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RE: Empire in Arms 1.03.13 Public Beta Avalible!!

 
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RE: Empire in Arms 1.03.13 Public Beta Avalible!! - 7/29/2008 8:27:19 PM   
Marshall Ellis


Posts: 5630
Joined: 10/2/2001
From: Dallas
Status: offline
Ray:

I don't think anyone is fiercley opposed. I'm just letting you know what I think as well. I can say that you're not saving a lot of clicks here. If I were to spend a lot of time on this code then other more vital parts of the engine would get neglected and I just cannot have that right now so while I will save your idea, I just don't want to set the expectation that this will be in the next release or 2.



_____________________________

Thank you

Marshall Ellis
Outflank Strategy War Games



(in reply to NeverMan)
Post #: 31
RE: Empire in Arms 1.03.13 Public Beta Avalible!! - 7/29/2008 8:38:16 PM   
RayKinStL

 

Posts: 130
Joined: 7/4/2008
Status: offline
I don't expect it in the next relese or two.  Honeslty it will probably never get implemented.  And in all fairness, by the time it did(months down the line ) I would probably have moved on to something else.  I just simply don't see the point to making PBEM the priority.  This can already be experienced through groups on yahoo or google for free.  In all honesty, now that I have gotten a feel for the game and how it plays again, if I were to join a game, it would most likely be through a yahoo or google group.  Part of that would be to use the classic EiA rules, but also because I don't think the interface adds all that much to increasing the PBEM experience from what you could get through an internet group.

I think where this game would flourish would be IP play and a much improved AI that would allow people to play competitve games against a competent computer opponent.  However, these are not my decisions to make, and so for now I mostly use your game just to refamiliarize myself with all the rules and the nuances of depot supply, movement points, foraging etc.  I truly do applaud your efforts in making a PC version of the game, but I just simply disagree with how precious time is being spent on improving the experience of owning the Matrix version of EiA.

< Message edited by RayKinStL -- 7/29/2008 8:47:42 PM >

(in reply to Marshall Ellis)
Post #: 32
RE: Empire in Arms 1.03.13 Public Beta Avalible!! - 7/29/2008 8:52:54 PM   
Marshall Ellis


Posts: 5630
Joined: 10/2/2001
From: Dallas
Status: offline
RayKinStl:

I hear and respect what you're saying. My PBEM experience with this game is quite extensive over the past few years and I think this helps a lot over the Cyberboard stuff that I have played. It sure beats manual supply calculation and manual combat. There tends to be too much interpretation of the rules and arguing. This has taken that out. Everybody plays by the same interpretation (whether you like it or not :-)). As far as IP? I'm definitely not opposed and I think interests in this is increasing.

Anyway I hope your experience gets better and please keep your ideas coming because I am not fiercely opposed to them, I only help prioritize them. Frankly, most of the enhancements come from you guys!





_____________________________

Thank you

Marshall Ellis
Outflank Strategy War Games



(in reply to RayKinStL)
Post #: 33
RE: Empire in Arms 1.03.13 Public Beta Avalible!! - 7/29/2008 10:01:24 PM   
RayKinStL

 

Posts: 130
Joined: 7/4/2008
Status: offline
Thank you Marshall.  I certainly appreciate your respectulf reply.  The thing is, I simply am looking at things from the Matrix perspective.  I want EiA to succeed.  I want it to get popular and more people to come back to the game.  And of course, from a business standpoint, you want to do that as well so you sell more copies.  The problem with tackling the PBEM market is that you are concentrating all your efforts on a very  small niche.  That nniche is the market share who play PBEM games, like EiA, and are willing to pay money for a more managable streamlined interface.  In that regard I believe you have somewhat succeeded.  Except for teh lack of original EiA rules as an option (which you said is coming), this is superior to cyberboard play for the most part.  That said, I think you are targeting the wrong market.  With a strong AI, you cuold bring in new players who would get a challenge from the computer, and thus a level of competence that the rest of us attained from getting our teeth smashed in for 1-2 full campaign games in someones basement for 2 hours a week.  I think the true potential in this game is that you can severely reduce the time input for the learning curve.  I can get through a whole Grand Campaign game in a weekend against the AI.  If you put 2 or 3 of these under your belt, against competent AI, you re reayd to jump ni the pool with the big boys.  As is stands, beating the AI right now doesn't mean much.  Most of my PP and thus VP is attained from careless AI moves or inactivity and indifference.  I think if you had a truly worthy AI that could teach new players the nuances of the game, then the natural progression would be IP play which could potentially create a whole new community of EiA players.  As it stands now, you are mostly limiting yourself to getting current PBEM players, and a few nostalgic ones to try your game and realize it only offers a little more over traditional PBEM play.

Sadly though, I fear it may be too late to change the course.  I believe you are hunkered in for the fight.  You have committed so much time and resources already to making PBEM the ebst it can be, that I don't know when you will be able to truly point your efforts elsewhere.  I just think there are bigger prizes out there, but it would require a shift in strategic thinking at Matrix as far as how and where to apply the limited reources available.

And although thats a lot to say and comes off more negative than I intend it, I really do applaud your hard work.  You are always courteous and professional on here.  You work diligently to resolve issues and bugs submitted through the Mantis tracker.  I don't doubt your efforts for one second.  I just fear that every day that goes by fixing problems on an area that should, in my opinion, not be your focus is jsut another day wasted.  But we shall see what the future holds.

P.S. - Sorry for the business jargon in the first paragraph.  That was the MIS degree coming out of me.

(in reply to Marshall Ellis)
Post #: 34
RE: Empire in Arms 1.03.13 Public Beta Avalible!! - 7/29/2008 10:12:46 PM   
NeverMan

 

Posts: 1722
Joined: 2/24/2004
Status: offline
My two cents: (because I can)

1. There are many here, very much so including myself, who would love to see Internet play.
2. While the major drawback to EiANW is the "modified" ruleset, I do think it provides somewhat have an enhancement (at least on the bookkeeping side) over Cyberboard or VASSAL.
3. Personally, I just don't think the AI is ever going to be "good enough" to be a challenge to anyone who has any real experience playing this game (ftf or pbem with human players).

On top of all that, minus a few clicks now and again really doesn't enhance the AI or solo play all that much, IMO. I can get through a Grand Campaign game against the AI in ~4 hours as is.

(in reply to RayKinStL)
Post #: 35
RE: Empire in Arms 1.03.13 Public Beta Avalible!! - 7/30/2008 12:16:51 AM   
Marshall Ellis


Posts: 5630
Joined: 10/2/2001
From: Dallas
Status: offline
quote:

ORIGINAL: RayKinStL

Thank you Marshall.  I certainly appreciate your respectulf reply.  The thing is, I simply am looking at things from the Matrix perspective.  I want EiA to succeed.  I want it to get popular and more people to come back to the game.  And of course, from a business standpoint, you want to do that as well so you sell more copies.  The problem with tackling the PBEM market is that you are concentrating all your efforts on a very  small niche.  That nniche is the market share who play PBEM games, like EiA, and are willing to pay money for a more managable streamlined interface.  In that regard I believe you have somewhat succeeded.  Except for teh lack of original EiA rules as an option (which you said is coming), this is superior to cyberboard play for the most part.  That said, I think you are targeting the wrong market.  With a strong AI, you cuold bring in new players who would get a challenge from the computer, and thus a level of competence that the rest of us attained from getting our teeth smashed in for 1-2 full campaign games in someones basement for 2 hours a week.  I think the true potential in this game is that you can severely reduce the time input for the learning curve.  I can get through a whole Grand Campaign game in a weekend against the AI.  If you put 2 or 3 of these under your belt, against competent AI, you re reayd to jump ni the pool with the big boys.  As is stands, beating the AI right now doesn't mean much.  Most of my PP and thus VP is attained from careless AI moves or inactivity and indifference.  I think if you had a truly worthy AI that could teach new players the nuances of the game, then the natural progression would be IP play which could potentially create a whole new community of EiA players.  As it stands now, you are mostly limiting yourself to getting current PBEM players, and a few nostalgic ones to try your game and realize it only offers a little more over traditional PBEM play.

Sadly though, I fear it may be too late to change the course.  I believe you are hunkered in for the fight.  You have committed so much time and resources already to making PBEM the ebst it can be, that I don't know when you will be able to truly point your efforts elsewhere.  I just think there are bigger prizes out there, but it would require a shift in strategic thinking at Matrix as far as how and where to apply the limited reources available.

And although thats a lot to say and comes off more negative than I intend it, I really do applaud your hard work.  You are always courteous and professional on here.  You work diligently to resolve issues and bugs submitted through the Mantis tracker.  I don't doubt your efforts for one second.  I just fear that every day that goes by fixing problems on an area that should, in my opinion, not be your focus is jsut another day wasted.  But we shall see what the future holds.

P.S. - Sorry for the business jargon in the first paragraph.  That was the MIS degree coming out of me.


Ray:

Appreciate the input! Good stuff indeed. EiANW will succeed because my measure of success will not come from how much it sold but from my personal satisfaction of adding to this thing (Funny thing is that I don't even know how many have sold already LOL). It's an extremely configurable engine that will be around for a long time and it will only get better and better. I'll be with this thing for a long time (Actually, I already have :-))

I'm intrigued by your assessment of the niche market of the PBEM players??? I think this situation is a little different. I believe that PBEM is a small niche of computer gaming BUT in my exploration of the EiA community, I still in fact believe that PBEM has a larger user number than IP (EiA seems to have a huge PBEM community in comparison to other games). Keep in mind that this is not a vote from me in favor of or against IP but simply an observation that I have seen myself for several years. Much of this comes from the fact that most players in the PBEM community are from around the world and would rarely be in front of the keyboard at the same time thus making IP a little tricky. I actually believe that eventually we will arrive at IP at some point. I'm not opposed or dug in for the fight on this and in fact some of the code is already in the current engine and I would love the challenge.








< Message edited by Marshall Ellis -- 7/30/2008 12:18:22 AM >


_____________________________

Thank you

Marshall Ellis
Outflank Strategy War Games



(in reply to RayKinStL)
Post #: 36
RE: Empire in Arms 1.03.13 Public Beta Avalible!! - 7/30/2008 12:37:16 AM   
Jimmer

 

Posts: 1968
Joined: 12/5/2007
Status: offline

quote:

ORIGINAL: NeverMan
You still have to click on every corps "in the box" once, so you are only saving time on the back end of the move. It's hardly a minute, it's more like 5-10 seconds. It's really not worth the development time.

If this game was perfect and Marshall still wanted to tweak some stuff, then I would probably agree with you, but there is still so much wrong with this game that 5-10 second speedup ONLY when you are moving large stacks from one place to another place just doesn't seem worth it to me.

No, this is incorrect. You don't just click once on each corps. After every move of a single corps, you must right-click to clear the rest of the movement, and then click the pile in the other location. Finally, unless the one you want happens to be on top of the stack, you have to find the right corps and click it. Only then can you move the next corps.

IMO, this qualifies at tedium. However, I'm in agreement with you that it is only worth development time (now) if the development cycle is really short. Otherwise, many other things have higher priority.

_____________________________

At LAST! The greatest campaign board game of all time is finally available for the PC. Can my old heart stand the strain?

(in reply to NeverMan)
Post #: 37
RE: Empire in Arms 1.03.13 Public Beta Avalible!! - 7/30/2008 12:52:15 AM   
Dancing Bear

 

Posts: 1003
Joined: 2/21/2008
Status: offline
I think it is time for a few PBEM enhancements this round. Major AI enhancements can come next time when everyone has had a go with the new version and all can comment.


(in reply to Jimmer)
Post #: 38
RE: Empire in Arms 1.03.13 Public Beta Avalible!! - 7/30/2008 1:17:46 AM   
NeverMan

 

Posts: 1722
Joined: 2/24/2004
Status: offline

quote:

ORIGINAL: Jimmer


quote:

ORIGINAL: NeverMan
You still have to click on every corps "in the box" once, so you are only saving time on the back end of the move. It's hardly a minute, it's more like 5-10 seconds. It's really not worth the development time.

If this game was perfect and Marshall still wanted to tweak some stuff, then I would probably agree with you, but there is still so much wrong with this game that 5-10 second speedup ONLY when you are moving large stacks from one place to another place just doesn't seem worth it to me.

No, this is incorrect. You don't just click once on each corps. After every move of a single corps, you must right-click to clear the rest of the movement, and then click the pile in the other location. Finally, unless the one you want happens to be on top of the stack, you have to find the right corps and click it. Only then can you move the next corps.

IMO, this qualifies at tedium. However, I'm in agreement with you that it is only worth development time (now) if the development cycle is really short. Otherwise, many other things have higher priority.


Sorry, I didn't break it down for you. Oh, and you have to breath in and breath out, etc, etc, blah, blah, blah..

The fact is that in a PBEM game it's not that annoying. I can see in an AI game that it is.

All said and done I don't think it's a high priority, JMO.

(in reply to Jimmer)
Post #: 39
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