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Il2 Sturmovik : Tank Crew


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#1 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 06 July 2018 - 0742 AM

Not aware of any more details of this one, but a friend pointed it out to me. Seems to include a Tiger, KV1S and Panzer III at least.


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#2 Daan

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Posted 06 July 2018 - 1327 PM

Very nice, but that game series has always remained ridiculously expensive since its launch a few years ago, preventing me from buying it.


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#3 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 07 July 2018 - 0225 AM

Yeah you have a point. Hopefully this will be stand alone rather than DLC.

 

Personally I wish Steel Beasts would go the DLC route, if only so I can buy the tanks that interest me and ignore the ones that dont.


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#4 Ssnake

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Posted 07 July 2018 - 0945 AM

Well, $39.50 for a year - and you have full access to everything that you want to ignore.  :P


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#5 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 07 July 2018 - 1013 AM

Well I kind of make my living from DLC, so expect me to be a little biased. :D


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#6 Ssnake

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Posted 07 July 2018 - 1634 PM

Yeah, but you're not making your living from Steel Beasts DLCs. ;)

Given that DLCs - on average - make people spend more on a single title, I see the appeal from a developer's perspective. What I don't understand is why anyone as a consumer would be asking for them. DLCs don't make the base game cheaper. They are just expansions for which you have to pay extra. That they are strictly optional packages (a trend that seems to be changing, actually) doesn't change the fundamental fact that "Game + DLC" costs more than "just Game" even if there are five other DLCs that you don't buy. You still pay more.

Now, if that leads to a much bigger supply of expansions, a "game ecosystem" if you will, this may still be worth it from the consumer's perspective. With Flight and Train simulators this apparently works. With contemporary armored vehicle simulations, I suppose it would work if the base demand was stronger. But it isn't. And I don't see that Steel Beasts is lacking in variety either. There's tons of vehicles in it that would never have made it in a simulation game by their own. They would never make a profit as a DLC. So the fact that they're included in the base package is IMO the best deal that you can get; you don't have to unlock anything, you don't have to pay extra, the price of Steel Beasts hasn't changed over the past 12 years (we've added time-based licenses at a much lower price as well).

 

Suppose we'd open Steel Beasts for third party DLCs. That would mean to either disclose our expertise in modeling & simulations, or to accept that sub-par models would flood the ecosystem that simply aren't properly adjusted in their firepower, protection levels, and possibly in their mobility parameters. I just don't see how any customer would actually benefit from that?

(Well - yeah, you'd get to mix WW2 Tiger tanks with M1s. Admittedly that's something that eSim Games doesn't offer. Apparently that's a big deal for some, and as a filthy monopolist for once I will drop the mask of benevolence by admitting that I don't care.)


Edited by Ssnake, 07 July 2018 - 1636 PM.

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#7 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 08 July 2018 - 0216 AM

Well its just an idle idea (and im not suggesting its what YOU should do, just what the mob I work for would do) and that is offer a historical map, say the Golan heights. Then offer say 2 vehicles, say a Centurion Shot or Mk5/2, and a T55. Then make a group of scenarios based on those two markers. Then offer DLC for a 'T62 upgrade pack' or an 'M60 Upgrade pack' or 'Chieftain Upgrade pack (after all it nearly happened). And offer new scenarios with those, along with a steam achievement of 'T62 commander' or some such. And trading cards. Offer a score battlezone style so everyone else knows how marvellous you are. Then interconnect the missions with some CGI imagery of the 1973 war, and/or real footage. We dont really do that, but we do cut scenes to help set the scene for some scenario packs. People seem to like it.

 

Gamey? Certainly.

 

Thats how Dovetail would do it. And granted the new flight sim they have done has not been a great success because they made a product that was TOO restrictive, but trainsim keeps plugging on, as does FSX. Whether the community that likes trainsim's or Flight Sim's is going to gravitate towards tanksims using the same method is an open question. I dont know. Maybe this sim  will answer the question about whether you can build such a product on DLC. Digital Combat Simulator clearly has, but it is a bit too bloated for my liking. There isnt really quite the focus on platform and environment I would like for that. Maybe that will change with the Persian Gulf map.

 

Maybe you are going wrong in making the game cheaper for the end user? I mean Im no  businessman, but I am an arch cynic and have to suggest you are swiming against the tide of capitalism here. :)


Edited by Stuart Galbraith, 08 July 2018 - 0217 AM.

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#8 Ssnake

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Posted 08 July 2018 - 0310 AM

Well, we simply don't have the capacity for what you suggest. Creating content - geospecific, huge maps especially - is hard work. You already know this when working on railway lines. And that's just linear level design. Please square your workload now, and tell me if you could sell the DLCs for a price proprotional to the squared amount of work?

 

The Personal Edition od SB Pro isn't made to make money. Okay, we also don't want to lose money on it either. But at the end of the day SB Pro PE is the shopping window for the classroom version. To pick a random example, a lieutenant in Chile can, say, buy a one-month license and realize that what's in there might have relevance for his training. He might show it to his Capitán, they show it to the battalion and brigade commanders, and - seemingly out of the blue - someone from the Chilean Army might contact us to inquire about capabilities, prices, our services, a demonstration. That's the true value of it, the way I understand our business.

 

At the end of the day, customers of SB Pro PE enjoy a game that is 95% subsidized by government contracts (without being a government product). Without the classroom version the cost-neutral sales price would be in the mid four-digit dollar range, IOW, there couldn't be a consumer-compatibly priced serious simulator for contemporary armored combat vehicles and their fire control systems, at least not in the breadth and depth that we offer.

 

That's why we integrate authoring tools for map and scenario creation, and leave it to our customers to generate the actual content. SB Pro in that sense is a tool box like Photoshop or Word.


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#9 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 08 July 2018 - 1017 AM

Well, we simply don't have the capacity for what you suggest. Creating content - geospecific, huge maps especially - is hard work. You already know this when working on railway lines. And that's just linear level design. Please square your workload now, and tell me if you could sell the DLCs for a price proprotional to the squared amount of work?

 

The Personal Edition od SB Pro isn't made to make money. Okay, we also don't want to lose money on it either. But at the end of the day SB Pro PE is the shopping window for the classroom version. To pick a random example, a lieutenant in Chile can, say, buy a one-month license and realize that what's in there might have relevance for his training. He might show it to his Capitán, they show it to the battalion and brigade commanders, and - seemingly out of the blue - someone from the Chilean Army might contact us to inquire about capabilities, prices, our services, a demonstration. That's the true value of it, the way I understand our business.

 

At the end of the day, customers of SB Pro PE enjoy a game that is 95% subsidized by government contracts (without being a government product). Without the classroom version the cost-neutral sales price would be in the mid four-digit dollar range, IOW, there couldn't be a consumer-compatibly priced serious simulator for contemporary armored combat vehicles and their fire control systems, at least not in the breadth and depth that we offer.

 

That's why we integrate authoring tools for map and scenario creation, and leave it to our customers to generate the actual content. SB Pro in that sense is a tool box like Photoshop or Word.

 

Yes, but a lot of that work has already been done anyway. I remember a good 10 years ago someone was working on a Golan Map. I dont know if that was ever finished, but its just one example.I think you have already done Centurions right? So you repackage them with a scenario pack with minimal changes.  Its just taking work that is already done and repackaging it for a new audience. Its not about selling to the audience you already have.  Its just taking work you have already done, and repackaging it for a new audience. Wargame companies do this all the time. I mean, look at Combat mission.

 

Now how applicable that is to tanksims, I dont know. But I do know we have been effectively coasting for the past 5 years in what Ive been doing on already created product. We take an existing loco model, reskin it. Take the signalling off another route, re utilize it. We have reutilized scenery models on dozens of routes. Im working on one now set in Germany, where we are re-utilizing models we used on a Hannover route 5 years ago. We have even (and absolutely amazes me) taken existing routes we have created, add on say another 30-40 miles of route on it, and resell it. And people still buy it! The attitude seems to be less that they are buying a route they already have (which they always complain about but buy it anyway). Than that its content they have already enjoyed, they see respun, so they buy it.

 

Anyway, not trying to tell you what to do, please dont think that. I know from experience how annoying I find that myself.  Im just demonstrating whats worked for us.  IL2 has been doing this for the past 15 years. Its repackaged content, now setup for DLC.  As Daan say's, its expensive, but thats not stopping people buying it. It seems to be what 90 percent of what the PC software market is doing these days.


Edited by Stuart Galbraith, 08 July 2018 - 1019 AM.

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#10 Ssnake

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Posted 09 July 2018 - 0417 AM



Yes, but a lot of that work has already been done anyway.

 

Sure, but isn't that actually great news for the SB Pro PE player?

I understand that your business is working differently, I'm just puzzled by your seeming insistence that we should charge for something that we give away for free when you as a customer would actually have to pay more that way.

 

Also, let's entertain the thought for a moment that we could triple the profit made from SB Pro PE related sales if we would rather slice and dice our product into a multitude of components that would be offered as separate items. So then the ratio of profits from our two businesses would shift from a 5% : 95% balance to a 15:85 ratio. Let's then say that this would double the workload invested in SB Pro PE, and that I could afford to hire more guys because of it.

Per my estimations (based on the "we triple profits generated by PE sales" premise), that might allow 10% increase in work force. The cost? 20% reduction in work capacity for the classroom version. That would mean a net loss of 20% turnover and maybe 15% of profits. That means to lay off an equal number of high-value programmers in exchange for a lower paid content generation expert.

Let me think about that - No.

 

 

we have been effectively coasting for the past 5 years in what Ive been doing on already created product. We take an existing loco model, reskin it. Take the signalling off another route, re utilize it. We have reutilized scenery models on dozens of routes. Im working on one now set in Germany, where we are re-utilizing models we used on a Hannover route 5 years ago. We have even (and absolutely amazes me) taken existing routes we have created, add on say another 30-40 miles of route on it, and resell it. And people still buy it! The attitude seems to be less that they are buying a route they already have (which they always complain about but buy it anyway).

 

Congratulations, you seem to have found the perfect customer group.

 

Very few people in the computer games industry will ever get rich. If I had any illusions about that in the mid 1990s, I abandoned them by 2000, 2001. I appreciate money, of course, and I'm enough of a businessman to understand that profits are the indispensable ingredient to keep a company alive.

 

But my main motivation is entirely different. I want to contribute to better training for our soldiers, and I want to create the world's best "big picture" contemporary land combat simulation. I don't want to coast. I want to develop as many orthogonal features into Steel Beasts as we can possibly manage, and I want to be in the 90...95% range when it comes to fidelity of procedures, and fidelity of results. I want to get to the point where both army customers and defense contractors accept Steel Beasts as the standard for a wide array of use cases - precision gunnery and crew procedure training, tactical instruction, constructive simulation, instructive video authoring tool, vehicle recognition learning tool. We have found solutions to put our software on actual tanks as a vehicle-appended trainer, we have refurbished simulator cabins that were 20 years old to give them another 20 years of operational lifetime. We can link up our software with CBRN simulators, with the potential to drive live training in a larger scale tactical context in the virtual domain. One of our customer reports a nearly 60% reduction in live ammo consumption after introducing our desktop trainer stations, with soldiers getting better training results faster. We help taxpayers to save millions every year.

 

We're not talking too much about all that (although it's not exactly hidden to those visiting our homepage). I'm mentioning it here simply to illustrate that while the Personal Edition is an important element in what we do, it can't be seen in isolation from the rest that we do, and that our priorities are driven by the training needs of our military customers. If that means that we're losign minor bucks by not effectively milking our player base - good for them, I say, and in the big picture it's definitely worth it.

 

 

Well, enough thread jacking for today.


Edited by Ssnake, 09 July 2018 - 0419 AM.

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#11 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 09 July 2018 - 0424 AM

 



Yes, but a lot of that work has already been done anyway.

 

Sure, but isn't that actually great news for the SB Pro PE player?

I understand that your business is working differently, I'm just puzzled by your seeming insistence that we should charge for something that we give away for free when you as a customer would actually have to pay more that way.

 

Also, let's entertain the thought for a moment that we could triple the profit made from SB Pro PE related sales if we would rather slice and dice our product into a multitude of components that would be offered as separate items. So then the ratio of profits from our two businesses would shift from a 5% : 95% balance to a 15:85 ratio. Let's then say that this would double the workload invested in SB Pro PE, and that I could afford to hire more guys because of it.

Per my estimations (based on the "we triple profits generated by PE sales" premise), that might allow 10% increase in work force. The cost? 20% reduction in work capacity for the classroom version. That would mean a net loss of 20% turnover and maybe 15% of profits. That means to lay off an equal number of high-value programmers in exchange for a lower paid content generation expert.

Let me think about that - No.

 

 

we have been effectively coasting for the past 5 years in what Ive been doing on already created product. We take an existing loco model, reskin it. Take the signalling off another route, re utilize it. We have reutilized scenery models on dozens of routes. Im working on one now set in Germany, where we are re-utilizing models we used on a Hannover route 5 years ago. We have even (and absolutely amazes me) taken existing routes we have created, add on say another 30-40 miles of route on it, and resell it. And people still buy it! The attitude seems to be less that they are buying a route they already have (which they always complain about but buy it anyway).

 

Congratulations, you seem to have found the perfect customer group.

 

Very few people in the computer games industry will ever get rich. If I had any illusions about that in the mid 1990s, I abandoned them by 2000, 2001. I appreciate money, of course, and I'm enough of a businessman to understand that profits are the indispensable ingredient to keep a company alive.

 

But my main motivation is entirely different. I want to contribute to better training for our soldiers, and I want to create the world's best "big picture" contemporary land combat simulation. I don't want to coast. I want to develop as many orthogonal features into Steel Beasts as we can possibly manage, and I want to be in the 90...95% range when it comes to fidelity of procedures, and fidelity of results. I want to get to the point where both army customers and defense contractors accept Steel Beasts as the standard for a wide array of use cases - precision gunnery and crew procedure training, tactical instruction, constructive simulation, instructive video authoring tool, vehicle recognition learning tool. We have found solutions to put our software on actual tanks as a vehicle-appended trainer, we have refurbished simulator cabins that were 20 years old to give them another 20 years of operational lifetime. We can link up our software with CBRN simulators, with the potential to drive live training in a larger scale tactical context in the virtual domain. One of our customer reports a nearly 60% reduction in live ammo consumption after introducing our desktop trainer stations, with soldiers getting better training results faster. We help taxpayers to save millions every year.

 

We're not talking too much about all that (although it's not exactly hidden to those visiting our homepage). I'm mentioning it here simply to illustrate that while the Personal Edition is an important element in what we do, it can't be seen in isolation from the rest that we do, and that our priorities are driven by the training needs of our military customers. If that means that we're losign minor bucks by not effectively milking our player base - good for them, I say, and in the big picture it's definitely worth it.

 

 

Well, enough thread jacking for today.

 

 

Nils, please understand, im not insisting anything. I work in a different line of business. Im just suggesting its a option other's  are taking in the simulation world. Thats all. We will see how viable it is in tanksims from whether this sim discussed above is successful or not.


Edited by Stuart Galbraith, 09 July 2018 - 0440 AM.

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#12 Ssnake

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Posted 09 July 2018 - 1138 AM

Ah, but it's WW2. That's an entirely different case. Of course you can find a lot more customers for a WW2 setting. Personally, I'm just so much more interested in contemporary tactics and technology (and motivated by the necessity to provide actual training to the troops). What I've seen looks nice enough, I wish them luck.


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#13 Daan

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Posted 21 July 2018 - 1334 PM

Tiger:


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#14 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 27 August 2018 - 1125 AM

Ive got il2 Stalingrad on Steam, so I might wait for it to be released on that.

 

Then I see videos like this and its like 'Shut up and take my money!!!!' :D

 

 

Supposedly there is an M4 on the cards, so with the bodenplatte addon that is in the works, there might be an opportunity for some nice battle of the bulge scenarios.


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#15 Skywalkre

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Posted 28 August 2018 - 1310 PM

This game is looking like everything I was hoping WoT would be.

 

So... I'm a bit confused about the vids I found on YT after watching the above.  AIUI these vids are from a beta of a tank crew focused game due out next year?  At the same time I thought I saw vids referencing a mod for IL-2 BoS.  When I looked on the Steam page for the game I didn't see a DLC for it.  So if I want a taste of this now I need to buy IL-2 BoS and install that mod (which is player released?) but I'll only be limited to the Pz III and T-34?  (Doesn't seem worth it for $50... if true.)


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#16 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 29 August 2018 - 0753 AM

You can buy it pre release, like you can with many of the DLC for Digital Combat Simulator. Bodenplatte and Tank Crew are already on pre release, but lack many of the features they plan to put in later. OTOH, buy now and you get a discount.

 

In actual fact, there are already tanks you can man in the game. I hadnt realised it when I bought it, but stalingrad (and the other titles) feature a Panzer IIIL and a T34/76. I think the AI could do with some work (or maybe it was just the scenarios created) but as far as armour and gun modelling, it looks pretty good. I got into a terrific firefight in a T34, and was surprised how well the armour held up. Then I looked in external view and noticed how badly scarred the front plate was. The only thing is, no real tank commander view. But still, not bad for an afterthrought.

 

i think you can get Tank crew just via Stalingrad (the base game) and then buying the tank crew addon. And yes, as others have said all this dlc is a licence to print money. But its either that, or probably not have a sim at all. Im planning on waiting till it comes out on steam for various reasons, but clearly they have already made some great strides here.

 

There are also some reports they are planning on mannable flack weapons. So 88mm Flak and a wirbelwind look possible at some date.


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#17 MiloMorai

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Posted 29 August 2018 - 1414 PM

Very nice, but that game series has always remained ridiculously expensive since its launch a few years ago, preventing me from buying it.

 

If it was a Eagle Dynamics/DCS I could understand.


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#18 Daan

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Posted 29 August 2018 - 1528 PM

Now I have to admit that I do own several of the DCS modules, mostly acquired during sales. I find the more modern aircraft, modeled with all their systems in depth, more interesting than a series of simpler propeller aircraft, which has prevented me from buying into the similarly expensive Il2 BoS series. Plus, I spent many years playing Il2 Sturmovik / 1946 on and off, as well as some RoF. Perhaps I am just bored with WW1 and WW2 planes. :)    


Edited by Daan, 29 August 2018 - 1528 PM.

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#19 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 30 August 2018 - 0209 AM

I like the modern aircraft. I have found the F18 as modelled by DCS presently a little dull (I think Ill come back to that when they have ground radar mapping enabled) but Ive found the Harrier addon absurdly indecent fun, particularly LGBing and ship landings. So is the Mig21, albeit next to impossible to land (well for me anyway, im not saying for everyone).  But there is something to be said about strapping on an old propfighter and mixing it without getting really TOO weighed down by many of the subsystems. I like that they are modelled, but it says 'dont worry, Ill handle that for you'.

 

And besides, I think the flight modelling in IL2 BOS is probably the equal of DCS. I think the AI on the simpler levels, like that on DCS could do improvement. But the multiplayer seems to work well. The first time on it I managed to blow some poor sap away in my FW190A3, which is a wonderful feeling of achievement if you have had a bad day.

 

Room for both I think. It has to be conceded, IL2 seem to be streets ahead of DCS in modelling realistic landscapes, populating them with period aircraft, and now fill the landscape up with well modelled ground vehicles. As far as the latter, DCS dont really seem to be hurrying to make any improvement, so have a full combined arms sim, the only game in town at the moment is Il2.


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#20 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 30 August 2018 - 0713 AM

Slowdown showing how accurate some of the armour modelling is.


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