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Author Topic: SPON HoloMap v0.4.0 (ACCEPTED)  (Read 2649 times)

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Offline Spooner

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SPON HoloMap v0.4.0 (ACCEPTED)
« on: 15 Dec 2008, 09:33:25 »


SPON HoloMap v0.4.0
- Released: 2008-12-18
- Install size: 45k (mission version) or 108k (addon version) + 1.7MB (optional DBO Miniatures) + SPON Core (Core v0.5.3 used in demo)
- (mission script version) 100% scripts with no addon dependencies
- Requires: ArmA 1.09 (or higher) and SPON Core (v0.5.3 or higher)
- See attached README.html for full details

SPON HoloMap @ YouTube (Thanks to DeanosBeano for making the movie!)

Overview
HoloMap creates a 3D holographic representation of the game world, showing friendly (blue) and non-friendly (red) vehicles, as well as missiles fired, as blips. Alternatively, using the @DBO_miniatures addon (included), show vehicles using scale models!

Features
    * Creates a 3D holographic representation of the game world, showing friendly (blue) and non-friendly (red) vehicles, as well as missiles fired (white), as blips.
    * Friendly and/or enemy infantry can be shown on the map if required, assuming they have radios and GPS, rather than using radar to detect them. This can be limited to just showing roup leaders, to reduce clutter.
    * Automatically renders a 3D map of any island, including ground textures (grass, urban, rock, sand, etc). Higher ground is given a lighter shade, in order to improve terrain shape recognition.
    * Each HoloMap projector is associated with a nearby or remote sensor object (such as a radar tower or AWACS plane) and will show a HoloMap centred on that sensor's position, at least until the sensor is destroyed.
    * Any vehicle or object can be made into a jamming device, with a specific range of effect. If a HoloMap projector or sensor is inside a jamming zone, then the projector will not show anything. A jamming zone is clearly marked on any HoloMap that is outside the jamming zone, but it will hide all blips within the zone. Jammer vehicles only cause interference when their engine is turned on, but other jamming objects, such as towers, are always on until they are destroyed.
    * Any vehicle can be given a stealth factor, which reduces the range at which it can be detected.
    * 100% client-side scripts with no broadcasts, so absolutely no effect on network traffic or server load.
    * Optional: By installing Deanosbeano's DBO Miniatures addons, you will see tiny representations of vehicles, including missile trails and burning vehicle effects!

Limitations and Known Issues
     *  (With DBO_miniatures) Only a small number of vehicle miniatures will be shown (currently only the RHIB, Cobra, HMMWV, KA50 and Harrier are implemented). All other vehicles will default to one of these models.
    * (With DBO_miniatures) Vehicle miniatures will only be shown on a single HoloMap at a time [Just make sure your displays are more than 10m apart if their areas overlap or make sure that they don't overlap if you want more than one].
    * (With DBO_miniatures) The current version of vehicle miniatures uses a unnecessarily high LOD, so if you have more than a few miniatures visible at a time, then FPS will be very badly affected.
    * All vehicles and missiles within range are shown on the map, regardless of line-of-sight from the HoloMap sensor [Not sure I can do decent LOS calculations for a large number of objects, especially when using long-range sensors].
    * FPS is affected most by the amount of terrain drawn on the HoloMap (or HoloMaps). The best FPS will be for HoloMaps that show a lot of sea [e.g. Ramadi range of 2000+ and Sahrani range of 10000+ are quite fast].
    * Can't manually control jamming devices (other than to turn a vehicle's engine on or off).
    * Sensors actually detect in cubes, not spheres, so they have up to 1.41 times greater range in the corners! Jammers operate in a vertical cylinder rather than a sphere [Both simplifications are to make the map easier to understand, since neither are realistic].
    * Sensors can detect objects directly behind a jammer [true line-of-sight calculations for this special case are probably not worth the effort].

Compatibility
    * SP: Yes.
    * Teamswitch: Yes.
    * MP: Yes.
    * MP JIP: Yes.

Plans
    * Deployable/Stowable HoloMap inside mobile HQ.
    * Manually turn on/off jamming.
    * Simple dialog to switch sensors (rather than action list).
    * Size of target to affect detection (rather than just to affect size of blip).

Design Aims
    * Improve command and control by giving commanders a shared 3D representation of the battlefield.
    * Create a reasonably realistic radar system, in order to add new tactical dimensions to the game.
    * Avoid reliance on addons, in favour of scripting, as far as possible. Addon and 100% mission-scripts versions available!

Credits
    * BIG THANKS go out to Deanosbeano for resizing and configuring the miniature vehicles (@DBO_miniatures).
    * BIS for the original models that were used to create the miniatures.
    * Q for testing and feedback.
    * Demo mission and addon pbo files created with cpbo by Keygetys.
    * Thanks to Solus for allowing me to include the XEH addon in the release (and, of course, for making the great addon in the first place!)

Change Log
- v0.4.0
Added
    * Ground textures shown on terrain (grass, urban, rock, sand, etc).
    * Ranging rings shown on terrain.
    * Infantry can now be detected if required.
    * Any projector can be associated with any nearby or remote sensor (such as a radar tower, mobile HQ or AWACS plane) and will show a HoloMap centred on that sensor's position, at least until the sensor is destroyed.
    * A projector's sensor can be switched in-game, for example using an action.
    * Any vehicle or object can be made into a jamming device, with a specific range.
    * Any vehicle can be given a stealth factor, which reduces the range at which it can be detected.

Modified
    * Demo mission moved to Sahrani, so as to better showcase the script.
    * (With Miniatures) All vehicles now shown as a tiny model. However, most will default to a generic vehicle type rather than being representative (e.g. all land vehicles, regardless of side, size or type, default to a humvee miniature!)

Removed
    * No longer uses the Blue Box from DBO_miniatures.

Fixed
    * Only those players who start within 10m of the HoloMap will EVER be able to see anything on it (this allows for staff officers to see it, but not to unnecessarily update it for the regular army soldiers).
    * If a vehicle exists beyond the edge of the zone covered by the HoloMap, it will still be represented on the map, though placed outside the "projector area", floating in mid-air.
    * There can only EVER be one HoloMap in the mission.
    * FPS spike when redrawing terrain.
    * HoloMap rendered regardless of player's proximity to the projector unit.
    * The information displayed is appropriate to the observer, not to the projector (thus, you can't look at an enemy projector and get any different information from it than you could from your own).

(See readme.html for full changelog)

Get SPON HoloMap
« Last Edit: 18 Dec 2008, 23:19:23 by Spooner »
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Offline Spooner

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Re: SPON HoloMap v0.4.0 (ACCEPTED)
« Reply #1 on: 18 Dec 2008, 23:16:53 »
New release of v0.4.0!

Lots of changes, fixes and improvements (see above) and quite a few new screenshots in the zip. @dbo_miniatures hasn't changed since v0.3.0.
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Offline Spooner

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Re: SPON HoloMap v0.4.0 (ACCEPTED)
« Reply #2 on: 17 Jan 2009, 02:26:29 »
Well, you've had a month to play around with this, and yet, not a single comment about it after actually using it in-game. Hard to tell whether people are using it, or if they just played with it once and shelved it. Really wondering if it is worth continuing to work on this.

* Is anyone actually using this in missions, or is it just considered a proof-of-concept piece, that is, not really practically useful.
* Do people use, or want to use it, with blips or with vehicle models?
* Would anyone use it in a modern mission, as opposed to an SciFi mission, or would you not be able to get over the fact it is supposed to be a hologram? If this is really a problem, then I could just do exactly the same thing that you can only see inside a computer screen and it would be entirely realistic (essentially an ArmA-type simulation running on a PC in-game).
* How do people feel about the implementation of radar/jammers/stealth? Realistic or gamey (considering that even semi-realistic jammers/stealth are better than none if you actually want those functions).
* Would addition of LOS calculations for all radar contacts be a significant improvement (that is, would it allow people to use it?)? Just worried how much slower this would be.
* The next version will have an option to show infantry/light/heavy/air icons on the map (addon version only, I'm afraid), to offer a compromise between vague dots and fully detailed models. Would this make a difference for people?
* Planning to offer IFF system in future version. This would mean that friendly units would be shown with icons/models, but the enemy would be unidentified blips.
* What features are critical to this system being used, that it doesn't already have?
* If this was merged with SPON Sensor (so everyone had simple map markers for contacts, but you got the nice 3d map if you were physically next to the holomap) would that be more useful?
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Offline kju

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Re: SPON HoloMap v0.4.0 (ACCEPTED)
« Reply #3 on: 17 Jan 2009, 10:42:18 »
Well I considering posting feedback in forums instead of chat tools. Might be better in general. :scratch: :yes:

Using no. Just playing IC and deving, as my vehicle DM atm. Suggested to IC, may get in at some point. Useful at it is.

Prefer blips a lot. For IC it probably would serve as a strategic view for HQ / command.

Personally I dont care about realism in any means, instead about being useful.
For MP campaigns it is, the fast paced league stuff i play otherwise not. Yet only talking about my "world" here.

Implementation of radar/jammers/stealth: gamey is fine for me. No complex system needed. Just some aspects
to tweak would be useful (define radar/jammer/stealth units, radius, being mobile/static, refresh rate, object
height for not being visible, etc).

LOS calculations is not really need IMO. Some basic radius, scanned object height, maybe speed and such will do.

* The next version will have an option to show infantry/light/heavy/air icons on the map (addon version only, I'm afraid), to offer a compromise between vague dots and fully detailed models.

Good addition!

* Planning to offer IFF system in future version. This would mean that friendly units would be shown with icons/models, but the enemy would be unidentified blips.

Good addition!

* What features are critical to this system being used, that it doesn't already have?

Sensible IC staff...  ::)  As good as possible MP network optimization (as few traffic as possible).

* If this was merged with SPON Sensor (so everyone had simple map markers for contacts, but you got the nice 3d map if you were physically next to the holomap) would that be more useful?

Hm optional is a good idea. Yet both ways would be useful.


Offline Spooner

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Re: SPON HoloMap v0.4.0 (ACCEPTED)
« Reply #4 on: 17 Jan 2009, 12:53:12 »
Incidentally, my favoured view would be icons for friendlies and blips for enemies.

Mention of object detection height reminds me that I need to implement air-search and ground-search type radars, which I'd completely forgotten about. I did implement in SPON Sensor a minimum height for detection, so you could potentially fly beneath radar but really, I don't know enough about real radars in use to know how realistic that system was. I suspect "flying beneath radar" is more about hiding behind the slight bumpiness of terrain and forests between you and the radar, rather than a magic effect of flying under a certain height from the ground (something LOS calculations would be needed for). Technical details provided by an actual radar operator would be gladly implemented (within reason).

Funny you mentioned MP network optimisation, because other people have also been quite worried by the fact that this is obviously a script that will bring an MP game to a standstill! Unfortunately, I can't optimise MP performance any more, because it is absolutely, completely, client-side! FPS is affected quite a lot when you are standing next to a HoloMap, because there is a lot going on, but that is all the maths and particles being used, not any MP effects.

However, I do need to add a simple message to sync the display of HoloMaps that can be switched between different radar devices, since at the moment, people can be seeing a different display on different machines (so I'd only recommend switchable systems in SP games for now, unless you don't mind different players seeing different displays). So that would make the script MP :P
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Offline kju

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Re: SPON HoloMap v0.4.0 (ACCEPTED)
« Reply #5 on: 17 Jan 2009, 14:48:50 »
Excellent - onlyed needed your quote about it (net traffic)  :good:

Offline Worldeater

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Re: SPON HoloMap v0.4.0 (ACCEPTED)
« Reply #6 on: 22 Jan 2009, 20:20:40 »
Well, this is one of coolest add-ons I've seen so far!  :good:

It is a shame that it has to reside in crappy tents and camouflage nets. A nuclear bunker with 25-ton blast doors, craploads of blinking computers and display walls the size of tennis fields would be a far more adequate environment!

try { return true; } finally { return false; }

Offline Spooner

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Re: SPON HoloMap v0.4.0 (ACCEPTED)
« Reply #7 on: 22 Jan 2009, 21:40:24 »
Absolutely true, but there is no reason you can't put it where-ever you want in your mission. The tent on the back of the HQ is pretty terrible because it is too small, but I could make a 1m map view when I get around to it (current is hardcoded to 2m square since the "black cube" that I use as a base is that big). The HQ is pretty nice, though, since it can be moved around and converted from vehicle to an object that looks the same with a tent attached.

Hmm, yes, you can render the HoloMap in 2d already (by setting the vertical scale of the rendering to 0), but you can't make it vertical so that it could be shown on a wall...yet ;P Nice idea!

I'm reminded of one of my all-time favourite quotes:

General 'Buck' Turgidson: Sir, you can't let him in here. He'll see everything. He'll see the big board!
     -- Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb
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Offline Worldeater

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Re: SPON HoloMap v0.4.0 (ACCEPTED)
« Reply #8 on: 22 Jan 2009, 22:32:40 »
Two things:

- All the links in the readme.html are b0rken: there are no slashes following the "http:" part.

- You should reconsider putting additional dots in your PBO names (like foo_0.23.42_demo.pbo). I had to "deQG" the demo mission in order to check it out and when I tried to run the unPBOed mission I got a really strange error. This was pretty annoying and I guess some users might simply give up at this point.
try { return true; } finally { return false; }

Offline Spooner

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Re: SPON HoloMap v0.4.0 (ACCEPTED)
« Reply #9 on: 23 Jan 2009, 00:23:40 »
Well, I provide the demo mission source in full as well as pbo, so no *real* problem there, but I get your point about general users trying the demo and it not working. I thought I'd tested that, but obviously I've been running under the assumption that if something went badly wrong, someone might have thought to tell me that the demo wasn't working (I've been releasing like this, using my same build/release tool for quite a long time!).

Interestingly, while working on my build/release tool only yesterday, I changed the dots into underscores ;P Great minds think alike!

Crap, the demo mission shouldn't have any QG dependency. I'll have to sort that out when I get a minute...sorry!
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