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  #51  
Old 04-03-2012, 02:14 PM
djflippy djflippy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Raintitan View Post
Wow, great writeup. Is there a manual or reference? I understand how to play but I don't know how the simulation models things or the unit details.
THX. There is no documentation, but the tutorial video describes the core commands. Tooltips for the those functions would have been really helpful, because knowing those answers many of the questions people have, so I can walk people through them, if needed. There is also a forum, specific to this release, linked from Battlefront's homepage.

It may be non-obvious, but you don't need to know real-life weapon ranges and such, because they've built it into the current system.
  • Choosing the Crosshairs is your fire command
  • Drag the indicator onto an enemy
  • Distance to target is displayed, as is line-of-sight check
  • If "No LOS" is displayed, you don't currently have a fire opportunity
  • If the targeting line is black, you don't have LOS
  • If the line is red, you are out of range
  • If the line is yellow, fire away, you've got a clear shot
Also, be sure to hit the "i" information button, when a unit is selected, because it provides the squad loadout, which is essential.

Hope that helps!
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  #52  
Old 04-03-2012, 02:22 PM
Defard Defard is offline
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Sorry Bill but If the devs said "we aren't up to speed with IOS" or even "IOS market isn't our core demographic" then fine. But to say "the iPad can't hack it" doesn't hold water. At present we have a very low resolution, poor FPS (As in frames per second) with bugs galore and missing vital elements (icons for enemy units, notifications etc).

I urge the devs to take a page out of slitherines book, their game is excellent and with the retina update makes the iPad the only device I want to play it on.
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  #53  
Old 04-03-2012, 02:35 PM
djflippy djflippy is offline
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Originally Posted by Defard View Post
Sorry Bill but If the devs said "we aren't up to speed with IOS" or even "IOS market isn't our core demographic" then fine. But to say "the iPad can't hack it" doesn't hold water. At present we have a very low resolution, poor FPS (As in frames per second) with bugs galore and missing vital elements (icons for enemy units, notifications etc).

I urge the devs to take a page out of slitherines book, their game is excellent and with the retina update makes the iPad the only device I want to play it on.
Fair enough, but they also said the first update will include optimization to both framerate and calculation. Totally understand that people have to assess the game that is currently available, so I'm not arguing the point. I will say, though, that it's sort of a glass half empty scenario. You are free to look at it like a poor FPS, but another take is that it's a pen-and-paper wargame in which I get to move across the battlefield and see it from a soldier's eye view. If they would have made it a top-down only game, calculations would still be an issue, but framerate might not have been, because you don't have to render far out into miles of terrain. In that model, though, you entirely lose the troop perspective viewpoint. Everything is trade-offs; not everyone is going to agree with the trade-offs they made, that's a given, but they have pledged to address player concerns that are within their power to change. Can't ask for much more than that, IMO, but YMMV.
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  #54  
Old 04-03-2012, 02:51 PM
aceyprime aceyprime is offline
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djflippy: you seem pretty knowledgeable about wargames. Could you compare Combat Mission:Touch and Battle Academy? I know they're different price points but I'm interested in how the simulations differ. Is one more realistic? Do either have AIs that change their tactics in repeated plays of the same map? Do you find one more enjoyable than the other? Thanks for any insight you can offer.
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  #55  
Old 04-03-2012, 03:27 PM
DotComCTO DotComCTO is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Defard View Post
Sorry Bill but If the devs said "we aren't up to speed with IOS" or even "IOS market isn't our core demographic" then fine. But to say "the iPad can't hack it" doesn't hold water. At present we have a very low resolution, poor FPS (As in frames per second) with bugs galore and missing vital elements (icons for enemy units, notifications etc).
Here's what BF had to say about the iPad as a platform for the CM series:

Quote:
Most people vastly underestimate what is going on under the hood in CM, and how different it is from what happens in the typical FPS or RTS. CM is a simulation, using physics and algorithms to simulate outcomes on a vast battlefield, all going on at the same time. You can't fudge this like you can in most FPS or RTS, which simplify anything that isn't in your immediate view usually. That makes for some great graphics and gives the impression of bigger distances and events than what is really going on. CM doesn't have that luxury, not unless we begin watering down the sim aspect of the game (and we don't want that).

And once you grasp that, then the second thing most people forget is that as you increase your calculations and fidelity in a 3 dimensional space, the requirements do not simply double with the distance, but increase exponentially (in fact, they increase even more since we're taking into account different elevations, too)

CMTouch is somewhat simplified from CMBN in the simulation department, but not as much as you may think. It is still a true war simulation, not just an RTS clickfest, and tracks ballistics and other algorithms.

If anything it is amazing that Clay and team managed to get this to run on the iPads at all (and I know that they had to combat a lot of OOM errors in the process).
So, you need to understand that there's a lot going on under the covers, and that's why the BF team have said that even the old CMBO would not be able to run on the iPad.



--DotComCTO
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  #56  
Old 04-03-2012, 04:39 PM
Farmer Harv Farmer Harv is offline
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I've always been curious about how these new handheld devices stack up against older full blown computers. Waaaay back in 99 when the CM demo came out it ran on a Dell i8000 laptop* (which is amazingly still running fine today), and I wonder what the iPad is missing compared to that? Is it some essential bit of hardware (I'm guessing a FPU that wouldn't suck the life out of the battery in a minute), a purely software issue, or some combination of the two? Seems to me that my current iPad is far superior in every way to that old laptop, but if oldish titles like CM:BO won't run, there's gotta be a reason.

*PIII 800mhz, 128Mb Ram, ATI Rage Mobility at 1600x1200
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  #57  
Old 04-03-2012, 04:47 PM
DodgeV83 DodgeV83 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DotComCTO View Post
Here's what BF had to say about the iPad as a platform for the CM series:



So, you need to understand that there's a lot going on under the covers, and that's why the BF team have said that even the old CMBO would not be able to run on the iPad.



--DotComCTO
Meh. While I don't own the game, it seems the calculations take place once your turn is over...so why are the graphics so bad when you're planning out your moves?

It also seems that the calculations are generated into a static movie. There are no calculations being made during the movie/playback phase, so why are the graphics so bad?

Their explanations are valid for the calculating phase, without adequate processing power, this phase might become too long to manage (no one will wait 5 minutes between turns). And without adequate RAM, they may not be able to do the calculations at all.

Considering the graphical fidelity of other iOS games out there, I see no reason why the graphics look so bad during movie mode, where the army movements are already determined and you're simply controlling the camera.
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  #58  
Old 04-03-2012, 05:38 PM
Farmer Harv Farmer Harv is offline
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I *think* (and I could may well be wrong) the reason for the graphics being the way they are is because of the terrain engine. It doesn't use traditional squares or hexes, but is resolved down to a foot (yard?) or so both horizontally as well as vertically. Unlike many games where you are either higher or lower than the enemy by one or two elevations, in CM there could be dozens of terrain "steps" in both directions between you.

And as each little bit of terrain is used for LOS/LOF calculations, as well as also looking (relatively) pretty with no long distance fog or fading effects, it probably takes a big chunk of horsepower just by itself.

That was one of the big selling features of the original CM series...true 3D with no abstract hexes, squares or elevations in the tens of meters, and the terrain resolution seems even less granular with CM:T. It really is a WYSIWYG terrain engine.
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  #59  
Old 04-03-2012, 05:39 PM
Defard Defard is offline
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So an iPad with more memory, processing power and a slicker os can't do something that a turn of the century laptop could? I can't remember it even being processor intensive back then. As I said before I appreciate honesty from a dev (more so since the days of apps), this I just can swallow.
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  #60  
Old 04-03-2012, 06:02 PM
AaronLee AaronLee is offline
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For someone who has never played the original games, and is thus not tied down to the expectations attached to those games, how does this measure up as an original IOS game compared to similar IOS games? I watch videos and it looks pretty interesting, and I'm very forgiving with graphics so those don't bother me, but it can be hard to filter out the negative feedback that relates to the old gams, rather than negative feedback that is directed to this as purely and IOS app.
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