Campaign Series: East Front 1939-1941 Sneak Peeks, Coming Attractions, Work-in-progress (Full Version)

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Crossroads -> Campaign Series: East Front 1939-1941 Sneak Peeks, Coming Attractions, Work-in-progress (10/31/2018 8:27:31 AM)

Campaign Series: East Front 1939-1941 Sneak Peeks, Coming Attractions, Work-in-progress

[image]http://www.matrixgames.com/forums/upfiles/32195/7BDFF7E8A76F4695B7CA585DE80A3B3B.jpg[/image]

Good day, commanders!

We have a Sneak Peek thread going on at the CS Middle East forum, originally created to share some sneak peeks on the coming Middle East game and its updates, now also active on showing CS: Vietnam snippets.

I’ve posted a couple of East Front sneak peeks there as well, but since JTCS is the current standard for “all things Campaign Series” in World War 2 era, I thought I’d create a specific EF Sneak Peek thread here. So here goes.

What is Campaign Series: East Front 1939-1941?

CS: East Front 1939-1941 will be the first installation of the new and improved CS game engine in World War 2. As the title implies, it will cover the first three years of war in Eastern front, namely: Invasion of Poland, Invasion of Finland (Winter War), and the first year of Operation Barbarossa

What about battles taking place after 1941?

Those will follow. We wanted to concentrate on new content, and starting from scratch, we also wanted to cover each of the conflicts in detail. So whereas JTCS only had a handful of say Poland and Finland scenarios, there will be plenty of those in the new game. Also, Barbarossa will be covered in detail.
After the first version of the game is out, the current thinking (technical details have not been tested yet) is to provide the follow up period as DLCs (downloadable content). At the moment we’re thinking adding an East Front 1942-43 module next, and following that, an East Front 1944-45 module to complete things there.

OK, so when will it be out?

It will be out once we have CS Vietnam out, and the six month period or so supporting solely that release. However, there’s on-going parallel development with East Front taking place already, and barring unseen developments, we’re hoping to have the game out in a year’s time or so, plus some contingency. I’m hoping for a Q1/2020 release or something thereabouts.

So, without further ado, here’s some sneak peeks towards several work-in-progress items.

DISCLAIMER Everything shown here is ALPHA status, incomplete, and subject to change! But we’d rather be open about what we’re doing, so we’re quite willing to show stuff that is not completed. Just saying please bear that in mind. [:)]




Crossroads -> RE: Campaign Series: East Front 1939-1941 Sneak Peeks, Coming Attractions, Work-in-progress (10/31/2018 8:28:01 AM)

CS: East Front articles, blog post Table of Contents.

[image]http://cslegion.com/csl/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/CSL_WordLogo_2.png[/image]

www.cslegion.com blogs

  • East Front Home Page at CSLegion.com

    Order of Battles blogs:

  • German Order of Battle
  • Romanian Order of Battle
  • Finnish Order of Battle

    Newsletter:

  • Subscribe to CS Legion Newsletter Here.

    Newsletter content includes a Weekly Digest, and anything special we want to inform you directly.




  • Crossroads -> RE: Campaign Series: East Front 1939-1941 Sneak Peeks, Coming Attractions, Work-in-progress (10/31/2018 8:28:10 AM)

    (Very!) Early Screenshots

    Here's some very early screenshots of the game, starting with the 3D views.

    As with CS Middle East 2.0, there's a new Zoom-In 3D view available, to add to the previous Normal and Zoom-Out views. Let us compare:

    3D Normal View mock-up (Terrain is from CS Middle East, while unit images are from JTCS). Both to be upgraded.):

    [image]http://www.matrixgames.com/forums/upfiles/32195/30AF47CBFE3742D9BC12D23ADDE9FC81.jpg[/image]

    How the new scale works is that the Zoom-in View hex size is 150% of the previous close-up view of the Normal View. The units appear as they did in previous Normal, while the buildings have been scaled down a tad to make the visuals more true to the scale (250 meter hexes).

    Let us compare the new Normal View with the legacy Normal View:

    New:

    [image]http://www.matrixgames.com/forums/upfiles/32195/7F2774A1FE7944C1BD9CECAADB3809BD.jpg[/image]

    Legacy:

    [image]http://www.matrixgames.com/forums/upfiles/32195/EEB53744D17C4ECA9CAD80117A7668FA.jpg[/image]


    As for the 250 meter hex scale, here's how it would draw, realistically, but we're obviously not going that far, but looking for a better compromise between that and those of the legacy views.

    [image]http://www.matrixgames.com/forums/upfiles/12395/C3C9F65268E94FB2A14AAFFFDF537025.jpg[/image]




    Crossroads -> RE: Campaign Series: East Front 1939-1941 Sneak Peeks, Coming Attractions, Work-in-progress (10/31/2018 8:28:23 AM)

    There's quite a lot of housekeeping just to keep the game engine up-to-date, including the support for modern hi-res displays. So far so good, here's a downscaled screenshot of the current ALPHA release as how it displays on an Ultra-wide 21:9 4K(ish) display. Among other things, note how neatly the Large sized Toolbar fits into one row there:

    [image]http://www.matrixgames.com/forums/upfiles/32195/1CFD267BCBC44AF3A9F1A7794CC21A87.jpg[/image]

    And here's the same with Scenario Editor:

    [image]http://www.matrixgames.com/forums/upfiles/32195/4724EDE65B814B17864D2941D74B95EB.jpg[/image]




    Crossroads -> RE: Campaign Series: East Front 1939-1941 Sneak Peeks, Coming Attractions, Work-in-progress (10/31/2018 8:28:37 AM)

    User Interface

    There more to say on new User Interface in the coming months, let us have this discussion started as well by saying there's an effort in place to have the game display user interface art relative to period being played. At the moment those are in a form of a JSGME Mod, so before playing a say Poland scenario, activate the relevant UI Art Mod.

    Here's the three sidebar panels currently available to cover the period:

    [image]http://www.matrixgames.com/forums/upfiles/32195/C1FB427303E04021BDD19D1ABE5112BB.jpg[/image]




    Crossroads -> RE: Campaign Series: East Front 1939-1941 Sneak Peeks, Coming Attractions, Work-in-progress (10/31/2018 8:50:28 AM)

    CS Event Engine, AI Improvements

    We did a community survey approx. a year ago, asking our players to state their preferences etc. One of the stand-outs from the survey was the popularity for playing against AI.

    Here's a post from our Dev Forum, a call to action to think of ways to improve the vs-AI experience:


    quote:

    ORIGINAL: Crossroads

    Gaming Options - AI or H2H

    Computers are man's best friend, with playing against a Computer Opponent a most popular choice by far. 15% of the crowd are passionate H2H gamers however, and we're not forgetting about you either.


  • CSL Call to Action: It should be clear to us what our major market is. Let us continue to revamp AI, while AI scenarios should be considered very important as well. Good thing AAI and CSEE are now available to make gaming vs computer much more challenging and fun from what it was.

    [image]local://upfiles/32195/32CA72A2682F4847808810E968AE7A3D.jpg[/image]


  • What we had at our toolbox at the time were the CS Event Engine features, where events (such as capturing an objective) can trigger things (such as having reinforcements become available). Also, Adaptive AI (AAI) was available to tweak various parameters per scenario.

    Since then, CS Event Engine scripting has been added a subset by Berto, our lead programmer, where function calls available there only effect the AI player. This is a huge new capability. Previously, AI was mostly driven by Objectives, so if you wanted AI to push towards a certain direction, well better to put an Objective there then.

    No longer!

    AI can (and will!) reacto to events now, where scenario designer so chooses, and it will have a specific battle plan as well. See here, for example: the Finnish Battalion will have each of its Company heading towards their specific target, as commanded in the CSEE script:

    [image]http://www.matrixgames.com/forums/upfiles/32195/6F2F75FF9D604D2B9BE6DC4CFF80C92D.jpg[/image]




    Crossroads -> RE: Campaign Series: East Front 1939-1941 Sneak Peeks, Coming Attractions, Work-in-progress (10/31/2018 9:19:29 AM)

    Thoughts, comments? [:)]




    Oberst_Klink -> RE: Campaign Series: East Front 1939-1941 Sneak Peeks, Coming Attractions, Work-in-progress (10/31/2018 11:37:30 AM)

    Petri

    I am going to bump it up via the other social media channel during the course of the day.

    Klink, Oberst




    Citizen Emperor -> RE: Campaign Series: East Front 1939-1941 Sneak Peeks, Coming Attractions, Work-in-progress (10/31/2018 11:55:52 AM)

    Outstanding! Looks gorgeous.

    Quick question... Are Italian/Romanian/Hungarian OOBs available in the Barbarossa portion of the game?




    Crossroads -> RE: Campaign Series: East Front 1939-1941 Sneak Peeks, Coming Attractions, Work-in-progress (10/31/2018 12:29:38 PM)


    quote:

    ORIGINAL: Citizen Emperor

    Outstanding! Looks gorgeous.

    Quick question... Are Italian/Romanian/Hungarian OOBs available in the Barbarossa portion of the game?


    Thank, early days though, yet!

    Romanian and Hungarians are already done for most part and will be included. Italians were originally a candidate for a later addition, let us see how they play out.




    BigDuke66 -> RE: Campaign Series: East Front 1939-1941 Sneak Peeks, Coming Attractions, Work-in-progress (10/31/2018 10:16:12 PM)

    Looking forward to this, even more than to the Vietnam game.
    Are there any unique things that will be added to this series in terms of game mechanics?




    R_TEAM -> RE: Campaign Series: East Front 1939-1941 Sneak Peeks, Coming Attractions, Work-in-progress (10/31/2018 10:35:26 PM)

    Hi,

    looking forward for the new relases ...
    But have one question ...
    The already relased "CS: Middle East 1948-1985 2.0" have (or will get..) all of the new additions from the "new" campaign series titles ... or will it stay between the old and the new titles ... ?

    Regards




    Jason Petho -> RE: Campaign Series: East Front 1939-1941 Sneak Peeks, Coming Attractions, Work-in-progress (11/1/2018 3:20:20 AM)

    quote:

    The already relased "CS: Middle East 1948-1985 2.0" have (or will get..) all of the new additions from the "new" campaign series titles ... or will it stay between the old and the new titles ... ?


    Oh no, CSME will be continually upgraded as Vietnam, the WW2 and Cold War games get released.

    For example, the CSME scenarios will be updated with the new scripting.




    ADMIRAL3 -> RE: Campaign Series: East Front 1939-1941 Sneak Peeks, Coming Attractions, Work-in-progress (11/1/2018 8:04:38 AM)

    Very interesting. CS games were my favourites for many years, looking forward to Your releases




    R_TEAM -> RE: Campaign Series: East Front 1939-1941 Sneak Peeks, Coming Attractions, Work-in-progress (11/1/2018 2:44:58 PM)

    Thanks for the info Jason :)
    (have ordered CSME last night ... :D )

    After ~5h playing (have played JTCS long time so i know the basics well..) i found one "problem" maybe related to the new engine ...
    On W10, the animation often stop and the window title get the addition "-Program not Responding-" - then sound is still playing, and if the (now not visible, as no GFX update anymore) animation is at the end, the game get back to normal ....
    Have this "fixed" by setting the compatibility to "Win 8" ... then all work as expected - maybe an hint for user with semilar problems..
    (have first tested with "win 7" - but i suspect it is better to have the diff from real system to "emulated" system as small as possible ..)

    Regards




    Crossroads -> RE: Campaign Series: East Front 1939-1941 Sneak Peeks, Coming Attractions, Work-in-progress (11/1/2018 2:51:53 PM)


    quote:

    ORIGINAL: R_TEAM

    Thanks for the info Jason :)
    (have ordered CSME last night ... :D )

    After ~5h playing (have played JTCS long time so i know the basics well..) i found one "problem" maybe related to the new engine ...
    On W10, the animation often stop and the window title get the addition "-Program not Responding-" - then sound is still playing, and if the (now not visible, as no GFX update anymore) animation is at the end, the game get back to normal ....
    Have this "fixed" by setting the compatibility to "Win 8" ... then all work as expected - maybe an hint for user with semilar problems..
    (have first tested with "win 7" - but i suspect it is better to have the diff from real system to "emulated" system as small as possible ..)

    Regards


    Thanks for your support, and sorry to hear you're seeing issues. Please post at the CS Middle East Tech Support forum so the bug report will not get lost.




    MrRoadrunner -> RE: Campaign Series: East Front 1939-1941 Sneak Peeks, Coming Attractions, Work-in-progress (11/2/2018 1:23:46 PM)

    Hate to say it, but I prefer the "legacy" look of the maps above. The "new" look just looks washed out and too "Panzer Generalish" for me.

    RR




    Matto -> RE: Campaign Series: East Front 1939-1941 Sneak Peeks, Coming Attractions, Work-in-progress (11/2/2018 1:54:19 PM)

    The same for me ... I returned to older version of CSME because of it ...




    Jason Petho -> RE: Campaign Series: East Front 1939-1941 Sneak Peeks, Coming Attractions, Work-in-progress (11/2/2018 2:34:06 PM)

    These are still ALPHA graphics. We have a new artist for the terrain, so the screenshots are subject to change.




    BigDuke66 -> RE: Campaign Series: East Front 1939-1941 Sneak Peeks, Coming Attractions, Work-in-progress (11/2/2018 6:52:36 PM)

    I like it, the old stuff looks overdone. Maybe a dirty quick mod will help after release if the graphics can be edited easily. In that case pulling up the color and contrast should shift the graphics pretty close to the old school graphics.




    Crossroads -> RE: Campaign Series: East Front 1939-1941 Sneak Peeks, Coming Attractions, Work-in-progress (11/2/2018 7:02:40 PM)

    Looking at the locations I want to depict for CS: East Front 1.0 , I am going back and forth as whether to do them as separate maps, or whether to start over in some cases and to do a full Isthmus map.

    Here's Isthmus, copy-pasted from 1:100k maps available at www.karjalankartat.fi to this master file, a snippet below.

    Just doing the square bit, which would be more than enough I'd wage, that's 120 * 110 kilometers, or 480 x 440 hexes. But with encouragement and tips from Jason, I will do them one smaller area at time.

    The grid visible is a 2km x 2km grid, so each square is 8*8 = 64 hexes.

    [image]local://upfiles/32195/7234DBBE45A24823B270040E8FD6E1E9.jpg[/image]





    Crossroads -> RE: Campaign Series: East Front 1939-1941 Sneak Peeks, Coming Attractions, Work-in-progress (11/2/2018 7:06:10 PM)

    Luckily, or because of some significant mapping done earlier, I have the upper left quadrant covering the Viborg Bay area already available. So the first task is to extend that one midway towards Lake Ladoga in East, to cover the Vuosalmi area (of which I already have a high quality map available). But better to have a master map.

    Once there, onwards to shores of Ladoga next, covering the Taipale river area. Those areas alone will cover the heaviest fighting in Winter War in the area.

    [image]local://upfiles/32195/BFFEDF16FD2D4EBEB7073613888E61DA.jpg[/image]





    Crossroads -> RE: Campaign Series: East Front 1939-1941 Sneak Peeks, Coming Attractions, Work-in-progress (11/2/2018 7:19:11 PM)

    Jason of course already has some crazy big maps, covering Smolensk for instance. Great times!




    Oberst_Klink -> RE: Campaign Series: East Front 1939-1941 Sneak Peeks, Coming Attractions, Work-in-progress (11/3/2018 12:36:57 PM)

    CQ: Don't forget to pay CSLegion a visit on Twitter, too!

    Klink, Oberst




    dox44 -> RE: Campaign Series: East Front 1939-1941 Sneak Peeks, Coming Attractions, Work-in-progress (11/3/2018 1:45:26 PM)

    hate to say it...but i love the new maps.

    great job!




    Crossroads -> RE: Campaign Series: East Front 1939-1941 Sneak Peeks, Coming Attractions, Work-in-progress (11/3/2018 3:44:11 PM)


    quote:

    ORIGINAL: dox44

    hate to say it...but i love the new maps.

    great job!


    [:)]




    Big Ivan -> RE: Campaign Series: East Front 1939-1941 Sneak Peeks, Coming Attractions, Work-in-progress (11/3/2018 4:58:31 PM)

    Have to say Crossroads, I do like the 3D look in your #3 post above.

    Seems a lot crisper and more pleasing to these old eyes!

    Thanks[:)]




    Crossroads -> RE: Campaign Series: East Front 1939-1941 Sneak Peeks, Coming Attractions, Work-in-progress (11/3/2018 5:06:48 PM)


    quote:

    ORIGINAL: Big Ivan

    Have to say Crossroads, I do like the 3D look in your #3 post above.

    Seems a lot crisper and more pleasing to these old eyes!

    Thanks[:)]

    Thanks! Early times, as Jason pointed out too. Middle East graphics there for the most part, still, with some legacy buildings resized as placeholders. [:)]




    sinbuster -> RE: Campaign Series: East Front 1939-1941 Sneak Peeks, Coming Attractions, Work-in-progress (11/11/2018 12:56:21 AM)

    Hey Crossroads, this is all looking really great. Had a question about the linked campaigns. Were you planning to bring them back, update them, or perhaps add more to the mix? I really loved those - although there was never enough of them, especially for EFII. There are so many great opportunities for mini-campaigns on the East Front I wouldn't know where to begin.

    If you do add those LGC, please include a better operations map. The original map between missions wasn't ideal. It was especially bad on the WF campaigns where the red dot would basically obscure the whole target.




    Crossroads -> RE: Campaign Series: East Front 1939-1941 Sneak Peeks, Coming Attractions, Work-in-progress (11/11/2018 7:55:28 AM)


    quote:

    ORIGINAL: sinbuster

    Hey Crossroads, this is all looking really great. Had a question about the linked campaigns. Were you planning to bring them back, update them, or perhaps add more to the mix? I really loved those - although there was never enough of them, especially for EFII. There are so many great opportunities for mini-campaigns on the East Front I wouldn't know where to begin.

    If you do add those LGC, please include a better operations map. The original map between missions wasn't ideal. It was especially bad on the WF campaigns where the red dot would basically obscure the whole target.


    Thanks! As for LCGs, they are still around, for instance CS Middle East had a few of them. We overhauled the front end user interface a bit for Middle East 2.0, so there's a larger space available for the LCG map IIRC. Also the red dot marking the objective has been replaced with the modern icon used to depict a location, so hopefully that helps too.




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