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Author Topic: [SP/QG] Greyhound [Review Complete]  (Read 2232 times)
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CH
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« on: 09 Oct 2009, 23:15:36 »

Title: Greyhound
Mission Version: 1.01
Author: CH
Release date: 2009-10-10
Game (version): ArmA 1.18
Gametype: SP
Addons required: Queens Gambit

Mission Summary:
Escort a convoy of lightly armored jeeps from Pita Airbase to Bagango.

Features:
Intro and outro
Camera with inertia
Less lethal SAM's
Custom smoke
Custom music
Fireworks
Random enemy movements
Random civilian traffic
Tweaked AI

Known bugs:
Some might think it's a bad idea to create a mission that so heavily relies on AI driving skills, but I've played this mission (v0.90 - v1.01) from start to finish twentytwo times now, and the convoy have always found their way. There have been traffic jams, but they have been able to handle it if you just give them some time.

Credits:
Chris Henderson (ArmA Edit)
Vektorboson (Drop Tutorial)
Cheetah (The basics of SQF)
Hoz, Mandoble, Kronzky (Animation Viewer)
ColonelSandersLite (Fire Template)
HailStorm (Beta Test)
savedbygrace (Beta Test)

**************************************
Changelog:
v0.90
- Beta Release

v0.91
- Music added to outro
- Credits changed
- Convoy behavior tweaked

v0.92
- Sound files added to radio messages
- Tested in ArmA v1.18
- Convoy behavior tweaked

v0.93
- Cam-with-inertia function rewritten
- Misguided-missiles function rewritten

v1.00
- Spelling errors fixed
- Notes tweaked
- Dead civilian has been given a weapon
- Credits changed
- Impossible for player to get killed during outro

v1.01
- Spelling errors fixed
- Cam-with-inertia function tweaked
- All four vehicles destroyed in intro


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


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« Last Edit: 09 Oct 2010, 21:56:54 by Walter_E_Kurtz » Logged
CH
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« Reply #1 on: 09 Nov 2009, 16:02:10 »

Re-uploaded the screens and mission file after the OFPEC down time. Don't know if that was necessary but I did it anyway.
 Whistle
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CH
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« Reply #2 on: 21 Dec 2009, 01:01:46 »

I've decided to keep on working with this mission even though most people seems to be playing ArmA2 these days.  In this version (v0.91), I've only made some minor changes as you can see in the first post. If you are wondering weather you will enjoy this mission or not, I think it will mostly depend on weather like low level flying or not. I've tweaked the AI so that you have to fly at low level or else your gunners won't be able to locate their targets. I've also written a script that makes the SAM's less lethal. This means that you're now able to dodge inbound missiles, which I think is a very rewarding experience. And finally, if you complete the mission (it will take approximately 20 minutes) you'll get to se some fireworks over Bagango... come on, who doesn‘t love fireworks?
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savedbygrace
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« Reply #3 on: 23 Dec 2009, 02:59:30 »

Yeah, sorry guy. I've been inside Arma2 lately(once you play it, you don't want to return to Arma) trying to learn my way around the new features and stuff. Its a great game and hopefully much improved witht the latest patch. I do plan on returning to Arma in a week or so to do some beta tests and will definitely give yours a go. Of course I'll need to download the newest patch(1.18) before. Thanks for sticking with your project.
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« Reply #4 on: 27 Dec 2009, 01:20:44 »

... and will definitely give yours a go
I look forward to that!

The mission has been updated (v0.92), see first post for details.
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« Reply #5 on: 10 Jan 2010, 01:27:21 »

By playing around with my graphic settings, I've found out that these type of control structures are tied to the frame rate.

Code:
for [{BEGIN}, {CONDITION}, {STEP}] do
{
STATEMENT;
sleep _t;
};

Didn't knew that before. So I have to rewrite the "cam-with-inertia" function or else the cinematics will look strange on computers with other performance and/or settings than mine. I will also test the function that misguides the SAM's to see how it runs with different FPS.
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HailStorm
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« Reply #6 on: 18 Jan 2010, 14:00:46 »

Hey, CH, i've just given v0,91 a go, and I have to say i'm really impressed!

now i have to go give v0.92 a spin to give you some up-to date feedback.
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« Reply #7 on: 18 Jan 2010, 21:48:12 »

...i'm really impressed!
Thank you!

I've just uploaded v0.93. The cam-with-inertia function is now completely FPS independent, and the misguided-missiles function is hopefully less FPS dependant. 
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HailStorm
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Strength: Air Combat. Weakness: Squad Leadership.


« Reply #8 on: 28 Jan 2010, 15:38:20 »

Tested V0.93, in ArmA 1.15 (will run it in 1.18 when it is officially 'final')

Intro: that opening shot... the starry sky, coupled with the violin... it reminds me really strongly of a show called "Firefly" which IMO is one of the best cancelled shows ever...

Ahem. Anyway, back to the intro. I like your use of animations, - it really keeps it believable by ensuring the AI soldiers don't start sprinting/walking/sprinting everywhere. I did notice a spelling error though:

"pockets of resistance still exists..." -> "exist..."


Briefing: more spelling errors:

"your: Titan One" - > "yours: Titan One"

"convoy of MP" -> Convoy of MP's

"ahead of the convoy at an altitude of 30-40m above ground level" ->
"ahead of the convoy, at an altitude of 30-40m above ground level," (commas)

Notes

"Some people have began to celebrate" - > begun
"dare to go out since" - > go out, since
"Gunfire can still be herd" -> heard

Mission:

Once again, I love how extensively you've used animations in this mission, from the RACS officer talking to the player, to the dancing civilians in the towns, every time I see something like this it sucks me into the immersion of what I'm doing, and the world of ArmA seems like a less clinical place, it's brilliant.

There is one thing I can say I enjoy as much as flying single-crew jets over the battlefield, and that's being the command pilot of a multi-crew vehicle that relies on others to shoot - having to position myself in the optimal position for the gunners to lay waste to everything in a wide arc is definitely my kind of fun. Flying low down the road with the gunners firing hot lead on different targets on either side is an awesome display of firepower.

Keeping this in mind, I take off, set my gunners to 3,5, (engage at will) and start to fly slowly down the convoy's route. I commend you adding a co-pilot to the blackhawk - not only is it aesthetically better, but he makes a really good forward-looking spotter to assist the gunners.

While it's not the most stealthy thing, the resistance fighters have no problem walking out of cover into the waiting sights of the miniguns! while sometimes the AI crew make a hash of it and fail to sight a fighter in time, it's good to ensure me as the pilot didn't get too complacent, and kept me on the lookout as well (command view is great for this!)

First time I got engaged by Strelas, I was being way to cautious at the time, and was almost in a hover. Copped a direct hit to the engines, and was forced to auto-rotate.

Second time round, got shot at again, this time was ready, but I wasn't following your advice for missile evasion - charged headlong into battle but copped a round close enough to take out the tail rotor.

Third time, really played it safe - made wide orbits of the target area, letting my port gunner open up from afar - AC-130 style. Once the missiles stopped flying I finally realized that there was limited ammo (been playing too much MW2 for my own good lately) so now entered close proximity to finish them off.

Once this was done, made it to Bagango safely, though multiple play tests i managed to at least two of the three trucks through.

(in real life I'll never get within 5000 ft of active fireworks, but here, I loved it so much I'll let it slide  Good)

Outro:

Something about that body lying in the grass to the right is a little... unsettling. while it's implied that the American troops shot him, which is by itself reasonable to a certain extent, why did they shoot him IN THE BACK? maybe rotating the body 180 degrees to imply he was charging at the soldiers, or substituting something else there like a burning car might be a different option. Or instead, maybe that's the kind of reaction you're trying achieve - I don't know. Got me thinking, that's for sure.

Thoughts:

All in all, a really well-done mission, and something new and out-of-the-box. To say this is great is an understatement. Let me put it this way; at one stage I planned to make a convoy-protect mission of my own, using an AH-1. That mission is now officially scrubbed, you've used a better vehicle, and done it so much better than I ever could! Well done.

I might have one suggestion, though - how would you feel about adding the ability to tell the convoy to stop, and go? OFP did something similar in a campaign mission called convoy - you had the ability to order the convoy to stop (0-0-1) if you felt it was heading into danger and you couldn't clear it out in time, then tell it to go (0-0-2) once you felt it safe enough. adding this might, however, break the flow of this mission, which is quite good as it stands.
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« Reply #9 on: 12 Feb 2010, 14:25:38 »

Thank you for the test report. I'm glad you enjoyed it. I guess we like the same type of missions. I've updated it in response to the feedback you gave me. As I see it, if no additional spelling errors or bugs are found, I think it's ready for review.

- - -

more spelling errors...

I tried really hard to get it right but since English isn't my native language (obviously), I can't get the nuances and details right. If there is anything else that maybe isn't wrong but sounds stupid or weird please let me know.

...I love how extensively you've used animations in this mission...

The "Animation Viewer" was very helpful. By just playing around with it, it's easy to get ideas.

...the dancing civilians in the towns...

You noticed!

Flying low down the road with the gunners firing hot lead on different targets on either side is an awesome display of firepower.

I think that sentence describes precisely what I've been trying to accomplish.

I commend you adding a co-pilot to the blackhawk...

Yes I know. In some missions that seat is occupied by a squad leader or sniper that is about to be inserted. To me, that looks odd.

... the resistance fighters have no problem walking out of cover into the waiting sights of the miniguns! while sometimes the AI crew make a hash of it and fail to sight a fighter in time, it's good to ensure me as the pilot didn't get too complacent...

It is interesting to watch the AI and try to figure out how they "think". The mission contains a script that tries to manipulate the AI but it's hard to understand exactly what is going on.

...made wide orbits of the target area, letting my port gunner open up from afar..

In my experience the safest way to avoid them is to go fast and low. I also use the valley as cover if I can.

...realized that there was limited ammo...

I've rewritten the intel section now, so that the player is informed of the number of Strelas he or she might have to face.

...though multiple play tests i managed to at least two of the three trucks through

It is possible to get all trucks thru, but the difficulty is somewhat dependant on random settings. Skill isn't always enough, just as in real life. Wink

...I'll never get within 5000 ft of active fireworks, but here, I loved it so much I'll let it slide...

I like them too! But it caused me a lot of headache as you can see if you read this thread.

...why did they shoot him IN THE BACK?

He wasn't shoot in the back deliberately. He just got caught in the crossfire when US forces clashed with palace guards, collateral damage.

That was the background story I had in mind when I placed that body . Anyhow, in this version I've given him an AK-74 so that the player doesn't have to wonder weather he fighting on the wrong side.

...a really well-done mission...

Once again, thank you very much! Cheesy

... I planned to make a convoy-protect mission of my own, using an AH-1. That mission is now officially scrubbed...

This mission started out as a SAR mission but turned out to be a convoy-protect mission. My first idea was that a group of special forces had lost radio contact with HQ in the middle of an engagement, and that the player was sent to rescue them. To make it interesting the special forces should mark their position with an IR-beacon so that the player was forced to use NVG's to be able to locate them but had to turn it of in order to see were he was going. Of course the special forces would be given a random start position. Maybe you should do a mission similar to that in order to close the circle?

... how would you feel about adding the ability to tell the convoy to stop, and go?

I think it's a good idea and I have done some tests to see if I could pull it of. Unfortunately I encountered a chain of problems that I've been unable to solve. If the player had ordered the convoy to halt under certain, very hard do define, traffic conditions, it is possible that it could cause a traffic jam that the AI wouldn't be able to handle. And, if I had tried to solve that by reducing the number of civilian vehicles, the convoy would move faster and be much less vulnerable to the enemy, thus ruin the gameplay and some of the atmosphere.

...this might, however, break the flow of this mission...

...and that too.

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savedbygrace
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« Reply #10 on: 11 Mar 2010, 20:49:56 »

I played through this one and encountered some blurry screens and wayward missiles. Although these will not prevent the review, Would you like to attempt to correct these again or go ahead with the review?
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« Reply #11 on: 12 Mar 2010, 14:08:52 »

Thank you for playing my mission. I would very much like to see if I can eliminate any problems you have encountered. It would be helpful if you could describe your problems in further detail.
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« Reply #12 on: 12 Mar 2010, 15:17:34 »

Arma version 1.18 veteran with enemy AI skill lowered slightly, no mods or addons except Lokis masterkey.
It seems as if you encountered them before.
  • The rockets from the castletop spiraled into the air but pretty much were ineffective. I thought this was the effect you were going for(amateurs and there inability to sight in the strela properly but after reading some of the other posts, it seems you were actually trying to hit the helo.
  • In the intro, when the camera first gets created, a flash of the stars show before the screen goes black. When it fades into the scene, the view is blurry and then clears up shortly after. Later in the intro when the view of the ambushed convoy is displayed, I can hear a radio transmission claim four vehicles destroyed but only three were smoking. The last humvee was fine with its lights on. (Not sure if that was intentional but it confused me)
  • Briefing mispell...Notes...Background..."even tough they are needed"...though
  • Briefing grammar...Notes...Background..."allied command have decided"...has
  • Briefing grammar...Notes...Intel..."All strelas has been accounted for"...have
  • At mission start..the first scene of the cutscene is blurry until the officer leaves and then it clears up.
  • Throughout the mission, the right door gunner seems to be hesitant.
  • The end cutscene blurred at first.

These are minor encounters that could be the result of my AI tweaking(strela and door gunner) but do not prevent your mission from being reviewed as there were no showstoppers. I would comment further on it but I'll save my praise for the review.

Much like your Sabotage mission, this one contains attention to detail and it's great to learn that I am not the only one who loves inserting detail. I will say though that the only feature your cinematics are missing are voices for speech.
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« Reply #13 on: 18 Mar 2010, 00:36:17 »

Thank you for the feedback.

It seems as if you encountered them before.

Yes, but I thought some of these problems had been solved.

I thought this was the effect you were going for...

...minor encounters that could be the result of my AI tweaking...

Yes, and no...
As I understand it, the AA-soldiers behavior is dependant of the players graphic settings (view distance). So the difficulty could range from easy to medium based on this. This could be another explenation why yours and HailStorm's experience differs.

As long as it isn't hard to defeat the missiles and doesn't contradict the plot I am satisfied.

In the intro, when the camera first gets created, a flash of the stars show before the screen goes black.

Yes I know, this is really annoying. The first line in the initIntro.sqf-file is,

Code: (initIntro.sqf)
cutText ["","BLACK FADED",0];

but the stars still flash. I've searched the forums for a clue but none of the things I've read worked. Since this seems to be a problem even for people with in-depth knowledge of the game I thought it was impossible to get rid of. Do you know something I've missed?

...the view is blurry...

This is an act of balance. The camera is controlled by two similar scripts/functions, one controls the position of the camera and the other controls it's direction. If I run them too slow, in relation to the frame rate, the view gets blurry, and if I run them too fast, the game crashes. In this version (v1.01) I've increased the cycle frequency which I hope will get rid of your blurry view. (When I watch the intro and the cut-scenes in v1.00 the view isn't blurry at all, and since HailStorm didn't wrote anything about it I guess his view isn't blurry) If this doesn't help I will try to get some help in the Editors Depot. Maybe it will help if only use one script to control both the position and the direction?

...I can hear a radio transmission claim four vehicles destroyed but only three were smoking.

In this version (v.1.01) four vehicles are destroyed.

  • Briefing mispell...Notes...Background..."even tough they are needed"...though
  • Briefing grammar...Notes...Background..."allied command have decided"...has
  • Briefing grammar...Notes...Intel..."All strelas has been accounted for"...have
  • At mission start..the first scene of the cutscene is blurry until the officer leaves and then it clears up.

Thank you for helping me with this. Should be fixed in this version (v.1.01).

Throughout the mission, the right door gunner seems to be hesitant...

...could be the result of my AI tweaking.

I really don't know. Since it doesn't seem to affect the game play to much, I've decided not to investigate it further.

...the only feature your cinematics are missing are voices for speech.

I totally agree but it's beyond the scope of this project.

...but do not prevent your mission from being reviewed..

The only thing I would like to know before moving on with the review, is if the blurry views are gone in this version(v1.01)? Since I'm not experiencing the problem myself I would be most grateful if you (SBG) or anyone else could report back to me if they notice any difference between v1.00 and v1.01. To find out, it is not necessary to play the entire mission. Since the cam scripts causing the blurry views are the same in the intro and in the outro, one would only need to watch the intro to find out.
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savedbygrace
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« Reply #14 on: 18 Mar 2010, 00:51:50 »

I'll give it another go.
BTW, try moving the camerafaded command to an init field within the editor and see if that helps balc out the screen faster. In game inits are read before external files. OR you could try BLACK IN which starts black and fades into the scene. If that doesn't work, you could try placing the command before the camera is created.
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« Reply #15 on: 19 Mar 2010, 00:09:00 »

The command is already placed before the camera is created, so it is strange that the flash shows what the camera sees. Another strange thing is that there is no flash in the first in-mission cut scene, where I use the same code.

I've tried putting the code in the init field of the player, but unfortunately the result got even worse. If you do that, you first get a flash of the player, then a flash from the camera and then finally, the screen turns black.

I thought the idea to use “Black In" was really clever, and it was also the only thing I haven't tried before. Unfortunately it didn't remove the problem. It's really hard to be sure, but it is possible that it made the flash quicker. Once again I've got the best result by putting the code in the initIntro-file.
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« Reply #16 on: 22 May 2010, 22:44:24 »

I was just thinking that it might be a good idea to clarify my plans for this mission. I'm not planning to make any major changes. As long as the blurry view is gone (and I think/hope it is) I think it's ready for a review. Should I replace the “Review On Hold" with “Please Review"?

PS I have all the time in the world. I just wanted to make sure that there haven't been any misunderstandings.
« Last Edit: 30 May 2010, 00:16:58 by CH » Logged
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« Reply #17 on: 24 May 2010, 01:45:54 »

No sorry, your mission is next in line for review. I am currently doing one that was here before yours. I haven't forgotten it.
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