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All Forums >> [Current Games From Matrix.] >> [World War II] >> Kharkov: Disaster on the Donets >> Easy on the Negativity! Page: [1]
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Easy on the Negativity! - 5/6/2008 4:23:40 PM   
ewallace

 

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Looks like an interesting game.

16 turns - sounds short but if there are lots of possibilities and decisions to be made each turn probably isn't.

Theatre of operations - good idea, no battle occurs in a vacuum.

One question though - does this run on Vista?

I hope so, if not I won't buy it. I quite shocked how many games are released that don't run on Vista. A major bugbear is imcomplete games. I don't like the attitude we'll sort it in a patch. If I had a similiar attitude I'd be out of work.

It looks an interesting game and on a battle that hasn't really been wargamed before, despite it's significance.

look forward to reading a reply on the Vista point.

Regards
Ewan

Post #: 1
RE: Easy on the Negativity! - 5/6/2008 4:36:01 PM   
Adam Parker


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The older Battles in Normandy and Battles in Italy ran on my Vista machine no problems so this must too.

Of course, that machine was swapped over to XP shortly after where everything runs...

(in reply to ewallace)
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RE: Easy on the Negativity! - 5/6/2008 4:47:24 PM   
Adam Parker


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quote:

ORIGINAL: ewallace

It looks an interesting game and on a battle that hasn't really been wargamed before, despite it's significance.
Ewan


Ewan, HPS Simulations has already released its comprehensive PC game Panzer Campaigns Kharkov '42 . It offers 34 scenarios/campaigns at the battalion level.

I have yet to receive an answer as to what scale SSG's Kharkov is going to be and therefore how it will differ organizationally from the HPS game.

If same-scaled it will be a question of AI's and value for money.

Will SSG provide a better AI but with one scenario only and therefore offer gaming value or will HPS's 34 scenario variety and PBEM prove the more popular?

Both engines are now old, look old and imo feel old.

(in reply to ewallace)
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RE: Easy on the Negativity! - 5/6/2008 6:00:23 PM   
Kung Karl

 

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It will be regimental size but with the special units being battlion-level.

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RE: Easy on the Negativity! - 5/6/2008 6:21:26 PM   
Erik Rutins

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Adam Parker
Both engines are now old, look old and imo feel old.


Actually, I think SSG's Kharkov looks pretty darn good - the map is clear, the units are colorful but not too hard to read and the manual and quick reference are probably the best they've done to date. HPS' Kharkov with some of the user-made graphical improvements also is pretty decent visually. I think if you compare Kharkov to Korsun Pocket, you'll see that SSG has improved the visuals over time.


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RE: Easy on the Negativity! - 5/6/2008 7:39:52 PM   
Howard7x


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You know, its funny but the thing that drew me to Battles In Normandy in the first place was the graphics. Id never seen a hex based war game that looked nice, with a detailed map and IMO great looking counters and art work. Its strange then that Adam, you find the graphics look old and dated. Which wargames do you feel are moving the genre forward in the graphics department here at matrix games?

I know some people have bashed the interface for being small and hard to read counters but personally ive always thought they looked sharp and easy to read. Maybe its just that my eyesight hasnt dwindled yet  I never use the magnifying glass tool. I guess this has alot to do with monitor size and screen resolution but the game looks sweet on my machine.

I do get put off by some wargame graphics. TOAW3 was bareable, HPS is way too dated looking for me. WitP looks better in a window and I think the Airbourne Assault maps and units look great too. I loved the Blue and the Grey map, but not the tedious and clumsy army building excersise.

Oh i forgot to mention, take a look at the Fall Gelb map in BII for a graphical hex based tour de force. IMO of course

< Message edited by Howard7x -- 5/6/2008 7:42:23 PM >


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RE: Easy on the Negativity! - 5/6/2008 10:26:17 PM   
Hertston


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Howard7x

You know, its funny but the thing that drew me to Battles In Normandy in the first place was the graphics. Id never seen a hex based war game that looked nice, with a detailed map and IMO great looking counters and art work. Its strange then that Adam, you find the graphics look old and dated. Which wargames do you feel are moving the genre forward in the graphics department here at matrix games?


A lot of that is still just a taste thing, I think. Eye candy wise there isn't much you can do that hasn't been done before if you stick with the 2D map/counters approach - which I'm perfectly happy with. About the one thing you could do, at the risk of appearing 'negative', is punt up the resolutions; not only are you supporting widescreens (black spaces each side does look dated!) but you can make the whole thing crisper and clearer as well. The SSG engine could really do with that, especially for counters, and the increased resoulution would allow you some rather nicer art work in the information panel, for example.

quote:

I know some people have bashed the interface for being small and hard to read counters but personally ive always thought they looked sharp and easy to read. Maybe its just that my eyesight hasnt dwindled yet  I never use the magnifying glass tool. I guess this has alot to do with monitor size and screen resolution but the game looks sweet on my machine.

I do get put off by some wargame graphics. TOAW3 was bareable, HPS is way too dated looking for me. WitP looks better in a window and I think the Airbourne Assault maps and units look great too. I loved the Blue and the Grey map, but not the tedious and clumsy army building excersise.


I don't like the counters much, those in TOAW3 are much clearer IMHO. Just to show it is a taste thing I think the HPS stuff looks pretty good at 'normal 2D' level despite the engine's age, except for the counters. The games run nicely in 1680x1050 but don't scale, hence huge chunk of map and tiny counters (they were designed for 800x600 I think). Like the SSG engine an update is needed, in that instance just to increase counter size and display unit information on them, something that the HPS games have never done beyond basic unit type identification.

Prettiest wargame? AGEOD's Nappy by a country mile. It's always easier with a dedicated map, anything with a map editor is bound to suffer in some way and generally the quicker and easier it is to use the uglier the results are, but for the flexibility of TOAW or AT that's a small price to pay. The only game I've seen that really manages both editing ease and looks is Fantasy Wars of all things, but in that instance the mapping is much simpler than would be needed for a WW2 operational level game.


< Message edited by Hertston -- 5/6/2008 10:33:27 PM >

(in reply to Howard7x)
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RE: Easy on the Negativity! - 5/6/2008 10:50:58 PM   
Peter Fisla


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quote:

ORIGINAL: ewallace

One question though - does this run on Vista?

I hope so, if not I won't buy it. I quite shocked how many games are released that don't run on Vista. A major bugbear is imcomplete games. I don't like the attitude we'll sort it in a patch. If I had a similiar attitude I'd be out of work.

look forward to reading a reply on the Vista point.

Regards
Ewan


ewallace,

SSG are a great group of passionate developers that will do their best to make Kharkov run on Vista. SSG does not make incomplete games and Kharkov won't be exception either. However please note that Vista is arguably the worst OS Microsoft has ever released. Please do some reading on that on the net. The fact that Microsoft released Vista in such a sorry state (including Vista SP1) is not a fault of SSG so please don't put that on SSG shoulders.

Regards,

Peter Fisla

< Message edited by Peter Fisla -- 5/6/2008 10:51:09 PM >

(in reply to ewallace)
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RE: Easy on the Negativity! - 5/7/2008 12:46:32 AM   
Hertston


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Peter Fisla
SSG are a great group of passionate developers that will do their best to make Kharkov run on Vista. SSG does not make incomplete games and Kharkov won't be exception either. However please note that Vista is arguably the worst OS Microsoft has ever released. Please do some reading on that on the net. The fact that Microsoft released Vista in such a sorry state (including Vista SP1) is not a fault of SSG so please don't put that on SSG shoulders.


Oh, come on. Whatever the faults of Vista there is no excuse whatsoever for releasing a game in 2088 that won't run on the O/S that has shipped as standard with the vast majority of PC's sold in the last year.

(in reply to Peter Fisla)
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RE: Easy on the Negativity! - 5/7/2008 12:58:49 AM   
Adam Parker


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Howard7x

You know, its funny but the thing that drew me to Battles In Normandy in the first place was the graphics.


Ditto! I'll never forget the day Korsun Pocket arrived and thinking "wow, these guys at SSG are so state of the art". I think my forums posts around that time echo that For Normandy too - the best looking DDay game ever. But time has moved on. And playing it now feels clunky - those naval landing moves drive me nuts.

quote:

ORIGINAL: Howard7x

Its strange then that Adam, you find the graphics look old and dated. Which wargames do you feel are moving the genre forward in the graphics department here at matrix games?


Not at all strange. Battlefront should have had a totally different graphics set to Decisive Battles. New Brand warranted a new look. Kharkov needs its own graphics set. That's the law of Branding.

In the day's before Avalon Hill died it started re-using graphics for its games - Raid on St Nazzaire taking its unit art from Advanced Squad Leader as one example. It appalled me!

By keeping the graphics the same SSG is sending the message - "we're too cheap to give you something new and we don't mind if you're confused about which series you're playing" - if I was part of a marketing survey, that's what they'd get from me.

This is emphasised by the lack of new screen resolutions.

Which Matrix developments are setting new trends? Forge of Freedom, GG's War Betwen the States, Carriers at War come to mind. What else has Matrix offered new? Don't even mention Advanced Tactics. Add Ageod's (not a Matrix game) Birth of America (they even took a step backwards with Napoleon).

But I look at the screen pics for Kharkov and I think I'm back in 1998. What more does SSG expect of me?

(in reply to Howard7x)
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RE: Easy on the Negativity! - 5/7/2008 2:36:21 AM   
JAMiAM

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Hertston

quote:

ORIGINAL: Peter Fisla
SSG are a great group of passionate developers that will do their best to make Kharkov run on Vista. SSG does not make incomplete games and Kharkov won't be exception either. However please note that Vista is arguably the worst OS Microsoft has ever released. Please do some reading on that on the net. The fact that Microsoft released Vista in such a sorry state (including Vista SP1) is not a fault of SSG so please don't put that on SSG shoulders.


Oh, come on. Whatever the faults of Vista there is no excuse whatsoever for releasing a game in 2088 that won't run on the O/S that has shipped as standard with the vast majority of PC's sold in the last year.

Getting a bit ahead of ourselves, are we?


(in reply to Hertston)
Post #: 11
RE: Easy on the Negativity! - 5/7/2008 3:25:00 AM   
tevans6220

 

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The one thing that I don't like about these games are the maps. I don't need a map that looks good just for the sake of looking good. Basic map graphics are fine as long as the gameplay is there. The maps that are designed for these games look very nice but I sometimes lose the counters in the blend of all the colors. What's wrong with basic boardgame graphics for maps? They were simple, looked good and got the job done.

One thing that really concerns me is the lack of user made scenarios for Battlefront carrying over to this game. This game comes with one battle and several variants. That means that unless all aspects of editing can be understood this game will have just as short a shelf life. You practically have to be a graphic artist to create good looking maps in this system meaning that only a small minority can use the mapmaking editor. Data entry is not too difficult. So practically anyone could do that. The biggest problem of all is the AI. I understand that programming the AI is difficult but it's damn near impossible if you don't know what you're doing, have no documentation and can't get any help from those who designed it. That, in my opinion, is why Battlefront pretty much died.

(in reply to JAMiAM)
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RE: Easy on the Negativity! - 5/7/2008 10:00:55 AM   
Noakesy

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Adam Parker
In the day's before Avalon Hill died it started re-using graphics for its games - Raid on St Nazzaire taking its unit art from Advanced Squad Leader as one example. It appalled me!

By keeping the graphics the same SSG is sending the message - "we're too cheap to give you something new and we don't mind if you're confused about which series you're playing" - if I was part of a marketing survey, that's what they'd get from me.


Agreed on point 1, couldn't believe it myself when AH did that. However, personally I think the DBWWII and BF maps are stunning (and as Howard says, check out the Fall Gelb one as an example of a recent one put out by Bru), and I love the counters as I've always been into these type of AH games. So, it's pretty much "each to their own" and whilst I can see some arguments for 'rebranding' there are others too that say 'let's keep it as it is'.

(in reply to Adam Parker)
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RE: Easy on the Negativity! - 5/12/2008 4:58:28 PM   
Peter Fisla


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Hertston

quote:

ORIGINAL: Peter Fisla
SSG are a great group of passionate developers that will do their best to make Kharkov run on Vista. SSG does not make incomplete games and Kharkov won't be exception either. However please note that Vista is arguably the worst OS Microsoft has ever released. Please do some reading on that on the net. The fact that Microsoft released Vista in such a sorry state (including Vista SP1) is not a fault of SSG so please don't put that on SSG shoulders.


Oh, come on. Whatever the faults of Vista there is no excuse whatsoever for releasing a game in 2088 that won't run on the O/S that has shipped as standard with the vast majority of PC's sold in the last year.


Vista may have shipped with many PCs this year but doesn't mean people actually run it; read the article below only 15% of all Valve customers you Vista and that's hardly a big number...one year after Vista came out.

http://tech.yahoo.com/blogs/null/92615

< Message edited by Peter Fisla -- 5/12/2008 5:06:59 PM >

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RE: Easy on the Negativity! - 5/12/2008 7:05:30 PM   
Howard7x


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My experience with Vista so far has been pretty poor. Im constantly having to sort out my mother in laws PC and explain why things are not running as they should. Im amazed at how incompatible Vista is with things that run perfectly on XP. I think they could have done more to mitigate this problem as it drives most people nuts, you buy a new PC, go to run an older game or program and it just wont run, not only that but most of the time the only workaround is to simply uninstall your brand spanking new machine's OS and go back to XP. At least then you can use it for the things you were using it for in the first place. All new games should be compatible with Vista nowdays though. When i do eventually move over to Vista (ie, when all the fantastic games i currently own no longer interest me) i dont expect to be still having trouble running new software yet i have a funny feeling i am.

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RE: Easy on the Negativity! - 5/13/2008 2:42:00 AM   
emcgman


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I'm not the biggest Vista fan by any means, but what games are you talking about that won't run on Vista?

I'm running older games like `Age of Wonders Shadow Magic' released in 2003, 4 years before Vista. I'm running Elder Scrolls `Morrowind", released in 2002, 5 years before Vista! No work arounds, just install and play.

Just for grins, while I was typing this, I installed and ran Heroes of Might and Magic II, thats right version `2'. circa 1996! Runs fine, no problem.

That's not to say that all games made in 1996 are going to run under Vista, but I just picked one at random off my gaming shelf.

That being said, and although I'm not a computer tech, I definitely would not upgrade an older machine to Vista. That's where your problems come in.

You need to buy a new machine that ships with Vista right out of the box. Then, all the computer hardware in that machine is going to be already compatable with Vista.

Hope this helps with potential upgrade questions.





(in reply to Howard7x)
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RE: Easy on the Negativity! - 5/13/2008 10:15:25 AM   
JudgeDredd


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What runs on Vista isn't necessarily tied to the age of the game.

I would think it depends more on the system libraries used in the game and whether they are compatible with the security system implemented on Vista. Not forgetting any architechture issues that may arise (games made for 32bit and trying to run them on 64bit)

Besides...I said this before...even Microsoft could get their sh!t together...I have a fully boxed purchased copy of Microsoft Visual Studio 2003 and I couldn't get it working on Vista. It kept saying it had compatability issues...ended up I had to download "lite" versions of their 2005 .NET

I know 2003 seems "old"...but in the development world, that isn't necessarily the case. And I don't have £1000 to through at development software every four years!

I now have £1000 of development software that isn't working.

Mind you, I haven't checked to see if they've remedied that recently.

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RE: Easy on the Negativity! - 5/13/2008 3:17:02 PM   
HansBolter


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I have to disagree strongly with you guys who are bashing companies for reusing good graphics that work.

Raid on St. Nazaire was one of the best solitaire board games ever published. That it reused some grahics from Squad Leader gave it a familiar feel that was comfortable. I found it in no way deplorable or shocking or diasppointing.

I would rather get a new game with reused graphics than get no game at all. It is often the reusing of graphics that makes it economically feasible to release a new game.

Good graphics that work don't need to be reinvented for each new game just for the sake of something new.

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RE: Easy on the Negativity! - 5/14/2008 2:46:53 AM   
emcgman


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quote:

ORIGINAL: HansBolter

I have to disagree strongly with you guys who are bashing companies for reusing good graphics that work.



Exactly, just make the game engine better if possible.


< Message edited by emcgman -- 5/14/2008 2:47:54 AM >

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RE: Easy on the Negativity! - 5/15/2008 5:09:18 PM   
Kung Karl

 

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As  far as graphics go I think they are great. There is just ONE thing they NEED to change and that is the resolutions. With widescreen LCD:s becoming more and more usual improved support for these resolutions is a must. On the other hand they wont fix it since it require a reworking of the engine so no need to keep ddemanding it for this release since it wont happen. But pleas, for next game at least support modern resolutions.

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RE: Easy on the Negativity! - 5/19/2008 7:15:02 PM   
Berkut

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Kung Karl

As far as graphics go I think they are great. There is just ONE thing they NEED to change and that is the resolutions. With widescreen LCD:s becoming more and more usual improved support for these resolutions is a must. On the other hand they wont fix it since it require a reworking of the engine so no need to keep ddemanding it for this release since it wont happen. But pleas, for next game at least support modern resolutions.



/signed

I know that the wargame world is all about how unimportant graphics are, and it is something of a mark of grognardliness to NOT be up to speed on current capabilities, but...

The widescreen revolution in monitors is here to stay, and quite frankly, should be LOVED by the wargaming community, giving a lot more usable screen real estate to display maps and such.

This is a basic problem though - the impression I get is simply that the people developing these games lack the skill set to properly exploit even the basics of what is possible these days when it comes to graphics. Things like multiple screen resolutions are taken for granted in pretty much all games and applications, but are apparently a serious effort for many wargames, for some reason.

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RE: Easy on the Negativity! - 5/29/2008 7:25:49 PM   
Hertston


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I find the decision not to include widescreen support extraordinary. I can only assume financial constraints prohibited adaptation of the engine to include it, but if it's too late for Kharkov it really does need doing for any subsequent game.

< Message edited by Hertston -- 5/29/2008 7:27:48 PM >

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Post #: 22
RE: Easy on the Negativity! - 5/29/2008 8:31:05 PM   
Erik Rutins

 

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Widescreen support for future releases is already in the works and has been. Note that CAW does support multiple resolutions, but it was not possible to implement that for the Kharkov release. It's simply a matter of the time required (and thus also the expense) to not only create a new engine (as was done for CAW) but to then add all the additional code that is in effect "the game" to it.

Also, despite the gripes, the game really does look fine and work well in the higher resolutions even when not natively supported. We don't require you to run at 1024x768 or 1280x1024 to play the game. I've been playing with it here at 1680x1050 and honestly there's no problem, though I'll welcome 1680x1050 native support when it's available.

Unlike the mainstream game companies that can spend millions on each new release, we get by on what would be practically a "rounding error" for the likes of Electronic Arts. It's worth keeping this in mind when considering how long it takes us to create a new engine or a new releae.

Regards,

- Erik

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Post #: 23
RE: Easy on the Negativity! - 5/30/2008 3:13:42 AM   
TheHellPatrol


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1024x768 is...IMHO...perfectly fine. SSG has awesome graphics, although the counters are being neglected imo, and frankly it's hard enough to read. Spend the money/time on "meat & potatoes" because that's the only thing that will keep these games alive!

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