Said it before, and saying it again.... (Full Version)

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DD696 -> Said it before, and saying it again.... (6/5/2021 9:48:25 PM)

Miserable scuzzy prit-near worthless so many blankety blank expletives description of damned editor supplied with this game. If OpArt V (must be coming as there is no patch but a new version seems to be in the works) does not provide a better editor, count me out on buying.




Simon Edmonds -> RE: Said it before, and saying it again.... (6/6/2021 3:46:19 AM)

Given the superb quality of some the scenarios produced by the TOAW members that editor can't be all that bad.




Rescue193 -> RE: Said it before, and saying it again.... (6/6/2021 9:07:22 AM)

Actually, the Editor is pretty bad. Clunky, counter-intuitive, tediously repetitive and just plain frustrating to use.

Its the scenario designers who must have the patience of saints; the temperament of angels; a well developed sense of masochism; the determination of... err... well... something that has an awful lot of determination... and, probably, far too much time on their hands [:D] who make it work.




sithlord_shag -> RE: Said it before, and saying it again.... (6/6/2021 10:43:41 AM)

Recently I have been working on some scenarios. It is with bitter regret that I realised that the event editor (aka evil ed) disproves the ancient scientific rule that the more you play with something the more joy you get.




jmlima -> RE: Said it before, and saying it again.... (6/6/2021 11:21:33 AM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: DD696

... (must be coming as there is no patch but a new version seems to be in the works) ...


That will be OpArt 2500 , named after the release year.




Lobster -> RE: Said it before, and saying it again.... (6/6/2021 1:23:29 PM)

[:D] Funny stuff.

Scenario Designer: "Why don't you at least have drop down menus?"
TOAW: "Drop down what?"




76mm -> RE: Said it before, and saying it again.... (6/6/2021 2:29:06 PM)

The few expert scenario developers left think that the editor is just fine, it probably helps that they've been working with it for some twenty years. I don't see many new scenarios coming out these days?

While my XML editor is far from perfect, you might want to try it, especially for events (https://www.matrixgames.com/forums/tm.asp?m=4547880&mpage=1&key=). I should warn you that while I've tested the events functions as much as I could, I haven't gotten much feedback from others so don't know if there are more bugs!




Curtis Lemay -> RE: Said it before, and saying it again.... (6/6/2021 2:46:28 PM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: 76mm

I don't see many new scenarios coming out these days?


Just nine pages of them:

https://www.matrixgames.com/forums/tm.asp?m=4394277




76mm -> RE: Said it before, and saying it again.... (6/6/2021 2:55:23 PM)

How many of these are new scenarios rather than rejiggering of old scenarios to work with TOAW IV? I clicked on about ten of them and every single one was an update of an old scenario (many of which were probably created 10-20 years ago at this point). How many new scenarios are there?




sithlord_shag -> RE: Said it before, and saying it again.... (6/6/2021 3:25:54 PM)

I kind of agree that the editor is mostly ok. If you work with it enough you can develop a bit of intuition around what potentially is avoidable. Planning what you do better overcomes about 90% of the problems. Evil-Ed though is a pain...




rhinobones -> RE: Said it before, and saying it again.... (6/6/2021 4:10:01 PM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: 76mm

How many new scenarios are there?


I've added a couple of new scenarios. How many from you?

Regards




76mm -> RE: Said it before, and saying it again.... (6/6/2021 5:05:43 PM)

quote:

ORIGINAL: rhinobones
How many from you?

None, and don't expect any. And?




rhinobones -> RE: Said it before, and saying it again.... (6/6/2021 7:22:20 PM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: 76mm
None, and don't expect any. And?


Sorry.




76mm -> RE: Said it before, and saying it again.... (6/6/2021 7:52:06 PM)

I should add that while I have not published, and do not plan to publish, any scenarios, I have spent a lot of time on creating a rather large scenario that I plan for personal use. So the fact that I haven't published any scenarios hardly means that I don't use the editor.




golden delicious -> RE: Said it before, and saying it again.... (6/7/2021 9:40:42 AM)

To be fair, the scrolling in the Force Editor was sped up in TOAW III, and the event editor made a lot easier to use at the same time.

However, the whole editor is a lot slower to respond since the new interface in TOAW IV. Like, if I want to set the arrival hex of a unit, I have to wait for three different dialogue boxes to load, each of which takes 2-3 seconds. That might not sound like a lot, but if you imagine you have to set sixteen units to the same arrival location, it becomes very painful. In III, these boxes show up more or less instantly when you click the button.

There are solutions to this for the designer such as fully setting up one unit before copying it, but it's hardly conducive to bringing new designers to the game, which is sort of needed to keep the thing alive.




Bamilus -> RE: Said it before, and saying it again.... (6/7/2021 3:51:49 PM)

At this point wouldn't it just be better to create an entirely new game with a similar design framework but using better code that is actually understood and can be better documented, rather than trying to continue to be limited by the existing code? I feel like a lot of issues that plague this game are sourced from using an ancient foundation created by a designer that hasn't been involved in the game for a long time, now.

I doubt any new game would get enough support or make financial sense for Matrix but if they are actually talking about a TOAW V then I think it should be discussed (and probably has).




golden delicious -> RE: Said it before, and saying it again.... (6/7/2021 4:30:56 PM)

quote:

ORIGINAL: Bamilus

At this point wouldn't it just be better to create an entirely new game with a similar design framework but using better code that is actually understood and can be better documented, rather than trying to continue to be limited by the existing code?



Sure. Off you go.

Thing is, as you note it's not a financially viable project for a game company. Norm did it as a labour of love, and the alternative is an amateur group project which is likely to be a good deal less stable due to the variable standard of coding.




Curtis Lemay -> RE: Said it before, and saying it again.... (6/7/2021 4:43:46 PM)

Norm didn't even start from scratch. TOAW had plenty of code from his earlier projects. Starting from scratch now would be lunacy.




StuccoFresco -> RE: Said it before, and saying it again.... (6/7/2021 7:49:15 PM)

I tried to use the editor, and released a couple scenarios with scratch-made units, but even something as simple as placing units on the map was so unbearably complex and the UI so clunky that I gave up on making scenarios/mods entirely. I have mad respect for modders who can create wonders with it, but it is in no way a user-friendly or even very flexible editor. You can do almost everything, but doing everything is a slow and complex process.




Curtis Lemay -> RE: Said it before, and saying it again.... (6/7/2021 8:32:13 PM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: StuccoFresco

I tried to use the editor, and released a couple scenarios with scratch-made units, but even something as simple as placing units on the map was so unbearably complex and the UI so clunky that I gave up on making scenarios/mods entirely. I have mad respect for modders who can create wonders with it, but it is in no way a user-friendly or even very flexible editor. You can do almost everything, but doing everything is a slow and complex process.

Placing units on the map ia about as trivial as imaginable. I have no idea what can be done for designers who can't handle that task.




sithlord_shag -> RE: Said it before, and saying it again.... (6/8/2021 10:11:48 AM)

In terms of building scenarios Stucco, I would encourage you to persist. Yeah it is clunky but generally placing units is not one of things you would typically have trouble with. The editor does get easier as you use it more.

Any reader of this forum can get a clear idea that TOAW does not have a huge resource priority for matrix. Bob and I just had a discussion in another thread about this. Its a shame but the key question is are scarce resources justified in changing something that can be painful at times as opposed to fatal. I dont think so and even though I whinge about evil-ed, it really is not so bad to justify the extensive modification it might need. I dont even think you could modify the way I would like without a whole rebuild.

Many scenario design problems stem from going in half-assed not from the UI. Good research and planning really does overcome a lot of problems.

Sure documentation is problem as well but when this was released in 98, it was a big game and I dont think that TS or Norm could really have covered the burden of detailing all its features in one manual. It is so detailed there is stuff in it you forget. I actually realised something I had forgotten when I started doing scenario design again after 20 years the other day.

Given the way the resources seem to be allocated to the game its lucky to have Bob. I dont how they are paying you mate, fish, loaves or old fashioned love...whatever it is keep it up. I'm happy to contribute to whatever fund you purchase your illicit or legitimate pleasures from anytime.




Lobster -> RE: Said it before, and saying it again.... (6/8/2021 11:33:45 AM)

Actually making the map and units and deploying them is the least of problems. Researching everything in an atttempt to get it right instead of getting it somewhat close is the most time consuming by far. So much contradiction in military history. You can even have histories from two different people in the same division that see things differently.




golden delicious -> RE: Said it before, and saying it again.... (6/8/2021 1:18:05 PM)

quote:

ORIGINAL: Lobster

Actually making the map and units and deploying them is the least of problems. Researching everything in an atttempt to get it right instead of getting it somewhat close is the most time consuming by far. So much contradiction in military history. You can even have histories from two different people in the same division that see things differently.


I would say the effort in designing a scenario is as follows:

Building the OOB is easier than doing the research is easier than building the map is easier than playtesting.

With Fall Grau, the map was a work in progress for about six years. About eight years were then spent on testing (the release version is 2.27 and almost every version since 2.0 had at least one playtest, with the same being true of 1.0 to 1.22, on the smaller map). If you haven't done a blind playtest the scenario is probably broken no matter how much time you spent on the research. Of course with Fall Grau there was very little research as it's not that kind of scenario- and anyway I inherited the OOB etc. from Jeremy.




Curtis Lemay -> RE: Said it before, and saying it again.... (6/8/2021 2:59:31 PM)

quote:

ORIGINAL: Lobster

Actually making the map and units and deploying them is the least of problems. Researching everything in an atttempt to get it right instead of getting it somewhat close is the most time consuming by far. So much contradiction in military history. You can even have histories from two different people in the same division that see things differently.

+1

Seriously, if trivial things like deployment are too much work for you, what sort of research will your audience think you did?




Zovs -> RE: Said it before, and saying it again.... (6/8/2021 4:43:57 PM)

Well for most of the surviving scenario designers and editors, most of us have been playing this (in one version or another) since 1998 when TalonSoft first released it. It was mind blowing back then. As much as I gripe about it, TOAW is so easy to get into and designing scenarios is not that big of deal as long as you follow the number one golden rule.

Save Often!

IIRC there was an editor tutorial back in 1998 and then I think also when ACOW (A Century of Warfare) that were included from TalonSoft's manual. It what a lot of used to build things.

The main problem with the TOAW IV editor is if you use the new on map editor it has a tendency to CTD and thus you loosing al your work.

Hence the Rule # 1

save often and then save again




golden delicious -> RE: Said it before, and saying it again.... (6/8/2021 5:16:14 PM)

quote:

ORIGINAL: Zovs

Well for most of the surviving scenario designers and editors, most of us have been playing this (in one version or another) since 1998 when TalonSoft first released it. It was mind blowing back then. As much as I gripe about it, TOAW is so easy to get into and designing scenarios is not that big of deal as long as you follow the number one golden rule.

Save Often!

IIRC there was an editor tutorial back in 1998 and then I think also when ACOW (A Century of Warfare) that were included from TalonSoft's manual. It what a lot of used to build things.

The main problem with the TOAW IV editor is if you use the new on map editor it has a tendency to CTD and thus you loosing al your work.

Hence the Rule # 1

save often and then save again


This is not a new rule. Anyone who has spent a significant amount of time in the editor will have at some point (usually after a four-hour mapping session) accidentally clicked "fill to border" and then panic-clicked somewhere else so it can't be undone.

Save often.




Zovs -> RE: Said it before, and saying it again.... (6/8/2021 6:35:20 PM)

Roger that.

Or after spending four hours in the event editor and forgetting to save after the fourth event when you got to event 304 and it CTD you just walk away from that scenario for at least 6 months to a year….




Lobster -> RE: Said it before, and saying it again.... (6/8/2021 9:30:34 PM)

The A Century of War manual has a General Notes on Scenario Creation section but no tutorial. Saving often is more of a standard in the computer world regardless of what you are doing. But having said that, I have not had a CTD since I don't know when. But that fill to border thing, that will cause a stroke.

So yeah, save often. You never know what the cat will do or the grandkids or your lack of sleep because you wanted to do just one more thing.




sPzAbt653 -> RE: Said it before, and saying it again.... (6/9/2021 4:03:43 AM)

Outdated as it is, I've found TOAW's Editors to be better to work with than the several other games with editors that I have. The 'problem' with the TOAW Editors, if I may make my own analogy, is that they are like a DOS program wrapped in an User Interface. Other games' Editors are obviously created for and with Windows and since most of us are more familiar with that, we hear these types of complaints. But as far as I am concerned you take Scripts and Windows Based OOB's and bury them with the dog poop. TOAW is much nicer to work with.

If you are popping in to make a 'mod', then sure it is going to be difficult without any instruction. But that is why we are all here, and that is actually why I came here in the first place in 2007, to ask an editing question. Why search a manual when you can ask here directly?

If you are making a full scenario from scratch, you have to realize that it takes time commensurate to the scale of the scenario. You can make a small scenario in a few hours, but the larger ones can takes YEARS. And as others have said already, the research takes a huge amount of time also.

To me, the saddest thing was that we had Ralph actively developing new Editors and that was stopped in order to get the Graphics for IV completed. That was a shame because to me, as a scenario designer, those new editors would have been a huge improvement to TOAW. Instead, they weren't completed and therefore they cause issues, and also we got added restrictions to scenario design such as limited icons and tedious unit color change procedures. For all of IV's improvements, items like these leave a sour taste.

For an example of the incomplete 'new' editors, open a scenario in the Editor in III and IV and select a Unit then hit 'U'. Even though IV's is incomplete, you will see the obvious positive difference.




golden delicious -> RE: Said it before, and saying it again.... (6/9/2021 9:34:13 AM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: sPzAbt653

To me, the saddest thing was that we had Ralph actively developing new Editors and that was stopped in order to get the Graphics for IV completed.


This is grating, as I find the new interface and new graphics ugly and unhelpful. However, I get that Matrix wants to sell the game and for that they have to make it look like it's new even though it's not.

Nothing wrong with the graphics as they were in 1998... I play games a lot older than that.




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