Some folks let us know that they would prefer not to have the messages embedded on the main map but instead thrown to a dedicated window, both for clarity (depending on what is on the map, they can sometimes be difficult to read) and for de-cluttering the map itself.
This ability is offered as a configurable option; those that prefer the traditional method of displaying messages directly on the lower-left part of the map can still use that.
This is of course most useful if a second or third monitor is present, so that the message window gets entirely out of the way and the primary monitor/s can be dedicated entirely to the game map.
And the home-stretch to v1 continues.
We have had a few new screenshots of Command posted on Matrix’s FB page and mirrored on the game’s MG forum. Have a look at them and as always we welcome constructive feedback & discussion on all our forums.
Meanwhile, the official beta is rolling extremely well. Plus, we’ll soon have something interesting to demonstrate with a new video. Stay tuned!
It has been a while since our last front-page post and, as readers of our build-roll thread are aware, we have been busy. With the official internal beta now underway, the process of shoring up Command‘s functionality and content for the v1 release is in full swing. One of the brand-new additions in Build 349 is range-symbols for non-friendly units.
Compared with earlier attempts at implementing this feature in other titles, enemy range-rings in Command are not a “magic” piece of intelligence provided to the player; instead, they are based solely on the information obtained through the player’s assets. The more accurate a contact’s identification status becomes, the more information about the contact’s abilities can be provided on the map.
Let us consider an example:
In this notional strike ingress scenario, an F-117A is attempting to penetrate an air defence screen and strike a fuel bunker. It is aided by an RC-135 electronic snooper, an invaluable asset in such an operation.
The fixed SA-3 site has been automatically detected at the start of the scenario, so its precise location and identification are known. This allows the friendly “staff” to plot its maximum missile range (red circle) and maximum radar range (very large white circle) with confidence. Note that, to avoid confusion with friendly range symbols, enemy symbols are drawn with dashed lines instead of solid. Like friendly symbols, they can be merged to remove visual clutter.
There is, however, an extra pop-up threat which is detected by both aircraft, south of the SA-3 site. Preliminary identification points to a SAM element, and a “Straight Flush” radar emission is detected and identified. Gut instinct points to a SA-6 battery, but the EW operators are not yet confident enough for a positive ID (which would also allow for plotting a missile range circle). The detected radar, however, constitutes a detection threat by itself, so it is plotted (medium white circle) immediately. Notice that the contact’s location is still quite uncertain, so the radar’s actual coverage can very significantly; this is an important consideration for the player. If another-longer range radar emission is detected from the same contact, the circle will grow accordingly.
Based on this visual information, the player plots the penetration route depicted in the screenshot, trusting that it will keep the aircraft out of the dangerous engagement radar and, for as long as possible, hopefully out of detection range of the SA-3 battery as well. If the pop-up SAM battery’s location is subsequently narrowed down to a point east of its current estimate, the route will likely have to be revised.
Out next demo is a hot item… in more ways than one.
The rumble of our publishing agreement with Matrix Games still echoes on the far reaches of the air/nav wargaming community (thanks to everyone for your support!). The Command dev team has taken a much needed holiday break and things have generally quieted down. It is thus now a suitable time to cater to a recent request from our forums and present a sneak peek on our under-construction in-game database viewer.
We decided to adopt an HTML-style presentation for the DB data in order to employ both a flexible flow layout and to facilitate easy hypertext-style navigation (e.g. click on weapon, jump to weapon info page).
First, a sample of the USN F-35C (click image for full size):
(Yes, it has quite a few loadout options)
This image was collaged from numerous successive screenshots since normally the information text is too large to fit on a single screen and the user scrolls through the page just like when using a web browser.
Also notice the “Type”, “Class” (keyword search essentially) and “Country” filters which make it significantly easier to search for a specific platform.
Next, the page for the SA-23 / Antey-2500 (improved SA-12):
This demonstrates another strong feature of the DB viewer, which is the optional inclusion of descriptive text and images for each platform. This is also another example of the dev team actively listening and responding to community feedback. The initial plan was to not include any such elements both for size/effort/portability reasons and also because of IP/copyright concerns. However it was made clear to us from forum discussions that it would be highly desirable to have the ability to include such elements even on an optional basis. We therefore included the ability to add such text & images on a per-platform basis while still keeping them out of the DB files (they are stored on sub-folders inside the main DB folders, as text and image files numbered to correspond to the DB indexes of the platforms). This makes it very easy for players to build their own caches of images & text descriptions and freely exchange and distribute them without IP/copyright concerns (since they are given free and not sold with the game).
Astute observers will probably notice that some elements are still missing, for example propulsion & fuel details or listings of air facilities. These are currently being added as the DB viewer is still under construction. One other very important element being continuously worked-on is the integration of this DB viewer with the rest of the game. For example click on an identified contact’s class name and the DB viewer pops up with the unit’s page already pre-selected. Likewise for sensors, weapons etc. This is a protracted process because of the numerous “entry points” (ie. there are a lot of windows/forms where you may want to click on such an element and get the viewer functionality). Our ultimate goal is to make it as easy & transparent as possible for players to understand the abilities and limitations of their own forces as well as those of allies and adversaries alike – and put this knowledge to good use in the game.
We wish everyone in the community a happy 2013!
It’s now official; WarfareSims has teamed up with Matrix Games for the publishing & distribution of Command:
We are excited to announce a partnership with WarfareSims (www.warfaresims.com) to bring the air and naval warfare simulation and strategy game Command: Modern Air/Naval Operations to customers in the near future!
Command: Modern Air/Naval Operations features a very realistic modeling of air and naval warfare strategy where players take command of modern military operations from post-WW2 all the way to the near future, primarily in a tactical or operational scale. While still in development, Command: Modern Air/Naval Operations aims to set a new benchmark for depth and realism in modern air and naval wargames, with detailed modeling of aircraft, surface ships, and submarines, along with multiple historic and hypothetical conflicts, complete with an integrated scenario editor.
JD McNeil, Chairman of Slitherine had this to say: “We are very thrilled to be working with WarfareSims to bring our customers this new and outstanding air and naval warfare simulation. We think this title is a great fit for our audience and look forward to a very productive and beneficial relationship with WarfareSims.”