Why "3D" Graphics Will Never be Good for PzC

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Rudankort
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Re: Why "3D" Graphics Will Never be Good for PzC

Post by Rudankort » Thu Aug 02, 2018 11:28 am

proline wrote:
Thu Aug 02, 2018 6:06 am
In PzC you can tell the difference between hills and plains because the former have trees growing on them.
Some hills in Panzer Corps do not include trees, but they still work, because their shape is clear. Incidentally, shadows on the hills in Panzer Corps were rendered from 3D.
proline wrote:
Thu Aug 02, 2018 6:06 am
See, not everything needs to be solved with shadows? Maybe turn the damn things off completely for a while so you can focus on other types of visual cues. It’s just too damn easy to be all shadow this, shadow that.
Thanks for suggestion, but we have enough unsolved problems to worry about. Trees have very little association with hills and are present in too many other terrains to be a good cue. Especially when hilly hex is surrounded by forest.

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Re: Why "3D" Graphics Will Never be Good for PzC

Post by DeMeza » Thu Aug 02, 2018 11:32 am

Rudankort wrote:
Mon Jul 30, 2018 2:22 pm
Thanks for you kind words guys, and I'm very much interested in hearing more opinions on the issues we are discussing in this thread, so please don't hold it back. ;)
DeMeza wrote:
Sun Jul 29, 2018 5:42 pm
I am a professional Army officer. And PzC isn't easy to play. You have to handle recon, armour, infantry, artillery and engineers. Logistics are played for you, but there are still some basic rules you have to master. And to really succeed, you have to conduct joint operations (air, land and sea).
Interesting insight. So just to make it clear, do you think it's difficult to grasp game rules and controls, or is it difficult to win a given mission? The difficulty of some missions can of course be very high, not to mention things like competitive play in the current tournament.
I think that the game does a pretty good job at reflecting how hard the sequencing and synchronisation of joint operations can be. The rules of the game are pretty straightforward, but you need to consider a lot of factors to actually succeed. And you need timing.

One of the more difficult scenarios in my opinion is Oboyan. I had to advance in two axis, destroying quite powerful ground forces while winning and maintaining air superiority. The western axis had to perform a crossing during the advance, before I concentrated my units for the assault at the northern most city of Oboyan. Oh, and the assault itself involved two crossings to simultaneously gain control of the victory hexes and secure the flanks from various counterattacks.

Another is a scenario from GC 1944, where German forces have to defend on a very wide front. This can only be done by concentrating mobile and armoured forces in a series of decisive counterattacks, while deploying just enough stationary forces to defend vital key terrain and delay the Russian onslaught to allow own forces to catch up and attack in flank and rear. And while doing all this, you have to maintain at least local air superiority to defend your own moving counterattacking forces and to be able to destroy the enemy’s advancing forces.

These two scenarios represent the player with genuine operational challenges and dilemmas - not because of hard-to-grasp rules imposed by the game, but because PzC is built in such a way that the principles of war actually have to be applied.

Now, if you also built an AI capable of performing delaying action...

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Re: Why "3D" Graphics Will Never be Good for PzC

Post by proline » Thu Aug 02, 2018 2:23 pm

Rudankort wrote:
Thu Aug 02, 2018 11:28 am
Some hills in Panzer Corps do not include trees, but they still work, because their shape is clear. Incidentally, shadows on the hills in Panzer Corps were rendered from 3D.
Sure, there are shadows in PzC, but that game wasn't 100% dependent on them. Hills in PzC2 are basically just shadow generators with maybe a hint of lighter coloring on them. As you said, if you light them from above they vanish. That's poor design. In real life, hills provide tons of visual cues that they are hills even when they aren't casting a shadow. The vegetation changes on them as you go up, streams flow down and between them, rocks are often exposed in their faces, roads often go around them or wind up them, etc. There are so many possibilities.

You could also differentiate the plains. The citizens of PzC farm flat terrain with fences and barns and stuff. Kind of like real humans. In PzC2 open terrain is basically just a giant lawn.

As the saying goes, to a man with a hammer everything looks like a nail. When you have a 3D engine and some really huge shadows it's way too easy to try to make every design issue about them.

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Re: Why "3D" Graphics Will Never be Good for PzC

Post by Rudankort » Thu Aug 02, 2018 3:26 pm

proline wrote:
Thu Aug 02, 2018 2:23 pm
Hills in PzC2 are basically just shadow generators with maybe a hint of lighter coloring on them. As you said, if you light them from above they vanish. That's poor design.
If it is good enough for Civ 6, I can live with it too. At least until we run out of other things to do.
proline wrote:
Thu Aug 02, 2018 2:23 pm
In real life, hills provide tons of visual cues that they are hills even when they aren't casting a shadow. The vegetation changes on them as you go up, streams flow down and between them, rocks are often exposed in their faces, roads often go around them or wind up them, etc. There are so many possibilities.
One of our design goals was to make all terrain types very clearly distinctive, because they play an important role in gameplay. We used to have rock on the hills and deliberately got rid of it, so it remains the characteristic feature of mountains and escarpments. I'm considering adding forested hills to the game, which will "combine" the difficulties of hilly and forested terrains, and those will be covered with forest. But the hills we have now are bare and are not supposed to show any significant vegetation. Water is a feature of rivers and swamps (and also muddy ground state), so it is not used anywhere else in dry skin. Etc. It's a game, not a photo realistic earth simulation. :)

But for the record, if you look at this screenshot, you will notice certain folds on the sides of the hills, which could be a result of streams going down. So, the texture is also not exactly the same as clear grass.
proline wrote:
Thu Aug 02, 2018 2:23 pm
You could also differentiate the plains. The citizens of PzC farm flat terrain with fences and barns and stuff. Kind of like real humans.
I looked through a number of PzC maps and did not find any barns or fences there. We are considering to add them in PzC2, but it is low priority. Terrain you see now is good enough to kick off testing, while making it "more beautiful" can wait.
proline wrote:
Thu Aug 02, 2018 2:23 pm
In PzC2 open terrain is basically just a giant lawn.
Except where there is countryside. As an example, there is a lot of countryside on dev diary screenshot, in the right part of the map. Basically, this is the same approach Panzer Corps used for open areas of the map. For the record, I agree that it is not ideal right now, so we keep searching for ways to make these areas more interesting.
proline wrote:
Thu Aug 02, 2018 2:23 pm
As the saying goes, to a man with a hammer everything looks like a nail. When you have a 3D engine and some really huge shadows it's way too easy to try to make every design issue about them.
I fail to see connection between this quote and PzC2 terrain. Hills (and dunes) are the only terrains which rely on shadows to show their shape, and this is what makes them different from most other terrains. All "flat" terrain, like clear, countryside, bocage, rough, forest, thick forest, swamps, cities, towns, villages, ports, airfields, rivers and roads - do not rely on "really huge shadows" at all. Mountains have them obviously, but they also have enough other visual cues, like characteristic shape, rocky texture and snow.

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Re: Why "3D" Graphics Will Never be Good for PzC

Post by Rudankort » Thu Aug 02, 2018 5:31 pm

DeMeza, many thanks for the in-depth reply. It's especially interesting to hear an opinion of a professional army officer.
DeMeza wrote:
Sun Jul 29, 2018 5:42 pm
Now, if you also built an AI capable of performing delaying action...
This is challenging to do, but we will try our best.

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Re: Why "3D" Graphics Will Never be Good for PzC

Post by captainjack » Fri Aug 03, 2018 10:22 pm

Rudankort wrote:
Thu Aug 02, 2018 5:31 pm
DeMeza wrote: ↑
29 Jul 2018 17:42
Now, if you also built an AI capable of performing delaying action...

This is challenging to do, but we will try our best.
viewtopic.php?f=464&t=85955

The movement scripts I suggested could help with delaying actions by allowing units to retreat in a coherent fashion and don't look like they'd need a big change to AI controls.

Allowing scripts to change unit orders by name could also allow group of units to be scripted on alternate turns to retreat then hold and fire the next.

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Re: Why "3D" Graphics Will Never be Good for PzC

Post by AnalogGamer » Sun Aug 05, 2018 2:08 pm

One of the options that I would like to see is variable fog of war.

Example - A unit has a spotting ability of two hexes. An enemy unit is seen two hexes away. Only the unit type is known at that range... armor/inf/etc. The detailed info is NOT known (specific unit/strength/exp/etc.) unless you get next to it or on top of it with a plane.

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Re: Why "3D" Graphics Will Never be Good for PzC

Post by Rudankort » Mon Aug 06, 2018 10:47 am

captainjack wrote:
Fri Aug 03, 2018 10:22 pm
viewtopic.php?f=464&t=85955

The movement scripts I suggested could help with delaying actions by allowing units to retreat in a coherent fashion and don't look like they'd need a big change to AI controls.

Allowing scripts to change unit orders by name could also allow group of units to be scripted on alternate turns to retreat then hold and fire the next.
These are great suggestions, and some of them are already in, but this is not AI per se. :) We need the AI to be smart on its own.

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Re: Why "3D" Graphics Will Never be Good for PzC

Post by Rudankort » Mon Aug 06, 2018 10:49 am

AnalogGamer wrote:
Sun Aug 05, 2018 2:08 pm
One of the options that I would like to see is variable fog of war.

Example - A unit has a spotting ability of two hexes. An enemy unit is seen two hexes away. Only the unit type is known at that range... armor/inf/etc. The detailed info is NOT known (specific unit/strength/exp/etc.) unless you get next to it or on top of it with a plane.
This can probably be made as an option. But I wonder if this will make the game more interesting, or simply increase the level of uncertainty and force the player to make more decisions with insufficient knowledge of the situation? I know this is realistic, but from my experience, people prefer less uncertainty in games.

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Re: Why "3D" Graphics Will Never be Good for PzC

Post by proline » Tue Aug 07, 2018 4:26 am

Rudankort wrote:
Mon Aug 06, 2018 10:49 am
AnalogGamer wrote:
Sun Aug 05, 2018 2:08 pm
One of the options that I would like to see is variable fog of war.

Example - A unit has a spotting ability of two hexes. An enemy unit is seen two hexes away. Only the unit type is known at that range... armor/inf/etc. The detailed info is NOT known (specific unit/strength/exp/etc.) unless you get next to it or on top of it with a plane.
This can probably be made as an option. But I wonder if this will make the game more interesting, or simply increase the level of uncertainty and force the player to make more decisions with insufficient knowledge of the situation? I know this is realistic, but from my experience, people prefer less uncertainty in games.
The idea you're responding to probably wouldn't be much fun, but blockable sight lines might be. E.g. regular units on flat terrain should only be able to see hex into forest/mountains/hills. If they are on a hill themselves, then they could see over hills to their regular distance. Recon would be exempt. This would give the recon class a little more utility. One of the issues in PzC is that a tank with a sight hero can see just as far as a recon while being far more useful in so many other ways. This idea wouldn't really harm most non-hero non-recon units as their sight range is normally 2, and this proposal wouldn't reduce it below 1. Conversely, this could be implemented as a +1 vision bonus for a unit on elevated terrain. It would likewise give recon a way to become more useful without affecting the status quo at all.

Along similar lines, a +1 range for artillery on hills or +2 on mountains would add some strategy to positioning artillery.

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Re: Why "3D" Graphics Will Never be Good for PzC

Post by JaM2013 » Tue Aug 07, 2018 2:32 pm

Personally, i think the biggest problem with 3D is the matter of perspective... some units are way too big (infantry units composed of three figures) while others are extremely small (battleships).. plus add terrain features, flat cities etc and overall it doesnt look anyhow better than good old Panzer Corps...
Image

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3D is a bad move learn from history

Post by jdarocha » Sat Aug 11, 2018 1:59 pm

I have been reading this post with great interest, as I was thinking about the move to 3D for Panzer Corps and just cringing.

All that needs to be said about the disadvantages of moving this excellent game to 3D has been said by fans and grognards of the series. Remember, Panzer Corps is a niche market and will always be so, it won’t break out into mainstream just because it will be offered in 3D.

What finally made me quit the Panzer General series was this;
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Re: 3D is a bad move learn from history

Post by terminator » Sun Aug 12, 2018 6:41 am

Halder wrote:
Sat Aug 11, 2018 1:59 pm
I have been reading this post with great interest, as I was thinking about the move to 3D for Panzer Corps and just cringing.

All that needs to be said about the disadvantages of moving this excellent game to 3D has been said by fans and grognards of the series. Remember, Panzer Corps is a niche market and will always be so, it won’t break out into mainstream just because it will be offered in 3D.

What finally made me quit the Panzer General series was this;
For me, it is not the change towards the 3D which was most important in this game (Panzer General 3D Assault). What was the most important, it is the change of the mechanism of the game.
What makes that a game of strategy is better than an other one, it is not only the graphics (appearances can be deceiving).

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Re: Why "3D" Graphics Will Never be Good for PzC

Post by bcnkor5 » Wed Aug 15, 2018 4:46 pm

proline wrote:
Thu Jul 19, 2018 9:21 pm
In previous threads, many have expressed skepticism about 3D graphics, but few have put their finger on why such graphics are bad. Here I will show exactly why they won't work well, and why they can never work well.
Image

Another point to see things like this Real Megamod: viewtopic.php?f=147&t=70418

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Re: Why "3D" Graphics Will Never be Good for PzC

Post by Elkarlo » Fri Aug 17, 2018 8:58 am

As long as you can switch to a 2D like mode, I'm cool.
Also I'd like to see alternative history scenarios. Like a Kursk where how well or how badly you did at Stalingrad and Kharkov impacts the situation. Plus if you win or kinda win there shouldn't be a retreat. Maybe some limited offensives. I'd like to see the Germans try to hold the rivers in 44 or even some limited offensive drives

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Re: Why "3D" Graphics Will Never be Good for PzC

Post by auda » Sat Aug 18, 2018 10:30 am

Yrfin wrote:
Tue Jul 31, 2018 8:19 pm
Intenso82 wrote:
Tue Jul 31, 2018 7:50 pm
It's more interesting to move units by yourself in manual turn-based mode, even if there are 500-700 units. In this case, there is a tactical, operational and strategic component together.
In any case for me. :)
Its only for you. Manual move 700 units - for Crazy Zadrots.
Nobody will be play that way. Sorry.
That's where you're wrong, pal. The highlight of my HOI3 (BlackIce) playthrough was assuming the role of a micromanager supreme commander in the east :) moving all 300 divisions, air units, naval and rear area security by hand, individually. It is impossible for me to leave such a crucial operational task to the headbutting AI.

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Re: Why "3D" Graphics Will Never be Good for PzC

Post by proline » Mon Aug 20, 2018 4:21 am

Elkarlo wrote:
Fri Aug 17, 2018 8:58 am
As long as you can switch to a 2D like mode, I'm cool.
There's no evidence whatsoever that a 2D like mode is under development.

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Re: Why "3D" Graphics Will Never be Good for PzC

Post by Elkarlo » Tue Aug 21, 2018 8:41 am

proline wrote:
Mon Aug 20, 2018 4:21 am

There's no evidence whatsoever that a 2D like mode is under development.
Honestly I'd rather just have more scenarios and have them impact each other more, then

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Re: Why "3D" Graphics Will Never be Good for PzC

Post by vonkrieger » Thu Sep 13, 2018 10:30 am

This is an interesting discussion to me as I recently switched from playing an Order of Battle campaign to one in Panzer Corps and noted the following:

- Units in PC far easier to identify and recognize. This matters more and more the larger the battle.
- Art style in PC much more pleasing to the eye, has an authentic quality that really enhances the immersion of game-play for me and makes it feel more akin to a tabletop experience.
- Glitches and stuttering that can hide potentially important events happen in both games but are far less common in PC. The fact that they still happen in PC makes me worry very much for PC2.
- In large battles OOB can become very confusing as the CPU can't process the 3D animations and AI moves at the same time to save its life.

All that being true I think I would be lying however if I didn't appreciate the little touches the graphics bring in Order of Battle, torpedo attacks for example are fun to watch.

Ultimately I feel if they have the art design and technical ability to mitigate the two huge drawbacks of going 3D I think it could be fine. Realistically speaking however and understanding how long it took OOB to get to semi reliable state (still crashes on my laptop) it's hard to look at a move to 3D as anything but a bad one.

Hope to be proved wrong!

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Re: Why "3D" Graphics Will Never be Good for PzC

Post by terminator » Thu Sep 13, 2018 1:57 pm

vonkrieger wrote:
Thu Sep 13, 2018 10:30 am
This is an interesting discussion to me as I recently switched from playing an Order of Battle campaign to one in Panzer Corps and noted the following:
- Units in PC far easier to identify and recognize. This matters more and more the larger the battle.
Hope to be proved wrong!
I play both games but I have no particular problem to recognize the units in Order of Battle. There is a zoom in Order of Battle which it is necessary to use.
The problem comes from small units with one eternal question for all the games in 2D or 3D : is it necessary to represent the small units to the real scale by risking to return them more difficult to see ?

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