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About Ssnake

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  • Location
    Hannover, Germany
  • Occupation
    Director, eSim Games

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  1. Microprose formulated the dream of a "complete" combat simulation that would involve jets, tanks (and presumably also helicopters, submarines, surface vessels) as early as with Falcon 3.0, even before there were first person shooters (which add yet another complexity dimension). Not only isn't the technology there yet. You'd need a world model that is highly performant and at the same time sufficiently detailed for ground units and fast air movers alike, which right now is simply impossible. You also would need to assemble a team of development teams to reach equal competence in each domain, and the likelihood of that happening is small to zero for obvious reasons. Alternatively, create a framework that works for all simulation genres, use a common network architecture, and invite independent devlopers to create their title within this common framework; but then you need to apply strict QA standards, and boy do game developers love other people who tell them how they have to program their titles. Microsoft tried to build such a framework with FS X, cancelled it, then sold the scraps to Lockmart, and I don't know, maybe the technology somehow lives on but as far as games are concerned, it was a stillborn. A combat omni-simulation is possible if you abstract all the components enough, but then each component will be inferior to a study sim, so people interested in the subject matter will rather take the study sim. How many flight simmers prefer X-Plane over DCS? Arguably X-Plane offers a much wider range of planes to fly, but at the end of the day the more detailed simulation of a narrower field usually attracts more customers. Simulation game companies are commercial entities. We choose a topic because we feel most competent & confident in it, and then we do what we can to do what we like while running a profit, eventually. Building a "world combat simulation" is a monumental task which has an overwhelming likelihood to fail, and at that scale it's not just going to be a "failure" but an economic disaster of epic proportions. Finding an investor for that is impossible. Maybe you could find a sponsor who isn't interested in making a profit, but most people who have billions of disposable equity tend to be rather mindful about the way they spend it. Jacques Littlefield is, I think, the relatively unique model case of a really rich person willing to spend his fortune on something relatively nerdy, but even his tank collection would not outlast his mortal existence for long, because it was his passion, not his children's.
  2. Old scenarios have parts of their map data embedded, but since version 4.1 we can no longer do that. So, in order to convert them, you either have to find the original map (and convert it), or you extract the map data from the scenario (which you can do if you open the Mission Editor with a blank scenario, then go through the File menu to open the scenario in question). Try it. Worst case, it doesn't work and we're here to explain what went wrong and how to fix it. Or Mark find the time to do it for you, but then you don't learn anything from it. The user Manual attempts to describe the process, but there's also these help threads:
  3. If you use the full installer and not the patch, prior versions are not required (what's why we removed them). And if you used the patch but didn't have the older versions installed, it will abort with an error message. Whatever it is that appears squirrely to you, it's something different.
  4. Keeping the resolution at 1280x720 is a very good step to preserve a decent framerate for older hardware. I'd just like to draw your attention to two or three more things; I suppose you know that you can activate a framerate counter (Alt+F12?). The user manual, you'll find it in the Windows Start Menu | eSim Games | User's Manual.PDF, has a section about graphics card settings. The points are listed roughly in descending order of effect that they will likely have on the frame rate, just to let you prioritize which of the many options to reduce first.
  5. Thanks. Please keep the file up for a few more days, so we'll have a chance to review it.
  6. It might work, but I can't rule out that some common files may get removed that 4.1 actually needs. So, installing 4.1 over the existing installation (after removing 3.0) would prevent possible problems. No need to uninstall 4.1 first.
  7. Ssnake

    Jump to end

    Jump to end works only for routes that originate directly from the unit that you want to jump, and gets evaluated only when the unit spawns. That could already be at the beginning of the Planning Phase (e.g. when using a simple random variable and no other restrictions), or later during the mission, if the unit spawns with a delay. I'm relatively confident that it's described in the user's manual, which, being a PDF, has the awesome full-text search function allowing you to find a keyword like "jump" in less time than reading this reply.
  8. Attitude is (only) needed for linear targets (much wider than deep).
  9. I liked the original Combat Mission as a turn based strategy game that would work well for the battalion level. The product design decision to pursue a real-time strategy was one that I wouldn't have recommended since, predictably, they had to confine the new version to company level engagements; a step back in scope that I at least regret. The addition of modern tanks is particularly questionable given the dimensions of map sizes that the engine can handle, which forces players to decide if they want to have standoff range for their M1s and no effective tactical mobility, or let them drive around but then come in close contact with weapons that could otherwise not harm you. Tank-on-tank engagements are therefore not particularly well made, especially if reinforcements are involved which materialize out of thin air at a map edge. On the other hand, infantry-centric urban combat is well represented.
  10. ...where the 300m for MCLOS Saggers is a highly optimistic figure. 800m is probably more realistic. Our model is the SACLOS controlled AT-3d, which is brought under control by the guidance electronic much sooner.
  11. Yes, usually it's the arming distance, and usually it's rather short.
  12. The first question is, do you have the sensors for proper target identification. The next, even if the velocity decay is gentle, it's still there. Suppose your ammo overmatches the armor protection value of your target by 5%, you lose those 5% energy in the first 650m of flight, so even the small loss can make a difference. Say, your target was at 6km and you could identify it, losing 330m/s over those 6km means losing 33% of the projectile's initial energy (starting from V0=1680m/s; 1350²:1680²=0.6726, don't forget that the velocity goes squared into the kinetic energy formula). So it only makes sense to fire at the target if you have still have an overmatch at that range, IOW 400mm RHAe or (preferably) considerably less. So, what targets does that leave, PT-76, T-55? And of course side-on shots against pretty much any target. Accuracy is another issue. I heard rumors that the aluminum stabilization fins of 120mm DM33 heat up due to air compression at (initially) Mach 5 that they actually erode so that the projectile actually starts to flutter ever so slightly beyond 10km range. I haven't done the math and I can't say if that's even remotely possible (I don't think so, to be honest, although the tail section certainly receives some heat treatment while still inside the barrel, so... who knows). But if true, that would certainly be another limiting factor. Then there's (not) knowing the crosswind along the whole trajectory, and at really long ranges Coriolis force might start to play a role too (though the projectile spin is too slow for the Magnus effect, at least). The Israelis fired tank guns at targets up to 10.5km against Syrian bulldozers (and hit them) during the Jordan water diversion project (just before the Yom Kippur war), but they used artillery observers and fired the guns blindly, so that would be a military historical example of extreme tank gunnery.
  13. RHA equivalency is probably not a term with which you can impress weapons design engineers in a conversation. It is problematic in a number of ways. At the same time it's incredibly handy to get a rough but reasonably useful idea. We're using it because we don't attempt to nail every aspect of terminal ballistics with scientific precision. We want to convey a sense of what would happen, no more. MInd you, I'm not claiming "artistic license" here, which we certainly could. It's more the fact that reliable and standardized data are impossible to find. So, terminal ballistics is as much a matter of guesswork than it is of physics and parameter estimations. It's less of an issue with WW2 vehicles because as the archives are being opened you can read up the weapons test results, and the models and formulas that were used at the time, and calculate the parameters accordingly. Even then, what happens after the last armor plate has been successfully punched through is highly contentious. It starts with the question of the definition of plate failure. A visible bulge in the back plate? A crack? The white hot tip of the projectile poking through, saying Hello? A projectile's full-diameter or bigger hole? Once in a series of shots? In 50% of all shots? In the vast majority of them? Then, what happens as the fragments start flying in the crew compartment; what's the mass and velocity distribution of them, which fragments "count" as being destructive for which component inside? Those who know can't tell, and they know only isolated test. Therefore, those who tell are either liars or traitors, and in any case they don't know the full picture across all nations.
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