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Impressions of Matrix World In Flames (MWIF) - 11/25/2013 12:51:09 PM   
warspite1


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I had previously played 5th Edition of World In Flames (WIF) – although that was the best part of 20 years ago. Real life then took over and so I haven’t had a chance to play since. Realistically, but for MWIF, I would not be able to until maybe retirement…

With MWIF though, and the fact that I do not need to commandeer half the house to set the game up, I am able to take up arms once again. But would I still want to play it? Would it be any good?

I look back on the time playing WIF with good memories. The game was fun, good looking, but incredibly challenging. I lost more games than I won, but that did not dim the sense of enjoyment (well it did during the actual game of course because losing sucks…).

I first found out about Matrix Games and WIF being made for the computer in 2008. In all the time waiting for the game I never really considered whether I would actually like playing the game after all these years – after all times and tastes change – and since 1996 there has been lots of good computer war games to spend hard earned leisure time with. I guess I just assumed I would continue to enjoy the game when it finally came out and I would just pick up where I left off (notwithstanding the rules (and some counters) have changed radically since the 5th Edition).

So having got the game and dived in with Global War and all the optional rules, 1. What was the reality like? 2. How does MWIF actually compare to board game WIF? 3. How does MWIF (which is a faithful reproduction of the board game) compare to other war games?

I am pleased to say that the answer to the last two questions is pretty straightforward:

2. How does MWIF actually compare to board game WIF?

There is no discernable difference. The game plays like WIF, just as it’s designed to. There are swings and roundabouts in terms of “what is better, computer or table top?” On the plus side, with MWIF, you cannot misinterpret the rules, although sometimes on the negative side, with MWIF you cannot misinterpret the rules . Joking aside, this factor cannot be over emphasised. Learning to play, and know intimately, all 64-pages of rules with the board game version, is not something a player can do unless they really have a lot of time and energy.

A downside is that the computer game is very unforgiving if you miss a move or an attack and you have gone on to the next stage – whereas with a human opponent opposite you, you could always agree to going back a step. However, after a few disastrous consequences of playing too hastily, I suspect that such forgetfulness will disappear quite quickly.

The only other real difference is that you get more of an overall feel for the game when you can see the entire map, and the counters upon it, all laid out in front of you. However, given that lack of ability to set up said map is one of the reasons many stopped playing (or never started) that is just a necessary evil.

3. How does WIF/MWIF compare to other war games?

Since I stopped playing WIF, I have played a few computer wargames (I am an avid wargamer in terms of time spent playing rather than different numbers of games) and have hugely enjoyed only three really – Civ II / IV, Rome Total War and Commander The Great War. These have been fun and certainly “scratched an itch” but I felt there was nothing that ever really came close to WIF. With all three, I never felt that I would never play anything else. When I was playing WIF, that was the feeling I had. Why?

WWII is my favourite period of military history – and what WIF does is to allow a player control over the armies, navies and air forces that took part in the biggest conflict in human history. Each major power feels like its historical equivalent in terms of the make-up of its forces, the goals it needs to accomplish, the advantages and disadvantages it has relative to other powers, and the side it’s on. But subject to a few hard and fast rules that ensure every game of WIF/MWIF has a WWII framework, a player is free to choose a wide range of strategic alternatives.

Aesthetics are important to me in a wargame. WIF (with the notable exception of the Final Edition maps) was quite simply, beautiful. The counters are colourful, easy to read in terms of information contained vs looks, and well presented. Nato symbols for the land units, full colour silhouettes for the aircraft and ships. Due to the limitations of a cardboard game, the presentation of the land units is less than optimal (although still well done), but the game makers, Australian Design Group, make a thoroughly brilliant job of the aircraft and ship units. This is a strategic level game remember, and yet every single ship (plus some “what-if’s” too) of light cruiser class and above, is represented in the game. Genius! Fancy up gunning the Scharnhorsts? Fancy building the Malta-class carriers and Lion-class battleships for the Royal Navy? Or giving Mussolini the aircraft carriers required for Mare Nostrum? Well they are all possible with this game - and much more. The treatment of the aircraft is a kind of halfway house between the two. The counters represent hundreds of aircraft but you get to fly named aircraft types to each combat – not faceless, generic “Fighters” or “Bombers”, but, for example, Mustangs or Heinkels.

Another great thing about WIF/MWIF is the replayability factor. Because there are no set starting positions, because the counter mix is not guaranteed, because the reinforcements you build are chosen at random (within the build types) and because of the randomness of weather, turn length and dice, there are no “perfect” attacks/strategies.

World In Flames is a game that either side (or major power if playing with more than two) can win. It is a monster of a game and yet designed to be fun. It is not a logistics game. Yes, a game of this size and complexity will have an element of micro-management, but this aspect is sensibly handled. There is very little time spent on boring “housekeeping” and “admin” type stuff. Even when not engaged in combat, as a player you are constantly having to think ahead – to properly plan what you want to do and what you need to achieve your goals. You then have to get those assets in the right place at the right time.

So yes, this game beats all others I have tried hands down.

So this leads to the initial question – what was the reality like, playing again after all these years?

Well one thing is for certain – I had forgotten the detail of just how challenging this game is. I am doing an AAR – Global War with all the trimmings (optional rules) - and as anyone who has read any of it will testify, if has been a catalogue of mistake after mistake after embarrassing mistake. I have forgotten to build AMPH with the Commonwealth, I have forgotten to properly place HQ’s so that supply has been an issue, I have forgotten to carry out attacks. There is just so much to do!!

But do you know what? I don’t care – because it’s fun! The reality is, I am enjoying having this old, long lost friend back again!

The game has some bugs still being ironed out, but that is understandable given the enormity of the project, and already there have been four patches, so the support for the game is there, and I am sure, will continue to be. I am up to Sep/Oct 1941 and – touchwood – have had no game-stopping bugs.

So a huge thank-you to Matrix, and above all to Steve , for bringing the best strategic game ever to the computer. And of course equally huge thanks to Harry Rowland and ADG for designing such a masterpiece in the first place .


< Message edited by warspite1 -- 11/25/2013 1:57:45 PM >


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RE: Impressions of Matrix World In Flames (MWIF) - 11/25/2013 1:15:55 PM   
76mm


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great review warspite, thanks, I look forward to playing.

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RE: Impressions of Matrix World In Flames (MWIF) - 11/25/2013 1:56:33 PM   
DSWargamer

 

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Perhaps this is where I say it shines.

"Another great thing about WIF/MWIF is the replayability factor. Because there are no set starting positions, because the counter mix is not guaranteed, because the reinforcements you build are chosen at random (within the build types) and because of the randomness of weather, turn length and dice, there are no “perfect” attacks/strategies."

I love playing A3R, but sadly, the board game suffers a tad from perfect set up syndrome. So it is fair to say that it is not just a problem that is common with computer wargames.

I too miss the ability to just look down and see the board. But as was mentioned, the reason my copy of 5th remains under used is the board refuses to accept a small space.

When I first heard of the code coming here, I was quite happy, and then I confess, I was hardly a nice person when dealing with the waiting :) I think the beta team likely have suffered more nasty than any other wargame ever brought to the computer.

I am slow in getting around to diving into the deep end in my case. Currently I have yet to go past splashing my ankles in the wading pool.

There are precious few games on the computer, that were never board games originally, that have come as far as this one has though. I can't think of a single grand strategy design.

The interface for this game will not be a simple learn, I never thought it would be. Oh well, I will manage. It's worth it. Every time I go past 6 months of playing ASL I find I basically have to go through a refresher period even though I have been playing the game since it was invented :)

I doubt I'd be able to just sit down and play my Advanced Third Reich today if a friend dropped by this afternoon for a go. And I have played untold hours of that one too.

I'm likely going to browse through the paper manual from my board game as a way of getting fully into the experience. I might even consider putting the maps up on the wall as a decoration and a convenient full screen feel :) Even if they both will be lacking in comparison. Sort of like taking a shower before jumping in the pool :)

_____________________________

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RE: Impressions of Matrix World In Flames (MWIF) - 11/25/2013 9:26:30 PM   
alexvand


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Warspite,

Thanks for the review, I feel very much the same!


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RE: Impressions of Matrix World In Flames (MWIF) - 11/26/2013 5:27:31 AM   
Magpius


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From: Melbourne, Australia
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Yep, Good Call Warspite, and I'm enjoying the AAR also

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RE: Impressions of Matrix World In Flames (MWIF) - 11/26/2013 6:32:52 AM   
mic211


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+1, well said Warspite.

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RE: Impressions of Matrix World In Flames (MWIF) - 11/26/2013 4:20:06 PM   
warspite1


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Agent S

Yep, Good Call Warspite, and I'm enjoying the AAR also
warspite1

Agent S where did you get the Avatar? Did you do that yourself? I see that with Khaki in Flames the 9th Division is now represented, but it has different values and has the A in the middle.


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RE: Impressions of Matrix World In Flames (MWIF) - 11/26/2013 10:25:57 PM   
Magpius


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From: Melbourne, Australia
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Yes, home made. Colours from KIF, scan set. if you could let me know the real values, (or a pic) I will mod accordingly. Thanks.

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RE: Impressions of Matrix World In Flames (MWIF) - 11/26/2013 10:36:58 PM   
warspite1


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Agent S

Yes, home made. Colours from KIF, scan set. if you could let me know the real values, (or a pic) I will mod accordingly. Thanks.
warspite1

There you go!





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RE: Impressions of Matrix World In Flames (MWIF) - 11/27/2013 6:08:43 AM   
Magpius


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From: Melbourne, Australia
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Thank you Sir,
much appreciated.

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RE: Impressions of Matrix World In Flames (MWIF) - 11/27/2013 9:30:15 AM   
Cataphract88


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Thanks for a very well-written review, Warspite.

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Richard

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RE: Impressions of Matrix World In Flames (MWIF) - 11/27/2013 4:08:34 PM   
warspite1


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Agent S

Thank you Sir,
much appreciated.
warspite1

Quality looking avatar for a qualiteeee division Agent S SEVEN Victoria Crosses no less


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RE: Impressions of Matrix World In Flames (MWIF) - 11/27/2013 5:43:48 PM   
warspite1


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quote:

ORIGINAL: cataphract88

Thanks for a very well-written review, Warspite.
warspite1

Thank-you sir, and with all this green and grey appearing, can I persuade you to swap Winston S and go for an avatar of the dark blue variety?


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RE: Impressions of Matrix World In Flames (MWIF) - 11/27/2013 6:22:21 PM   
AxelNL


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quote:

ORIGINAL: warspite1


quote:

ORIGINAL: cataphract88

Thanks for a very well-written review, Warspite.
warspite1

Thank-you sir, and with all this green and grey appearing, can I persuade you to swap Winston S and go for an avatar of the dark blue variety?



That is indeed the nicest colour.

(in reply to warspite1)
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RE: Impressions of Matrix World In Flames (MWIF) - 11/27/2013 6:37:16 PM   
warspite1


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quote:

ORIGINAL: AxelNL


quote:

ORIGINAL: warspite1


quote:

ORIGINAL: cataphract88

Thanks for a very well-written review, Warspite.
warspite1

Thank-you sir, and with all this green and grey appearing, can I persuade you to swap Winston S and go for an avatar of the dark blue variety?



That is indeed the nicest colour.
warspite1

I thought that as I finished writing and saw your's and Centuur's avatar's in the development thread .





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RE: Impressions of Matrix World In Flames (MWIF) - 11/27/2013 8:48:15 PM   
bo

 

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I have always been a beer and pretzel game player, Panzer Corp, Strategic Command, 3rd Reich, Panzer General, quick fast games not too much thought put into moves [not a dig] I have not played Cod 2 for awhile but I do play World of Tanks with my grandson. War in the Pacific, way to long IMO waiting for the AI to get done. My son gave me War in the East could never really get into the game not knocking it at all just not for me.

I have been watching Matrix since 2005 when I saw the notice of transforming the game from ADG WIF to MWIF, lost sight of it for awhile and then in 2008 I started to check it out again, it seem to take forever and I complained about how long it is taking for completion, and then the AI discussion got going, whew did that get a little nasty. When Steve asked me to join the beta testing team I was kinda shocked because of the way I acted on the posts, but to Steve's credit he put the past where it belonged, in the past.

I downloaded the game and instead of testing I was playing the game [not really the same thing] I have always felt that solo or solitaire is impossible in a war computer game. I tried to explain it to my son the other night about solo play and boy did I get an earfull, he wanted to put me in Byberry near us [ a mental institution] I tried to explain to him how well it played in solo mode, well that fell on deaf ears, and I got cut up good for the rest of the night.

I have posted I never read a rule but could play the game, not bragging [should have read some rules] but I hate reading rules. As I learned the game I was amazed at the complexity of the game and how easy Steve made the complexity work well with his programming coding. I started testing Guadalcanal and at first mistake after mistake in making wrong moves, the naval end of the game was very difficult for me, the sea boxes drove me nuts.

I had the finest and nicest beta testers pull me out of hole after hole until I understood what was going on. And finally it sunk in, this is trully the finest computer war game I have ever played bar none. Carrier planes optional rules and pilot optional rules seemed too deep for me at first and then they became easy to work with and they really make this game hum. Very disappointed in no AI as are many posters here and hopefully Steve can do a decent AI that will satisfy most players.

I feel when the two half maps are put into the game it will enhance the game. [Fascist Tide and Day of Infamy] Most board game players probably prefer Global war, but I feel that Global war can be daunting to a new player, [solo version] The half maps allow you to play either the Pacific War or the European theater independant of each other, I beta test Fascist tide and I really enjoy playing it.

I do hope if some players get a little frustrated with all the decisions they have to make on almost every impulse that they will realize that that is what make this game feel like real war and the decisions military leaders had to make in WW2, one thing about this forum is that there are posters, beta people and Steve will always be here to help you if so needed. Please give the game a chance you will not be sorry.

Bo

Bill




< Message edited by bo -- 11/28/2013 4:51:45 AM >

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RE: Impressions of Matrix World In Flames (MWIF) - 11/28/2013 4:15:57 AM   
Neilster


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You might have to lose the Scottish bit from that Union Jack soon

And before you start...I don't care. Not my problem. Talk to a Scotchman

Cheers, Neilster

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RE: Impressions of Matrix World In Flames (MWIF) - 11/28/2013 4:38:35 AM   
Magpius


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From: Melbourne, Australia
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quote:

a qualiteeee division Agent S SEVEN Victoria Crosses no less


Yes, they punched above their weight, from Desert to Jungle.

< Message edited by Agent S -- 11/28/2013 5:39:14 AM >


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RE: Impressions of Matrix World In Flames (MWIF) - 11/28/2013 6:26:34 AM   
aspqrz02

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Neilster

You might have to lose the Scottish bit from that Union Jack soon

And before you start...I don't care. Not my problem. Talk to a Scotchman

Cheers, Neilster



ScotsMAN.

SCOTCH is what you drink.

Scots (and ScotsMEN and ScotsWOMEN) are the people who live there.



Phil

< Message edited by aspqrz -- 11/28/2013 7:27:09 AM >


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RE: Impressions of Matrix World In Flames (MWIF) - 11/28/2013 8:53:32 AM   
Neilster


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quote:

ORIGINAL: aspqrz

quote:

ORIGINAL: Neilster

You might have to lose the Scottish bit from that Union Jack soon

And before you start...I don't care. Not my problem. Talk to a Scotchman

Cheers, Neilster



ScotsMAN.

SCOTCH is what you drink.

Scots (and ScotsMEN and ScotsWOMEN) are the people who live there.



Phil

Really? I have a Scottish mate, and I like to call him a Scotchman. He loves it. He just pretends to be angry

Cheers, Neilster

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RE: Impressions of Matrix World In Flames (MWIF) - 11/28/2013 11:50:20 AM   
monkla

 

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Since we are talking about our impressions of Matrix World in Flames. I would like to offer my two cents worth and also explain why.

I find myself quite disappointment with this product that has come out. I have attempted to play the game and it didn't take too long before I ran into multiple bugs. I peruse the tech help section and see great listings of bugs being reported. This I don't understand. You see, when I factor in postage costs, this game has cost me $160. That is more, in fact, way more than any other computer game that I have ever bought. It is also more expensive than 90% of the board games that I have bought. I would like to think for that amount of money that I could expect a product that was relatively bug free. None of the other computer games I have purchased from other companies are like this. I wonder why, therefore, that we as a gaming community seem so ready to accept a product, which to my mind, is manifestly unready for release. It is not my intention when I buy a game, that I am diving into the game as a game tester rather than one who just wants to play a fun, smooth running game.

I also don't understand why there was a need, in this day and age, to deny the customer base the right to purchase the game via digital downloads.

I have purchased games from Matrix in the past. This included Empire in Arms. Another product which left me with the same feeling - that I am paying my money for the right to be a play tester.

It is for the above reasons that I find myself in the position that I have no intention to purchase any other Matrix games in the future.

I understand that there are those our there that will disagree with my point of view. But I also wouldn't be surprised if there was a not insignificant number who felt similarly.

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RE: Impressions of Matrix World In Flames (MWIF) - 11/28/2013 1:46:51 PM   
DSWargamer

 

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I will respond.

Sure you can buy games cheaper. You can buy lots of things with wild swings in price differences though. It's not relevant.

This game's board game is 300 bucks, comes with a common paper manual, and room eating maps. No protection from cats or dust either.

Regarding bugs, I have never once seen a wargame that had no bugs, never not once. Most of the bugs disappear at break neck speed. Ok it sucks to play a launch game, and be one of those that discovers the bugs. I sympathize with that.
But there is little reason to expect this game to be bug free. I don't expect it of any game this complex. I don't expect it of simple computer wargames either.

That is one of the reasons board games still draw serious cash. And remember, this computer release INCLUDING the unfortunate shipping expense, is half the price of the board game. Not that board games are without flaw(s), but you don't need to be a programmer to affect solutions.

Some games go on to be the focus of massively loyal fan bases, and yet, even a decade later, can suffer design gaffes. Steel Panthers, easily a king of computer wargaming, but the Long Campaign AI is worthless all the same. Close Combat, a major favourite, but pathing is STILL something that bugs people. In contrast, ASL rules the squad tactical board gaming world, but, a complete set is in the realm of thousands of dollars.

I have purchased games from Slitherine Group knowing full well, I might wait a little longer, might achieve a few saved dollars. But eventually, if I actually HAVE to start counting pennies, I likely need a cheaper hobby entirely. I bought Advanced Tactics Gold recently. I had reasons to think a sale was very close, and it turns out it was. I might have saved a few bucks. But, if the cost of a burger was enough to kill my ability to buy that download, then chances are I am a lot more likely unable to afford the game at all.

It comes down to how much do you seriously want the product?
If you can't seriously say you genuinely want the product, then just accept it and move on.
I don't understand the notion, that not liking how one game here was sold, means you plan to walk out on ever buying anything else here. Especially when Slitherine Group is a publishing partnership representing more individual developer companies than I can easily count.

Ditching buying ADG's game on sale here through this site, published via Slitherine Group, why should for instance that make Lordz Studios suffer? Why punish 2by3 or SSG just because you were not happy with how AGEOD is marketed here? Those are merely examples of names I know of by the way.

I have bought games here before, and I have felt later that my purchase was impulsive, and I shouldn't have bought it because 'I' didn't need the game. It was a case of 'I' might not really get around to playing it. It had nothing to do with the game being any good to anyone else.

But I do come back to Slitherine Group for a variety of reasons. Ever bought a game, and then had to go back begging to be allowed to reinstall it because you had run out of installs? I am not sure how Ubisoft even manages to continue to sell anything good or otherwise. I like that John Tiller has made Panzer Campaigns available for tablet. But the only reason I bought them, is they don't employ his otherwise unacceptable drm scheme he applies to his PC titles.
And those games are just as capable of being buggy. It's whether or not the bugs get addressed that matters.

If you walk out on the publisher here, really, all you are doing is denying yourself a potential for you next good game.

Chances are I will be seeing spring before I am up to speed and underway with my copy of World in Flames here. Which will suck I guess. But, it will just mean I will miss a few of the bugs I suppose.
But I will have had the chance to dive into the design, to study it, and of course read the books.
Which I have said, were a damn good deal considering the real game is twice the price and not nearly as deluxe.

Mentioning you can buy games for very low prices, doesn't really count for much here.
Battle Academy cost me 40 bucks on launch. It's been patched a few times since. It has quite a few expansions. I think if I sum total the cost, that makes it a very expensive sum total. I also think it is one of the best computer wargames since Steel Panthers first arrived.
My total purchase for Panzer Corps also really adds up. Also been patched a few times. Also considered one of the best wargames made in years. Also has a few design gaffes all the same.
It's rare to ever see a computer wargame without any manner of design glitch. I can't think of any myself.

Inasmuch as WiF is concerned, I am more disappointed with some of the fans and observers than with the game :)

_____________________________

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RE: Impressions of Matrix World In Flames (MWIF) - 11/28/2013 2:22:36 PM   
bo

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: monkla

Since we are talking about our impressions of Matrix World in Flames. I would like to offer my two cents worth and also explain why.

I find myself quite disappointment with this product that has come out. I have attempted to play the game and it didn't take too long before I ran into multiple bugs. I peruse the tech help section and see great listings of bugs being reported. This I don't understand. You see, when I factor in postage costs, this game has cost me $160. That is more, in fact, way more than any other computer game that I have ever bought. It is also more expensive than 90% of the board games that I have bought. I would like to think for that amount of money that I could expect a product that was relatively bug free. None of the other computer games I have purchased from other companies are like this. I wonder why, therefore, that we as a gaming community seem so ready to accept a product, which to my mind, is manifestly unready for release. It is not my intention when I buy a game, that I am diving into the game as a game tester rather than one who just wants to play a fun, smooth running game.

I also don't understand why there was a need, in this day and age, to deny the customer base the right to purchase the game via digital downloads.

I have purchased games from Matrix in the past. This included Empire in Arms. Another product which left me with the same feeling - that I am paying my money for the right to be a play tester.

It is for the above reasons that I find myself in the position that I have no intention to purchase any other Matrix games in the future.

I understand that there are those our there that will disagree with my point of view. But I also wouldn't be surprised if there was a not insignificant number who felt similarly.



I do not think anyone will totally disagree with your point of view just maybe some parts of it.

Digital download- maybe Matrix should have offered the digital download seperate, no argument there, but that is their choice not ours, they run the risk of people not buying the game. They have been marketing products for many years and I am sure they have the feel of the war gaming industry and market.

Multiple bugs- Myself and others have tested the game for several years, up to net play was put in the game played very well, I believe that net play and the main game clash for the programmer causing some problems, fix a bug in netplay it might come back to haunt the main game.

I will not comment on whether the game should have been released or not that is above my pay grade, one positive thing that came out of this is we now have hundreds of play testers as compared to SO VERY FEW [pun]

Postage- No argument there, I trully feel for players that have purchased the game from outside of the US, some postal rates are overwhelming.

You being a Beta tester- we thank you, we could use some help.

Buying again from Matrix- to each his own.

I have no knowledge of this one way or another whether this happened or not. Whether Steve was the first choice or whether other renowned programmers turned this program down for fear of not being able to complete it properly, only Matrix and Steve know that one.

It is here and it will stay here and Steve will get everything working properly given time.
I believe Steve was first choice because not only is he a credited programmer, more important he loves and understands the game better than any other programmer around. Love of the game means as long as he remains healthy he will be here for many more years to assist everyone with this wonderful complex game.

My conclusion-Just maybe this game should have never been designed for a computer, way too many rules to implement properly, if Steve had not taken on this enormous task THERE WOULD BE NO WORLD IN FLAMES on these Matrix posts for you and others to complain about, and wouldn't that be a sorry state of affairs.

Bo



< Message edited by bo -- 11/28/2013 3:34:17 PM >

(in reply to monkla)
Post #: 23
RE: Impressions of Matrix World In Flames (MWIF) - 11/28/2013 3:11:01 PM   
brian brian

 

Posts: 3146
Joined: 11/16/2005
Status: offline
we've kicked around a certain idea before on some of this. porting a 20th century board game into a computer version is in one sense working backwards. wargames on paper were not designed to be played on computers. they were designed to bring in a certain amount of historical realism while still having a certain level of playability. every design of such a game is the culmination of that essential trade-off, which was made with no view to using computer technology, only paper technology. forcing such a design structure onto a computer retro-actively is very not simple, and there are other concerns. but recreating the design trade-offs made to game out a war using paper maps and cardboard counters is more difficult than simply designing a game for the computer screen from scratch.

to me it seems quite possibly unclear to anyone, perhaps even the people that do these things and invest real sums of their own money and personal time into the effort, if there will be sufficient return on that investment from the marketplace of potential customers for these games originally designed 30 years ago now. if the resources available (a team of a dozen or dozens of software engineers) to create a new entry in the Halo series were available to us customers, I'm sure a super-slick perfect implementation of all World in Flames rules ever dreamed up with cutting-edge hardware implementation across all devices, voice activated movement orders and fully operational everything (perfect online multiplayer switchable to offline or email or any combination whenever you wished) would be simple enough to produce. but those resources aren't available for a very small niche product. if only Bill Gates had gotten hooked on hex-based paper wargames as a hobby...

and even in the realm of converting old board games to new computer games, I think the level of detail should really be considered. I'm sure if Hasbro would allow it, a "perfect" bug-free online/offline/AI version of Afrika Corps could be created fairly quickly by any computer gaming company. but I'm not sure a market is there to reward such an effort.

So I don't think a computer World in Flames should be compared to computer wargames designed from scratch. They are just two completely different things. I have never tried the computer implementation of Empire in Arms but I think that is probably one of the few possible comparisons here. From what I have read about computer EiA, the new computer WiF is quite a bit more stable and easy to use. And World in Flames has a fair amount more rules systems and detail to the game than Empire in Arms, in my understanding.

And going back to the resources available for this project, I think releasing the game where it stands now was absolutely the right decision. Volunteer beta testers can only accomplish so much - they are volunteers after all, and as you scale up the size of the testing pool, more resources have to go into simply managing the pool of testers = slowing down the development process, not speeding it up. It is unfortunate that paying customers are discovering bugs, sure, but I think it is the best way forward to improve the game into the easiest playing game possible to create.

There are also two very different potential customers for this game. Those who have previously played World in Flames on paper, and those who haven't, and a game product made for sale to the public has to cater to both sets of customers. it looks to me like MWiF has done an incredible job of preparing the game and the necessary game materials for people brand new to WiF, perhaps at a slight expense of more features and perfection, right now, for the experienced players. The best way to satisfy previous players, is to bring the game out and keep the process moving forward. Hundreds of players moving towards thousands of players will find more ways to improve the game than a few dozen will. The best way to satisfy brand new players who have never seen World in Flames before, would be to continue to work on polishing the game and adding features and perfection quite reasonably expected by game customers in the 21st century, a process that would look to take several more years. A decision had to be made and a trade-off had to be selected, just as in the design process of any wargame.

(in reply to bo)
Post #: 24
RE: Impressions of Matrix World In Flames (MWIF) - 11/28/2013 4:58:22 PM   
Shannon V. OKeets

 

Posts: 21899
Joined: 5/19/2005
From: Honolulu, Hawaii
Status: offline

quote:

ORIGINAL: monkla

Since we are talking about our impressions of Matrix World in Flames. I would like to offer my two cents worth and also explain why.

I find myself quite disappointment with this product that has come out. I have attempted to play the game and it didn't take too long before I ran into multiple bugs. I peruse the tech help section and see great listings of bugs being reported. This I don't understand. You see, when I factor in postage costs, this game has cost me $160. That is more, in fact, way more than any other computer game that I have ever bought. It is also more expensive than 90% of the board games that I have bought. I would like to think for that amount of money that I could expect a product that was relatively bug free. None of the other computer games I have purchased from other companies are like this. I wonder why, therefore, that we as a gaming community seem so ready to accept a product, which to my mind, is manifestly unready for release. It is not my intention when I buy a game, that I am diving into the game as a game tester rather than one who just wants to play a fun, smooth running game.

I also don't understand why there was a need, in this day and age, to deny the customer base the right to purchase the game via digital downloads.

I have purchased games from Matrix in the past. This included Empire in Arms. Another product which left me with the same feeling - that I am paying my money for the right to be a play tester.

It is for the above reasons that I find myself in the position that I have no intention to purchase any other Matrix games in the future.

I understand that there are those our there that will disagree with my point of view. But I also wouldn't be surprised if there was a not insignificant number who felt similarly.

Your previous post on this forum was that you were unable to download updates. Is that still the case?

I have not seen any bug reports from you in my email (unless they are coming in under a different name).

If you can download updates, then I suggest that you continue to do so, and read the What's New file that is revised with every Update. Perhaps the difficulty that you encountered will be resolved in the future (if it hasn't already).

As for the items reported in the Tech Support forum, many are about bugs in the MWIF program (I am not denying that), but many others are not. They are sometimes specific to the idiosyncrasies of the player's computer system, a misunderstanding of the rules, or due to some other event outside the program's ability to control.

_____________________________

Steve

Perfection is an elusive goal.

(in reply to monkla)
Post #: 25
RE: Impressions of Matrix World In Flames (MWIF) - 11/28/2013 5:28:06 PM   
Dabrion


Posts: 735
Joined: 11/5/2013
From: Northpole
Status: offline
quote:

ORIGINAL: monkla

Since we are talking about our impressions of Matrix World in Flames. I would like to offer my two cents worth and also explain why.

I find myself quite disappointment with this product that has come out. I have attempted to play the game and it didn't take too long before I ran into multiple bugs. I peruse the tech help section and see great listings of bugs being reported. This I don't understand. You see, when I factor in postage costs, this game has cost me $160. That is more, in fact, way more than any other computer game that I have ever bought. It is also more expensive than 90% of the board games that I have bought. I would like to think for that amount of money that I could expect a product that was relatively bug free. None of the other computer games I have purchased from other companies are like this. I wonder why, therefore, that we as a gaming community seem so ready to accept a product, which to my mind, is manifestly unready for release. It is not my intention when I buy a game, that I am diving into the game as a game tester rather than one who just wants to play a fun, smooth running game.

I also don't understand why there was a need, in this day and age, to deny the customer base the right to purchase the game via digital downloads.

I have purchased games from Matrix in the past. This included Empire in Arms. Another product which left me with the same feeling - that I am paying my money for the right to be a play tester.

It is for the above reasons that I find myself in the position that I have no intention to purchase any other Matrix games in the future.

I understand that there are those our there that will disagree with my point of view. But I also wouldn't be surprised if there was a not insignificant number who felt similarly.

+1

(in reply to monkla)
Post #: 26
RE: Impressions of Matrix World In Flames (MWIF) - 11/28/2013 5:50:06 PM   
Centuur


Posts: 8456
Joined: 6/3/2011
From: Hoorn (NED).
Status: offline

quote:

ORIGINAL: Dabrion

quote:

ORIGINAL: monkla

Since we are talking about our impressions of Matrix World in Flames. I would like to offer my two cents worth and also explain why.

I find myself quite disappointment with this product that has come out. I have attempted to play the game and it didn't take too long before I ran into multiple bugs. I peruse the tech help section and see great listings of bugs being reported. This I don't understand. You see, when I factor in postage costs, this game has cost me $160. That is more, in fact, way more than any other computer game that I have ever bought. It is also more expensive than 90% of the board games that I have bought. I would like to think for that amount of money that I could expect a product that was relatively bug free. None of the other computer games I have purchased from other companies are like this. I wonder why, therefore, that we as a gaming community seem so ready to accept a product, which to my mind, is manifestly unready for release. It is not my intention when I buy a game, that I am diving into the game as a game tester rather than one who just wants to play a fun, smooth running game.

I also don't understand why there was a need, in this day and age, to deny the customer base the right to purchase the game via digital downloads.

I have purchased games from Matrix in the past. This included Empire in Arms. Another product which left me with the same feeling - that I am paying my money for the right to be a play tester.

It is for the above reasons that I find myself in the position that I have no intention to purchase any other Matrix games in the future.

I understand that there are those our there that will disagree with my point of view. But I also wouldn't be surprised if there was a not insignificant number who felt similarly.

+1


I can understand that you think this way. I have to respect both your opinions regarding this. However, I give you the following question:

1. Matrix announced that Netplay wasn't bugfree and also stated that not all optional rules are in the game at this moment. This could have given you the idea that things might not be good enough to live up to your expectations.
2. Matrix is as a company entitled to set the conditions how to get the game.

So why did you buy it, knowing these two things? Why didn't you wait?

I'll give you the answer: you wanted this game, because you've been waiting for so long to get your hands on this. So gentlemen: either you live with this for the moment and help us fix this monster, or you put it into a computer folder, follow the forums and wait until you think it is playable...

That's how I think about these (and I quote a somewhat strange tank commander out of an even stranger WW II movie, which I like a lot, since it is a very funny one...) "negative waves"...



_____________________________

Peter

(in reply to Dabrion)
Post #: 27
RE: Impressions of Matrix World In Flames (MWIF) - 11/28/2013 6:19:12 PM   
AxelNL


Posts: 2373
Joined: 9/24/2011
From: The Netherlands
Status: offline

quote:

ORIGINAL: Centuur


quote:

ORIGINAL: Dabrion

quote:

ORIGINAL: monkla

Since we are talking about our impressions of Matrix World in Flames. I would like to offer my two cents worth and also explain why.

I find myself quite disappointment with this product that has come out. I have attempted to play the game and it didn't take too long before I ran into multiple bugs. I peruse the tech help section and see great listings of bugs being reported. This I don't understand. You see, when I factor in postage costs, this game has cost me $160. That is more, in fact, way more than any other computer game that I have ever bought. It is also more expensive than 90% of the board games that I have bought. I would like to think for that amount of money that I could expect a product that was relatively bug free. None of the other computer games I have purchased from other companies are like this. I wonder why, therefore, that we as a gaming community seem so ready to accept a product, which to my mind, is manifestly unready for release. It is not my intention when I buy a game, that I am diving into the game as a game tester rather than one who just wants to play a fun, smooth running game.

I also don't understand why there was a need, in this day and age, to deny the customer base the right to purchase the game via digital downloads.

I have purchased games from Matrix in the past. This included Empire in Arms. Another product which left me with the same feeling - that I am paying my money for the right to be a play tester.

It is for the above reasons that I find myself in the position that I have no intention to purchase any other Matrix games in the future.

I understand that there are those our there that will disagree with my point of view. But I also wouldn't be surprised if there was a not insignificant number who felt similarly.

+1


I can understand that you think this way. I have to respect both your opinions regarding this. However, I give you the following question:

1. Matrix announced that Netplay wasn't bugfree and also stated that not all optional rules are in the game at this moment. This could have given you the idea that things might not be good enough to live up to your expectations.
2. Matrix is as a company entitled to set the conditions how to get the game.

So why did you buy it, knowing these two things? Why didn't you wait?

I'll give you the answer: you wanted this game, because you've been waiting for so long to get your hands on this. So gentlemen: either you live with this for the moment and help us fix this monster, or you put it into a computer folder, follow the forums and wait until you think it is playable...

That's how I think about these (and I quote a somewhat strange tank commander out of an even stranger WW II movie, which I like a lot, since it is a very funny one...) "negative waves"...




+1

And might I add that this discussion was civilized and an example for earlier threads

(in reply to Centuur)
Post #: 28
RE: Impressions of Matrix World In Flames (MWIF) - 11/28/2013 6:34:52 PM   
BeastieDog


Posts: 95
Joined: 12/22/2006
Status: offline

quote:

ORIGINAL: monkla

Since we are talking about our impressions of Matrix World in Flames. I would like to offer my two cents worth and also explain why.

I find myself quite disappointment with this product that has come out. I have attempted to play the game and it didn't take too long before I ran into multiple bugs. I peruse the tech help section and see great listings of bugs being reported. This I don't understand. You see, when I factor in postage costs, this game has cost me $160. That is more, in fact, way more than any other computer game that I have ever bought. It is also more expensive than 90% of the board games that I have bought. I would like to think for that amount of money that I could expect a product that was relatively bug free. None of the other computer games I have purchased from other companies are like this. I wonder why, therefore, that we as a gaming community seem so ready to accept a product, which to my mind, is manifestly unready for release. It is not my intention when I buy a game, that I am diving into the game as a game tester rather than one who just wants to play a fun, smooth running game.

I also don't understand why there was a need, in this day and age, to deny the customer base the right to purchase the game via digital downloads.

I have purchased games from Matrix in the past. This included Empire in Arms. Another product which left me with the same feeling - that I am paying my money for the right to be a play tester.

It is for the above reasons that I find myself in the position that I have no intention to purchase any other Matrix games in the future.

I understand that there are those our there that will disagree with my point of view. But I also wouldn't be surprised if there was a not insignificant number who felt similarly.



This game has not been out a month yet. How many complex wargames come out of the box bug free? I've been playing WitP and WitP-AE for several years and I remember numerous "the game is BORKED" threads on its forum. Yet YEARS later the game is still played, patched, modded and enjoyed by many. If you find bugs report them. Give the developer a chance to fix it. The board game has stood the test of time (and has changed since the 1980s) and MWiF probably will become a classic too.

_____________________________

Dog

(in reply to monkla)
Post #: 29
RE: Impressions of Matrix World In Flames (MWIF) - 11/28/2013 6:36:48 PM   
Dabrion


Posts: 735
Joined: 11/5/2013
From: Northpole
Status: offline
Let me correct that answer for my case:
I want a World in Flames on the computer, and I came to the conclusion that MWiF is not the the one I want. If for example the Tutorial Videos would have been available for public consumption, I would have gladly skipped the purchase! I also think that this software left the realm of "fixable".


I had no access to the kind of information you refer to. I even tried to inform myself here on the forum to no avail. So you must have a blurred perception about that, have you been involved into the development for long? Do you perhaps have other sources? I was lead to believe the game is 97% RAW7 compliant, among other things. That number doesn't seem right given the list of units and options missing.. There is a long list of bugs, errors and Ui/Ux shortcomings; and I am sure both of the above posters know about all/most of them, given how involved they are in helping out in the "Tech Forum".

It is just a sad thing that this is the officially licensed version.

(in reply to AxelNL)
Post #: 30
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