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 Post subject: Why custom Wars failed
PostPosted: Fri Jan 09, 2009 6:19 pm 
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List of reasons i made:

1. TOO many beta versions, even the source and goldsource engines had less
2. TOO many custom stuff, yes i know CUSTOM WARS, but the units put less life in the game IMO
3. Failure to include a boot/end turn system. See awbw, it has auto boot and aet system, no games get held up.
4. Tank rushing is the only good option now.
5. Failure to advertise and your website doesnt appear anywhere when I search for Advance wars online.
6. Too buggy. This is really self-explanatory

And many other reasons are there too, so nexttime, dont fail!

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 Post subject: Re: Why custom Wars failed
PostPosted: Fri Jan 09, 2009 10:21 pm 
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I'd just like to point out that the original custom wars was largely the efforts of one guy and he and the others that put time into custom wars did not nessesarily try and create a game which so many others would play. So deeming it a failure is only relative to the fact that anyone played it at all. There are many many projects that never see the light of day and I think this one has done very well to get people willing to play it and infact discuss it in retrospect!

The old team had no formal experience in professional games development and project management and so I think they did a great job of getting it so well known.
In saying that it's a bit unfair not to comment on your post so:

IanParr wrote:
1. TOO many beta versions, even the source and goldsource engines had less

1. Release early and often. This is the beta versions to those who understand beta and who want to actively partake in furthering development on an unfinished code base. There should always be a stable, milestone build which is not a beta.

IanParr wrote:
2. TOO many custom stuff, yes i know CUSTOM WARS, but the units put less life in the game IMO

2. Custom wars was a derivitive of other games and tried to take the best bits. If the experiences of comic, book & film crossovers have taught us anything it is that although fans want all their favorite tie ins they rarely meld well together. Proper consideration had not been taken in the preperation of the gameplay mechanic from the start.

IanParr wrote:
3. Failure to include a boot/end turn system. See awbw, it has auto boot and aet system, no games get held up.

3. This is a nice to have

IanParr wrote:
4. Tank rushing is the only good option now.

4. Same as 2.

IanParr wrote:
5. Failure to advertise and your website doesnt appear anywhere when I search for Advance wars online.

5. agreed

IanParr wrote:
6. Too buggy. This is really self-explanatory

6. Same as 1.

Customwars will only fail if those who make it don't never leanred anything and those that play it never had any fun.
We're ok because thats not going to happen, thanks for joining us IanParr!


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 Post subject: Re: Why custom Wars failed
PostPosted: Fri Jan 09, 2009 10:33 pm 
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Thanks for taking the time to post why you think cw1 has failed IanParr!
I agree with chom_chom making a game/app is not easy! and many small details need to be covered, decisions need to be made trade offs are involved... It's not just sitting behind a pc and start typing code. It's really hard! That's why it is important that everybody knows what the goal is(having a plan) separating concerns between people(teams)...

Some more
Inconsistent gui (All buttons should look the same)
Allow to start a game very fast:
launch game(icon on desktop), new game, singleplayer, 3 opponents done.
We should strive for the same simplicity. Maximum 4 'A' presses should bring the player into a game(using defaults if needed)
central bug handling system(like google code Issues)

good stuff:
BattleOptions allow to create different configs without changing code, nice.

Behind the scenes
Hard to understand code, not separating concerns, hard coded logic(like the tilesize), magic numbers,reloading of the same file multiple times, logic code in gui classes. Few but large classes, hard coded pixel ranges to see if a click has been made on a image.

User reactions are very important for us... They will judge at the end
but it's even better to have user input very early so adjustments can be made before a major release and that's why betas are for.


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 Post subject: Re: Why custom Wars failed
PostPosted: Sat Jan 10, 2009 3:08 pm 
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[quote=chom chom]Thank u IanParr for joining[/quote]

was that sarcasm??? and i joined slightly more than a year ago, but never had one game compeleted, cause of games being held up

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 Post subject: Re: Why custom Wars failed
PostPosted: Sat Jan 10, 2009 6:02 pm 
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man you've been playing the wrong people then


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 Post subject: Re: Why custom Wars failed
PostPosted: Sun Jan 11, 2009 2:51 am 
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You're a little late there, Ian. Everyone was posting their "Why CW failed posts" about 6 months ago.

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 Post subject: Re: Why custom Wars failed
PostPosted: Sun Jan 11, 2009 5:02 am 
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Quote:
was that sarcasm??? and i joined slightly more than a year ago, but never had one game compeleted, cause of games being held up


Hey, I think we all know why CW1 failed. It is important for us to realize why so the next time, we can get it right. Thanks for your suggestions, IanParr, and welcome back. We are currently reviving CW's old system trying to sift out all the bugs. Come January 20th, we will start production on a new CW using a new engine. Your ideas of how to fix CW are most appreciated, I will keep them in mind while writing code and deciding the engine. If you have anymore suggestions, feel free to post up.


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 Post subject: Re: Why custom Wars failed
PostPosted: Mon Jan 12, 2009 4:43 pm 
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the most important thing IMO is a boot system, that way no games will be held up.
Most of the other things are fine, but u need to advertise more

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 Post subject: Re: Why custom Wars failed
PostPosted: Tue Jan 27, 2009 11:44 pm 
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I'm trying to gather all 'why cw failed' reactions as they are spread all over the place.

Problem:
Games can take really long, some people want to play in realtime when they are both online. But when they go on vacation and return 5 days later they want to continue the battle, further some want to play in a lan game with no internet connection to the cwServer. Even others have only 1 computer and would like to play with multiple people(clients) on 1 computer.

cw1:
I understood that in cw1 the whole game is send to the server at each change. The reason behind this was because when the connection to the server dropped nothing was lost.
So it sends a savedGame to cw1Server on each change. This works when connected to internet.

Realtime strategy games:
Online:
rts games send each change to a server which validates it and sends it to each connected client in that game.
I'm unsure if they allow to save a game and continue later on.
Single player:
I guess a server is running locally to validate the messages?

So we want a rts game(send on each change) where you can save the state?

Hacks:
cw1:
The logic resides on the client, if a user changes the logic then that client can do amazing stuff(don't do it)

Solution:
Put logic on the server

Lan play:
The cwServer runs locally on the hosts pc.

Conclusion:
cwServer should contain the logic of the game, illegal moves should be discarded. The server should be able to run on a lan and internet host
when a client drops then a session should give them some time to join the game again. The state of a game should be saved on the server to allow long vacations(manually/every turn). The client model should be shared with the server model.

Questions:
Should chat be saved?
Should people register?
What protocol will be used to send changes from client to server?
How can firewall problems be prevented?

Examples that use turn based client server:
freecol

Artea,src
I much rather see a WORKING METAGAME FIRST, THEN ADD SHIT IN, TEST SHIT, THEN BETTER METAGAME, till then I am not willing to waste time doing anything for you guys. Also consistency is key to making a game look sexy as much as it hurts to say that T_T.

UserShadow, src
Although refining graphics would be nice,the focus should be on gameplay before presentation

He talks about creating a metaGame before adding shit,...
I guess shit is the custom stuff, cw2 should run from configuration files that read co, units, properties so these can be changed without altering code.
This divides us in 2 teams:
balance cw add units new cos etc. = modders.
read config files, add logic etc. = programmers.

game play before logic:
a metagame can have the most basic images, very simple config files and then the full gameplay logic is written.


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 Post subject: Re: Why custom Wars failed
PostPosted: Wed Jan 28, 2009 3:44 am 
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What is the justification for the rather damning term 'Failed', was there an original milestone that if fell far from?
How could customwars have 'won'?

Concerning the comments about the long game times I think the game times are naturally incurred by the gameplay style of customwars. I do agree that since session handling is so integral there should be ample tools to manage session configuration on both client and server side. Eventually offering multiple ways to play games over sessions would encourage people to finish games. Mixing and matching notifications via email and aynchronous alerts.


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 Post subject: Re: Why custom Wars failed
PostPosted: Wed Jan 28, 2009 4:02 am 
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The reason why CW is perceived as a “failed” and “dead” project is that it has become considerably less active than it used to be in its heydays during 2007-2008. That's when there were dozens of people who discussed, developed and played the game on a daily basis.

Also, yes there were a few milestones that were promised but never delivered, perhaps most important being AI and a functional single player mode. When it started seeming like these features were never going to be implemented, a majority of the users (who didn't care about online battling) lost interest, packed up and left.

The reason why the multiplaying population wasn't large enough to support the project on their own was that most people with an interest in online AW are content with playing either AWBW or DoR. Between these there didn't seem to be room for something like CW, with an interface that is clunky and hard to use compared to AWBW, and gameplay that is less innovative and fresh than DoR. The people who wanted something new play DoR and the rest play AWBW simply because it's more accessible.


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 Post subject: Re: Why custom Wars failed
PostPosted: Wed Jan 28, 2009 11:22 am 
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was perceived as a failure because people realized that an AI was at least five years in the future at the rate the program was progressing


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 Post subject: Re: Why custom Wars failed
PostPosted: Wed Jan 28, 2009 2:10 pm 
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forgive me if I haven't properly read all of your posts, but to be fair I assume that's because they're all relatively useless and besides the point? but don't mind me after all I only skimmed :x

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 Post subject: Re: Why custom Wars failed
PostPosted: Wed Jan 28, 2009 9:29 pm 
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Narts wrote:
functional single player mode

Do you mean play against AI or campaigns or both?


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 Post subject: Re: Why custom Wars failed
PostPosted: Thu Jan 29, 2009 2:43 am 
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Functional single player mode is functional single player mode. It could mean a Tetris minigame but I don't think that's what people expect from an AW game.


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 Post subject: Re: Why custom Wars failed
PostPosted: Thu Jan 29, 2009 11:58 pm 
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So you mean ai and campaigns. I have a good idea about how the ai would work. But how should the campaigns look like. Would it be the same as in aw at the bottom a story and a number of battles to be fought on a world map against an ai to achieve a goal? Or did you have something else in mind, first step in programming the campaigns would be to write down what they should offer, unless you want programmers to come up with a campaign version that is not quite what you envisioned


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 Post subject: Re: Why custom Wars failed
PostPosted: Fri Jan 30, 2009 2:33 am 
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Yes they should probably be something like AW.


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 Post subject: Re: Why custom Wars failed
PostPosted: Wed Feb 04, 2009 9:30 pm 
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Performance
The cursor has a small lag behind the actual mouse position(is this a feature?), weather effects cause lag, unnecessary Location spawning in paintComponent, I read in releases that movezones cause a small delay(seems to be ok now)
coSelectScreen does not process mouse presses correctly, I click like a madman but still it won't select the co +- 8 clicks for selecting 4 cos.
Animated move is not fluent, it skips parts of the move
Click outside movezone still shows unit action menu, inactive units don't look good they have a composite square above them it would look better if the image itself was darker.
Enemy units show their movezone when clicked on, but also show an arrow to move this is confusing as I've been trying to move enemy units.


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 Post subject: Re: Why custom Wars failed
PostPosted: Fri Feb 06, 2009 12:06 am 
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I do get the feeling that an advertising campaign of some sort would be a major boon to CW. I remember that I discovered CW via a piece of art on DA, of all places. I've recommended this site to some of my friends who are into AW, so we'll see what happens there.

As far as things regarding the game are concerned, does anyone else get a string of errors in the command prompt when they try to activate music?

I need to play a few more games before I can offer some honest suggestions.


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 Post subject: Re: Why custom Wars failed
PostPosted: Sat Feb 07, 2009 9:14 am 
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Advertising would be great if this place had more to show. Odds of some aspiring and talented young and possibly cool java developer willing to help this place out on hearsay alone are low.

As for music, that's downloaded seperately.


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 Post subject: Re: Why custom Wars failed
PostPosted: Sat Feb 07, 2009 10:22 am 
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kiwi wrote:
Advertising would be great if this place had more to show. Odds of some aspiring and talented young and possibly cool java developer willing to help this place out on hearsay alone are low.

I bet there are people out there that love aw and can program, but somehow they are restrained to join. Why is that?

#1 is this website dead is a common question and on the frontpage,
Quote:
Just an update on the state of affairs of Custom Wars. The whole thing is practically dead.
can that be removed please. Or a new newsflash 'We are working hard on fixing bugs and redesigning do you have what it takes to build a java version of aw? Join us now!'
and then add the We want you army picture :P
People don't like to join dead projects. There are posts everyday how can it be dead :D Best way to handle these 'are we dead yet' questions is to redirect them to a post that shows an overview of the plans for the future and the current work.

#2 Confusion not everybody understands what is going on atm(it took me a while to figure it out), there are 4 side projects which makes things,... complicated. the frontpage and an overview post should clear all confusion.

#3 If I would want to join and knew nothing about cw, I would probably post a message on the forums asking what the current state was, and what I could do to help. What can a new person do to help... is there a list of things that need to be done? We need more organisation.
For example there are following groups of individuals
gui: Make menus look good, add fancy effects
model: handle game logic, fow end turn capturing etc
modders: balance a plugin, add graphic packs, play with pixels
network: allow lan, internet play
Ofcourse everyone can do anything he wants, but the human mind is better at focusing at 1 part at a time. changing the gui does not affect logic so gui programmers are free to do what they want, if menus should explode then that's their department, if menus don't work anymore because they keep exploding then we know where/who to look at.

A reply could point him to the current state which is either bugfixing in cw1 or designing/testing slick/thinking about cw2 Or worse a link to somewhere else.

#4 I think new peepz are more likely to join when they can fix a bug that is painless, rewarding and takes little time and they don't want to do the hard work, once something is on the screen they will come naturally. Also they should understand how the hole thing fits together in no time.


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 Post subject: Re: Why custom Wars failed
PostPosted: Sat Feb 07, 2009 1:08 pm 
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seriously what the fuck is custom wars

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 Post subject: Re: Why custom Wars failed
PostPosted: Sun Feb 08, 2009 12:03 am 
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LOL WHAT wrote:
seriously what the fuck is custom wars


=truth


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 Post subject: Re: Why custom Wars failed
PostPosted: Sun Mar 08, 2009 5:54 am 
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To continue my rant :)
Instead of referring to unit types(is the unit an APC?) we want to ask if the unit can supply. This allows to have different units that can supply by changing the unit data.
It would be possible to have a reckon supply units by changing the recon's canSupply boolean value and min/max supplyRange values for example.
This is also one step closer to supporting different plugins.

Duplicate code, Replay and in game functions are the same, if these game actions would be in their own class(Capture, Select, Drop) then we could do/undo each action.
A replay file would then be a list of actions where each action is executed. This would replace each event class with an action class.


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