We’ve had a long, long meeting today pounding on some of the problems with the current TOE implementation which, frankly, is not far off being amateur hour (this is my own work I’m talking about) It’s taken stepping back and saying “ok, this isn’t working” for me to see the forest for the trees, and today’s meeting was about filling in blanks in the design spec, eliminating redundancies, waffle and concreting the parts we know we really want.
Each step of this design sets out another series of steps we want to take. One of the big concerns for TOEs is, as I’ve mentioned before, support brigades: Right now you can join any army brigade and spawn troops at any air or naval brigade to “support them”. This is critical functionality, and there are several obvious options – but none of those options are practical without major coding ground work. And we already know we’re not in a position where players will accept more “ground work” patches. Especially not patches that are almost entirely “under the hood” with a hood you can’t yet see.
Other issues are related to movement, timers, relocation of spawn lists, fallback, hold at all costs.
With the things we’ve learned from TOEs across the last few months, a much cleaner design has emerged. Rather than throwing away fallback and hold at all costs, we recovered the reasons those features were added. HAAC is a great communication tool, and we want to retain that functionality; its also a great camp-counter function, we definitely want to keep that functionality for now. The addition of fallback was driven by several factors, all of which still apply, we just failed on the delivery: we still need a way for an OIC/commander to decide to surrender a town to allow him/her to open up the firebases to a battle.
We managed to move some of the features into postscripts – such as the “rearguard”/”vanguard” system that splits the movement of a supply list between towns into a two part thing. We also tabled [U.S. definition] the concept of supply list status tracking because it adds a complexity to the supply systems that I just can’t pull out of my ass; it needs a bunch of experimental/validation time for me to design how its going to work in a fashion that scales to the size of our world.
We’re meeting again Thursday to review my technical spec for proceeding and determine how long I have to deliver the resulting system.