Command Ops Magazine/pdf

Is my idea for a Command Ops magazine similar to my St Vith AAR a:

  • BAD IDEA

  • GOOD IDEA


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Sigwolf

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I know the print magazine Armchair general stopped but now the website seems to have died as well - anyone know what's happened?

It was down for more than a week, but seems to be back now. No new content, though.
 

Winstons

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Daz, I came across your AAR report after a break from Command Ops - it is fantastic and one of the most well produced things I've seen for the game. The thoughtful explantions of why you do certain things with certain units is a wonderful source of information for new players. I think an irregular newsletter would be a great idea.
 

MarkShot

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Daz, I came across your AAR report after a break from Command Ops - it is fantastic and one of the most well produced things I've seen for the game. The thoughtful explantions of why you do certain things with certain units is a wonderful source of information for new players. I think an irregular newsletter would be a great idea.

Almost makes you want to go enlist! (Well, I said "almost")
 

Kurt

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Some great responses there guys, and lots of food for thought, thank you :)

Iconoclast.
I'm going to stick with what, and just as importantly, who I know best I think.
That would be Dave and Command Ops.
As you know I have been churning out bits and bobs of stuff for quite a while now for command Ops.
Most of it very disjointed, and the majority of it very amateurish, but I have enjoyed doing it, especially the praise from you guys even though when I look back at it on the Matrix site, some of what I have done makes me cringe a bit :shame:
Your right we are a small niche market and I am going to have to take a large pay cut I think, but like I said in another post I am getting to old for what I do.
I came back from a big tree job last week, downed a handful of pain killers, washed it down with red win and went straight to sleep hoping that when I woke up most of the pain would be gone.
I have white finger in my right ( one handed chainsaw) hand and in cold weather I can't feel it at all, almost permanent tennis elbow in my left arm, my back gives in for about five weeks a year on average, where I can't even got of my hands and knees sometimes. My eyesight is deteriorating rapidly and I have developed a come and go pain in my hips, so I think its time I started looking at alternatives anyway lol
Daz your a trouper , your ailments are similar to mine LOL , just don't take booze and pain-killers together mate !
Daniel Cornell.
Thanks for the input Daniel. It's something I will have to think about I guess.

Peter.
I don't think I am going to have enough time, at least at the start, to include other games in the magazine.
If I get faster at doing them, which hopefully I will, then I might start doing short AAR's or even just the first few pages for other games and post them on their forums with a link back to my work here.
That will hopefully give people on other war games I like, a taste of my style, and if they like it, it might even get them interested in Command Ops.
As you know its the best Operation war game out there, so all we need to do is get them to take a look at it ;)

Markshot
Its great to have advice from someone that has been and done it Mark thanks.
My intention is not really to be the best and teach everyone.
One of the reasons I refused Dave's kind offer to do the Beta Testing, is I don't want to know to much about how the AI works and I also think that I am quite a valuable tester not having the software that allows you to see both sides moves anyway.
It allows me to see things from the players view point, which also helps me to identify the bugs that really matter to someone that doesn't have that kind of intel.
The game breaking (IMHO) intel bug that we have had a couple of times, for example.
So although I hope to impart some of what I have learnt onto other players, I certainly don't confess to being an expert on the game.
My main intention is to present my game in an attractive manor, so they can see the successes, and the disasters I make, and learn along with me.
Obviously I also like to share game tips that I have learnt while playing the last few years as well, and I have played the St Vith Tutorial enough now to be proficient at that one at least :)

Melmoth2
Thanks for the advice and support mate.
Its very much appreciated.

Kip.
It's going to be primarily for digital publishing I think, as maps are big things I'm afraid.
There are not that many maps printed on A4 paper for sale out there :joyful:
Did you download the Ordeal at Overlon part 2 planning aids pdf I did for you with instructions on how to print out the maps/large pages?
 

JArraya

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The positive feedback you guys have given me about my St Vith AAR has been wonderful :happy:
I would like to thank all of you very much, especially Jorge Arraya, who helped me with the proof reading, and who in my rush to finish the first pdf, I forgot to credit for doing so :(

Daz - I'm glad I could help with such a great product. If you need a proofer for the magazine count me in. For free ;). Just send it my way.
 
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Daz

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Sorry I went a bit quiet on you guys.
I had some personal stuff that needed sorting and needed my complete attention.
I tried to stay away from the forums because I knew It would distract me.

I also upgraded my Computer and the transition didn't go very well I'm afraid.

One of the problems I needed to solve was how to get around the reliance on Google for the 3D views of the maps.
I think the 3D maps was a major contributing factor in my St Vith AAR, that made it visually appealing.

Well I'm happy to say that I have worked out a way to make a 3D display of the terrain, without using Google Earth.
Its a bit of a workup, but the results are starting to look promising.

The process involves opening the scenario in the Map maker application that comes with Command Ops 2, then turning off all the layers except for the elevation contours.
Next I remap all the contour textures to shades of grey, the highest elevations being lighter and the lower darker.
This makes a Depth map, that after a good blurring in order to blend the adjacent shades of grey together, so as to smooth out the contours, can then be loaded into Photoshop 3D as a new mesh, depth map to plane.

Its not as detailed as draping a map over Google Earth, because the terrain between the contours is just interpolated rather than geographically accurate but it is a lot more accurate in terms of mapping the valleys and heights.
This is because when you drape a map over Google Earth its very difficulty to get the whole map accurately positioned on the underlying ground, where as the method I have worked out maps the highs and lows very accurately to the game map, meaning the rivers are in the valleys where they belong and not flowing up and down the hills.

Still lots to do before I am in a position to start on a magazine though I'm afraid.
3D Hofen.png
 

Daz

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Thanks Kurt.
This is a 2d shaded relief map of the Manhay map.
As you can see, I still need to do a bit of work on getting a smooth transition between the contours.
Manhay Shader Map.png
 

john connor

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Looks nice, Daz. But it exaggerates how that part of the world looks in reality. Is that what you intended? I know the area very well. The landscape is low rolling hills. I don't understand how it can come to look so severe if you mapped the highs and lows accurately. Maybe the contour shading and ridges just make it seem like that. See pics below, photo on road from Manhay to Grandmenil and vice versa from street view.

manhay to grandmenil.png


manhay.png
 

john connor

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I guess its something to do with the way the shape and shading of the contours cue your impression of scale. Maybe it will be ok if you blur out, somehow, the steps between each contour?
Looks like the start of an FCRS map at the moment. Lol. Those are nice maps in that game too, of course.

Peter
 

rocketman

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Two things come to mind:
First, maybe lower the brightness and darkness respectively for the elevation changes to smooth it out and make it look less steep.
Second, does this way of mapping take the "slope factor" in map maker into consideration? Here, each level/plateau looks flat until it reaches the next elevation change which causes the change to look more dramatic and less gradual.
 

Kurt

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Fantastic !! As a potential playing aid this is just what I desire , its hard to judge the relief in CO2 when the map is covered it woods .
 

Daz

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Great feedback, thanks guys.

I am just experimenting at the moment and playing around with the different options.
Here is a smoother version.
 

Daz

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This is about as smooth as I am going to get the 2d shaded relief map with my current technique.
There is plenty of scope to add deeper shadow, sunset effects, different levels of ambient light etc. though.

Edit: It actually looks a bit flat to me.
Looking at the shadows under the village names I probably had the light to high in the sky.
I'll set the light lower next time so that shadow gets cast onto all the reverse slopes.

Manhay Flyby1.png
 
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Daz

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I have been reading up on using 3d objects inside video to create components and scenes for my AAR's.
The software applications I have are not the right tools for what I had in mind and just creating this 3d arrow and rendering it in the scene has taken a ridiculous amount of time.

It's back to the drawing board I'm afraid.
Manhay Arrow.png
 

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