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Old February 4th, 2022, 10:31 AM

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Default Long time listener/first time caller

I've been playing Steel Panthers since I got SP1 in the SSI strategy-game bundle as a Christmas present circa 1995 or 1996 or so (even at the age of 15/16 I was a strat fanatic). Seeing you guys are keeping it playable well into the 21st century is just awesome and just for that I knew I had to buy a full copy of WinSPMBT to show my appreciation.

I realise the forums are not exactly jumping nowadays but I wondered if anyone had answers to the following:

- How do you move one unit into the same hex as another? In the old SP this wasn't such an issue but now the loading-range has been reduced from one hex to zero you have to get units together in the same hex as their transport to load them and other than by moving them back and forth until they have just enough MPs to move into the same hex.

- Is there any way of stopping the control-panel scaling with the map-screen at high resolutions? Playing at high resolution makes the control panel too small to comfortably use so I've been sticking to lower resolutions. This does tend to make the higher resolutions a bit pointless.

- Is there a fix for tabbing out using the windows key causing the screen to crash? Am using Win 10 21H2. No problem if not - I understand this is an old game.

Otherwise I really hope you guys have been thinking about making a new version of SP. I know that someone is supposed to be working on a "spiritual successor" to this game (Steel Tigers) but from what can be seen of it, it is still years away from launching (if ever), and lacks the multiple countries that made SP so fun. Norm Koger had success with his new version of TOAW and the re-vamps of Panzer General were also successes so there's definitely a niche on the market for a new Steel Panthers.
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Old February 4th, 2022, 12:01 PM
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Default Re: Long time listener/first time caller

Point 1.... hold down the SHIFT key to move a unit into a friendly occupied hex

Points 2. I run 1920x1080 on a 21 inch monitor and have no problem reading the screen or be uncomfortable with the control panels size. Lots of people run higher resolution on bigger screens with no problem so to know why you have a problem would require details like what res is you monitor and what size is you monitor and are you trying to run this full screen and are you running desktop mode because your point three about tabbing out using the windows key suggests you are. Doing game work I run multiple things at one and the game and have no problem moving from one to another

Final point.... WYSIWYG. We have no intention of re-inventing the wheel
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Old February 5th, 2022, 06:18 PM
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Default Re: Long time listener/first time caller

What is this control panel?

I use 27" 2560x1440 native resolution. I play in windowed mode with desktop screen size. The game never looked better. The only issue I have is that do find the text font a bit too small at times. Combined with having to constantly focus my eyes on very different parts of the screen, especially during combat, it does make it tiresome after a while. Even with the larger text option. I wish there was an option to have at least combat messages appear as a pop-up or something, near the center of the screen or near the units that are acting.
Don't get me wrong, it's not something I expect to happen even as an option, for all the very logical reasons.
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Old February 5th, 2022, 08:19 PM
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Default Re: Long time listener/first time caller

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What is this control panel?
He's refering to the main battle selection/preferences screen
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Old February 12th, 2022, 11:26 AM

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Default Re: Long time listener/first time caller

Thanks Guys! Having read the manual I see a lot of these questions are answered there as well.

Regarding a sequel, obviously you know your business best, but some elements of the game as-is are getting a little bit stale and/or could do with a bit of improvement. Examples:
1) Most of the "near-future" campaigns/scenarios are now alternate history and a bit odd seeming. They're obviously still fun but the game is clearly marked as a 2005 one.
2) The graphics are clearly dated. Something as simple as simply replacing them with higher-resolution images would be a very basic improvement.
3) Branching campaigns (e.g., the great and much-missed Bill Wilder's excellent Cuban campaign) are supported through an obvious kludge. Supporting branching campaigns through direct selection through e.g., a check-box dialogue, rather than by having to include null missions just so the player can select the next mission would be an improvement.
4) Possibly there will those who will disagree with this, but air-power has never been very well implemented in the SP system, since artillery always seems like a better way to go. Air power should be more immediate, accurate, and effective compared to artillery. Having airpower available at quickly (at least for CAS) but then having a long re-load time once the weaponry has been used up seems a good way forward.
5) A system of separate repair points and reinforcement points in campaigns would stop the phenomenon of points being limited to prevent excessive expansion of the core force but this having the side-effect of requiring very low losses in every mission.

I see from the TMView database that Ubisoft/Red Storm still own the Steel Panthers trade mark in the EU and UK, but this may be vulnerable to cancellation for non-use given the lack of any sales by Ubisoft of games titled Steel Panthers. They did not file a statement of use in the US so their trade mark lapsed there (see here: https://tsdr.uspto.gov/#caseNumber=8...e=statusSearch ). It's possible Shrapnel Games could simply register the Steel Panthers trade mark and, given that Ubisoft's trade mark registrations are apparently vulnerable to cancellation as there has been no obvious use in the last 5 years, they would not raise an objection. After that Shrapnel could potentially sell these games under the Steel Panthers name. The cost of finding out could be as low as 1000 EUR (the cost of self-filing UK and EU trade mark registrations).
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Old February 12th, 2022, 04:22 PM
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Exclamation Re: Long time listener/first time caller

The short answer to ........

Quote:
"Something as simple as simply replacing them with higher-resolution images"
...........is that there would be nothing whatsoever even remotely "simple" about doing that... had it been we would have done it years ago and we are years past thinking trying to would be worthwhile.

The ONLY way these games should be played is in Widowed mode using Desktop screen window size and if you don't like seeing the "window" use the Borderless gaming app to run it
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Old February 14th, 2022, 11:36 PM
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Default Re: Long time listener/first time caller

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3) Branching campaigns (e.g., the great and much-missed Bill Wilder's excellent Cuban campaign) are supported through an obvious kludge.
Just out of curiosity, which campaign are you referring to? I ask because there is one in the game called "Caribbean Crisis" I believe. Is there another one?
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Old February 24th, 2022, 08:43 PM
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Default Re: Long time listener/first time caller

Quote:
Originally Posted by FOARP View Post
3) Branching campaigns (e.g., the great and much-missed Bill Wilder's excellent Cuban campaign) are supported through an obvious kludge. Supporting branching campaigns through direct selection through e.g., a check-box dialogue, rather than by having to include null missions just so the player can select the next mission would be an improvement.
Is it worth it though..?

Just building a linear campaign is plenty of work. Having optional battles can double or triple the work but I'm not sure it doubles the fun.

And can't you more or less already do it yourself? If you play a generated campaign you still have very powerful tools to select maps, set game length, set Victory Hexes...
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Old February 25th, 2022, 07:39 AM
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Default Re: Long time listener/first time caller

IIRC I have rebuilt one CG with the branching (it was a pain to test), and I think I may have created 1 or 2 branching CG, but they were small branches, its a lot of mental effort to build a regular good flowing CG and making a branching one is even more work.

My small branches are usually:

If player gets a DV go to scenario-really-hard
If player gets a MV go to scenario-not-so-hard
If player gets a Draw got to end and check CG score
If player gets a ML or DL end game and say your fired!

For my non-branching ones its more server on purpose:
If player gets a DV or MV go to end and check CG score
If player gets a Draw, ML or DL end game and say your fired!

I just like to make them really hard and challenging.
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Old February 25th, 2022, 09:09 AM
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Default Re: Long time listener/first time caller

Back when I wrote in the option for a branching campaign it was not exactly "demanded" by our set of scenario designers at the time but they did see it as the next best thing to sliced bread (TM).

However the reality was that almost next to no such User Campaigns ever saw the light of day. They need the creator to make a flowchart of the campaign flow - and any changes to thet are painful, should he change his mind and want to make a tweak to it.

The same is true of the competition play PBEM Tournaments option - "Oh yeah!! we gotta have that it will be really popular on the blitz and other competitive forums!!!" said our then playtest team. I do not think that anyone ever actually played the tournament feature bar a couple of simple internal play tests back when it was written, waay back in the MSDOS days. (I have often thought of commenting out the start page for that feature in a release, just to see if anyone actually noticed and complained )
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