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Author Topic: (Review Completed) [SP] Abandoned Armies  (Read 73187 times)

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Offline macguba

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Re:Abandoned Armies
« Reply #1410 on: 28 Sep 2005, 20:13:39 »
Nah, you're doing great for a first timer.    

One of the tricks with real hardcore beta testing - which is very different from simply playing - is ... well .... I suppose its to look AT the screen, not through it.  Or rather as well as through it.  

It's very hard because you both have to play the mission (looking through the screen) and notice what's actually on the screen at the same time.     In other words you have to process the information (aural as well as visual) in two different ways simultaneously.
Plenty of reviewed ArmA missions for you to play

guenon

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Re:Abandoned Armies
« Reply #1411 on: 28 Sep 2005, 20:30:18 »
got my first funny moment in this mission (though it wasn't a bug - but a coincidence with ecp) ...
today i restarted the mission again - now using ecp ... due to the ai chatter soundpack i got a funny cutscene at the lodge ... one of the guerillas was singing while he should have talked to me ... quite funny this all .... :D

to be honest i like the style how the quests are linked ... after houdan i visited the pregnant girl - from sergej to the pregnant girl and the to Larche *thumbs up*... i'm feeling a bit like in an "real" RPG (no i don't mean the weapon ;) ...
 

guenon

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Re:Abandoned Armies
« Reply #1412 on: 29 Sep 2005, 00:06:41 »
now some battlereport:
mentioned before the restart of the mission - now playing with ECP - after killing the five soldiers in vigny (3 before, 2 after the cutscene) i used the jeep to get to the lodge - no enemy in sight. then used the truck to save the civilians in the west ... then a "fast-run" with the motorbike to shed in the east .. all units stayed at the lodge ... as fast as possible to the second civilian site in the east - all dead *thumbs down* mission time ~ 7:10 ... took all weapons from this site in the trabant an moved to la trinite ... parked behind a rock east of la trinite and went on a "shopping tour" ... i'm wondering how much ammo you can load into a trabant ... when the northern convoy arrived i drove with the car southwest back to the lodge ... reorganised my team and filled up the ammo crate - actual equipment: 2 LAW launcher - 10 LAWs, 2 AT4 Launcher + 2 AT4s, 5 Satchel charges. ~15 Hand grenades, 2 Cz47 + 7 mags, 2 Hunting rifles + 6mags, 1 M16 + 3 mags, 1PK + 3 mags, 3 sidearms ... actual 5 enemies KIA (Vigny)
then scouting to the south - left the civilians at the lodge and moved to the hill 340 (?) between Arudy and Houdan ... left my team there -> fast pass to the east of Houdan and met with Sergej ... orderd him to move up the hill, went to Dourdan to meet with the woman ... nice idea to trigger the cutscene with Sergejs text in the team reorg. dialog (first i let the woman sleep - reload of the mission - reorg. team ... woman told about chapoi and larche) went back out of town to my team on the hill. On the way back to the lodge i placed a satchel charge on the street near Arudy (ya know the winding road between the rocks?) .. and waited .... first i thought i won't kill more than one jeep of the patrol with the charge 'cause of the gaps between ... but the curve between the rocks slowed them down ... *boom* *evil* only one survived the bomb, but ... the unlucky guy met a bullet from my hunting rifle

Actual mission time ~ 9:00 - 1 Patrol & 5 soldiers KIA

planned:
move to larche and try to sneak in to find the womans husband
avoiding open firefights ... low on ammo and useful weaponry ... trying to cook them with the heavy stuff - especially charges and mines

SpikeTennyson

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Re:Abandoned Armies
« Reply #1413 on: 29 Sep 2005, 04:58:15 »
@Macguba
I blame THobson (as usual). If he hadn't made this mission so enjoyable I could have spent some time concentrating on what was happening rather than just enjoying it as an experience.

Offline macguba

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Re:Abandoned Armies
« Reply #1414 on: 29 Sep 2005, 18:44:00 »
bedges made this little mission and submitted it as a FAQ.  I've asked him to make it a little more user friendly and submit it as a tutorial.

Play it and then tell me your latest views on lag.    Condider the loading time before answering.
Plenty of reviewed ArmA missions for you to play

Offline THobson

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Re:Abandoned Armies
« Reply #1415 on: 29 Sep 2005, 19:19:58 »
Okay I have given it a spin.  On loading times I see the same pattern as I do with  Abandoned Armies.  A long load time the first time in the mission editor but a bit shorter thereafter.  I changed it a bit so the player did not have his weapons removed - I find running around with a gun a better test of lag.  I also moved him out of the initial trigger that sets the view distance for reasons that will become clear later.  Running around all the objects was very laggy.  I then moved the player to the other side of the island and I could feel no discernable lag when running around.  I repeated the test this time having the player start within the viewdistance trigger area and then  moving him and the trigger to the other side of the island.  The result was the same: significant lag when the objects were visible; no lag when they were not.

This seems consistent with recent discussions here that it is the visual representation of objects that cause lag, so if you can't see them they are not a problem - a bit like the Bugblatter beast.

What is hard to test, and what I believe we have come to suspect though this thread, is that large numbers of object has an impact on the underlying intelligence of the ai units even if they are far removed from the objects causing the problem.  So lots of objects can cause poor driving, and inattentive guards.  One test of this could be to get some vehicles driving along some roads with a few obstructions and then add increasing numbers of objects to the island over the horizon and out of sight.  In fact a script could be run to generate say a few thousand objects as rapidly as possible while observing the quality of the driving.  If it weren't for other things I would have a go at that soon.  Anybody else willing?


EDIT:
Played with it some more.  The lag went away once I had killed everybody, even with all the other stuff around.
« Last Edit: 29 Sep 2005, 19:37:01 by THobson »

SpikeTennyson

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Re:Abandoned Armies
« Reply #1416 on: 30 Sep 2005, 18:03:58 »
Progress Report Number 5
Flushed with success I decide to jump in the yellow "sports car" (Trabant GT?) and head north to check out the activity. Get to raise our flag in Dourdan and all seems quiet until Saint Louis where there are a few troops around and then when I get near the northern base it all gets a little too hot for me and a car, so it is back to Chapol.
An early morning muse reminded me that, when I visited the camp in La Porte, the medic there said he would not join me because I already had one. Well, as that was no longer true (my medic was killed some time ago), I went back to La Porte and sure enough I got a cut scene where the medic agreed to join me! Actually I got the cut scene twice but I believe THobson has fixed that already.
Back to Chapol with my new recruit and time to prepare to move out. I will spare you the logistical agony; but after much fiddling about I had two tanks, a Vulcan (repaired, refuelled and re-armed), an ammo truck and a jeep with a machine gun ready to roll. Whilst organising all this a man turned up and was duly shot by my guys. I never saw him so do not know which side he represented. Bit of a shock because I worried he might be the start of a bigger attack; but must have been a loner.
When taking the jeep my character suddenly said "Let's get another flag up", and repeated this as we drove round the corner. As the flag was already up in Chapol, not clear where this trigger came from.
Sent the convoy on its way to the north of the island. I drove the jeep and was there ages before the AI made it; but now we are all parked to the west of the northern base ready for an attack, although I am not sure what form that attack is going to take. Another early morning ponder required!
Game time is around 1830.

Offline THobson

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Re:Abandoned Armies
« Reply #1417 on: 30 Sep 2005, 20:29:51 »
The repeated Le Port scene never happened to me.  I have looked at the code and it is just theoretically possible for two scenes to occur if the trigger is fired and then you get out of the trigger area in a fraction of a second, say like cutting across the corner of the trigger area.  If that is the cause I can fix it - and I had better check my other scenes as well.  Good catch.

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I will spare you the logistical agony
There were fuel, repair and ammo trucks close by, but I recall you captured some and took them away earlier - is that the cause of the logistical problem - or is it something to do with the layout of the base that I should fix?

Repeated messages to get another flag up - it never ends.  It would help me to have as much detail as you can remember.  Were all of your team that were close by in vehicles?  When you say the flag was up - just to rule out the obvious - that was the Malden (aka Guernsey) flag?  How did you stop the message - just drove away?  Anything you can remember would help.

Trust you to steal the sports car, that was not a surprise. :)

SpikeTennyson

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Re:Abandoned Armies
« Reply #1418 on: 01 Oct 2005, 12:18:16 »
Logistical problems were nothing to do with your base; just the stupid AI when you want them to go places and they wander off or don't move. I will admit to bringing down the ammo and refueller from the woods; having spent so much effort getting them, was determined to use them!

There were three jeeps with machine guns on a north facing road in Chapol. I got into the most southerly jeep (I think), and as I was mounting the jeep I had the message. Drove the jeep onto the east/west road heading east and by the house on the corner the message repeated. The Malden flag was already flying (I went back to check). My team were dotted around but not moving.  Hope that helps a little, not a big deal (to me).

SpikeTennyson

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Re:Abandoned Armies
« Reply #1419 on: 01 Oct 2005, 12:54:46 »
Final Report
We were on the hill west of the northern base and I crawled down for a closer look. Found and killed a sniper on the hillside and suspected there were more. Got down to the fence and could see no gaps so crawled south to the entrance area (had killed the guys there during my sports car sortie so all was quiet). Called the two tanks and the Vulcan to join me and had them advance towards the base. The tanks had two occupants and the Vulcan one, I planned to join the Vulcan as gunner. My remaining two squad members I left on the hillside as spotters; a job they failed to manage and one was shot by a sniper.
As the tanks and Vulcan came towards me I watched out for advancing AT soldiers, but it was a tank that emerged from the camp and; perhaps with some supporting fire from others, took out the Vulcan and one tank in a few seconds. I was down to one tank and a squad of four; this was not looking good!
I crawled along the fence towards the camp, spotting targets for the tank. I dare not fire myself for fear of the snipers on the hillside. FInally we got close to the camp and I crawled into the eastern shadow of the tank and we advanced into the camp.
Seemed we were clearing it well when more tanks and troops arrived from the north east. A tank came into the narrow lane between the buildings and then got stuck trying to turn around the tent near the end. I ran up and stuck a charge on it and blew it; and killed Andropov! Happy moment! I assumed he was in the tank; but actually he was in the adjoining tent (or so it looked from the end credits; about which more later).
There was no message that the soldiers were running away, so clearly we still had a battle on our hands. By this time the tank was at condition red and the two occupants and myself were injured; only the remaining member on the hillside (the woman) remained unhurt.
Time to get out. I jumped in the tank and we headed up the hill and ran security rings round the woman while she made it back to the ammo truck (this took a while cos I had forgotten where I left it....).
Then took the tank and the truck back to Chapol for repairs, fuel, ammo and medical. Repaired and fueled an M2A2 and, together with the tank, we headed back north. Decided we better check out the surrounding towns and visited La Trinite, Larche and Goisse, hoisting flags at the latter two. No signs of life. Past the fuel depot at the north of the base and then down the runways.
Tank spotted a soldier and took him out so we stopped and I got out for a check. The base seemed to be swarming with soldiers! Assume these had come in from the other towns, or maybe we just missed them last time when we came in from the other direction.
Anyway, they were in range and I spotted them while my squad took them down.
Suddenly there was a message they were surrendering and they all stood up and put up their hands; soooo cool!
Then the end scene and credits. Thobson you have surpassed yourself here. How the hell you managed to creat a variable end sequence which shows the survivors where they were at the point of surrender and the fallen shown where they fell, I don't know; but it is extremely effective; as is the overflight of the two bases and the dead leaders. And the happy civs coming out of the hut; etc. Genius.

High points of this mission for me was discovering that the war had started when I went down into Dourdan, witnessing a strike against Chapol and the surrender of troops at the end (I hate missions where you have to comb the island for one surviving soldier).
Really felt like I was in a living, changing world, with loads of little extra bits like the running women and the prison camp.  It is  actually more like a campaign without any breakpoints rather than a mission. I would be happy to play again; knowing it will be a different and still interesting experience.
The only thing that would enhanced my experience would have been some form of feedback that my actions had triggered events (the radio intercepts), but accept you must be tired of this mission and need to get it finished! I thought the re-organise team comments were a bit illogical as a concept and not always accurate (just as we took Chapol and had tanks and weapons to spare, a comment was made that we did not have enough to take on the enemy tanks).

Overall, this is by far the best OFP experience I have had; better than the official campaigns for sure. 15 hours and 15 minutes of fun.

Can I go back to playing my other games now?

SpikeTennyson

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Re:Abandoned Armies
« Reply #1420 on: 01 Oct 2005, 13:00:02 »
I fogot one thing; I did not experience any significant lag. Occasionally the game seemed to "stutter" for a couple of seconds, that is all.

Offline THobson

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Re:Abandoned Armies
« Reply #1421 on: 01 Oct 2005, 14:05:37 »
Spike:
Wonderful story, thank you.  

Glad you liked it, and good news about the lag, it must depend on just how the two armies come together, or maybe you have souped up you machine to play the GPF1 type of games.  Whatever the reason, it is good news.  In the next version - which really will be the last ::) - I have changed very slightly the way in which some groups are committed to the battle to try and spread them out a little.  The player will not notice - I have done nothing to the way they are committed to deal with him, just the other side.

What I found wonderful is that you attacked the airbase from your base in Chapoi and returned there a couple of times.  That really is making use of the whole island.

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base seemed to be swarming with soldiers! Assume these had come in from the other towns
That is correct.  It is to avoid the problem you mention about trying to find the last soldier.  That is also the reason for the surrender at the end - glad you liked it.

The end scene where you see the team just where they happen to be is actually not difficult, thinking of doing it is the difficult bit, doing it is simple.  Well once you have figured out all the complications of what to do if they are in a vehicle at the time of their death or the end of the mission and a few other little wrinkles like that.

The flag message is an irritant I will need to fix that.

Radio intercepts really is a good idea, but to do it well it would take more time than I currently have available, it would involve find people to do the voices as well.

The illogical messages when re-organising.  My fault, I made an assumption.  I assumed that everyone would reorganise as soon as they could if only to have look at the process so you were meant to get the messages about the tanks when you were first at the lodge.  I can certainly put some check in to stop those particular messages if the first reorganisation happens later.  One of my design premises was: assume nothing - I missed this one.

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I would be happy to play again; knowing it will be a different and still interesting experience.
Don't - yet.  Yes you could play this mission in exactly the same way and it would be different.  You could play it and have a conversation with Sergei when you are reorganising the team and experience a whole new addition to the story line.  But don't.  I am really serious about the next version being the last, save for bug fixes, and I need people to test it - especially the lag, if you are willing that is.  The main hold up on that version is getting voices other than mine for some of the parts.  No pressure on you to get the voices of Erik done soon though  ;)

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Can I go back to playing my other games now?
Most certainly and thanks again.
« Last Edit: 01 Oct 2005, 14:21:01 by THobson »

Offline macguba

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Re:Abandoned Armies
« Reply #1422 on: 09 Oct 2005, 20:47:12 »
OK I've finally got round to testing those new files for the arrival at the lodge.

The time between drop your weapon and bang is too short - I was killed trying to do the right thing.   Just add another couple of seconds there, after the second warning.   Borrow them from between the warnings if necessary.

When approaching equipped with pistol, but armed with M16, the pistol disappears and is replaced in your hands by the M16 in a curious but acceptable way.    Having grenades doesn't prevent the cutscene from starting, but I would recommend that you remove those and return them, like the pistol.

The gap between halt and get out is shorter I think, but could be shorter still.

The reception committee are very static.  They should point their weapons at you, perhaps with a doTarget command or something.   Not a big deal.

If you get out of the vehicle, you are not subsequently told to get out.

No major problems on my half dozen run throughs.  I'd say it works now.

« Last Edit: 09 Oct 2005, 20:54:29 by macguba »
Plenty of reviewed ArmA missions for you to play

Offline THobson

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Re:Abandoned Armies
« Reply #1423 on: 09 Oct 2005, 22:33:18 »
Excellent thanks.

Changes just made:
1 second less between Halt and Get out
1 second less between the first and second drop weapon warnings
1.3 seconds more between second drop weapon warning and death.
Handgrenades removed and then returned also.


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When approaching equipped with pistol, but armed with M16, the pistol disappears and is replaced in your hands by the M16 in a curious but acceptable way.
It is strangely acceptable.  Just as well, this is one combination I can't detect from a script.  It is also probably a very unlikely occurrance - but I bet some people will find it.
« Last Edit: 09 Oct 2005, 22:48:37 by THobson »

Offline Mikero

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Re:Abandoned Armies
« Reply #1424 on: 10 Oct 2005, 13:33:46 »
>The reception committee are very static.  They should point their weapons at you, perhaps with a doTarget command or something.  Not a big deal.

For me the entire section is a big deal as without these fixes it was too limp. I'm really happy that something has been done here to improve it somewhat. As it stood, it was just-another-objective, just like all other objectives to all other missions, you do it, you move on. Ho hum. What I was hoping for here was for THobson to work his magic in much the same way as he has removed other limp issues (like loons not caring their buddies were shot 10 meters away etc)

This first-lodge encounter is the first time the player reallly really should get the 'idea' that *this* mission has richness-to-detail. Where every single action has a consequence.

I'd be scaring the crap out of the player. I'd be DoTargetting bazookas at him at this stage. I'd even wound him if he moves one inch forward with a warning the next shot will be to the head. Anything to make the player pay attention to the story and to where he is.
Just say no to bugz