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Author Topic: [SP/CAMP] Black Lands (Arma 3)  (Read 837 times)

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Offline Gruntage

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Re: [SP/CAMP] Black Lands (Arma 3)
« Reply #60 on: 17 Sep 2018, 00:24:53 »
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Still didn't have a good idea how to shorten it. Maybe cut it in half after Grishino and before Nemec calls? But then, what sense would it make? It would be only a cut, maybe with a new briefing that summarizes the mission... But it would be kind of redundant IMO.
Another way would be to skip a part of the walking, e.g. from the colonel to Grishino (fade out, position T and K a bit further, fade in). But especially that part is quite suspenseful and skipping some meters - I don't know...
If you have good idea it would be great.

Ok so I have been giving this some thought. In order to make this a bit easier, let's break the mission down into 4 sections:

A) Sniping the officer
B) Saving Private Tomek
C) Meeting Nemec
D) Taking the base

Alright so let's talk about A & B first. Everything up to the point when you receive the objective to save Tomek is fine as it is. In terms of pacing and story up to this point, it's fine. Now I do have an idea about the rescuing Tomek part. So we see that the Red Star guys have massacred this village. What if they carry onto another village, but the player has a chance to get to this village to warn the villagers of what's coming....BUT, the player has to make a choice: save those villagers or save Tomek. The player can't do both.

This puts the player in a very difficult and challenging position. In a lot of missions we see very contrived storylines where everything goes to plan without any issues. In reality of course, war is not like that. So far I don't think the player has had to make difficult decisions like this before, so perhaps we've reached a point in the story when it would be good move to make.

I also wonder whether we've come far enough so that the loss of a character would have an impact on the player. I don't know whether you intended to keep all the characters alive until the end. I'm willing to bet that you intended to at least kill one off before the end. But, we'll see  :D

To be honest, all the way through the campaign I've been expecting one of my guys to get killed in some way. I was expecting it in the Alexei Pribotow mission as a sort of cliffhanger. This is a very good aspect of the campaign because you get a sense of danger.

The idea of presenting the player with a difficult ethical decision is something I've thought about doing in one of my missions. What's the 'right' thing to do? Save one man or save many? It's the kind of thing that does belong in this story. Question is though, does this still make the mission fun? I suppose that's what everything boils down to in the end.

Your decision to save either Tomek or the villagers could and probably should impact the rest of the story. Perhaps if you save the villagers they may join you. If you save Tomek but leave the villagers to their fate, what would be the consequences? Would your guys think less of you? What would Tomek think? I think this adds a lot of depth to this mission and to the campaign. Maybe you could have a sort of discussion over the radio to create tension.

Anyway, that's what I think about A&B.

So what about C&D?

Well, to be honest if I were making the mission I'd go with the new A&B and ditch C&D. If you chose to keep C&D and put them in another mission then you'd need to flesh that mission out. Right now I don't think there's enough substance with these two for them to be in a separate mission. They're ok as far as objectives go. Personally though, I think there's enough in the new A&B to compensate for not having C&D. Do C&D really add to the story that much?

Ultimately the decision is yours to make. Reducing the amount of walking would definitely be a plus, because it did feel very repetitive. But if you choose to go with the new A&B and ditch C&D then reducing the amount of walking would be done anyway.

Those are my thoughts anyway. I am looking forward to carrying on with this, it does make you want to come back to it.
« Last Edit: 17 Sep 2018, 00:27:58 by Gruntage »
Some of the most memorable missions made involve the player doing very little...

"But one thing I can tell you from not just OFP but life in general:  criticism is directly proportional to quality. The more criticism a mission receives, the better the outcome" - macguba

Offline Undeceived

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Re: [SP/CAMP] Black Lands (Arma 3)
« Reply #61 on: 17 Sep 2018, 08:21:15 »
Wow, that decision (Tomek or the civilians) is great and I really liked it. It's even so good that I'd really implement it if there weren't some designing / story aspects in the way. Problem 1 is that Tomek is story-relevant and thus can't die at this point.

A short spoiler, nothing too important:

Spoiler (click to show/hide)

Problem 2 is that there are not many villages up there in the north. I'm at work right now so I can't check the map but I think that the only village around is the one south of Grishino, where Jegor and his friends come from. That means: Why not rescue Tomek while on the way there?

As to ditching parts C and D: It's worth a thought but there are two things that I need: meet Jegor and his friends as they are part of the group from there on and finish the mission at these ruins in the south (Kumyrna) as the next mission starts from there just some hours later.

So as much as I loved your idea with the decision, I still don't have it sorted out how to realize it. Maybe I could send a fourth guy in the team on the mission that dies when the player decides not to rescue him (and Tomek survives wounded). But who? Sergej is visiting his I'll mom and Petja is not an option. Hmm....

Also (if there's no second village around) is there another thing we could use as decision factor? Not a village but something else (similarly problematic)?

I don't know how to express it better in English but you really got me with this idea and I'd like to keep on thinking about it. :good:


EDIT:
Something that comes to my mind: I could meet Jegor and his friends not on their way to the Russian camp but either on their way to Grishino or fighting in their own village (and taking heavy losses). And the travel to the Russian camp (revenge) and then to Kumyrna could be a next mission.

« Last Edit: 17 Sep 2018, 13:14:12 by Undeceived »
Current project: Black Lands (Arma 3)

Offline Gruntage

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Re: [SP/CAMP] Black Lands (Arma 3)
« Reply #62 on: Yesterday at 21:25:26 »
Alright so I resumed my playthrough this eve, and I think my post can be summarised in one word: wow  :D

I haven't finished the campaign yet, I'll save the ending for another time. But before we go into what I played tonight, I'll just re-address the Petrovka mission briefly.

On reflection I do realise that my idea would require some planning before-hand, i.e. shaping the story around it. But still, 'twas worth sharing. I don't think you should invent another character to make it work....the idea would only really work with someone whom the player has an attachment to. Someone like Martin or Tomek for instance. If you create another guy, the decision would be quite easy for the player to make because he won't really care about the new guy.

I'm also not sure about splitting the mission. Sure you could split it, and the best place would be right after rescuing Tomek and just before you go meet Nemec. But I'd be concerned that there isn't enough going on in C&D right now. Unless, the guys you meet in the forest want you to help them take back their village and then go for the base. The guys you meet would be from another village of course. That could work.

If you're against splitting the mission, then I'd strongly recommend reducing the amount of running at least. Maybe unlocking a few vehicles. In some of the later missions I stopped looking for unlocked vehicles because every vehicle I came across was locked. Anyway, it's up to you.

Now, onto:

Resurrection & Stealing the Camera

With Resurrection there isn't much to report, apart from the absolutely amazing feat of cinema. I mean, seriously, it felt like watching a movie. I have to admit though, the twist was briefly lost on me because I hadn't seen Dmitri for a long time and I was like 'who's this guy?'  :whistle: But the lead-up to the twist was very well done. The action sequence was easily the best part.

Incredible work here. The mission itself worked fine, no issues at all. I did wonder though whether it is possible to kill the guys outside the house at the start. I figured it was impossible but I tried it anyway for the sake of testing. Each try resulted in me dying, which is fine...working as intended  :D

So, onto Stealing the Camera.

To be honest it's hard to say how I feel about this one. It seemed rather underwhelming and not all that engaging in terms of gameplay. We've gone from being a heroic Resistance leader, calling the shots etc, to just being a follower. I would have liked to have seen something more tactical. This is what I mean.

From my perspective at least, we the Resistance movement are probably the most knowledgeable of the Russian/Red Star tactics at this point, and that makes us incredibly valuable in terms of the intel we provide. We know where the Russians are strongest and where they are weakest, presumably. Therefore, I would totally expect to be the one coordinating this operation really. Not being baby-sat as one of the Marines put it. It's funny that he said because that's exactly how it felt.

Not only would I have expected to be the one leading the operation but also coordinating the assault from the supporting teams. We had the Germans and the Czechs apparently in the AO, yet we never saw them and they didn't contribute. Seemed like a missed opportunity.

More depth could have been added to the mission in terms of other objectives. Maybe there could have been hostages being held in the castle. Maybe the castle was being used to question and interrogate. Otherwise, why is the castle of importance to the Russians? Why are they guarding it?

Also, we see in the opening cutscene that NATO can't be openly involved, yet the mission finishes with a US helicopter openly flying around Chenarus  :P We may as well be flying around waving a US flag. It felt a bit weird and not all that plausible.

The next mission is in Utes, so I'd totally expect to be going with the Marines in scuba gear to a submarine or something to finish. Just needs something a bit more special than a chopper pick-up. Something that cries out Special Forces. Something that cries out, Black Op.

I'm sorry if that's too critical. I really like this campaign and I'm invested in making it better.

As I said, I'll save the ending for another time  :)

« Last Edit: Yesterday at 21:32:34 by Gruntage »
Some of the most memorable missions made involve the player doing very little...

"But one thing I can tell you from not just OFP but life in general:  criticism is directly proportional to quality. The more criticism a mission receives, the better the outcome" - macguba

Offline Undeceived

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Re: [SP/CAMP] Black Lands (Arma 3)
« Reply #63 on: Yesterday at 22:47:15 »
Thanks, Gruntage. No, it's not too critical at all. It's exactly what I need. :good:

I can understand that you feel that especially the camera mission is a bit underwhelming. Yeah, it's kind of straight forward and there would really be some chances to improve it. But that's not on my top priority list at the moment. Other than that I want the player to feel the desperation Tomas feels. His hopes didn't come true so far but now, running with the Marines he feels that he and his men are almost there (even though they are still far away from their goal). He doesn't feel like that warlord resistance leader. He does feel like someone who urgently needs help.

That said, this idea really blew me away!
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Maybe there could have been hostages being held in the castle.
Man, you and Clayman really are specialists in overloading me with more work with your awesome ideas! :D

The chopper ending is illogical, I agree completely. :D Maybe I should add a civilian chopper or a safehouse in the forest where the mission ends... I'll think about it.

Good point with Dimitri too. Maybe I'll implement a short flash back how he dies so that the player recognizes him immediately... Thanks!
« Last Edit: Yesterday at 22:50:33 by Undeceived »
Current project: Black Lands (Arma 3)

Offline Undeceived

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Re: [SP/CAMP] Black Lands (Arma 3)
« Reply #64 on: Yesterday at 22:53:13 »
Btw. the mission on Utes isn't the last mission of the campaign. There are still around 7 to come.
Current project: Black Lands (Arma 3)

Offline Gruntage

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Re: [SP/CAMP] Black Lands (Arma 3)
« Reply #65 on: Today at 08:39:17 »
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I can understand that you feel that especially the camera mission is a bit underwhelming. Yeah, it's kind of straight forward and there would really be some chances to improve it. But that's not on my top priority list at the moment. Other than that I want the player to feel the desperation Tomas feels. His hopes didn't come true so far but now, running with the Marines he feels that he and his men are almost there (even though they are still far away from their goal). He doesn't feel like that warlord resistance leader. He does feel like someone who urgently needs help.

Fair enough. Though if you want to try and make the player feel relieved that NATO are now involved, I'd try and make NATO's presence seem a bit stronger than it does currently. Make them seem more professional. I don't necessarily mean adding more troops; in fact it's best if you don't add more because it's still supposed to be a covert operation. But I would recommend bringing the KSK and the Czechs into the fight, visibly. Maybe we need more dialogue from the Marines about the operation ahead. Maybe it's just a case of making the 'mission' seem a lot more than it actually is. Make the marines seem more than just a normal squad of infantry is what I'm saying.

I understand the feeling you're trying to create; it just seems to be falling short right now. From my experience anyway.

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Good point with Dimitri too. Maybe I'll implement a short flash back how he dies so that the player recognizes him immediately... Thanks!

I think my not knowing who Dmitri was is down to taking a long break between the two chapters  :D A flashback would be good to see anyway.

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Btw. the mission on Utes isn't the last mission of the campaign. There are still around 7 to come.

That's good, didn't know there was another chapter to this  :)
Some of the most memorable missions made involve the player doing very little...

"But one thing I can tell you from not just OFP but life in general:  criticism is directly proportional to quality. The more criticism a mission receives, the better the outcome" - macguba

Offline Undeceived

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Re: [SP/CAMP] Black Lands (Arma 3)
« Reply #66 on: Today at 13:55:17 »
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Maybe we need more dialogue from the Marines about the operation ahead
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Make them seem more professional
Do you have any more specific ideas how to do that? How would I highlight them a bit more for being a specops unit? Just asking because there are no official NATO troops in Chernarus and these covert units are the only ones (yeah, I'll scratch the US evac chopper :D ). Thus there are no ordinary squads around that these guys would fail to stand out against. You know what I mean?

Thanks for your ideas, mate, I really appreciate it that you are spending so much time and thoughts on it.

Actually I think there are even 2 or 3 chapters to come. But I'm not sure if I will beta-release them as whole chapters. I might update when I finish one or two of the missions.
« Last Edit: Today at 13:59:38 by Undeceived »
Current project: Black Lands (Arma 3)