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Thread: Anyone planning on trying the PC version?

  1. #21
    The Eminem of ASL Portal's Avatar
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    Just a caught a new developer post on the Matrix Games forums.

    MWiF has now been delayed release all the way to July 2008. The developer doesn't feel he will be able to finish his work until Christmas time 2007, and then the game needs to go to printing and distribution.

    Needless to day, a lot can happen to a project over the course of another year. Fans were already given three different release timelines in 2006 alone. I no longer have faith in this project.

    I suggest players assume that CWiF will be the VASSAL module for a good long time to come.

  2. #22
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    Hmm sadly it looks like I might have been more right than I truely honestly wish to be.

    Computer World in Flames would have been simpler to just be a game without the name World In Flames, started from start to finish as a new design entirely, fully global, hex using, with turns, WW2 and political, military grand strategy.

    Trying to make an exact clone of a board game, is if you ask me, more work than worth. Probably better to just say screw it, and play the ACTUAL board game with VASSAL software.
    Off to other places

  3. #23
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    Oh wait, I forgot, many will refuse to buy a computer game unless it comes with a moron AI
    Off to other places

  4. #24
    Forum Commando GJK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aries View Post
    Oh wait, I forgot, many will refuse to buy a computer game unless it comes with a moron AI
    Personally, I could care less about the AI (and I know many others are the same way). What I want is a game that enforces the rules but doesn't do anything for you. I know some like the computer to handle "mundane" tasks, but I want a computer game that is just playing the boardgame with a referee that is monitoring for illegal moves.

    VASSAL is almost there really. If someday you can add variables to pieces (movement allowances, firepower, etc) and then have the engine check those variables against an XML script (for example) that was a container for the rules of the game, man, that would be heaven!

  5. #25
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    Re: Anyone planning on trying the PC version?

    Quote Originally Posted by Portal View Post
    Just a caught a new developer post on the Matrix Games forums.

    MWiF has now been delayed release all the way to July 2008. The developer doesn't feel he will be able to finish his work until Christmas time 2007, and then the game needs to go to printing and distribution.

    Needless to day, a lot can happen to a project over the course of another year. Fans were already given three different release timelines in 2006 alone. I no longer have faith in this project.

    I suggest players assume that CWiF will be the VASSAL module for a good long time to come.
    Greetings and compliments of the season!

    Is anyone able to provide an update? I've been trying to access the Matrix Games forums without any joy.
    Last edited by macinjay; 12 Jan 08 at 04:10.

  6. #26
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    Re: Anyone planning on trying the PC version?

    From the Lead Designer on the Matrix Forum as of the new year:
    Note the Origin '08 date at the bottom



    January 1, 2008 Status Report for Matrix Games’ MWIF Forum

    As I did last January, here is a year in review rather than a monthly report.

    Accomplishments of 2007

    Map
    At the start of 2007 the coastal and river/lake bitmaps were about 80% complete but most of the rest of the detailed map was done. In 2007, we made the following enhancements to the map graphics:
    • Finished the coastal and river/lake bitmaps. There are 5000+ individual hex bitmaps for the former and 7000+ for the latter.
    • Enhanced the Clear terrain graphics from 1 bitmap image to 6, which are tiled. This relieves the visual monotony of the Russian steppes and USA great plains.
    • Revised the non-Fine weather images for all-sea hexes to match the weather effects. So, all-sea hexes have only 3 types of weather: fine, rain/snow, and storm/blizzard.
    • Began work on repositioning the convoy information within each sea area for the global map. Once done, this information will be centered better within each sea area.
    • Wrote a utility program to compress the river/lake bitmaps into a single (very large) file, which reduced the program’s load time by an order of magnitude.
    • Added cities in Russia and China so native units are not out of supply in their own country. The additional Chinese cities are optional and include several Japanese controlled ports along the southern coast.

    Once all the coastal bitmaps were done, I was able to measure the demand MWIF made on Windows bitmap resources, which was roughly 10% over the amount available. At first I thought I would have to trim the top of the map by 10 to 15 rows, but this past week I came up with a better way of storing the bitmaps. Since the bitmap image for each individual hex (hexagon) was created as a rectangle, 25% of the pixels are not needed - the 4 corner triangles. By writing a utility program to nest the hex images (as if they were placed on a map in columns and rows) I can reduce the required bitmap storage by almost 25%. This should enable the entire world map (195 rows by 360 columns) to be used in the game - my new year’s present to Patrice Forno.

    Patrice has a vested interest in the map, having continued his work this past year on its accuracy, information, and aesthetics. As was the case in 2006, dozens of forum members contributed to this effort. I consider the map finished at this point, though occasionally someone has an idea for small improvements.

    Units
    At the start of 2007 we had finalized 2200+ bitmaps for individual units, including generic bitmaps, by country, for anonymous naval units: convoys, submarines, task forces, amphibious units, naval transports, etcetera. These graphics were buffed and polished in 2007 and the graphics for a dozen ‘temporary’ units were created. By temporary, I mean units that do not actually appear on the map, but do appear in the production pool (synthetic oil plants, moving factories, pilots, and so on). All the necessary images for these units were created by Patrice this past year.

    Australian Design Group released updated counter sheets in 2007, and with the help of Patrice, the new and modified units therein were added to MWIF, including graphics for each of them. During the year we revised graphics for a few odd unit types (e.g., naval supply unit). We also added the data and graphics for Warlords and City Based Volunteers, thereby rounding out the full set of unit data and graphics for MWIF product 1.

    Text descriptions for many more individual land and naval units were finished. At this point we are over 50% done for each of those groups and 99% done for the air units. It looks like we have a good chance of completing most, if not all, of the unit descriptions for the first product release at Origins 2008. Jesper continued honchoing the land unit writeups and Andi picked up the same task for the naval units, when Terje was swept up by real-life commitments. More than 20 people have made contributions to the unit writeups.

    Mid-year, I wrote a utility program to compress the unit bitmaps onto pages with 100 units per page, but the main program does not yet use those files. Now that the unit data and graphics seem solid, I’ll rerun that program using the most current set of bitmaps and have the main program read 29 files instead of 2800+. That will reduce the load time for the game a lot more. I am also hoping it will reduce the demand for Windows bitmap resources.

    Scenarios
    Completing the data for setting up all 11 scenarios was one of the major accomplishments in 2007. CWIF had data for the 3 easiest scenarios but even those did not include the units from Cruisers in Flames and Convoys in Flames. Adding the code for those optional units increased the setup data by 40%, just for those 3 scenarios. Putting together the full data sets for the other 8, more complex, scenarios took a lot of time and effort. The data entries alone are 3,250 lines of very tedious code.

    Processing the new unit types and varied starting conditions required new code too. With extensive help (and patience) from the beta testers, we were able to clean up all the unusual setup details for the half-map and late-in-the-war scenarios: moving factories, destroyed fortifications (e.g., Maginot line), transfer pool, Vichy France, Free France, partisans, special victory conditions, special production rules, and special US entry effects - to name just the ones that come to mind.

    At this point, the scenario specific data and code is mostly done. What remains is: (1) adding a special subphase post-setup for placing partisan units on the map behind enemy lines, (2) placing units in and taking units out of the Transfer Pool during play for the 2 half-map scenarios, and (3) the special production rules for those same 2 scenarios.

    CWIF Conversion
    I redesigned and coded the entire game engine for MWIF so it writes out to a game record log file everything that happens in the game that affects the “game state”, a.k.a “simulated world”. These are the same entries that are sent over the internet and by email when playing the game using those communication media. There are 450+ events that generate a game record log entry, and I have about 1/3 of them completely coded. For the remaining 2/3rds, I have 80% of the write and read steps coded.

    Game Interface
    I completed the conversion from Windows 98 style forms to Theme Engine forms, though I still need to upgrade to Theme Engine 2007, that came out mid-year. That’s necessary to make MWIF more playable under Vista. So far, the beta testers have been able to get the program to run under Vista emulation of Windows XP, but it would be nice to have it run under native Vista too.

    I reviewed and improved all 100+ forms some more, standardizing on a lot of different things and adding help buttons to every form. In general I made the forms larger, increasing the font size and the use of white space. When a form contains a list of units, I expanded the number of units shown if possible, so you will not have to scroll as much to see all the units.

    New functionality added to the player interface during 2007 were Flyouts and the Naval Review Details form. The latter is still in development and needs its complementary Naval Review Summary form. Once the naval review forms are done, I will return to work on the similar Task Force Details/Summary forms.

    Saved Games
    All the code for saving and restoring games was revised to accommodate changes made to the list of game-in-progress variables.

    Internet - NetPlay
    Dan Hatchen was hired in December to code: (1) NetPlay for use in MWIF games over the Internet and (2) the technical routines for sending and receiving email from within MWIF, for PBEM play.

    MWIF Game Engine
    I completely replaced the code for how air units are lend leased. For the player interface, I created an elaborate new form to enable players to examine all the units involved in lend leasing air units. This form is used for both requesting lend lease air units and in granting those requests.

    CWIF did not follow WIF FE rules in this area and I wanted MWIF to be true to RAW in all the particulars of this aspect of the game. In the same vein, I rewrote the code for declarations of war to follow the (not always easily understood) rules for that phase of the game. Harry Rowland was good enough to answer several questions that had arisen while I was reworking that code.

    Beta Testing
    After a hiatus of 9 months I released a new version of the program to the beta testers in August. Since then I have been releasing a new version at about the pace of once a week. From August to December, the beta testers generated around 300 bug reports and I’ve fixed 250 of them. My average is approximately 3 corrections per day, while concurrently working on new code.

    In November we increased the number of beta testers to 30 and I expect to add some more in the first quarter of 2008. We have streamlined the learning curve for beta testers with Patrice putting together a Beta Testers 101 document that answers frequently asked questions and provides an orientation for new beta testers as to their responsibilities and the tools available to help them test. Borger developed a spreadsheet with macros that helps beta testers generate and keep track of their own bug reports.

    Graham Dodge started, and Robert Nebel is now continuing, the development of Test Scripts to make sure MWIF performs in accordance with the Rules as Written for WIF FE. Robert published his first installment of those test scripts in December. I am presently working on finishing Rules as Coded so Robert will have the definitive set of rules from which I am programming the game.

    Artificial Intelligence (AI)
    I spent some time in the late spring editing the massive amount of suggestions from forum members concerning each major power’s strategic and tactical plans for the AI Opponent (AIO). I also started work on the script language for the AIO (LAIO).

    Help System and Tutorials
    Almost all the Picture and Text tutorials are completed. Of the 117 pages, 110 are done. Important additions were: 13 pages on supply, 19 pages on the sequence of play, summary pages explaining what all the numbers mean on the unit counters, and the Terrain Effects Chart. All of these pages and the detailed writeups for each of the 81 optional rules are readily available for reference during play.

    The design of the help system is complete. It consists of the picture and text tutorials, optional rules descriptions, various charts and forms (mostly identical to those from WIF FE), and context sensitive help for each form and phase in the sequence of play. If desired, Rules as Written (RAW), can also be viewed as a PDF. The player’s manual and Rules as Coded (RAC) are accessible during play as PDF files. Included with the boxed version of the game will be a printed copy of the Player’s Manual (but not printed copies of RAC and RAW).

    Player’s Manual
    I finalized the table of contents for the Player’s Manual so that it conforms to Matrix Games standards, but slightly modified to deal with the massive size of MWIF. I have started integrating documents I had written earlier into the structure for the Player’s Manual. For instance, the Optional Rules descriptions are Section 8 of the player’s manual.

    I now see that the Player’s Manual will have to rely heavily on the RAC document. I do not want to pointlessly copy everything in RAC into the Player’s Manual. There will need to be some overlap and redundancy of course, but there is no need to make the manual larger than will already be required. Instead, RAC will provide the detailed explanation of what is happening during play, should the player want to know the gruesome details. This way the manual can focus on things not in RAC, such as how to use the player interface to play the game.

    I am well on my way to completing RAC, and I expect to wrap it up in the first 2 weeks of January. Taken directly from RAW and using 99% of the text from RAW, RAC is laid out in a format with which experienced WIF players are very familiar. However, I have converted the document into color with extensive use of white space so it can be easily read on a computer screen. The result has been an increase in pages from 64 to 150.

    I am now in the process of adding to RAC the 340+ clarifications that Harry Rowland has provided/is providing to RAW. Yeah, 340+, that number surprised me too. Patrice was kind enough to compile the list of questions and Harry was even more kind to answer them all. To a large degree these are purely clarifications, with the information in RAW perfectly accurate, but none-the-less, players have questions about interpretations. Oftentimes a specific example that occurred during game play was presented as a question and Harry adjudicated the situation. In a few rare cases, there is something new, where the interaction between multiple sections of the rules had never been considered before.

    Project Management
    I updated my detailed project plan monthly and have more or less stayed on track to deliver MWIF product 1 for Origins 2008. I monitored all the threads in the MWIF World in Flames forum daily, generated weekly status reports for David Heath and Erik Rutkins at Matrix, and posted monthly status reports to the forum on or around the first of every month. Personally, I try to answer every question posted in the forums, sent to me as a personal message, or sent via email. I do read everything, and I endeavor to assimilate and accommodate different viewpoints and opinions into MWIF.

    Communications
    People with whom I had extensive communication during the year were: Patrice Forno and Rob Armstrong. At different times of the year I worked closely with Graham Dodge, Dan Hatchen, Terje, Andi Madsen, Jesper Pehrson, and Robert Nebel. I kept in touch with Chris Marinacci and Harry Rowland. The beta testers posted and sent bugs reports, at a minimum, and oftentimes more than that.

    Because this is an almost completely volunteer group, people come and go as other demands are placed on their time. I can not say enough about how appreciative I am for the wonderful contributions made to MWIF by so many from such diverse backgrounds. For each little item in the game I have associations with people who suggested improvements that made the game better, or provided data/code that lessened the amount of work I had to do.

    To all, I say thank you for your help on MWIF during 2007.

    Tasks for 2007

    Finish MWIF product 1 for Origins 2008.

  7. #27
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    Re: Anyone planning on trying the PC version?

    Thanks for the feedback, Ken.

    My best friend and I were huge fans of WiF back in the 90s. We always dreamed of the day that someone would port it to the PC. Strength to their arm!

  8. #28
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    Re: Anyone planning on trying the PC version?

    Your welcome. I'm a beta tester for MWIF, but I'm not allowed to comment specifically on anything about it. I will say that it is coming along nicely.

    In the meantime, have you checked out the VASSAL module I created for WiF? It has all of the expansions, including AiF, PatiF and DoD3. I think most people are using that while waiting for Matrix to finish.

    Ken

  9. #29
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    Re: Anyone planning on trying the PC version?

    Quote Originally Posted by GJK View Post
    Real men play A3R on their computers.

    Can you tell us more about A3R, where do you find this game on more info?


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