying the timing of movement waypoints too.

Have fun, Rob C




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RE: If you could add one feature... - 12/20/2016 1:51:02 AM   
Iron Mike Golf

 

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MikeJ19,

The fire support model in this game engine is not very sophisticated. Essentially, you can plot three targets at a time per unit and set the time of impact using waypoint delays, as Rob noted above.

Indirect fire units are basically all in GS with DS response times. The DS mission type does not extend to subordinate units, which is a severe constraint. We are addressing that, among other things, in Southern Storm.

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Post #: 72
RE: If you could add one feature... - 12/21/2016 1:36:52 AM   
MikeJ19

 

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Iron Mike Golf,

I was a young artillery officer in 1989 and subsequently taught in the Canadian Artillery School for 6 years over two postings and worked on Canadian Artillery doctrine and NATO artillery doctrine. If I can help let me know.

All the best,

Mike

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Post #: 73
RE: If you could add one feature... - 12/25/2016 11:17:14 AM   
hawkeye_de

 

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any change inclunding a battle(scenario) generator ?

Merry Christmas :)

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Post #: 74
RE: If you could add one feature... - 12/27/2016 2:32:47 PM   
Mad Russian


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There will be the ability to get random selection of scenarios into the game. Not sure if it will be a complete random Battle Generator or not.

Good Hunting.

MR

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Founder of HSG scenario design group for Combat Mission.
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Flashpoint Campaigns: Red Storm Development Team.

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Post #: 75
RE: If you could add one feature... - 12/28/2016 5:07:21 PM   
MikeJ19

 

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Good day,

Is there a way to suggest target priorities? The FSCC prioritizes enemy Artillery and HQ units, but in some cases, I would like them to go after enemy bridging capabilities or AD units. Can you add a feature where the player could add to a high payoff target list?

Thanks,

Mike

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Post #: 76
RE: If you could add one feature... - 12/28/2016 6:45:56 PM   
CapnDarwin


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Mike, that is in the planning pipeline for Southern Storm.

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14 Update in the works! Everyone is working hard on Southern Storm!

Website still in limbo

Cap'n Darwin aka Jim Snyder
On Target Simulations

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Post #: 77
RE: If you could add one feature... - 12/28/2016 11:17:42 PM   
MikeJ19

 

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Cool!

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Post #: 78
RE: If you could add one feature... - 1/8/2017 5:27:45 PM   
Zakalwe101

 

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The list of suggestions is getting quite long now, I suspect these may have already been suggested or touched upon.
Resupply.
How about units that DID NOT compulsory relocate to resupply retain the mode that they were in prior to commencing resupply and also retain any terrain benefits at the end of the resupply time period. (e.g hold and dug in status that they had prior to commencing resupply ?)

Also ability to select mode the units enters at the end of the resupply function. ?

Preferred stand off distance should be a user defined distance in hexes ? (odd cases where a units preferred standoff distance is greater than the units primary weapon range – e.g Hells crossroad scenario – 4/AT/S/1 Milan 2 range 2000m (4 hexes) preferred standoff distance 5 hexes ?

Engineering
Bridging units equipment represented. I have occasionally come across oddities in respect of what I can only call Bridge spam – e.g airborne units building bridges useable by tanks. So a Soviet Tank company that loses it’s MT55 Can no longer build bridges. (does not lose it’s amphibious ability).

Mine clearance . It strikes me that we have two types of minefield represented in this game, scenario placed minefields (deliberate/dense) and those delivered during the game by Artillery (hasty/localised/sparse). Both require the same time allocation to clear a path through them, but there is also a requirement in respect of equipment. Certainly mine clearance vehicles become a key piece of equipment – and thus key targets. So a Soviet Tank company that loses it’s KMT 5 equipped tank can no longer clear minefields, they can mark a "safe" path but units entering the minefield should be at risk of suffering some losses, also should incur the same time penalty ?.

HELO units
On resupply rather than pathing back to task force HQ for resupply they should path back to their immediate higher HQ unit ( representative of advanced POL/AMMO dump)

AIR SUPPORT - my A10 are equipped with Maverick missiles with a standoff attack range of 23km yet they descend to the target hex to attack and end up being shot at by all and sundry- how about adding the option for air units so equipped to use their stand off range so they are not vulnerable to any oik armed with a sa 7 or sa 18. Once they have used up stand off ammo (perhaps using the artillery special ammunition mechanic ?) they get to come down into the dirt to use the GAU 30. Equally I would not wish them to use the Maverick missiles in a high SAM threat zone given that Mavericks require some altitude, at least at the target acquisition and launch phase. Perhaps permit user defined attack profile, like the artillery mechanic ?
If they must enter the target hex, how about allowing the attack and egress route to be plotted ? Hiding from ground radar behind hills is certainly what the RAF trained, the mid to high altitudes being so dangerous. How would the AI manage this ?

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RE: If you could add one feature... - 2/11/2017 7:55:00 PM   
Stimpak


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I know this is rather late to the party, but...

The ability to see where your artillery is landing and if it's scoring hits should be regulated by the presence of units with sufficient Ground Search Radar on the map as opposed to being seen by default - Units like the PRP-4 and SNAR-10 come to mind. The game does an excellent job of modelling electronics systems already, so it couldn't hurt to get a bit more in-depth with regard to the function of these systems, and of course, their vulnerabilities

A trigger system regulating "scripted" AI behavior and reinforcements/withdrawals...
ex
-Reinforcement defined as "D/1-15th Mech Bn" arrives if trigger "Call for Reinforcements" is set... VP cost included
-Enemy AI sends Company X to VP Y if obstacle in hex ZZZZ is breached...
-If enemy casualties reach 50% or more, nuclear weapons are authorized...

Some representation of air-to-air combat...

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RE: If you could add one feature... - 3/3/2017 3:32:54 AM   
mattdbook

 

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Hi Chris,

Thanks for your reply. I haven't been on the forum for a while.

I do think the game is excellent in many ways, but I do look forward to any targeting improvements in Southern Storm!

Regards,
Matt

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RE: If you could add one feature... - 3/7/2017 5:51:26 PM   
Jagger2002

 

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quote:

The ability to see where your artillery is landing and if it's scoring hits should be regulated by the presence of units with sufficient Ground Search Radar on the map as opposed to being seen by default - Units like the PRP-4 and SNAR-10 come to mind. The game does an excellent job of modelling electronics systems already, so it couldn't hurt to get a bit more in-depth with regard to the function of these systems, and of course, their vulnerabilities


Yes and also would be nice to remove the precise artillery results from the TOC messages in human to human/PBEM games. I like those artillery TOC messages when playing the AI because they are very useful in understanding the combat mechanism. However in PBEM, those messages make artillery the preferred method of reconnaissance. However, IMO, it is Ok if there is a legitimate justification for knowledge on artillery results when firing on unobserved hexes. It wouldn't surprise me if there is justification of which I am not aware. If there is justification, I would be curious to know how the information would be collected-maybe radio intercepts?

Also targeting...a number have mentioned it already. My recent example involved a T-80 company in the woods stumbling into a jaguar platoon adjacent to a jager infantry platoon. The Jaguars promptly knocked out 6 of my 10 tanks at 500 meters. My tanks had time to fire two return volleys before the Jaguars scooted out of sight. Unfortunately, my tank survivors decided to fire those two volleys at the trucks of the infantry platoon instead of the Jaguars. Did manage to knock out one infantry truck as the Jaguars disappeared deeper into the woods. Ummm....

< Message edited by Jagger2002 -- 3/7/2017 6:04:13 PM >

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Post #: 82
RE: If you could add one feature... - 3/7/2017 6:10:01 PM   
CapnDarwin


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We ran into the same issue with VP markers. How would you know it was occupied if you can see it. The simple answer is other intel assets in the battle space. There can be other recon units, spec ops, air recon, radio info, etc., that gets forwarded into your command center. We can look at maybe having an option for this "soft" Intel so you can toggle it on/off/realistic (lies to you about stuff).

Targeting can get weird at times and it really becomes a function of the situation. There is a chance that the tanks were surprised by the Jags. Either did not see them or someone saw them just before going boom. At that point a bunch of your comrades have exploded, there is smoke, fire, and debris all over the place. You spot a vehicle (truck) and fire. Not ideal as a commander, but really possibly for that poor pixel tanker.

_____________________________

14 Update in the works! Everyone is working hard on Southern Storm!

Website still in limbo

Cap'n Darwin aka Jim Snyder
On Target Simulations

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Post #: 83
RE: If you could add one feature... - 3/15/2017 2:39:05 AM   
Jagger2002

 

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I have had problems with Russian mech Infantry blocking bottlenecks primarily to other large mech infantry units due to stacking limits. If a mech unit is deployed, should it block the roads? I would think the mass of the unit would be deployed off road. So my suggestion is that deployed infantry units should not count towards stacking limits when another unit is passing through the hex in travel mode. In bottlenecks, then a large Russian mech infantry could use roads to pass through another deployed mech unit which is not using the roads.

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