Right, as per usual I'll be writing this as I go along. I haven't played Airborne, so I'm started from a position of ignorance. I'll be playing in Veteran mode as I always do.
Download ok, mission starts ok
Overview - Sui, me ol' mucker .... you have toooooo much time on your hands ;D There's a typo on the first page, an extra space.
The black intro screen with the date needs some text, or the "..." to be deleted.Briefing
Few extra spaces kicking around, have a quick run through it. (Also in some of the dialogue titletexts) Are we attacking Larche / La Trinite or La Trinite / Larche - be consistent, putting the first one first.
In the first page of notes put the italiced text first: the player needs to know who is before getting into the detail.
There are a lot of unit names floating around and I had to read the whole thing twice before I figured out who was who. There needs to be more structure eg one Plan page have something like
Your squad of paratroopers will assist the 34th Mech in the seizure of ...
- Fox Company (34th Mech Inf Div)
- Dog Company (5th Armoured Div)
- Charlie squad (58th Airborne Div)
typo in 3rd platoon Ops: Forum up point
Too much green writing between Saint Louis and Larche, can't easily see what's what. Use more colours.
Operations detail could do with a detailed ORBAT at the top: it was surprise to find we had a tank, and I still don't know what vehicles A and B squads have. Also surprised to see no mention of Platoon HQ.
Command and Signals - who are Yankee Green? Is this Platoon HQ?
Gear selection - some of the numbers of mags/ammo are a bit odd, if it's not deliberate have a quick tidy.
As you will have noticed, all of this is just detail - overall the Briefing is very good, just what you want.
@Asmo - my pleasure mate
Ahem, right, back to business.Mission
Opening cutscene - excellent
Dialogue - excellent. Minor detail: you can't see the Lt's face as he briefs you, he is looking at his feet the whole time.
When you get out of the jeep Lt Hogan should be facing you ... took me a moment to spot him.
Lag issues: I have a really ancient, decrepit and crappy computer (and to think we were all so pleased with the PII when it came out ....) and so far the mission is ok but a bit jumpy. There's a lot going on at this point - choppers flying overhead, Chinook on the ground with rotors going and dust script swirling (which, due to the lag, didn't look that great) - and if you are concerned about that you might want to thin it down a little.
I've just got out of the APC now and I have to say that so far I'm very impressed. This whole sequence of dialogue and cutscene is absolutely top quality. Having decent dialogue really helps - its a rare pleasure. The pacing is good too, and you have the correct music tracks. Well done.
The titletext indicating mines is too slow to come up - it may just be the fade in, but it needs to be quicker.
Make the minefield smaller (I mean fewer in the fields) and have the engineers clear all of them, but only once you have found all of them. The engineers had left and I was still finding mines, so I wasn't quite sure what was going on.
The Lt.'s jeep should be second in the convoy, not at the back.
The Abrams seems to have been magically repaired ... if there was a REME team I missed them. Sorry, Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers.... in the British army they repair vehicles, amongst other things.
Echo needs a better postion: he should at least be beside a bush, if not in one.
The episode at the FUP is far too rushed. There was an imprecise and out of character order from the Lt, the tank went rushing off into the distance, I was trying to get the dismounts into red team and the vehicle into green, at the worst possible moment (it felt) the retry hit.
Slow the whole thing down a little. The Lt should say Charlie dismount here, stay close to the tank etc, when you are ready call me, you've got two minutes. That gives the player time to sort himself out, get orentated etc. Give him the chance to radio: if he doesn't, then at the end of 2 minutes the Lt orders "move out" and the retry comes.
Well, we survived, ran desperately trying to keep up with the tank, managed not to blow up the civvy truck. The tank took out the Shilka, I shot one guy, somebody shot another, moved into the village, shot one one and that was about it. Saw very little of Alpha or Bravo. I suspect you're using combat ambience sounds here, if so delete them - they are annoying in a combat situation. The sense of confusion created by the fast radio messages was good - once the advance actually starts everything should be as fast and confusing as possible. Village cleared, no casualties to Charlie.
There is an inconsistency in that the original orders stated that Charlie was to take a back seat, given that we had a weaker vehicle. However, when it came to the bit we were ordered right up there in the main assault. If that's deliberate, fine.
Told you Echo should have been in a bush
It might be an idea to send Charlie on patrol (without M113) to find out what happened to Echo.
The attack started: I would suggest a little more time so that you can scavage for AT weapons. I had time to grab a AT4 that was lying around but that's all. The Abrams got blown up and a variety of radio messages came in: at one time Alpha (I think) claimed they were being overwhelmed but I couldn't hear any firing and I couldn't see any enemy. This persisted until the new wave of T72s came in, which I did see, followed by Guardian. Infantry started to appear from the SW but the lag was too bad and I got killed.
Went back to the retry, bit better this time but the lag got me again. Nice idea for the death scene.
The timing of the radio messages is not great - they are too strong too early. I got one saying "Charlie where are you", well I was by the bus which is as close as you like to where I was supposed to be. Alpha squad seemed to be advancing up the road to the West, which may account for it.
I'm really disappointed not to be able to play this properly :'(, it looks great. Time for the summary:-
Answers to questions
- Tighten up the Briefing a bit
- Make taking the village a little more interesting
- Sort out radio messages during early stages of the attack
- Lag issues
Did I find any bugs? No
Did the M113 go slow? No
How well this mission runs (FPS wise) on your system? I have PII with Voodoo4 and 384meg of RAM, which is just sufficient to play the Resistance campaign on low settings. It's tough but playable till the enemy tanks arrive, then that's it.
Voices: I would say, in this case yes. But make sure you get good people. And if its going to be 7Meg, do it properly and make it 10. You can easily publish a version without voices. I recenly moved from 56k to broadband: before I wouldn't bother with any mission over about 0.5M unless I had a very high opinion of the author, and anything over 2M was an overnight job anyway. Now I don't care. One of the many strengths of this mission is the characterisation, so for once it really would be worth having the speech. As long as you get the right people ....
Difficulty - taking the village is probably just a little too easy. Defending it I can't say, but my impression is that there are too many tanks - at one stage I saw four T72s just milling around to the SW. In reality they would have sat there shelling the pants off the village. More infantry and fewer tanks would probably make for a better mission.
That's it, well done Sui this is great.
The introductory phase (up till the minefield) is as good a non-combat phase as I've ever seen.
ok I really am finished no, forum clock 13:05