From: Trollhättan, Sweden
Widell: You mention leaving content development past the initial release to the community as much as the developers, but what about, and I wish I knew where this thread was, when you have a 'light tank' that functions like a superheavy tank, or vice versa with the most powerful tank unit acting as a light unit. No basic order. Do you impose that, or assume the community will just mod along the lines you have provided. Perhaps making 'classes' so that a light tank wil function within these parameters, however this still seems like a blow to the modding community. It's not a problem for a narrowly focused game, but when you play something that takes place over hundreds of years which may in fact cover the evolution and disuse of entire classes of troops, what then.
I think this is one of these grey areas. I mean, of course the initial release needs to have a well defined content for it in order to sell and build a community. My personal preference, and again this obviously differ between developers, is to have as much as possible open for modding. That being said, I would have the equipment database 100% open, much like how TOAW, AT and HOI works today. Additionally I prefer, and this is most likely in the proprietary area for most commercial developers, that the AI, combat resolution and supply parameters are moddable while the algorithms, calculations and resolution part is most likely proprietary as otherwise there is nothing left to sell.
Now, given I'm not a developer, and the little code crunching I do is Open Source, I am more than likely on the far end of the range as compared to many developers that actually must make some money out of their work, while guys like me do it because we think it's fun.
Not sure this answers your question, but to summarize: Any game needs to be released with solid content, open or not. The further development of scenarios, equipment = Modding in general should be possible for the community to perform including tweaking core parameter like AI behaviour etc while the algorithms and functionality of the game should be left to programmers working on a schedule to release upgraded versions of "the engine" which stay proprietary.