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RE: What's next - 7/19/2019 1:57:02 AM   
Alfred

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: USSAmerica


quote:

ORIGINAL: Gridley380

While I agree that WITP:AE is the best in its class, it is also based on an engine over a decade old. Software continues to evolve, as does the readily available data on the war. Sometimes it is easier to start from scratch than it is to update.



More than a decade old for the engine. 11 days from now will be the 10 year anniversary of AE's release. I bought it that day. WitP was 2004, and was based on the engine developed for Uncommon Valor around 2002. She's a solid antique in the realm of computer games.


You are forgetting the old DOS Pacwar which is the "Lucy" of this family.

Alfred

(in reply to USSAmerica)
Post #: 31
RE: What's next - 7/19/2019 2:40:15 AM   
USSAmerica


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From: Chapel Hill, NC, USA
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quote:

ORIGINAL: Alfred


quote:

ORIGINAL: USSAmerica


quote:

ORIGINAL: Gridley380

While I agree that WITP:AE is the best in its class, it is also based on an engine over a decade old. Software continues to evolve, as does the readily available data on the war. Sometimes it is easier to start from scratch than it is to update.



More than a decade old for the engine. 11 days from now will be the 10 year anniversary of AE's release. I bought it that day. WitP was 2004, and was based on the engine developed for Uncommon Valor around 2002. She's a solid antique in the realm of computer games.


You are forgetting the old DOS Pacwar which is the "Lucy" of this family.

Alfred


Indeed, it is the Great Grandfather, and the game that brought me to the Matrix forums many years ago when I heard about an updated version. There was talk of this "new game" called UV with a detailed scale that was evolutionary from PacWar. 1 day turns???

I know the basic game designs came from PacWar, but it seemed to me that the game engine was written from scratch for UV, and then expanded for WitP.

Old story, but I bought PacWar and the first Civilization at the store on the same day in '91 or '92. Little did I know how much my gaming future was determined on that day!

_____________________________

Mike

"Good times will set you free" - Jimmy Buffett

"They need more rum punch" - Me


Artwork by The Amazing Dixie

(in reply to Alfred)
Post #: 32
RE: What's next - 7/19/2019 3:03:57 AM   
BillBrown


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I came from PacWar also. I still have the manual that came with it. And like US America I did a search on line for PacWar and found Matrix Games. I played some PBEM of Pacwar in the day, even did some modifying of the code.

< Message edited by BillBrown -- 7/19/2019 3:04:17 AM >

(in reply to USSAmerica)
Post #: 33
RE: What's next - 7/19/2019 3:14:21 AM   
Alfred

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Moltrey

What's next?

Nothing.

Nada, zip, zilch... based on this thread and the last to broach the subject and the attitude of the two people left that are close enough to Matrix and the (defunct) Henderson Field Design devs, Alfred and the Moderator(s).
This is just my "reading of the room" if you will. But the door appears to be permanently closed on such initiatives. Alfred seems rather put out that he had to (once again) deny any outside inquiry through channels would change matters and then the thread was promptly locked by a Moderator. That should tell all of us who would believe otherwise that hope is misguided at best, perhaps foolish.

Sad, yes; but not altogether surprising. The game obviously still has "legs", which in my opinion is part of the problem. Regardless of the 30500+ threads on the forums that dwarf the next most popular game, they have apparently made the final determination that due to whatever reasons, War in the Pacific: Admirals Edition will not see the development que.

So, to wrap, that tells me that no one capable is interested in revisiting the game, not even Michael.
We will have to rely on what can be accomplished with mods.

Never say never- a future game of some type might appear, but I doubt it would be a Grigsby-style game, which would disappoint loads of grognards here due to the lack of detail, mostly b/c they aren't Grigsby.


Matrix would be interested in a properly structured development proposal. It is just that in all the many threads opened since AE was released, not a single one has shown a skerrick of evidence that the agitators had any idea of how to go about it. The context is never taken into account in these threads.

AE was in development for 4 years before release and received full support for another 2 years post release. Limited support was still provided for another 3 years subsequently. Excluding testers, some 18 people were closely involved in the development. A minimum of 4 coders at any one time were involved. All under the direction of an experienced IT industry team leader who had the track record in bringing IT projects to a successful conclusion. All done for basically zero remuneration.

None of the experience built up in developing AE would be available for a new game. Well maybe a little might be salvaged but essentially there would be no useful project history retained. That in itself is a huge hindrance to using the current game engine as the basis for a new game, for you would be all completely wrong if you believe the current game code is well documented. That is before you even get to copyright considerations.

That a Mediterranean version is raised again as a viable option once again demonstrates the sheer vanity of the proponents who can't see the "bleedin' obvious" limitations of the existing AE engine. To name only some; where is the support for CAS, where is the depth for ASW, where is ULTRA, how can more than 2 sides be accommodated, how can neutrals be incorporated, how can devices switch over to undertake cross missions, how can water plus fuel be handled, how can a 2-3 hex limiting front be made interesting. These, and many others, are all issues obvious (or should be) to any experienced AE player. Not being raised in these threads reveals a lot about the unsuitability for the task of the proponents.

A combination of copyright, documentation and legacy limitations mean that it would be far easier and quicker to start from scratch. That is if you want to produce a game of similar standard. Still would need a large team and a development period measured in years, not weeks. A team able to work under and abide fully to the team leader's directives. All for uncertain remuneration. Think of that for a moment, if involved the individual would have no time to play AE (or any other game) whilst developing the new game ... for some years.

Plus the killer issue, which I always point out and is always disregarded, the sine qua non for a new game, viz a viable AI for solo play. Ten years of AE has seen many mods developed but not a single new AI script from the modders. They can't produce a single script for their own developed scenario. In part this is the result of all the modders being only data manipulators using the game database editor, none of them being actual coders; even their knowledge of the existing publicly documented game rules application to their mod being deficient. What makes anyone believe there is someone out there waiting to step forward to develop a new script, let alone a new AI module not so heavily dependent on scripts.

Alfred

(in reply to Moltrey)
Post #: 34
RE: What's next - 7/19/2019 3:22:13 AM   
Alfred

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: USSAmerica


... I know the basic game designs came from PacWar, but it seemed to me that the game engine was written from scratch for UV, and then expanded for WitP...




Correct, going from DOS to that "new" fangled invention, Windows, necessitated a rewrite from "scratch". But the old concepts still informed the coding and shaped the structure. Which creates legacy issues in part for further development.

Alfred

(in reply to USSAmerica)
Post #: 35
RE: What's next - 7/19/2019 7:39:53 AM   
jdsrae


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Joined: 3/1/2010
From: Gandangara Country
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quote:

ORIGINAL: Alfred

Matrix would be interested in a properly structured development proposal.

Plus the killer issue... ...a viable AI for solo play.

...a new AI module not so heavily dependent on scripts.



I am definitely interested in the idea of a new AI “module”, but so as not to get any hopes up I do not have the technical skills to be able to do it.

From the rest of Alfred’s post, regarding the business case for such a project, I don’t think there’d be a shortage of people willing to throw some free time at helping, but the essential things you most likely cant get for free would be the project leader and the coding hours/months/years to turn our flowcharts, spreadsheets and hand-scribbled notes into a virtual reality human opponent that can react to what a human player is doing each turn.

https://www.google.com.au/amp/s/www.wsj.com/amp/articles/researchers-build-bots-that-play-video-games-with-each-other-11559239201


< Message edited by jdsrae -- 7/19/2019 12:11:48 PM >


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(in reply to Alfred)
Post #: 36
RE: What's next - 7/19/2019 2:37:20 PM   
Moltrey


Posts: 267
Joined: 4/11/2010
From: Virginia
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One aspect to consider is former HFD dev access and time to get questions answered. Alfred can elaborate, but I gather one reason the Manual project was shelved by him was difficulty in getting clarifications, info, etc. concerning changes over the patches and basically everything else. These folks have moved on in life and may be reluctant to spend anymore free time on WITP:AE.
As he mentioned above, there is a distinct lack of documentation from the programmers/designers (not an uncommon failure) so that trying to understand the why, what, when, where and how of WITP:AE is made very difficult.

I imagine the frustration level gets rather unbearable. While I don't want to just give up any hope at all, the prospects are dim.

(in reply to jdsrae)
Post #: 37
RE: What's next - 7/19/2019 6:02:44 PM   
Kull


Posts: 2478
Joined: 7/3/2007
From: El Paso, TX
Status: offline
Here's a nice discussion on the WitP-AE AI system. There's more going on than you might think.

_____________________________


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Post #: 38
RE: What's next - 7/19/2019 7:39:00 PM   
geofflambert


Posts: 14757
Joined: 12/23/2010
From: St. Louis
Status: offline

quote:

ORIGINAL: Alfred


quote:

ORIGINAL: USSAmerica


quote:

ORIGINAL: Gridley380

While I agree that WITP:AE is the best in its class, it is also based on an engine over a decade old. Software continues to evolve, as does the readily available data on the war. Sometimes it is easier to start from scratch than it is to update.



More than a decade old for the engine. 11 days from now will be the 10 year anniversary of AE's release. I bought it that day. WitP was 2004, and was based on the engine developed for Uncommon Valor around 2002. She's a solid antique in the realm of computer games.


You are forgetting the old DOS Pacwar which is the "Lucy" of this family.

Alfred


Alfred used a smiley. I wasn't aware that that was even possible. Has anyone notified his general MD?

(in reply to Alfred)
Post #: 39
RE: What's next - 7/19/2019 8:07:12 PM   
Zorch

 

Posts: 8346
Joined: 3/7/2010
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quote:

ORIGINAL: Alfred


quote:

ORIGINAL: USSAmerica


... I know the basic game designs came from PacWar, but it seemed to me that the game engine was written from scratch for UV, and then expanded for WitP...




Correct, going from DOS to that "new" fangled invention, Windows, necessitated a rewrite from "scratch". But the old concepts still informed the coding and shaped the structure. Which creates legacy issues in part for further development.

Alfred

+1 Rewriting software for a new OS is always complicated. The presentation logic is usually intertwined with the game logic.

(in reply to Alfred)
Post #: 40
RE: What's next - 7/19/2019 8:08:57 PM   
Zorch

 

Posts: 8346
Joined: 3/7/2010
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quote:

ORIGINAL: geofflambert


quote:

ORIGINAL: Alfred


quote:

ORIGINAL: USSAmerica


quote:

ORIGINAL: Gridley380

While I agree that WITP:AE is the best in its class, it is also based on an engine over a decade old. Software continues to evolve, as does the readily available data on the war. Sometimes it is easier to start from scratch than it is to update.



More than a decade old for the engine. 11 days from now will be the 10 year anniversary of AE's release. I bought it that day. WitP was 2004, and was based on the engine developed for Uncommon Valor around 2002. She's a solid antique in the realm of computer games.


You are forgetting the old DOS Pacwar which is the "Lucy" of this family.

Alfred


Alfred used a smiley. I wasn't aware that that was even possible. Has anyone notified his general MD?

This is proof that user 'Alfred' is not a bot.
On the other hand, a really sophisticated bot might use a smiley just to make people think it's real.

(in reply to geofflambert)
Post #: 41
RE: What's next - 7/20/2019 12:28:15 AM   
Dili

 

Posts: 4703
Joined: 9/10/2004
Status: offline

quote:

ORIGINAL: Moltrey

What's next?

Nothing.
(...)

Plus the killer issue, which I always point out and is always disregarded, the sine qua non for a new game, viz a viable AI for solo play. Ten years of AE has seen many mods developed but not a single new AI script from the modders. They can't produce a single script for their own developed scenario. In part this is the result of all the modders being only data manipulators using the game database editor, none of them being actual coders; even their knowledge of the existing publicly documented game rules application to their mod being deficient. What makes anyone believe there is someone out there waiting to step forward to develop a new script, let alone a new AI module not so heavily dependent on scripts.

Alfred

My real work is in 3D area, a couple years ago there was an application called Softimage XSI(bought by Microsoft then Avid then Autodesk) it had a nodal system for simulation, behavior, etc with math nodes, conditional nodes, IF, AND statemants etc. and more advanced stuff like dynamics.

Here is an example for crowds: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V2Mzwz6OYwg

I wonder if a nodal system like that for the propose of building AI for games could be developed and then the game developers would be responsible for linking to it to get the input. Being visual might be easier for non coders.

Or maybe just use phython... The issue is that wargames appear to be closed idiosyncratic things. Maybe a common AI interface with nodes to develop AI systems or input/output might be helpful. Another is that games are not maximized, i mean, books, databases could also have been sold at a game release.
One of the things that i felt is missing in AE Editor besides being sluggish is that we can't make it a proper database with notes, links to, etc.
The huge historical knowledge that developers had to acquire about war in pacific is lost except what is inside the game which is obviously too much optimized for historical research. They can't sell it to anyone because there aren't tools to present that information. I think AE editor should have been able to build an AE Database that could be sold.


< Message edited by Dili -- 7/21/2019 11:22:31 AM >

(in reply to Alfred)
Post #: 42
RE: What's next - 7/20/2019 8:58:09 PM   
ncc1701e


Posts: 6431
Joined: 10/29/2013
From: Utopia Planitia Fleet Yards
Status: offline

quote:

ORIGINAL: warspite1


quote:

ORIGINAL: ncc1701e

I agree that there has been less naval battle, but I am still looking for a good naval game on the Battle of the Atlantic and the Mediterranean Sea. Abstraction has its own limits. I would like a more detailed simulation.
warspite1

This is not true. There was was more naval engagements in the Mediterranean than the Pacific. The only thing the Med lacks that the Pacific had was carrier vs carrier warfare. Everything else is there in abundance. And if you add in the Atlantic theatre, the Baltic, the English Channel, the Arctic Ocean and the North Sea/Norwegian Sea then there's a good deal more.



Look at the biased vision I have. I have played too much eastfront game. But, there is still no detailed naval game to send the HMS Upholder on patrol sinking those Italian transports. Another biased vision, only Germans were having subs in ETO.


_____________________________

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(in reply to warspite1)
Post #: 43
RE: What's next - 7/20/2019 9:31:09 PM   
oaltinyay

 

Posts: 593
Joined: 12/20/2012
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quote:

ORIGINAL: Rusty1961

This system could work for a Med campaign, '40 to '43. If you want other than that you have WitW and WitE2.


Why not a mod with a bigger World Map and RN and KM thrown in with the US Atlantic Fleet...No Land war but some built in , time tirggered things like French ports and Norwegian bases appearing ...disappearing etc.



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Post #: 44
RE: What's next - 7/21/2019 11:24:09 AM   
Dili

 

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One more game without the three services represented?

(in reply to oaltinyay)
Post #: 45
RE: What's next - 7/21/2019 3:20:12 PM   
Moltrey


Posts: 267
Joined: 4/11/2010
From: Virginia
Status: offline
I am inclined to agree with Dili; Grognard Wargamers are a notoriously fickle and tough crowd to please. I think a company has to be prepared to do a subject full justice or not do it at all. Anything less would have to be targeted up front to less hardcore gamers. I am not saying games like proposed would not be good, quite the contrary in some cases. But since the proverbial Wargaming Cat is most definitely out of the bag, you have to be smart enough to know how to (mostly) please or mollify the Grognards out there.

Otherwise it's pitchfork and torch time!

(in reply to Dili)
Post #: 46
RE: What's next - 7/24/2019 3:05:40 PM   
ElvisDaKing


Posts: 130
Joined: 9/7/2004
From: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Status: offline
I won t like to see a WitPAE 2 (A WitpAE 2 would be a weird idea like willing to do a new movie about Battle of Midway after the one made by J Smight in 1976...)

But I d like to play one day WitA : War in the Atlantic
It can't be a transfer of WitP on the atlantic map as the naval warfare was completly different , but a different game, still usine most of the exisiting mecanisms, to simulate the battle of the atlantic where German player has to interdict the ocean to allied convoys, when allied player is to send ships to UK / Russia and deliver monthly minimum ressources/supply/war material ...



_____________________________

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(in reply to Dili)
Post #: 47
RE: What's next - 7/24/2019 10:50:55 PM   
Dali

 

Posts: 223
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Hey Alex. I admire you working here …

(in reply to ElvisDaKing)
Post #: 48
RE: What's next - 7/24/2019 10:59:02 PM   
geofflambert


Posts: 14757
Joined: 12/23/2010
From: St. Louis
Status: offline
The basic problem with the AI as I see it is the potential length of the game. The AI cheats to begin with, just to be competitive, but over time it deteriorates to a state like 'poke it with a stick to make sure it's alive'. Human players, when dealt setbacks, can come up with new plans and repair the damage.

(in reply to Dali)
Post #: 49
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