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Commands & Colors: Ancients» Forums » General

Subject: C&C: Ancients Digital Now Available on Steam rss

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Andy Daglish
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I just played the first card at Akragas, Carthaginian Three Units left. The three units shown moved, the chariot attacks, and the Syracusan medium cavalry plays First Strike, which the program ignored. Chariot attacks, blue and flag, cav retreats one hex, losing one block. But chariot cannot advance...

I'll wait for the second patch.
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Dan Squires
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I really wish there were overlays on the map showing movement/shooting distances instead of hovering over a unit, waiting a bit, and then needing to interpret the stats yourself.

Granted I only played the release version, maybe they changed something since then.
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Nate Merchant
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aforandy wrote:


I'll wait for the second patch.

We're gonna need a bigger patch
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Miguel [working on TENNISmind]
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Natus wrote:
aforandy wrote:
I'll wait for the second patch.
We're gonna need a bigger patch
When my students show me a program so badly written, I tell them to stop 'patching', delete everything and restart from scratch with a better architecture.
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franchi wrote:
Natus wrote:
aforandy wrote:
I'll wait for the second patch.
We're gonna need a bigger patch
When my students show me a program so badly written, I tell them to stop 'patching', delete everything and restart from scratch with a better architecture.
Fun fact, Nintendo did a project where between taking 6 months to write new code vs. 2 years to fix the existing one, they went with the former.
 
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Vince Leamons
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ackmondual wrote:
franchi wrote:
Natus wrote:
aforandy wrote:
I'll wait for the second patch.
We're gonna need a bigger patch
When my students show me a program so badly written, I tell them to stop 'patching', delete everything and restart from scratch with a better architecture.
Fun fact, Nintendo did a project where between taking 6 months to write new code vs. 2 years to fix the existing one, they went with the former.

Actually, throwing away old code is one of the worst mistakes companies can make, shown time and time again in real-world commercial software. Seems logical, but often making the decision to write from scratch instead of fixing old code will kill a product. There's a well-written article about this by Joel Spolsky that every senior developer should read: https://www.joelonsoftware.com/2000/04/06/things-you-should-...
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SJAirshark wrote:
ackmondual wrote:
franchi wrote:
Natus wrote:
aforandy wrote:
I'll wait for the second patch.
We're gonna need a bigger patch
When my students show me a program so badly written, I tell them to stop 'patching', delete everything and restart from scratch with a better architecture.
Fun fact, Nintendo did a project where between taking 6 months to write new code vs. 2 years to fix the existing one, they went with the former.

Actually, throwing away old code is one of the worst mistakes companies can make, shown time and time again in real-world commercial software. Seems logical, but often making the decision to write from scratch instead of fixing old code will kill a product. There's a well-written article about this by Joel Spolsky that every senior developer should read: https://www.joelonsoftware.com/2000/04/06/things-you-should-...
Even if it's THAT bad? I have heard directly from a couple of software devs who have voiced their opinion that the code they were working with was so bad that they suggested a complete rewrite.

(Keep in mind, I won't be able to get to that article just yet! blush )
 
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Andy Daglish
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Actually the medium cavalry must have evaded after the play of First Strike. I forgot that it starts with only three blocks. The log gave no indication of what happened.
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Miguel [working on TENNISmind]
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SJAirshark wrote:
ackmondual wrote:
franchi wrote:
Natus wrote:
aforandy wrote:
I'll wait for the second patch.
We're gonna need a bigger patch
When my students show me a program so badly written, I tell them to stop 'patching', delete everything and restart from scratch with a better architecture.
Fun fact, Nintendo did a project where between taking 6 months to write new code vs. 2 years to fix the existing one, they went with the former.
Actually, throwing away old code is one of the worst mistakes companies can make, shown time and time again in real-world commercial software.
Well, maybe it is that way in some cases of very heavy programming, and/or when the code is not completely messy. Simpler programs that took a definitely wrong path from the start and tried to correct the huge number of errors that started showing up with patches, are better thrown away.

It's like scientists that said that planets orbited in circles around Earth, and then tried to add patches saying that in fact they were orbiting in circles around a point that did orbit in circles around Earth, and then... In the end errors could not be patched anymore, and changing the architecture lead to a very simple and efficient program, with the Sun at the center and ellipses instead of circles.
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Joel Langenfeld
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franchi wrote:
Natus wrote:
aforandy wrote:
I'll wait for the second patch.
We're gonna need a bigger patch
When my students show me a program so badly written, I tell them to stop 'patching', delete everything and restart from scratch with a better architecture.

Hmm... How'd you manage to draw that conclusion? I never have from a blackbox review alone - assuming you've actually examined it in at least as much detail as you've examined this thread. Maybe a thirty year career is insufficient training, so there's still hope I'll stumble on the trick one day.
 
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Miguel [working on TENNISmind]
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SkunkyBeer wrote:
franchi wrote:
Natus wrote:
We're gonna need a bigger patch
When my students show me a program so badly written, I tell them to stop 'patching', delete everything and restart from scratch with a better architecture.
Hmm... How'd you manage to draw that conclusion? I never have from a blackbox review alone - assuming you've actually examined it in at least as much detail as you've examined this thread. Maybe a thirty year career is insufficient training, so there's still hope I'll stumble on the trick one day.
Well, my comment was explicit about my students (too many years suffering them already!), and of course not explicit about HexWar. I have no idea about the practical way out for them from this mess, the only thing I know is that I was eagerly expecting this implementation of what I consider the best game in my collection and that now I am certain I won't buy it, however they patch it.

Now to my feeling about how this has been done. I have not bought it, but from all the reviews and comments I've seen my conclusion is that the developers don't seem to know the real game. The errors that are being signaled show that even the basic turn structure has been badly programmed, as well as the abilities of the units, the few interactions between some of the cards... Honestly, if all that is being reported is true (I can hardly believe it, but I don't see why users here would make it up) I cannot understand how a product that has not been seriously tested at all has been put on sale.

Moreover, after tens of mistakes have been showing up, in very different layers of the gameplay (always a bad sign), the way they have patched them seems to be of the type "ok, this particular thing didn't work, let's force it". Why do I think that? Because other similar errors that should have been corrected with a general patch are apparently still there, and what is worse, these local patches seem to create new errors that didn't exist before, something not surprising if developers don't know the real game, or the architecture they chose was wrong from the start.

That said, I wish them good luck with the product, and I sincerely hope they will reach 'something' that is playable. Though not by me.
 
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Joel Langenfeld
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franchi wrote:
SkunkyBeer wrote:
franchi wrote:
Natus wrote:
We're gonna need a bigger patch
When my students show me a program so badly written, I tell them to stop 'patching', delete everything and restart from scratch with a better architecture.
Hmm... How'd you manage to draw that conclusion? I never have from a blackbox review alone - assuming you've actually examined it in at least as much detail as you've examined this thread. Maybe a thirty year career is insufficient training, so there's still hope I'll stumble on the trick one day.
Well, my comment was explicit about my students (too many years suffering them already!), and of course not explicit about HexWar. I have no idea about the practical way out for them from this mess, the only thing I know is that I was eagerly expecting this implementation of what I consider the best game in my collection and that now I am certain I won't buy it, however they patch it.

Now to my feeling about how this has been done. I have not bought it, but from all the reviews and comments I've seen my conclusion is that the developers don't seem to know the real game. The errors that are being signaled show that even the basic turn structure has been badly programmed, as well as the abilities of the units, the few interactions between some of the cards... Honestly, if all that is being reported is true (I can hardly believe it, but I don't see why users here would make it up) I cannot understand how a product that has not been seriously tested at all has been put on sale.

Moreover, after tens of mistakes have been showing up, in very different layers of the gameplay (always a bad sign), the way they have patched them seems to be of the type "ok, this particular thing didn't work, let's force it". Why do I think that? Because other similar errors that should have been corrected with a general patch are apparently still there, and what is worse, these local patches seem to create new errors that didn't exist before, something not surprising if developers don't know the real game, or the architecture they chose was wrong from the start.

That said, I wish them good luck with the product, and I sincerely hope they will reach 'something' that is playable. Though not by me.

My comments probably came off more snide than they needed to be. And I'm disappointed with the number of minor defects that made it through to production - that doesn't reflect well on the testing, and probably project management decision-making that green-lighted the release.

However, while I can understand the "Just tear it up and start over!" comments from the general public, anyone who's worked on software projects knows that the difference between well-written code that performs flawlessly and well-written code that looks like crap from the outside can be surprisingly small.
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Nate Merchant
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So GMT in their newsletter a few days ago mentioned the bugs in this game, and advised holding off until they were squashed. But the issues I'm reading about seem bigger than just bugs. I'd love to hear from HexWar on this.
 
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New patch:
https://store.steampowered.com/news/?appids=699870

Quote:
Added a detach and move leader button:

If you get a card saying you can move a leader a button will now appear above the end turn button. During the selection phase click that button and you will be able to select the leader of your choice. During the move phase click the button to move the leader if you have more than one leader selected click the button again to move the next leader.

Elephants should now work as intended.

Retreat now applies correct amount of retreat actions and you lose points for moving off the board.

Fixed an issue which was causing some scenarios to have the player on the wrong side of the board.

Command cards which issued an order to a number of a certain type of unit now lets you order 1 unit of your choice if you do not have any of the unit type required by the card. This has been added to the card description.

Fixed graphic settings not saving.
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Will there be a patch to switch to blocks?
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Nate Merchant
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Arontje wrote:
Will there be a patch to switch to blocks?

Quote:
Elephants should now work as intended.

Retreat now applies correct amount of retreat actions and you lose points for moving off the board.

Fixed an issue which was causing some scenarios to have the player on the wrong side of the board.

HexWar is still getting basic stuff correct. It's as if they published a chess program where knights didn't jump over pieces or pawns didn't promote at the 8th rank. Baby steps.

But yes, blocks would be wonderful!
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Nate Merchant
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GMT's October 2018 newsletter https://mailchi.mp/225adfb17961/october-18-update-from-gmt-s...

Quote:
Commands & Colors Ancients from HexWar: Our friends at HexWar launched the digital version of Commands & Colors: Ancients last month on Steam (for PC and Mac). Unfortunately, the release version was a little buggy. Hexwar has released a couple of patches/updates since, and although the game is now much better, there are still quite a few things on Hexwar's Fix-it list. I'm sorry for the frustration for you guys who don't have an amazing version yet, but I am impressed with Hexwar's dedication to updates and think they will get there soon. If you don't own the game yet, I'd still recommend you wait a bit to get it, but if you'd like to jump in and get familiar with it now, here's a link:

Commands & Colors: Ancients on Steam

HexWar is wisely holding the iOS and Android launches until they've completed working through their the Steam updates. We'll send you an email heads-up when the game goes live on iOS and Android.

Hard to imagine a more devastating scenario than GMT advising its fan base *not to buy* a computer version of one of their most popular games. Hiring HexWar in the first place was an easily-avoided blunder.
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