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John Osborne
31 Oct 03, 10:11
Does ATF have the capabilities to do a PBEM? I didn't see it at the start up of the game nor does it mentions about it in the manual. Could it be added as a patch by ProSim, if it could?

If not, will it have the capabilities in the up coming games? I.e. Raging Tiger, Thunder and Lighting, and soon I hope AATF.

KG_Norad
31 Oct 03, 10:37
No...

If you look through our previous posts I have been subtly urging the good Captain to add this capability! :cry:

Michael

Pat Proctor
31 Oct 03, 10:59
John,

I have been doing the preliminary investigation for a "turn-based" version of ATF (it would be a "WEGO" format with 1 or 2 minute turns). This is a pre-requisite to pbem and, if we add the capability, we will almost certainly add pbem.

My concern is that the average game consumes 3 hours of game time, and, during that time, there are a lot of periods of no action, followed by periods of more action than you can track at one time. I am concerned that 2 minutes is too short for half the game and too long for the other half.

KG_Norad
31 Oct 03, 11:59
My suggestion...

Add it anyway.
Some game is better then no game.
Second I am in complete agreement with your observations...as most of the scenarios now stand.

Which ever product you decide to release with this option however, can take those concerns into consideration and have a few PBEM friendly scenarios included! The community can then pick up the slack to add more!

Air Mobile transport is pretty fast after all, so is armored movement. Just avoid scenrarios where dimounts have to trek several miles to the objective ;)

Thanks!
Michael

John Osborne
31 Oct 03, 14:43
I have to agree with NORAD. And I have played some PBEM games where it was three hours long but it depends on how fast a player can play his turn and send it back. I have seen some where it was just an hour game to take almost two to three weeks to play due to players schedules.

I would think that it would help in the game itself. Some players would love to play a PBEM instead of a mulitiplayer game. :D I know I would.

kbluck
31 Oct 03, 18:01
I have an off-the-cuff suggestion about the play pacing...

Instead of a fixed-length turn, do a "run until interrupted" thing. When they finish their turn, let each player specify how long they are comfortable allowing the other player to run until a "checkup" is called. Then the other player is allowed to run his timer until that condition occurs. Any of several conditions could be specified to break the other side's turn --- elapsed time, new spot with option for what type of unit is spotted, incoming fire, etc. During the time the other player is running, everything on your side goes on automatic.

This allows the play to adapt neatly to the pace of the game at any given time. When the action is slow, turns could conceivably be hours of game time. When action is fast, turns might be just a couple of seconds.

The key point here is that only one side is actually controlling their forces at a time. The other side will be on automatic during that time. Essentially, you're passing back and forth a saved game and playing it alternately.

If it were possible to save a multiplayer game and open it from either side, a "poor man's" version of this could be done even now by gentleman's agreement.

--- Kevin

Scully
31 Oct 03, 20:53
Could I add one little capability I'd like to see, if it's not already available. Multi-multi-player -- 3, 4, or more people can play against each other at one time. Not sure if that's doable, but I have an idea for an ATF tournament that would be cool if we could do this.

Keep up the good work Cpt.

Brian

Pat Proctor
31 Oct 03, 23:33
In fact, you can do cooperative pbem vs. the computer now, in the way kbluck describes. By gentleman's agreement, you and your partner decide which forces each will control, and how long each will run the game for. You then pass back and forth the save game file, to take turns controlling your forces.

KG_Norad
03 Nov 03, 10:15
The problem that seems to arise from this suggestion is, while you are breaking up the game play...the cooperation is limited and some one will be experiencing "missing time" as you swap the file back and forth. What I am trying to say is I Order my units, watch 3 min. pause, save, send to Scully. Scully misses out on those 3 minutes, and I miss out on his 3 minutes.

Granted the more I think about this along with a carefully crafted scenario the more fun it actually sounds and I intend to give it a shot when I get the chance.

However I think Scully has something more along the lines of a Multiplayer Command and Control game in mind. Some thing along the lines of 1 player is the Regimental Commander who controls indirect fire and air support assets and gives orders to other players who are either battalion or even company commanders who need to get the job done. Everyone is connected at the same time and able to communicate to eachother, even if this has to be during a pause.

And Opfor also could be controlled in the same manner, although the abillity to play a cooperative game against AI might be fun too!

Thanks for your time, and hard work Captain, keep up the Awesome Work!

Michael