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RE: State of the Game and Future Plans, as of November 2017

 
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RE: State of the Game and Future Plans, as of November ... - 1/2/2019 9:55:29 AM   
David Clark

 

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Why would this be the end?? As far as I know Steve is still working, fixing bugs and adding features when he can. Until he decides to retire (or the bombs fall) I see no reason why the game wouldn't continue to see updates.

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Post #: 91
RE: State of the Game and Future Plans, as of November ... - 1/2/2019 11:48:56 AM   
Cohen_slith

 

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Over the course of the years I still follow the forums here - and by the looks MWiF progressed. Slowly maybe - but it's a colossal thing in the end of the day.
And the code programmer, Steve, seems passionate about it - which matters.

While I personally moved to Vassal for an amount of reasons (Using latest rules, other counters / possibility to add America / Patton in flames units if you want to play on post end of the game, etc), I owe to Matrix WiF the way I learnt the game. Enforced rules are marvels for someone who just knows nothing of the game and both me and my pal played MWiF (through Skype and sharing the screen) for some years before to hop to Vassal. And as said, not for reasons imputable to MWiF (unless you can finger it toward the remaining crystalized to the Final Edition WiF rules - which still make the game very playable and enjoyable. I am just the type of wargamer that prefers to play with the 'latest' rules, in usually safe assumption they're so for balance / gameplay reasons).

But I do not see a problem in future developments and improvements of MWiF.

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Post #: 92
RE: State of the Game and Future Plans, as of November ... - 1/2/2019 10:56:39 PM   
paulderynck


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There is a roadmap for the game's development (at the start of this thread) and Steve continues to work on what is necessary to follow it. So it's not the end, and it's not possible to know when the beginning of the end might occur.

The game was released to the public in 2013 but he's been working on this project for something like 14 years now.

< Message edited by paulderynck -- 1/2/2019 11:00:04 PM >


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RE: State of the Game and Future Plans, as of November ... - 1/2/2019 11:46:52 PM   
CanInf

 

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sheesh... I had a version of the game before Steve got involved.. ohh boy... nothing like the past to remind you of how cool the new stuff is

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RE: State of the Game and Future Plans, as of November ... - 1/3/2019 12:12:39 AM   
rkr1958


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quote:

ORIGINAL: paulderynck

There is a roadmap for the game's development (at the start of this thread) and Steve continues to work on what is necessary to follow it. So it's not the end, and it's not possible to know when the beginning of the end might occur.

The game was released to the public in 2013 but he's been working on this project for something like 14 years now.

"Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning." - Winston Churchill, 1942.

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RE: State of the Game and Future Plans, as of November ... - 1/3/2019 2:50:43 AM   
brian brian

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: rkr1958

"Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning." - Winston Churchill, 1942.


also mal-appropriated into the movie Darkest Hour last year, iirc, bringing the quote into the war 2 years early

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Post #: 96
RE: State of the Game and Future Plans, as of November ... - 1/3/2019 8:03:25 PM   
Shannon V. OKeets

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: David Clark


quote:

ORIGINAL: ncc1701e

It is my fear. I am playing solo from time to time not following all patches. But, if Steve leaves, does anyone in Matrix have an idea of ​​the code to take it back?



Nope. MWiF is programmed in object pascal, which is a sufficiently obscure language now that the remaining people who know it command big bucks, certainly beyond Matrix's inclination for a game whose marketing budget is long spent and whose niche-of-a-niche-of-a-niche market already either purchased the product or decided not to. Steve has these huge binders of the source code, but the vast majority of what he knows is probably implicit - approaches he could have taken, but decided not to for one reason or another, and bugs he saw coming and avoided without documenting. It would take a new programmer forever just to acquaint themselves with the code sufficiently to make minor changes, let alone code new features. Consider that MWiF was pretty much written from scratch rather than adapted from CWiF, which was an order of magnitude simpler.

In any case, Matrix doesn't really have 'programmers'. They're an online publisher that provides branding and marketing support, forums and download infrastructure to small groups that already have a largely finished product. What 'should' have happened was when the game was shipped in an unfinished and largely unplayable state, Matrix would have contracted someone to augment Steve and hopefully to take over from him someday. The decision was made to not do that, and I can't really argue. Matrix knows very well that post-release support is usually a waste of money with this customer base (which is mostly composed of game collectors, not game players) except for 'gamer goodwill', which is about as fictional an entity as can be imagined.

Everyone's gotten more than they by rights could have expected - Matrix has another entry in the product list, Steve is still working on his labor of love, and we get a game that works better than our tiny customer base would justify.

One small correction.

The CWIF code was not simpler.

It rarely used case statements, instead relying on nested IF statements for branching logic. For example, using case statements makes it easy to read and understand the processing for the 27 different subphases of naval combat. Similarly processing the 60 different phases of the game.

I also put the code for initializing, processing, and terminating each of the phases into separate modules (i.e., pascal files). As part of those changes, I also standardized the code structure for each phase - you read one and all the others have the same structure. You don't have to twist your mind into a new logic structure every time you change which phase of the game you are analyzing.

Another aspect of the CWIF code that I removed entirely was the use of WITH clauses. [I despise them.] A WITH statement applies to a following block of code and adds a prefix to numerous variables within the code. For example, WITH U (U being a specific unit in the game - e.g., a land unit) means that variables such as MovementPoints, CombatFactors, Name, Country, etc all translate as U.MovementPoints, U.CombatFactors, U.Name, U.Country, etc. That isn't too bad if the block of code is small, say less than 20 lines. But when the block of code is over 200 lines and there are nested WITH statements in the block, it can become virtually impossible to understand. 'Name' could be U.Name, or U.Country.Name, or City.Name, ...

---

MWIF has increased the number of forms in the game enormously over what were in CWIF, and there are also a bunch of new features for optional rules and the player interface. The Delphi compiler tells me that the current number of lines of code is 708,000+ and they are separated into 430 pascal files (which I refer to as modules - Delphi calls them Units which to say the least is awkward when working with WIF code). So, yeah learning the code for the game would take a lot of time and effort.

But the code isn't opaque, and Pascal doesn't have a lot of obscure features like some other languages. More to the point in this instance, I always choose the simplest way to write code and avoid all those "new and wonderful improvements", authors of compilers like to invent to sell upgrades to their product. Give me a FOR loop, a FUNCTION call, rudimentary PROCEDURE calls, a CASE statement, IF .. THEN, and a few variable types and I am happy.

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RE: State of the Game and Future Plans, as of November ... - 1/4/2019 5:36:35 AM   
Courtenay


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No, Steve is still diligently working on the game, and shows no sign of stopping. Only when he is done might it be the end.

The real killer is that Pascal. If the game were in something like C or C++ others might have a try at it, but the number of people who know Pascal well is small compared to other languages.

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RE: State of the Game and Future Plans, as of November ... - 1/5/2019 4:36:38 AM   
paulderynck


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Those statements mentioned in the last line of Steve's email sound like the same ones available in VB and certainly have equivalents in C, and C++. Most of the battle in learning a new programming language is wrapping your mind around the syntax rules.

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RE: State of the Game and Future Plans, as of November ... - 1/6/2019 3:47:22 AM   
Gar-Dog


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quote:

ORIGINAL: paulderynck
Most of the battle in learning a new programming language is wrapping your mind around the syntax rules.


I'll second that. I happen to have learned Pascal before C, and basically Pascal is very similar except the syntax is a little thicker (a few extra keystrokes), doesn't process whitespace the same, and otherwise is pretty similar in structure. It's not like Fortran or Ada...

I don't know Java, but I'd venture that it's as close or closer to C than Java.

If I happen to win the lottery, I might dedicate my days to helping out Steve!

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Post #: 100
RE: State of the Game and Future Plans, as of November ... - 1/6/2019 4:46:23 AM   
paulderynck


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Oh oh, we'll have to ask Steve if he uses the space key or the tab key...

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RE: State of the Game and Future Plans, as of November ... - 1/6/2019 8:11:44 AM   
juntoalmar


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Having had to learn more than a couple dozen programming languages, I have to disagree. I get used to the syntax of a new language after a couple of weeks working with it (as long as you only work with one, and you are not programming in 3 different languages with different sintaxes at the same time). I find more complex to be profficient with the library set for each language.

Still, a personal opinion, as each person may find it harder different parts of programming.


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RE: State of the Game and Future Plans, as of November ... - 1/7/2019 6:41:45 PM   
Shannon V. OKeets

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: juntoalmar

Having had to learn more than a couple dozen programming languages, I have to disagree. I get used to the syntax of a new language after a couple of weeks working with it (as long as you only work with one, and you are not programming in 3 different languages with different sintaxes at the same time). I find more complex to be profficient with the library set for each language.

Still, a personal opinion, as each person may find it harder different parts of programming.


When writing code, I just want to get the program to accomplish a task.

I used to worry about memory and processing speed (e.g., when writing in assembler for the Atari 800) but the computers now-a-days have tons of memory and blitz through processing lines of code like a tank through a dry cornfield. There are a few places in MWIF where speed is a concern: when having to search the 70,200 hexes of the map for supply and resource routing. But otherwise, who cares if the code is efficient or not?

Obviously for the player interface there are separate libraries to create and modify forms and process mouse operations and keystrokes. Those need to be selected and learned as a group. Similarly for reading and writing to files.

But the heart of this game is processing the sequence of play and responding to player decisions. Virtually all of that code is accomplished by grinding out the logic. Large grinding wheels are needed to get the code to adhere to the ADG rules.

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RE: State of the Game and Future Plans, as of November ... - 9/18/2019 7:34:09 AM   
DQ2004


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I'm just getting back into MWiF after a bit of a hiatus.
Its pleasing that there's been some really good progress on Netplay and it seems pretty much bug-free.

In terms of future progress I would really like;
1. To see all the optional rules implemented.
2. The one-map scenarios implemented.
3. WiF Collector's Edition counter-set introduced (am more than happy to put my hand up to help with this)
4. The latest WiF rules introduced.
5. Patton in Flames & Amerika in Flames scenarios introduced.
6. Then maybe do the AI - this is just my opinion, but I don't believe AI will happen any time soon, even if it is a good AI, especially given the relatively slow progress of just optional rules and Netplay since the initial release.

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RE: State of the Game and Future Plans, as of November ... - 9/18/2019 10:16:01 AM   
DQ2004


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Finally, I should add, I would really like an update of the MWiF map. Another thing I am happy to help out with.
Again I would like to see things start with the European map and get the whole thing re-done in a different projection so that we don't have a million miles of useless hexes (see pic)!




Attachment (1)

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Post #: 105
RE: State of the Game and Future Plans, as of November ... - 9/19/2019 3:53:55 PM   
RFalvo69


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quote:

ORIGINAL: rkr1958
"Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning." - Winston Churchill, 1942.


So... Other six years?

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RE: State of the Game and Future Plans, as of November ... - 9/20/2019 9:25:21 PM   
rkr1958


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quote:

ORIGINAL: RFalvo69


quote:

ORIGINAL: rkr1958
"Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning." - Winston Churchill, 1942.


So... Other six years?
6, 12 whatever it takes.


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