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Mickwnl
10th Jul 2004, 17:21
I'm satisfied to know that the development team for Imperial Glory has chosen for a realistic approach; RTS games don't necessarily have to be on a grand scale, as long as the action is interesting. My most memorable battles in Sid Meier's Gettysburg (seems ages ago!) were in fact small skirmishes, involving nothing more than a few regiments of infantry, a section of artillery and a squadron of cavalry. So my compliments to Eidos.
This game looks very promising as a new napoleonic-style RTS.

I'm interested to know how in this game the morale factor will be implemented. Fear is the most important factor on a battlefield. Tactics and strategy aim at organising and using the army in such a way, that the fear-level among the soldiers will be as low as possible and their effectiveness as great as possible. Every man, and subsequently, every regiment has a breaking point (and the good leaders know this). A point, beyond which the fear becomes to much to bear and the unit will break up into either a retreat or a rout. There is no law which can describe this process; some green units turn out to perform brilliantly whereas veteran troops may suddenly break and panic. Up to a point, it's a matter of experience and toughness, beyond that there is also an unknown factor, call it luck or circumstances.

How will "Imperial Glory" realise this morale issue? We have seen good and bad examples in the past. "Gettysburg" did it O.K., given the primitive computer technique of it's day. "American Conquest" did it abysmally poor, where you just saw individuals turn around and walk quietly away from the engagement.

How realistically will "Imperial Glory" portray wavering morale and unit routs?
If I may suggest;
First of all: there is such a thing as an ordered retreat. "Fall back" makes soldiers step backwards on orders. There is also something like the same movement being carried out without orders: falling back under stress, without the commander being able to stop it.
secondly: there is a factor that no one can control or predict; that means that it cannot look just like an equation. 10-point unit engages 8-point unit; outcome: 8-point unit runs away. It's not as simple as that.
There is a chance-factor, sometimes the weakest unit will prevail against all odds, but it's also a matter of realistic balance: when is a regiment going to break up?

thirdly: the regiment will never break up all at the same time; it starts with the least brave soldier in the unit. A few soldiers will run away first, and that usually triggers an avalanche of men running away, perhaps even dropping their weapons.

I'm curious to see how the development team is going to solve this. What I have seen from the game so far promises a professional handling of the issue. Good work Eidos!

Willmore
10th Jul 2004, 20:38
I think the sensory factors matter, ie.

When you see a column of french consisting of several batallions, close together - and unstoppable ram advance directly at you, chances are you think you will be trampled, which is what happen 9 times out of 10.

When you hear the drums, the cannons, the cavalry bugles' "Charge", it all factors in on a battlefield, where a unit that has gone through this before, and won under the circumstances, it would be more likely to not be affected by it. While a freshly conscripted unit from home might be intimidated, fight with less heart, and ultimately succumb to the pressure.


The officers thus become much more important - if you see fear in your officer, you become afraid yourself. If an officer dies, the soldier is likely to become disheartened, unless an equally competent XO can take command.

With an incompetent officer, that is known to massacre his people, the soldiers would likely be far easier to break, even before an engagement.


So, to add, instead of adding a greater chance factor, maybe creating a great many minor factors, that all affect the morale, the breaking point, and the general outcome, leaving a degree of chance, of course, as it is always necessary.

Mickwnl
11th Jul 2004, 11:14
Right, I agree. The question is also one of practicality. The game engine must be kept manageable. How many stress/morale factors will Pyro incorporate and will they design a good-looking retreat-animation? I personally would like to see an "ordered fall-back" -animation (a disciplined retreat stepping back facing the enemy and meanwhile keeping the unit cohesion) plus a panic-retreat-animation where the soldiers swarm away from the engagement, but that's up to Pyro/Eidos. They may have done it already.

Larrieu
11th Jul 2004, 15:25
I'm also legitimately interested in prisoner taking?

Willmore
11th Jul 2004, 19:23
Originally posted by Mickwnl
Right, I agree. The question is also one of practicality. The game engine must be kept manageable. How many stress/morale factors will Pyro incorporate and will they design a good-looking retreat-animation? I personally would like to see an "ordered fall-back" -animation (a disciplined retreat stepping back facing the enemy and meanwhile keeping the unit cohesion) plus a panic-retreat-animation where the soldiers swarm away from the engagement, but that's up to Pyro/Eidos. They may have done it already.


right, there is also retreating in a square, when in danger of cavalry, and some more, I can't think of right now.

Mickwnl
14th Jul 2004, 09:57
I think prisoner-taking and square-formation retreats are a bit too far fetched. You've got to stay within reasonable boundaries; I take it that you guys do want the game to be finished by january, don't you? Speaking of cavalry, from the trailer you can make out that the horses at least have two speeds on which to operate; trot and galop. That's good. For cavalry you need patrol-speed and attack-speed. That's a definite improvement over other games we've seen in the past.
I wonder whether the artillery also has this flexible multi-way of functioning; I would say different types of ammunition for the guns is the most important. In the trailermovie we only see shells exploding. What we need besides that is canisterfire to be used against infantry and cavalry at close ranges, and to prevent the need for excessive micro-management, the guncrews should not only seek and attack targets themselves but also switch to canisterfire automatically once an enemy unit comes too close. Case-shot (hollow ammunition filled with lead balls meant to explode in the air above enemy infantry) would be a nice asset but if I have to choose I'll trade that off against good canisterfire.

Mickwnl
14th Jul 2004, 10:08
Hey, what about grave-diggers? You guys know that gamedevelopers must always work within the limitations of the system for which the game is designed. Well, dead bodies put a burden on the graphics card because the engine must keep them as an object on the field. Furthermore if you get too much dead bodies on the field, the action becomes messy.
So what about burial-details who go over the battlefield and bury the fatal casualties? Looks good and might be a help for the game-engine to run faster.

sick
14th Jul 2004, 12:06
Originally posted by Mickwnl
I take it that you guys do want the game to be finished by january, don't you?
I don't want the game to be finished as soon as possible. The developers should get the time to complete and balance everything.
I have been waiting for Commandos 3 for 1½ year. As being in the staff of 3 different Commandos fansites, I really couldn't wait for the game. I had too much expectations, and what we got was a game that didn't completely satisfy me. Now I wish that the developers took more time for completing the game.
I have learned from that. This time I won't be such a demanding fan who want's the game to be released on the date which the game's announcement tells. Neither I will expect that every promised feature will be implemented.


Originally posted by Mickwnl
Well, dead bodies put a burden on the graphics card because the engine must keep them as an object on the field. Furthermore if you get too much dead bodies on the field, the action becomes messy.

I agree. In Praetorians they planned dead bodies at first, but later replaced them for skeletons. I won't mind if this will be used in Imperial Glory too. Maybe an option to switch between skeletons/dead bodies might be a good idea.

Mickwnl
14th Jul 2004, 17:34
Well my point was that burial details could be an elegant solution to the graphics speed problem, but I didn't mean to say that I don't want bodies on the field. On the contrary, dead bodies give a highly realistic impression, especially when the field gets littered with other objects too, like cartridge boxes and kepis. So no, don't leave the bodies away, judging from the screenshots they look great.

Willmore
15th Jul 2004, 02:02
I might be an idiot, but, if all the units will be individually rendered, then how will dead bodies increase the amount of gfx card work? The amount of polygons doesn't change.all you do, if anything, is replace the texture.

Mickwnl
15th Jul 2004, 12:21
The polygons don't change but the amount of units increases because dead soldiers are being replaced by reinforcements. If the bodies remain on the field, they keep being a burden to the videocard. Replacements would very soon reach a point beyond which the videocard can't manage them anymore. That's why most RTS games apply some sort of trick to make bodies disappear. Cossacks for instance makes them vaporize after only a few seconds, which looks pretty silly, but is logical from a programmers point of view. Cossacks uses such enormous amounts of units, that casualties must disappear from the field very fast in order to make room for replacements.

That's why I don't fancy huge battles. Apart from the impossibility of micromanaging fights, it leads to silly solutions by programmers given their technical limitations. Better to visualize an excellent-looking fight in reasonable proportions, than a massive, bad comic-book show.
And that's what Pyro/Eidos apparently have gone for. Whether or not they can deliver the promised realism, we shall see.

Willmore
15th Jul 2004, 17:43
but we don't know if there will be reinforcements, that's my point - if the amount of units on the field does not change, why bother ?

Mickwnl
16th Jul 2004, 07:35
If there will be no reinforcements, then of course there is no problem. From a standpoint of realism, I would prefer the casualties to stay on the field, too. If you have ever seen a live reenactment you know how real it looks when a fresh regiment is worn down by musketfire, dropping bodies all around until the casualty-rate is so high that the remainder of the men flee or put up their riflebutts in the air as a sign of surrender. I think the littering of the ground with the "waste of battle", however gruesome, adds a special touch to the eye and makes the entire scene look so much more real.
Also on second thought, the surrendering of units might not be such a bad idea after all.

Mickwnl
16th Jul 2004, 08:22
By the way, I like the muzzleflashes on the muskets! Looks like for the first time in gaming history, we will see true-to-life musketfire from troops of the line.

Mickwnl
16th Jul 2004, 08:34
I do have some doubts about the movements of the soldiers. In the trailer they seem a bit too fast, like you're watching comedy capers. But the trailer is so flashy, you can hardly follow things as they happen so fast, it may not be that bad. Perhaps the real game let's things happen at a more quieter pace.

What I also can't make out from the trailer is the way soldiers drop to the ground. Hopefully they will do that realistically and in different ways. One "dropmove" for all soldiers never looks good. It's about time game artists put a little more work in the "drop"-animations.

Vic Flange
16th Jul 2004, 14:15
Hi all,

Some general comments on the thread.

Firstly, it's nice to see some good discussion getting underway :)

Secondly, although I'd like to go into more detail on the various points being discussed, we don't really want to give too much away at the moment - partly because we need to have some surprises ;) and also because elements will no doubt change as balancing progresses. On some specific points though-

Morale will feature, governed by various parameters
Officers will feature
Units breaking up/routing, we want to approach in a realistic way, rather than everyone reaching breaking point at the same time and running away
Prisoners are a fair possibility, as are Reinforcements
The Trailer was very early code for E3 and the game is now looking much, much better

It's fair to say that we have plans for every aspect of the game, but these will be tweaked as we progress...

sick
16th Jul 2004, 22:59
Originally posted by Vic Flange
The Trailer was very early code for E3 and the game is now looking much, much better


Time for a new trailer then.;)

Kai-Arne
23rd Jul 2004, 21:36
Sorry that I break in your very interesting discussion! I`m new here at this forum. A few months ago I became member of a cossacks 2- forum, and yesterday I registered at this forum (and a Rome-forum). I´m waiting for "cossacks 2" and "Rome-Total War" since I know that they are planned, but now I heared of "Imperial Glory". At the cossacks 2-forum most people don`t like "Imperial Glory" or what they heared about it. But I think it will be a great game, which can cope with "cossacks 2" or even "Rome"! But what do you guys here think about "cossacks 2" and "Rome"?
And I have some other questions, too:
It was said, that the unit-limit in "Imperial Glory" will be round about 2.000 soldiers in a battle. Is it meant per fighting faction, ore all in all? (In a very early preview of "Rome" it was mentioned, that the limit will be 5.000 fighting soldiers, and later came out that they meant per faction, so 10.000 soldiers all in all!) I would like to see 4.000 fighting soldiers in "Imperial Glory"!
Somebody called "Vic Flange" posted here, that officers will be featured. What about drummers and flag-bearers? And will they march beside they Formation? (on the screens I couldn`t see any)
How many soldiers will die after a volley? Will the distances influence these numbers? ( e.g. Big distance=hardly any hits; low distance=almost everybody musket-ball hits)

Thank you for "listening"! I hope we`ll have a good time together, until the game will be released!

Arctic_Wolf
24th Jul 2004, 01:05
If you look at the trailers you can see that all the units/groups bear a flag, though I'm not sure wheather there are actual flag bearers or the flags just mysteriously trail along.

I would certainly hope to see, and especially hear, drummers and bagpipers(for the brits), it adds a touch of suspense and anticipation as you line your forces up.


The Trailer was very early code for E3 and the game is now looking much, much better

You have improved the graphics since the trailer... but thats impossible :D

Willmore
24th Jul 2004, 02:25
well, bagpipes for the scotch regiments, I don't think some Ulster regiment would appreciate bagpipes :-)

Arctic_Wolf
24th Jul 2004, 02:55
No, I'm somewhat sure that since the act of unification nearly all of the British Army regiments used Bagpipers, especialy in the middleeast and india where they also wore kilts, and where kown as devils by the locals since they didn't wear any undies.


Here's a look at the uniforms of the 26th Infantry Regiment, and there on the left is the Bagpiper,

http://www.britishempire.co.uk/images/26thfootreduniforms.jpg

Willmore
24th Jul 2004, 03:20
One small glitch in your story .... the Cameronians were a Scotch regiment, as I remember.

The normal English regiments used drummerboys.

Kai-Arne
24th Jul 2004, 12:59
Originally posted by Arctic_Wolf
If you look at the trailers you can see that all the units/groups bear a flag, though I'm not sure wheather there are actual flag bearers or the flags just mysteriously trail along.



You`re right, every unit is signified with the national-flag, but there isn`t a flagbearer. As you said it just hoovers over the formation. Well, that`s how it is in the Total War games, too, but in Rome there will be a special standart-bearer and a mysteriously hoovering flag! The standart-bearer for good looking, and the "hoover-flag" to identifie the troops! Clever!

Arctic_Wolf
25th Jul 2004, 14:15
I said the 26th not the Cameronians, or are they the same? :confused:

Willmore
25th Jul 2004, 19:58
They are.

Arctic_Wolf
26th Jul 2004, 20:47
Bugger, :o

Vic Flange
27th Jul 2004, 14:41
We may introduce flag bearers and drummers but don't consider them a priority at the moment. If we choose not to include drummers/pipers however, their contribution to the battle will certainly be heard in the music...

On the musket volleys, the amount of casualties will vary according to distance, skill of the soldiers firing, amount of troops firing etc - all the normal factors you'd expect.

sick
27th Jul 2004, 20:50
It's Mateo Pascual who is doing the music right? If yes then nothing can go wrong with this game!!
His music creates a great atmosphere. It makes you feel that your inside the game. I really love his work so much!!

Vic Flange
28th Jul 2004, 09:24
Yes, Mateo's doing the music. I'll pass on your comments - he'll be pleased to hear them :)

Mickwnl
28th Jul 2004, 14:13
In answer to Kai-Arnes question, I think "Imperial Glory" may have come as a very unpleasant surprise to the makers of "Cossacks 2", especially because "Cossacks 2" is almost ready to hit the market (according to plan this autumn I believe it was) and probably will not change a whole lot more. Looking at "Cossacks 2" commercial screenshots I'd say it looks a lot like "more of the same". The backgrounds may be a little more sophisticated, but the units still look like an ugly row of robots, all looking (and moving?) the same way and that is to be expected. Why? 64000 units is way too massive to be goodlooking on the micro-level. On the macro-level too, by the way, because the big masses of soldiers look like computerchips on a motherboard. The pyrotechnics (smoke and fire) are still bad as always (judging from the screenshots) and The AI will probably not be much better than what we saw in the first installment. It doesn't seem to me that the "Cossacks 2" team did anything more than polishing up their bad engine, but I'll allow them to convince me otherwise.

About "Cossacks" (the first game) I can say this: it was ahead of it's time when it was first released and I loved the graphics then, so in that area they did a good job, but the game is obsolete, the AI is bad to worse and if they are ever going to beat what "Imperial Glory" seems to possess, they will have to rewrite the entire thing. I wouldn't be surprised to see "Cossacks 2" planned release being pushed to a later date unexpectedly in order to rewrite things and try to gain some ground on "Imperial Glory". You see what a competition economy is good for.

Mike_B
29th Jul 2004, 08:28
Originally posted by sick
It's Mateo Pascual who is doing the music right? If yes then nothing can go wrong with this game!!
His music creates a great atmosphere. It makes you feel that your inside the game. I really love his work so much!!

Totally agree with this, along with the awesome graphics/artwork.

btw any change that there will be released some music pieces apart from trailers? That way I can listen to music without having to start the trailer everytime :)

Arctic_Wolf
29th Jul 2004, 16:16
Who is Mateo Pascual, I've never heard of him before, what other games has he done?

Mike_B
29th Jul 2004, 17:19
He's the guy that is responsible for the music in all of Pyro's games, and has done a great job so far!

Games include: Commandos:Bel, Commandos:BTCOD, Commandos 2, Commandos 3, Praetorians

sick
29th Jul 2004, 18:25
There wasn't much to listen in Commandos: BEL...:rolleyes:
There was only music in the main menu and during briefings. I'm going to buy the game soundtracks soon!!:cool:

Arctic_Wolf
29th Jul 2004, 21:42
I have never played any of the Commandos games or Praetorians, any others he worked on?

If not then this game'll be the first time I hear his work.

sick
29th Jul 2004, 22:35
He only made music for Pyro Studios.

Mike_B
30th Jul 2004, 10:46
Originally posted by Arctic_Wolf
I have never played any of the Commandos games or Praetorians, any others he worked on?


You should try them if you get the change to. Anyways if you would want to hear some work, you can check one of the C3 trailers (http://www.eidos.co.uk/downloads/search.html?gmid=135)

mayflower1
2nd Aug 2004, 16:33
Originally posted by Vic Flange
Hi all,


The Trailer was very early code for E3 and the game is now looking much, much better

It's fair to say that we have plans for every aspect of the game, but these will be tweaked as we progress...

Any chance of having a new trailer to allow us to appreciate the new look of the game?

Nizze
2nd Aug 2004, 20:00
Ore some screanshots.
I want to se the square formation in action!

sick
2nd Aug 2004, 20:52
I asked Vic Flange for some material two weeks ago or something, so that I could make a lay-out that fits to the theme
This is what I got back:


Afraid I can't send out any more materials just yet, as we have a plan for when assets are to be released (to printed press, websites, retailers etc) which has been agreed between Pyro Studios and Eidos Marketing/PR. The process is quite controlled and is something we need to stick to...

However, we'll release some more screens fairly soon and, in a later website update will do a fansite pack, which will have more materials for you to use.

So, new screenshots fairly soon (when I asked Souto when another game he is working on (can't give more details) would be announced he said "soon" and that was over a month ago. So fairly soon can mean anything...:rolleyes: )
Nothing said about a trailer. I wonder how much better the game looks now. Please release a new trailer soon!! I prefer 5 trailers, each showcasing an Empire.:)

Willmore
3rd Aug 2004, 00:08
And I'd like bill gates' bank account ... funny how things we want aren't always things we get, eh ? :-)

Vic Flange
3rd Aug 2004, 14:38
We will release another trailer... just not yet I'm afraid :)

Willmore
4th Aug 2004, 06:27
Ok, how about this, you said that there is a schedule, how about you tell us when the next "big date" is for screenshots/trailers, and we'll do a release party ?

Besides, it's always nice to know that the marketing department (those vile, evil, money-grabbing people) cares.

sick
4th Aug 2004, 09:46
If you give some details from the schedule, please do it as a spoiler text.
I both hate and love the teasing, you are good in it, I can hardly wait.:) :( ;)