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Steel Beasts Pro P E, Version 4.1


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Anti-tank ditches are an obvious application case for this type of technology, but we haven't gotten arount it yet.

A chain of IEDs however will create a crater line with a similar effect. Not perfect, but maybe an acceptable substitute for a while.

 

You would however want the AI to recognize such an obstacle, and then react to it. This is where things get complicated.

Edited by Ssnake
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  1. Yes
  2. The web shop will take preorders in about two weeks.

There will be the following purchase options during the preorder period:

  • Bundle 1: Printed (new) manual, USB stick with map installer, upgrade license, and a surprise item; $49.-
  • "naked" upgrade license: $25.-

 

After the preorder period is over:

  • "new" Bundle 1: Printed manual, USB stick with map installer, upgrade license; $55.-
  • Bundle 2: Printed manual, upgrade license; $45.-
  • Bundle 3: USB stick with map data, upgrade license: $45.-
  • "naked" upgrade license: $30.-

The USB stick will be 16 GByte large and contain an installer for the major maps that were part of previous Steel Beasts installations, now converted into the new format. It will allow to install the map data into an entirely user-defined directory rather than the forced installation into C:\ProgramData; of course, you could just as well do the conversion yourself (not much fun, but possible), or simply download the map installer. But some people are on slow internet connections, and we want to give them a convenient and practical option too.

If we get the timing right the majority of the USB sticks will have arrived by the time that the new version goes live, so people with the USB stick will only need to install SB Pro PE and not have to download the separate map installer.

 

I suppose this would be a good place and also a good moment to talk a bit about the way we're now handling map data. I'll make that a separate post.

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Basic Concepts

Steel Beasts renders the virtual 3D environment based on map data, beginning with version 4.1 stored in so-called Map Packages. A map package contains all data required for a map and is stored in a single folder, which can easily be copied or moved around using Windows Explorer or shared via internet or USB-sticks.

 

There are two kinds of map packages: base packages and delta packages. Delta packages always belong to a specific base package and contain only changes to the base package. This provides an efficient way to make minor changes to a map, for example for a given scenario, without altering the original (usually rather large) map. There is no maximum number of delta maps for a given base map. All delta packages are stored in subfolders of the original map package.

 

Note: There is no such thing as a delta map for a delta map, as this might result in an unbearable cascade of changes to previous changes. Changes to a delta map are always stored as new delta maps to the original delta’s base package (or, if the designer wishes, as new base packages).

 

Steel Beasts uses two categories of map packages: published maps and unpublished maps. Maps that are being worked on are always of the unpublished category (which implies among other things that they are stored in an uncompressed manner for faster read/write access, sometimes requiring considerable amounts of space on the hard drive. As soon as a map designer has finished his map, he should convert it to a published map via the option Publish map in the file menu. This map is converted to a read-only state and compressed and any changes to this base package will be saved as a delta package. Only published maps can be used in a scenario, an unpublished map can however be used for testing in the mission editor (so that the map designer can evaluate the map).

 

Up to version 4.0 of Steel Beasts stored maps in two proprietary formats. There were height maps, which stored information about the ground elevation, and terrain maps, which described terrain properties like ground type, vegetation, locations of buildings, roads, and other stationary objects. The combination of a height map file with a terrain map file resulted in a full description of the virtual battleground. In version 4.1 these legacy maps of older scenarios can be converted to new terrain maps with the Map package creation wizard described later in this chapter.
Edited by Ssnake
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I am hugely impressed by what you have so far released about the 4.1 upgrade. Can I just ask if the new fragmentation model fixed the "helicopter damage" anomaly?

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Not that I remember this particular phrase but if you're asking whether helicopters will go down more reliably now, the answer is "probably yes".

Edited by Ssnake
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So, we're introducing "terrain theme palettes" now; the old system allowed only for a total of 64 terrain objects for the whole world (because we all know how well nature fits into six bits); so, at least it's now possible to have 64 terrain object types per terrain theme, some improvement. So we can have termite fortresses. Or silly Baobab trees. And acacias:

 

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Not that I remember this particular phrase but if you're asking whether helicopters will go down more reliably now, the answer is "probably yes".

 

Awesome! :)

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Well, let's wait with the praise until you have more than my tentative word. I even lied in the Vector video. There's no KPV option for this vehicle, I confused it with the NSVT.

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Well, let's wait with the praise until you have more than my tentative word. I even lied in the Vector video. There's no KPV option for this vehicle, I confused it with the NSVT.

 

When I play a sim, I look out for things that differ from my interpretation of reality - particularly outcomes. SB is truly remarkable in that I can think of very few occasions when I had an outcome that departed significantly from what I would have expected in reality. If we ignore the limitations of AI infantry (and I know you are continually working on that), and a few vehicles driven or flown by ghosts, the helicopter damage model is the only significant departure from reality that I can honestly think of. SB 4.0xx is easily the best value leisure purchase I have ever made in terms of cash spent to time spent and pleasure gained. I can't recommend it enough.

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I would if they weren't all socialist peacenik SJWs:p

 

I do disagree about the utility of GMLRS unitary in game as it has been used frequently and to great effect, even in urban combat. The long minimum range can be overcome by assuming the launch platform is sufficiently distant. However effective they may be, uxo producing DPICM and old style bomblet MLRS are gone or on the way out in most friendly armies. SB doesn't tend to focus on Israel or S. Korea.

 

I don't want to start yet

Another wish list, but I do hope you're including SMArt or Bonus 155mm this time around.

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Id probably get it if it had an Estonia map in it.

I've used two Finland maps for Estonia. They do a great job of showing how easily defence and resupply interdiction can be implemented in relatively flat, heavily forested terrain.

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"Grenny" made another video, focusing on air defense, and CV90 programmable air burst munitions; arguably some of the main reasons we went out to improve the underlying model.

 


 

 

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That was really, really impressive - beautifully rendered new vehicles/systems that are going to be so much fun in game. You have so fixed the helicopter damage model, at least as far as fragmenting of KETF type projectiles are concerned. The 35mm KETF and 40mm 3P ammunition natures (the latter already pretty well simulated, at least in anti helicopter effect) are really fascinating and add a lot of enjoyment and realism to the simulation. Many thanks for that! A couple of questions though.

 

1. It looked like the guns shooting at helicopters were leading the target a tad insufficiently - I have had that happen quite a bit with various systems, particularly at longer ranges.

 

2. How do you get on with the frag model with systems that generate truly huge numbers of frags? I'm thinking, in particular the GMLRS "Alternative" warhead that (IIRC) generates about 100,000 tungsten pellets.

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Glad you liked it. :)

 

As to your questions,

#1: Yeah, it really looked like that.

#2: We only keep few business secrets, this being one of them. I don't need to educate our competitors how to do this. It wasn't easy.

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We're not done yet. ^_^

 

The temptation to start typing yet another wish list is almost tangible :)

 

Still drooling over that Fennek AD variant. Will the recce version have an extendable optronic mast? I'm assuming you ARE doing at least the German and NL recce versions...

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I'm sorry, the playable Fennek will still have to wait a bit longer. As far as I know, the main difference between the two is that the German one received a slightly stronger armor protection (up to 7.62 x 54 AP) while the Dutch were content with protection against 7.62 x 39 FMJ.

 

 

That said, here's another one:

 

 

Edited by Ssnake
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I'm sorry, the playable Fennek will still have to wait a bit longer. As far as I know, the main difference between the two is that the German one received a slightly stronger armor protection (up to 7.62 x 54 AP) while the Dutch were content with protection against 7.62 x 39 FMJ.

 

 

 

The Dutch apparently use a 0.50 MG as standard whereas Germany uses an MG3 or 40mm GMG. The Dutch allegedly have a Spike armed AT version and 18 of a version with a Turkish Stinger launcher system, according to Wiki. I was surprised how many mission specific version there are and that Holland is a much larger user of the vehicle than Germany.

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Ssnake, I noticed in the Finland video that the BTRs didn't have shadows beneath them, but they do in the air defence video (lovely job on the suspension of the Humvee moving over rough ground by the way). Why the difference?

 

I didn't get the difference between Flugabwehr and Fliegerabwehr - only one was explained. Could you please elaborate?

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