Monday, March 2, 2009

What went wrong with Combat Mission Campaigns?

Well, the shocking news of Combat Mission Campaigns (CMC) cancellation almost a week behind, I was wondering what went wrong with this fantastic project.

Full disclosure: I haven't followed the development with the dedication of some fans out there. I just read very briefly about it upon its announcement and really liked the idea. I thought it would be a grand-tactical/operational (?) layer to Combat Mission: Barbarossa to Berlin. Something like you move your battalion/regiment/brigade in a map, with a system that follows some abstract but clever rules and then when two opposite forces collide ... Battle!

Well, I was totally wrong. Take a look at this fragment from the team's developer leader (nickname Hunter):
CMC was designed to be a 'grognard's dream', with every aspect of WWII warfare included at some level. It has a very sophisticated supply model, air forces, weather and 9 different ground conditions with associated (2D!) graphics, artillery support, tactical reserves, entrenchment, etc, etc. There is a ridiculously large code base handling everything from medals to soldier promotions to strategic AI.
Quote above is from Battlefront's discussion forums.

In the same post, Hunter admits that he was "probably too ambitious" and I tend to agree. I don't think that all that level of detail was indispensable to have an enjoyable simulation of WWII warfare.

I don't want to sound like a clever in hindsight moron and let me tell this before any other paragraph: Hunter, your dedication and love for this hobby is commendable. From the bottom of my heart I wish you have succeeded. I mean it.

One forum discussion from came to my mind. This discussion was about how the grumblings of the grognards affect the game industry. You can read it here.


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