Shannon V. OKeets
From: Honolulu, Hawaii
That applies to anyone who takes issue with my opinions, which are invariably correct.
Ok I am definitly recharging. That made me laugh. I do not mean that in a bad way. I accept that you like all of us realize our opinions are just that - our own opinions.
I believe we both disagree on how much is feisty and what may be construed as mean. You probably don't mean for your your comments to be ugly. However they come across to a lot of people as such. If your comments were less antagonizing you might actually get a strong following regarding the progress of MWiF. But dropping nukes to make a point draws people away from your belief and gives them points to attack you with. A different approach might be something you want to consider. In that way you would not need to compromise your position and people might listen more attentively to what you are trying to accomplish. So exactly what is your motivation and what are you are trying to accomplish?
- Is it to get Matrix to put more dollars vehind the project.?
- Is it to hurry up the release date at the cost of a poor product?
- Is it to derail the project completely?
- Or is it something else and if so what is it?
You guys are keeping me busy today! Emails, PMs, posts... First, I disagree with you that my tactics drive people away - the volume of responses here and in my inbox are proof that a strongly-worded, even "ugly" perspective is very efficient at driving discussion and much of it is positioned squarely in my corner.
I wanted MWiF to be CWiF with the following included: A.I., complete optional rules and add-ons from the various editions, and a complete roster of scenarios. It is understood that would include improved functionality and bugs squashed. I didn't need "improved" graphics. I didn't need a user's manual. I didn't need an "improved" interface. If those things come along for the ride, fine, but the important things are those three I mentioned.
The MWiF that may or may not be released provides all the things I don't need and none of the things I do. This disappoints me. I would rather see one of the following:
1. Matrix gets involved in a positive way and brings in a team to take over and give me those things (it goes without saying that Steve and the roster of volunteers alone are incapable of delivering them).
2. Matrix steps away and some other team comes in to give me those things. Another company, one that is actually motivated to release a complete game? A Kickstarter? Something else?
So to answer your question, I would say "all of the above, except the second option." I understand that those may not be viable options, but I am willing to agitate for them loudly nonetheless. This thing that is currently called MWiF is laughable, the more so for how long is has taken to achieve such a state of ridiculousness.
Also, as a fan of WiF the incompetence and lack of care with which this project has been conducted grieves me; it is restorative to call out the guilty parties publicly and notify them of their multiple and sustained failures. And yeah, that can get "ugly."
MWIF has 9 of the 11 scenarios; the 2 that are incomplete are the half-map scenarios, where the ADG rules for the Transfer Pool are a headache. For instance, in Fascist Tide Japan does not officially exist, yet Japan gets to launch attacks against the Transfer Pool. There are several other fishy rules related to the half-map scenarios, mostly to do with production. I am still working on finishing the code for the special rules in these last 2 scenarios, but have scheduled their completion for after the initial release. By the way, the setup details for all scenarios are complete and have been thoroughly tested by the beta testers over the years.
While you are happy with the CWIF graphics, the majority of potential buyers would not be. Beyond the mere aesthetics, there is difficulty in understanding what the CWIF graphics communicate. In particular, the different meanings of hexside colors and status indicators are problematic.
While you might not 'need' a user's manual, anyone who has never played WIF will. The learning curve for WIF is long and arduous - most players relied on a knowledgeable (and patient) friend to learn the game. If you are including all the optional rules, then the complexity is vastly increased. Without a user's manual, the market for MWIF would be negligible.
Separating improved functionality from improved graphics is naive (to my mind). Most of the new functionality in MWIF (versus CWIF) relates to graphics, either on the map or (vastly more common) with the addition of new and improved forms. For instance, CWIF did a poor job of communicating the details of land combat resolution and air-to-air combat. The former had numerous bugs, which players probably didn't notice since the level of information was so sparse.
There are hundreds of other improvements from CWIF to MWIF. I did not make these (innumerable) changes on a whim, or because I just love to spend years writing code. The driving forces for new stuff were: (1) the beta testers insisted on it, or (2) as a WIF player (10+ years), I couldn't tolerate the errors and omissions. I want the players to be able to PLAY the game, not spend their time struggling with figuring out what is going on (e.g., map positions, unit capabilities, the sequence of play).
But I would say that an enormous amount of my time was spent implementing the rules. Even the WIFFE rules had a lot of problems (~400 questions/answers to/from Harry Rowland). There were a lot (~50) that turned up when I was working on writing the code. Several rules changed back and forth between different interpretations. I probably can't communicate the difficulty in changing code when rules change.
As a simple example from my work yesterday, splitting/merging convoys wasn't updating all the forms correctly. When a convoy is split, one or more new units need to be added to the units on the map and in the list of units in any visible form. Merging convoys means one or more of them is removed. The code handled all of this correctly on the map and if the player selected the original convoy unit(s) from the Setup Tray, the Units-in-Hex form, or from the Flyouts form. But it wasn't updating the form lists correctly when the player used the Select Units or the Naval Review Details forms. I fixed the problems with the latter form yesterday and will work on the former today. Note that splitting and merging convoys is a very simple rule, and one that CWIF implemented perfectly (except for the Select Units form). MWIF uses the CWIF code for the basic functionality of these rules, but I had to add code to deal with all the different places/forms where the player could initiate these actions. More complex rules, especially those involving new (not CWIF) unit types from the optional rules impact the code in dozens of places, from such basic stuff as displaying them on the screen and building them to their unique capabilities.
Perfection is an elusive goal.