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  #1  
Old June 11th, 2015, 10:57 AM
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Potion What future for Steel Panthers?

Steel Panthers (and his descendants) is certainly the most complete and the most successful of all times tactical wargame. The fact that an active community continues to play it and to develop it almost 20 years after its creation is the proof that it is well about « the wargame of the century » …

None of the games which tried to supplant it (Close Combat serie, HPS games, Heroes of Stalingrad and even the last project of Matrix Games) are not of its level.

However, we are all conscious that this designed game about 20 years ago with a DOS technology reached its limits in term of possible development of the game engine . The graphics are ageing, the interface is impractical and badly adapted to the current screen resolutions, it is almost impossible to play a multiplayer game without resorting to the PBEM, which is binding.
These difficulties reduce every day a little more the size of our community of enthusiasts.

Nevertheless, the enormous work of the volunteers who did not stop improving the program, the graphics, the scenarios and the campaigns cannot, does not, fall into oblivion little by little.

This game has to have a future …

What can he be?

4 ways are possible:

1 - The game disappear little by little, as so many others before it.
It would be an infinite sadness that to see disappearing slowly one of the most successful games which I was able to play in my career of wargamer.

2 - A development studio deals with the question and modernize the game to resell it in a box version (as the fact at present Matrix Games, for example).
Until now no studio looked interested to resume this game while, strangely, games more confidential were it.

3 - A community of passionate voluntary developers rewrite completely the program and redo all the graphics of the game. This one is distributed then free of charge (as it is the case today with WinSPMBT and WinSPWW2).
When we see all the work already realized by the enthusiasts of the community, we cannot imagine to ask them to supply with it even more free of charge.

4 - A mixture of the solutions 2 and 3 would be to raise funds through CrowFunding to motivate a development studio of to be worked in association with the current community to get back the existing and professionalize it.
It is at present a very fashionable solution to launch the project and that allows to make sure that a product will have a real commercial outlet by the implication of its future buyers. This solution would be totally adapted to a project such as that of the modernization of Steel Panthers. It would have the merit to preserve the enormous already made work and to enlarge the community of the enthusiasts by the attraction aroused by a modern look (There is only to see the success of Panzer Corps which is nothing else than a modernization of Panzer General, or the craze hallucinating on behalf of occasional players for games as World Of Tanks).
Because we are in the modernity, we could completely envisage a system of deployment of type Free To Play with paying contents to improve the gaming experience or the progress in the game.


I think that the best future which could arrive at Steel Panthers is this fourth solution. If we are enough to think of it, it will be sensible to count to know how many of us will be ready to invest in CrowFunding and how many others will be ready to pay for a modernized version of this game.

Please, give your point of view onto this crucial question.

(Sorry for my approximate English, I am French …)
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  #2  
Old June 11th, 2015, 07:25 PM
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Default Re: What future for Steel Panthers?

You do raise some interesting possibilities, however these are somewhat constrained by the fact that the developers are under contractual obligation to SSI and hence its successors not to reveal the code to anyone else, this being a condition of their being gifted the code.

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Old June 11th, 2015, 07:29 PM
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Default Re: What future for Steel Panthers?

SSI does not exist anymore per se. However, you are correct that the copyright holders (Ubisoft) would have to be contacted and negotiated with; something I'm not sure they want to commit to in the near future if ever. I'm fairly certain that Ubisoft is not interested in reviving a moribund series that is not going to bring in big bucks.

Incidentally, Matrix Games has talked a little about doing something with the "other" Steel Panthers, so that seems like the only likelihood of a new game in the next couple years. But I wouldn't hold your breath. Just enjoy what Don and Andy have given us and see what way the wind blows.
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Old June 11th, 2015, 09:04 PM
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Default Re: What future for Steel Panthers?

While updated versions of the Steel Panthers games would be welcome indeed the problem is no publisher is going to support it. They all KNOW (and let's not get into what they think they know) the only games that sell are FPS-MMOs (first person shooter massive multi-player online) or rude and crude slaughter-fests (Saints Row or Grand Theft Auto) type games. So likely the only real hope would be a Kickstarter.
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Old June 11th, 2015, 09:55 PM
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Default Re: What future for Steel Panthers?

I think the problem is not in the game.
Is that few players willing to study this kind of games. Because I really have to study and understand it well it takes years, more has cost me because I only speak Spanish.
Maybe that's another point. No translation into Spanish and is losing some Spanish-speaking customers.
In a Spanish forum there are about 5 or 6 players playing a campaign.
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Old June 11th, 2015, 11:41 PM

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Default Re: What future for Steel Panthers?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Suhiir View Post
While updated versions of the Steel Panthers games would be welcome indeed the problem is no publisher is going to support it. They all KNOW (and let's not get into what they think they know) the only games that sell are FPS-MMOs (first person shooter massive multi-player online) or rude and crude slaughter-fests (Saints Row or Grand Theft Auto) type games. So likely the only real hope would be a Kickstarter.
Yep. Unless enough people are willing to chip in I'm afraid the hex- and turn-based wargame is all but doomed. It's been fun while it lasted though, and the game ain't over 'til the fat lady sings.
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Old June 12th, 2015, 08:53 AM
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Default Re: What future for Steel Panthers?

Wargaming of this kind will always survive as it traditionally has: as a specialist periphery. But that may mean your favorite titles (Steel Panthers etc) may not get a new installment for a long time if ever. Its different audiences and different time scales than most computer games. We're dealing with an inherently niche product and a limited audience.

Besides, the fact we're even still talking about it 20 something years later is proof enough there's no reason to despair just yet. I think the old girl has some life left in her current form.
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Old June 12th, 2015, 12:27 PM
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Fallout Re: What future for Steel Panthers?

Take the software to the limits of the program and Andy and Don. Then in this very "busy multitasking" world offer the player a communications app (headset) with the ability for them to stream their texts onscreen to other players. Then someone can get on NetFlix with a show playing the game and acting stupid like the one my grand daughter watches now for Minecraft.

Regards,
Pat
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Old June 12th, 2015, 05:33 PM
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Default Re: What future for Steel Panthers?

I don't understand what you mean, Pat...
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Old June 13th, 2015, 12:08 PM
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Fallout Re: What future for Steel Panthers?

Simply software issue as everyone has discussed, headset issue is an idea similar PS3/4, XBOX and most PC based RPG platforms. In this case an option to talk to your opponent during a PBEM game or an issue in the forum in the threads if you want to chat with someone that's online at the time. The texting was sarcasm as everyone feels the need to do every minute of every hour. I love the guys who do that while standing at the urinal or sitting on the toilet. My wish is to see them drop it while "taking care of business", I love my technology however, I use my "Trac-Fone maybe 5 minutes a month. Almost 13 years after retiring from the Navy and being almost as "intimate" as I was with my wife, with all manner of USN supplied phones in my house (STU-III classified "Bat phone" if you will.) and personal phones I just made a clean break when I retired from the military. That stuff I leave to CINCLANTHOME to deal with. Well you probably don't have NetFlix it's a very big Internet TV and streaming service here. One of the channels on there has three people acting like "donkeys" either living streaming or recorded playing all manner of the game "MINECRAFT" and all you do is watch on whatever "device" you're using making you pretty much "MINDLESS" and that's the best explanation I can offer you.
And now to get ready for work, have a great weekend!!

Regards,
Pat
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