I am quite pesimistic about this game...

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KeldorKatarn
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Re: I am quite pesimistic about this game...

Post by KeldorKatarn » Sat Mar 25, 2017 4:25 pm

Commenting on an earlier post:
Cablenexus wrote:Maybe it's good to name a few turn based strategygames that made use from Unreal technology in the last few years.
There are a few that are worth to name and my advice for the team is to watch the Steam forums for those games to find the pros and cons of those games named by players.
Heroes of Might and Magic VII, Warmachine Tactics and XCom2 are all made in Unreal instead of Unity and they all suffer from the same issues. Mostly performance issues on release, bugs and very clunky interfaces.
The thing is.. all of thsoe are on the tactical level. I'd really like if someone could point out a really good game on the strategic level ob abstraction that PzC is at that is using Unreal or even Unity and is fully 3D and works great. 3D is great for the tactical (or human scale) level. On the strategic level I'm personally not so convinced. So I'd really be curious whether any successful games using Unreal exist on this level of abstraction.
Panzer Corps - Dossier Tool - http://www.slitherine.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=121&t=39151
Epic Chronological Let's Play - https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLb_qLVfViPTbD7C7gN8cVOxG_mEgDYO91

kondi754
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Re: I am quite pesimistic about this game...

Post by kondi754 » Sat Mar 25, 2017 4:38 pm

KeldorKatarn wrote:Just as a further example. The latter... going to the far and and CONCIOUSLY making units feel out of place on the map, hence creating the "chess piece on a flat board" look is something that can totally work. IMO that's why PG2 worked nicely:

Image

It's immediately appartent that the units are not in a real terrain but rather driving around on a flat painted map. That doesn't matter. It's not distracting since the eye can immediately see that the map is not 3D and therefore never tries to compare their scales. Only the units are compared to eachother. I can guarantee you if PG2 had tried to make the towns or trees 3D on that painted map, it would have looked awful.

I think a recreation of the PG2 effect, having a beautiful highly detailed but completely FLAT map that doesn't look 3D at all and put very pretty 3D animated units on top of it will work perfectly fine.

The problem arose in PG3 where the terrain became 3D as well and got shading, lighting and height difference got physically modeled. The units immediately looked out of place. The 3D buildings of towns looked awfully out of place and didn't fit the scale of the units, the art design didn't match, it just looked really awful.

I think if PzC 2 create a perfectly flat map that is not trying to match the units (will never work because of the scale difference IMO) but instead goes for a very pretty painted or prerendered look but DOESN'T do dynamic shading at all and makes the unit throw a flat shadow that further enhances the fact that the map is just a flat board, and then puts good looking 3D shaded units on top of that, just like PG2 did it... I think that'll work nicely. Again it will be the chess look. But if both are created 3D and somehow try to merge... that'll create a huge challenge for the art department to make THAT look right.

Also in general I feel modeling the terrain in 3D is a major mistake because the hexes won't be flat anymore, makes them harder to detect, harder to see what terrain type a hex is, harder to click on a unit or see what is adjacent to a unit ect etc. bad idea. The terrain should be pretty but perfectly flat IMO so every hex has the same undistorted outline. That's WAY better for gameplay and if it's art wise done the way PG2 did it, it can look very nice. It'll have a cool board game look. That will still not be everybody's cup of tea but I feel if PzC tries to create a look that suggest a tactical scale but at the same time have a strategic scale... that just won't work. You can't make a strategy game with tactical combat mission graphics. I feel that fails every time.
I must admit I never liked graphics in PG 2 because it is just a combination of 2 different stories. For me, for example, it is absolutely unreadable. I think the graphics should be either flat or 3 D.
Besides, it was good 30 years ago, now it's trash.
If the graphics in PzC 2 would look like this, then it's better to stay as it is. :wink:

KeldorKatarn
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Re: I am quite pesimistic about this game...

Post by KeldorKatarn » Sat Mar 25, 2017 4:53 pm

I'm talking about the basic principle of that graphics style. Obviously I don't mean a 1:1 copy.
Panzer Corps - Dossier Tool - http://www.slitherine.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=121&t=39151
Epic Chronological Let's Play - https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLb_qLVfViPTbD7C7gN8cVOxG_mEgDYO91

kondi754
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Re: I am quite pesimistic about this game...

Post by kondi754 » Sat Mar 25, 2017 7:33 pm

KeldorKatarn wrote:I'm talking about the basic principle of that graphics style. Obviously I don't mean a 1:1 copy.
I understand what you mean but it would have to be done really brilliantly.

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Re: I am quite pesimistic about this game...

Post by Schweinewitz » Sat Mar 25, 2017 7:37 pm

kondi754 wrote:Besides, it was good 30 years ago, now it's trash.
That's a matter of taste. Ok, the stuff may look dated but for me PG2 and especially Open General is more immersive than PC exactly because of the 3D units on the hand painted 2D maps. The maps in PC and OOB tend to look ... dull in comparison. - During the last 20 years modders have produced hundreds of great maps for PG2/OG, thousands of new icons (I myself made around 1000) and designed dozens and dozens of campaigns. For some this all may be just crap but I can tell you it's very addictive and entertaining shite for some old dogs. :wink:

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Re: I am quite pesimistic about this game...

Post by kondi754 » Sat Mar 25, 2017 7:48 pm

Schweinewitz wrote:
kondi754 wrote:Besides, it was good 30 years ago, now it's trash.
That's a matter of taste. Ok, the stuff may look dated but for me PG2 and especially Open General is more immersive than PC exactly because of the 3D units on the hand painted 2D maps. The maps in PC and OOB tend to look ... dull in comparison. - During the last 20 years modders have produced hundreds of great maps for PG2/OG, thousands of new icons (I myself made around 1000) and designed dozens and dozens of campaigns. For some this all may be just crap but I can tell you it's very addictive and entertaining shite for some old dogs. :wink:
Sorry, I shouldn't offend the feelings of the veterans. My fault. 8) :)
I also spent hours at PG 2, whose playability was brilliant but I didn't like this graphics until today.

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Re: I am quite pesimistic about this game...

Post by Rudankort » Sat Mar 25, 2017 8:04 pm

Panzer General 2 maps are of course beautiful. I have exactly 1219 maps from that game on my hard drive (although the quality of them varies somewhat), and I looked though them many times while thinking about various aspects of terrain in the new game. Achieving this level of artistic quality is very difficult (if not impossible) on maps which consist of tiles and are not manually adjusted by an artist for the best look.

But this also comes at a price.
- Such maps are much more difficult to produce. Where in Panzer Corps 1 (and 2) I can make any map I want in 10 minutes, this is not possible with hand-crafted maps.
- PG2 maps are probably among the most confusing I've seen. It's hard to tell which terrain is where, same terrain can look completely different on two maps.
- It's hard to do things like ground state transition with this approach.
- These maps are also quite busy at times, and it is difficult to discern units on top, which can be seen even on the example we have above.

For these reasons, we made a conscious decision to take a different approach in Panzer Corps series. We will keep improving the look of our maps, but ease of map creation, clarity and flexibility remain our priorities.

As for approach to graphics in PG2 on the whole, my brain surely has some problems with it. When pseudo-3D units are moving across a pseudo-3D map as if it were flat ground, this creates all kinds of odd situations. For example, on the screenshot above, I don't get what tank and gun in the forest are doing. Are they flying over forest or hanging from the trees? I dunno, for me both 2D games like Panzer Corps and 3D games like Civ look more clean and easy on the eyes.

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Re: I am quite pesimistic about this game...

Post by Uhu » Thu Mar 30, 2017 12:40 am

Did you hear about the Combat Mission series? It is 3D and it is one of the finest and deepest modelled company/battalion level ww2 strategy game.
Musketeer wrote:For now it seems like another 2D legend ruined by 3D... Players don't need another 3D game a la Blitzkrieg 3 in turn-based! If you want great game clone ideas from Open General! Adding 3D and making PC2 runnable just on machines with 65536 graphics cards is not gonna cut it for many hardcore fans of strategy and wargaming... ! Another great example of 2D game is winSPWW2 - game needs cca 50-60 MB RAM and runs on anything today! And whats worst - they speak just about graphics and engine, not AI in first place, which should be THE MOST important things, not friggin rendered ass of Nazi on Tiger!
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KeldorKatarn
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Re: I am quite pesimistic about this game...

Post by KeldorKatarn » Thu Mar 30, 2017 12:46 am

Uhu wrote:Did you hear about the Combat Mission series? It is 3D and it is one of the finest and deepest modelled company/battalion level ww2 strategy game.
Apples and oranges
Panzer Corps - Dossier Tool - http://www.slitherine.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=121&t=39151
Epic Chronological Let's Play - https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLb_qLVfViPTbD7C7gN8cVOxG_mEgDYO91

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Re: I am quite pesimistic about this game...

Post by Nomada_Firefox » Thu Mar 30, 2017 8:39 pm

KeldorKatarn wrote:
Uhu wrote:Did you hear about the Combat Mission series? It is 3D and it is one of the finest and deepest modelled company/battalion level ww2 strategy game.
Apples and oranges
Yes, very funny. It is a very bad comparation.

I have not read the first answer and all them but be pessimistic about this game sounds me as one thing very few thought out. I know so much as all you but when I see what is the engine from this new game, I imagine how they can make one thing very beautiful, similar at concept to the older panzer corps but with better animations and graphics. I do not see it as something negative.;)

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Re: I am quite pesimistic about this game...

Post by Musketeer » Fri Mar 31, 2017 10:28 am

Nomada_Firefox wrote:
KeldorKatarn wrote:
Uhu wrote:Did you hear about the Combat Mission series? It is 3D and it is one of the finest and deepest modelled company/battalion level ww2 strategy game.
Apples and oranges
Yes, very funny. It is a very bad comparation.

I have not read the first answer and all them but be pessimistic about this game sounds me as one thing very few thought out. I know so much as all you but when I see what is the engine from this new game, I imagine how they can make one thing very beautiful, similar at concept to the older panzer corps but with better animations and graphics. I do not see it as something negative.;)
Problem is, "that 10 people is working on 3D graphics" and probably nobody specific on AI...

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Re: I am quite pesimistic about this game...

Post by Rudankort » Fri Mar 31, 2017 10:33 am

If this will offer any relief, AI is my area of responsibility, and I'm not working on any graphics at all. ;)

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Re: I am quite pesimistic about this game...

Post by Musketeer » Fri Mar 31, 2017 10:37 am

Rudankort wrote:If this will offer any relief, AI is my area of responsibility, and I'm not working on any graphics at all. ;)
Well point is, IF there is 10+people working just on AI you will be first in game world = thing to stand out = sure sold! ;)

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Re: I am quite pesimistic about this game...

Post by Rudankort » Fri Mar 31, 2017 11:19 am

There must be a reason why "big guys" are not doing this, because surely they can afford it. Maybe it's because nobody wants chess-level AI that you cannot beat? ;)

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Re: I am quite pesimistic about this game...

Post by Musketeer » Fri Mar 31, 2017 11:32 am

Rudankort wrote:There must be a reason why "big guys" are not doing this, because surely they can afford it. Maybe it's because nobody wants chess-level AI that you cannot beat? ;)
Lets be honest here - AI in PC1 has verrrrrrrrra long way to go to Skynet quality level ;). 8)

Big guys = *mostly* 3D mainstream trash finishable in 10 h +/-.

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Re: I am quite pesimistic about this game...

Post by Rudankort » Fri Mar 31, 2017 11:39 am

Yes, Skynet is still some time away, fortunately for all of us.

But, good AI in a game like this is very real. Of course games like Panzer Corps are more complex than chess, and there is a lot of uncertainty (you don't know what is hidden in fog of war etc.). But most players are far far from chess masters level too.

Look at another Slitherine game, Pandora: First Contact. After initial release they spent some time improving the AI. I think, there was just one guy doing it, but he spent several months, or maybe even 1+ year, working exclusively on game AI. The result of this was a bunch of negative reviews on Steam, which can be summarized as: "Good game, too bad I cannot beat it". I find this story quite instructive. ;)

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Re: I am quite pesimistic about this game...

Post by Musketeer » Fri Mar 31, 2017 11:46 am

Rudankort wrote:Yes, Skynet is still some time away, fortunately for all of us.

But, good AI in a game like this is very real. Of course games like Panzer Corps are more complex than chess, and there is a lot of uncertainty (you don't know what is hidden in fog of war etc.). But most players are far far from chess masters level too.

Look at another Slitherine game, Pandora: First Contact. After initial release they spent some time improving the AI. I think, there was just one guy doing it, but he spent several months, or maybe even 1+ year, working exclusively on game AI. The result of this was a bunch of negative reviews on Steam, which can be summarized as: "Good game, too bad I cannot beat it". I find this story quite instructive. ;)
So, do not spend too much time in forums, write good enough AI instead... ;).

This is quite complex theme... Hard to discuss all details in wholesome...

How about create slider which covers: "AI for 3D players" on one side and "I will kick you r ass!" on other? :idea:

Ad that game - is somebody is IQ enough to play it, he is definitely IQ enough to set correct level! I also get my ass handed in PC1 on Polland several times while learning game and DID NOT STOP PLAY IT believe me because of it ;). If AI beats me fairly and squarely, I bow to it and have motivation to get better...

Good AI is challenging and people later get back to finish it...

BEST dream AI IMHO adapts to player style and level dynamically as play goes! :idea: :o At least with some global values - enemyNumberOfBuyedTanks = 30 %, co I buy more anititanks and tanks hunters. etc.
Last edited by Musketeer on Fri Mar 31, 2017 11:56 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: I am quite pesimistic about this game...

Post by Rudankort » Fri Mar 31, 2017 11:55 am

Well I need to read everything people are writing here, otherwise they are writing in vain. That's why the game was announced, and forum created, well in advance before the release. Maybe I need to clone myself. :)

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Re: I am quite pesimistic about this game...

Post by Musketeer » Fri Mar 31, 2017 11:58 am

Rudankort wrote:Well I need to read everything people are writing here, otherwise they are writing in vain. That's why the game was announced, and forum created, well in advance before the release. Maybe I need to clone myself. :)
Guten idea! Sie need mehr instances! ;)

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Re: I am quite pesimistic about this game...

Post by Kolaris » Sun Apr 02, 2017 2:37 am

I was initially skeptical for a lot of the reasons already mentioned. 3D is not inherently better, nor really that important in the scope of things.

But I found myself in a strange place recently, called JPs Panzers Wargame & History Forums. There I was reading about some of the history of the PG series and Rudankort's experience with it and Panzer General Forever. He posted some of his vision for PzC and a hypothetical sequel (this is almost 6 years ago). I think the franchise is in good hands, and I look forward to future announcements with guarded optimism.

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