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RE: AI on the horizon - 4/30/2020 3:50:45 PM   
76mm


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quote:

ORIGINAL: warspite1
Exactly, wouldn't you be best off taking it up with Matrix?

In hindsight, I should have demanded a refund immediately, but for the first two or three years I actually believed that the half-map scenarios would be released "soon" (ever?), and was willing to wait. But IIRC those who did ask for refunds were refused.


(in reply to warspite1)
Post #: 31
RE: AI on the horizon - 4/30/2020 3:58:58 PM   
warspite1


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quote:

ORIGINAL: 76mm

quote:

ORIGINAL: warspite1
Exactly, wouldn't you be best off taking it up with Matrix?

In hindsight, I should have demanded a refund immediately, but for the first two or three years I actually believed that the half-map scenarios would be released "soon" (ever?), and was willing to wait. But IIRC those who did ask for refunds were refused.


warspite1

If its any consolation - and of course it isn't - I completely agree with you on the 2-map scenarios. and I've been saying this from the word go. It just seems to me to be a no-brainer. The game is complex, its for grognards and so for some, battling with the convoy system or the naval rules for example, are things they could do without. It can be overwhelming and can turn people off. The 2-map scenarios allow the introduction of a proper MWIF game (I completely discount the training scenarios that are Guadalcanal and Barbarossa) while keeping things fun and manageable. They can appeal to naval enthusiasts (Pacific) or land warfare fans (Europe).

That increases enjoyment, feedback and - above all else - sales! But for some reason NetPlay appears to have been the focus and these 2-map scenarios have got lost amongst the efforts to get NetPlay working (and bugs crushed).


< Message edited by warspite1 -- 4/30/2020 4:00:26 PM >


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Post #: 32
RE: AI on the horizon - 4/30/2020 4:09:19 PM   
pzgndr

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: 76mm
While I salute Steve's dedication after all these years, the fact is that this game was released very very very prematurely...
the fact is that it should never have been sold in its condition upon release, at least without extensive disclosures.


I am not convinced it is even possible to release a PC version of a complicated and complex boardgame such as World in Flames or Empires in Arms and come anywhere near veteran players' expectations for release to be perfect. When I took on EIA code development several years ago now it was immediately obvious how painful it all is. You can read my comments on the EIA forum.

I would agree that Matrix could consider some alternative business model to support "premature" releases known to have significant bugs and missing features. But is the game playable enough for some enjoyment and for gathering necessary feedback for bug fixes and feature enhancements/improvements? I've also been on the playtester side of game development for several games, and I know full well there are significant limitations in what playtesters can find for a developer to fix prior to a magical release date, and then players raise their own issues. It's tough. It's practically impossible!

But yeah, maybe Matrix could sell "early release" versions. Then bump up the price as features are added or charge separately for major updates. I don't know. Avalon Hill and SPI tried changing their business models and it didn't work too well for them. I just try to keep up and enjoy playing what I can when I can.


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Post #: 33
RE: AI on the horizon - 4/30/2020 4:41:38 PM   
RFalvo69


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quote:

ORIGINAL: warspite1
Steve is still here and trying to get the game to where we all want it.

What follows was posted on this forum three years ago by Erik Rutins of Matrix Games:


quote:

ORIGINAL: Erik Rutins
Once we have evidence that NetPlay for 2 Players is indeed at last working as expected, we plan to proceed with the following in priority order:

Future Plans

1. Additional Bug Fixes

- This will be an ongoing effort, focused on any serious issues that arise as well as areas of the game that still need more attention. Each update, including the NetPlay updates, will continue to include fixes for every issue we can fit in.

2. Low Risk Optional Rules

- These are the rules we are planning to include in this set:
53. City based volunteers (67)
54. Isolated reorganization limits (47)
55. Kamikazes (60)
56. Naval supply units (69)
57. Guard banner armies (70)
58. Rough seas (75)
67. USSR-Japan compulsory peace (50)

3. Additional Scenarios

- This means the two half map scenarios we promised to complete.

Once we reach this point, we would consider the original MWIF feature and content complete, with ongoing support after this point focused on bug fixes and interface polish.

4. AI Expansion (Core Rule Set)

- This means implementing a working AI opponent for solitaire play.


Bottom line: in three years we got one (1) item: the Kamikazes Optional Rule.

True, the program enables you to follow the rules with minimal bookkeeping - except when it doesn't (convoys...) True, playing it face to face or via VASSAL forces you to - gasp! - learn the rules - which is what almost every wargamer knows how to do since the dawn of wargames. And if you misread a rule (something commonly accepted) you can fix it without waiting for a patch.

I'm sorry, it is indefensible.

I would really know what Matrix was thinking when they looked at this program and said "It is ready to be published!" - what they were looking at, I mean.

_____________________________

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"Oh dad... so you were a God-damned cook?"

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(in reply to warspite1)
Post #: 34
RE: AI on the horizon - 4/30/2020 4:43:08 PM   
76mm


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quote:

ORIGINAL: warspite1
...I completely agree with you on the 2-map scenarios. and I've been saying this from the word go. It just seems to me to be a no-brainer...It can be overwhelming and can turn people off. The 2-map scenarios allow the introduction of a proper MWIF game (I completely discount the training scenarios that are Guadalcanal and Barbarossa) while keeping things fun and manageable.

Yup. When the game first came out I tried the full game but was definitely overwhelmed, not helped by the bugs prevalent in the game at the time and my almost complete lack of interest in the War in the Pacific. I tried the Barbarossa scenario a couple of times and found it very...meh. So I decided to wait for the half-map scenarios...and wait...and wait. I gave up some time ago now, but really don't understand why they weren't something like a top priority.

quote:

ORIGINAL: pzgndr
I am not convinced it is even possible to release a PC version of a complicated and complex boardgame such as World in Flames or Empires in Arms and come anywhere near veteran players' expectations for release to be perfect. When I took on EIA code development several years ago now it was immediately obvious how painful it all is. You can read my comments on the EIA forum.

Yes, I've got EiA as well, and am actually playing a PBEM game and have installed probably, what, twenty of your patches? Thanks for your work! The big difference for me between WiF and EiA is that I paid $150 for WiF thinking it was a complete product, and paid $15 for EiA (on sale) knowing that it had issues. [EDIT:] And of course EiA has a workable built-in system for PBEM (even if it is kind of a pain to use).

I had never played WiF or EiA as boardgames, so wasn't a veteran or even a fan of either, but am always looking for a good game and had heard very good things about both, so was willing to give both a try. But at this point I will never, ever, ever, buy a board game conversion (actually, any game) from Matrix without seeing overwhelming evidence on the forums (and formal game reviews, etc.), that the game is worth buying.

< Message edited by 76mm -- 4/30/2020 4:56:19 PM >

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Post #: 35
RE: AI on the horizon - 4/30/2020 5:17:08 PM   
76mm


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Not to beat a dead horse, but I wanted to mention another reason why I'm a still a bit bitter about this game: the high price was one thing, but maybe the main thing is that I invested a huge amount of time in learning the rules, watching tutorials, etc, all in preparation for the promised half-map scenarios which were never delivered.

Unlike most other wargames, even complex ones like WitE, WiF is just not a game that you can just pick up and play without understanding the rules. So I read that damn 3 volume rulebook 2-3 times--a huge amount of time--and even then had to watch the video tutorials to learn how to play, all for naught.

(in reply to 76mm)
Post #: 36
RE: AI on the horizon - 4/30/2020 5:21:49 PM   
rkr1958


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quote:

ORIGINAL: 76mm

You are clearly one of those happy to have paid $150 for an alpha product, and I'm genuinely glad that you had the opportunity to do so and enjoy the game. But that doesn't mean that buyers such as myself should not have been informed about the state of the game--there is no way that I would have bought it.

I'm confused? I paid $99, which was full price and included the 3 hardbound books, for my copy a couple of months after it was released. Why do folks keep saying they paid $150? Why the price discrepancy?


< Message edited by rkr1958 -- 4/30/2020 5:23:30 PM >


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Post #: 37
RE: AI on the horizon - 4/30/2020 6:28:19 PM   
76mm


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quote:

ORIGINAL: rkr1958
I'm confused? I paid $99, which was full price and included the 3 hardbound books...

It's been a long time, I might be confused myself but I'm pretty sure that the price was well over $100 when I bought it shortly after release. One of the major issues was shipping for the hardcover books (which I didn't want in the first place, but they were a mandatory purchase), which could add a huge amount to the total price, depending on where you had them shipped to.

Shipping is shipping, but this was the only computer game I've ever bought that required the purchase of very expensive (from a shipping perspective) hard cover manuals. Never again.

Also, I don't quite recall at this point, but Matrix might have dropped the price shortly after release after all of the complaints about the state of the game. But not sure about that after all these years.

< Message edited by 76mm -- 4/30/2020 6:31:16 PM >

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Post #: 38
RE: AI on the horizon - 4/30/2020 6:33:39 PM   
warspite1


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quote:

ORIGINAL: rkr1958

quote:

ORIGINAL: 76mm

You are clearly one of those happy to have paid $150 for an alpha product, and I'm genuinely glad that you had the opportunity to do so and enjoy the game. But that doesn't mean that buyers such as myself should not have been informed about the state of the game--there is no way that I would have bought it.

I'm confused? I paid $99, which was full price and included the 3 hardbound books, for my copy a couple of months after it was released. Why do folks keep saying they paid $150? Why the price discrepancy?

warspite1

I just followed what was written previously. I can't recall how much I paid - although a got a small discount for doing the naval write-ups. Yeah it was in the region of £100 and then there was the quite expensive cost of the books. I say expensive - frankly I'd have paid double the price for those beautiful works of art


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Post #: 39
RE: AI on the horizon - 4/30/2020 8:37:46 PM   
Centuur


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Personally, I think that both sides here have written things which I agree on. But it's Matrix which is responsible for the release of the game at the time.

Surely, some will be a disappointed by how long it takes to get things done. I'm disappointed too. But we're in a niche market and there are simply no resources available to get things done faster.

But that doesn't mean I don't have fun with the game.




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Post #: 40
RE: AI on the horizon - 4/30/2020 9:56:58 PM   
RFalvo69


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From: Lamezia Terme (Italy)
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quote:

ORIGINAL: 76mm

quote:

ORIGINAL: rkr1958
I'm confused? I paid $99, which was full price and included the 3 hardbound books...

It's been a long time, I might be confused myself but I'm pretty sure that the price was well over $100 when I bought it shortly after release. One of the major issues was shipping for the hardcover books (which I didn't want in the first place, but they were a mandatory purchase), which could add a huge amount to the total price, depending on where you had them shipped to.

Yes, I had the same experience: shipping was a killer but buying the three hard cover books was mandatory (IIRC you could even add to the order a paper copy of the humongous map). IIRC I, too, spent about 150 Euro.

Anyway I had no qualms in ordering the books: they looked fantastic and gave to the whole project an aura of real quality (the books, in all fairness, are fantastic: sometimes I still look at them and sigh). The game actually arrived in the mail while I was away in Paris for a culinary tour, and I couldn't wait to return home and play it! From Paris!

It could be said that, when this sad story will be finished and chronicled, the turning point was the day when buying the books was no more mandatory: all of sudden the PDFs were enough (notice how you could still order the books, so there was no shortage of them). Dropping the physical books was, IMHO, the moment when Matrix symbolically admitted that the whole project was in trouble.

_____________________________

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"Oh dad... so you were a God-damned cook?"

(My 10 years old daughter after watching "The Hunt for Red October")

(in reply to 76mm)
Post #: 41
RE: AI on the horizon - 5/1/2020 11:03:26 AM   
pzgndr

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: 76mm
Yes, I've got EiA as well, and am actually playing a PBEM game and have installed probably, what, twenty of your patches? Thanks for your work!


Thanks, you and the other intrepid pbem players deserve credit for grunting through the past few months. I think the light at the end of the tunnel is sunshine now. But this is a good point for both games, both are being played and that's good. Certainly there are folks not playing for one reason or another, and I am also waiting patiently for the WiF ETO half-map scenario and AI, but the games are in a playable state.


quote:

ORIGINAL: 76mm
I had never played WiF or EiA as boardgames, so wasn't a veteran or even a fan of either, but am always looking for a good game and had heard very good things about both, so was willing to give both a try.


Same here. I was a AH Third Reich and War & Peace player, and never had time to delve into the WiF and EiA boardgames. The PC versions provide the opportunity to do so. I've also read through the WiF pdf manuals and poked at the starter scenarios, but the hardcopies are still in shrinkwrap awaiting the day I can play the ETO scenario with or without AI and get serious about it. Time will tell.


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Post #: 42
RE: AI on the horizon - 5/3/2020 3:03:06 PM   
shaddock

 

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I wonder how many bug reports Steve gets are really due to the game code or due to someone's computer getting new hardware or a software update?

Considering the hundreds or thousands of different hardware and software there are, the permutations must be in tens to hundreds of thousands.

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Post #: 43
RE: AI on the horizon - 5/4/2020 5:18:23 PM   
Shannon V. OKeets

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: shaddock

I wonder how many bug reports Steve gets are really due to the game code or due to someone's computer getting new hardware or a software update?

Considering the hundreds or thousands of different hardware and software there are, the permutations must be in tens to hundreds of thousands.

Not many are due to a player changing his hardware/software.

New customers often run into difficulty learning how to set up their computer, but Matrix Customer Service has seen most of the problems before and know how to help the newbies get settled in.

The code for MWIF is as plain vanilla as I can get it. I loathe using newfangled software gimmicks, which means that MWIF runs on the basic software and hardware underpinnings of most computers.

The only changes in hardware that cause difficulties for experienced players are adding/changing monitors, where different screen resolutions can require tweaking the Screen Layouts (i.e., SLY files).

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Post #: 44
RE: AI on the horizon - 5/4/2020 10:13:57 PM   
scottj63

 

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I have been reading the forum for years.....All I can say is this....the DAY that AI is able to play a decent game, I will buy this game immediately.....I don't play multiplayer anything except with my brother (Civ6, COH2, AoW3, HOI4) so AI is very important to me. I still play War in the Pacific Admiral Ed. almost 11 yrs later.

So please get the AI working and take my money Sir.

Scott in the Philippines

(in reply to npilgaard)
Post #: 45
RE: AI on the horizon - 5/4/2020 11:09:06 PM   
craigbear

 

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I am one of those purchasers who are content with the product as is. AI would be nice but the relatively bug-free version we have right now is great. Have not done any multi or net play, but I am looking forward to those experiences in the near future. (half map games would be nice eventually).

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Post #: 46
RE: AI on the horizon - 5/4/2020 11:39:54 PM   
CanInf

 

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great game.. My only problem now is I play head to head with someone with a computer from ages past. I usually bring my comp over, but with the virus, that is out of the question. Not seeing any game buster issues at all now.

(in reply to craigbear)
Post #: 47
RE: AI on the horizon - 5/5/2020 1:09:54 AM   
davidachamberlain

 

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Try using a screen sharing program like Teamviewer, Zoom, or even Skype to share your screen. You can give them control so that they can make the moves on your screen. Then, the requirement for their computer is just to show the screen.

Dave

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Post #: 48
RE: AI on the horizon - 5/8/2020 3:53:19 AM   
PaxMondo


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Ian R


quote:

ORIGINAL: Jagdtiger14

I am a veteran WiF player...going on 20 years now. Have been to several cons both in Michigan as well as Germany. I have played some of the best in the world (Andrew Rader). This game is completely playable. I can recommend it to any veteran WiF players, and I am satisfied that my $100 was well spent even with an unfinished product. That being said, I have absolutely NO interest in Netplay or AI. I could care less if AI is implemented. I understand AI is an interest of Steve's, but for me I don't care. What I do care about are seeing the all the options being programmed as well as the scenarios. Once those are completed, this game is a finished product as far as I am concerned.




I am happy to see the AI getting some renewed priority, I would like to see that more than netplay.

YMMV.

+1

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Post #: 49
RE: AI on the horizon - 5/8/2020 4:01:56 AM   
PaxMondo


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I'm waiting for the AI. I don't have the time for a 2 player game, RL interferes too much and too often. Having said that, I enjoy the manuals. I hope to play it one day.

Actually, I think once real coding starts on the AI it will move fairly quickly. Until that day, there is AE.

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