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PostPosted: Mon Dec 27, 2004 10:24 am 
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Joined: Mon Mar 29, 2004 12:32 am
Posts: 903
Location: Moscow, Russia
Gents!

Honestly I don't quite get why these really great scenarious are made on this outdated patch. I heard there was a kind of problem with new map building. So why HPS can't supply a kind of a new 1.08a or any other version that could allow one to make these maps, but also let us use these pretty small improvements?

Malorossiyskogo Grenaderskogo Polku
Podpolkovnik Anton Kosyanenko
2ya Grenaderskaya Diviziya,
8oi Pekhotnyi Korpus,
2ya Zapadnaya Armiya


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 28, 2004 11:11 am 
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Anton - I have given this thread a day or so to sit before I responded.

I will try and do my best to answer you in a friendly and honest manner.

This is an old issue but I dont mind giving each person their due.

For the consumer - his goal is to get as complete a package as possible. Some games in the gaming industry give you a full blown map editor, some dont. Folks like to mention Combat Mission, Steel Panthers, Age of Rifles as games that did this. I havent played the latter title and know that folks like things from that game. I have played the others and enjoy them alot.

Your criticism has some merit. We all agree that to have a Map Editor would really give the gamer more variety. The maps that we give you can only see so much play before some folks tire of them (one guy played Eckmuhl alot and finally burned out on it).

Thus yes, we dont give you the ability to build new maps.

Now I have been pretty candid with the rather obvious. Now on to answering your comments:

1. Your interpretation of the updates is "pretty small" - I differ with you. John has added in or corrected something in each that we felt merited a patch. In some cases the issue was a programming error (file size growing to large sizes), in some cases it was my error (incorrect OB file for one patch meant an "a" patch). On the other hand you cant call some of the fixes "pretty small" - for one the engineering ability was really needed, some would say it should have been in the game originally, was added to Wagram and is really a help. Totally accurate - no. However, it does solve one big problem in the game - I dont have to make up smaller maps for battles like Aspern-Essling and have the French arrive as reinforcements - I can now have the full blown battle on one map with the random bridge damage and bridge repair direct the flow of reinforcements. The latest fix for cavalry charges and the two options for cavalry and infantry to continue to melee is a big fix in my opinion. It changes the weak cavalry into a more potent arm. Most of us dont use the Infantry rule but it does have its merits in some of the sceanrios.

2. " Honestly I don't quite get why these really great scenarious are made on this outdated patch." You speak highly of the scenarios. I have played some of them and find them good. Great? Not sure if that is the expression I would use. They were built using the existing Scenario Editor that John provided for the Eckmuhl game. That title was meant to portray the 1809 campaign. Thus anyone trying to make a scenario that simulates fighting in the Peninsular needs more engine updates. There are things about the Peninsular that doesnt work with Eckmuhl. Thus the game's purpose has been supplanted and any time you try and do that it just doesnt work. You will never get the ice of Austerlitz falling through from cannon balls with the Eckmuhl game. Did you think that John should have all of the terrain types (Desert, woods, Spanish plain) simulated in one title? Age of Empires II does that. HPS does not. Sheesh, one hit on HPS I guess. However, I am playing Uncommon Valor by Matrix Games, its geared to WW2 Pacific combat in 1942 and I dont ask them to make me a map editor and combat units so I can simulate combat in 1944. The title was geared to a particular campaign and shouldnt be stretched to continue the war. It is a great game too! I have no bones about paying the bucks for it. Thus Eckmuhl cannot do for the desert what a game on the campaign of 1799 would do.

3. "So why HPS can't supply a kind of a new 1.08a or any other version that could allow one to make these maps" - we wont do this as it protects the interest of the other Scenario Designers. They are working on various titles and we dont want to jeopardize their royalties pay. I dont think that the efforts of the NIR Project or Cobexlaw have put a dent in our royalties - I do know that if we had given you a map editor and a full blown engine with updates every quarter that making up new campaign games would.

Now I will take a few moments and go back a few years. When I first started doing all of this I felt that it would be best just to make up a game that had all of what you wanted. A map editor, scenario editor, and so on. Just make up ONE game with many tile sets for the desert, plain, woods, etc. Have a OB editor and let the guys put their own games together.

What I found through some market checking was that those kinds of games are not being played much and therefore sales plummet. I like the way that HPS does business. The designer is not rushed to print. We dont set release dates (check out the Matrix site - they have delayed their games many months). It makes for a better climate.

Another thing I found was that you get support from us. Other companies release the title and are done with it after a year. We continue to update our products provided that John has the time.

We know that we cant compete with Microsoft for graphics, programming ability and so on. But in my mind our games are better because they LAST.

If we had produced a "Napoleonic War Engine" as I outline above you would have Cobexlaw and others for sure. But you wouldnt have guys like me doing more work on the titles I have put out.

So you sort of have a choice - have a company that puts out a game, drops it after one year with no support to follow or have a game SERIES that doesnt give you everything but plenty IMHO to fight the campaign that it portrays.

Our games have been played by many notable people such as David Chandler and others. They thought they were quite good.

I am willing to rest on that. If it was good enough for David Chandler and my good friend Bob who loves the system then I am satisfied.

Ok so here are some options that I thought out:

1. What if we made the full blown Napoleonic Engine game, complete with support and full map editors and just made the campaigns into modules that you would buy? Make a deal with John that the designer gets the lion share of the proceeds of the modules - John gets the major share of the royalties for the engine game. Now you only have one game to buy, can buy the modules whenever you like and so on. That wasnt a bad idea really. I would have prefered a full blown engine that did it all from the start. However, my idea of what "everything" is differs from what you view everything to be. Looking back though I would prefer to go this route. That way the merits of the designer come back to him from his work. The engine sales would go to John. The campaign sales would primarily go back to the designer. Any comments on the engine would be directed to John as each game wouldnt use its own engine. And John would have fewer updates too.

2. Similar to above but engine patches come via the modules. Ok - some folks would cry foul but it would help sell the modules too. Make them affordable - say 25 bucks. You get the product and the latest update as a new module is released.

3. As per #2 but add the update on the website. Loses some sales for the designer, consumers like this option better.

I wanted to be as honest on this issue as possible. Yes, its a thorn in the side for all of us. I would have liked to have gone a different route but the main thing is that its John's games in the long run.

Thus I will do whatever I can to enhance the product I have produced to make it as good as possible with the time I have.

I think that that is just cutting the iceberg on giving back to you guys for helping me to get a game out to print. I am still as excited about it as I was back in 1998 when I first worked on the Wagram battle module. We went down a route that many didnt like but for others we did ok.

Oberst-Lt Wilhelm Peters
2nd Kuirassiers, Austrian Army


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 28, 2004 11:03 pm 
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Joined: Mon Mar 29, 2004 12:32 am
Posts: 903
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Thanks for honesty, Bill!

As it was said in the Colonial tavern "there are as many views on the game as there are players"[:I]

Malorossiyskogo Grenaderskogo Polku
Podpolkovnik Anton Kosyanenko
2ya Grenaderskaya Diviziya,
8oi Pekhotnyi Korpus,
2ya Zapadnaya Armiya


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