Author Topic: [SP] For The Life Of A Friend (v. 1.8)(Review Complete)  (Read 9965 times)

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Offline Undeceived

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Scenario: For The Life Of A Friend
Version: 1.8
Author: Undeceived
Required game version: Arma 2 Combined Operations 1.62

Scenario description: We went out to have some fun teasing Jegorow, the new castle caretaker. But then everything turned out differently...

--> Civilian style mission
--> A story about friendship, murder and revenge
--> Fully voiced (German)
--> English and German subtitles
--> Uses Silola's DAC, which makes combat situations a blast!
--> Self made music by the author, among other custom music
--> Many cutscenes

Required addons:
- "Armed Civilians" by W0lle (version: 1.02)
(included in the download)

- Editor upgrades by Jon-C5- and Mapfact
(included in the download)


Version | Date | Notes

1.0 | 04.03.2011 | Release of the first beta version.
1.1 | 08.05.2011 | Bugs and many script errors were removed, English translation was finished.
1.2 | 03.06.2011 | Bugs and many script errors were removed. Some parts (e.g. Olaf) were optimized.
1.3 | 10.06.2011 | Bugs were removed, optimizations of the optimizations, more optimizations.
1.4 | 25.06.2011 | Bugs were removed, the end of the beta phase is reached.
1.5 | 07.07.2011 | Bugs were removed.
1.6 | 07.01.2012 | Bugs removed, more optimizations. Highlights: AI doesn't need NVGs anymore to detect enemies in the dark; English subtitles for the Polish and Russian versions of Arma 2; Annoyed bugs in the cutscenes were reduced; Many new things were built in; Etc...
1.7 | 29.04.2012 | Optimizations of some cutscenes, elimination of two showstoppers that some people experienced.
1.8 | 03.02.2013 | Taskhints were added and some bugs removed.

Known bugs in version 1.8:
- Script errors: If you start Arma 2 with parameter -showScriptErrors, there might appear script errors, which come out of the DAC scripts. These errors however do not influence the gameplay and the mission's functionality in any way and are not showstoppers! Anyway it is recommended to play without the start parameter -showScriptErrors.
- Remove AI team mate's pistols as soon as possible and give them rifles to prevent the Arma 2-pistol bug, which sometimes happens (AI won't move anymore).

For The Life Of A Friend 1.8: @ Armaholic
« Last Edit: 05 Mar 2013, 14:04:11 by savedbygrace »

Offline SaOk

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Re: [SP] For the life of a friend (v. 1.1)
« Reply #1 on: 10 May 2011, 00:35:08 »
The bugs I spotted:
Error when briefing opened after intro:
Code: [Select]
Error in expression <tskObj10 settaskstate "Succeeded";>
  Error position: <tskObj10 settaskstate "Succeeded";>
  Error Undefined variable in expression: tskobj10
Code: [Select]
Error in expression <(ZSweiter = true) >
  Error position: <= true) >
  Error Missing )
Cannot load sound 'missions\__cur_sp.chernarus\sounds\yuristirbt13p.ogg'
-During speaking to cellphone (when returing to the tower), enemy spotted me, but I couldnt stop the call and shoot him back
-After loading a savegame, I noticed I cannot shoot
-"Get help for Kosjta"-task was marked succeeded already before getting back to him
-After meeting Tanja at the car, the conversation in car was much louder than earlier voices
-The game crashed, when Tanja said she was scared (not sure what happened).

More feedback coming soon. Excelent work so far, cant wait to see the rest of the mission!  :good:

Offline Zipper5

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Re: [SP] For the life of a friend (v. 1.1)
« Reply #2 on: 10 May 2011, 10:15:39 »
I remember testing that mission you did called Evil's Last Will, Undeceived, and how good it was. Well, you've done it again my friend!

A pretty incredible mission, actually. I found myself caring for all of the characters and the struggles they were going through. The Mafia were also a pretty menacing foe, and certainly gave me a run for my money when it came to taking down their leader. The atmosphere of the mission, thanks to the use of custom music and good camera work, was also very intense. The concept of the mission itself makes it probably one of the most original missions yet made for Arma 2.

I got the same errors that SaOk got, even though the mission didn't crash at all. I did get an error when the end cutscene started, but I didn't manage to catch what it says. The RPT contains the following entries:
Code: [Select]
Error in expression <deletevehicle tiere;>
  Error position: <tiere;>
  Error Undefined variable in expression: tiere
Error in expression <{deletevehicle _x} foreach units z1group2;>
  Error position: <z1group2;>
  Error Undefined variable in expression: z1group2
Error in expression <{deletevehicle _x} foreach units z2group3;>
  Error position: <z2group3;>
  Error Undefined variable in expression: z2group3
Error in expression <deletevehicle DACdz_2;>
  Error position: <DACdz_2;>
  Error Undefined variable in expression: dacdz_2
Error in expression <deletevehicle DACdz_3;>
  Error position: <DACdz_3;>
  Error Undefined variable in expression: dacdz_3
Error in expression <deletevehicle DACdz_4;>
  Error position: <DACdz_4;>
  Error Undefined variable in expression: dacdz_4
However, the majority of the mission performed flawlessly. The only, somewhat minor issue I found was in the intro and credits, specifically with the RSCs you used. Due to how you can scale Arma 2's UI, the text appeared as a size that was obviously bigger than it was supposed to be for me. Are you already using safezones for defining your RSCs? If you aren't, I'd recommend you do. They're BIS' solution to the problem.

Other than that, I'm very impressed. The voice acting was excellent, too. Definitely one of the more enjoyable missions I've ever played for Arma 2, just like Evil's Last Will was with ArmA. :D

Offline Celery

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Re: [SP] For the life of a friend (v. 1.1)
« Reply #3 on: 10 May 2011, 13:08:44 »
Somehow I can't get the doorbell action to show up. Also, the first time I went to the lodge the other car never came. It did when I loaded an earlier save.

Offline Undeceived

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Re: [SP] For the life of a friend (v. 1.1)
« Reply #4 on: 10 May 2011, 17:50:34 »
Thanks a lot, guys! It honors me that you (who did some of the best missions out there) are liking it! :good:

- SaOk, I think and hope that your CTD was a random one. At least I and others never experienced any crash... Would be interesting to see if it crashes for you again (if you plan to replay the scenario one day).

- There were 100000 of script errors when I first ran the game with the -showscripterrors parameters. :D I managed to remove many of them but some are remaining - perhaps I'll need your help with some of them. But at least they do not "stop the show".

- Celery, the action at the doorbell should appear in the menu when you go to the mailbox next to the gate. The trigger isn't that big, maybe 1,5 meters or so.

- I experienced it once too that the other car with Kostja didn't come to the lodge in the forest - I might have to improve that one - thanks for reporting.

Offline SaOk

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Re: [SP] For the life of a friend (v. 1.1)
« Reply #5 on: 10 May 2011, 22:49:17 »
Once I loaded a savegame today, the crash didnt come again. I think it was just some very rare random game error. The rest of the mission continued the great quality. Excelent mood to the end. I think the only small negative side was the revenge part, where enemy skills were too high. They shoot really fast and accurate. I would suggest to lower it little (not too much. if its 1.0 then maybe 0.7 or 0.8 ). And the player groupie friend had too low skill. He usually didnt shoot until the enemy was next to him (he even had a scoped AK47). I think he could have the same skills as the enemy. Also I noticed the enemies didnt shoot him at all, was he a captive?

During the fights, there was much this kind of errors:
Code: [Select]
Error in expression <cleInUse - [_x]} foreach _groupveh};
if(count _jArray > 0) then {[35,_groupid,_g>
  Error position: <count _jArray > 0) then {[35,_groupid,_g>
  Error Generic error in expression

Also these came at some late point:
Edit: Removed - the same errors as in Zipper5 post

Also earlier in then mission, when the mafia turned to the small gravelroad to follow the player (to the doctor) in a cutscene. There was some error, but I couldnt find it anymore in RPT-file.

But overally all worked good and the mission was much of fun. With some little skill tweaking, I think the final revenge part would be also much more enjoyable.  
« Last Edit: 10 May 2011, 23:23:18 by SaOk »

Offline Celery

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Re: [SP] For the life of a friend (v. 1.1)
« Reply #6 on: 11 May 2011, 01:59:27 »
- Celery, the action at the doorbell should appear in the menu when you go to the mailbox next to the gate. The trigger isn't that big, maybe 1,5 meters or so.
Zipper told me that but no action appears. I also had trouble getting the lift crate action to appear, but managed it when looking in a certain direction away from the crate.

Offline Undeceived

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Re: [SP] For the life of a friend (v. 1.1)
« Reply #7 on: 11 May 2011, 10:59:20 »
Zipper told me that but no action appears. I also had trouble getting the lift crate action to appear, but managed it when looking in a certain direction away from the crate.
Strange... :( I have no idea why the actions don't appear for you... Very weird. This is definitely a showstopper but... Dammit. :confused: I hope that I can find something.

SaOk, I'll lower the enemy AI a bit, but I'm afraid I won't be able to help Olaf (the friend of the player). The reason simply lies in the miserable vision capability of the AI which without NVG is = 0 in the night... I don't know if you noticed that I gave some mafia AI groups NVGs which disapper when the player kills them. :D This is the compromise I had to go with in order to make them recognize the player as enemy at all. Before that the AI did see the player but did not recognize as enemy (and thus did not shoot --> mission very easy).
The AI without NVGs only shoots if the enemy shoots first - only after that the enemy is recognized. So Olaf (the friend) in most cases does only shoot when the enemies shoot first.
I don't want to "officially" add NVGs to the scenario because of story and background reasons (no high tech). So I don't know what to do to improve Olaf's vision capability...

Thanks for the reports of the other script errors, I'll check them. But I fear that one or two of them are from DAC (at least the one you posted). But we'll see.

Thanks again for your time, guys!


I tried to mess around with that safezone thing, which I didn't completely understand - I copied some code from a small tut from AMS but I saw that something really changed with those Rsc titles.

Zipper (or anyone else who could only read parts of the titles), could you maybe download the mission folder I uploaded here and open it in the editor and run the Outro Win? I need to know if the first titles of the credits outro are ok for you know before I make the work and edit them all...
On my PC the first titles (with the safezone thing) look like this:

Screenshot 1
Screenshot 2

Can you confirm that they are readable for you too?
That info would help me a lot - really thanks, mate!
« Last Edit: 11 May 2011, 21:50:36 by Undeceived »

Offline Zipper5

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Re: [SP] For the life of a friend (v. 1.1)
« Reply #8 on: 12 May 2011, 14:12:47 »
Yup, seems to work perfectly now! You can see from the attached images. I have my UI size set to "Normal".

Also, I forgot to mention it, but you have great taste in music! :D Might I ask what the name of the track is that plays during these end credits?

Edit: Never mind, found it: East West - She Cries.
« Last Edit: 12 May 2011, 14:34:26 by Zipper5 »

Offline Undeceived

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Script errors...
« Reply #9 on: 16 May 2011, 15:26:09 »
Hello guys, when you tested the scenario you also mentioned that script errors appeared while combat situations were going on.
It probably were these ones here:

RPT file says this:

Code: [Select]
Error in expression <en {_run = 0}};};};case 2: {if((not alive _leader) || ({alive _x} count uni>
  Error position: <alive _leader) || (({alive _x} count uni>
  Error Generic error in expression

Error in expression <(time > _wait) || ((count (waypoints _leader)) > 1)>
  Error position: <waypoints _leader)) > 1)>
  Error Generic error in expression

Error in expression <{_run = 0;_go = 0;}else{if(_group in DAC_Debug) then {ctrlSetText[11, form>
  Error position: <in DAC_Debug) then {ctrlSetText[11, form>
  Error Generic error in expression

Error in expression <d] spawn DAC_fDeleteUnit;};} foreach units _group;if((((getMarkerSize _marke>
  Error position: <units _group;if((((getMarkerSize _marke>
  Error Generic error in expression

These errors seem to come out of the DAC core itself and not from my scripts... In order to discover that I tried out (with start parameter -showscripterrors) the example missions that come with the latest DAC version in the vanilla game and ---> :( The same script errors come!

So now my question to you: Could you please also launch the official DAC example missions in your editor to see if you also get these erorrs or if it only is on my PC? It should not take more than 10 minutes.

Here's are detailed step by step instructions I also posted in the BI forums (but no one responds over there...):

1. Download the DAC from here
2. Enter the .rar file and go into the folder "DAC_script"
3. Copy the folder "_DAC_Script_Example.Chernarus" or "_DAC_Script_Example.Takistan" into this folder: C:\Users\YourName\Documents\ArmA 2 Other Profiles\YourProfileName\missions
4. Important: Launch the game with the parameter: -ShowScriptErrors
4. Open the example mission in the editor and launch it. Place the player's unit deep in enemy territory so you don't have to search 30 minutes for them. It is better to change the player's unit to one with some better weapons, so you will survive longer (which is needed)
5. Make some trouble for about 3-5 minutes and make sure that enemy squad did see you and is attacking you
6. Save once or more than once (if your difficulty settings allow you)
7. After approx. 5 minutes load your last saved game and continue playing / fighting the enemy AI some minutes

Are you receiving script errors too like mine shown in the screenshot above? If not, save and load again. The errors should appear (after loading).

Thank you very much for your help and time!

PS: Other than that I managed to remove all other script errors!! :)
« Last Edit: 16 May 2011, 22:05:06 by Undeceived »

Offline HailStorm

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Re: [SP] For the life of a friend (v. 1.1)
« Reply #10 on: 17 May 2011, 16:50:11 »
Just gave your mission a run through - it's very nicely done, and definitely agree that it's one of the best put-together missions I've played. Everything, story, characters, it just works and all meshes together nicely. that intro really goes far beyond setting the scene, and makes the mission as a whole so much better.

I couldn't find too much wrong in this mission, so this is going to be brief (well done!)

I had the same crate trouble as Saok - just picked up the box, couldn't drop it unless I ran. Also couldn't pick up any more after that - so I tried to blackmail the guy over by the ute (truck) with the "you ran over the dog" reason. He laughed and walked off.

you mentioned Olaf being a bit of a bad teammate, haha wow you'd better believe it, I think he just tonight managed to be the ultimate worst gun buddy that you can possibly be without getting your partner killed...

We got all the way back to the castle no problems, took a bit of a roundabout way along the treeline to the south, avoiding the few groups of guys you stuck in our way. All seemed fine until we got to Kostya's hiding place. Where, in the middle of the cutscene, Olaf opened fire! seems like Olaf isn't that bad a shot, since he scored a kill with the first bullet. Pity it just happened to be because he just shot his brother in the head.

if it's possible, consider removing Olaf's weapon (or setpos'ing him far away) at the start of the cutscene to avoid this situation.

both mafia guys pick themselves up off the ground, and then continue acting out the cutscene, and once it ended, I shot both down with an AKM I got off the gangsters in the car that followed me to Olaf's place. so we 'rescue' Kostya's body, and leave it there while olaf and i run to the pickup, where Kostya immediately comes back to life, joins my squad and teleports to my position just in time for the pickup. whew!

so we get to the doctor, where this happens in the cutscene:

"your friend is suffering from a slight case of Rigor mortis, but he should make a full recovery"

After retrieving the hidden weapons from the church, Olaf then decided to hide under a nearby tree and outright refuse to move from that spot - so from that point I had to go it alone. I won't bore you with the details of the rest of the playthrough, but mostly I used a combination of chucking a grenade (from the church box and stealing from bodies) at the main targets and using the PSO from within Jegorow's house to take out any survivors. Most if not all mafia were dead by the end of the mission. Olaf refused to even board a car to get to the exit point, which I am glad only needed the player to be present to trigger.

from a grammar standpoint, the English is quite good for most of it, but these are what I picked up:

[Olaf meeting cutscene] "hide? of whom?" -> "Hide? From whom?"

[Kostya interrogation] "We have still owed favor" -> "We have owed him a favor"

[After dropping off Kostya] "should bring my sister to safety" -> "we should get my sister to safety"

[Epilogue] "Kostya was restored after some months" -> "Kostya made a full recovery after several months"

I'll give this a few more runs over the next week and get back to you on the results. Thanks!
Mi-24 Hinds in Abandoned Armies... T-72's in Punishment Battalion... if you leave it unlocked, I WILL find a way to steal it!

Offline Undeceived

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Re: [SP] For the life of a friend (v. 1.1)
« Reply #11 on: 17 May 2011, 17:25:52 »
HailStorm, thank you very much for your test! :D It was fun to read! :D
Best part was where Olaf gave his brother a headshot! :D Oh shit! :) I'll definitely take him far away in the next version (which should be ready soon - if you want to run the mission again).
That bug with the rigor mortis :D also should not happen again if Kostja doesn't die.

I've still got some questions:

- Gangsters followed you in a car to Olaf's house?? Which car did they have? There should not be a mafia car manned at that time! And where to did they follow you? Which route did you take to Olaf's place from the castle?

- As Olaf hid under his tree and did not move anymore: Could it be that this was that pistol animation bug that makes the AI unable to move? It's a bug that happens sometimes when the AI has a pistol and wants to switch weapons or something like that.

- About the crates problem: I know - it might be too much asked but... Could you maybe make a video of how you play the beginning of the mission with the crates? :-[ That part is so complicated (scriptwise) and I have no idea where to look because I never experienced this bug. It's very sad...

- (This question only matters if you run your game with the parameter -showscripterrors) Did you get script errors while fighting the mafia after Kostja was delivered to the doc? I'm talking about script errors like the ones in my previous post.

Thank you very much for your test and also for the English correction, I appreciate it! :good:
« Last Edit: 17 May 2011, 17:28:14 by Undeceived »

Offline HailStorm

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Re: [SP] For the life of a friend (v. 1.1)
« Reply #12 on: 24 May 2011, 17:11:06 »
Well, when i say "followed" i'm referring to the cutscene where the white car asks an bystander where you went, shoots him and come after you - i find that car, presumably where you placed it, at the junction with two guys standing by it and another in the trees. the third surprised me since i only saw two occupants in the car and i wasn't expecting him.

with olaf, it may very well be the pistol bug - never heard of it before but it definitely sounds suspect, since he had a SD makarov out and had an M4 on his back.

with the crates problem, it just seems like the option to drop the crate just disappears after the phone call. dunno if i specifically did anything to make it disappear, but i did pick it up almost straight before the call.

i didn't run this playthrough with showscripterrors on, but i'll do it next run.

a few further notes:

- there's a conversation between two mafia at the base of the castle tower just after you drag kostja inside - I'd suggest making it start a bit earlier than what you have - i was able to almost run out of the tower before i realised they were standing there. they still didn't notice me however, but i dunno if there is supposed to be some sort of script preventing them noticing or anything.

- would it be possible to make cutscenes skippable? it does get annoying if you've died and the most recent save is before a long sequence.
Mi-24 Hinds in Abandoned Armies... T-72's in Punishment Battalion... if you leave it unlocked, I WILL find a way to steal it!

Offline Wolfrug

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Re: [SP] For the life of a friend (v. 1.1)
« Reply #13 on: 25 May 2011, 23:55:26 »
Hi Undeceived,

First of all: awesome mission, I enjoyed the hell out of it :D A very different approach to making a mission, not something I get to see all that much of unfortunately. For that reason alone I'd give this a 5/5 ;) But aside from the good idea itself, the execution is also very skillful, and except for one slight bug the whole LONG mission worked from start to finish.

The bug was the same one HailStorm reported, that Kostya died during the rescue. It was a little funny when his brother said "try to stand up!" and he was lying there obviously dead :P I loaded that one though and did it with him alive instead. I really think though you could manage the whole mission with a minimum of changes yet allow Kostya to die. For instance make it so they have to take Kostya's body to the doctor for, like, identification or something (I mean, they're not just going to leave his body out in the woods, are they?) You could, I guess, also just start the Revenge part if Kostya dies right there and then. Kostya dying would of course also change the end talk a bit, but not -too- much I think: it'd make for a nice change of pace, sort of an alternative (bad) ending?

The Revenge part itself, I have to say, was a mix between brilliant and rather annoying. My pal was useless, but others have pointed that out already and it's not your fault. The enemies tended to be rather sharp-sighted and taking them all on alone, even with a scoped rifle, was kind of difficult. For that reason I really appreciated the fact you just had to kill the two, instead of -everyone-. I ended up doing just that: I grenaded Jegerow, and snuck up and sniped the mafia leader, then ran like hell. Worked fine (after a number of retries :D). I'm glad I didn't have to wait for Olaf at the cottage either.

One thing: at the end, Piotr says something like "I'll always remember I was saved by friendship" or something: honestly, Piotr was the one doing all the friend-saving, rather than the other way around, wouldn't you say? Unless he's referring to his friendship with Olaf which, maybe, saved him in some other way? I don't know :) Just a thought, anyway.

A note on Olaf's hidden weapons: "He just found them one day in the forest" after which he hid them in a chest behind his church. :blink: Furthermore, it was a modern AK-107 PSO and a M4 with all the spec-ops bells and whistles (+ a Russian military automatic shotgun!)! How does this make any sense?  How about making it more logical instead? Change it to a hunting rifle and a M104 shotgun (for instance) and make them part of his hunting gear - if you want AKs and other military rifles, there are plenty of badguys with them running around after all. If you want to limit the effectiveness of the sniper rifle, only give the players very few rounds, like 10 or something. The random high-tech weaponry was really kind of...well....random!

And finally, a thought on the addon dependency. What on earth did we need Schnapsdrosel's desert mercenaries for? I didn't see a single desert mercenary anywhere, not a one. That's a pretty big addon pack for a no-show. Secondly: why DAC? Although DAC can be useful in certain scenarios, this scenario was not one of them. The mafia patrols and so on could easily have been made to move around using something non-addon dependent, like say UPS - or why not simple looping waypoints. :dunno: I'm guessing Wolle's armed civilians were the mafia (and Piotr + Olaf) - I can totally understand if you didn't want to mess with the other ways of making civilians shoot at one another, also considering they don't have the right combat.fsms, but...myeah. That's fine I guess! MapFact's editor upgrade I didn't really notice, but I bet there was plenty of eyecandy around you used it for :)

Anyway! GREAT mission, almost no bugs, awesome story - had a lot of fun with it. Good job, Undeceived.  :good:

Wolfrug out.
"When 900 years YOU reach, look as good you will not!"

Offline Undeceived

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[SP] For the life of a friend (v. 1.2)
« Reply #14 on: 03 Jun 2011, 23:21:14 »
Hey guys, here comes a new version of the scenario (v. 1.2)! Please check the first post.

First of all thank you all very much for your time and feedback!! At this particular moment thanks to HailStorm for your answers and Wolfrug for your beta test! :-*

I hope that some of you are up for another round - this time at least you'll not fight alone - I sent Olaf to a little specop training and he should be of help now! Fighting at his side takes the mission to another level, in my opinion!
:good: Thanks to all who helped me with the scripting!

Also you won't need the mercenaries mod anymore and also the DAC addon, so reinstall the whole scenario according to the readme.

I'd be very thankful if you could answer me these 4 questions:

1. Do you experience a game crash while loading a savegame?
2. Is there any unusual or buggy behaviour with Olaf?
3. Does the part with the crates work better now?

4. If you have some additional time: Could you check this post and tell me if you experience the DAC script errors in the DAC demo missions and vanilla game?

Thanks a lot and have fun!!
« Last Edit: 05 Jun 2011, 12:17:49 by Undeceived »