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HPS Renaissance – No Sales Resistance

April 15th, 2009 by Troy Goodfellow · 3 Comments · HPS

It was the Turks that got me. I mean, how many wargames let you play 16th century Ottomans?

Plus, HPS Studios promised over 100 scenarios, which is strictly true, I suppose, but many of those are variants on battles. Hypothetical scenarios based on relief columns showing up or just different orders of battle.

The battles stretch from Seminara in 1495 to Kokenhausen in 1601. All the major battles of the period are here – Flodden, Mohacs, Gravelines – and a bunch of others that only specialists have heard of.

So, I’m a sucker and will probably spend most of my upcoming birthday mired in the mud of Reformation Europe.

But, for the love of God, HPS needs to adapt its UI. You don’t even get little miniatures here like in their Napoleonic games to amuse yourself while you drag units and open orders menus strewn across the top bar. In a world devoid of pike and culverin wargames, this is all we’ve got, but there’s no excuse for making do by simply adding new scenarios and unit strengths to an engine that is showing its age.

Yeah, hiring a proper UI guy takes money, and there’s not a lot of money in wargames. But you aren’t going to make any more money by not even trying. I want more games like this, but people like me are dying or moving on to Social Security. Fast.

Try to meet the 21st century halfway.


3 Comments so far ↓

  • Jason Lefkowitz

    Once again, Old Man Murray said it best, this time just about 10 years ago (!). Just replace “Talonsoft” with “HPS” in their rant and it works just as well for today’s wargaming world…

    I have a new place that I want a job at; TalonSoft. There I will be able to pass the same 15 year old crappy programming off as new. It will be okay. I am sure I will have to make my share of Star Trek references at the water cooler, but I think I can handle it. I have this crazy idea: I am going to make a background and then make the text over that background readable! “Son you are fired. That shows improvement, and we don’t want that. We are trying to hold onto our 5 remaining customers. Nothing new. Nothing new. Nothing new.”

    Even Falcon 4 has a trainer. Are you going to call that game easier?

    What about the reviews? All reviewers love it!!! Of course, these spineless skin-eating pubic-lice have to prove themselves to the war game crowd. “I think it is a big breakthrough that you only have to hold the ALT-K and F8 keys to select a piece.”

    This game, and all games by TalonSoft, are only hastening the death of wargames. Close Combat has its flaws but at least you could ask someone who has never played a wargame before to give it a try. TalonSoft seems hell bent on reducing the fanbase of wargames. Let’s face it, hardcore grognards are like the Shakers – they don’t breed. To keep the sect alive, they need to recruit. This was the beginning of computer games, do you remember Chris Crawford and his wargames? Wargames were perfect for early PC’s. Low drain on resources and no one minded the computer taking time to think. TalonSoft just wants to keep them there.

  • Scott R. Krol

    Actually you don’t really need to replace HPS with Talonsoft when you think about it…pretty much all of Tiller’s games are simply Battleground with new scenarios and graphics.

    Also, another sore point has always been the number of scenarios. As Troy points out you’ll get 1000 scenarios in a game BUT really there are ten scenarios each with 99 variations.

    It is nice though that they’ve moved over into more obscure topics.

  • JonathanStrange

    Look, somebody’s buying ’em. There’s Troy and that guy, you know the one, never finishes his sentences.