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Author Topic: [SP/COOP/ADDON-FREE] 1-6 Behind Enemy Lines 1.0 (Please Review)  (Read 9278 times)

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Offline laggy

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Mission "1-6 Behind Enemy Lines v1.0" by Laggy.

Watch teaser trailer

Public 1.0 version.

Mission description: You are a Force Recon team whose chopper gets shot down over hostile ground. You are alone and have to make your way back to base across enemy territory.

ArmAII version 1.05

Needed Addons: None

Known bugs: None

IMPORTANT: This mission is supposed to be played with human leader and AI enabled. Dialogues and events are based on who is left alive in the group. Tested on dedicated server.

Thanks to: All of you at the OFPEC forum.

Credits: Nominesine and Johnnyboy for serious playtesting. DeanosBeano for information about a specific "unit". Hoz and JamesF1 for dedicated server testing.


Important changes in version:

1.0

-Added overview for SP.
-Nicer titles.
-Briefing now updated after player is killed and/or teamswitches.
-Side respawn used so you can teamswitch even in MP.
-Removed map, compass and other items from everyone but leader, you can now enjoy getting lost in Chernarus.
-Tweaked difficulty and timing.
-Removed AI leaders move order, since teamswitch now works in MP, player should lead all the time.
-Enemy artillery less accurate.

0.98

-Difficulty after half-time (half-map) increased... more hunting groups and stuff.
-If leader is all of a sudden not player ("respawn and First-Aid module" issues) AI continues towards U.S Base.
-Other minor stuff, possible error messages etc.

0.97

-Increased difficulty (again... some testers complained about boredom, while some find it unbeatable.)
-Implemented the First Aid module.
-ACM module now initiated correctly also on dedicated server.
-Intro Huey now flies away as it should also on dedicated server.
-Added one more tracking group.
-Roadblocks added at random positions.
-Sounds now fade properly over distance.
-Total randomness slightly reduced.
-Other minor stuff.

0.95

-Sentimental outro added.
-BIS Conversation disabled on officer at the end to avoid weird effects.
-Briefing revised.
-A few surprises.
-Instead of just a present trigger the mission now ends when a player reports to the officer in Chernogorsk.
-Other minor stuff.

0.92

-Slightly enhanced intro, JIP friendly.
-Some character development.
-More dialogue possible, depending on who is still alive.
-A few more editor placed enemies, not too many though.
-Modules revised.
-More civilian life and eye candy.

0.90

- Added mission version number
- Revised briefing
- Better unit placements
- Some triggers moved
- Scripts changed


Missiontype: Multiplayer COOP, but SP is possible.
Players: 1-6
Mission Time: Around 60 min, maybe more.
Island: Chernarus
Mission Version: 1.0
Intro: Yes
Outro: Yes
Parameters: Yes (Intro option)
Time: Late afternoon
Weather: Good


Missionwork: This is a mission I always wanted to do, but it would have been too heavy on a PC before ArmAII. You are moving over huge areas and the enemy presence is very random. The design really takes advantage of the new modules in ArmAII and since the mission is very free with a simple objective, you have an endless variety of possible strategies. This mission varies from stealthy "hide and seek" to some of the most intense fights and stressful retreats I have experienced in a BIS game. Custom sounds, dialogue and scripts.

Contact: tolaggy@hotmail.com

Hope you enjoy it. My wish is that I've created a fun mission.

Laggy

« Last Edit: 09 Feb 2010, 00:15:39 by laggy »
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Offline kju

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Re: [SP/COOP/ADDON-FREE] 1-6 Behind Enemy Lines (BETA)
« Reply #1 on: 26 Jun 2009, 22:50:30 »
Cheers  :good:

Does it contain you arty FX already?  :whistle: :D

Offline laggy

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Re: [SP/COOP/ADDON-FREE] 1-6 Behind Enemy Lines (BETA)
« Reply #2 on: 26 Jun 2009, 23:10:52 »
Does it contain you arty FX already?  :whistle: :D

Ehhh... don't know what you mean, but there is no artillery module so far... if that was the question  :dunno:
If the question was if I've included any of my arty FX (as in "artsy fartsy") then... Of course  :D

EDIT: Mission updated in first post to version 0.90.
Teaser video added as well.
« Last Edit: 02 Jul 2009, 01:40:34 by laggy »
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Offline nominesine

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Re: [SP/COOP/ADDON-FREE] 1-6 Behind Enemy Lines (0.90 BETA)
« Reply #3 on: 02 Jul 2009, 09:34:21 »
The promo video was a very nice touch indeed. It helped building suspense in advance and added to the immersion. I made some notes during our test session yesterday. Since you were part of that session, I won't go into too many details. Here we go...

BRIEFING: Looks good. Everything I need to know is there and all links are working.

INTRO: While I'm waitin for the black screen to finish "receiving" a conversation between two soldiers start in the background. After 10-15 seconds the camera pans over these very soldiers, as they finish their patrol and board a waiting helicopter. Several inflight shots follows (exactly as in your trailer). Good choice of music. Eventually the screen goes black again and the sound of a crashing helicopter can be heard. Subtle and effective. I suspect that you didn't intend for the conversation to start before the game had finished loading for all players. But it looked good nevertheless, so I don't consider it to be a problem.

The problem with the Intro is that JIP players will also have to watch it as they join the server. Since the helicopter from the intro have then been deleteVehicled, JIP-players will have to watch the ocean from below instead. This always happens when the camera is given a target that no longer exists. I don't know how to solve this problem. Maybe others do. It's rather annoying though.

MISSION: As the mission starts I find myself next to the crashed helicopter. The team leader shows some sitiuational awareness when he runs a head count. Good. Barking dogs and foreign voices can be heard in the distance. The enemy patrols are moving in on us. Effective story telling. Very good.

As far as I can tell this is a very simple mission. You have created a startpoint and an endtrigger that requires some serious trekking to reach. You've also added a trackdog scripts and enemy patrols that actively seeks the player's squad. The dog was a very nice touch (and it felt really good to shoot the barking bitch with a sniper rifle). The rest of the mission is generated randomly using the  modules for ambient combat and civilians. Is that correct? It works very good. I didn't discover any flaws during the two sessions we played yesterday. The mission is rather slow, wich I happen to like, and it requires team work to finish. One minor detail though.

Since the ambient combat module sometimes spawns friendly forces as well as enemies, the players are bound to wonder: Why can't I contact these allies or call for a rescue helicopter? I think you should add a line to the briefing, explaining that the teams long range communication system is defunct. Apart from that I have nothing to add. All in all a very enjoyable mission. Since we never managed to reach our safe zone (mainly thanks to my lousy driving), I cannot say anything about the mission ending right now.

SUMMARY: Fix the JIP issue. Everything else seems to be working more or less as you intended. No locality problems. No serious bugs so far. Since the mission is very randomized I recommend a few more test sessions.

 :good:
« Last Edit: 02 Jul 2009, 11:02:38 by nominesine »
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Offline laggy

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Re: [SP/COOP/ADDON-FREE] 1-6 Behind Enemy Lines (0.90 BETA)
« Reply #4 on: 02 Jul 2009, 16:13:30 »
Thanks a lot  :good:

Yes the "JIP non-friendly" intro is annoying to edit well I think.
Guess I must make the publicVariableEventHandler work properly, I'm on it!

All the other points noted, will look into them.
Might put in a couple of more "obstacles" as well...

PLEASE KEEP IT COMING!!!

EDIT: From master scripters I have been told that "addPublicVariableEventHandler" is NOT the solution, but I got some good advice on it anyway.
« Last Edit: 02 Jul 2009, 20:54:34 by laggy »
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Offline Rellikki

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Re: [SP/COOP/ADDON-FREE] 1-6 Behind Enemy Lines (0.90 BETA)
« Reply #5 on: 02 Jul 2009, 23:21:28 »
Well, we just tried it out with Zipper5. I took the Heavy Gunner slot and he was the Corpsman... After the mission started, we continued on to the closest town from the crashsite (Novy Sobor, if I remember right), trying to fight the massive lag we had (Not mission related. Internet connection problems... ;) ). We found a car and boarded it and continued to the south all the way to the USMC base... That's it.
Did we miss something? We didn't even see a single enemy. ??? The mission wouldn't end either. I suppose we had to report in to the officer at his laptop? Well, nothing happened when we were there. Kinda confusing.

Offline laggy

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Re: [SP/COOP/ADDON-FREE] 1-6 Behind Enemy Lines (0.90 BETA)
« Reply #6 on: 03 Jul 2009, 00:37:48 »
WHAT!!!  :blink:

Thanks a lot for the feedback Rellikki and I have found what I/you missed.

Looking closely at how you played it I see some major problems in my mission info/design - or your choices  :P
You (2 players) decided to play the Heavy Gunner and the Corpsman, which means that no one played the group leader which controls the AI. I didn't intend that to be an option and that is the issue. I have never been a fan of disabling AI slots and my briefing should have been more clear about this. While you ran away your team mates took the hit I suppose. Hmmm... unless the remaining AI was deleted by some setting of yours in the MP lobby. Anyway, not playing as a group with a human leader is what caused this effect.

Important info:

1-In a mission without waypoints ONE player must always play the leader. I thought this was standard procedure.
2-The reason why the mission didn't end was because the WHOLE group must arrive at USMC base.
3-The whole design builds on the whole team working/keeping together, AI and/or players.
4-If you try it again (and I hope you do), put one player as leader of the group and don't disable any AI. That will definitely change things.

Don't know if I will re-design the mission to make it work in your "style", since I think it kills immersion and realism. Just play the leader and take the heavy gun yourself  ;) Part from the issues mentioned above you must have been quite lucky anyway.

Thank you for this enlightening info, it is easy to take for granted how players will think and play your mission and what is obvious to one is not necessarily clear to another. Please try it again or wait until the next release (working on it right now) and play it with a human leader and AI this time.

Cheers,

Laggy
« Last Edit: 03 Jul 2009, 00:40:55 by laggy »
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Offline Zipper5

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Re: [SP/COOP/ADDON-FREE] 1-6 Behind Enemy Lines (0.90 BETA)
« Reply #7 on: 03 Jul 2009, 00:49:34 »
I think it's quite bad to rely on players to play it exactly how you imagined it, especially in MP. I've never been a fan of controlling AI in MP. It's fine in singleplayer, but due to lag and other issues it is much harder and annoying to do so in MP. Having someone always play as squad leader is definitely not procedure.

Also, there's a major design flaw in how you end the mission. Requiring the whole team to be there, whether people are actually playing as them, is a very bad thing to do in MP. As mentioned earlier, I, amongst many others, do not play often with an AI squad in MP, so I tend to disable them immediately.

If you want to keep it this way, and by all means it's up to you, that's perfectly ok. It's your mission, you're free to do whatever you want. My personal advice, however, is that either you modify the mentioned areas to make it a better MP-friendly mission, or stick with how it is now but change it to singleplayer only. It'd work perfectly if it was a singleplayer mission.

Offline laggy

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Re: [SP/COOP/ADDON-FREE] 1-6 Behind Enemy Lines (0.90 BETA)
« Reply #8 on: 03 Jul 2009, 01:36:55 »
Hi Zipper5 and thanks for your input.

Point taken and I'll consider the recommendations, to make the mission broader in terms of taste.

I however am from the other school, that wants to play a scenario with the setup that was originally intended by the mission designer. This doesn't mean "Play the mission in my planned order" - that's boring, but simply "play the mission with ALL the provided characters". To me disabling AI is like watching a movie where one of the main characters is missing.

Example: In my next mission you'll be looking for something/someone and one of the group members will be a local interpreter helping your USMC team, talking to the local civilians. What if you disable/delete him? Kind of ruins the whole idea and setup.

This is something my mission descriptions and briefings will clearly explain from now on, thanks to your feedback. I will also see if there is anyway to force the AI to stay in the mission, but I haven't tampered with that stuff for a long time now.

If you think about it... It's almost impossible to design any kind of MP mission other than "respawn paintball" or "kill'em all" type of scenarios, meaning NO story/atmosphere, if you must cover ALL possibilities in terms of "player style" AND keep some kind of realism/immersion.

Not saying I'm right, just my view, that's what I like to play and how I design my own MP missions. To be MP compatible SP missions with sometimes a story/dialogue and usually ALL characters needed. If you prefer the other "school", that's cool, but you probably won't enjoy my missions, that's for sure  ;)

Cheers and thanks again,

Laggy
« Last Edit: 03 Jul 2009, 01:41:59 by laggy »
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Offline johnnyboy

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Re: [SP/COOP/ADDON-FREE] 1-6 Behind Enemy Lines (0.90 BETA)
« Reply #9 on: 03 Jul 2009, 08:30:07 »
Hi Laggy,

I gave this ago in MP, but I was the only human (took the leader slot).  Here goes:

0. Loading screen says "Get Ready.  You're gonna need it!".  "Good luck.  You're gonna need it!" would make more sense...

1. Great utube video.  Good sales job.  Titles looked professional.

2. Good intro setup.  Amusing dialog.  Yours?  Or borrowed from somewhere?  Just curious.

3. Respawn to Group.  Excellent.  My favorite.  OFP/ARMA too difficult for one life/game over (IMO).  Definitely my preference.

4. For 36 minutes of heading SW and S, very little happened.  Small squad behind us happened, my boys took most of them out.  A bit later 3 guys to the East, we took down 2, the other got away.  A few choppers flew by in the distance.  My boys spotted a truck (I didn't).  One very cool UAV overflight (directly over us).

5. Finally encountered large squad in the woods, that took us all out within one minute.  I probably got complacent after few contacts for so long.  Total time 38 minutes.

Overall:  I like it.  Exploring a big world, making my way to safety.  No idea what/where/when something will happen.  But I might like it because Arma 2 still so new, bright, big and shiny...  I will try it again, hopefully with a friend.

Suggestions:  A little squad dialog for immersion?  You have two personalities set up in the intro dialog (bullshitter talker, and the guys sick of hearing his bullshit), so maybe play up that a little?  Or comment on the terrain, nearby stuff, bitch about the predicamint, question player's leadership, whatever...

Maybe more action?  Or because this is random, were my encounters unusually light?  (Obviously not too light, since I was wiped out, LOL).

Amount of action may be fine as is though, because I don't like impossible missions with loads of enemies.  Those missions are either silly, too hard, or both.  So not sure if I'm complaining or not...  Arma fans should like it.  My more action oriented friends might not.

Attached are two screen shots that show the path I took, and where the encounters took place.

Nice job.  Keep em coming.  I hope to produce a coop mission this summer myself.
« Last Edit: 03 Jul 2009, 10:18:45 by johnnyboy »
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Offline nominesine

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Re: [SP/COOP/ADDON-FREE] 1-6 Behind Enemy Lines (0.90 BETA)
« Reply #10 on: 03 Jul 2009, 09:32:03 »
Three things poped into my head this morning...

1) Since this is an overland trekking mission, there's a very simple solution to the "group leader issue", where no player picks the required slot. Place a trigger on the map, set it to true and write this in the activation field:

Code: [Select]
if (isPlayer myLeader) then {hint "It's a groupleaders job to guide his team to safety"} else {group myLeader move (getPos myEndTrigger)}
If the leader slot is empty the whole team will start to move towrds the end zone. They will only move in a straight line towards the destination, but since the mision is heavily randomized this shouldn't be a major problem. And yes, it is entirely possible to direct movement to a named trigger. The mission then becomes playable regardless of the slot you chose.

2) Maybe you should add a couple more editor placed groups on the map, to ensure that the trekk back to base doesn't end up being entirely uneventful. Don't overdo it, though. I like the mission because it often lures me into a false sense of being secure: "There's no one around, let's get going." In it's current state, the mission forces me to be on my toes, even though there's not a single enemy in sight. As Johnnyboy suggested, you may also add to the immersion by developing the story started in the intro. Maybe have the two personalities arguing with eachother:

"This would never have happened if you hadn't insisted that we were to be extracted from that desolate field."
"You're way out of line soldier. Pipe down and fall back."

I don't think that the mission needs more action. It's a mission that reqires patience and I think you should leave it that way. I also like the fact that I cannot foresee what will happen, or if anything will happen for that matter. But, as someone mentioned, maybe this is just because everything in ArmA2 seems new to me. With more experience I'm bound to recognize the random events spawned by the game engine for what they are: spawned events that follow a simple format. Therefore it might be a good idea to add things that is obviously editor placed, and included by the mission designer. As stated though, I dont think more action is required. Go for more eye candy instead.

3) Regarding the "whole group present" issue. I do not agree with the statement above. Requiring the whole group to reach the final destination is a very good mission objective. "No one gets left behind", as a popular war movie featuring a defunct Blackhawk helicopter stated in it's subtitle a couple of years ago.
« Last Edit: 03 Jul 2009, 09:37:03 by nominesine »
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Offline laggy

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Re: [SP/COOP/ADDON-FREE] 1-6 Behind Enemy Lines (0.90 BETA)
« Reply #11 on: 03 Jul 2009, 12:33:19 »
@ Johnnyboy
Thanks a lot for your kind words and constructive feedback, even with screenshots  :good:
I'm a big fan of your ArmA mission "Last Tango in Bagango" myself.

Glad you liked the "movie trailer", I was thinking about adding the voice of "preview guy" as well.
About the dialogue... Yes that is custom... I know some REALLY amazing actors... actually... Ehhh...  :-[

About your feedback: Points taken and I fully agree with them all, but I'm uncertain about one - the action factor. This is because the mission is VERY random and it is hard to predict the difficulty, even for me. This is the main reason the mission needs more testing, as then some kind of pattern will hopefully show. The new modules in ArmAII are new to us all and the info on the WIKI is still very limited.

Again, thanks a lot for your serious beta testing and I hope you'll enjoy the next version even more.
You might want to wait for the next release before trying it again  :P


@ Nominesine

Thanks for the "move to trigger" tip, never tried that before. Might make the possible AI leaders route a little more random though.

Like you and Johnnyboy said, it is hard to tell if the mission itself is actually good when the game still has the "awe-factor". To me it seems like BIS has made it easier for the mission designer though, who now can focus more on story, dialogue, atmosphere and the actual objectives. Before ArmAII 75% of the work was to create a believable world experience.

Thanks a lot to you too.


@ both of you

Working on an updated version right now which will have the additions that you both suggested:

-Slightly enhanced intro and this time JIP friendly.
-Character development.
-More dialogue of all types, for greater immersion during the actual mission.
-A few more editor placed enemies, not too many though.
-More civilian life and eye candy.
-If possible, unabling "disableAI" in the MP lobby, otherwise a clear note about this.

Cheers,

Laggy
« Last Edit: 03 Jul 2009, 15:49:11 by laggy »
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Offline johnnyboy

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Re: [SP/COOP/ADDON-FREE] 1-6 Behind Enemy Lines (0.90 BETA)
« Reply #12 on: 04 Jul 2009, 02:07:05 »
Here's a thought about guaranteeing a player leader.  At game start you can run a script to regroup units to a player (if leader not equal player).  

In the script, pick first player found, and re-assign all units this new player/leader.  Kill the original leader, and  place his body at the feet of the new player leader, and make some comment about not surviving the crash ("I told him to wear his seatbelt!").  If you want to maintain the squad size, then spawn a co-pilot into your group also.

Just an idea...   Wish I had more time for mission making dammit!

Edit:  Also, if server disabled ai, and you want to guarantee certain number of units in squad, you could create the extra units to fill the squad at init time.
« Last Edit: 04 Jul 2009, 02:26:10 by johnnyboy »
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Offline laggy

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Re: [SP/COOP/ADDON-FREE] 1-6 Behind Enemy Lines (0.90 BETA)
« Reply #13 on: 04 Jul 2009, 02:16:31 »
Thanks again Johnnyboy,

You really should make more missions  :P

I'll beta test them gladly.
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Offline nominesine

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Re: [SP/COOP/ADDON-FREE] 1-6 Behind Enemy Lines (0.90 BETA)
« Reply #14 on: 06 Jul 2009, 20:24:16 »
I don't know if you have updated the first post with the new version. But with the JIP-friendly init from the previous test run we did, I would say this mission is just about ready for review.
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