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Steel Beasts: Content Wish List

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Developing a virtual tank is a costly venture. Some things get easier with experience, and cheaper with other implementations. But that aspect is comparatively minor. You still need

  1. access to the original vehicle (which means someone must be willing to grant that access. Usually that'd be a (foreign) army. Why on earth would they want to help us out ... unless of course they want us to create a training solution for them?)
  2. Photos, tons of them, with gratuitous application of measure tape
  3. Sounds, all the unique sounds of the system, preferably recorded without disturbing noises, which usually means about ten attempts to get one right (you rarely can isolate a vehicle, there's always someone stumbling into the scene who isn't aware of what's going on)
  4. A detailed description of the fire control system. Even with complete access to the technical manuals (which usually contain a number of errors that get detected only by someone like us who wants to recreate the system behavior and therefore starts to ask questions of "what would happen, if we press that button while this part of the system is NOT working?"
    ...because, based on the description in the manual is should be X, but often enough that X contradicts some other part of the manual which suggests that it is Y. Depending on X or Y being true, some other aspect Z may also be wrong, or at least work slightly differently.
    This also means that, after we have left the scene, someone in control of that tank must test our software prototype and go back to the original vehicle and actually test those cases - as if these people had nothing better to do with their time.
  5. We also need to decide how the system should behave if the crew is only partially human, especially when (like in the Centauro) gunner and commander are expected to press a certain button simultaneously.
  6. From the tons of photos an artist must work on a 3D model. That can take up to three months.
  7. The 3D model must not only look like the original, it must also in some parts be functionally organized like the real vehicle with internal component boxes etc. to allow us to define its vulnerability for our damage model.
  8. That also means, we need a good understanding of the armor protection and certain protection concepts, we also need to know which components (that usually aren't directly visible) are located where, and what their properties are. Here we're very close to what's usually considered secret even by the most open and forthcoming armies
  9. We also need information about basic automotive performance data
  10. We need firing tables and an estimate about the terminal effects of munitions
  11. Last but not least, not every army conforms to US military doctrine. Just because the US Army will clear a mine obstacle by method A doesn't necessarily mean that some other army couldn't use method B. Eventually this should be reflected in the behavior of our computer-controlled vehicles

That procedure has been followed by pretty much every playable vehicle in Steel Beasts - sometimes with more rigor than in other cases, usually the newer ones, but as can be seen, it's often dictated by the circumstances. When I say that Steel Beasts is based on open information, it does not necessarily mean that it's easy to find, that it's published on the internet, or that literally everybody can find it. It only means that we have a credible source and that they voluntarily answer our questions without imposing limits to what of that we may make public in the form of releasing the Personal Edition of Steel Beasts Pro.

Lately I haven't pointed it out as much as I used to in the past. Steel Beasts Professional is not a game. First and foremost it is a tool to augment the training of AFV crews and junior leaders - be it collectively or in unsupervised self-study - with the help of personal computer hardware. Just because we are using commercial off-the-shelf computer platforms (consumer electronics) to drive down the costs of procurement and maintenance, just because we utilize game technology and certain game techniques and have "Games" in our company name and logo doesn't mean that our focus is in the entertainment area.

A game would probably not have an AAR, a game would put more emphasis on visual splendor, a game would concentrate on popular vehicles, a game could cut many corners to simplify the process of putting a tank X into the code, a game would be release once and then maybe receive one or two free patches and eventually some add-on (or its modern successor, the DLC). Steel Beasts doesn't do any of that. Either because we suck at game design, or because we see us working on something different. ;)

That being said, tanks are about the biggest toy a boy can get his hands on, and we won't stop you from playing around with them in a safe, digital environment. Steel Beasts still works to a certain extent "as a game" for some people, but that only because the underlying simulated activities are a stimulating intellectual challenge (maybe even "fun" to some ... as long as nobody actually shoots at you or your friends, and you aren't forced by order or circumstance to maim and kill).

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Ssnake, we are very glad tht eSim have such a high quality standards, it's, no need to argue, only benefits the game. Of course, it would be stupid to tell you how you should do your product.

As you mentioned yourself, "Steel Beasts Professional is not a game". But SB Pro Pe is. So, can you consider to include more Russian units in the SB Pro Pe. I think, it would not require such high quality demands as SB Pro does. I absolutly sure, that it will be profitable both for eSim and for the players.

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Developing a virtual tank is a costly venture. Some things get easier with experience, and cheaper with other implementations. But that aspect is comparatively minor. You still need
  1. access to the original vehicle (which means someone must be willing to grant that access. Usually that'd be a (foreign) army. Why on earth would they want to help us out ... unless of course they want us to create a training solution for them?)
  2. Photos, tons of them, with gratuitous application of measure tape
  3. Sounds, all the unique sounds of the system, preferably recorded without disturbing noises, which usually means about ten attempts to get one right (you rarely can isolate a vehicle, there's always someone stumbling into the scene who isn't aware of what's going on)
  4. A detailed description of the fire control system. Even with complete access to the technical manuals (which usually contain a number of errors that get detected only by someone like us who wants to recreate the system behavior and therefore starts to ask questions of "what would happen, if we press that button while this part of the system is NOT working?"
    ...because, based on the description in the manual is should be X, but often enough that X contradicts some other part of the manual which suggests that it is Y. Depending on X or Y being true, some other aspect Z may also be wrong, or at least work slightly differently.
    This also means that, after we have left the scene, someone in control of that tank must test our software prototype and go back to the original vehicle and actually test those cases - as if these people had nothing better to do with their time.
  5. We also need to decide how the system should behave if the crew is only partially human, especially when (like in the Centauro) gunner and commander are expected to press a certain button simultaneously.
  6. From the tons of photos an artist must work on a 3D model. That can take up to three months.
  7. The 3D model must not only look like the original, it must also in some parts be functionally organized like the real vehicle with internal component boxes etc. to allow us to define its vulnerability for our damage model.
  8. That also means, we need a good understanding of the armor protection and certain protection concepts, we also need to know which components (that usually aren't directly visible) are located where, and what their properties are. Here we're very close to what's usually considered secret even by the most open and forthcoming armies
  9. We also need information about basic automotive performance data
  10. We need firing tables and an estimate about the terminal effects of munitions
  11. Last but not least, not every army conforms to US military doctrine. Just because the US Army will clear a mine obstacle by method A doesn't necessarily mean that some other army couldn't use method B. Eventually this should be reflected in the behavior of our computer-controlled vehicles

That procedure has been followed by pretty much every playable vehicle in Steel Beasts - sometimes with more rigor than in other cases, usually the newer ones, but as can be seen, it's often dictated by the circumstances. When I say that Steel Beasts is based on open information, it does not necessarily mean that it's easy to find, that it's published on the internet, or that literally everybody can find it. It only means that we have a credible source and that they voluntarily answer our questions without imposing limits to what of that we may make public in the form of releasing the Personal Edition of Steel Beasts Pro.

Lately I haven't pointed it out as much as I used to in the past. Steel Beasts Professional is not a game. First and foremost it is a tool to augment the training of AFV crews and junior leaders - be it collectively or in unsupervised self-study - with the help of personal computer hardware. Just because we are using commercial off-the-shelf computer platforms (consumer electronics) to drive down the costs of procurement and maintenance, just because we utilize game technology and certain game techniques and have "Games" in our company name and logo doesn't mean that our focus is in the entertainment area.

A game would probably not have an AAR, a game would put more emphasis on visual splendor, a game would concentrate on popular vehicles, a game could cut many corners to simplify the process of putting a tank X into the code, a game would be release once and then maybe receive one or two free patches and eventually some add-on (or its modern successor, the DLC). Steel Beasts doesn't do any of that. Either because we suck at game design, or because we see us working on something different. ;)

Ah yeah I never said it was something easy. Pardon me if I implied that.

That being said, tanks are about the biggest toy a boy can get his hands on, and we won't stop you from playing around with them in a safe, digital environment. Steel Beasts still works to a certain extent "as a game" for some people, but that only because the underlying simulated activities are a stimulating intellectual challenge (maybe even "fun" to some ... as long as nobody actually shoots at you or your friends, and you aren't forced by order or circumstance to maim and kill).

Hmm I don't know helicopter gunship and aircraft could be a ton of fun too. You know one popping up above the trees and that tank just blew up, or a single pass and a company of tanks just get destroyed hehe. I personally like the slow pace of submarine warfare too. I enjoy playing Dangerous waters very much(graphics isn't much) and Silent Hunter series hehe.

But yeah SB can be fun or very fun indeed. I wished the PE would allow the same kind of larger in game area as in the Pro version to make for more dynamic and interesting scenario(and longer too). But yeah I'm okay with the current arrangement and can fully understand the restrictions from business stand of view considering I'm(we) only paying a relatively small amount of money. Better PE than nothing. Still the most comprehensive contemporary armored warfare sim. Second only to World of tanks :wink:(<-- teasing Ssnake)

Hmm I smell something burning. Better check it out :biggrin:

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_--__[]KITT;218193']...

But yeah SB can be fun or very fun indeed. I wished the PE would allow the same kind of larger in game area as in the Pro version to make for more dynamic and interesting scenario(and longer too).

...

We allready are at some 25x25km large maps.(correct me if I'm wrong)

Considering that a conventional company AOR is in the (very) low 1 didgit numbers, 25x25 gives you a huge playground.

On that map you can put BN/Rgt size battles.

So you have to design a scenario that big with 100+ vehicles. This you can play map view as a kind of CPEX. Or you can script the rest of the units/do a large MP game. Then you'll also see maybe 3-5 square km of that map within 3 hours of game time.

Would it be cool to have a 50x50 or even 100x100 km map just for awesomeness of it? No question about that :-D

Would it better the gameplay? Not in my p.o.v.

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So remember, should the need arise, you civies or (ex)military that did not chose tank crewman as your MOS, now have simulated tank training to put on your resumé when you get drafted/called back/et cetera.

On having a larger map to romp around on, you could always make a campaign that has a multitude of scenarios that cover that much area... as some have already done.

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Speaking of upgrades or content wishlist

I'd spend another 25 bucks for just higher resolution tanks skins and interior. The older tanks and AFVs they tend to come with lower resolution skins and interior.

I know skin download could help mitigate this. There's even high res skin for Leo 2A5 interior, but if they would make a standardized higher resolution skins for these AFVs and tanks I'd fork another 25 just for that....or even put an interface to switch skins on the go through in game menu and provides several skins for each AFV and tank. But I guess most wouln't pay for higher resolution skins as the mods can cater for that.

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Jep, but what about this One:

Leo018.jpg

and....

- More House Modells

- More Road Signs

- The "Distance Tool" in the Map Editor

- Usable Panzerfaust

- Light- and Illumination Effects

- Improved Arty Menu

........

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Developing a virtual tank is a costly venture.

Snipped for brevity.

Ssnake,

Would it not be worth putting your post up as a sticky - or part of the FAQ? That way you could reply to requests/suggestions like Kitt's with a simple link, and not have to keep repeating yourself. I've only been playing SB Pro PE for 8 months but seem to recall this conversation occurring at least twice in that short period.

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Jep, but what about this One:

Leo018.jpg

.

Is it true that the turret is fixed in that position?:diable:

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That´s right, but with firing on the SIX she´s much more quicker and accurate than the other Tanks of her Generation.

And its much annoying to see the Commanders Bu** Ho** while getting the first Round between Turret and Hull ;-=

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As you mentioned yourself, "Steel Beasts Professional is not a game". But SB Pro Pe is.

We may have to agree to disagree about this one. What I wrote was:

Lately I haven't pointed it out as much as I used to in the past. Steel Beasts Professional is not a game. First and foremost it is a tool to augment the training of AFV crews and junior leaders - be it collectively or in unsupervised self-study - with the help of personal computer hardware.

That part about "unsupervised self study" was meant as a reference to SB Pro PE. While I was at officers' school (more than two decades ago...), I found tactics to be real fun (I might have given a lesser limb for SB Pro PE at that time, had it already existed back then; maybe it's a good thing that no such product was available). The fact that Steel Beasts Pro PE is fun does not infer that it is of lesser fidelity as a tactical simulation.

We just don't exert rigorous control over with what kind of scenarios is is supplied. This puts it essentially into the realm of "explorative style" learning. Some proponents of "military science" would argue that you become a better Steel Beasts player by applying the methodology taught in tactics. My counter-argument would be that Steel Beasts conveys a convincing message that the methodology of one's doctrine is usually correct (but nasty surprises can still happen, especially if the enemy may not adhere to his own doctrine (because either the mission designer made a mistake or because it was an intentional rouse)).

Maybe SB Pro can also help those who approach the issue of tactics and combat with fewer cognitive/analytical tools but more on a "gut feeling level" of intuition. Experiences Steel Beasts players can be considered (in selected areas) as veterans - to the extent that they went through more engagements and duel situations than a normal soldier could possibly go through in real life. This is akin to comparing someone with 400,000 miles od driving under his belt with someone who just passed a rigorous exam for a driver's license (assuming that it isn't a sham like in the US, but something where you have a decent chance of actually failing). The guy from the exam may be more apt at applying all the rules in a given traffic situation. The other guy simply does it. He just knows when a situation is dangerous, he just knows what speed is actually safe (even if he may violate a speed limit in a given location).

In selected areas, even the Personal Edition can deliver this experience (in other areas it never will, of course).

Caveat:

Just like an avid Flight Simulator player could still crash the airplane that he just took over from the collapsed flight crew (due to fish poisoning), he may still have better chances to save the other passengers than someone who is completely alien to the concepts of air speed, height above ground, rudder, ailerons, and whatnot. The simulator player may have a 10% chance while the other guy has just a .1% chance; I wouldn't want to fly with that plane in either situation - still, there's no denying that in this given example the sim player's passengers have 100 times more hope for survival.

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That´s right, but with firing on the SIX she´s much more quicker and accurate than the other Tanks of her Generation.

And its much annoying to see the Commanders Bu** Ho** while getting the first Round between Turret and Hull ;-=

:)

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...a rigorous exam for a driver's license (assuming that it isn't a sham like in the US, but something where you have a decent chance of actually failing)...

Amen, brother. :)

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If you look at the faq, you will find it there near the bottom. However, no one reads the faq. :-(

Ssnake,

Would it not be worth putting your post up as a sticky - or part of the FAQ? That way you could reply to requests/suggestions like Kitt's with a simple link, and not have to keep repeating yourself. I've only been playing SB Pro PE for 8 months but seem to recall this conversation occurring at least twice in that short period.

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If you're like me and you immediately wanted to click the "FAQ" link at the top of this page, save yourself some trouble and click here. :)

Thanks, Sean. Now I feel dumb. (For my repeated suggestion as well.) :c::biggrin:

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Okay, here's a new one (I think):

In the planning phase, could you make it so that if you're using the F1 (3D) view and you find a good BP, you could just press "E" to put a "Hold" CP at that exact location facing the intended direction? I think that could speed up the planning phase a little.

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Ssnake, we are very glad tht eSim have such a high quality standards, it's, no need to argue, only benefits the game. Of course, it would be stupid to tell you how you should do your product.

As you mentioned yourself, "Steel Beasts Professional is not a game". But SB Pro Pe is. So, can you consider to include more Russian units in the SB Pro Pe. I think, it would not require such high quality demands as SB Pro does. I absolutly sure, that it will be profitable both for eSim and for the players.

I agree

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If you look at the faq, you will find it there near the bottom. However, no one reads the faq. :-(

OK. If Ssnake prefers to answer every repetition of the question afresh rather than just provide a link to the FAQ, then that's his business. :)

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If you're like me and you immediately wanted to click the "FAQ" link at the top of this page, save yourself some trouble and click here. :)

Thanks, Sean. Now I feel dumb. (For my repeated suggestion as well.) :c::biggrin:

Thanks for the link. Simple isn't it? :)

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It may be that my answers don't change much over the years (I haven't bothered to check), maybe there are little nuances that some may find enlightening. FAQs have their place, but as long as I am not inundated by countless forum posts I can afford to conjure a personalized answer instead of posting referrals. ;)

Besides, I just hate it when someone answers a question of mine with an ill-fitting standard answer. It just shows the level of appreciation for my existence. I may not be the world's greatest conversationalist, but I'm not a Cylon either who feels best in the company of mindless robots.

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...but I'm not a Cylon either who feels best in the company of mindless robots.

...Or...Is your seemingly innocent claim that you aren't a Cylon just a ploy to make us feel safe, because you actually ARE a Cylon....

:shocked:

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But in any case, set you clocks because in about 8 weeks someone else is going to ask about cheap "add on" packs and of course tell everyone how "easy" they will be to do.

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Which ones do you want in high res?

I never make guarantees, but I might be able to help.

Hey thank you for the good intention.

Seems the Leopard 2A4 got a new model while I was away from the game, at least that's what I assumed since using the older skins would create funny beeping sounds everytime you clicked your mouse.

The default skin is nice but I don't feel it is representative enough of the German's more popular tank color scheme, the woodland european camo.

There seems no such skin available for the latest Leopard 2A4. :) I know the brown color scheme was widely used but somehow I prefer the German's woodland European camo

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