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Author Topic: (Review Completed) [SP] Abandoned Armies  (Read 73192 times)

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Offline THobson

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(Review Completed) [SP] Abandoned Armies
« on: 31 Jan 2005, 23:22:19 »
Update September 2006

The final version of this mission was submitted for review in October 2005.  It had not been reviewed when ofpec went down in January 2006.  We now have a new process for submitting missions for review which requires missions to be submitted from this beta board.  In compliance with this new process, below is a link to the final version for which a review is requested.  The mission is unchanged from the one submitted last October - but I have updated the Readme file to deal with the fact that the old links to ofpec will no longer work

Get the final version here


Edit: This mission has been reviewed and is available from the Missions Depot.

Single Player mission.  Long and difficult.

Built and tested in version 1.96

Addons needed:  General Barron's Editor Upgrade v 2.2 included in Download

Other requirements:  (1) **** Set your: Video Options/Terrain Detail to Normal ****
                             (2) You must be able to navigate over open country in the dark with only a map and compass

If you don't have your Terrain detail set to normal some very strange things will happen to the objects placed on the map.  This is a problem with Flashpoint.  In most missions it is not noticable but because of the size and duration of this mission it can become a problem.
« Last Edit: 09 May 2009, 02:13:30 by Walter_E_Kurtz »

Offline XCess

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Re:Abandoned Armies
« Reply #1 on: 01 Feb 2005, 00:34:37 »
downloading mission now. Heard you talkin about ur idea on the forum somewhere else before. sounded like a nice concept then. I'll give it a try.

Report on go. OFP ver 1.96 ECP; benchmark 2419

Overview
In a word: confusing.

Intro
In a word: wow!!!! the camera angles could be improved slightly, and theres a bit of jerkiness in some camera movements  but the custom music (great choice) and narrative text bring you into the mission amazingly.
Unfortanelty OFP crashed on alt-tab  ::)


Briefing
Liked the briefing. Notes were just saying what had already been said in the intro, change it for a personal diary or something. Give the layer a feel for your characters day to day life. Voice was a nice touch, although the tone of his voice was a bit too bright for the subject I think


Missison
Can't see a damned thing! Too much rain!!!  I'm not sure if this is ECP or FlashFX EU cauin problems but it's nothing to do with the mission... will post more when i sort this out.
Edit
Retry on FDF
Rain addon still there  ??? I'm guessin it was with the very messy FlashFXUR install i did.. tim for a fresh install i think.

Tried playing the mission anyway, going up the hill was a bit of a problem, located the fence NW of Vigny and moved SE until i spotted a building (light lets me see in the rain). Pop one loon with sidearm. Skirted round to the other side of the building where i shot one more. Had a US soldier point an m16 while i was fiddling with a new magazine. Luckily he couldn't be bothered to find his trigger before i reloaded. Three loons down. Enter building - Cutscene.

Your voice acting needs more empathy. The girl's just been raped but she doesn't seem to care, she sounds like an everday person going about her routines.. or maybe it is routine... Also "i just killed three soldiers in the other  room hohum lala". Empathy! You need empathy!!!!

So the custcenes over and im back inside the building. Spot a Jeep outside so I  run through the  wall and jump in. Lights on thank you very much!!
Start moving a bit.. the lights trail up so I can't see anythin again. Hit a bush. No more jeep.

Jump out the jeep and head back to Vigny to look for some NVG. While I'm running back to the house i run into an american officer... "does he have NVG?" i think. Pop one cap in his head. Yep he has NVG  ;D So after some fiddlin about cos of some lag i pick up the NVG. Equip!! I can play! I can play!!!! Yeah great. Thanks to my joy, and the carelessness it brought upon me... I get a 5.56 in the back of my head from someone I can't see.. cos of this damned rain addon..

NVG from the start wud be nice methinks  ;)

/more when i loose the rain
« Last Edit: 01 Feb 2005, 07:26:54 by XCess »

Offline macguba

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Re:Abandoned Armies
« Reply #2 on: 01 Feb 2005, 01:08:36 »
Goody goody goody!    *bounces up and down in chair*

Aw, shit, do I have to go to bed now, can't I have just 5 more minutes?

No ECP.   Benchmark 5660.   Vet mode obviously, and cheat savegames.


Overview

I know Overviews are meant to be short.     For some reason I think this one might get away with being longer.     The third page will the technical shit like your name.    The first two pages will be a slightly longer description of what is going on - currently it is too laconic - with two or maybe even three photographs of the same hanging from different angles.


Intro

Very good.   I nearly used Mars for Unimpossible.    The biggest problem is setting up the story - you don't do enough background.   (I know you're trying to keep it tight so that it is not long and boring, which is right, but we need a little bit more on the past.)     What happened to the civilians during the war?   We go straight from marauding soldiers to the chief of police.     Was the conflict CWC?   How can you keep something secret just by abandoning the soldiers there?    Why can't they just radio the world for rescue?      If all else fails use the good old armageddon scenario:  the whole world blew up in a nuclear war but the cute little ol' Malden isles, where the whole thing started, were too remote and were unharmed.    Don't get me wrong, what you've got is excellent - we just need a little more of it.

In detail it's all pretty good.     At the start you don't have total blackout.    If necessary put the player unit somewhere dark, make it night and use skipTime just before the fade in.    The voice acting is good and the files are good quality, which is no mean feat, but the whole offshore island scene is very weak.   Zooming into nothing, music stopping dead, people buring stuff right next to graves, no shot of the hero, no sense of what this spot is, no decent shots while your mum is talking.   Bin the lot and start again, sorry.    Just the outlying island bit I mean, the rest is good.    You have a good slow pan motif throughout the first part of the cutscene.   Either continue with that, or do something completely different.    Just fade out the music.  

The woman who is about to be raped and shot is too calm.   Have the trio stop halfway, one guy goes to aware and aims at her, she waves her arms a bit and then they continue.      Put a bed in the barn to emphasise the point.

The armoured force on top of the hill looks stronger than the one at the bottom.  Maybe thin it out a little to create a stronger stalemate impression.    Maybe have both sides turn and drive/march away from each other.

Put a couple of lads behind the General.      Three guys don't usually surrender to one.     Use worse weather - baddies traditionally have sturm und drang.   It's all pleasant spring throughout this description of hell.

I'm used to Nikolai with an i rather than a y at the end but perhaps that's just me.

Put the "this is fiction" text in a different colour and in the middle of the screen to differentiate it from the story text.  


Briefing

Re-record the sound files - you speak too fast.   All that public speaking stuff about your granny at the back of the room applies here too.   And try to sound a bit less cheery about the whole thing.    Is that voice (I assume its you) going to be the narrator or the player's character?    One voice per part.   If you're short of actors (everybody is) make it clear that the player is also the narrator.

Plan - Say that the armed truce has existed for a while, to explain the shortage of food and fuel and the longage of ammo.    Why are no supplies getting through?   Is there a blockade?     Are the governements deliberately trying to starve everybody to death?    If civvies are caught in the middle how did the police chief get to be in charge?

Notes - what Resistance?    I thought we were just fleeing civilians.   Why don't we just join one group or the other?   They may be nasty but at least we'll live.

Map - If the "outlying island" really is an outlying island, tell us which one it is.


Mission

Good to see the savegames.     Necessary if you are going to abolish setAccTime!     I headed south to approach Vigny from the south.    No lag but the combination of steep ground, no 4x and pistol make the start a little tedious.   Consider allowing "your father's old shotgun" with no ammo just to speed things up.    

Found the occupied house easily, shot one loon from prone and another as he stood on top of me.   Picked up an M16 and shot the third.    Went to the girl and got the cutscene.    I think I'll stop commenting on the high quality of the acting and sound files, it will get tedious.    There should probably be two soldiers coming up the road - one looks a bit incongruous - but why on Earth don't you team up with the girl?   You are both looking for the same man after all.    Or at least say something like "you get the car while I check these bodies."   She should scream or moan when she dies.  

Anyway, picked up the AK since I can get more mags and shot the soldier.   Nice to see the lodge on the map.   When the player goes to stand over the body he should just say her name or something.    Damn, shot in the back while moarning, that'll teach me to be sentimental.

Took out 3 of the squad of 4 coming in but the last one got me ... then it turns out its a squad of at least 6 ... at which point I think I'll take the cats' advice and go to bed.  

You know, I knew you had promise as soon as I played the start of Defensive Strike for the second time.  ;D

Just read Xcess' comments.  I love the non-ECP rain (shame you get it in the dutch barn) but I agree about repeating the Intro in the Briefing.   Yes you should reiterate the main points in some way, but don't just quote the script.

« Last Edit: 01 Feb 2005, 02:30:51 by macguba »
Plenty of reviewed ArmA missions for you to play

Offline SEAL84

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Re:Abandoned Armies
« Reply #3 on: 01 Feb 2005, 03:28:24 »
For simplicity's sake, I think macguba's idea about the nuclear war "everywhere but here" would work well in this situation.  Knowing that the parent countries are no more would probably lend more credibility to the idea that US and Soviet forces would cooperate.  Also, the fact that the outside world is no more is probably more likely to cause someone to get the bright idea to control the entire island.

Notes:  I played on a laptop computer with a 1.5 ghz processor, with plain-Jane OFP save for Dreamy Knight's replacement animations.  No lag detected.

Anyway, I snuck into Vigny and snooped around a bit - it would have been nice to have a picture of your uncle in the briefing so that you could ID him, but when I got into the town I found out why that's not necessary.  I crawled around and picked the binocs and CZ75 mags off the dead policeman and circled back around to the house - I popped the three guys inside, talked to the girl, and then she was shot.

Initially I tried to fight off the squad, but upon getting riddled with bullets and grenades I simply walked out the back door and did a little Cliffhanger routine in that strange crevasse north of the town.  I got somewhat lost after a few minutes, but when I blundered into a road I immediately knew where I was.  Found the house, gathered and armed my friends, and listened to the radio.  I headed towards one group of civvies and heard a convoy off in the distance - I didn't see it but it sounded huge.  *shudder*

Rescued one group of civvies and returned to base without incident.  Then saved and started watching 24...typing this during the commercial breaks ;D

Now for some overarching comments...

Love the atmosphere.  Everything from the weather to the constant overflights of unseen choppers to the fog creates the incredible sense of dread.  You did a great job with the sound and I have to disagree with macguba about re-recording the briefing sound.

Methinks this mission could also serve as a template for all kinds of other special operations-type missions, from what I've seen and heard anyway.  Sneaking around on your own on an island under the total control of hostile groups....this is something I've hoped was possible for a while.  With some tinkering, I bet this mission could be adapted for all kinds of special operations missions.

Anyhow, I'll probably continue the mission later tonight...methinks I need some more recruits and heavy weapons, then it's time to start really hammering the bad guys :gunman:

Offline Fragorl

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Re:Abandoned Armies
« Reply #4 on: 01 Feb 2005, 06:05:25 »
yes plz yes plz!... was anticipating this greatly.
D/Ling now...  ;D

Offline XCess

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Re:Abandoned Armies
« Reply #5 on: 01 Feb 2005, 07:54:53 »
Ahhh god I love you wipman. New config.bin, new beta test.

Click rety. Another CTD probably caused by changing my config. I'll have a look tomorrow after i do a fresh install, on that teeny 10gig that's just waitin for a use.

NOTE: I like your storyline. I totally and whole-heartedly disagree with both Seal and Macca's opinions to change it for a post-apocolyptic sceneriao. It just needs a bit of fine tuning to give the soldiers a reason not to leave etc
« Last Edit: 01 Feb 2005, 08:08:17 by XCess »

Offline THobson

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Re:Abandoned Armies
« Reply #6 on: 01 Feb 2005, 08:32:03 »
My goodness!!  I only put it on last night, went to bed, now first thing in the office I just checked to see if anyone might have got as far as looking at the overview and I geta all this!  

Wonderful thank you.  I am just about to start a working day and I have a busy evening tonight.  But please keep the comments coming.  I will respond to them all.

Thanks again.  You have made my day.

One or two quick responses - I am terribly short of voice actors.  In fact I don't have any just me and members of my family.  We all enjoyed doing the voices - but we ceratinly are not skilled.  We will keep trying.

Offline THobson

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Re:Abandoned Armies
« Reply #7 on: 01 Feb 2005, 14:17:25 »
Right I have found a bit of time in the middle of the day.

First my reaction so far - great relief!  I had feared that people would hate it because it was too dark (and I don't just mean the time of day) and because finding where you need to go in the dark is a pain and it is a long way.  My concern now is that the rest of the mission will not live up expectations - well we will see.

With my last mission ‘Defensive Strike' I turned around comments from beta testers with no real structure.  I liked what macguba did with his Un-Impossible mission and I plan to do the same here.  I will take and digest all comments and ideas and then incorporate them into a new release some time in the future with a clear explanation of what has changed.  If you have looked through the posts so far you will see that some of the suggestions are in conflict so it will take time to do this.

I will not to reply to all of you in general.  You are each taking the time test my mission and so deserve a specific reply from me.  This will have some consequences: 1. My replies could well be repetitive if several of you have made the same comment.  2. It may take a while before I can do you all justice.  Please be patient and please know that I value all your comments.

One advantage of doing it this way is that you don't need to read each other's posts, nor will you get clues about what to do from others.  I know some of you prefer it that way.  For my part I have a suggestion.  Once you get to the point approximately where SEAL84 is at the Mountain Lodge you will be completely on your own as to what you do and how you do it.  There are many ways of moving forward in the mission from that point.  If you each read other's posts you might:  1.  Miss out on what is meant to be the real fun of this mission; and 2. All follow the same path.  Less fun for you and less help for me.

Thanks again for the comments so far.  Please keep them coming.  I will reply to each one individually.


Offline bedges

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Re:Abandoned Armies
« Reply #8 on: 01 Feb 2005, 15:03:56 »
flashpoint 1.96, no ecp, benchmark 5050

this has all the hallmarks of a cracker of a mission; i've been playing for less than a year, designing for only a couple of months, but i know quality when it shimmies onto the monitor.

scanning the posts above, i agree with a few of the points, but i'll try not to repeat them.

overview

this picture is very well composed (the hanging idea.... mmmmgenius) but could afford to be a bit bigger. the text is a little awkward and says little about the role the player will have. may i humbly suggest something along the lines of -

"Winter is almost upon us.

The war on Malden is seemingly over, but with their respective governments denying all knowledge of the war, those remaining on both sides have come to a grudging truce in order to survive. With the loss of support from their military superiors however, discipline has broken down. Civilians are now caught in the middle of a desparate struggle for food and fuel to see out the harsh Winter months.

As Alexi Forgotsurnameov, you must somehow save your family from starvation."


how that'll fit pagewise i'm not sure, but with a bigger image it may space out okay.

intro

music fits perfectly. you could afford to get closer in some shots, in particular the shot panning between the forces arranged in that wee valley - there's a LOT of ground to cover, filled with trees and bushes, and on either side, bush-sized tanks.

excellent use of character animation, as seen throughout in the cutscenes too - eg. where tatyana briefly turns to the bed and says "what d'you think they keep me here for?" - that is subtle and poignant. great work.

ditto the comment on shaky cam - i recently received a tip from sui suggesting settargetting the character's positional array instead of the character themself; that way as the character moves, the camera remains stationary on them.

the hanging - how on earth did you get them to swing so slowly?! superb.

briefing

i liked the fact that you had a voiceover reading the sections, a most pleasant surprise.

the voice acting - i would leave it, unless you're prepared to do all that work again with more actors, greater variety of voices and more empathy. it would indeed contribute more to the overall atmosphere, but as it stands it's fine.

repeating the intro text in the background notes is a reasonable idea to cater for those of us with short attention spans, just in case looking at the purdy camera shots distracted from the text in the intro. however, if you use "leftover" in the briefing, don't use "left over" in the intro. that, annoyingly enough, was the only flaw i saw in the text. i'll catch you out sometime :P

ha HA! in the background section, third paragraph "...each controlling a part of the island one led by..." - between 'island' and 'one' you could do with a semicolon, just to break the sentence a bit. but honestly, drat you folks who can spell, spoilin my fun... tsk ;)

one minor point about the map, and i'm not sure how this would look - you've indicated the ends of the island being controlled by the respective sides (using colour, thumbs up) so perhaps a coloured dotted line to demarkate? a semi-transparent elipse? would this give too much of an idea where to expect enemy troops?

mission

as an aside... while playing many missions i get the impression that the designer has placed an enemy squad simply because they know the player is likely to pass that way. i've done it myself. but i got the impression about ten minutes into this, that's not going to happen here. this is less of a mission, more of an experience.

but just to balance that compliment, i feel i must slap the back of your hand sir. taking a function of the game away from the player is a cardinal sin in my opinion. by all means use 'reality' to constrain the player (availability of weapons, fuel, medics, etc.) but when it comes to the way the software works, leave well enough alone. as a player i don't see any benefit of removing the accelerated time function, quite the contrary.

bedges says, furiously tapping the = button. which works, btw, so either disable it utterly, or reinstate it completely.

don't add nvgoggles at the start. you're on the right track with the navigation thing. start em nice n slow ;) that mission in flashpoint where the player had to navigate using the stars... beautiful. now if only i could speed up climbing that hill.... :P

vigny works; i've tested all (?) scenarios, including blowing tatyana up. perhaps slow down time as she gets shot, make it a wee bit more dramatic. loaded up the jeep with all the goodies i could find, and away i went to the mountain shack.

got shot the first time around for not stopping quickly enough...

cutscenes are all fine. the radio... it is something which a player might miss, even though it's right next to the weapon crate, and judging by the scale of this mission (and reading over your notes) it's just one of many sub-missions. however, you could develop the radio a little more to include reception of enemy transmissions too. perhaps that comes later on.....

along with 2, i've collected the first group of civilians to the east, and have returned to the shack to find all in order - phew - and that's where i've saved thus far. more anon.

overall comment so far...

atmospheric, detailed, thorough. i can see this being most enjoyable :)

Offline THobson

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Re:Abandoned Armies
« Reply #9 on: 01 Feb 2005, 15:47:16 »
@Xcess

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Heard you talkin about ur idea on the forum somewhere else before. sounded like a nice concept then. I'll give it a try.
My only concern now is that people will have too high an expectation.

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Report on go. OFP ver 1.96 ECP; benchmark 2419
Thanks

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In a word: confusing.
It was meant to be intriguing. Yours and other comments have persuaded me.  I will change it.

 
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In a word: wow!!!!
Thank you

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the camera angles could be improved slightly
I am new to this - do you have anything specific?

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theres a bit of jerkiness in some camera movements
Yes and sometimes it is worse than others.  I am not sure I can pan more slowly.  This is something that is irritating me.

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but the custom music (great choice) and narrative text bring you into the mission amazingly.
Thank you again
 
 
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Liked the briefing. Notes were just saying what had already been said in the intro, change it for a personal diary or something. Give the layer a feel for your characters day to day life.
Again this is something I will change thanks to your and others comments.

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Voice was a nice touch, although the tone of his voice was a bit too bright for the subject I think
I understand your point. I will try harder.  I am not an actor though.  Having done the sounds for just this one mission I now have much greater respect for real actors.

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Too much rain!!!  â€¦â€¦Rain addon still there  
The rain is deliberate, I put it in.  It is meant to add atmosphere.  Don't you like it?


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Your voice acting needs more empathy. The girl's just been raped but she doesn't seem to care, she sounds like an everday person going about her routines.. or maybe it is routine... Also "i just killed three soldiers in the other  room hohum lala". Empathy! You need empathy!!!!
You are absolutely right.  See my comments above.  We are trying (my 16 year old daughter and I) but this is new for us.

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I  run through the  wall
Through the wall?  I hope it was through the window, anyway it is a standard OFP house I can't fix that!


Well you got some NVGs but you also got a bullet.  That's some trade off!

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NVG from the start wud be nice methinks
I am sorry I can't give the player NVGs at the start.  It would ruin the whole atmosphere I am trying to create.  Wait till you see dawn with your bare eyes.

Thank you for the comments, I really appreciate them, and thank you for being the first other person to see my mission.



Offline THobson

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Re:Abandoned Armies
« Reply #10 on: 01 Feb 2005, 16:32:42 »
@macguba

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Goody goody goody!    *bounces up and down in chair*
Well I only hope you are not disappointed

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Benchmark 5660Vet mode obviously, and cheat savegames.
.5660!!  If you get lag I will need a new mission! Cheat save all you  like.  How else can you test the various alternatives

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I know Overviews are meant to be short.    For some reason I think this one might get away with being longer. .    The third page …
Lol nicely put.  It was meant to be intriguing.  I am bowing to your and other comments and will change it

 
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Very good
I appreciate that thank you.
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I nearly used Mars for Unimpossible.
I liked your choice.  You might find it hard to guess my choice for the final successful scene - but if you hear it you will know.

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The biggest problem is setting up the story… How can you keep something secret just by abandoning the soldiers there?
I recognise the weakness here and will do something about it.

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we just need a little more of it
.The length of the music is a limitation.  I will look at this.

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In detail it's all pretty good.
Thank you.

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At the start you don't have total blackout.    If necessary put the player unit somewhere dark, make it night and use skipTime just before the fade in.
I had not spotted that.  Thanks.

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the whole offshore island scene is very weak.  Zooming into nothing, music stopping dead, people buring stuff right next to graves, no shot of the hero, no sense of what this spot is, no decent shots while your mum is talking.  Bin the lot and start again, sorry
That is fine thanks.  I will see what I can do.

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Just fade out the music.
This is a real pain.  I originally had voice over for the whole of the text intro, but I could not hear it over the music.  To hear the people at the end of the intro I fade it.  The instruction I use is 10 fademusic 0.005 !! and it still sounds like I just suddenly switch it off.  

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The woman who is about to be raped and shot is too calm.
I had in mind that she was unaware of what was to happen - but I suppose she could guess.
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 Have the trio stop halfway, one guy goes to aware and aims at her, she waves her arms a bit and then they continue.
I will need to get a longer music track.
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Put a bed in the barn to emphasise the point.
Good idea.

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The armoured force on top of the hill looks stronger than the one at the bottom.  Maybe thin it out a little to create a stronger stalemate impression.
They are actually identical.  I think it is that one is seen side on and one face on.  I will make them ‘appear' more balanced.

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Maybe have both sides turn and drive/march away from each other.
Another good idea - if I can spin the music out long enough.

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Put a couple of lads behind the General.      Three guys don't usually surrender to one.    Use worse weather - baddies traditionally have sturm und drang.  It's all pleasant spring throughout this description of hell.
More good ideas.  Thank you.

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I'm used to Nikolai with an i rather than a y at the end but perhaps that's just me.
I used a global e-mail directory as well as looking at the names in the OFP config files. All names are real.  My little comment at the end of the Intro was not just to make people smile.

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Put the "this is fiction" text in a different colour and in the middle of the screen to differentiate it from the story text.
Okay

 

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Re-record the sound files - you speak too fast.  All that public speaking stuff about your granny at the back of the room applies here too.  And try to sound a bit less cheery about the whole thing.    Is that voice (I assume its you) going to be the narrator or the player's character?    One voice per part.  If you're short of actors (everybody is) make it clear that the player is also the narrator.
Yes it is me.  I am Alexi throughout.  I had not realised how difficult it was to put feeling into this sort of thing.  I now have even more respect for ‘real' actors.

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Plan - Say that the armed truce has existed for a while, to explain the shortage of food and fuel and the longage of ammo.    Why are no supplies getting through?  Is there a blockade?    Are the governements deliberately trying to starve everybody to death?    If civvies are caught in the middle how did the police chief get to be in charge?  Notes - what Resistance?    I thought we were just fleeing civilians.  Why don't we just join one group or the other?  They may be nasty but at least we'll live.
Some more neat ideas for developing the story.  Thanks.

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Map - If the "outlying island" really is an outlying island, tell us which one it is.
There is a problem here - but I will look at it.  The problem is that I want the player to start off where he does, but all the outlying islands on the map would not result in that landfall.  People were not supposed to get so involved!!

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No lag
I hope not with your benchmark.  Perhaps I can fill the mission out.
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but the combination of steep ground, no 4x and pistol make the start a little tedious
Oh dear!  The next part is worse!

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Found the occupied house easily
Good I was worried that it might be too difficult to find

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I think I'll stop commenting on the high quality of the acting and sound files
Please don't, not just yet - Lol.
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There should probably be two soldiers coming up the road - one looks a bit incongruous - but why on Earth don't you team up with the girl?  You are both looking for the same man after all.    Or at least say something like "you get the car while I check these bodies."  She should scream or moan when she dies.  
Again, very valid comments.  Thanks

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d**n, shot in the back while moarning, that'll teach me to be sentimental.
Sentimental is a bit of what this is about - that and staying alive. you seem to have one out of two :)

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You know, I knew you had promise as soon as I played the start of Defensive Strike for the second time
I appreciate that.  Thanks.

 


Offline THobson

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Re:Abandoned Armies
« Reply #11 on: 01 Feb 2005, 17:43:51 »
@SEAL84
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For simplicity's sake, I think macguba's idea about the nuclear war "everywhere but here" would work well in this situation.  Knowing that the parent countries are no more would probably lend more credibility to the idea that US and Soviet forces would cooperate.  Also, the fact that the outside world is no more is probably more likely to cause someone to get the bright idea to control the entire island.
I am warming to that idea as well.

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a 1.5 ghz processor,.  No lag detected.
Excellent.  That means I have scope to expand the mission should it need it.

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I crawled around and picked the binocs and CZ75 mags off the dead policeman
Nice one.  It is easy to miss that.

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Found the house, gathered and armed my friends,
Wonderful.  I had thought the place might be too hard to find.

 
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I didn't see it but it sounded huge.  *shudder*
Just be glad it didn't see you.

 
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Love the atmosphere.  Everything from the weather to the constant overflights of unseen choppers to the fog creates the incredible sense of dread.  You did a great job with the sound and I have to disagree with macguba about re-recording the briefing sound
Thank you.  That was the exact feeling I was trying to create.

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Methinks this mission could also serve as a template for all kinds of other special operations-type missions, from what I've seen and heard anyway.  Sneaking around on your own on an island under the total control of hostile groups....this is something I've hoped was possible for a while.  With some tinkering, I bet this mission could be adapted for all kinds of special operations missions.
The mission as it stands completely ‘uses up' the island, but you are right, my original intent was to create an island in which several missions could be set.  I still think it might be possible.

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...methinks I need some more recruits and heavy weapons
.Go looking.

And thanks for the feed back and support.

Offline THobson

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Re:Abandoned Armies
« Reply #12 on: 01 Feb 2005, 18:53:50 »
@bedges

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benchmark 5050
I think mine must be driven by steam!

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this has all the hallmarks of a cracker of a mission
I hope so, but there is a long way to go yet.

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the hanging idea.... mmmmgenius
I cannot claim credit for the idea just the execution.  The idea was macguba's in his Un-Impossible mission.


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"Winter is almost upon us.

The war on Malden is seemingly over, but with their respective governments denying all knowledge of the war, those remaining on both sides have come to a grudging truce in order to survive. With the loss of support from their military superiors however, discipline has broken down. Civilians are now caught in the middle of a desparate struggle for food and fuel to see out the harsh Winter months.

As Alexi Forgotsurnameov, you must somehow save your family from starvation."
Very helpful thanks.  This is certainly something that will change

 
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panning between the forces arranged in that wee valley - there's a LOT of ground to cover, filled with trees and bushes, and on either side, bush-sized tanks.
I need to do something about this it can be a bit jerky.

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excellent use of character animation, as seen throughout in the cutscenes too - eg. where tatyana briefly turns to the bed and says "what d'you think they keep me here for?" - that is subtle and poignant. great work.
Again, thank you.
 
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the hanging - how on earth did you get them to swing so slowly?! superb.
It is just some simple harmonic motion. A = b + c*sin(t) type of thing.


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i liked the fact that you had a voiceover reading the sections, a most pleasant surprise.
Good, it was meant to be.
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the voice acting - i would leave it, unless you're prepared to do all that work again with more actors, greater variety of voices and more empathy. it would indeed contribute more to the overall atmosphere, but as it stands it's fine.
I will think about that.  It does sound a bit naff.

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, if you use "leftover" in the briefing, don't use "left over" in the intro. that, annoyingly enough,
You make an excellent beta tester. That is exactly the sort of thing that needs to be picked up.  Thank you.

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third paragraph "...each controlling a part of the island one led by..." - between 'island' and 'one' you could do with a semicolon, just to break the sentence a bit.
See above.  Thanks.
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but honestly, drat you folks who can spell, spoilin my fun
Sorry.

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one minor point about the map, and i'm not sure how this would look - you've indicated the ends of the island being controlled by the respective sides (using colour, thumbs up) so perhaps a coloured dotted line to demarkate? a semi-transparent elipse? would this give too much of an idea where to expect enemy troops?
I tried all sorts here and could not get anything that didn't look crap.  I even tried the markers addon and while that could have worked I did not want to require people to have any more addons that absolutely necessary.

 
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as an aside... while playing many missions i get the impression that the designer has placed an enemy squad simply because they know the player is likely to pass that way. i've done it myself. but i got the impression about ten minutes into this, that's not going to happen here. this is less of a mission, more of an experience.
Thank you, thank you , thank you.  An experience is exactly what I want this to be.  There is a lot of randomness and random relocation of waypoints, I made the mission but 10 minutes in I would not know where (within the occupied areas) is safe to go.

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but just to balance that compliment, i feel i must slap the back of your hand sir. taking a function of the game away from the player is a cardinal sin in my opinion. by all means use 'reality' to constrain the player (availability of weapons, fuel, medics, etc.) but when it comes to the way the software works, leave well enough alone. as a player i don't see any benefit of removing the accelerated time function, quite the contrary.
It would annoy me too.  But I really wanted this to be an experience not something people could wiz through to get to the exciting bits.


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vigny works; i've tested all (?) scenarios
Sounds like you got them all.  As I said you make a good beta tester.

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got shot the first time around for not stopping quickly enough
Were you in a vehicle?  In a vehicle and not in a vehicle are different....

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the radio... it is something which a player might miss
Actually no it is not.  If he misses it when he is near the ammo crate, when he gets > a certain distance from the lodge one of his team mates activates it for him, with an appropriate comment.

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it's just one of many sub-missions. however, you could develop the radio a little more to include reception of enemy transmissions too. perhaps that comes later on
I am now getting worried that I might have built up peoples expectations too much.  You will soon get to a point where you are on your own and have to decide on your own sub-missions.

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along with 2, i've collected the first group of civilians to the east, and have returned to the shack to find all in order - phew - and that's where i've saved thus far. more anon.
I hope so.  You are very thorough

 
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atmospheric, detailed, thorough. i can see this being most enjoyable
Again I hope so.

Thanks again
« Last Edit: 02 Feb 2005, 00:00:10 by THobson »

Offline SEAL84

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Re:Abandoned Armies
« Reply #13 on: 01 Feb 2005, 23:29:39 »
Played a bit more this afternoon...I've sucessfully rescued all the civillians I'm aware of - without running into any hostiles - and returned them to my hideout.  Arms and ammo are still scarce, so I armed my team as best I could and had them hold the proverbial fort.  The rain has stopped, the fog has lifted, and the sun is out, so now I'm going to start reconning potential targets to see which towns I can infiltrate myself and make off with some goodies for my troops.

I've left all my poorly-armed comrades at the moutain lodge so I'm going lone-wolf...this required me emptying about half my inventory slots, which I figure is alright since I plan on sneaking about.  This way I can at least take something back with me because a) the vehicles provided are no good cross-country and I've already wrecked the motorcycle, and b) I'd rather go on foot and keep my presence on the island secret as long as I can - a vehicle will probably just attract attention.

I look forward to getting some more time in later tonight, if possible.

Offline THobson

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Re:Abandoned Armies
« Reply #14 on: 01 Feb 2005, 23:47:39 »
@SEAT84

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Arms and ammo are still scarce
This is deliberate.  What I gave you in the ammo crate at the mountain lodge is absolute crap, but I think realistic crap in the cicumstances.

Have you been tempted to use the hints yet?  Should I take them out.  Given the progress you are making I think I should.

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the vehicles provided are no good cross-country
Well I have tried to be realistic in what you get.  Those guys got to the lodge with whatever they had available.

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I look forward to getting some more time in later tonight
I hope you do.