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Author Topic: (Review Completed) [SP] Operation Hunter Final version  (Read 1940 times)

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Offline mathias_eichinger

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Hi lads,

I post my ArmA2 "Hello World", e.g. my first ArmA2 mission, called "Operation Hunter".

It is about a CDF tank section who leads the way in liberating some recently captured border towns.

Features:
-Complete with Briefing, Overview and Cinematics
-First Aid module
-Artillery support
-High Command mode available

EDIT: Beta 3 is out, the bugs should be squashed, please report if you like it.
-Infantry is no longer under player's command
-More support units under High Command
-Objectives tick off when they should do.
-I took the feedback by SBG and SaOK and incorporated it.
Looking forward to your opinions.

EDIT 2: Final version uploaded, I did to the objectives what SaOK suggested. I think I need just one beta test to confirm it works ok before asking for a review.

Cheers

Mathias


Edit: This mission has been reviewed and is available from the Missions Depot.
« Last Edit: 09 Oct 2010, 22:12:33 by Walter_E_Kurtz »

Offline Zipper5

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Re: [SP] Operation Hunter Beta 1
« Reply #1 on: 11 Dec 2009, 10:55:07 »
Nice one, mathias. I'll try it out ASAP.

In regards to your briefing question, I learned most of the new briefing knowledge from this thread on the BI Forums. It basically tells you what each command is for and how to use them. Since EMSI's will create it in SQF format, you should be able to see a file called briefing.sqf, or something along those lines. Open it using either Notepad or ArmA Edit, or any other text program you wish to edit it with, and use that thread I gave you to modify it to your liking. It's not actually that complicated.

Hope that helps. Will report back after I test the mission. ;)

Edit: Alright, here's my report:

Operation Hunter - Beta 1
By mathias_eichinger

Package:
I'd recommend refraining from using spaces in mission file names. The space becomes %20 in the file name, and looks a bit odd. It'd be better if you used underscores _ instead. Perhaps a promo picture would also be good here, along with a small readme.

Overview:
The picture has been squashed significantly, making the 4 men look like fat midgets, and the T72 like it's been crushed. Also, don't T72s only have 3 crewmen? It shows 4 in the picture. The text is fine, however.

Intro:
Very basic. The ambush at the start wasn't all that exciting. It took a while for the NAPA soldiers to destroy the BMP. And during the second part, one of the BMPs got stuck behind that blockade on the road. Might I recommend using more angles and more interesting shots? I understand that it's a beta however, and this could very well be just a placeholder. There is also a titleCut error that appears at the start and end of the mission, where you've used titleCut's syntax incorrectly. Might want to fix that.

Briefing:
In ArmA II, despite the fact that it now relies on the briefing.sqf for the main part of the briefing, you still need a briefing.html file for it to show the briefing before the mission starts. Since you don't have one, the mission starts without showing the briefing. What's different in ArmA II, however, is the briefing.html need only include the debriefing sections. Also, you need to put objectives in the reverse order to what you want them to be ingame. For example, the last objective should be defined first, and the first objective should be defined last, in the briefing.sqf. They're in the wrong order at the moment. Otherwise, it's fine.

Mission:
The mission started and I ordered one of my T72s to the east side, one to the west, and me through the center. We managed to destroy most of the armor, and lost the one T72 that went to the east flank. It took a very long time for the town to register as being captured. This was attributed to the famous "last loon" issue, where one lone ChDKZ soldier made it to the quarry on the west side of the town. He was eventually found, however, and the objective completed.

I then discovered that you had used High Command. The briefing never mentioned that the player had other units under his control. I wondered what it meant by "with infantry" in the briefing. I was quite happy when I found it, however, as it had support trucks and an ambulance. I continued west to Dolina, and moved the support units into Solnichniy.

Upon moving west, I was hit multiple times by random squads, who were quickly dealt with. I cleared an area east of Dolina, and it said that Dolina had been cleared, by looking at the Tasks section. I thought that this couldn't be right unless the AI had left the town. So, I continued to Dolina and, sure enough, there were enemy infantry waiting for me, and a Shilka. Once dispatched, it then, for a second time, said Dolina was clear and informed me of the next objective being the AA guns and command post. It seemed as though this objective was meant to be hidden until now, which it wasn't. Might want to look into that.

I continued northwest towards the new objectives and ran into two ChDKZ T72s which were easily dealt with. There was very little resistance at all from now on. I got to a hill above the town, destroyed the 3 AA guns with my SABOT rounds and PKT, and then destroyed the command post and radar tower. A message came up saying mission completed, and the mission ended almost immediately after. Would be nice to put some sort of delay.

Debriefing:
None. As mentioned in the Briefing section of this test report, you need to define it in a briefing.html file, just like you would in ArmA or OFP.

Outro:
The titleCut error that I have already mentioned is also present in the outro, might want to fix that. The camera focused far too long on the Su25, before eventually switching to that of a BMP blowing up. Seemed a bit strange to have a Su25 having the "way cleared" to destroy only one BMP. You might want to work on the outro a bit more as well, as it's not interesting, just like the intro, unfortunately.

Overall:
A fairly challenging mission, with an interesting take on playing as the CDF forces, being in T72s rather than as infantry. It's definitely a better first attempt than most that I've seen for ArmA II. There are many bugs and some spelling errors, but if you can iron those out and refine the mission more, it looks promising. If you need any help, feel free to ask.

Also, if you aren't already, put -showScriptErrors into your ArmA II shortcut, like you would a mod (-mod=) or to skip the splash screens (-nosplash). This command re-enables the ingame error messages about coding mistakes and errors within the mission and it's scripts, it's how I noticed the titleCut errors. It helps a lot when mission making.
« Last Edit: 11 Dec 2009, 12:01:20 by Zipper5 »

Offline mathias_eichinger

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Re: [SP] Operation Hunter Beta 1
« Reply #2 on: 12 Dec 2009, 00:24:48 »
Hi Zipper!

Thank you for this really extensive feedback and editing tips. I think it all boils down if I could successfully save any changes to the briefing (I did not change it according to the mission development, as my mission shows).
I also hope that I can learn how to hide objectives in the briefing.sqs and to combat any new weird angles in formerly perfectly working intros.

I might need to ask you again about editing and I hope I can return the favour of a beta test in due time!

Cheers

Mathias

Offline savedbygrace

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Re: [SP] Operation Hunter Beta 1
« Reply #3 on: 18 Dec 2009, 12:13:17 »
Okay my friend. I "Attempted" this one today.
Regular / 1.04 patch / no mods

Overview
Image is compressed slightly but I love the supposed photograph caption. It would perhaps feel more photo-ish with a polaroid border maybe?
Text was also great.

Intro
short and simple .

Briefing
Zipper5 covered this well enough.

Mission
There are several things that I think could be improved immediately.

The infantry that you have provided load the trucks when they are ordered to their waypoint but they never disembark instead they become sitting targets.

I am not certain what skill level you have the players tank buddies at but you may want to consider increasing it.

How about removing the players obligation to command those infantry. Just add his ammo, repair and medical support for his logistics. He has enough duty trying to manage the armor. You could also add another tank to his numbers since you have filled that valley with resistance.

The first task never completed.

The second task was completed when I cleared the industrial site before Dolina.

I never made it to the end because my repair truck was destroyed after I thought the first town was clear(I drove through smashing all the fences and objects in search for the last loon but moved on after about five minutes)and I was left limping.

I would also have the infantry work independent of the armor group.


Offline mathias_eichinger

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Re: [SP] Operation Hunter Beta 2
« Reply #4 on: 18 Dec 2009, 20:46:31 »
Hi, I just updated my mission, please check the first post.

Offline SaOk

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Re: [SP] Operation Hunter Beta 2
« Reply #5 on: 21 Dec 2009, 18:07:48 »
I tested the beta 2 with vanilla arma2 version 1.04 + beta 974. A great tank-mission but here is the bug-list: ;)

-Intro starts and ends with titlecut-error (do you use -showscripterrors in shortcut)
-Civilians in intro, run in robotic-formation
-Briefing looks overally nice (but there is some overuse of spacebar)
-First task could be set as currenttask with "player setCurrentTask taskname"-command (also the later tasks could be set active with this command when the time is right)
-Waypoints for player group could be removed. I didnt follow them right and later I had waypoint in first town when I was already finishing the mission at Polana (tasks already offer waypoints to them)
-The short conversation between player and infantry-group would need a lag between the lines
-Infantry groups were driving away with trucks when I called them in (my tanks was maybe blocking their way) (1 truck was stucked near the start-area, 2 truck were driving on small roads to dolina where I met them later)
-Infantry-Radiocall dosent disapear after activating
-Mission didnt end after destroying the 3 targets in Polana (with the earlier 2 tasks done)

The difficulty level was good (but not very challenging). The infantry groups cleared nicely the town Dolina but there could be more information of what those groups are doing. I had no idea where they were going before I found them there.
« Last Edit: 21 Dec 2009, 20:09:14 by SaOk »

Offline mathias_eichinger

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Re: [SP] Operation Hunter Beta 3
« Reply #6 on: 23 Dec 2009, 21:30:17 »
Thanks for the feedback guys, with your help I am able to present Beta 3. Please check first post.

Cheers

Mathias

Offline SaOk

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Re: [SP] Operation Hunter Beta 3
« Reply #7 on: 25 Dec 2009, 12:40:59 »
Beta 3 worked and looked great. I finished the mission in 39minutes. This time even the AA's were responding deadly to player tank group which was good. I didnt find any bugs but the tasks wasnt activated automatically after the earlier one was succeeded. Only the first task had it set with "player setCurrentTask taskname"-command. The infantry didnt arrive to the second city but maybe they were ambushed before.

Intro and outro already look good, but the more tweaking the better. The outro had a nice angle of the plane but maybe there could be more switching to other angles and spots.

Offline mathias_eichinger

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Re: [SP] Operation Hunter Beta 3
« Reply #8 on: 25 Dec 2009, 13:54:57 »
Hey SaOk, thanks for your test and comments, and merry Christmas to you!

EDIT: Final version is up, please check first post. I need just one more beta test to confirm it is bug-free before I can ask for a review.
« Last Edit: 26 Dec 2009, 19:01:07 by mathias_eichinger »

Offline zwobot

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Re: [SP] Operation Hunter Final version
« Reply #9 on: 03 Jan 2010, 19:13:32 »
Briefing:
- Found a typo in the Recon section -> "It clearly shows..." instead of "It it clearly shows..."
- would be nice to also have links to markers on the map in the Notes sections of the briefing
- would be nice to have a marker for the starting location

Mission:
I was unhappy with the layout of my tank platoon: it was annoying to have number 7 as tank commander and I could not rearrange the crews after having cleared Solnichny because I was in contact with enemies almost from the start.

It was quite challenging to take the first objective. The terrain is not very tank friendly and after I sent in the infantry to clear out the remaining enemy infantry my tanks kept bumping into the infantry's trucks but I finally made it. Unfortunately I lost one tank to the very last enemy soldier in the town who was armed with an RPG.

I wonder why the briefing is in english but the support options (artillery...) are in German (I have German version of the game and no language addon/patch)?

I did not find a way to cancel an artillery request, so I had to cope with the "Cannot fire on that coordinates" chatter every time I gave a waypoint to my crew on the map in the beggining of the mission. Probably not a mission bug but a lack of experience on my side with the Support module.

In the Hamlet between Solnichy and Dolina I encountered a road block. I'm not sure if the Hind wreck was deliberately placed there or if it actually was shot down there during the mission but it made a major obstacle for my AI tanks:
http://www.imagebam.com/image/f0daf662263600

Summary:
An action packed tank mission with difficult terrain. I kept unbuttoning my tank to get a a better overview in the difficult terrain. Most of the time this drew small arms fire immediately from unknown positions and I had to close the hatches again  :) I even lost my gunner this way and eventually was killed myself during the clearing of dolina (I was unbuttoned while trying to figure out another artillery strike on the town)...
"Executing tactics in real combat is the hardest thing one can ever do...well I've never given birth but..well whatever."

Offline Trapper

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Re: [SP] Operation Hunter Final version
« Reply #10 on: 13 Jan 2010, 12:08:16 »
A nice tank mission.
I did only encounter one bug which would be that the last objective didn't tick off and the mission didn't end. I first destroyed the radar, then one AA cannon (maybe a second one by my ai) and then I raided the village until the firefights calmed down. But I became very impatient because of the tank features ArmA2 is missing and all of the bugs. I won't guarantee that it is really a mission bug.

The mountain area is bad for tank combat, but well enough chosen to understand it as intentionally. Also the infantry included for clearing the villages then is realistic for me.
For better tank navigation and more realism I would like to have the infantry unmount their trucks further away and covered to the villages. If the waits become too long I think most players wouldn't even recognize when you beam the infantry into the trucks for reaching the next objective later on. Trucks in the villages are only blocking everything.

I highly recommend using a mod like ACE2 for this mission so the commander periscope is stabilized. It's totally fucked up that BIS only stabilized the gun(ner). Oh and don't be surprised ACE2 instead doesn't stabilize the gun of the T72A for now. You've got to be happy with one thing.

Offline mathias_eichinger

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Re: [SP] Operation Hunter Final version
« Reply #11 on: 13 Jan 2010, 23:43:38 »
Hey zwobot and Trapper, thanks for your tests.

Quote
I was unhappy with the layout of my tank platoon: it was annoying to have number 7 as tank commander and I could not rearrange the crews after having cleared Solnichny because I was in contact with enemies almost from the start.
Hmm... this is what you get when simply putting a platoon of tanks on the map. Honestly I don't want to mess around with empty vehicles and MoveInDriver squadmates... I think I would ask for trouble that way.

Quote
I wonder why the briefing is in english but the support options (artillery...) are in German (I have German version of the game and no language addon/patch)?
The same occurs to me, I think that the support options are simply hardcoded in our German version as I did not change them, just used the SOM module.

Quote
I did not find a way to cancel an artillery request, so I had to cope with the "Cannot fire on that coordinates" chatter every time I gave a waypoint to my crew on the map in the beggining of the mission. Probably not a mission bug but a lack of experience on my side with the Support module.
Same experience here, although I don't see it as a problem to order back your tanks. "Cannot fire" has already been fixed since Solnichniy itself was actually out of arty range.

Quote
In the Hamlet between Solnichy and Dolina I encountered a road block. I'm not sure if the Hind wreck was deliberately placed there or if it actually was shot down there during the mission but it made a major obstacle for my AI tanks
That roadblock is a hind helo that is supposed to be shot down...but not supposed to land on the road. It will have to go.

@ Trapper:

Thank you for reminding me that this mission is still a bit rough around the edges. After what you said about ACE2 I will keep that out since my preference is to play from the gunner position.

Cheers

Mathias

Offline Trapper

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Re: [SP] Operation Hunter Final version
« Reply #12 on: 14 Jan 2010, 11:37:02 »
Well, yes. It's that they want to simulate them as the old tanks they are in ACE2. I'm very tempted to write a bug report for ArmA2 tanks. BIS threw so much out of the window of the great OFP tank controls. Just like the old squad menu which grouped all squad members under their vehicle symbol. Number 7 as tank command wouldn't matter then - and for me it's not just no 7 it's the whole organization. I prefer to play as commander in a platoon mission and BIS screwed it when I thought 1.05 got fun.
Overall the mission looks pretty polished to me. From this state on, working against arma2 bugs will prevail.

Offline mathias_eichinger

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Re: [SP] Operation Hunter Final version
« Reply #13 on: 25 Jan 2010, 21:06:42 »
I don't think I will update this mission anymore, so I am asking for a review (if there are no mission-critical bugs uncovered).


Offline Zipper5

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Re: [SP] Operation Hunter Final version (Please Review)
« Reply #14 on: 26 Jan 2010, 12:02:52 »
Mind if I take this one up as my first official review for OFPEC? :D