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What Should Be Next?

What HeavyMetal CBT Program Should Be Next?

HeavyMetal Pro 6

HeavyMetal Map

HeavyMetal Support Vehicle


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Descriptions of Choices:

I'll elaborate a bit here on the choices above. First, I'll mention that yes, there are programs that people are looking forward to, that are not available for selection here, like HMMechWarrior/HMRPG and HMTO&E. I am just not ready to think about those programs, as they entail a huge amount of decisions as to what they would even do. I'd like to go after a more definable program, and to be honest, one that interests me more and that I would use more myself, as I think it's important to write about what I know best, when possible. The choices are:

HeavyMetal Pro 6
A much-improved version of HMPro, this would be a paid upgrade to current HMPro users (probably about $15 plus S&H to upgrade), and would have a selling price of about $29. It would no doubt include a huge number of new features and improvements, but the major ones would be:

* Better Omni handling, like in the new HMBA, where the different Omni variants would be saved in the same file, printed along with the others in the same TRO, and share much of the characteristics such as armor, structure type, engine, etc.

* At least two armor diagram options, one being something very close to the original FASA record sheet outline (the not-a-Crusader, as it has been claimed), as well as possibly other outines as well.

* Specialty ammo, such as armor-piercing, and possibly custom ammo as well.

* Print preview for record sheets.

* A /bunch/ of smaller, but still important, improvements and features, many of which have been incorporated into HMBA.

HeavyMetal Map
HeavyMetal Map would probably actually include four separate applications:

HM Star Map - A map of the Inner Sphere plus the Clan Homeworlds, where you can zoom in and out, plan jumps between systems, make automatic jump calculations and print out jump itineraries. You will probably be able to print out these maps, or portions of them. A possibility is also to include a database including information about each system, such as star type, manufacturers, etc. provided there is enough information available and assistance from playtesters.

HM Hex Map - A map editor, capable of designing hex maps for BattleTech gameplay, including elevation Levels and terrain features, with or without a colored/textured background. It /may/ be possible to print in more than one scale (like 2" or 4" per hex, in addition to the standard ~1.3" per hex), but no promises there, as it takes dozens of sheets to print out a single map.

HM Emplacements - I think this is where I'll put a designer for emplacements, buildings, gun turrets, basically any static defense or building. Working with rules from the old Compendium as well as Maximum Tech, it would print record sheets and calculate BV and cost for these forgotten pieces of equipment.

HM Origami - As long as we're designing emplacements, and hex maps to put them on, I think there should be a neat and quick way of making the buildings to put on them. HMO would, using the data from the designed emplacements, or simple specs such as hexes, height and Construction Factor. The program would print out all the walls and roof, connected with tabs, so they could be cut out and assembled for quick, colorful and attractive buildings.

HeavyMetal Support Vehicle
Using the new rules which are published in the new Classic BattleTech Combat Equipment book, it would provide for construction of the new Combat and Support Equipment allowing designs ranging from buses to trains and large atmospheric craft to super-large wet navy vessels. The breadth and variation of these products is amazing, and while intended for Support (i.e. non-Combat) vehicles, it also allows design of vehicles that are much larger (and therefore more powerful) than those that can be designed using even the Level 3 standard combat vehicle rules. The rules are so different, the variety and size of the vehicles so large, that it is not possible to integrate the rules into HeavyMetal Vee, even an expanded update of it, so I feel it requires its own new program to do justice to these incredible rules.

Naturally, the new HM:SV would include the latest new features, as they are being added to the newest programs, and while I cannot mention more on the SVs than I have above due to my NDA, I think you will be amazed at the huge variety of construction and motive options available with this equipment. It will let people design craft they only dreamt of in the past, and HM:SV would make the complex construction a snap.


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