Firefight

Firefight

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MelonenDealer Jul 12, 2016 @ 9:31am
Dynamic Campaign?
Hi, this is a little question to the Developer:

I just visited your Website to find out that a rather old Demo, apparently from the year 2010 (Version 5.0), is aviable there together with a quick Version history.
From what i could see the "old version" of this featured a dynamic Campaign system with randomly generated landscapes and the ability to buy and sell units.
I never realy liked the changes they have done to the campaign system in the newer Close Combat games with there predifined divisions on the campaign map. CC2 with its ability to buy troops and not always get on every front what you needed there realy hit my nerve back in the day.

So you can imagine that i was pretty excited to have found such a game that slipped under my Radar for 18 years. Not to mention that the gameplay in the demo feelt quite nice, especially because you seem to need much less micro for your guys than in CC duo to the fact that they actualy advanced rather intelligent utilizing cover when moving forward and also angle them selfes in such a way to effectively engage the enemy even without me directing them to do so. So AI wise the game seems to be pretty competent for the most parts. I even don´t mind the cutting out of the varios move stances in comparison to CC. Move, with an realy helpfull angling and spreading option, and a fire command seems quite fine to me. An Acual hold fire option for laying ambushes would be quite nice though, cause the cease fire button seems to only cancel the current fire order.

But lets get back to the topic. After playing the demo i was realy excited to buy the game here on Steam just to find out that you can only play predifined Scenarios.
Soooo are there any plans of adding this feature to the "new version" of the game and what did also got changed in comparison to V5.0?
Last edited by MelonenDealer; Jul 12, 2016 @ 9:45am
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Showing 1-15 of 27 comments
gazomierz Jul 12, 2016 @ 9:39am 
I second that. Some form of campaign would be great addition. Even if only using already existing maps it will still help player build connection with units and put more meaning to outcome of scenarios.
Herodotus Jul 12, 2016 @ 9:52am 
Played the demo as well, and have to say I have more questions than I did prior to playing it.

Is the full game Windowed (no fullscreen)?
Is the lack of unit options still in place (Hold Fire, Sneak and Lay Smoke)?
Is there zoom (which it appears there is in screenshots)?
Why Set Campaigns - does this mean DLC?

Has the full release changed that much from the barebones demo?
Last edited by Herodotus; Jul 12, 2016 @ 9:57am
MelonenDealer Jul 12, 2016 @ 10:04am 
Originally posted by Herodotus:
Played the demo as well, and have to say I have more questions than I did prior to playing it.

Is the full game Windowed (no fullscreen)?
Is the lack of unit options still in place (Hold Fire, Sneak and Lay Smoke)?
Is there zoom (which it appears there is in screenshots)?
Why Set Campaigns - does this mean DLC?

Has the full release changed that much from the barebones demo?

After reading a little bit in the game forum it seems to me, that this is the iOS port of the game. He said there, that he will eventualy port it to the PC: http://www.windowsgames.co.uk/forum/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=4717 (last post)

The screenshots in the Appstore sure look like the Steam version:
https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/firefight-ww2/id883314282?mt=8

This would also explain why this version is much cheeper than the one on his Website ;-)

Last edited by MelonenDealer; Jul 12, 2016 @ 10:06am
Herodotus Jul 12, 2016 @ 10:09am 
Originally posted by MelonenDealer:
Originally posted by Herodotus:
Played the demo as well, and have to say I have more questions than I did prior to playing it.

Is the full game Windowed (no fullscreen)?
Is the lack of unit options still in place (Hold Fire, Sneak and Lay Smoke)?
Is there zoom (which it appears there is in screenshots)?
Why Set Campaigns - does this mean DLC?

Has the full release changed that much from the barebones demo?

After reading a little bit in the game forum it seems to me, that this is the iOS port of the game. He said there, that he will eventualy port it to the PC: http://www.windowsgames.co.uk/forum/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=4717 (last post)

The screenshots in the Appstore sure look like the Steam version:
https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/firefight-ww2/id883314282?mt=8

This would also explain why this version is much cheeper than the one on his Website ;-)
I note how he says the PC port will be "considerably better". But how so? I have absolutely nothing against mobile ports, unlike some, and find them a good compromise and well-priced. I have both what would be termed 'grognard' games and mobile ports sitting happily alongside one another - Slitherine with HexWar Games for example.

But, I need more information than what is on display - and where's Sean considering it's launch time?
lil_misfit Jul 12, 2016 @ 10:11am 
So, should I buy the one on steam or his website? I've heard the one on his website has more replayability.
MelonenDealer Jul 12, 2016 @ 10:15am 
Originally posted by †lil_misfit†:
So, should I buy the one on steam or his website? I've heard the one on his website has more replayability.

What about we wait and see, what the developer actually has to say.
I for my part would happily pay the 20$ for his game directly on the website if it means that i can get both versions and if he updates the new game with features like the beforementioned dynamic campaign system.
Last edited by MelonenDealer; Jul 12, 2016 @ 10:21am
BHunterSEAL Jul 12, 2016 @ 6:36pm 
The Steam version is definitely the iPad version (albeit without iAPs). I bought this hoping it would integrate the dynamic campaign features from the old Windows game; this isn't the case, at least so far.

I agree some clarification on this from the dev would be nice. Unfortunately the basic design / engine appears to have evolved to focus on handmade maps rather than the original generated content.

I'd urge the dev to try and work out a campaign mode, since playing the standalone scenarios feels a little pointless in a vacuum.
Sean O  [developer] Jul 13, 2016 @ 2:16am 
The original Windows version (which is $20 on my website or free for the demo) is a very old game I first released back in 1998. It still uses GDI graphics and not DirectX so the frame rate is something like just 10fps. It does have random maps that the game creates itself but that does make the quality of them pretty poor compared to hand drawn maps and they all tend to get a bit samey after a while. It does have a campaign feature so you can play through maps until the war ends or you die. There is a feature where you can choose the units you want to play with and what nationality and date the scenario is.

I was originally going to do a straight port of the Windows version to iOS but then I decided the game could be so much better I started again from scratch. Upping the frame rate to the maximum 60fps means that bullets and shells zip across the screen at the actual authentic speed that they would have done. I added route finding (tanks in the old Windows version drive straight through houses and trees and won't follow roads). Vehicles also have a simple physics engine so they drive authentically. Watch a Sherman tank in Close Combat turn on the spot and then drive off - almost no WW2 tank could turn on the spot and it's a real cop-out if the programmer settled for that. I used hand draw maps because I thought the quality of the random maps just wasn't up to modern standards. The AI is also much improved and much more detailed.

The new Steam Windows version is a direct port of the iOS version from Objective C to C++ and uses SDL for the graphics and sound. The only thing it doesn't have is the networking in the iOS version but all the code is there and I just need to wire it up so that should be available in an update soon. I'll also add a feature to choose your own units/nationality/date. The only reason that's missing from the iOS version is that I thought iPad screens would be too small to have all the user interface lists and buttons etc.., that would be needed to select things. I'll add a mission debrief at the end of the game too. I'd also like to add more options for controlling your squads. On a small iPad screen there just wasn't much space for that and there's no such thing as a right click.

I'll also be looking into getting more hand drawn maps created and the Eastern front added too. After drawing the map background image the trees, buildings, objects, sheep etc... and the scenarios are created on a Windows app I wrote which I'll tidy up and release for free so people can create their own maps. The tank editor for modifying and creating tank info is also a Windows app which I'll release.

Please let me know if there are any other things you'd like me to add for future updates!
gazomierz Jul 13, 2016 @ 2:39am 
Great news. I'm not the OP but thank you for answering anyways.

If I may make a few suggestions. As the Close Combat is clear inspiration for this game I think model of campaign similar to one used in CC3:Iron Cross would be very fitting here. It could use existing maps on rotation. Building connection to your army and feeling of continuity is what players look for in campaign mode, me thinks. And consequence of your actions as buying units, unit experience and such. If that would be done some "battle history" for each unit would be nice addition, in how many battles it took part and how it performed (kills, VPs conquered, such things).

I'm very glad you're willing to add more control options for units. Stances would be great, that's smth that added a lot of depth to CC system (Defend, Ambush etc.). Different move orders would be nice also, at least Sneak command is really needed.

I would also like to see different color (of movement indicator and unit outline) for each unit under player control. Sometimes it can get rather chaotic and it's hard to tell which order is for what unit when you want to change it quickly. Or maybe draw a faded line from unit to its destination. Some indicator would be really helpfull.

If I may I would suggest on focusing on mechanics right now. Game is quite good but it's pretty basic right now. Scenarios available provide enough diversification. As much as I'd love to see more of them and campaign mode I much prefer mechanics get tweaked first.

Just my two cents.

Great game with potential to be even better.. Keep up the good work :D
KajFlo Jul 13, 2016 @ 3:57am 
Is suppression simulated ?
Can infantry surrender?
Are mortars there or only off map artillery?

Can infantry use smoke ?

Are there only basic squads or more types of infantry like a HMG team, a bazooka team or a sniper team ?

Thanks
Last edited by KajFlo; Jul 13, 2016 @ 3:57am
MelonenDealer Jul 13, 2016 @ 4:56am 
Originally posted by Sean O:
Please let me know if there are any other things you'd like me to add for future updates!

Here my little list, mostly based around things that i noticed about the UI since i didn't hat the time yet to really dug myself into the game:

I.) While i find it nice that every individual soldier has its own stats like Heartbeat frequency and its lactat value, i would find it very helpfull to get indicators like those directly when looking at the unit symbol on the map generalized for all units in that group. Just to give me a very quick look how my guys are doing.

II.) It would also be nice to get those status bars embeded in the symbols of every individual soldier on the bottom right tab, so that i don´t need to select every individual to get infos about it's ammo, suppression, etc. For the PC version it would also be worth checking if something like the layout from the old game where you could see the status of all your units at once would be an nice option since the PC don't have the screensize limitations of an smartphone or tablet.
In addition, when pressing the spacebar these Markers should also be visable on all soldiers directly on the battlefield.

III.) A simple bar that ranges from lets say 0 to 100 for a units current suppression or a simple symbol that changes colour ranging from not suppressed (green or no symbol) to "♥♥♥♥ why did no one said to me that the Enemy actualy shoots back in a war" ;) (red symbol) would also be much nicer than its heartbeat.
I mean everyone can guess that a faster heartbeat means the unit is more suppressed, but does a heartbeat of lets say 120 mean the unit is near its breaking point or is it still in decent shape?
It's just harder to read if you are new to the game i feel.

IV.) Having at least an "sneak" or "move carefully" stance in the game could be nice, but im not 100% sure about that since it seems already quite hard to realy spot an enemy and not just the probable location of an enemy troop.

V.) Make keybord shortcuts!

VI.) Get rid of the "keep holding down the right mouse button" for the aim marker to appear and "pressing down and holding the left one" for giving the fire command. A simple click on the fire button or keybord shortcut should be enough to bring the marker and then just click once to give the order.

VII.) Also give us range information when in fire mode.

VIII.) Height informations for the current cursor position would also be a nice addtion. Even with the Heigth lines it's kinda hard to know if my units will have a clear view from that rigde to the position i want them to fire.

IX.) If possible ad an option like in Graviteam Tactics: Mius Front that allows us to actualy get an idea what my unit can see from its current position.

X.) Sometimes my tank commander seems to think he can just rush over the rigde even though i placed the marker a few meters away from it. While i like it that they try to position themselfes to engage the enemy, i would sometimes like it even more to simple give them an order to plonk there asses directly onto the marker and stay there, if it is all possible.

XI.) Adding smoke grenades to infantry units and a few Tanks with the ability to directly command the use of said grenades would be nice.

XII.) Command units which give nearby units bonuses to there Moral and shooting skills or causes panick if said unit is killed would also be cool.

XIII.) Can you make it, when an soldier gets killed, another one from the squad will take its Weapon if its better than the current (if for example your LMG dies) and take ammo if the poor guy held the same weapon.

XIV.) Dynamic Campaign system with taking units from mission to mission racking up XP and stuff, bluhdiblah...That was kinda the idea of this whole topic wasn't it.

So thats it for the suggestions i have so far. Now onto some questions :D

I.) Do the Tanks have an actual damage system or means a penetration its certain death? So far my tanks, and the enemy ones only got one-shotted. Is Tank angling a thing in this game?

II.) I wasn't able to test this yet, so how does infantry with no or only improvised AT weaponry (if things like Molotov's or "Gebalte Ladungen" are already in the game that is) do perform in close combat against Tanks and other fighting vehicles like the German Sd.Kfz. 250/251? Can they take them out or at least damage them with their grenades?

III.) I know that from the 2 bars next to the Heartbeat the left one (green) must be its stamina (or lactat level whats it called here) but what does the one on the right (yellow) do?
Last edited by MelonenDealer; Jul 13, 2016 @ 11:21am
Herodotus Jul 13, 2016 @ 5:23pm 
Originally posted by gazomierz:
Great news. I'm not the OP but thank you for answering anyways.

If I may make a few suggestions. As the Close Combat is clear inspiration for this game I think model of campaign similar to one used in CC3:Iron Cross would be very fitting here. It could use existing maps on rotation.
The Dev stated elsewhere that he hadn't seen "Close Combat" till after making this game, so it wasn't apparently an inspiration. I find that hard to believe as the first "Close Combat" came out in the early-to-mid '90's published by Microsoft (a far more intense and up close and personal experience where the inside of a church might take up one whole map). If you missed that you'd have to have been living in a cave, and this game is far too close to the sequels in looks to demand we pretend they are entirely different games.

"CC 3" was the most popular in the series, now re-released as "Cross of Iron", with 4&5 getting rather average reviews - even when re-released as the misnamed "Wacht am Rhein" (the actual operation was named "Autumn Mist" - like getting Desert Shield and Storm mixed up) and the superb "The Longest Day".
My favourite though will always be the now re-released and enhanced "A Bridge Too Far", or "Close Combat 2" as it was ortigianllly known, when also published by Microsoft.

Still, Sean say he never saw CC before making this, and I won't chalenge anyone's word. Just a bit odd.
Last edited by Herodotus; Jul 13, 2016 @ 5:24pm
gazomierz Jul 14, 2016 @ 12:40am 
I'll admit I haven't been following this game for any stretch time. I just saw it on Steam and bought it as I love CC to this day. CC is used in the game description on Steamstore and to anyone who played any part of the series that's first thing that comes to mind when you look at Firefight. It's basicly CC clone just stripped of options and a lot of depth.

So let me rephrase what I said. Use CC as inspiration, there's no need to reinvent the wheel. Implement mechanics that made CC classic it definietly is. There's no shame in looking to the best for inspiration and I doubt anyone would hold it against the dev if he did just that. Untill then I'm going back to frozen steppes of Russia, meadows of Netherlands and loads and loads of dead cows ;)

Cheers!
Last edited by gazomierz; Jul 14, 2016 @ 12:41am
BHunterSEAL Jul 14, 2016 @ 11:18am 
Just so no one has the wrong idea about the dev: according to the site, Sean started on Firefight in 1997, releasing it in 1998. CCIII didn't come out until December 31st of that year; it was the first game in the series to follow a single battlegroup across multiple operations over the course of the war. So I don't think it's fair to accuse him of stealing the campaign mechanic, especially since the concept has been around since wargames were calculating terminal ballistics with a D6.

Glad to see the dev respond to some of these questions here. I totally understand the decision to move from random to handmade maps. There's definitely a lot of good content in this release, I bought almost every map released to the iPad version. Between Firefight, Battle Academy (which, by the way, uses a lot of the weapon sounds and soldier speech from the CC games) and Panzer Corps I was able to make it through 100+ hours of flight time last year without attempting to jump out of an exit door mid-flight.

As a PC game it feels a bit lacking though, mostly because I thought the campaign layer of the original added so much. Something like the old force pool system--valuing each unit and allowing the player to manage a persistent force over time--would at a ton of depth. Since scenarios tend to be localized in certain areas of maps, you could probably string a campaign together in random order and have it run quite a while before getting repetitive. If you wanted to get more intricate, I think there's definitely potential for a linear "tug of war" style map progression, similar to what CCIII had.

Originally posted by Herodotus:

"CC 3" was the most popular in the series, now re-released as "Cross of Iron", with 4&5 getting rather average reviews - even when re-released as the misnamed "Wacht am Rhein" (the actual operation was named "Autumn Mist" - like getting Desert Shield and Storm mixed up) ...

I think you may have fallen for a bit of wartime deception: OKW used the Wacht am Rhein codename throughout the planning process for the offensive, in an attempt to mislead Allied intelligence into expecting more of a Desert Shield than a Desert Storm. Unternehmen Herbstnebel was an alternative, more conservative plan developed independently by Army Group B under Model, who correctly viewed OKW's goal of breaking through to Antwerp as sheer lunacy. But ultimately his Autumn Mist proposal was completely rejected by Hitler in favor of Wacht am Rhein and was never carried out.
Last edited by BHunterSEAL; Jul 14, 2016 @ 11:19am
gazomierz Jul 14, 2016 @ 11:27am 
Firstly, we don't accuse dev of anything. But CC naturally comes to mind when you look at Firefight for anyone familiar with the series, it's even mentioned on steamstore. All we did is gave our insight how to improve the game and what features each of us would like to see implemented. Imho it's valuable feedback.

Secondly, you got your quote wrong. Only "Great news" part was said by me :)
Last edited by gazomierz; Jul 14, 2016 @ 11:29am
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