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Is This Game Going To Be Like Empires In Arms?

 
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Is This Game Going To Be Like Empires In Arms? - 3/31/2008 7:42:21 PM   
Grell

 

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I'm curious if this game is going to require the ownership of the boardgame to understand how to play the PC game. Empires in Arms does and it's brutal. The game really can only be played by the people that own the boardgame.

Regards,

Grell

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RE: Is This Game Going To Be Like Empires In Arms? - 3/31/2008 7:58:53 PM   
Froonp


Posts: 7995
Joined: 10/21/2003
From: Marseilles, France
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quote:

ORIGINAL: Grell
I'm curious if this game is going to require the ownership of the boardgame to understand how to play the PC game. Empires in Arms does and it's brutal. The game really can only be played by the people that own the boardgame.

MWiF should be more user friendly, because there are lots of Tutorials that explain the basics. There are also lots of scenarios, some with only land units, some with nearly only naval units, and some small campaigns. With all those tools you can learn the game very well.

MEiA has no help for the user. I tried to play it, and I could not. I could not even setup the first major power. A friend of mine who played the boardgame for years told me that it was very easy to play, which for me prooves that you're right in regards to Empire in Arms.

(in reply to Grell)
Post #: 2
RE: Is This Game Going To Be Like Empires In Arms? - 3/31/2008 8:02:00 PM   
Shannon V. OKeets

 

Posts: 21922
Joined: 5/19/2005
From: Honolulu, Hawaii
Status: offline

quote:

ORIGINAL: Grell


I'm curious if this game is going to require the ownership of the boardgame to understand how to play the PC game. Empires in Arms does and it's brutal. The game really can only be played by the people that own the boardgame.

Regards,

Grell

No, I don't think so.

My hesitency in making this an unqualified No, is that you do need to learn the rules. That is no small thing.

However, physical possession of the maps and counters seems to me to be irrelevant. And the full rules booklet will be part of MWIF. In fact, I have already rewritten it (RAC, Rules as Coded) so the portions that pertain to the board game have been excised and the new material needed for playing on the computer added.

_____________________________

Steve

Perfection is an elusive goal.

(in reply to Grell)
Post #: 3
RE: Is This Game Going To Be Like Empires In Arms? - 3/31/2008 8:19:48 PM   
hakon

 

Posts: 298
Joined: 4/15/2005
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It appears pretty clear to me that a lot more effort has been put into MWiF than was put into EiA, mostly thanks to Steve, along with major contributors (like Patrice). Still, MWiF IS a fairly low budget project (with a big scope), so I don't think we can expect the kind of polish that major houses like Blizzard applies to their games.

(in reply to Shannon V. OKeets)
Post #: 4
RE: Is This Game Going To Be Like Empires In Arms? - 3/31/2008 8:24:58 PM   
SamuraiProgrmmr

 

Posts: 340
Joined: 10/17/2004
From: Paducah, Kentucky
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I am one the Empires In Arms buyers that is totally befuddled as well.  Let me throw my 2 cents in and I hope you will feel better afterwords. (All remarks from here on out will apply to World in Flames unless specifically noted.)

World In Flames is a large, complex game.  Back when I learned how to play (almost 20 years ago), it took several games before I felt comfortable with the rules.  It took several more games before I was anywhere near proficient.  Those initial games were slow drudging affairs that ended up with the realization that things were simply being done wrong and maybe it was time to start again.

I believe that the real reason these big games are hard to learn is that the rules are laid out as a reference.  It is easy enough to find the rule that tells you how to do what you are doing but almost impossible for a new player to know what he wants to do at that point.  (This has been my problem with EIA.)  At least with World in Flames, I had a pretty good background of what actually happened in WWII and could always rely on that as a guideline for the strategic things. (i.e. Conquer Poland, Conquer France, Bomb Britain, Try to Conquer Russia, etc.)

I believe, from what I have seen on this forum, that Steve is taking care to expose the 'behind the scenes' information rather than obfuscate it.  This will help because you will not find yourself wondering why your units disappeared, etc.

I also know that there is a much larger online community for World In Flames than there is for Empire in Arms.  In fact, there are places where you can find After Action Reports of WIF board games with information that will help you assimilate the structure of the game.

Personally, I find myself in an interesting situation.  I have been trying to 'get up a game' of WIF for about 3 years.  Every time I get to the point where I think I am ready to inflict myself on another player life has thrown me a curve ball that caused me not to have the time to play.  After a few months, I am back to square one and feel the need to reread the rules as I start playing with the Cyberboard version in an attempt to refresh my memory.

During this time, I have been thinking about why it is difficult to absorb these rules and how to convey them to new players as I have some friends I would like to introduce to this game.   In this effort, I have come up with a solution (which again has been pushed to the back burner by Real Life (TM).

I spent some time looking at the rules and trying to identify the small sections of rules that did not rely upon any other section of rules.  My intent was to present a list of rule numbers that fulfilled the following goals:
  1. Every rule would be in the list.
  2. If possible, no rule would be listed until all rules it referred to were already on the list.

This would give a new player the ability to read the rules without having to jump all over the place.

At the same time, I would like to present a set of examples (using cyberboard at first) as to how the rules work.  It is my hope that I would be able to share a set of save games of WIF that a player could use to 'walk through' the examples one by one.  I think it would be neat if there were some tutorial scenarios that had very limited units for this exact purpose.

Also, it is important to note that there are smaller scenarios that do not use all of the rules extensively.  For example, there is a Barbarossa scenario that would be very useful for learning how to use Ground and Air units.  Then there is a smallish Pacific scenario that is useful for learning to use Naval units. Many players (like me) may be eager to jump in and do the entire campaign.  This will make it more difficult to learn.

One thing that might be very useful to new players (and to players like myself who have been away from the game a long time) would be for some of you who are using Cyberboard to collect an entire set of game files from an entire campaign game.  This would allow other players to go through the observation process and see how things work. 

I guess what I really want to say is that there will be considerably more information available (both in game and out) to help you learn and I (and, I am sure, others) will be willing to help you get to the top of Mount Learning Curve.



_____________________________

Bridge is the best wargame going .. Where else can you find a tournament every weekend?

(in reply to Grell)
Post #: 5
RE: Is This Game Going To Be Like Empires In Arms? - 3/31/2008 8:46:42 PM   
Lava


Posts: 1695
Joined: 2/9/2004
Status: offline

quote:

ORIGINAL: Shannon V. OKeets


quote:

ORIGINAL: Grell


I'm curious if this game is going to require the ownership of the boardgame to understand how to play the PC game. Empires in Arms does and it's brutal. The game really can only be played by the people that own the boardgame.

Regards,

Grell

No, I don't think so.

My hesitency in making this an unqualified No, is that you do need to learn the rules. That is no small thing.


Well...

A very important question, IMO.

I'm not a board gamer, have never even seen the WiF board game and am quite hopeful that I will be able to play this game.

I didn't buy EiA because it was stated quite plainly that if you hadn't played the board game, the computer game was going to be very tough.

I know the guys here are dealing with a monster and I know it won't be easy, but from what I've seen so far, with the tutorials and the interface, it totally changed my mind from a "I could never play this" to a "darn, I sure hope I can play this."

BTW... any plans for "pop-up rules tips?" I know they can be a bit annoying, but normally you can turn them off if you don't need them.

Ray (alias Lava)

(in reply to Shannon V. OKeets)
Post #: 6
RE: Is This Game Going To Be Like Empires In Arms? - 3/31/2008 9:40:21 PM   
Shannon V. OKeets

 

Posts: 21922
Joined: 5/19/2005
From: Honolulu, Hawaii
Status: offline

quote:

ORIGINAL: Lava


quote:

ORIGINAL: Shannon V. OKeets


quote:

ORIGINAL: Grell


I'm curious if this game is going to require the ownership of the boardgame to understand how to play the PC game. Empires in Arms does and it's brutal. The game really can only be played by the people that own the boardgame.

Regards,

Grell

No, I don't think so.

My hesitency in making this an unqualified No, is that you do need to learn the rules. That is no small thing.


Well...

A very important question, IMO.

I'm not a board gamer, have never even seen the WiF board game and am quite hopeful that I will be able to play this game.

I didn't buy EiA because it was stated quite plainly that if you hadn't played the board game, the computer game was going to be very tough.

I know the guys here are dealing with a monster and I know it won't be easy, but from what I've seen so far, with the tutorials and the interface, it totally changed my mind from a "I could never play this" to a "darn, I sure hope I can play this."

BTW... any plans for "pop-up rules tips?" I know they can be a bit annoying, but normally you can turn them off if you don't need them.

Ray (alias Lava)

I'll done the structure for and written most of the code for having a Help message appear whenever a form appears. The help messages are unique for each form. A checkbox for "do not show me this again unless I ask for it" is on each help message.

My intent is to proactively display help messages rather than rely on the player to know to click on Help to figure out what is going on. Yes, this might be annoying to experienced players - in fact, the reason it is not fully coded/implemented right now is that I know I would have a beta tester revolt on my hands if I made this mandatory.

But for the player who first sits down with MWIF, every form will start by showing a help message. It is just a couple of clicks to disable the automatic popup and make it go away. So I do not feel too guilty for imposing this on players. The program records which of the 162 popup context sensitive help messages you have disabled (never show me this again) so it is 'remembered' by the program the next time you sit down to play.

You can always see them again by clicking on the Help button - which appears on every form in MWIF.

I have written about a dozen of the 162 messages, and most of the others will be copied straight out of RAC (rules as coded).

_____________________________

Steve

Perfection is an elusive goal.

(in reply to Lava)
Post #: 7
RE: Is This Game Going To Be Like Empires In Arms? - 3/31/2008 10:08:29 PM   
Grell

 

Posts: 1064
Joined: 4/1/2004
From: Canada
Status: offline
Hi Guy's,

Thanks so much for all the info regarding this games access to noobs! You have been a great help.

Regards,

Grell

_____________________________


(in reply to Shannon V. OKeets)
Post #: 8
RE: Is This Game Going To Be Like Empires In Arms? - 3/31/2008 10:50:02 PM   
Joram

 

Posts: 3198
Joined: 7/15/2005
Status: offline
Great question Grell.  While I'm interested in the subject matter, the complexity and price of EiA is a combination I'm not interested in.

It looks like WiF is on the right track.  I played this game near 20 years ago myself but wasn't even aware of all the updates much less owned them.  So I was getting a bit worried about the complexity and learning curve in a game like this.  Sounds like there will be plenty of tutorials and in-game help though to help me out.  Excellent.  Now as long as it's not priced out of my range, I'm interested.

(in reply to Grell)
Post #: 9
RE: Is This Game Going To Be Like Empires In Arms? - 4/1/2008 1:33:04 AM   
Shannon V. OKeets

 

Posts: 21922
Joined: 5/19/2005
From: Honolulu, Hawaii
Status: offline

quote:

ORIGINAL: Joram

Great question Grell.  While I'm interested in the subject matter, the complexity and price of EiA is a combination I'm not interested in.

It looks like WiF is on the right track.  I played this game near 20 years ago myself but wasn't even aware of all the updates much less owned them.  So I was getting a bit worried about the complexity and learning curve in a game like this.  Sounds like there will be plenty of tutorials and in-game help though to help me out.  Excellent.  Now as long as it's not priced out of my range, I'm interested.

Welcome to the forum.

If you haven't already read the threads on the tutorials, they might be of interest to you. Near the top of the MWIF forum's list of threads is an index into the tutorials. They contain the blow-by-blow development process, which can be tedious to read, but if you skip to the posts with screen shots of the tutorials, you will find all 100+ pages of the Introductory tutorials there.

_____________________________

Steve

Perfection is an elusive goal.

(in reply to Joram)
Post #: 10
RE: Is This Game Going To Be Like Empires In Arms? - 4/9/2008 5:45:49 PM   
Agrippa


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Wow there seems to bo quite a stire about this game.  I will have to check it out when done.

_____________________________

Salute,

Agrippa

(in reply to Shannon V. OKeets)
Post #: 11
RE: Is This Game Going To Be Like Empires In Arms? - 4/11/2008 1:18:41 PM   
delatbabel


Posts: 1252
Joined: 7/30/2006
From: Sydney, Australia
Status: offline
As we are prone to saying around here: This isn't netball, ladies.

EiA is a complex technical board game. It took me at least one good thrashing at it to get a handle on the game, and I took several more before I got any good at it.

WiF is even more complex and technical. You will need to spend time learning the rules. It won't be a matter of dragging-and-dropping counters around the map and clicking the [COMBAT] button to see what happens. If you want a game like that, play Gary Grigsby's World at War (or perhaps netball).

I say: bring it on.

_____________________________

--
Del

(in reply to Agrippa)
Post #: 12
RE: Is This Game Going To Be Like Empires In Arms? - 4/12/2008 9:14:16 PM   
warspite1


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quote:

ORIGINAL: delatbabel

As we are prone to saying around here: This isn't netball, ladies.

EiA is a complex technical board game. It took me at least one good thrashing at it to get a handle on the game, and I took several more before I got any good at it.

WiF is even more complex and technical. You will need to spend time learning the rules. It won't be a matter of dragging-and-dropping counters around the map and clicking the [COMBAT] button to see what happens. If you want a game like that, play Gary Grigsby's World at War (or perhaps netball).

I say: bring it on.

quote:

Warspite1

I think you make a very good point. I made that mistake with Empires in Arms. Having played a number of computer games of a certain type, I thought that it would be easy to pick up EIA simply using minimal on screen help. No way.

How many pages of rules is WIF? No matter how intuitive Matrix makes this with good quality on-screen help, this game will take some getting used to.

Point is - stick with it - IT IS WORTH IT!!

(in reply to delatbabel)
Post #: 13
RE: Is This Game Going To Be Like Empires In Arms? - 4/12/2008 9:21:17 PM   
Shannon V. OKeets

 

Posts: 21922
Joined: 5/19/2005
From: Honolulu, Hawaii
Status: offline
quote:

ORIGINAL: warspite1
quote:

ORIGINAL: delatbabe
As we are prone to saying around here: This isn't netball, ladies.

EiA is a complex technical board game. It took me at least one good thrashing at it to get a handle on the game, and I took several more before I got any good at it.

WiF is even more complex and technical. You will need to spend time learning the rules. It won't be a matter of dragging-and-dropping counters around the map and clicking the [COMBAT] button to see what happens. If you want a game like that, play Gary Grigsby's World at War (or perhaps netball).

I say: bring it on.

Warspite1

I think you make a very good point. I made that mistake with Empires in Arms. Having played a number of computer games of a certain type, I thought that it would be easy to pick up EIA simply using minimal on screen help. No way.

How many pages of rules is WIF? No matter how intuitive Matrix makes this with good quality on-screen help, this game will take some getting used to.

Point is - stick with it - IT IS WORTH IT!!


I have rewritten the rules, with only minor modifications to reflect that you are playing on a computer and not with cardboard counters on a paper map. That document is Rules as Coded (RAC) and it is 150 pages long as a PDF file. I was fairly generous with the use of white space and font size to make it easy to read on a computer screen. The WIF rules book from which RAC was taken is 1/3 the number of printed pages.

_____________________________

Steve

Perfection is an elusive goal.

(in reply to warspite1)
Post #: 14
RE: Is This Game Going To Be Like Empires In Arms? - 4/12/2008 11:36:19 PM   
panzers

 

Posts: 628
Joined: 5/19/2006
From: Detroit Mi, USA
Status: offline

quote:

ORIGINAL: SamuraiProgrammer

I am one the Empires In Arms buyers that is totally befuddled as well.  Let me throw my 2 cents in and I hope you will feel better afterwords. (All remarks from here on out will apply to World in Flames unless specifically noted.)

World In Flames is a large, complex game.  Back when I learned how to play (almost 20 years ago), it took several games before I felt comfortable with the rules.  It took several more games before I was anywhere near proficient.  Those initial games were slow drudging affairs that ended up with the realization that things were simply being done wrong and maybe it was time to start again.

I believe that the real reason these big games are hard to learn is that the rules are laid out as a reference.  It is easy enough to find the rule that tells you how to do what you are doing but almost impossible for a new player to know what he wants to do at that point.  (This has been my problem with EIA.)  At least with World in Flames, I had a pretty good background of what actually happened in WWII and could always rely on that as a guideline for the strategic things. (i.e. Conquer Poland, Conquer France, Bomb Britain, Try to Conquer Russia, etc.)

I believe, from what I have seen on this forum, that Steve is taking care to expose the 'behind the scenes' information rather than obfuscate it.  This will help because you will not find yourself wondering why your units disappeared, etc.

I also know that there is a much larger online community for World In Flames than there is for Empire in Arms.  In fact, there are places where you can find After Action Reports of WIF board games with information that will help you assimilate the structure of the game.

Personally, I find myself in an interesting situation.  I have been trying to 'get up a game' of WIF for about 3 years.  Every time I get to the point where I think I am ready to inflict myself on another player life has thrown me a curve ball that caused me not to have the time to play.  After a few months, I am back to square one and feel the need to reread the rules as I start playing with the Cyberboard version in an attempt to refresh my memory.

During this time, I have been thinking about why it is difficult to absorb these rules and how to convey them to new players as I have some friends I would like to introduce to this game.   In this effort, I have come up with a solution (which again has been pushed to the back burner by Real Life (TM).

I spent some time looking at the rules and trying to identify the small sections of rules that did not rely upon any other section of rules.  My intent was to present a list of rule numbers that fulfilled the following goals:
  1. Every rule would be in the list.
  2. If possible, no rule would be listed until all rules it referred to were already on the list.

This would give a new player the ability to read the rules without having to jump all over the place.

At the same time, I would like to present a set of examples (using cyberboard at first) as to how the rules work.  It is my hope that I would be able to share a set of save games of WIF that a player could use to 'walk through' the examples one by one.  I think it would be neat if there were some tutorial scenarios that had very limited units for this exact purpose.

Also, it is important to note that there are smaller scenarios that do not use all of the rules extensively.  For example, there is a Barbarossa scenario that would be very useful for learning how to use Ground and Air units.  Then there is a smallish Pacific scenario that is useful for learning to use Naval units. Many players (like me) may be eager to jump in and do the entire campaign.  This will make it more difficult to learn.

One thing that might be very useful to new players (and to players like myself who have been away from the game a long time) would be for some of you who are using Cyberboard to collect an entire set of game files from an entire campaign game.  This would allow other players to go through the observation process and see how things work. 

I guess what I really want to say is that there will be considerably more information available (both in game and out) to help you learn and I (and, I am sure, others) will be willing to help you get to the top of Mount Learning Curve.



Where, inKentucky is paducah? I would be willing to travel to play the game as much as possible for the upcoming release for exactly the same reason as you. I stopped playing after the 4th addition came out(before America aflame) so I would love to brush up on the tules before it comes out on pc and I am willing to travel depending on where in Kentucky Paducah is. Let me know.

(in reply to SamuraiProgrmmr)
Post #: 15
RE: Is This Game Going To Be Like Empires In Arms? - 4/12/2008 11:49:15 PM   
SamuraiProgrmmr

 

Posts: 340
Joined: 10/17/2004
From: Paducah, Kentucky
Status: offline
Paducah is in Far Western Kentucky where the Tennesee River meets the Ohio River. 

Right now, my situation at work is busy enough that I don't have time to play at all.

Perhaps in a few months we can play using Cyberboard or Vassal.

Surprisingly enough, I bought one of my editions of WIF in Lansing, Michigan back in 97 or so when there on a business trip.

_____________________________

Bridge is the best wargame going .. Where else can you find a tournament every weekend?

(in reply to panzers)
Post #: 16
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