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Author Topic: [SP] For The Life Of A Friend (v. 1.8)(Review Complete)  (Read 5540 times)

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Offline mathias_eichinger

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Re: [SP] For The Life Of A Friend (v. 1.5)
« Reply #45 on: 28 Aug 2011, 21:25:18 »
I managed to deal with a road block and even managed to avoid all the enemies until I killed Jegorow with the CZ 550 sniper rifle I found in the church yard. However, the odds are insurmountable right now, Olaf is already killed and I am overwhelmed by too many attacking enemies. Hope to tackle these in another try. 

Offline Undeceived

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Re: [SP] For The Life Of A Friend (v. 1.5)
« Reply #46 on: 28 Aug 2011, 21:37:03 »
The DAC really rocks! It makes the enemies swarm around you.

I've got one advise in this case: RUN!! Muhaha... >:D >:D Run and approach from somewhere else. Silly advise, I know... :)

Or try it again - it is possible to sneak upon both of them an hit and run faster than the mafia members can react. I think that this is the way the mission should be played. Otherwise the enemy is very very difficult to fight...
« Last Edit: 28 Aug 2011, 21:40:20 by Undeceived »
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Offline johnnyboy

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Re: [SP] For The Life Of A Friend (v. 1.5)
« Reply #47 on: 05 Sep 2011, 21:25:13 »
Greetings Undecieved.  I have been away from arma and ofpec for awhile, but I am glad I checked in to see your new mission.

Wow!  This is really fantastic.  I played it through, with no bugs at all.  So many effective cutscenes.  The smoking tires in the beginning were great.  The friends character development was great.  Playing jokes on the Mafia guy, and having it go terribly wrong was brilliant.  The final crime-scene in the outro was very well staged.

The background mood music for different parts of the mission were really atmospheric and effective.  Seemed very professional.  Where do you find the atmospheric music?

The white chase car cutscene stood out as well shot, when the cars comes up the rise to pass the camera.

I found it very difficult to take out the first mafia guy.  Too many patrols.  Finally I decided to just drive straight through the gate, jump out, hose him, and drive away.  That worked, but lost Olaf.

This mission was well plotted, interesting throughout, and very tense. Normally I don't like night missions, but this was great.   Plus, (just like on Evil's Last Will), the voice acting was excellent (and I don't speak German). 

My only complaint was the moving the crates task.  Since I chose the wrong option twice, I thought I was stuck moving boxes.  Since my time is limited, I almost quit playing the mission (I would have if I didn't know the quality of your work). 

You are probably finished with this mission, but I have a fun idea.  I did alot of tense night driving with the lights off.  You might want to have one or two fun road encounters to keep the player on his toes.  I would suggest some cows crossing the road, and maybe a civilian truck driving at night.  Cows crossing while you are driving fast over a rise, would give a good scare to the player.

This was obviously a ton of work.   Congratulations on this superb mission.  I give it a 10.
El Cojon: "Do you like to Tango?"
You: "Only in Bagango."
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Offline Undeceived

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Re: [SP] For The Life Of A Friend (v. 1.5)
« Reply #48 on: 06 Sep 2011, 15:05:11 »
 :D johnnyboy, thank you very much for your feedback!! :good:

Yes, it really was a ton of work. :) Originally I just wanted to make a small mission with some guys who pick on a caretaker, but in the end the result was a bit more complex. ;)

Haha, that idea with the cows and the civilian truck is awesome, I'll implement this for sure! :) Thanks!
Other than that I'm waiting for the next full patch to get the setMimic command working (if BI manges to fix it finally...) and then the mission should be ready for a review.

The music I take from different bands or soundtracks that I have. But in many cases also from other games. If you check the readme file you can find a little song list with the original names of the songs and the performing bands.


About the first task:

Keep in mind that you don't need to carry the crates! You can leave the place and continue the mission at the lodge in the forest with the friends.
Or do you think that I should make this a little clearer to the player (that he can leave if he wants)?


I would feel honoured if you could rate and comment the mission at Armaholic as well. Would help me finding more interested players.

Thanks, johnnyboy!! Good to see you back in the "scene". :)
« Last Edit: 06 Sep 2011, 15:06:42 by Undeceived »
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Offline johnnyboy

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Re: [SP] For The Life Of A Friend (v. 1.5)
« Reply #49 on: 07 Sep 2011, 08:36:03 »
U,

I will check out the readme for the music list.  You made some great atmospheric choices.

If you do the civilian truck thing, have it blast the horn when close to the player (if player lights off), and maybe swerve or curse out the window.  It could even be your bad truck driver from your story, so attach a dead dog to the front bumper!

Making it clearer about the crates would help.  I thought I had to do it, and got discouraged.  I even used 4X speed to move crates, which messed up the scripts.  4X speed caused multiple "lift crate" actions to appear, instead of one at a time. 

I can see why the crate moving is there, as it builds a little character development and introduces the cell phone usage.

I thought that it was teaching me something I would use later in the mission (like build a barricade or move an exploding barrel to a strategic spot-- this could be useful to other mission makers, so you might want to publish this script.  I liked that it prevented 3rd person view, so player can't tell that the animations aren't quite right).

I will gladly hop over to Armaholic and promote your mission (it is much deserved!).  Probably tomorrow...I am super tired after a 3 hour bike ride after work.

Is it rumored that setmimic is being fixed?  That is awesome.  We need it!

Good chatting with you.

J
El Cojon: "Do you like to Tango?"
You: "Only in Bagango."
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Offline Undeceived

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Re: [SP] For The Life Of A Friend (v. 1.5)
« Reply #50 on: 07 Sep 2011, 13:17:16 »
:D :D I have to say one thing: You've got the absolutely funniest ideas (which one can see in your own missions too)! :D Nice one with the truck! Thanks!

To be honest about the crate script(s): Don't ask me how I managed to build that - I don't remember anymore! This was such a complex part so I'm happy it works (more or less).
You said that there were multple "Lift crate" actions?
Did this also happen in normal speed??

About the setmimic: Yes, they managed to fix it already in a beta patch lately, but then it only worked for afroamerican units, not for the white ones... So I hope that it will work for all in the main patch...

Thanks for the Armaholic promoting!

See you, mate!
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Offline mathias_eichinger

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Re: [SP] For The Life Of A Friend (v. 1.5)
« Reply #51 on: 20 Oct 2011, 18:19:54 »
Hey Undeceived, I managed to play through your mission with just a little help from Loki's Lost Key. What can I say... every few years there is a mission that is more moving than a cinema movie... and I can't recall any ArmA2 mission that has the same effect on me. This one is a masterpiece, congratulations!

Offline Undeceived

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Re: [SP] For The Life Of A Friend (v. 1.5)
« Reply #52 on: 21 Oct 2011, 15:35:19 »
Hey mathias! :)

Thanks, mate! Such feedback encourages me to move on with the mission.

Holy crap, why didn't I ever hear of Loki's Lost Key??? :dunno: I lost many hours while testing changes, bug fixes, etc. :) Oh well... Now I know of it.


May I ask:
Did you need Lost Key in order to overcome bugs and badly implemented features in the mission or because of the difficulty of it?
Or why do you think you had to use it?

Looking forward to this info!

Thanks again, mathias! :good:




PS: If you are registered at Armaholic, it would be an honour for me if you could comment and rate the mission on this page: http://www.armaholic.com/page.php?id=14600 Thanks! :)
« Last Edit: 21 Oct 2011, 15:38:07 by Undeceived »
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Offline bedges

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Re: [SP] For The Life Of A Friend (v. 1.5)
« Reply #53 on: 24 Oct 2011, 09:01:10 »
I only recently upgraded to Arma2, and I knew this was the first user-made mission I was going to download. It's an awesome bit of work, ausgezeichnet.  :good:

One or two things I've noticed so far:

  • although it's maybe believable behaviour, perhaps Kostja and Pawel(?) shouldn't hit the deck when the other guy shows off his pistol at the hut in the woods: setunitpos "up" and setbehaviour "careless" maybe?
  • I confess I stole Olaf's pistol as soon as I realised he had one, so no bugs there. When rescuing Kostja from the guys in the forest behind the castle, I left Olaf behind and dealt with them myself. However, once they were down I quickly searched the bodies and armed myself with the silenced pistol and AK, but after the cutscene, the bodies had weapons again - unless the mafia guy had a rifle I missed - so both Olaf and I got AKs...
  • after the cutscene showing the mafia car turning off and following us, Olaf was out of the car, prone and looking intently up the road. I guessed that perhaps his Spider-sense was tingling, and maybe the mafia guys were close, so I got out and waited with him for a while. He was no longer in my "team" so I couldn't order him back into the car, so I just had to drive off to the doctor without him. In the cutscene with the doctor, Olaf was back again in the doorway, but he was still prone which looked a bit weird - he wasn't injured, he took no hits at any time
  • I spotted a mafia guy with NV goggles and dropped him, but on searching the body - no NV goggles! Dude, that's cheating!  :dry:

And at the moment I am hiding in the shadows of trees, picking off the mafia badguys and disappearing into the night. Unfortunately I have to get ready for work, but I'm looking forward to the rest of this mission.

Fantastic so far, great work.  :good:
« Last Edit: 24 Oct 2011, 09:04:21 by bedges »

Offline Undeceived

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Re: [SP] For The Life Of A Friend (v. 1.5)
« Reply #54 on: 24 Oct 2011, 09:50:55 »
bedges, thank you very much for your feedback! :good: I hope that you can continue the mission without further bugs.


About your points:

- Yeah, that annoying civilian laying down when "danger" is around... :( Oh man, I don't know how many times or in how many ways I tried to prevent them laying down, but it never worked... Sometimes they lay down, sometimes not. I have implemented everything there, setunitpos "UP, setbehaviour "SAFE / CARELESS", - doesn't work...

- Your second mentioned bug still is in the mission because of my laziness. I will fix this for the next version! ;)

- And about the NVGoggles: Too bad that you saw the AI using it, this was not intended. :whistle: In my story the involved people don't have high tech gear such as NVGs, but the AI is blind as a mole in the night. This is why I give them NVGs for some seconds when they spot someone.
In the last beta patch BI introduced a great change in the reveal command, when the next full patch comes, I will try to change it so that the AI won't need the goggles anymore. Hopefully it works!



Thanks again, mate! Have fun.
I await your final feedback! ;)
« Last Edit: 24 Oct 2011, 09:56:23 by Undeceived »
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Offline bedges

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Re: [SP] For The Life Of A Friend (v. 1.5)
« Reply #55 on: 25 Oct 2011, 21:30:34 »
Finished the mission, excellent from start to finish.

One or two further points:

  • I realise it would make the mission far more difficult than it needs to be, but the fact that both the mafia boss and Jegerow were just standing still was a bit... I dunno. Like I say, having to truly hunt for them could get a bit frustrating. Just a thought.
  • kudos to whoever did the translation. As a German-speaker I was able to get the atmosphere in the native language, and I must admit that the subtitles were spot on too. That said:
    promessed = promised
    seen from = seen by
    membership in = membership of

As for the laying down, both instances are "cutscenes" so why not use some sneaky disableAI?

Once again, great work. One of the best missions I've played; the perfect combination of showing off what the game engine can do and solid original story-telling. 9.86/10 :clap:

Offline Undeceived

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Re: [SP] For The Life Of A Friend (v. 1.5)
« Reply #56 on: 28 Oct 2011, 11:37:52 »
bedges, thank you!

I have noted down your points.

About the laying down: No, the situations are not in cutscenes (at least not all), but I'll try to mess around with disableAI again, but I think I did that already.


Thanks again!
Greetz. :)
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Offline savedbygrace

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Re: [SP] For The Life Of A Friend (v. 1.5)
« Reply #57 on: 05 Dec 2011, 05:01:06 »
Played several times on regular difficulty. Played first with version 1.59 and again with the latest release candidate 1.60.

A mission like this is a nightmare for a beta tester because of the amount of mandatory cutscenes that must be viewed in order to progress. But, my first play through, the immersion was there the whole time and the end came much quicker than I thought.

Much of what I feel about your efforts only reinforce what others have expressed already in regards to your chosen camera angles, music selection and timing, emotion in the voice acting, little details that bring the AI to life and story development as a whole.

The first task to move the crates worked perfectly. No double addactions, no mix up with the phone addaction and all removed as it should have. I played the first time by moving all the crates myself but after moving the 6th, I decided to strike up a conversation with the truck driver. I didn't want to put the rest of the task off on him so I chose not to answer him. Because of that, the addaction replies stayed with the player until I activated one after meeting up with the boys. It would be nice of you to offer an addaction that would simply say "Nevermind" and then remove the other addactions. The other options worked great.

The mission progressed fine from here with only a few hangups to mention. Some of which are BIS related while others can be balanced by you.

Bedges made mention of one of those and that being of the group leaders having NVgoggles and not having them when they die. I remember you discussing this issue in a thread of AI not recognizing the enemy in the dark and so you needed a way to balance that. I agree but I think you went too far and tipped the balance in favor of the AI. Giving the initial group leader a set of nvg is good but I would not equip the new leader when the first one dies. The AI are already supermen once they know of the players position regardless of the lighting. Giving the player only eight shots with that hunting rifle coupled with the AI ability to share player enemy info once they know about him, is quite a challenging combination. Add the fact that the player can't spot units through vegetation or see them in the dark even if they know exactly where they are and the challenge becomes frustrating. By only giving the first group leader a set of nvg equipment, you level the playing field for the player some by presenting him/her with the opportunity to use strategy by targeting the leaders first or expending the long range ammo on them to essentially blind the others. If the player fails to see the opportunity, it becomes his fault. Once the group knows about the player, you can force the leader prone to make his elimination more difficult. If you don't mind the extra scripting and you feel the new group leader should have the night vision when the former leader is taken out, be fair about it and make him get within a meter of the dead former leader in order to get the nv gear. That will allow the player a chance to prevent it and also provide a visual affirmation as to how a unit who did not have the gear before, has it now. Immersion is retained and the player is satisfied.
     To prevent the player from using the night vision from dead leaders, you could simply have him say it's damaged but leave it there for him to take. Then just use a script similar to the first person script. If the night vision is activated, shut it off by playing a click sound to symbolize the player attempting to switch it on and it failing.

Another hangup caused by you is the removal of dead in the field between the church and Piotyr's car. I was aware of my limited ammo with that advantageous rifle and so I made it a point to see which roaming enemy had what weapons and made note of where I dropped them. When I reached there position, they were gone and so too were those precious resources. That killed immersion some. Leave them be. If you don't want the player having a particular weapon, remove all but 1 mag when he dies. then the player has to decide whether he wants to push forward well equipped or not. If you're worried about lag...why? You don't have much going on and I don't see you spawning additional enemy.

The other hangup is a BIS one. I can be in the darkest part of the forest and the enemy have no night vision but it never fails that once the leader spots me, his entire group knows exactly where I am out and where I move to. In addition to that, I have no idea where the enemy is in the dark because I can't see them. Even if my AI team mates spots them and engages, I am still left in the dark with no idea which side of the tree to tuck into because I can't see the enemy moving about. You can't help this but you can certainly make it less frustrating by reducing the numbers and coverage area of each group. The areas that I am speaking of in particular are Jergerow's house and the village where the mafia leader and his henchmen are. That silenced m9 is quiet but sucks against a large number of foes because it practically takes an entire clip if you further than 20 meters away. If the louder, more powerful and more accurate(somewhat) AK is used, you're suddenly spotlighted by everyone in the area. For the sake of story immersion, thin out the ranks of the party looking for these troublesome young men and spread their search areas out to prevent mass engagements and overwhelming odds. Add more lighting to the areas by turning the parked car lights on and positioning them toward areas that patrols may be looking in. Using parked cars with headlights on in an attempt light patrol areas are great for immersion.

After playing several different ways, I did notice the subtle adjustments that had to accommodate the various decisions, such as moving or not moving the crates, the results of each answer to the truck driver, the survival or death of Olaf, retrieving or leaving Yuri's gun.

Being nit picky, I noticed that unless the player parks the car precisely where you want him to, the story fails to proceed by preventing his friends from getting out, for example, Yuri's suggested parking spot and in front of the doctor's home.

Just to mention, I thought your workaround for getting Olaf to Kostja was clever. We all know that the AI don't use those castles well and Olaf would have never made it to his brother without the player having to drag him down again. Your decision to have Kostja crawl down the hill side and get caught was a good remedy.

Didn't notice any difference between 1.59final or 1.60RC.


Offline Undeceived

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Re: [SP] For The Life Of A Friend (v. 1.5)
« Reply #58 on: 05 Dec 2011, 16:40:32 »
Wow, savedbygrace, that is a huge feedback with many many very good points and honest criticism! Thanks a lot for your time, and also for playing it even twice! :good:


I noted down your points and I definitely will look into them. Only a few comments on some of them:


-> I hope SO MUCH that with the new BI patch (1.60) I won't need the NVGs anymore at all... BI added some new stuff to the reveal command and I'm looking forward to see if this solves the AI's revealing capacities at night. We'll see...

-> I'm pretty sure that I didn't remove the dead bodies in the mission until the final cutscene comes (where the police is in the village next day and the dead are collected and covered)! But maybe I forgot something - I'll look into it too. Certainly the dead bodies should stay where they are.


Your reply really is full of good points and I really appreciate it!! Thanks again, savedbygrace, for your help!!
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Offline savedbygrace

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Re: [SP] For The Life Of A Friend (v. 1.5)
« Reply #59 on: 05 Dec 2011, 23:14:05 »
To my credit, I actually replayed this thing more than 5 times. That's why there's a comment about being a nightmare for beta testers.

The thing about the body removal... You're right, not all of them were removed. There were two in the corner of the pasture near the car that stayed put(both had pistols). At least one group in the woods across the road stayed put too. But the units I spotted running around with automatic weapons(ak and M4), were not visible, even in command view. No big deal though.