COMBAT MISSION SCENARIO DESIGN

Tonight I sat down to do some work on the website but found myself getting absorbed in a thread over at the Battlefront website regarding scenario design and lack of feedback and testers.  The person posting basically referenced the fact that he puts a lot of work in and gets absolutely no recognition or feedback negative or positive in relation to his project and this seriously puts dampeners on his willingness to produce further scenarios for the CM community.

View the thread I’m referencing.

It is a very valid point.  Here at the FGM I tried along with Ithikial to set up a sort of scenario designers resource area where feedback and help could be found at any point and testers lined up to give feedback on your battles.  In the short term a lot of work but long term it was all going back into the CM community.  Needless to say it failed due to lack of interest.  I expected as much when setting it up but had my fingers crossed that it would work and attract scenario designers from across the community to come and use our area.  Needless to say it got canned.

I think I look at scenario design through rose tinted spectacles.  I hark back to the days when The Scenario Depot and The Proving Grounds were the centre of my Combat Mission universe.  The Proving Grounds was for beta scenarios and the go to place to give feedback on scenarios and the like that were in Beta stage and once finished they got sent to The Scenario Depot.

I was actually friends with Gary Krockover on Facebook many years ago and continually toyed with the idea of asking him did he want to sell his sites.  Needless to say I never got the courage to do it… but one thing is for sure… if I had been able to afford and purchase the sites I would certainly have pushed CMx2 into the equation.  As such the websites ARE still running but cater only for CMx1 which is a shame.  I don’t understand why it has not been adapted or updated (it looks the same as it did 10 years ago) as it would have been fantastic to carry the ethos of those sites through to the new generation.

Alas we will never know… unless of course some night I decide to set up…

THEFGM/SCENARIO DEPOT III & THEFGM/PROVING GROUNDS. (don’t try I haven’t)

I may touch base with Gary again just to run that one by him though.  🙂

  1. I guess it’s because CMx2 is such a different animal to CMx1.
    Scenario design, map building and playing through scenarios was just so much quicker, easier and far less time consuming in CMx1.
    It was easy in CMBB and AK to keep up to 10 PBEM games running at the same time … not so with CMx2.

  2. Old thread 🙂

    Idea I offered years ago when it came up was maybe BF would run annual awards for their community. Sort of like the Oscars for community created content. That doesn’t mean prizes have to flow from the heavens, just some sort of official recognition of the community effort, which would give other players the urge to dive in and give it a try themselves.

    As for scenario design itself, it’s simply takes time to do it right. It’s enormous compared to CMx1. Any ruined urban map like say… Carpiquet, simply takes days and days. New tools in the editor to make life easier is always welcome, but it doesn’t solve the big problem that there isn’t a good site the community as a whole can get behind like the Scenario Depot. Fingers crossed the new Repository will offer that service.

    It’s worth being a scenario designer and toying around in the editor, but having a few better incentives would also be nice.

  3. The idea of community awards is an interesting one. I agree that scenario designers tend not to get much recognition/reward. Perhaps one solution would be for designers to submit work directly to BFC for sale as an official add-on, in exchange for a small stipend. No doubt that designers aren’t in this for the money, but it could be a win-win for BFC who can produce more content, and the designers, who would be incentivized. This system seems to be how the ASL community works, with user-generated content sold either by the publisher or by third party publishers. No one is getting rich.

    I don’t know how successful an awards approach would be. Unless the submissions were judged anonymously, somehow, I think it would be a popularity contest. I actually hosted an ASLSK scenario design contest via my website, with a number of submissions subject to a public vote. The winner was a well-known and oft-published designer who designed scenarios for the ASL publishers directly, the others were “amateurs.” Given his credentials, perhaps one would have expected his design to be superior. I have no proof whatsoever that voters were influenced by his name – he won the vote fair and square. But given the small numbers of designers who publicly submit to the CM communities, I’d think that George MC would likely win any public vote based on name recognition. Not undeservedly, either, given his talent, I just think it would be difficult to compete on an even playing field.

    The old scenario depot had some good tools for encouraging reviews, including a well-defined 10-point scale, and a set of form fields that you could fill out by pointing and clicking in addition to your write-up.

    Designers currently have download stats, at the very least, but these are not indicative of quality so much as the willingness of people to download based on name-recognition or the marketing of a scenario.

  4. Just an idea to encourage and help potential scenario designers for CM. From my perspective, a YouTube video of the key steps essential to designing and building a CM scenario would be a great learning tool. This could be put together as a veteran designer builds an already planned scenario. It would probably work best as number of videos, sequenced as a programmed approach. Without such a tool, the challenge of designing and building a CM scenario is daunting for the uninitiated.

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