From: Cornwall, UK
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.
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 >