Author Topic: Introducing TASK FORCE ADMIRAL Vol.1: American Carrier Battles  (Read 41113 times)

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Offline FarAway Sooner

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Re: Introducing TASK FORCE ADMIRAL Vol.1: American Carrier Battles
« Reply #480 on: May 29, 2021, 08:51:34 PM »
Parshall and I attended the same tiny Midwestern liberal arts college, although he graduated three months before I got there!  I actually looked him up on my alumni network to tell him what a fine job he'd done on Shattered Sword, and we traded a few e-mails.  We even reminisced about a History prof or two we had in common...   :)

Offline Destraex

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Re: Introducing TASK FORCE ADMIRAL Vol.1: American Carrier Battles
« Reply #481 on: June 04, 2021, 08:29:58 AM »
I forgot about this book "the silver waterfall". Could be good background hype material to read before looking at TFAv1.
By the way I listened to the interviews on single malt strategy. Unfortunately my attention was split and I may have to listen again. My problem is making out who is who and what game they are talking about at any given moment because of the distractions. I did listen to the argument against WEGO that one of the turn based game guy made, not very convincing at all. Also listened to one of the chaps talking about going easy on the player with less FOG of WAR or the player will not believe the AI is not cheating. The example being one of the AI circling behind the player in a dungeon, without the player being able to see. The player getting upset..... well to me that was understandable because if the player cannot see how could the AI the whole time it was circling around behind the player!!! 

I have to admit also that TFAv1 has me a little concerned in that I would like to see the action while playing at full realism. I want both at once. Perhaps you could allow on full realism a replay in full 3D of the action once the carrier the player is on gets a sitrep of the action. This way I do not sacrifice the action or the realism.


For example. A torpedo run goes in. I do not get to see it because the aircraft are out of radio range or too busy to report. Later on a few of the aircraft that survived land and a debrief happens. This prompts the game to show me the action. Maybe in a debrief room. Think of this as WELATE instead of WEGO ;)

I am just concerned that I might otherwise need to turn the game settings way down to see any action. Which would lead me to want to play the game less. Because I am not getting the reward for my harder work in full realism mode. Additionally I want to be able to learn visually looking at the footage. Remember the player character IRL may have real aviator or ship insight, but the player does not necessarily. So the irl character may visualise it in thier head when the reports come in but the player needs a visual aid to make it realistic :).... well that's my take anyways. Somehow give me realism, give me things to do and give me the movie like pay off, the experience.

Here is the fighter pilot podcast guys interviewing the author of the silver waterfall.
« Last Edit: June 04, 2021, 08:41:34 AM by Destraex »
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Offline Destraex

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Re: Introducing TASK FORCE ADMIRAL Vol.1: American Carrier Battles
« Reply #482 on: June 04, 2021, 06:30:23 PM »
I was just thinking as well. Will the player have any influence on the tactical battle. Say by determining tactical doctrine before hand. Perhaps also influencing things by choosing the squadron commanders and pilots, the moral and trust of the men. This sort of thing is hard to do because the player finds the most efficient combination anyways which kind of renders the whole exercise moot. The choices always being the same.

I guess most of the game from the perspective of the player will be choosing where to put ships and when to launch aircraft, what to load them with. That will be the whole game. The rest will be chance and waiting.

Will either side have any chance to discover solutions for things like dud torpedos (i think something was mentioned in the podcast) or for the japanese the water situation ruse? Will these things be mini games? You know the players who know their history are just going to choose exactly the right research tree to make these crucial factors work for them. Same goes for the us players using their torp bombers as defoys because they know they are ineffective. Id say let them research new torps that may or may not fix the problem like in real life, but having the player either go in blind or forced to sacrifice one of theirnown ships or be detected testing the torps on a japanese ship.

Its very hard to do a good strategy game. Most of my lack of interest in larger scale strategy games in the past has been because you cannot innovate like real commanders to solve problems AND you cannot converse with other commanders to work a plan or problem. As the commander you are usually just playing a game of simple attrition. A game of simple math based on stats. Real life just isnt like this most of the time.
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Offline The_Admiral

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Re: Introducing TASK FORCE ADMIRAL Vol.1: American Carrier Battles
« Reply #483 on: June 08, 2021, 07:21:44 PM »
I did listen to the argument against WEGO that one of the turn based game guy made, not very convincing at all.

Well I love WEGO as a system so I am not much of a relevant player here - I am kinda biased towards Combat Mission old style due to personal memories of course, but also naturally by WitP, which is certainly to me one of its most convincing and glorious applications considering the scale.

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Also listened to one of the chaps talking about going easy on the player with less FOG of WAR or the player will not believe the AI is not cheating. The example being one of the AI circling behind the player in a dungeon, without the player being able to see. The player getting upset..... well to me that was understandable because if the player cannot see how could the AI the whole time it was circling around behind the player!!! 

Well FoW is yet another complex matter. Our game integrates it to an extent that it might feel we built some of our features all around it. Feedback is very important in order for the player not to feel he/she is being cheated, and that's why we'll have a replay function at all.

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I have to admit also that TFAv1 has me a little concerned in that I would like to see the action while playing at full realism. I want both at once. Perhaps you could allow on full realism a replay in full 3D of the action once the carrier the player is on gets a sitrep of the action. This way I do not sacrifice the action or the realism.

I don't know if this worry derives from the realism options draft I might have posted here earlier, but all these functions can be enabled/disabled selectively. You are totally allowed to keep free camera external views while keeping other realism switches on - but by definition it is obviously not "full realism" to any extent anymore  ;)
This is a recurring feature in flight simulators that came out after 1998 - it is akin being stuck in the cockpit with external views disabled. We're toying with the idea of probably allowing for orbital cam around your flagship still (doesn't cost too much and you're still within immediate visual range) but that will be the very extent of what would be allowed with that switch enabled. Some players just know they wouldn't resist the urge of getting to know everything that happens, and needs to have a mean to reign themselves in.

On the other hand, there's a replay function that we want integral to the experience so as people who played at full realism can enjoy 20/20 hindsight capability when checking for the events, their mistakes and the AI's decisions. I did learn a lot from my own games when playing Wargame European Escalation back in the day. When you'll run the replay, you'll have access to all logs, including on the other side of the fence, which will hopefully give explanations to any hiccup you couldn't explain back then in the midst of the action. Some of these battles and the way they happened could only be explained much later after the war (and sometimes not even satisfactorily enough until ground breaking new thinking as in the case of Midway & Pearl Harbor in the 21st century) so it's ok not to be given all the tools to understand during gameplay if it is what you want to experience, as long as we give you a fair option to review your performance and that of the AI after the battle. The replay function is also naturally the only way we can make sure that wargamers & youtubers can make proper AARs - sometimes action can happen at simultaneously in two very remote areas (think Coral Sea for instance) so you'll need a powerful tool to be able to swap from a place to another, and rewind so as not to lose one bit of the action that took place, whether you had external views enabled or not.

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For example. A torpedo run goes in. I do not get to see it because the aircraft are out of radio range or too busy to report. Later on a few of the aircraft that survived land and a debrief happens. This prompts the game to show me the action. Maybe in a debrief room. Think of this as WELATE instead of WEGO ;)
Bomb/Battle Damage Assessment (BDA) is part of the debriefing process. It comes in as testimonies which get consolidated by your air staff. You'll have the choice to act based on whatever is told to you. You'll also have a few pictures hopefully, as we are trying to give the choice of providing the flight with a command section led by the CAG (Commander Air Group) relevant for both sides (in terms of strike coordination for the Japanese, and BDA for the US). Historically in a section like that a plane would be tasked with taking pictures & filming the action, and if it is available, then I do plan to allow you to see it. Separate BDA is obviously available as part of a dedicated recon flight too (akin the one Spruanced launched to get a clearer picture of Mogami & Mikuma).

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I am just concerned that I might otherwise need to turn the game settings way down to see any action. Which would lead me to want to play the game less. Because I am not getting the reward for my harder work in full realism mode. Remember the player character IRL may have real aviator or ship insight, but the player does not necessarily. So the irl character may visualise it in thier head when the reports come in but the player needs a visual aid to make it realistic :)
Historical reports back then are a mess. Just check the sort of intel Spruance got from the fliers on June 5 regarding task forces that didn't exist, Tanikaze classified as a light cruiser all day long, or Mikuma & Mogami being mistaken for a cruiser and a battleship because one had lost her bow an the other one looked bigger as a result! No, really, there's no way you're going to cheese your way into having external views branded as a must-have for the most realistic level for personal contentment, that I can say already and I am sorry in advance for it ;)

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I was just thinking as well. Will the player have any influence on the tactical battle. Say by determining tactical doctrine before hand. Perhaps also influencing things by choosing the squadron commanders and pilots, the moral and trust of the men. This sort of thing is hard to do because the player finds the most efficient combination anyways which kind of renders the whole exercise moot. The choices always being the same.
If by determining tactical doctrine you mean making choices between different tactics, yes you have that sort of power. Right now, no you won't get to pick who flies a plane though, that's not the area of expertise of the flag officer (beyond grounding the CAG of course). Besides, I couldn't come up with a satisfying system in order to assess skill, moral or trust. IRL people don't get stat bars over their heads and this kind of stats would be immersion breaking in addition of being wholly unrealistic in regard of the choices they lead to historically.

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I guess most of the game from the perspective of the player will be choosing where to put ships and when to launch aircraft, what to load them with. That will be the whole game. The rest will be chance and waiting.
I'd guess it would be better to wait for the game to be seen in action before making such guesses if I may :)
Especially considering the experience itself will be highly impacted by the realism settings. Playing it like a RTS, like Carriers at War or like TFA just makes it into three very different experiences.

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Will either side have any chance to discover solutions for things like dud torpedos (i think something was mentioned in the podcast) or for the japanese the water situation ruse? You know the players who know their history are just going to choose exactly the right research tree to make these crucial factors work for them.
Sorry I don't quite understand the latter reference (are we talking the AF = Midway water thing?). This is a tactical game, any depot or CONUS-based solution for defective ordnance or Pearl-Harbor-based intel nugget is totally out of scope here. There is no research tree or whatever. Frankly Des I try to worry about you mistaking us for another game ;)

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Same goes for the us players using their torp bombers as defoys because they know they are ineffective. Id say let them research new torps that may or may not fix the problem like in real life, but having the player either go in blind or forced to sacrifice one of theirnown ships or be detected testing the torps on a japanese ship.
Besides the Mk13 will work properly whenever it has to (that is when you are carrying around Mod 0s, as most carriers did before June). For the rest, as mentioned, absolutely out of scope, sorry.

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Its very hard to do a good strategy game. Most of my lack of interest in larger scale strategy games in the past has been because you cannot innovate like real commanders to solve problems AND you cannot converse with other commanders to work a plan or problem. As the commander you are usually just playing a game of simple attrition. A game of simple math based on stats. Real life just isnt like this most of the time.
We hope to gear up the overall immersion in regard of command structures & player options in that regard, but don't fantasize about it either, it's not a RPG. And as far as historical commanders go, I can tell you, Real Life is very much about playing an attrition game eventually. Force levels and risk taking to influence them are pretty much all carrier combat is about ultimately ;)

Cheers
« Last Edit: June 08, 2021, 09:58:07 PM by The_Admiral »

Offline Destraex

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Re: Introducing TASK FORCE ADMIRAL Vol.1: American Carrier Battles
« Reply #484 on: June 11, 2021, 05:08:27 AM »
Well I look forward to seeing more details in a preview. I would really like some strategic options that allow less predictable battles. I understand that players will not determine some things, but it would be good if the players superiors as well as how the war is going at a grand strategy level are modelled in such as way as to change the TFA's experience every time.

 That is assuming the battles occur in a small area of the pacific. I cannot remember now whether you said we had the whole worlds ocean to play in? If we have the whole world to sail our carriers in and the intelligence (maybe the Americans cannot read the Japanese code randomly) and Japanese (as well as American) strategy are changed by the game AI before it starts. Perhaps then we will not get a battle at midway every single time the scenario is played?
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Offline The_Admiral

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Re: Introducing TASK FORCE ADMIRAL Vol.1: American Carrier Battles
« Reply #485 on: June 11, 2021, 12:02:59 PM »
Well you know, I am one of these guys who do believe that Midway wouldn't even have happened the way it did if it hadn't been for the Torpedo Squadrons (which played their own role by simply being there & sacrificing themselves). Play Midway again without launching the torpedo guys, and you might very well have found yourself with a full KB counterstrike against TF17 and TF16 in the air minutes before the SBDs got in position. Not to mention that KB running in one direction for 20 mn launching the birds would have perhaps made it impossible for the Enterprise bombers to find the Japanese carriers in time at all.

It's not all clear-cut - the usefulness of a weapon system or its platform goes way beyond pure destructive efficiency. You just have to make sure one's engine allows you to account for that, which hasn't been done much until now. Let's see if we can help with that one effort ;)

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That is assuming the battles occur in a small area of the pacific. I cannot remember now whether you said we had the whole worlds ocean to play in? If we have the whole world to sail our carriers in and the intelligence (maybe the Americans cannot read the Japanese code randomly) and Japanese (as well as American) strategy are changed by the game AI before it starts. Perhaps then we will not get a battle at midway every single time the scenario is played?
No these are "small areas" - but again I have the feeling that you might be operating here under a few wrong assumptions. The distance between Rabaul & Lunga is more than a 1000 clicks. That's the distance between Paris & Madrid.

I urge you to keep your mind wide open, because what we're making doesn't look like anything that has been done before (at least not mixed this way) and trying to make sense of it the way you do it now is really sending you on false positives & cold trails, I am afraid!

Cheers :)

Offline Destraex

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Re: Introducing TASK FORCE ADMIRAL Vol.1: American Carrier Battles
« Reply #486 on: June 11, 2021, 05:25:08 PM »
That distance still sounds very "set piece" to me for a carrier battle. Are the "scenarios" linked at all with causalities carrying over?
I will always get the same carrier force units as well? No opportunity to see what would happen if the Japanese chose not to send carriers North initially and had them down south?

I still think you need a total war style strategic map with a total war (1000 mile) tactical battle area once battle. One that allows re-enforcements if they were already steaming in of course. I guess I am thinking "rule the waves 2" where even though a scenario might happen in a specific area, that does not preclude sailing around the world after starting if you need to or are ordered to.

I am sure you are acutely aware of rule the waves 2. Although I do not think it has the tactical battle detail you guys will have or of course the 3D physical battles modelled.



Don't worry. I am still very interested in seeing your game and hope their will be a preview soon.
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Offline Toonces

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Re: Introducing TASK FORCE ADMIRAL Vol.1: American Carrier Battles
« Reply #487 on: June 11, 2021, 06:54:13 PM »
I wouldn't want to be in the Carrier Battle game developer seat because, honestly, I don't know where I'd draw the game's boundaries.  This is one of the reasons I'm really excited to hear more about, and see, how TF:A develops as a game.

I've been dabbling a bit with Carrier Battles 4 and one of the things I like is the ability to randomize the scenarios a bit.  But even then, I sometimes find myself wondering how to push the randomization even further, without taking to an operational Total War-style game.  What I mean is, consider Midway.  The only way Midway makes sense is if the Japanese somehow walk into the ambush (for example, first strike must go against Midway regardless of ship sightings).  As a scenario, both sides know what happened historically, and if you remove the fog of war, the U.S. should lose ever time unless fate decides otherwise.  It would take an awful lot of poor die rolls for the IJN to lose that scenario, IMO.

I find myself feeling like a game like TF:A would really benefit from some sort of operational layer.  In a perfect world, a game like TF:A would serve as a mechanism to game out the tactical battles of WitP or something of that nature.  War on the Sea was going in the right direction with their operational layer, but then chowed it up with the points mechanics for purchasing units, IMO.  A better approach would be to give both sides the correct forces, objectives, and then let the fights develop on a large map over weeks. 

I don't know...this is a tough genre to get just right.  There has to be some sort of fog of war/randomization to any given scenario (unless you're deliberately gaming out an historical scenario).  There also has to be space to maneuver meaningfully, and time for the battle to develop.  At the end of the day, choosing the composition and timing of that first strike given imperfect information really is the culmination of the game.  I would be challenged to make the "perfect" carrier game myself.  I'm still not entirely sure what it would be.
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Offline The_Admiral

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Re: Introducing TASK FORCE ADMIRAL Vol.1: American Carrier Battles
« Reply #488 on: June 12, 2021, 05:50:28 AM »
That distance still sounds very "set piece" to me for a carrier battle.

Dunno what to tell you about that part Des  ???
I mean, the SOPAC map is going all the way up north from New Ireland to Australia, there's something in the vicinity of 1.100 miles between Kavieng & Cairns. That's amply enough to represent all the fighting that took place during that time, whether it involved carriers or not


(done from the phone, so it's a bit more or less of an affair)

At any rate, sorry if the first version of this game might seem narrow to your eyes. RTW2 is what it is, but it evolved from RTW1 & Steam & Iron (that's, like, development that began 10 years ago as a least estimate) and it's full 2D. We had to build everything from the ground up and we only have marginally more means at our disposal to do so. There was no reason to go on the 2D market compete with as fine a system as RTW either. We have to do with what we have, and do with limitations that are not pleasant to hear but are still there.

At any rate even if I could have the full Pacific theater in real time for a given job, I just wouldn't use it. I expect our game to run on my father's computer, not on the next cray unit.  ;)
Trying to remake Carriers at War in 3D & Fighting Steel. Expect no less tactically wise, much more actually, but we have little time nor margin for going beyond that if I want the first game to come out before I retire in another 20 years  :2funny:

Scenarios are not linked. These are set piece scenarios, like in Carriers at War or Doorkickers, or whatever works this way. Variations will be there, and so will be a battle generator. But excuse me to point it out Des, it's all written in full details over there at our website. If you don't want to be further disappointed, please just check our relevant pages and our FAQ. Right now I feel a bit sad about replying to you regarding features that we have stated often just won't be there at launch or in volume 1 at all. I'd rather be given the opportunity to discuss what is in there instead, and why it will be designed as it is.

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The only way Midway makes sense is if the Japanese somehow walk into the ambush (for example, first strike must go against Midway regardless of ship sightings).  As a scenario, both sides know what happened historically, and if you remove the fog of war, the U.S. should lose ever time unless fate decides otherwise.  It would take an awful lot of poor die rolls for the IJN to lose that scenario, IMO.
Midway sure will have its own battleset of course at any rate - many interesting scenarios there, aka Zuikaku joining, the Americans falling for the original "trap" - except it wouldn't be so obvious of an outcome in my opinion (attrition after bombing Midway for 2 days would be quite something, and remember that the US reacting would mean FOUR carriers headed your way, as Saratoga was a few days away too), other axis of approach, etc...
At any rate there's zero way Midway happens again exactly the same way it did from the moment the day broke, period. The amount of SNAFU on both sides was just unprecedented. What games haven't tried before is to make sure that in case the historical SNAFU doesn't happen (hint, it never ever has in any game to date by the way) provisions are made for some new crazy stuff happening. We'll see how we succeed in making all of this a great mess indeed.   :))

At any rate, as far as operational stuff goes, you'd start usually a couple days before the action - it's up to you to decide what sort of approach to pick. I don't plan on having you start on the morning of the Lae strike - you'll get to start days before when the first movements are reported and Wilson Brown gets to decide his course of action (he did toy with the idea of raiding Rabaul or raiding Huon gulf by the Southeast, which would have been a fun affair at any rate). Anything beyond that is asking for trouble development-wise as long as we don't have the base game on our hands.

Any operational business is better left to rest for now, we just don't have the means to get it right until we get the tactical game done right. And truth be told, I hope this is the last I get to talk about this non-existing feature until we even get to show you how the tactical part works at all. I mean, it's not that I want to discard the concept as being something silly or whatever - I think it is something we will obviously get to all in due time - but right now we're 4 guys, including a single dev, and we'll do what we can to make the original experience a clean affair, and that will be quite an achievement in its own right already if you ask me. Thanks in advance for your understanding guys  :-*

Cheers!
« Last Edit: June 12, 2021, 06:04:50 AM by The_Admiral »

Offline Destraex

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Re: Introducing TASK FORCE ADMIRAL Vol.1: American Carrier Battles
« Reply #489 on: June 12, 2021, 07:10:05 AM »
I look forward to seeing the previews *soon* hopefully. I also really appreciate the lengthy replies. A lot of effort and care in those.  O0
I will not mention operational stuff again.
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Offline Toonces

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Re: Introducing TASK FORCE ADMIRAL Vol.1: American Carrier Battles
« Reply #490 on: June 12, 2021, 11:38:37 AM »
Appreciate the peek behind the green door, Admiral!

To be clear, I was trying to pay you and your team a compliment.  I wouldn't even know where to start - and where to draw the boundaries - if I was to attempt what your team is doing. 

You already have my money, now you just gotta sell me the game!
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Offline The_Admiral

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Re: Introducing TASK FORCE ADMIRAL Vol.1: American Carrier Battles
« Reply #491 on: June 24, 2021, 07:54:47 PM »
Thanks for the kind support guys :)

Here's our latest update, it's mostly a video with a compilation of past deeds & a little word about project from a friend team of ours :)

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/338597945/fighters-of-the-pacific?ref=f2q5hm





https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/338597945/fighters-of-the-pacific?ref=f2q5hm

There you go, enjoy the ride :)

Offline Toonces

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Re: Introducing TASK FORCE ADMIRAL Vol.1: American Carrier Battles
« Reply #492 on: June 24, 2021, 08:26:33 PM »
I'm in !
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Offline The_Admiral

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Re: Introducing TASK FORCE ADMIRAL Vol.1: American Carrier Battles
« Reply #493 on: June 27, 2021, 08:47:08 AM »
I had a small wall-of-text moment just today regarding the GUI & the command structure. Might interest some of you  :coolsmiley:
https://www.reddit.com/r/hoggit/comments/o8vaox/weve_done_a_small_compilation_of_the_latest_work/h37kpid/?utm_source=reddit&utm_medium=web2x&context=3

Offline Silent Disapproval Robot

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Re: Introducing TASK FORCE ADMIRAL Vol.1: American Carrier Battles
« Reply #494 on: June 27, 2021, 05:09:42 PM »
I backed Fighters of the Pacific, then backed out again once they simplified their rules (it was already at the very low end of what I think would be appealing to me), but then jumped back in again because of all the toys that were unlocked.  I'm a weak, weak man.