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Video Game
Combat Mission: Campaigns
Windows Downloadable edition
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ObjectID: 136270
Description Edit | History

On February 26, 2009, the source code was released to the public after the project was officially cancelled. The following notice was posted at the publisher's website:

I regret that I have had to cancel the development of Combat Mission Campaigns, at least in its present form, and possibly in any form.

What went wrong

CMC was a major undertaking, and I certainly underestimated how long it would take to develop. I was probably way too ambitious. Just building an interface to CMBB was one thing, and a tricky one at that, given that CMBB had not originally been designed with that end in mind. But as well as that there was an engine that enabled 'relative spotting' for each commander, given the reports that he would have access to from his subordinates, including communication delays and so on. I had never seen this done before in a comprehensive way, for any game or simulation, and it caused some considerable complexity.

CMC was designed to be a 'grognard's dream', with every aspect of WWII warfare included at some level. It has a very sophisticated supply model, air forces, weather and 9 different ground conditions with associated (2D!) graphics, artillery support, tactical reserves, entrenchment, etc, etc. There is a ridiculously large code base handling everything from medals to soldier promotions to strategic AI.

The problem is that it took too long to develop, and the core engine proved unstable and difficult to fix. I find myself in the position this New Year of having something that is arguably 99% done, and yet we cannot nail the key bugs which prevent release (and no one wants to release something that is deficient). Just like the same time last year. And the year before that.

There have been some talented people dedicate work to the project, only to leave for a variety of reasons throughout (better career, family tragedy, etc). Each time this happens, on such a small team, it causes disruption and complication in new people coming up to speed. It generally takes some months for them to be at peak productivity.

Unlike most major commercial titles, but similar to CMBB, this was developed on a 'shoestring', without the support of a major backer. That means that it cost me personally the bulk of my life savings and my earnings over the last few years. I have run out of passion for working on it, and money to fund it. Keeping one or several programmers busy simply from the funds I personally earn in the computer industry has been possible, but increasingly painful.

It has been clear for some time that any proceeds from the sale of the game would not meet the expenditure. Nevertheless, I persisted with it because I did not wish to see the effort go to waste, I wanted to provide something entertaining, and I am very, very stubborn.

Work ceased over a month ago now. I already feel better, like the man who stops hitting his head against a wall. Apologies for not releasing news of this earlier, but there are some processes.

Apologies and Thanks

I lend my apologies to the fans who wished to see the kind of campaign system that CMC was intended to provide.

Thanks to the beta testers who helped out, creating maps, campaigns, providing feedback, testing buggy software, etc.

An even greater apology to those who volunteered time and effort to help with manual development or graphics. Especially so, Marco Bergman who personally created THOUSANDS of graphical images covering units, vehicles, interface, etc. I feel badly for someone who has worked so hard voluntarily and does not even see the title released. And there were others.

Battlefront, through Martin and Charles, have put a lot of effort into this game as well, while pushing forward with their other titles.

The Future

As promised, we have made the source code and other assets available for the community. Too much work, sweat and blood was invested by too many people to let it simply vanish. And who knows, maybe there are skilled individuals out there who have the time and energy to take what we have and lead it to a conclusion.

The source code and other files have been uploaded and are available as an open source project from here:

If you are interested to become part of the project, please feel free to join the project.

There are two important things to note:
- the files are released AS IS. There is a set of documents released and downloadable from sourceforge. That is all the documentation you're going to get. There will be no further support for this project from us.
- all files are released under the GNU GPL Copyleft license. This means that not only are they open source, any derivates based on them have to be open source, too, and may not be commercially exploited. We strongly suggest that you read the GNU GPL 3.0 license text (it's available under the "Documentation" tab on the sourceforge project) to avoid any nasty misunderstandings about this in the future.

If I had ever released the game, I would certainly have dedicated it to those who fell in that terrible conflict, whose suffering puts all our troubles in perspective.


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