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RE: The future of Command Ops

 
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RE: The future of Command Ops - 2/28/2014 1:01:10 PM   
ChrisMaiorana

 

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Neat idea Daz

(in reply to dazkaz15)
Post #: 31
RE: The future of Command Ops - 2/28/2014 1:25:20 PM   
stardark

 

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This reminds me of 1944-Across the Rhine developed and published by Microprose 1994. There was a historical and hypothetical campaign. In the historical, you could choose one out of three armoured divisions of the US and Axis forces and play according to their path from France to Germany from September 1944 to May 1945. There was an smaller arrow in the general path which showed if you fared better or worse than the original armoured division. The path, however, always remained the same.

I think this is comparable to daz's suggestion.

Greetz!

Edit: here's a video showing what I mean. The historical campaign and the overview window is shown at 0:40. youtube.com/watch?v=8ITMmCcVkRs

< Message edited by stardark -- 2/28/2014 2:33:24 PM >

(in reply to ChrisMaiorana)
Post #: 32
RE: The future of Command Ops - 2/28/2014 6:05:39 PM   
JamesLxx

 

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((I believe Wodin is working on something like this right now?))

So why not.....

Expand the existing level of command right down to individual squad/team/vehicle level. Obviously the map detail would have to be seriously revamped to achieve this. The same AI principles of command ops - orders, planning, reassessment, sop's, real life tactics ect would apply using a faster decision cycle at the localised tactical level.

Its a lot of work I know but the reason for doing this is threefold:

1: You'd get a less abstracted and thus more realistic combat result.
ie instead of company A fires at company B - company B retreats, the result would be the actual on-going platoon/squad combat.

2: The player will now have both an operational & tactical level game.
A player could zoom down to a formation which has just received its orders and then lead that formation as well as commanding the operation as whole. Its up to the player what levels he plays at.

3: This would broaden the potential audience.
As well as being the most realistic operational simulation command ops would also be in a league above existing ww2 tactical games - driven by the believable decisions of the ComOps AI while generating endless tactical situations that would be part of the greater battle unfolding simultaneously around them. Also the involvement factor is deeper when following the unfolding drama of the men themselves in relation to the bigger picture.

...and maybe in the far future...the operational level could be played out on a 2D map in the style of the time from which you could then zoom into a 3D representation of terrain and troops...

< Message edited by JamesL -- 2/28/2014 7:17:47 PM >

(in reply to dazkaz15)
Post #: 33
RE: The future of Command Ops - 2/28/2014 8:14:09 PM   
jimcarravall

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: JamesL

((I believe Wodin is working on something like this right now?))

So why not.....

Expand the existing level of command right down to individual squad/team/vehicle level. Obviously the map detail would have to be seriously revamped to achieve this. The same AI principles of command ops - orders, planning, reassessment, sop's, real life tactics ect would apply using a faster decision cycle at the localised tactical level.

Its a lot of work I know but the reason for doing this is threefold:

1: You'd get a less abstracted and thus more realistic combat result.
ie instead of company A fires at company B - company B retreats, the result would be the actual on-going platoon/squad combat.

2: The player will now have both an operational & tactical level game.
A player could zoom down to a formation which has just received its orders and then lead that formation as well as commanding the operation as whole. Its up to the player what levels he plays at.

3: This would broaden the potential audience.
As well as being the most realistic operational simulation command ops would also be in a league above existing ww2 tactical games - driven by the believable decisions of the ComOps AI while generating endless tactical situations that would be part of the greater battle unfolding simultaneously around them. Also the involvement factor is deeper when following the unfolding drama of the men themselves in relation to the bigger picture.

...and maybe in the far future...the operational level could be played out on a 2D map in the style of the time from which you could then zoom into a 3D representation of terrain and troops...


This has been a consideration for the game dating back to COTA and an effort started there to implement island warfare in the Pacific.

Since that time, RangerX3X has developed an Estab reflecting the US Marine Corps structure in World War II over the past few years.

RangerX3X and I are collaborating with Bletchley_Geek and CapHillRat on developing a series of scenarios centered on the three week confrontation between the US and Japan on Saipan in June / July 1944.

Saipan was selected because it was the Allies first break into Tojo's Inner Defense Zone, which cut supply to Japanese forces in the Central Pacific, protected supply routing through the Central Pacific to Allied operations against Japan, and provide a base which allowed the B-29 strike force of the US to bomb viturally any industrial center in Japan, most particularly Tokyo.

Saipan also was the first Corps level operation in the Pacific, involving two Marine Divisions and one Army division against a Japanese division and independent combat brigade defending the island. The land area, duration, and complexity allowed for Command Ops operational level structure to be used efficiently in crafting the battles.

Details of the progress are contained in RangerX3X's PACOPS Blog: http://pacifictheateroperations.blogspot.com/

The critical effort is focused on defining the Japanese, Amphibious Warfare, and naval platform not designed in existing CO Estabs, but used extensively in the Pacific campaigns, developing a Japanese force structure, and defining Japanese doctrine for that force structure.

The initial scenario is being designed to be adaptable to use dismounted operations and transport operations (primarily amphibious warfare) when CO2 is released.

In addition, the foundation can be used to support small unit operations on the Coral atolls in the Gilberts and Marshalls, and the use of limited formations to control large expanses of terrain in the Solomons and New Guinea.

If you're interested in more information, see RangerX3X's blog and his posts of updates in the Command Ops forum.






_____________________________

Take care,

jim

(in reply to JamesLxx)
Post #: 34
RE: The future of Command Ops - 2/28/2014 9:40:06 PM   
dazkaz15


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This is a very rough image of the concept for a historical campaign.
I'm sorry I don't have time to spend on making it look professional at the moment.

You can see the concept of the planning graphics, and the scale for the campaign map.
They are cluttered in this image because it is trying to represent a period of several days, with one still image.
In my proposed interactive map it would be far less cluttered as it would only have to represent the current day, due to the ability to use the time line slider at the bottom.

Also the map could look better, and at a larger scale, but this is the best I could find in the limited time I have at the moment.

It currently shows the medal overlay. This can be turned on and off with a button in the tool bar.
In the image you can see that the player would have won a marginal victory for the Hofen scenario, and has been awarded the Iron Cross.
For the Elsenborn Ridge scenario, the player has won a decisive victory and been awarded the knights cross with diamonds and oakleaves.
The next scenario they would need to play to advance the campaign is the Loshiem Gap scenario, which is represented by the crossed swords.

As I have already said this is just a very rough concept image.
Lots of fluff can, and should be added.
Examples might be, small icons on the map that link to a pop up of a historical photograph of that location.
A better map.
Historical mouseover popups with information on the Divisions, and the commanders.
Text boxes placed on the map to explain movement, and battles that took place in that location on the day of the timeline.
Thumbnail images of the scenario maps as an overlay button.
Main supply routes, ammo and fuel dumps.

Fog of war options.
For example do you want to see the movement and locations of the enemy formations on the campaign map.
Maybe this should be coded so you can't until you have completed the scenario?
Or even better if someone has the time to do the research, maybe a true fog of war can be created to include just the locations, of formations that the opposing side historically knew about?

So what do you think guys?





Attachment (1)

(in reply to dazkaz15)
Post #: 35
RE: The future of Command Ops - 2/28/2014 9:52:41 PM   
Ron

 

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I really like the idea of a branching campaign of linked scenarios, related but not carrying over anything - rewarding brilliance with a 'medal' as overall CO and ultimately being dismissed for failure with a chance to 'come back' also of course. I like the idea of letting the player review his forces at the end of a battle to see kills inflicted. I don't really care for a replay of the battle.

I agree that some form of chrome to the map presentation and a streamlined UI is vital. I am not sure of the 3D idea for the map at all; it would look kind of odd at this scale imo. I think retaining the 2-D counters and map is fine; the map just needs a lot of love to bring it alive both in colour and perception. More varied sounds and visual effects may help also. Just right now the whole experience is completely cerebral and unfortunately bland for the other senses.

I understand, but do not like the idea of reissuing 'upgraded' scenarios. No need to go into the price/value aspect arguments again, we all make our choices with our wallets. If scenario packs are to be sold and released, I would prefer new theaters/battles with some new content included.

It is an interesting question whether the game can move forward on a part time basis. I would think not. What it seems to need is more dedicated people involved to push out an updated engine that's more inviting, plus new content etc more frequently to build up some buzz. Maybe a dedicated game designer/producer to provide focus? This issue has been raised before yet the underlying problem remains it seems.

(in reply to jimcarravall)
Post #: 36
RE: The future of Command Ops - 2/28/2014 10:35:02 PM   
dazkaz15


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I personally don't need new content at the moment.
I still have hundreds of hours of scenarios I haven't played yet, and that's not including the community produced stuff
I do understand how some want the Eastern Front theatre though, and certainly don't begrudge them that.

As a business model I would like to see Panther work on engine upgrades, and release them every year.

Something Panther does extremely well is communicate and listen to its player base.
I think if at the start of every development update cycle they sat down and discussed what they could potentially achieve in a year, then maybe ask the community with a pole the priorities that they would like the new features to be worked on, I think this would go down very well.
If they then as Miguel suggested keep a blog on what they are working on, it will keep people interested in the product.
At the end of that yearly development cycle, they should just release whatever, they have managed to get finished.

As the player base has been kept informed on what has been developed, and indeed voted on it as a priority, its then up to them if they want to invest in it or wait another year, for more content to be added.
This would almost be like an optional yearly subscriptions fee, to keep the development of the game going, for which I would be more than happy to invest in.

(in reply to Ron)
Post #: 37
RE: The future of Command Ops - 2/28/2014 10:44:21 PM   
dazkaz15


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Ron

I am not sure of the 3D idea for the map at all; it would look kind of odd at this scale imo. I think retaining the 2-D counters and map is fine; the map just needs a lot of love to bring it alive both in colour and perception.


Ron the 3D map can also be seen in 2D just by moving the camera to vertical.
Where the 3D would really help is visualizing the relief, and the LOS.
If you then wanted to revert to 2D just centre the camera to north, and straight down, I'm sure it would probably have a hot key for doing this


(in reply to Ron)
Post #: 38
RE: The future of Command Ops - 3/1/2014 12:18:51 AM   
RangerX3X


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Bletchley_Geek


quote:

ORIGINAL: RangerX3X
This is probably a strange request and I don't mean to hijeck daz's thread (yes I do), however I would like to see X-Fire support for the game so I can track total hours played. Maybe it's just me, but I like seeing that kind of thing.


I've been doing some research on that, Tim, and I see that they have an SDK which was last updated in 2006 or so. That's a bad sign.

It's a shame that Steam doesn't allow you to add non-Steam games to your library (as for instance Spotify or iTunes do with songs). But of course, we could also get on Steam and generate keys for you (devs can generate as many keys as they want, at no cost).






_____________________________


(in reply to BletchleyGeek)
Post #: 39
RE: The future of Command Ops - 3/1/2014 3:28:59 AM   
BletchleyGeek


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quote:

ORIGINAL: RangerX3X






How did you do that?

_____________________________


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Post #: 40
RE: The future of Command Ops - 3/1/2014 3:39:45 AM   
BletchleyGeek


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quote:

ORIGINAL: CapHillrat

Not sure if this has been mentioned as a possibility for Co2 but from a scenario creators point of view it would nice to be able to specify certain objectives for units maybe regiment sized or bigger in scenmakr. They could be AI objectives assigned at a regimental level. That way you could help shape the AI plan even further.


Not mentioned in public, but indeed it's the simplest and most effective way to allow the Scenario Designer to influence how the AI allocates forces to tasks. I don't see a reason though to limit it to a specific type or size of unit. Nice one, Chris.

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Post #: 41
RE: The future of Command Ops - 3/1/2014 3:50:08 AM   
BletchleyGeek


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quote:

ORIGINAL: JamesL
Expand the existing level of command right down to individual squad/team/vehicle level. Obviously the map detail would have to be seriously revamped to achieve this. The same AI principles of command ops - orders, planning, reassessment, sop's, real life tactics ect would apply using a faster decision cycle at the localised tactical level.

Its a lot of work I know but the reason for doing this is threefold:

1: You'd get a less abstracted and thus more realistic combat result.
ie instead of company A fires at company B - company B retreats, the result would be the actual on-going platoon/squad combat.

2: The player will now have both an operational & tactical level game.
A player could zoom down to a formation which has just received its orders and then lead that formation as well as commanding the operation as whole. Its up to the player what levels he plays at.

3: This would broaden the potential audience.
As well as being the most realistic operational simulation command ops would also be in a league above existing ww2 tactical games - driven by the believable decisions of the ComOps AI while generating endless tactical situations that would be part of the greater battle unfolding simultaneously around them. Also the involvement factor is deeper when following the unfolding drama of the men themselves in relation to the bigger picture.

...and maybe in the far future...the operational level could be played out on a 2D map in the style of the time from which you could then zoom into a 3D representation of terrain and troops...


James,

it's funny but I'm doing at the moment an experiment that goes along similar lines - replacing the company as the workhorse for representing forces (we have platoons, but usually these are used to represent fire support elements or specific situations like in Elsenborn Ridge). What I'm trying to assess is how results change - as you say there's reasons to suspect that outcomes will be significantly different. The other thing I'm trying to determine is the actual - not theoretical - impact of increased unit counts in performance (in theory, performance should decay following an inverse quadratic curve, with the x-axis being the unit count).

It's good to see that there isn't anything funny in my ciggies

Going below platoons is something we probably won't be able to address for CO2 - or at least for the first increment. That, as you say, would imply changing the minimum terrain resolution (100 meters at the moment). Doing so would mean reviewing extensive parts of the AI code, to make sure they still make sense. Nevertheless, I don't see a reason why this engine cannot support at the same time multi-corps engagements with coys being the 'standard force size' or multi-brigade engagements at the squad level.

_____________________________


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Post #: 42
RE: The future of Command Ops - 3/1/2014 8:34:41 AM   
dazkaz15


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I have been thinking that we have probably missed the boat to do the Historical Campaign thing for BFTB now.
The scenarios for that pack have been out a long time now, and already played by most.
I would replay them though just to get the medals, if it was.

You really should consider it for any new scenario pack releases though, and also provide tools in the scenario maker to allow people to make their own campaign.

I think the way I have presented it shows itself to being fairly easy to implement.

Would I be right in thinking that this whole campaign intro screen can be made just like a scenario?

The unit symbol for the divisions, can be made like counters in a game at the moment with their own Estab and info when clicked on.
The thumbnails of the scenario maps or wire frame outlines can also be made into scalable/resizable counters, or objective like objects that we currently have in game.
The timeline would just be like pressing the play button in game to allow the units to follow a way point shortest route, but in time increments i.e. run until x?
The base map can be imported into the scenario maker, where the counters can be added, so that the community scenario makers can make their own campaign.
The medals also could be counter like objects that appear kind of like reinforcements do in game, but with links to the AAR from the scenario they were played in.
Planning graphics is at the top of the list for Command Ops 2, so that is also of help.

What I am getting at is, a lot of the work to implement this has already been done.
Sure there still would be lot of stuff that would need to be done to polish it, and any bells and whistles you can add would be awesome.

(in reply to BletchleyGeek)
Post #: 43
RE: The future of Command Ops - 3/1/2014 9:14:13 AM   
jimcarravall

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: MikeJ19

Good morning all,

I'm new to this game - I've been playing for about 5 weeks. I really enjoy the challenge of having to think while playing a game. I agree with a lot of what has been mentioned above. I've got a couple of ideas to add to the fray:

1. At the end of the game, I would love to be able to watch the battle that was just fought - to see where the enemy went and to look at the various key decision points. I think this would really help me improve.

2. I think that there could easily be Intelligence messages during the game - something that a Higher HQs has just found out and sends down to you - this could be an additional message timed to come in during the game.

The google map view above would be wonderful - and it would likely attract more players.

As I have said before, the community supporting this game is incredible and I'm very impressed with the responsiveness and the energy. Well done!

Now back to stopping the Germans in Elsenborn Ridge!!!


Hi Mike,

Most who are commenting here have owned the game for some time and are looking for a means to sustain its development by speculating on what would attract new customers.

Since you're five weeks in with ownership, perhaps you can offer some personal insight regarding what of the game play itself attracted you to purchasing the game.

Sounds like the Matrix sale could have had an impact on when you purchased, but even at a reduced price hopefully there's a reason why the game was attractive enough for you to make the commitment to play the game.








_____________________________

Take care,

jim

(in reply to MikeJ19)
Post #: 44
RE: The future of Command Ops - 3/1/2014 10:24:23 AM   
MikeJ19


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Sure thing.

I started playing war games a long time ago - board war games in the late 70s and early 80s mainly focused on the WWII. I played the V for Victory series on the computer in the 90s. I then began looking for more modern games - such as TacOps and The Operational Art of War - looking for games where I was a Brigade, Division or Corps commander, had to think operationally to win and that provide a feel for modern warfare.

I was in the military at the time, teaching and commanding young officers and soldiers. I used the JCATS (I can't remember what it stands for) computer war game system for a few years - developing scenarios to put my student's plans to the test. This system had people playing at different levels moving their individual vehicles and soldiers on the battlefield. It allowed my to simulate brigade and division level battles, with my students actually fighting them on screen. I wish that I had had the chance to be the student....

For the last 5 years, I have mainly played Civilization IV. It presented me with lots of challenges, as you actually had to think about what you wanted to do and there were many different paths to victory and every game was different.

Recently, I have wanted to get back to "real" war games. I did not want a first person shooter - it holds no interest for me. I wanted a game where I had to plan and make difficult decisions to have success. There are not many games that provides what I wanted. This one stuck out. I was intrigued by the assess, plan, order and react line in the ad for the game. The level of the game was right for me and the scenarios looked challenging and I liked the idea of going up against a strong AI.

As I have said many times since getting it, I am very impressed with it. However, in a lot of ways, it is presented like the old board games I used play. Here are the scenarios - get at it. There is a lot of potential to do more - to get the player so much more embedded in the game. I really like the concepts that Daz - and others - have mentioned and I think that they offer opportunities to expand your market.

At the end of the day, I'm not that representative of the market. I'm not looking for something flashy. I want something that makes me think and this game does it. Having said that, having a 3D map for planning, a playback feature to see how I did, and a good campaign feature would definitely draw me in further. Having a community of people - like this one - where I can learn more about the game, get new scenarios (eventually, as I have many yet to finish in BFTB) and occasionally show off about how well I've done, is also key.

I hope that this helps a little.




(in reply to jimcarravall)
Post #: 45
RE: The future of Command Ops - 3/1/2014 9:18:57 PM   
Arjuna


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Thanks for the comments. Keep them coming.

_____________________________

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www.panthergames.com

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Post #: 46
RE: The future of Command Ops - 3/1/2014 9:54:16 PM   
Fred Sanford

 

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If the desire is to try and grow the market for this game, I'd suggest NOT listening to the old farts that say "graphics don't matter", or "2-d is fine". Younger gamers ( i.e. the growth potential) have high expectations for how a game looks and sounds. The kids don't have the frame of reference to '70s board games, so the unit 'counters' look dated, as does the 2-d static map. Take a look at AirLand Battle- NOT for the gameplay, but for the graphics and sound. I don't own that game, and probably never will as it's an RTS clickfest where the dominant tactic is the 'rush'. But looking at the youtubes for it shows you can be zoomed out, and the units are shown as icons, but you can zoom all the way in and see the vehicles as well as 3-d destructible buildings in the towns. Like it or not, a good-looking game (and good sounds) sells. The Command Ops AI wrapped in pretty package is a winner IMO. The unit models that ship with the game don't have to be all that great, if they are modable.

signed,
Another Old Fart

PS: and a campaign game. I've seen several reviews of the ComOps series, and that's a common knock.

(in reply to Arjuna)
Post #: 47
RE: The future of Command Ops - 3/1/2014 10:05:23 PM   
Jafele


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Just imagine using a more intuitive LOS in a 3D map...

< Message edited by Jafele -- 3/1/2014 11:09:53 PM >

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Post #: 48
RE: The future of Command Ops - 3/2/2014 6:30:23 AM   
dazkaz15


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How about once you have set up the ability to make the interactive map of the Ardennes battle, you then go on to make a map of the entire European conflict at Army level that can be zoomed in to Divisional level.
This would track the formation and movement of all the Division's across the whole of the World War II period in Europe on a daily basis from September 1939 to May 1945.

This will give you the basis to then add as much fluff as possible to make the worlds first operational level interactive encyclopaedia of the European theatre, that also happens to have the best Operational level wargame embedded into it to cover important battles.
It will tie in your plans for a Soviet theatre, and also give you a platform for, a Polish one. The Battle of France (Blitzkrieg), Operation Overlord etc.
This then becomes a must have for all schools, collages, universities, and military institutions
Oh and every gamer interested in WW2

When you asked for ideas you forgot to set a limit

(in reply to Jafele)
Post #: 49
RE: The future of Command Ops - 4/25/2014 7:04:57 AM   
Apocal

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Fred Sanford

If the desire is to try and grow the market for this game, I'd suggest NOT listening to the old farts that say "graphics don't matter", or "2-d is fine". Younger gamers ( i.e. the growth potential) have high expectations for how a game looks and sounds. The kids don't have the frame of reference to '70s board games, so the unit 'counters' look dated, as does the 2-d static map.


Hearts of Iron 3 is 2D and uses NATO symbology (or stylized icons) and has sold fairly well. Clausewitz engine games themselves do reasonably well without much glitz associated with them.

quote:

Take a look at AirLand Battle- NOT for the gameplay, but for the graphics and sound. I don't own that game, and probably never will as it's an RTS clickfest where the dominant tactic is the 'rush'.


Wargame: ALB isn't a "RTS clickfest", I can stay competitive with only like eight clicks per minute. ALB isn't even really considered an RTS because it mostly lacks base-building elements. People call it real time tactics, wargame-lite, etc. And the dominant strategy isn't rush, its actually standing on the tactical defense.

(in reply to Fred Sanford)
Post #: 50
RE: The future of Command Ops - 4/25/2014 10:43:06 PM   
Tophat1815

 

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I'm actually starting with Wargame: ALB myself and at least the tutorials are not "clickfests". The game does generate interesting sets of 'issues",such as: Some of the players in multi-player seem sadly lacking in historical education. Have a gross overestimation of Russian equipment,capability and serviceability. Seem to equate all nations service branch training an professionalism as equal. Oh yes...and anything French as the best kit,personnel or vehicle a military could choose to use.

Back to Command Ops I really like Daz's suggestions. The campaign map would be great in and of itself. The 2D contour terrain concept would be perfect. With using google earth for generation real world terrain and then placing the old maps of the time period on it as an overlay, scenario creation would be greatly simplified. Already have available google earth data of much of the worlds surface terrain. What was a significant hill or mountain in the 40's is still a hill or mountain. Forested areas have certainly changed as well as built up areas such as towns and cities. For those items we pull out the old time period map and overlay it on the terrain.Basically how hard is it/time consuming to set something like this up?



< Message edited by Tophat1812 -- 4/25/2014 11:44:30 PM >

(in reply to Apocal)
Post #: 51
RE: The future of Command Ops - 4/26/2014 12:54:13 AM   
Arjuna


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Google earth's data format is not a vector map. It relies on spot heights and a raster overlay that indicates terrain rather than a specific object that is defined as terrain A or terrain B. It does have some specific objects like buildings and streets/roads etc but for things like vegetation, surface terrain etc it does not. So if you use it you still then need to generate the data for these other elements. Typically this data is stored in VMap or ESRI shape files. These are the GIS industry standard formats. But even these do not have all the data we need.

Eventually, we plan to move to using standard GIS formats like VMap and or ESRI Shape files for vector data and DTED for height data. These will still need to be imported into our MapMaker and then the additional data we need added. We also intend to add a map overlay option that would allow you to drape a raster image over the map. We would also like to be able to display both 2D and 3D views.

But these are just wishes at the moment. This would be a big undertaking.

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Post #: 52
RE: The future of Command Ops - 4/26/2014 8:26:49 AM   
dazkaz15


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Could it not be done with a bump map?

You already have the data in game you need for the LOS, taking into account the elevation so its only really the visual aspect you need to cater for.
I learnt a little bit about it while doing the 3D cut out cards in my Losheim Gap planning aids.
If you colour in between the contour lines in different shades of grey, and apply it to a 3D image as a bump map, it will send the dark areas to the high points, and the lighter areas become the low points.
It would be fairly easy to colour in between the contour lines manually, especially seeing as there are only a few colours to represent relief on the Command Ops Maps.
The maps would need to be placed within a 3D rotatable scene of course.

Here is a tutorial on bump maps:

http://www.lynda.com/Photoshop-tutorials/Introducing-3D-depth-maps/77856/83478-4.html

This is an example of bump map used to give map elements a 3D effect:

http://www.shadedrelief.com/drape/bump.html

It wouldn't be as good as a vector based 3D map of course, but might serve to fill a gap in your development cycle?

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Post #: 53
RE: The future of Command Ops - 4/26/2014 9:50:04 AM   
dazkaz15


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This is an interesting series of video's I found while trying to find out more about what Dave was talking about.

http://video.esri.com/watch/1045/using-arcgis-for-military-planning-and-operations

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Post #: 54
RE: The future of Command Ops - 4/26/2014 11:15:51 AM   
wodin


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Even with fancy graphics you wont get mainstream gamers into it. I'd like the map in 3D, I think Battle Command visual is the way to go. As for silly 3D unit counters showing a gaint soldier or tank..no thanks..also as the units are a mix of equipment 3D icon representation wouldn't really work. A 3D chit would be great though.

I suppose having it as an option for those who like that sort of thing is fine though..just not sure the effort would be worth the amount of new buyers. 3D map though yes as LOS and elevation is a pain at the moment. Just have the ground 3D I would bother with modelling trees and buildings Conflict of heroes did that and it looked rubbish, 3D graphics certainly didn't help that game, infact as they weren't that good it detracted from it. As I said Battle Command does a good job.

< Message edited by wodin -- 4/26/2014 12:19:31 PM >


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Post #: 55
RE: The future of Command Ops - 4/26/2014 11:24:16 AM   
jimcarravall

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: dazkaz15

Could it not be done with a bump map?

You already have the data in game you need for the LOS, taking into account the elevation so its only really the visual aspect you need to cater for.
I learnt a little bit about it while doing the 3D cut out cards in my Losheim Gap planning aids.
If you colour in between the contour lines in different shades of grey, and apply it to a 3D image as a bump map, it will send the dark areas to the high points, and the lighter areas become the low points.
It would be fairly easy to colour in between the contour lines manually, especially seeing as there are only a few colours to represent relief on the Command Ops Maps.
The maps would need to be placed within a 3D rotatable scene of course.

Here is a tutorial on bump maps:

http://www.lynda.com/Photoshop-tutorials/Introducing-3D-depth-maps/77856/83478-4.html

This is an example of bump map used to give map elements a 3D effect:

http://www.shadedrelief.com/drape/bump.html

It wouldn't be as good as a vector based 3D map of course, but might serve to fill a gap in your development cycle?


Map Maker does this already by creating height layers at pre-set contour line intervals which are drawn by the map designer.

It can use a raster bitmap as the base layer to allow accurate tracing of contours, pathways, waterways, and designer-specified terrain effect layers available to support the combat and movement calculations in the engine.

Whether by tracing or coloring in regions, one still ends up with a 3d model of the combat terrain even if MapMaker can't portray it as such inside the game software.

Its mechanics aren't all that different from the industry standard GIS mapping tools Dave mentioned earlier.

My best friend happens to hold a PhD in geography, with an undergraduate specialty in digital mapping. He chuckles when I mention the potential uses of Google Earth in his area of expertise because it doesn't contain information at a fidelity which supports documenting his research revolving around land use, land cover, ecology, agricultural economics, and community planning and refers me to GIS information for the level of fidelity he needs for portraying his research.

To support exchange of map information on a project we were working together (me in a "graduate assistant" role), I loaded ESRI's ARCGIS viewer software on my computer.

Though I didn't have the software for generating the maps, the resulting GIS layers are very akin to those which can be generated in MapMaker for CO's uses. Difference is MapMaker limits the number of layers that can be used (more than likely to speed up the real time calculations which take place in the game) while GIS is for all practical purposes unbounded, but significantly slower than real time in allowing calculations from its information.



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RE: The future of Command Ops - 4/26/2014 1:05:24 PM   
Arjuna


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Keep in mind that in 1995 when we started the design phase for Command Ops there were no GIS standards out there. It was open slather and companies like ESRI were just throwing their hat in the ring. We searched around and gave up on all of them and decided for a host of reasons (particularly RAM size and speed) that we would use our own format. 19 years later things have matured in the GIS space and the RAM and processing constraints have been lifted.

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Post #: 57
RE: The future of Command Ops - 4/26/2014 3:08:43 PM   
jimcarravall

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Arjuna

Keep in mind that in 1995 when we started the design phase for Command Ops there were no GIS standards out there. It was open slather and companies like ESRI were just throwing their hat in the ring. We searched around and gave up on all of them and decided for a host of reasons (particularly RAM size and speed) that we would use our own format. 19 years later things have matured in the GIS space and the RAM and processing constraints have been lifted.


And, based on what I've been able to cull from ESRI's viewer (the mapping software license costing significantly more than I'm willing to pay), what you developed with MapMaker all those years ago before ESRI marketed its solution is a very affordable and flexible solution with the same agility for the war gaming community that ESRI provides to the broader digital mapping community.




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Post #: 58
RE: The future of Command Ops - 4/29/2014 1:46:49 AM   
MikeJ19


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Dave,

When you start working on CO2, I would like to assist with the workings of the Artillery. As I have said elsewhere, the artillery play in Comd Ops is very good, but I think that there are some changes that would make it even better.

All the best,

Mike

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Post #: 59
RE: The future of Command Ops - 4/29/2014 9:17:23 AM   
Perturabo


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quote:

ORIGINAL: dazkaz15


quote:

ORIGINAL: Ron

I am not sure of the 3D idea for the map at all; it would look kind of odd at this scale imo. I think retaining the 2-D counters and map is fine; the map just needs a lot of love to bring it alive both in colour and perception.


Ron the 3D map can also be seen in 2D just by moving the camera to vertical.
Where the 3D would really help is visualizing the relief, and the LOS.
If you then wanted to revert to 2D just centre the camera to north, and straight down, I'm sure it would probably have a hot key for doing this



What about graphics quality, though?

< Message edited by Perturabo -- 4/29/2014 10:17:42 AM >


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