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Waterloo Screenshots #2
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TOPIC: Waterloo Screenshots #2

Waterloo Screenshots #2 3 years, 7 months ago #1

  • Flanyboy
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Waterloo Screenshots #2 3 years, 7 months ago #2

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Excellent work Norb and team. I got on YouTube today and checked out the HistWar2 videos. They were very nice. The action of the troops were very disappointing. Our game is so much better. I mean your game , sorry, I have been with SOW sense the beginning and support you guys so much I feel part of this endeavor. Keep up the good work.
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Re: Waterloo Screenshots #2 3 years, 7 months ago #3

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Extremely pretty. I have a question though and I think its a critical one, so could an NSD person please give a response. I mentioned this when the La Haye Sainte pics were released but no-one's yet answered me.

Both complexes of buildings are built to a different scale compared to the Gettysburg game. It looks very much like the whole Hougoumont complex covers about as much real estate as the entire town of Sharpsburg from the Anitetam add-on.

SoW:G uses a 12-foot tall man for its sprites because 1 sprite represents 4 real men. So the buildings are scaled to suit the figures (doorways are 12 feet high, roofs are in proportion, etc, etc) which means their footprint is way out of scale with the map horizontal scale. Its the standard miniatures figure scale to ground scale compromise that table top wargamers have had to deal with for decades.

I am asking about troop scale here. If a battalion of 500 men is represented by 125 sprites, then the very small garrison of Hougoumont is going to be about 2 such units (the 4 light companies of British Foot Guards, about 500 men) and the 1st Btn, 2nd Nassau Regt (also around 500 men). There was a company of Hanoverian Jager and some Hanoverian landwehr as well, maybe another 200 men. In all around 1200 men. If that is about 3 small batallions in total then those sprites will be completely 'lost' inside that huge complex, and the garden, and the orchard and the wood to the south.

This implies you guys have a new sprite to figure scale planned, right? Or else this is going to look beautiful but be very awkward to play.
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Re: Waterloo Screenshots #2 3 years, 7 months ago #4

There is still a lot to be determined in this area and please remember that all screenshots posted are still very early previews. Jim is the guy when it comes to explaining sprite ratio, so I'll see if he can chime in here. But from a map design perspective, Houg is definitely going to take up more room due to scale. The same with La Haye Sainte, and the other large farms. The scale is a little different than SOWGB, but still follows the same general formula. But how the troops will move around and occupy Houg and other complex's etc., is still to be determined. Sorry for the crappy answer, but again, still very early dev..
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He possessed what a fellow soldier called "an unquenchable thirst for battle." - James I. Robertson on A.P. Hill
Next to a lost battle, nothing is so sad as a battle that has been won. - Arthur Wellesley

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Re: Waterloo Screenshots #2 3 years, 7 months ago #5

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I understand its early days, but clearly a lot of careful work has gone into making the two farm complexes you've shown us so far. I would have thought you'd have got your troop scale, ground scale and basic concepts on assaulting and defending buildings down first, before setting your artists doing all this lovely looking work. For example will buildings be destructible or burnable? You'll know that the French directed a number of howitzers against the Hougoumont buildings later in the day, setting them on fire and forcing parts of the main house to be abandoned by the British. I'm no game designer but my thinking is those questions ought to be answered before the 3D models are built in case polygons need to come off or be replaced with others, etc.

For a structure to be enterable it may need different properties within the 3D model. It just seems very cart-before-horse to make these great models without deciding properly how they function in the game.

Sorry if I sound like I'm having a moan, I just want this game to be so good and these are things my gamers brain gets curious about.
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Re: Waterloo Screenshots #2 3 years, 7 months ago #6

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Saddletank wrote:
For a structure to be enter-able it may need different properties within the 3D model. It just seems very cart-before-horse to make these great models without deciding properly how they function in the game.

As far as I know the Power-Render-Map-Program has always been capable of having an indoor \ outdoor perspective, it just hadn't been used (i.e..Programmed) before.

This also applies to the previous game Map-Making capabilities.

It will be interesting to see how this is done in the game.

davinci
The only true logic is that, there is no true logic!

Re: Waterloo Screenshots #2 3 years, 7 months ago #7

Saddletank wrote:
I understand its early days, but clearly a lot of careful work has gone into making the two farm complexes you've shown us so far. I would have thought you'd have got your troop scale, ground scale and basic concepts on assaulting and defending buildings down first, before setting your artists doing all this lovely looking work. For example will buildings be destructible or burnable? You'll know that the French directed a number of howitzers against the Hougoumont buildings later in the day, setting them on fire and forcing parts of the main house to be abandoned by the British. I'm no game designer but my thinking is those questions ought to be answered before the 3D models are built in case polygons need to come off or be replaced with others, etc.

For a structure to be enterable it may need different properties within the 3D model. It just seems very cart-before-horse to make these great models without deciding properly how they function in the game.

Sorry if I sound like I'm having a moan, I just want this game to be so good and these are things my gamers brain gets curious about.


Just trust us..
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He possessed what a fellow soldier called "an unquenchable thirst for battle." - James I. Robertson on A.P. Hill
Next to a lost battle, nothing is so sad as a battle that has been won. - Arthur Wellesley

In remembrance: John "2nd Texas" Bonin (1977 - 2012)
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Re: Waterloo Screenshots #2 3 years, 7 months ago #8

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Saddletank wrote:
I understand its early days, but clearly a lot of careful work has gone into making the two farm complexes you've shown us so far. I would have thought you'd have got your troop scale, ground scale and basic concepts on assaulting and defending buildings down first, before setting your artists doing all this lovely looking work. For example will buildings be destructible or burnable? You'll know that the French directed a number of howitzers against the Hougoumont buildings later in the day, setting them on fire and forcing parts of the main house to be abandoned by the British. I'm no game designer but my thinking is those questions ought to be answered before the 3D models are built in case polygons need to come off or be replaced with others, etc.

For a structure to be enterable it may need different properties within the 3D model. It just seems very cart-before-horse to make these great models without deciding properly how they function in the game.

Sorry if I sound like I'm having a moan, I just want this game to be so good and these are things my gamers brain gets curious about.


Hi Saddletank - the 3d models themselves are easily scaled in 3D Max and in the map program itself so they can be quickly reduced or increased in size in a few minutes. We haven't nailed the scales down but they are very easy to adjust so there would be no lost work. As for the properties such as damage that is again reasonably easy to do either with alpha channels in the textures and adding damage and burnt bits (we have already experimented with this) and then the game engine decides when damage is shown. The buildings won't be any different if the can be entered and this property is handled in the game engine too.

You are right a lot of work has gone into these buildings and none of it will be wasted. I'm glad you like them - we have spent a lot of time, effort and research getting them right. I have visited the battlefield myself to get reference (once during a reenactment) as have others on the team and scoured books and the web for rare pictures so we believe they will be the most accurate representation of the Waterloo buildings possible.

They were a pleasure to build
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Re: Waterloo Screenshots #2 3 years, 7 months ago #9

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... and to texture

More pleasures to come.
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Re: Waterloo Screenshots #2 3 years, 6 months ago #10

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tim wrote:
the 3d models themselves are easily scaled in 3D Max and in the map program itself so they can be quickly reduced or increased in size in a few minutes.
Hey Tim, - and Jolly! - thanks for the replies, I am really fired up about this project, I've been interested in the Waterloo campaign since I began wargaming at the age of 14...

One issue though... changing the size of the structures means the sprite size has to still stay in proportion, so if you make the farm half the height, you have to make the sprite half the height. So really their physical size isn't the issue. The FOOTPRINT, the ground area they cover, is the issue. What I see different here from the Gettysburg game is that because buildings are enterable you need to get the game process of defence and assault correctly balanced and that means numbers of troops able to enter and garrison a structure is the key value, plus the defensive combat bonuses the structure provides (but that's not the issue here).

With Gettysburg, your horizontal ground scale was not the same as the vertical scale. Your sprites were 12 feet tall. I think you did this so that you didn't need to have so many sprites being used/rendered in the game. When you did this suddenly Gettysburg town itself, and Sharpsburg of course, all had to be represented in reduced form with buildings in scale with the soldiers but 4x the footprint of their originals. So both towns only needed 1/4 of the structures.

If you keep the same ground scale for Waterloo and Hougoumont is that big, its garden wall is going to be the length of a musket's range, or more, and that isn't right. If you compress the whole battlefield down using the 12 foot high sprite system you used in Gettysburg, suddenly Hougoumont is huge, covering 4x the ground area it should. Likewise this affects all kinds of things like how far units can march in a given time, its the dilemma that's faced wargamers who use metal or plastic figures on tabletops for decades - the scale of the figures isn't the same as the horizonatl scale of the terrain they are standing on.

I believe Histwar uses a 1:1 correct vertical to horizontal scale so its battlefields are really empty and uncluttered, just as they should be, while SoW battlefields seem very cluttered with troops, like a miniatures wargame table.

To make a Hougoumont with the correct footprint to the ground scale while retaining the 12 foot high sprite you'd need to throw away all the work you've done now and make a representative structure that fits into an area 1/4 the actual dimensions of the real farm, but actualy doesn't look anything like it.

Alternatively you need to make your sprites in scale at 6 feet but that means you'll need 1000s more of them because the 1:4 ratio no longer works, they have to be at 1:1. Customer computer load suddenly goes way up.

Do you see what I'm saying?

EDIT: This video by Didz when discussing the Kaunitz mod for Empire:Total War describes and summarises the problems of a figure scale different to a horizontal scale. In the video teh same propotions are used as by SoW, a man scaled at twice the vertical height.

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Re: Waterloo Screenshots #2 3 years, 6 months ago #11

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Good points, Saddletank.

I wonder if have a single sprite have two or more men in the image rather than just one is a possible solution? That should not affect the FPS, as you are still only drawing one quad/two triangles for each sprite. Would look a little odd when they turn or you orbit the camera though.

Re: Waterloo Screenshots #2 3 years, 6 months ago #12

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I can see what you are saying and having been a tabletop gamer am aware of the dilemma. We had to make a decision on Gettysburg and will have to do same with Waterloo. I'm not the person who will make that decision. The work done will be used or recycled. Sometimes things have to be redone or even scrapped - we are used to that during the process of making a game. Not everything we did for Gettysburg made it into the game. At this stage all I can say is that nothing is set in stone.

Pakfront - I don't think the two sprites would work as when revolving round them they would spin out of line I think. May experiment with it...

Re: Waterloo Screenshots #2 3 years, 6 months ago #13

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I'm sure you guys will work things out to a good compromise. One of the better aspects of SoW is the ability to play huge battles of 50,000+ a side on the average home computer so I can't see a better way than to keep some kind of man:sprite ratio. Either way I can't think of a better team to have this problem to resolve.
HITS & Couriers - a different and realistic way to play SoW MP.

Re: Waterloo Screenshots #2 3 years, 6 months ago #14

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We will do what we can to balance out all of the needs for CPU and GPU cycles. One example of progress is that for the original release of GB, the performance requirement was that a combat with 40,000 troops (Longstreet's attack) had to be playable. This needed 10,000 soldier sprites at 1:4.

We have made performance improvements that were integrated with various patches. Our current draft performance standard for Waterloo is that a battle with 200,000 troops in combat must be playable (WL, ~7 PM). At 1:4, this works out to 50,000 soldier sprites. This is a five-fold increase in performance from the original release of GB. Our pilot testing give us reasonable confidence that we can ship with this level of performance. Exactly how we will get there will be shaped by many choices coming up during the development process.

-Jim
"My God, if we've not got a cool brain and a big one too, to manage this affair, the nation is ruined forever." Unknown private, 14th Vermont, 2 July 1863
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Re: Waterloo Screenshots #2 3 years, 6 months ago #15

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When will we get WIPs of troops?

Re: Waterloo Screenshots #2 3 years, 6 months ago #16

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Absolutely.

-Jim
"My God, if we've not got a cool brain and a big one too, to manage this affair, the nation is ruined forever." Unknown private, 14th Vermont, 2 July 1863
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