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Game News -- Koger & Jutland

 
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jwduquette1



Joined: 20 Dec 2005
Posts: 90

PostPosted: Fri May 25, 2007 8:38 pm    Post subject: Game News -- Koger & Jutland Reply with quote

Norm Koger has announced he is taking his "Distant Guns" game engine to Jutland. The graphics look nice.

http://www.stormeaglestudios.com/public/html/se_jutland.html
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maxyang



Joined: 31 Oct 2004
Posts: 100
Location: Shanghai, China

PostPosted: Mon May 28, 2007 12:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That is a step i have expected. Tsushima is only a prelude to the biggest clash of titans. Can't wait to play it. However, i think i will keep my expectation on AI and damage model low since they are really difficult to make.
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jwduquette1



Joined: 20 Dec 2005
Posts: 90

PostPosted: Mon May 28, 2007 10:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

maxyang wrote:
That is a step i have expected. Tsushima is only a prelude to the biggest clash of titans. Can't wait to play it. However, i think i will keep my expectation on AI and damage model low since they are really difficult to make.


Agreed – although I have only played the demo for Tsushima. Now I have a new lap top optimized for gaming I'll prolly crack open the wallet for the full-blown game.

On the damage model, Kogers forte has of course been "Operational Art of War". Land combat focus -- naval combat is possible but it is very abstracted. Jumping from operational level land wargames into naval gunnery -- exterior + terminal ballistics, as well as behind armor effects isn't like snapping ones fingers -- particularly behind armor effects within ships. I'd guess that the game engine hidden under the amazing graphics will be rather simplistic. I have been involved with several game designs over the last few years in sort of “techno-historian” role. Designers and coders will literally spend months and months trying to get the graphics just right for a game – but you try to talk to them about velocity drop for a projectile or systemic projectile dispersion; or ranging errors and their effect on hit probability and their eyes will glaze over. “We need to keep this shooter stuff simple”. Huh? – you just spent five intensive months trying to get a computer model of a soldier to look realistic when it walks or runs around on the screen, but you want a ballistics model that in essence boils down to something as simple as a six sided die roll? ;) It’s like having a Porsche with a lawn mower engine – or worse -- a Mercedes that when you open the hood you find a squirrel on a wheel.

But I suppose anything has to be better than the HPS renditions of Jutland and Tsushima. Those two "simulations" sort of reminded me of playing the old Atari “Asteroids” game.
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maxyang



Joined: 31 Oct 2004
Posts: 100
Location: Shanghai, China

PostPosted: Tue May 29, 2007 10:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

jwduquette1 wrote:
It’s like having a Porsche with a lawn mower engine – or worse -- a Mercedes that when you open the hood you find a squirrel on a wheel.


lol. I bet the Mercedes can still run fast enough if you get enough squirrels.

You had just said a very valid point about current game industry. Too much graphics and too tight a schedule. Games need better looking but after a few hours, it is the game play that actually stands. I still like the game 'Great Naval Battles of North Atlantic' by SSI in 1991 or so, and like the feeling when my German squadron sank a British convoy. Especially about strategy games, there got to be some fundamental change in game play. Don't know when that could come true.
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jwduquette1



Joined: 20 Dec 2005
Posts: 90

PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2007 8:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It would be interesting to kick around ideas regarding damage models -- perhaps initially from the perspective of actual damage reports. But with the goal being how such things might possibly be translated into computer simulation. Do the initial walk through -- than talk about what sorts of limitations and barriers exist within gaming codes.
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Crinius



Joined: 16 Jun 2007
Posts: 1
Location: Wilhelmshaven/Germany

PostPosted: Sat Jun 16, 2007 6:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

jwduquette1 wrote:
It’s like having a Porsche with a lawn mower engine – or worse -- a Mercedes that when you open the hood you find a squirrel on a wheel.


LOL. That was a good one
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Sir Nicholas



Joined: 18 Aug 2007
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Mon Aug 20, 2007 6:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

jwduquette1 wrote:
I'd guess that the game engine hidden under the amazing graphics will be rather simplistic. I have been involved with several game designs over the last few years in sort of "techno-historian" role. Designers and coders will literally spend months and months trying to get the graphics just right for a game – but you try to talk to them about velocity drop for a projectile or systemic projectile dispersion; or ranging errors and their effect on hit probability and their eyes will glaze over.

In general I agree, but it seems Koger is putting some work into it. The website promises

real time ballistics - every shell fired is actually created in the game, actual trajectory followed to the target and resolved for penetration via realistic ballistics formulas.

We'll see how it turns out, but at least it looks like he is going to track the shells and not just abstract them. My main worry is not the ballistics, since that'is something a computer can simulate really well if you just program it. The biggest challenges are likely to be AI and hindsight.

A lot of the decisions at Jutland were driven by a) fear of torpedoes and submarines and b) the limited intelligence available to the commanders (Scheer didn't even know he was facing the entire Grand Fleet). How do you simulate that uncertainty in a game? I'm hoping we get some kind of dynamic campaign (and I think the previous game, Distant Guns, had this) that adds an element of uncertainty. If you just play out the historical battle it will be impossible to escape the hindsight problem.

As for gunnery, my impression after reading the posts in this forum is that an abstract model where you just add up probabilities will be just as good as a detailed "simulation" approach. Simulating e.g. the Dreyer table is interesting from a historical point of view, but in a game dealing with fleet action there are so many other factors (spray, smoke, training, some captains not even using the damn things...) that you're better off with a more "wargamey" approach that tries to include as many factors as possible.
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Sir Nicholas



Joined: 18 Aug 2007
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2007 3:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

New screenshots (scroll down):

Jutland news
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