BA Development News Feed

PC : Battle Academy is a turn based tactical WWII game with almost limitless modding opportnuities.

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pipfromslitherine
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BA Development News Feed

Post by pipfromslitherine » Fri Jul 13, 2012 8:13 pm

To keep you guys updated with what is coming, I am going to try and keep this thread updated as I complete new features, fixes, or upgrades to the game.

I am sure some people will be interested to know what they can plan for in the future, and others so they can see whether or not they need to harass us more about their favourite feature :).

Where possible (and useful) I will try and include screenshots. Bear in mind that we might keep a few of the coolest features to ourselves - because everyone likes a nice surprise sometimes!

Cheers

Pip

pipfromslitherine
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Re: BA Development News Feed

Post by pipfromslitherine » Fri Jul 13, 2012 8:15 pm

Script Error Handling

Have implemented to option to retry loading a script when an error is found. This should massively speed up scripting work for modders (and me!). Thought it was going to be brutal to deal with all the cases, but in the end just had it throw an exception, then caught it at the loading point and discarded the half-loaded script, ready to load it up and try again. Leaks memory, but this will only be used when building mods or game scripts, so not really an issue. Only took about an hour in the end, and should save a lot of people a lot of time!

alex0809
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Re: BA Development News Feed

Post by alex0809 » Sun Jul 15, 2012 3:46 pm

I hope the news feed will soon include news of the expansion whose details you keep way too secret in my opinion :lol:

pipfromslitherine
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Re: BA Development News Feed

Post by pipfromslitherine » Fri Jul 27, 2012 5:31 pm

1st pass on some advanced tooltips. Thanks to robc for some great ideas on where to start with it!
BADev1.jpg
BADev1.jpg (90.81 KiB) Viewed 3173 times
BADev2.jpg
BADev2.jpg (110.51 KiB) Viewed 3173 times

donkeyfumbler
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Re: BA Development News Feed

Post by donkeyfumbler » Mon Aug 06, 2012 1:06 pm

These look great, and easy to decipher. I had a go at doing this myself, but yours (or RobC's) are much clearer than anything I could come up with.

One question - what is the 'Range Bracket'?

Looking forward to seeing this in the next patch.

pipfromslitherine
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Re: BA Development News Feed

Post by pipfromslitherine » Mon Aug 06, 2012 3:39 pm

All ranges fall into a bracket of 1-2-3-5-7+ tiles. That is, calculation are based on values set for these 5 different ranges. The ranges in BA are not linear (this avoids almost all combats being offscreen) and that is what we use the brackets for.

Cheers

Pip

GottaLove88s
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Re: BA Development News Feed

Post by GottaLove88s » Tue Aug 07, 2012 11:39 am

Hi Pip, Really looking forward to your advanced editor tooltips. Looks great.
If I'm editing a pre-existing .bam, is the tooltip smart enough to pull down the relevant squads.csv, if I've edited that too? I find that I routinely make certain changes eg. increasing firing range of M36, Tiger and Tiger II 88-90mm guns so they genuinely benefit from their historical max effective ranges...
Thanks,
GL88
SCENARIO LINKS
Seelow'45 -> www.slitherine.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=313&t=55132
Normandy'44 -> www.slitherine.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=87&t=42094
Dieppe'42 -> www.slitherine.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=87&t=42347

pipfromslitherine
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Re: BA Development News Feed

Post by pipfromslitherine » Tue Aug 07, 2012 2:50 pm

The tooltips are driven by the data in the squads file - I didn't enter all the text by hand :)

Cheers

Pip

donkeyfumbler
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Re: BA Development News Feed

Post by donkeyfumbler » Tue Aug 07, 2012 2:57 pm

pipfromslitherine wrote:All ranges fall into a bracket of 1-2-3-5-7+ tiles. That is, calculation are based on values set for these 5 different ranges. The ranges in BA are not linear (this avoids almost all combats being offscreen) and that is what we use the brackets for.

Cheers

Pip
Thanks for clarification Pip. I'm still a little confused though.

Looking at the top picture, the Sherman is 4 tiles away and it's HE accuracy is marked as 85% (the number in square brackets being the actual accuracy at that range I'm assuming), which is the third number in its accuracy sequence of 100 - 100 - 85 - 60 - 50.

I take those numbers to mean that it is 100% accuracy at 1 tile away, 100% at 2 tiles away, 85% at 3 or 4 tiles away, 60% at 5 or 6 tiles away and 50% at 7 or more tiles away unless it is completely out of range - is that correct?

So why is the range bracket 2? I'm probably misunderstanding here (not for the first time), but I'd expect range bracket 2 to be the second number in that 100 - 100 - 85 - 60 - 50 sequence. Shouldn't it therefore be showing range bracket 3 at that range (3-4 tiles)?

Similarly the bottom picture shows it shooting at something two tiles away - should that be range bracket 2 and not 1 as it indicates?

From what I can see, the range in tiles and the accuracy stats with the square brackets around it are really all we need - is there therefore any reason to even have the range bracket figure in there, especially if it's causing confusion (or maybe it's just my poor aging brain).

Cheers,
Mark

pipfromslitherine
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Re: BA Development News Feed

Post by pipfromslitherine » Tue Aug 07, 2012 4:24 pm

It might be my programmeriness being a little too much to the fore. We tend to use base zero, that is the 1 tile range would be range bracket 0. So range bracket 2 is the third number in the list. I will tweak it to use the numeric sequencing of the rest of the world :)

If I can drop the range bracket specific line then that is good - anything that keeps the size down makes it more user friendly. What do others think?

Cheers

Pip

GottaLove88s
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Re: BA Development News Feed

Post by GottaLove88s » Tue Aug 07, 2012 4:52 pm

Thanks Pip,

Makes sense. I'd vote to drop the "range bracket" line. The "AP accuracy" line gives us what we need. Could also lose the "range"/"range to target" line (if you trust us to count ;-)).

I see you present HE and AP differently. If the "Effectiveness" line for HE is always the same as the "Final average kill chance" you could lose that too.

Ditto for AP, if the first "Base chance to hit" would always be the bracketed % for AP, you could lose that too. The penultimate "chance to hit" (45% above) seems to be repeated for AP. What are "combined modifiers"...? :?
SCENARIO LINKS
Seelow'45 -> www.slitherine.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=313&t=55132
Normandy'44 -> www.slitherine.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=87&t=42094
Dieppe'42 -> www.slitherine.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=87&t=42347

pipfromslitherine
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Re: BA Development News Feed

Post by pipfromslitherine » Tue Aug 07, 2012 10:17 pm

The combined modifiers are all the mods that apply to the base chance to kill. It's not ideal - I was trying to avoid the long list of different running-total lines that the AP has, but it might be clearer to do it that way. For above it is only the 127% accuracy * 70% cover modifier = 88%. But HE has tons of them, based on your strength, their strength, and lots of other fun stuff.

The 'simple' tooltips are left on at the moment to let me make sure it all matches up :)

Cheers

Pip

donkeyfumbler
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Re: BA Development News Feed

Post by donkeyfumbler » Wed Aug 08, 2012 10:28 am

Thanks Pip - that does explain it and I'm glad to know I wasn't being completely stupid!

I think you could drop the range bracket in that case. While you could even drop the range too, personally I would still vote to keep that there as I think it does make it clearer/easier.

Also I'd like to see all of those modifiers for the HE given the choice, as long as it can be made readable and decipherable. Seeing what makes a difference to your chances is what all of this extra info is all about, and if you are going to be giving people the choice between the simple and the advanced tooltips anyway, I don't see why it shouldn't be added in to the advanced tooltips.

The AP tooltip you have there looks perfect to me, once the range bracket is removed and the duplicate 'Chance to hit' is also taken out (as you've indicated it will be).

pipfromslitherine
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Re: BA Development News Feed

Post by pipfromslitherine » Wed Aug 08, 2012 10:18 pm

Updated images of the advanced tooltips:
BADev3.jpg
BADev3.jpg (113.23 KiB) Viewed 3035 times
BADev4.jpg
BADev4.jpg (71.14 KiB) Viewed 3035 times
You can now add user hosted content to the download list. This is run using user text files listing any number of downloadable missions. So you could (e.g.) make a set of your missions in a single listing file. They then can be managed in the same way as normal downloadable content (deleted, reloaded, etc).
BADev5.jpg
BADev5.jpg (60.32 KiB) Viewed 3035 times
Other improvements in the current version:

- CTRL+S in the editor.
- defaults to current file in editor load/save dialog.
- can delete user MP campaigns from the MP dialog (meaning you can do it at all on the iPad!).
- new object functions allow objects to be created which react to units in the same way as units can (great for mines, boobytraps, etc).

Cheers

Pip

donkeyfumbler
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Re: BA Development News Feed

Post by donkeyfumbler » Thu Aug 09, 2012 8:49 am

Looks really good Pip.

One thought - if you have spelled out all of the combined modifiers individually for the HE attack, do you need the combined modifiers line in there now?

Also I presume in the final version, we are going to lose the duplicate 'Chance to hit' line from the AP attack, and the last 'Effectiveness' line from the HE attack?

Any idea when we might be likely to see this implemented?

pipfromslitherine
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Re: BA Development News Feed

Post by pipfromslitherine » Thu Aug 09, 2012 3:23 pm

I don't have a timeline for the next update, as it is going to be linked to some other work that is going on.

You are correct that it will not show both the simple and advanced tips in the final version.

Cheers

Pip

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Re: BA Development News Feed

Post by Grimnirsson » Fri Aug 10, 2012 10:15 am

Since this is the development news thread I think I can ask here :)

So far I'm missing only two aspects in BA that are rather essential for me to portray WWII combat - smoke and multi level buldings. I consider BA as a great adaption if you so will of the (Advanced) Squad Leader board game series, but no smoke to conceal movement and no possibility to have some height advantage say for snipers (sitting in the church tower for example) or some close combat within a building is something I really miss. Any chance that this will be implemented in future updates?

GottaLove88s
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Re: BA Development News Feed

Post by GottaLove88s » Fri Aug 10, 2012 10:47 am

Agreed Grimirsson, Smoke would be a great adaptation for future releases. It was used by both sides, in Africa and on the Eastern Front, in particular. Otherwise, there's just no cover for positioning infantry, AT guns and transports on a plain in open view... vs a team of panzers, forget it... Unfortunately, BA doesn't give us the option of positioning under cover of moonlight :-)
SCENARIO LINKS
Seelow'45 -> www.slitherine.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=313&t=55132
Normandy'44 -> www.slitherine.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=87&t=42094
Dieppe'42 -> www.slitherine.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=87&t=42347

GottaLove88s
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Re: BA Development News Feed

Post by GottaLove88s » Fri Aug 10, 2012 10:49 am

On multi-level, do BA's battle calculations factor in height advantages/disadvantages? It would make sense for units on a hill to have longer visual and firing ranges, maybe even an accuracy advantage, versus their enemies below... But I don't think that's how things work at the moment, right?
SCENARIO LINKS
Seelow'45 -> www.slitherine.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=313&t=55132
Normandy'44 -> www.slitherine.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=87&t=42094
Dieppe'42 -> www.slitherine.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=87&t=42347

Grimnirsson
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Re: BA Development News Feed

Post by Grimnirsson » Fri Aug 10, 2012 12:39 pm

Now that you ask, I don't know whether that is currently part of the game's engine but it would really bring BA pretty close to a sort of SL level WW2 sim. The game works fine and gives a convincing overall impression regarding what it does portray, but these two mentioned aspects are really missing. As you said Infantry and AT guns have no chance at the moment when tanks roar across the open. I am currently playing a MP scenario where I have to hold with the Allies a town/bridge (it's from the Bulge add on) and my opponent drives his superior tanks in clusters maximizing the firepower and I only can hope for some lucky shots by my Bazooka teams or the AT guns. But when tanks and enemy infs pass by and I didn't get that shot I have a real problem to move my guys to a new position without being spotted... and then they are toast.

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