OFPEC Forum

Missions Depot => Mission Discussion => OFP - Reviewed Missions => Topic started by: THobson on 31 Jan 2005, 23:22:19

Title: (Review Completed) [SP] Abandoned Armies
Post by: THobson on 31 Jan 2005, 23:22:19
Update September 2006

The final version of this mission was submitted for review in October 2005.  It had not been reviewed when ofpec went down in January 2006.  We now have a new process for submitting missions for review which requires missions to be submitted from this beta board.  In compliance with this new process, below is a link to the final version for which a review is requested.  The mission is unchanged from the one submitted last October - but I have updated the Readme file to deal with the fact that the old links to ofpec will no longer work

Get the final version here (http://homepage.ntlworld.com/trevor.hobson/)


Edit: This mission has been reviewed and is available from the Missions Depot (http://www.ofpec.com/missions_depot/index.php?action=details&id=5).

Single Player mission.  Long and difficult.

Built and tested in version 1.96

Addons needed:  General Barron's Editor Upgrade v 2.2 included in Download

Other requirements:  (1) **** Set your: Video Options/Terrain Detail to Normal ****
                             (2) You must be able to navigate over open country in the dark with only a map and compass

If you don't have your Terrain detail set to normal some very strange things will happen to the objects placed on the map.  This is a problem with Flashpoint.  In most missions it is not noticable but because of the size and duration of this mission it can become a problem.
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: XCess on 01 Feb 2005, 00:34:37
downloading mission now. Heard you talkin about ur idea on the forum somewhere else before. sounded like a nice concept then. I'll give it a try.

Report on go. OFP ver 1.96 ECP; benchmark 2419

Overview
In a word: confusing.

Intro
In a word: wow!!!! the camera angles could be improved slightly, and theres a bit of jerkiness in some camera movements  but the custom music (great choice) and narrative text bring you into the mission amazingly.
Unfortanelty OFP crashed on alt-tab  ::)


Briefing
Liked the briefing. Notes were just saying what had already been said in the intro, change it for a personal diary or something. Give the layer a feel for your characters day to day life. Voice was a nice touch, although the tone of his voice was a bit too bright for the subject I think


Missison
Can't see a damned thing! Too much rain!!!  I'm not sure if this is ECP or FlashFX EU cauin problems but it's nothing to do with the mission... will post more when i sort this out.
Edit
Retry on FDF
Rain addon still there  ??? I'm guessin it was with the very messy FlashFXUR install i did.. tim for a fresh install i think.

Tried playing the mission anyway, going up the hill was a bit of a problem, located the fence NW of Vigny and moved SE until i spotted a building (light lets me see in the rain). Pop one loon with sidearm. Skirted round to the other side of the building where i shot one more. Had a US soldier point an m16 while i was fiddling with a new magazine. Luckily he couldn't be bothered to find his trigger before i reloaded. Three loons down. Enter building - Cutscene.

Your voice acting needs more empathy. The girl's just been raped but she doesn't seem to care, she sounds like an everday person going about her routines.. or maybe it is routine... Also "i just killed three soldiers in the other  room hohum lala". Empathy! You need empathy!!!!

So the custcenes over and im back inside the building. Spot a Jeep outside so I  run through the  wall and jump in. Lights on thank you very much!!
Start moving a bit.. the lights trail up so I can't see anythin again. Hit a bush. No more jeep.

Jump out the jeep and head back to Vigny to look for some NVG. While I'm running back to the house i run into an american officer... "does he have NVG?" i think. Pop one cap in his head. Yep he has NVG  ;D So after some fiddlin about cos of some lag i pick up the NVG. Equip!! I can play! I can play!!!! Yeah great. Thanks to my joy, and the carelessness it brought upon me... I get a 5.56 in the back of my head from someone I can't see.. cos of this damned rain addon..

NVG from the start wud be nice methinks  ;)

/more when i loose the rain
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: macguba on 01 Feb 2005, 01:08:36
Goody goody goody!    *bounces up and down in chair*

Aw, shit, do I have to go to bed now, can't I have just 5 more minutes?

No ECP.   Benchmark 5660.   Vet mode obviously, and cheat savegames.


Overview

I know Overviews are meant to be short.     For some reason I think this one might get away with being longer.     The third page will the technical shit like your name.    The first two pages will be a slightly longer description of what is going on - currently it is too laconic - with two or maybe even three photographs of the same hanging from different angles.


Intro

Very good.   I nearly used Mars for Unimpossible.    The biggest problem is setting up the story - you don't do enough background.   (I know you're trying to keep it tight so that it is not long and boring, which is right, but we need a little bit more on the past.)     What happened to the civilians during the war?   We go straight from marauding soldiers to the chief of police.     Was the conflict CWC?   How can you keep something secret just by abandoning the soldiers there?    Why can't they just radio the world for rescue?      If all else fails use the good old armageddon scenario:  the whole world blew up in a nuclear war but the cute little ol' Malden isles, where the whole thing started, were too remote and were unharmed.    Don't get me wrong, what you've got is excellent - we just need a little more of it.

In detail it's all pretty good.     At the start you don't have total blackout.    If necessary put the player unit somewhere dark, make it night and use skipTime just before the fade in.    The voice acting is good and the files are good quality, which is no mean feat, but the whole offshore island scene is very weak.   Zooming into nothing, music stopping dead, people buring stuff right next to graves, no shot of the hero, no sense of what this spot is, no decent shots while your mum is talking.   Bin the lot and start again, sorry.    Just the outlying island bit I mean, the rest is good.    You have a good slow pan motif throughout the first part of the cutscene.   Either continue with that, or do something completely different.    Just fade out the music.  

The woman who is about to be raped and shot is too calm.   Have the trio stop halfway, one guy goes to aware and aims at her, she waves her arms a bit and then they continue.      Put a bed in the barn to emphasise the point.

The armoured force on top of the hill looks stronger than the one at the bottom.  Maybe thin it out a little to create a stronger stalemate impression.    Maybe have both sides turn and drive/march away from each other.

Put a couple of lads behind the General.      Three guys don't usually surrender to one.     Use worse weather - baddies traditionally have sturm und drang.   It's all pleasant spring throughout this description of hell.

I'm used to Nikolai with an i rather than a y at the end but perhaps that's just me.

Put the "this is fiction" text in a different colour and in the middle of the screen to differentiate it from the story text.  


Briefing

Re-record the sound files - you speak too fast.   All that public speaking stuff about your granny at the back of the room applies here too.   And try to sound a bit less cheery about the whole thing.    Is that voice (I assume its you) going to be the narrator or the player's character?    One voice per part.   If you're short of actors (everybody is) make it clear that the player is also the narrator.

Plan - Say that the armed truce has existed for a while, to explain the shortage of food and fuel and the longage of ammo.    Why are no supplies getting through?   Is there a blockade?     Are the governements deliberately trying to starve everybody to death?    If civvies are caught in the middle how did the police chief get to be in charge?

Notes - what Resistance?    I thought we were just fleeing civilians.   Why don't we just join one group or the other?   They may be nasty but at least we'll live.

Map - If the "outlying island" really is an outlying island, tell us which one it is.


Mission

Good to see the savegames.     Necessary if you are going to abolish setAccTime!     I headed south to approach Vigny from the south.    No lag but the combination of steep ground, no 4x and pistol make the start a little tedious.   Consider allowing "your father's old shotgun" with no ammo just to speed things up.    

Found the occupied house easily, shot one loon from prone and another as he stood on top of me.   Picked up an M16 and shot the third.    Went to the girl and got the cutscene.    I think I'll stop commenting on the high quality of the acting and sound files, it will get tedious.    There should probably be two soldiers coming up the road - one looks a bit incongruous - but why on Earth don't you team up with the girl?   You are both looking for the same man after all.    Or at least say something like "you get the car while I check these bodies."   She should scream or moan when she dies.  

Anyway, picked up the AK since I can get more mags and shot the soldier.   Nice to see the lodge on the map.   When the player goes to stand over the body he should just say her name or something.    Damn, shot in the back while moarning, that'll teach me to be sentimental.

Took out 3 of the squad of 4 coming in but the last one got me ... then it turns out its a squad of at least 6 ... at which point I think I'll take the cats' advice and go to bed.  

You know, I knew you had promise as soon as I played the start of Defensive Strike for the second time.  ;D

Just read Xcess' comments.  I love the non-ECP rain (shame you get it in the dutch barn) but I agree about repeating the Intro in the Briefing.   Yes you should reiterate the main points in some way, but don't just quote the script.

Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: SEAL84 on 01 Feb 2005, 03:28:24
For simplicity's sake, I think macguba's idea about the nuclear war "everywhere but here" would work well in this situation.  Knowing that the parent countries are no more would probably lend more credibility to the idea that US and Soviet forces would cooperate.  Also, the fact that the outside world is no more is probably more likely to cause someone to get the bright idea to control the entire island.

Notes:  I played on a laptop computer with a 1.5 ghz processor, with plain-Jane OFP save for Dreamy Knight's replacement animations.  No lag detected.

Anyway, I snuck into Vigny and snooped around a bit - it would have been nice to have a picture of your uncle in the briefing so that you could ID him, but when I got into the town I found out why that's not necessary.  I crawled around and picked the binocs and CZ75 mags off the dead policeman and circled back around to the house - I popped the three guys inside, talked to the girl, and then she was shot.

Initially I tried to fight off the squad, but upon getting riddled with bullets and grenades I simply walked out the back door and did a little Cliffhanger routine in that strange crevasse north of the town.  I got somewhat lost after a few minutes, but when I blundered into a road I immediately knew where I was.  Found the house, gathered and armed my friends, and listened to the radio.  I headed towards one group of civvies and heard a convoy off in the distance - I didn't see it but it sounded huge.  *shudder*

Rescued one group of civvies and returned to base without incident.  Then saved and started watching 24...typing this during the commercial breaks ;D

Now for some overarching comments...

Love the atmosphere.  Everything from the weather to the constant overflights of unseen choppers to the fog creates the incredible sense of dread.  You did a great job with the sound and I have to disagree with macguba about re-recording the briefing sound.

Methinks this mission could also serve as a template for all kinds of other special operations-type missions, from what I've seen and heard anyway.  Sneaking around on your own on an island under the total control of hostile groups....this is something I've hoped was possible for a while.  With some tinkering, I bet this mission could be adapted for all kinds of special operations missions.

Anyhow, I'll probably continue the mission later tonight...methinks I need some more recruits and heavy weapons, then it's time to start really hammering the bad guys :gunman:
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: Fragorl on 01 Feb 2005, 06:05:25
yes plz yes plz!... was anticipating this greatly.
D/Ling now...  ;D
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: XCess on 01 Feb 2005, 07:54:53
Ahhh god I love you wipman. New config.bin, new beta test.

Click rety. Another CTD probably caused by changing my config. I'll have a look tomorrow after i do a fresh install, on that teeny 10gig that's just waitin for a use.

NOTE: I like your storyline. I totally and whole-heartedly disagree with both Seal and Macca's opinions to change it for a post-apocolyptic sceneriao. It just needs a bit of fine tuning to give the soldiers a reason not to leave etc
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: THobson on 01 Feb 2005, 08:32:03
My goodness!!  I only put it on last night, went to bed, now first thing in the office I just checked to see if anyone might have got as far as looking at the overview and I geta all this!  

Wonderful thank you.  I am just about to start a working day and I have a busy evening tonight.  But please keep the comments coming.  I will respond to them all.

Thanks again.  You have made my day.

One or two quick responses - I am terribly short of voice actors.  In fact I don't have any just me and members of my family.  We all enjoyed doing the voices - but we ceratinly are not skilled.  We will keep trying.
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: THobson on 01 Feb 2005, 14:17:25
Right I have found a bit of time in the middle of the day.

First my reaction so far - great relief!  I had feared that people would hate it because it was too dark (and I don't just mean the time of day) and because finding where you need to go in the dark is a pain and it is a long way.  My concern now is that the rest of the mission will not live up expectations - well we will see.

With my last mission ‘Defensive Strike' I turned around comments from beta testers with no real structure.  I liked what macguba did with his Un-Impossible mission and I plan to do the same here.  I will take and digest all comments and ideas and then incorporate them into a new release some time in the future with a clear explanation of what has changed.  If you have looked through the posts so far you will see that some of the suggestions are in conflict so it will take time to do this.

I will not to reply to all of you in general.  You are each taking the time test my mission and so deserve a specific reply from me.  This will have some consequences: 1. My replies could well be repetitive if several of you have made the same comment.  2. It may take a while before I can do you all justice.  Please be patient and please know that I value all your comments.

One advantage of doing it this way is that you don't need to read each other's posts, nor will you get clues about what to do from others.  I know some of you prefer it that way.  For my part I have a suggestion.  Once you get to the point approximately where SEAL84 is at the Mountain Lodge you will be completely on your own as to what you do and how you do it.  There are many ways of moving forward in the mission from that point.  If you each read other's posts you might:  1.  Miss out on what is meant to be the real fun of this mission; and 2. All follow the same path.  Less fun for you and less help for me.

Thanks again for the comments so far.  Please keep them coming.  I will reply to each one individually.

Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: bedges on 01 Feb 2005, 15:03:56
flashpoint 1.96, no ecp, benchmark 5050

this has all the hallmarks of a cracker of a mission; i've been playing for less than a year, designing for only a couple of months, but i know quality when it shimmies onto the monitor.

scanning the posts above, i agree with a few of the points, but i'll try not to repeat them.

overview

this picture is very well composed (the hanging idea.... mmmmgenius) but could afford to be a bit bigger. the text is a little awkward and says little about the role the player will have. may i humbly suggest something along the lines of -

"Winter is almost upon us.

The war on Malden is seemingly over, but with their respective governments denying all knowledge of the war, those remaining on both sides have come to a grudging truce in order to survive. With the loss of support from their military superiors however, discipline has broken down. Civilians are now caught in the middle of a desparate struggle for food and fuel to see out the harsh Winter months.

As Alexi Forgotsurnameov, you must somehow save your family from starvation."


how that'll fit pagewise i'm not sure, but with a bigger image it may space out okay.

intro

music fits perfectly. you could afford to get closer in some shots, in particular the shot panning between the forces arranged in that wee valley - there's a LOT of ground to cover, filled with trees and bushes, and on either side, bush-sized tanks.

excellent use of character animation, as seen throughout in the cutscenes too - eg. where tatyana briefly turns to the bed and says "what d'you think they keep me here for?" - that is subtle and poignant. great work.

ditto the comment on shaky cam - i recently received a tip from sui suggesting settargetting the character's positional array instead of the character themself; that way as the character moves, the camera remains stationary on them.

the hanging - how on earth did you get them to swing so slowly?! superb.

briefing

i liked the fact that you had a voiceover reading the sections, a most pleasant surprise.

the voice acting - i would leave it, unless you're prepared to do all that work again with more actors, greater variety of voices and more empathy. it would indeed contribute more to the overall atmosphere, but as it stands it's fine.

repeating the intro text in the background notes is a reasonable idea to cater for those of us with short attention spans, just in case looking at the purdy camera shots distracted from the text in the intro. however, if you use "leftover" in the briefing, don't use "left over" in the intro. that, annoyingly enough, was the only flaw i saw in the text. i'll catch you out sometime :P

ha HA! in the background section, third paragraph "...each controlling a part of the island one led by..." - between 'island' and 'one' you could do with a semicolon, just to break the sentence a bit. but honestly, drat you folks who can spell, spoilin my fun... tsk ;)

one minor point about the map, and i'm not sure how this would look - you've indicated the ends of the island being controlled by the respective sides (using colour, thumbs up) so perhaps a coloured dotted line to demarkate? a semi-transparent elipse? would this give too much of an idea where to expect enemy troops?

mission

as an aside... while playing many missions i get the impression that the designer has placed an enemy squad simply because they know the player is likely to pass that way. i've done it myself. but i got the impression about ten minutes into this, that's not going to happen here. this is less of a mission, more of an experience.

but just to balance that compliment, i feel i must slap the back of your hand sir. taking a function of the game away from the player is a cardinal sin in my opinion. by all means use 'reality' to constrain the player (availability of weapons, fuel, medics, etc.) but when it comes to the way the software works, leave well enough alone. as a player i don't see any benefit of removing the accelerated time function, quite the contrary.

bedges says, furiously tapping the = button. which works, btw, so either disable it utterly, or reinstate it completely.

don't add nvgoggles at the start. you're on the right track with the navigation thing. start em nice n slow ;) that mission in flashpoint where the player had to navigate using the stars... beautiful. now if only i could speed up climbing that hill.... :P

vigny works; i've tested all (?) scenarios, including blowing tatyana up. perhaps slow down time as she gets shot, make it a wee bit more dramatic. loaded up the jeep with all the goodies i could find, and away i went to the mountain shack.

got shot the first time around for not stopping quickly enough...

cutscenes are all fine. the radio... it is something which a player might miss, even though it's right next to the weapon crate, and judging by the scale of this mission (and reading over your notes) it's just one of many sub-missions. however, you could develop the radio a little more to include reception of enemy transmissions too. perhaps that comes later on.....

along with 2, i've collected the first group of civilians to the east, and have returned to the shack to find all in order - phew - and that's where i've saved thus far. more anon.

overall comment so far...

atmospheric, detailed, thorough. i can see this being most enjoyable :)
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: THobson on 01 Feb 2005, 15:47:16
@Xcess

Quote
Heard you talkin about ur idea on the forum somewhere else before. sounded like a nice concept then. I'll give it a try.
My only concern now is that people will have too high an expectation.

Quote
Report on go. OFP ver 1.96 ECP; benchmark 2419
Thanks

Quote
In a word: confusing.
It was meant to be intriguing. Yours and other comments have persuaded me.  I will change it.

 
Quote
In a word: wow!!!!
Thank you

Quote
the camera angles could be improved slightly
I am new to this - do you have anything specific?

Quote
theres a bit of jerkiness in some camera movements
Yes and sometimes it is worse than others.  I am not sure I can pan more slowly.  This is something that is irritating me.

Quote
but the custom music (great choice) and narrative text bring you into the mission amazingly.
Thank you again
 
 
Quote
Liked the briefing. Notes were just saying what had already been said in the intro, change it for a personal diary or something. Give the layer a feel for your characters day to day life.
Again this is something I will change thanks to your and others comments.

Quote
Voice was a nice touch, although the tone of his voice was a bit too bright for the subject I think
I understand your point. I will try harder.  I am not an actor though.  Having done the sounds for just this one mission I now have much greater respect for real actors.

Quote
Too much rain!!!  â€¦â€¦Rain addon still there  
The rain is deliberate, I put it in.  It is meant to add atmosphere.  Don't you like it?


Quote
Your voice acting needs more empathy. The girl's just been raped but she doesn't seem to care, she sounds like an everday person going about her routines.. or maybe it is routine... Also "i just killed three soldiers in the other  room hohum lala". Empathy! You need empathy!!!!
You are absolutely right.  See my comments above.  We are trying (my 16 year old daughter and I) but this is new for us.

Quote
I  run through the  wall
Through the wall?  I hope it was through the window, anyway it is a standard OFP house I can't fix that!


Well you got some NVGs but you also got a bullet.  That's some trade off!

Quote
NVG from the start wud be nice methinks
I am sorry I can't give the player NVGs at the start.  It would ruin the whole atmosphere I am trying to create.  Wait till you see dawn with your bare eyes.

Thank you for the comments, I really appreciate them, and thank you for being the first other person to see my mission.


Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: THobson on 01 Feb 2005, 16:32:42
@macguba

Quote
Goody goody goody!    *bounces up and down in chair*
Well I only hope you are not disappointed

Quote
Benchmark 5660Vet mode obviously, and cheat savegames.
.5660!!  If you get lag I will need a new mission! Cheat save all you  like.  How else can you test the various alternatives

Quote
I know Overviews are meant to be short.    For some reason I think this one might get away with being longer. .    The third page …
Lol nicely put.  It was meant to be intriguing.  I am bowing to your and other comments and will change it

 
Quote
Very good
I appreciate that thank you.
Quote
I nearly used Mars for Unimpossible.
I liked your choice.  You might find it hard to guess my choice for the final successful scene - but if you hear it you will know.

Quote
The biggest problem is setting up the story… How can you keep something secret just by abandoning the soldiers there?
I recognise the weakness here and will do something about it.

Quote
we just need a little more of it
.The length of the music is a limitation.  I will look at this.

Quote
In detail it's all pretty good.
Thank you.

Quote
At the start you don't have total blackout.    If necessary put the player unit somewhere dark, make it night and use skipTime just before the fade in.
I had not spotted that.  Thanks.

Quote
the whole offshore island scene is very weak.  Zooming into nothing, music stopping dead, people buring stuff right next to graves, no shot of the hero, no sense of what this spot is, no decent shots while your mum is talking.  Bin the lot and start again, sorry
That is fine thanks.  I will see what I can do.

Quote
Just fade out the music.
This is a real pain.  I originally had voice over for the whole of the text intro, but I could not hear it over the music.  To hear the people at the end of the intro I fade it.  The instruction I use is 10 fademusic 0.005 !! and it still sounds like I just suddenly switch it off.  

Quote
The woman who is about to be raped and shot is too calm.
I had in mind that she was unaware of what was to happen - but I suppose she could guess.
Quote
 Have the trio stop halfway, one guy goes to aware and aims at her, she waves her arms a bit and then they continue.
I will need to get a longer music track.
Quote
Put a bed in the barn to emphasise the point.
Good idea.

Quote
The armoured force on top of the hill looks stronger than the one at the bottom.  Maybe thin it out a little to create a stronger stalemate impression.
They are actually identical.  I think it is that one is seen side on and one face on.  I will make them ‘appear' more balanced.

Quote
Maybe have both sides turn and drive/march away from each other.
Another good idea - if I can spin the music out long enough.

Quote
Put a couple of lads behind the General.      Three guys don't usually surrender to one.    Use worse weather - baddies traditionally have sturm und drang.  It's all pleasant spring throughout this description of hell.
More good ideas.  Thank you.

Quote
I'm used to Nikolai with an i rather than a y at the end but perhaps that's just me.
I used a global e-mail directory as well as looking at the names in the OFP config files. All names are real.  My little comment at the end of the Intro was not just to make people smile.

Quote
Put the "this is fiction" text in a different colour and in the middle of the screen to differentiate it from the story text.
Okay

 

Quote
Re-record the sound files - you speak too fast.  All that public speaking stuff about your granny at the back of the room applies here too.  And try to sound a bit less cheery about the whole thing.    Is that voice (I assume its you) going to be the narrator or the player's character?    One voice per part.  If you're short of actors (everybody is) make it clear that the player is also the narrator.
Yes it is me.  I am Alexi throughout.  I had not realised how difficult it was to put feeling into this sort of thing.  I now have even more respect for ‘real' actors.

Quote
Plan - Say that the armed truce has existed for a while, to explain the shortage of food and fuel and the longage of ammo.    Why are no supplies getting through?  Is there a blockade?    Are the governements deliberately trying to starve everybody to death?    If civvies are caught in the middle how did the police chief get to be in charge?  Notes - what Resistance?    I thought we were just fleeing civilians.  Why don't we just join one group or the other?  They may be nasty but at least we'll live.
Some more neat ideas for developing the story.  Thanks.

Quote
Map - If the "outlying island" really is an outlying island, tell us which one it is.
There is a problem here - but I will look at it.  The problem is that I want the player to start off where he does, but all the outlying islands on the map would not result in that landfall.  People were not supposed to get so involved!!

Quote
No lag
I hope not with your benchmark.  Perhaps I can fill the mission out.
Quote
but the combination of steep ground, no 4x and pistol make the start a little tedious
Oh dear!  The next part is worse!

Quote
Found the occupied house easily
Good I was worried that it might be too difficult to find

Quote
I think I'll stop commenting on the high quality of the acting and sound files
Please don't, not just yet - Lol.
Quote
There should probably be two soldiers coming up the road - one looks a bit incongruous - but why on Earth don't you team up with the girl?  You are both looking for the same man after all.    Or at least say something like "you get the car while I check these bodies."  She should scream or moan when she dies.  
Again, very valid comments.  Thanks

Quote
d**n, shot in the back while moarning, that'll teach me to be sentimental.
Sentimental is a bit of what this is about - that and staying alive. you seem to have one out of two :)

Quote
You know, I knew you had promise as soon as I played the start of Defensive Strike for the second time
I appreciate that.  Thanks.

 

Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: THobson on 01 Feb 2005, 17:43:51
@SEAL84
Quote
For simplicity's sake, I think macguba's idea about the nuclear war "everywhere but here" would work well in this situation.  Knowing that the parent countries are no more would probably lend more credibility to the idea that US and Soviet forces would cooperate.  Also, the fact that the outside world is no more is probably more likely to cause someone to get the bright idea to control the entire island.
I am warming to that idea as well.

Quote
a 1.5 ghz processor,.  No lag detected.
Excellent.  That means I have scope to expand the mission should it need it.

Quote
I crawled around and picked the binocs and CZ75 mags off the dead policeman
Nice one.  It is easy to miss that.

Quote
Found the house, gathered and armed my friends,
Wonderful.  I had thought the place might be too hard to find.

 
Quote
I didn't see it but it sounded huge.  *shudder*
Just be glad it didn't see you.

 
Quote
Love the atmosphere.  Everything from the weather to the constant overflights of unseen choppers to the fog creates the incredible sense of dread.  You did a great job with the sound and I have to disagree with macguba about re-recording the briefing sound
Thank you.  That was the exact feeling I was trying to create.

Quote
Methinks this mission could also serve as a template for all kinds of other special operations-type missions, from what I've seen and heard anyway.  Sneaking around on your own on an island under the total control of hostile groups....this is something I've hoped was possible for a while.  With some tinkering, I bet this mission could be adapted for all kinds of special operations missions.
The mission as it stands completely ‘uses up' the island, but you are right, my original intent was to create an island in which several missions could be set.  I still think it might be possible.

Quote
...methinks I need some more recruits and heavy weapons
.Go looking.

And thanks for the feed back and support.
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: THobson on 01 Feb 2005, 18:53:50
@bedges

Quote
benchmark 5050
I think mine must be driven by steam!

Quote
this has all the hallmarks of a cracker of a mission
I hope so, but there is a long way to go yet.

Quote
the hanging idea.... mmmmgenius
I cannot claim credit for the idea just the execution.  The idea was macguba's in his Un-Impossible mission.


Quote
"Winter is almost upon us.

The war on Malden is seemingly over, but with their respective governments denying all knowledge of the war, those remaining on both sides have come to a grudging truce in order to survive. With the loss of support from their military superiors however, discipline has broken down. Civilians are now caught in the middle of a desparate struggle for food and fuel to see out the harsh Winter months.

As Alexi Forgotsurnameov, you must somehow save your family from starvation."
Very helpful thanks.  This is certainly something that will change

 
Quote
panning between the forces arranged in that wee valley - there's a LOT of ground to cover, filled with trees and bushes, and on either side, bush-sized tanks.
I need to do something about this it can be a bit jerky.

Quote
excellent use of character animation, as seen throughout in the cutscenes too - eg. where tatyana briefly turns to the bed and says "what d'you think they keep me here for?" - that is subtle and poignant. great work.
Again, thank you.
 
Quote
the hanging - how on earth did you get them to swing so slowly?! superb.
It is just some simple harmonic motion. A = b + c*sin(t) type of thing.


Quote
i liked the fact that you had a voiceover reading the sections, a most pleasant surprise.
Good, it was meant to be.
Quote
the voice acting - i would leave it, unless you're prepared to do all that work again with more actors, greater variety of voices and more empathy. it would indeed contribute more to the overall atmosphere, but as it stands it's fine.
I will think about that.  It does sound a bit naff.

Quote
, if you use "leftover" in the briefing, don't use "left over" in the intro. that, annoyingly enough,
You make an excellent beta tester. That is exactly the sort of thing that needs to be picked up.  Thank you.

Quote
third paragraph "...each controlling a part of the island one led by..." - between 'island' and 'one' you could do with a semicolon, just to break the sentence a bit.
See above.  Thanks.
Quote
but honestly, drat you folks who can spell, spoilin my fun
Sorry.

Quote
one minor point about the map, and i'm not sure how this would look - you've indicated the ends of the island being controlled by the respective sides (using colour, thumbs up) so perhaps a coloured dotted line to demarkate? a semi-transparent elipse? would this give too much of an idea where to expect enemy troops?
I tried all sorts here and could not get anything that didn't look crap.  I even tried the markers addon and while that could have worked I did not want to require people to have any more addons that absolutely necessary.

 
Quote
as an aside... while playing many missions i get the impression that the designer has placed an enemy squad simply because they know the player is likely to pass that way. i've done it myself. but i got the impression about ten minutes into this, that's not going to happen here. this is less of a mission, more of an experience.
Thank you, thank you , thank you.  An experience is exactly what I want this to be.  There is a lot of randomness and random relocation of waypoints, I made the mission but 10 minutes in I would not know where (within the occupied areas) is safe to go.

Quote
but just to balance that compliment, i feel i must slap the back of your hand sir. taking a function of the game away from the player is a cardinal sin in my opinion. by all means use 'reality' to constrain the player (availability of weapons, fuel, medics, etc.) but when it comes to the way the software works, leave well enough alone. as a player i don't see any benefit of removing the accelerated time function, quite the contrary.
It would annoy me too.  But I really wanted this to be an experience not something people could wiz through to get to the exciting bits.


Quote
vigny works; i've tested all (?) scenarios
Sounds like you got them all.  As I said you make a good beta tester.

Quote
got shot the first time around for not stopping quickly enough
Were you in a vehicle?  In a vehicle and not in a vehicle are different....

Quote
the radio... it is something which a player might miss
Actually no it is not.  If he misses it when he is near the ammo crate, when he gets > a certain distance from the lodge one of his team mates activates it for him, with an appropriate comment.

Quote
it's just one of many sub-missions. however, you could develop the radio a little more to include reception of enemy transmissions too. perhaps that comes later on
I am now getting worried that I might have built up peoples expectations too much.  You will soon get to a point where you are on your own and have to decide on your own sub-missions.

Quote
along with 2, i've collected the first group of civilians to the east, and have returned to the shack to find all in order - phew - and that's where i've saved thus far. more anon.
I hope so.  You are very thorough

 
Quote
atmospheric, detailed, thorough. i can see this being most enjoyable
Again I hope so.

Thanks again
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: SEAL84 on 01 Feb 2005, 23:29:39
Played a bit more this afternoon...I've sucessfully rescued all the civillians I'm aware of - without running into any hostiles - and returned them to my hideout.  Arms and ammo are still scarce, so I armed my team as best I could and had them hold the proverbial fort.  The rain has stopped, the fog has lifted, and the sun is out, so now I'm going to start reconning potential targets to see which towns I can infiltrate myself and make off with some goodies for my troops.

I've left all my poorly-armed comrades at the moutain lodge so I'm going lone-wolf...this required me emptying about half my inventory slots, which I figure is alright since I plan on sneaking about.  This way I can at least take something back with me because a) the vehicles provided are no good cross-country and I've already wrecked the motorcycle, and b) I'd rather go on foot and keep my presence on the island secret as long as I can - a vehicle will probably just attract attention.

I look forward to getting some more time in later tonight, if possible.
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: THobson on 01 Feb 2005, 23:47:39
@SEAT84

Quote
Arms and ammo are still scarce
This is deliberate.  What I gave you in the ammo crate at the mountain lodge is absolute crap, but I think realistic crap in the cicumstances.

Have you been tempted to use the hints yet?  Should I take them out.  Given the progress you are making I think I should.

Quote
the vehicles provided are no good cross-country
Well I have tried to be realistic in what you get.  Those guys got to the lodge with whatever they had available.

Quote
I look forward to getting some more time in later tonight
I hope you do.
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: djackl on 02 Feb 2005, 00:45:25
I'm not too knowledgable on the technical side of this, so I'll just say what I thought while playing it.

Intro - Good, the music really emphasised the atmosphere. I especially liked the hanging scene, though if you could get ropes.....

Story - I echo Macca's points, the story sounds farfetched, yet it could easily (with a few script changes here or there) be completely believable, the last people on earth idea sounds good, yet you have to wonder maybe they would at least try to get back to the mainland? Maybe include that in the story somewhere: 'An expedition was launched to the mainland to search for help...they never returned'.

Mission -
Very slowly managed to get up to Vigny (That damn pistol makes you walk the whole way :D) and stumbled upon a Policeman where I found an extra few clips for my gun and some binoculars. I took out the three dudes (one of them was stuck in a wall and couldnt seem to fire at me, he was divided in half lengthways by this wall - ouch!) and met Tatyana. Voice acting was good all through, except at this point where you happily go 'I just killed 3 people', you might as well add a 'woohoo!' on the end of that seeing as the character seems quite happy to have done it :D. The next bit also surprised me, she just seemed to run out into the street and get shot without any warning! I think also the patrol should be at least two people, otherwise it looks a bit strange.... The idea of having her tell you to get the car would work, it's just I didn't have any particular feeling when she died, either through the abruptness of it, or whether I hadn't had time to get to know the character I do not know, I wasn't too bothered really  :P. I got in the jeep, and zoomed down the road for a bit and then east before reaching La Pessagne, dodging a patrol on the way. Cue a lot of driving before I reach the lodge (by the way, since i travelled off road the most of the way, I didn't see much, but I did see a fire next to a church (?) west of the lodge, if I had travelled on the road I guess I would have had problems  ;)). I then met all the gang at the lodge. (As a sidenote, the voice scared me s***less when it said 'HALT', although I guess that is what it should do really  :-[). Although the voice acting can't be knocked, it would add a personal side to the people (considering they are meant to be civvies with normal lives) if different voice actors were used for each person. I admit it's hard to find voice actors (I know, I'm really struggling to find some for my movie) but it would add a personal touch, and maybe then some conversation could be added in which would generate a bond between the characters, I know I know :
Quote
I might have built up peoples expectations too much
but it would really be worth it considering the huge amount of ground that has to be covered during the mission, which brings me nicely onto my next point.
Although I'm sure most others will disagree, the lack of AccTime really detracted from the experience for me, as when it came down to rescuing the civvies, and doing any amount of significant travelling, it just really tended to drag on. It was just like ' Find Civvie A and take to B, then Find C and go to B again, then D' etc etc, I just felt that something needs to either speed up or spice up the endless truck journeys back and forth. Maybe include a Tape player on the truck so that you can listen to music on the way to places. Failing that, just put AccTime back in, or just ignore me and listen to everybody else shouting that they don't want it back in  ::).

This is where I finish for the moment, I have just picked up the second load of civvies and am preparing for the long slog back to the Lodge. Wish me luck!  ;D
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: SEAL84 on 02 Feb 2005, 03:38:31
@SEAT84This is deliberate.  What I gave you in the ammo crate at the mountain lodge is absolute crap, but I think realistic crap in the cicumstances.

Have you been tempted to use the hints yet?  Should I take them out.  Given the progress you are making I think I should.Well I have tried to be realistic in what you get.  Those guys got to the lodge with whatever they had available.I hope you do.

Yeah, I know the ammo, vehicle and personnel equipment is deliberate...not petitioning for any changes in those respects, I'm just explaining where I am and giving you some reasoning behind my approach...I guess it's pretty obvious though as you're the author :P

I think the way things are structured so far is great...gives that really desperate feeling to the mission.  As you can see I've had to adjust my gameplay to compensate.

As far as the hints go, I haven't looked yet...I'm about to fire the mission up right now and conduct my recon of some of the towns.  I'm tempted to head back to Vigny since I know there are some KIAs I haven't robbed ;D  Given that there was only one squad there last time, I think I can manage it...I do want to get a better handle of what I'm up against before I make any moves though.

One step at a time... 8)


***EDIT***

Hooah!  Raid successful!  I took down an infantry squad singlehandedly and made off with a jeep packed full of weapons...M16s, AKs, grenades, an M60, a Stinger, an RPG and a LAW, and of course a pair of NVGs for myself.

As Sergeant Horvath said in Saving Private Ryan, "We're in business, boys!"

That was tense though...after wasting the infantrymen I thought I heard that machinegun-jeep convoy charging towards me, but they must have passed off in the distance or something...I kept expecting a hail of bullets in the back as I raced back and forth between the corpses and the jeep.
 ;D

****EDIT #2****

I think I have just discovered lesson #1 of this mission...you can't attack the same town twice and live to tell about it.

I returned to the town I had just cleared and plundered because previously I had filled the jeep to maximum capacity.  I went back to take some more mags and such, and found 5 more infantrymen there.  The rain and fog had since returned, so I left my jeep a few hundred yards away, then got momentarily disoriented, but I found it and took out the five soldiers with no problems.  These guys had grenade launchers, and M60 and an RPG.  I ran back to the jeep, got disoriented again, drove back to the town, and started looting.

I was almost finished - I literally had just picked up the RPG and was on my way back to the jeep to make my getaway when I see something out of the corner of my eye.  I write it off as a bush but a split second later I turn around, my jaw on the floor.  Not 25 yards away sits a T-80, a T-72, and a Vulcan, all looking right at me.  Needless to say I was splattered all over the grass within milliseconds.  

But, despite getting my shit ruined by an armored platoon, I plan to head back and try to make a quicker hit this time...drive closer to the town, grab the highest-priority items first, and run like hell.

Posthumous Purple Hearts for SEAL: 1
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: THobson on 02 Feb 2005, 15:14:31
@djackl
Quote
I'm not too knowledgable on the technical side of this, so I'll just say what I thought while playing it.
That is all that is needed.

Quote
though if you could get ropes.....
If only I could.  In the Overview picture I was able to paint them in.  Here the best I can do is to ensure the scene is only on screen for a short space of time.  I think the weather doesn't help here.  macguba suggested worse weather for the intro and that might also make the lack of rope less obvious.

Quote
Story - I echo Macca's points, the story sounds farfetched, yet it could easily (with a few script changes here or there) be completely believable, the last people on earth idea sounds good, yet you have to wonder maybe they would at least try to get back to the mainland? Maybe include that in the story somewhere: 'An expedition was launched to the mainland to search for help...they never returned'.
I always recognised that this was a weakness, and like all good ideas I now wonder why I did not think of this at the time - the answer is that I was busy think about other things of course!

Quote
Very slowly managed to get up to Vigny (That d**n pistol makes you walk the whole way )
I did try to give you the shortest possible journey from somewhere realistic to Vigny.
Quote
and stumbled upon a Policeman where I found an extra few clips for my gun and some binoculars
I am impressed, I expected this to be a rare find.

Quote
except at this point where you happily go 'I just killed 3 people', you might as well add a 'woohoo!' on the end of that seeing as the character seems quite happy to have done it
Lol yes acting is not my forte.
Quote
The next bit also surprised me, she just seemed to run out into the street and get shot without any warning! I think also the patrol should be at least two people, otherwise it looks a bit strange.... The idea of having her tell you to get the car would work, it's just I didn't have any particular feeling when she died, either through the abruptness of it, or whether I hadn't had time to get to know the character I do not know, I wasn't too bothered really
Well I can't do anything about whether or not you are an empathetic person, but I can certainly try to do something about this scene.

Quote
I didn't see much, but I did see a fire next to a church (?) west of the lodge
It is actually a farm house.  There are in fact two of them.  Remember the barn scene in the intro where a captive is being led to a barn?  One of these is that barn, if you go there you will find that the unfortunate captive suffered the same fate as her predecesors.  I put the fires in to try and help the player navigate to the lodge.  

Quote
if I had travelled on the road I guess I would have had problems  )
Possible, but not certain.
Quote
(As a sidenote, the voice scared me s***less when it said 'HALT', although I guess that is what it should do really  )
Well you are a stranger approaching some frightened and nervous people in the early hours of the morning!
Quote
Although the voice acting can't be knocked, it would add a personal side to the people (considering they are meant to be civvies with normal lives) if different voice actors were used for each person. I admit it's hard to find voice actors (I know, I'm really struggling to find some for my movie) but it would add a personal touch, and maybe then some conversation could be added in which would generate a bond between the characters, I know I know :
The voices at the lodge are one of my son's (Ruslan), my wife(Irena) and me (all the rest).  I am no star but I did all the remaining voices so it became a complete mission.  I am still looking for other voices for the final version.

Quote
the lack of AccTime really detracted from the experience for me, as when it came down to rescuing the civvies, and doing any amount of significant travelling, it just really tended to drag on. It was just like ' Find Civvie A and take to B, then Find C and go to B again, then D' etc etc, I just felt that something needs to either speed up or spice up the endless truck journeys back and forth. Maybe include a Tape player on the truck so that you can listen to music on the way to places. Failing that, just put AccTime back in, or just ignore me and listen to everybody else shouting that they don't want it back in  .
You make two important points here:
1. acctime in or out.  I had got so used to playing it that I had forgotten about removing it.  Other testers also have commented on it.  There are two reasons why I took it out, one aesthetic and the other practical.  The aesthetic reason was so that people would get the sense of size and atmosphere I have tried to create in the mission.  The practical reason is that vehicles can do strange things at 4x speed.  Important elements of this mission are road convoys running - as you now know - between Chapoi and La Trinite, and between the northern airbase and La Trinite and mg jeep patrol running.......well that would be telling.  I have soak tested these vehicle movements for days on end (yes really) and I never cease to be surprised by how many different ways they find to get screwed up.  20+ hours with no problem and then suddenly they start hitting trees and each other. I do have scripts to detect and correct for this now so putting back acctime is a possibility.  I will wait and see what the general consensus is about this.
2. Tediously going back and for the getting the civis.  This was certainly not meant to be tedious.  My intent was to give the player something to do while the dawn was still red and the weather bad and the choppers flying overhead to develop the atmosphere, and also to augment his small team.  There are four civis at each location and I did place a car at each with a capacity of 4.  (I admit the amount if fuel in each varies randomly from ‘not very much' up to ‘a bit more'.)  It is not necessary to escort them back to the lodge, just that they should be got there.  I will need to look at how word the instructions for this in the next version.

Quote
This is where I finish for the moment, I have just picked up the second load of civvies and am preparing for the long slog back to the Lodge. Wish me luck!    
I certainly do.  And thank you
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: THobson on 02 Feb 2005, 15:20:21
@SEAL84

This is absolutely fascinating, and shows perfectly why we should all beta test our missions.  I love Indian food, but I am no expert because I know what I like and tend to stick with it.  I am the same with missions, once I have found a way I like to play a mission I find it almost impossible to play it in a different way.  What you are doing is something quite different from how I tested it myself.  Great keep at it Thanks.
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: XCess on 02 Feb 2005, 15:53:54
Just out o curiosity whats ur benchmark thobson?.. im off for a playtest now with a clean version of OFP.
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: THobson on 02 Feb 2005, 16:02:58
My pc is a 3.2GHz Pentium 4 that benchmarks at 4000.  There has been some discusion of this in the past and there does not seem to be a simple relationship between CPU speed and benchmark.  By asking for this information from beta testers I hope to get a view on whether or not I need to have code that modifies the misison depending on the benchmark
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: Tarados Qeng on 02 Feb 2005, 16:21:14
Sorry, haven't played this trough due to my other activities, but I'll give you some of my opinions & experiences. I was not going to test this at all, since you described it a long and hard mission...

First of all, I experienced no lag whatsoever. But actually, I've not yet been in any large battles.  OFP Benchmark is 6880, no ecp.

Didn't like the overview, it really was a bit confusing.

Intro was quite nice, I'm no expert in these things, but yeah, some camera angles weren't absolutely perfect. Also, I didn't like the background story. It was maybe good, but I didn't like it. But it's just me, don't change it.

Actually, I didn't like the 'storyline' either, but that's just because I'm not fan of that kind of stories. USA would never leave it's soldiers on some small isle, even if a war had to be kept in secret.  ;D But I think many people will like that story, don't change it, it's just me.

Briefing had only one problem - I didn't exactly know what there was in the village except my uncle.

The start was boring. Yeah. For the beginning it was nice feeling of walking in the rain uphill, but it's a bit too long walk - or I'm just impatient.  8) But let's say, at this point I noticed that time acceleration was not allowed.  ;)

In the village I went to the house where the fire was burning. The soldier first just watched me, so I thought he wasn't hostile. I went on to the other side, but at this point they started shooting at me. I was surprised and wounded, but killed them with my pistol.

Then I explored a bit the village. Didn't find anything special, no sign of my uncle, who had solutions for every problem I had. Yeah.

I got back to the house where I killed the soldiers, and noticed Tatyana in the back room. Cutscene.

Then, I killed the soldier who had shot my cousin. Took a jeep and started looking at my map. Oh, there it is. Off I went. Some soldiers were by the road, they didn't care about a jeep passing by, which was good. I've always wondered how can soldiers see from 100 meters that the driver of the vehicle is an enemy....

I took a bad turn and drove wrong way. Noticed it and got back to the right road. A convoy passed by me. That was nice.

Went off-road and to the cottage. No uncle, but Tatyana's husband. Unca's killed. Oh yes. Let's kill them all together - how sweet. There was a brief pause between two cutscenes and I think they'd been better as one cutscene. (Nice objective you've got there between them; Find your uncle. Kill them all!!!)

Okay, at this point, I saved and quit. Don't know anything about the remaining mission, but killing them all seems a good challenge, since this is one single mission, not a campaign...

Getting back to it later, perhaps.
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: THobson on 02 Feb 2005, 17:28:18
@Tarados Qeng

Yeh the story line is weak and will change in a later version, as will the overview.

Quote
The soldier first just watched me, so I thought he wasn't hostile
I have found that the loons do have limited ability to detect you when it is is dark/rainy/foggy, and here it is all three.

Quote
Getting back to it later, perhaps.
I hope you do.  I appreciate the comments and thanks.
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: XCess on 02 Feb 2005, 17:34:59
COuple of points about the intro. First off the hanging civs didn't swing for me, not a problem still looks great  ;D. For the scene looking at the corpses in the barn before tatyana is raped i would have done several shots of the corpses faces with camCommit 0 and then another one going to look at tatyana (camCommit 0) again. I really didn't like the way the camera pan to the right, stopped for a bit then panned to look at Tatyana.

I second thirds whatever it is now the idea of removing your setAccTime restriction, also give the player a kozlice instead of a pistol and remove the two russians in the first building they just kept spinning round and round and round.

Got pretty lost looking for the lodge (am I the only one) unitl I stumbled across an uninhabited Larche which took a bit of immersion away. Drove up the mountains, got lost again so I decided to drive up to the highest point. Got there and the lodge was right at my feet. Jumped a mile when i was told to halt. Seriously I could have slit my wrist on the desk from my hand jumping... lower the volume a bit I don't wanna be killed by an OFP mission  :P.

Group of civilians joined meafter the second cutscene (I agree they should be put into one). They were all experts which is strange since none of them have any battle experience as far as I know.

I have been experiencing a LOT of lag - but then I do have a low end system.. upgrading soon though :D. I noticed in the "I also have bad news for you" scene here were americans running around the village.. ones that killed me on a previous attempt - I recognise the Stinger. Would it be possible for you to add another script using deleteVehicle when ur not near the enemy (also remember their positions, status etc to u can camCreate them back when ur closer) It'd be a hell of a chore but well worth it.

At this point I quit to go out. More later.
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: djackl on 02 Feb 2005, 17:53:46

Then I explored a bit the village. Didn't find anything special, no sign of my uncle, who had solutions for every problem I had. Yeah.

That was something I forgot to mention. Once I was in the village I didn't have a clue what to do about finding my uncle at all. Maybe in the briefing it could say where his house is or there could be a passport photo of him. One thing I did think of during the mission was how in 'Facile Ground' during the mine finding bit, when you found one a voice came up saying 'There's another mine' etc. How about each time you find a dead body in the village (there are a few I noticed) it could say 'That's not my uncle', 'No, him neither' or something like that, and then you would know, rather than me looking at them and thinking, "Have I bypassed a script that should have kicked in showing me that he is the uncle or something?"

Should have added - I love it when people have voices in the briefings, it really lets you get a feel for the character.

Quote
Well I can't do anything about whether or not you are an empathetic person, but I can certainly try to do something about this scene.

I am a pretty empathatic person (okay maybe not  ::)), my point was that it just happens out of the blue and suddenly somebody you think is crucial in the story turns out to be a throwaway character (like the majority of the cast in AliensVsPredator the movie)  :D
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: THobson on 02 Feb 2005, 18:08:32
@XCess

Quote
First off the hanging civs didn't swing for me
They swing very slowly, mainly I think because the camera is up close, in fact they can be seen to jerk about a bit.  I was going to take out the code that makes them swing to stop the jerking but then thought what the hell these could be death throes.  It is variable, sometimes it is there and sometimes not.

Quote
For the scene looking at the corpses in the barn before tatyana is raped i would have done several shots of the corpses faces with camCommit 0 and then another one going to look at tatyana (camCommit 0) again. I really didn't like the way the camera pan to the right, stopped for a bit then panned to look at Tatyana
I have a lot of work to do to change the intro, all with one constraint being the length of time the music runs for.

Quote
I second thirds whatever it is now the idea of removing your setAccTime restriction,
I am hearing none in support of keeping it so it looks like it will go.  Pity I thought it was neat.  I just need to check on how the vehicles will all behave at 4x.
Quote
give the player a kozlice instead of a pistol
That would certainly help with the journey up the hill.
Quote
remove the two russians in the first building they just kept spinning round and round and round
I will try and stop them spinning first.

Quote
Got pretty lost looking for the lodge (am I the only one) unitl I stumbled across an uninhabited Larche which took a bit of immersion away
I had feared this would be a real problem.  I have put in some fires near farms west of the lodge to help guide the player.  No one else has mentioned a difficulty here though.  Larche was uninhabited!??  Mmmmm?

Quote
... lower the volume a bit I don't wanna be killed by an OFP mission
Lol.  All the volumes will need to be looked at.  Of course every time play it I am expecting it, feedback from people for whom this is a surprise is helpful.

Quote
(I agree they should be put into one)
Any specific reason?
Quote
They were all experts which is strange since none of them have any battle experience as far as I know.
This another problem.  If they are not experts they can behave is rather stupid ways, but as you say, they should not be.

Quote
I have been experiencing a LOT of lag
So it looks like 2500 to 3000 is low end of the benchmark range for this mission.

Quote
were americans running around the village.. ones that killed me on a previous attempt - I recognise the Stinger. Would it be possible for you to add another script using deleteVehicle when ur not near the enemy (also remember their positions, status etc to u can camCreate them back when ur closer) It'd be a hell of a chore but well worth it.
You are right.  This gives an insight into something Alexi could not possibly know.  Rather than delete and camCreate I might just setPos them far enough away so away so they don't get back until after the scene is over.

Quote
More later.
Thanks
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: SEAL84 on 02 Feb 2005, 18:22:51
I'll just add my votes:

Adding a Kozlice at the start: nay.

Enabling time acceleration: nay.
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: THobson on 02 Feb 2005, 18:38:20
@djackl
Quote
That's not my uncle', 'No, him neither' or something like that, and then you would know, rather than me looking at them and thinking, "Have I bypassed a script that should have kicked in showing me that he is the uncle or something?"
A totally neat idea.  Thank you. :thumbsup:

Quote
was that it just happens out of the blue and suddenly somebody you think is crucial in the story turns out to be a throwaway character (like the majority of the cast in AliensVsPredator the movie)
I know what you meant.  I did not mean to give the impression I was trivialising your comment.  It is meant to be a bit of a shock though.

Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: THobson on 02 Feb 2005, 18:40:19
@SEAL84

Thanks.  I will be counting votes.  I did like the idea of a pistol but id does make the hill climb a bit of a pain.
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: XCess on 02 Feb 2005, 18:41:46
@SEAL84
Why nay to the kozlice?
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: SEAL84 on 02 Feb 2005, 19:36:08
@SEAL84
Why nay to the kozlice?

Because I didn't think the climb up that hill was bad at all.  I expected to be going into a hostile environment so taking it slow and easy doesn't bother me.  Then again I did decide the best way to tackle this mission was through stealth and deliberate action, so on the whole moving slowly just doesn't bother me.

Also, any sane player will ditch the Kozlice almost as soon as he climbs that hill when he grabs an assault rifle.  At most it will last you two or three minutes, and on top of that, the pistol is IMO much better suited to dispatching those three soldiers because you don't have to reload it after every shot.

So really the only purpose it would serve is to get you up there a little faster.  It just seems to me like you'd be sacrificing some of that desperate "all I have is my father's pistol" atmosphere for a faster jog.  If the complaint was that it was too hard to kill the guys in the town, then by all means add it in, but I just don't think the need for it is sufficient.



*update*

Almost forgot to mention that I had gone back to Vigny, killed those 5 guys, and made off with another M60, AK74 and RPGs.  

But I should explain:

I went back with the jeep and parked it just out of sight.  I crawled into a position to waste the infantrymen with my CZ75 - that's all I brought with me - and did so.  However, I stood up too early as one of the guys apparantly had eluded me - he shot me.

Posthumous Purple Hearts: 2

So I reload and do it right this time.  I grab the M60 when I hear - or I thought I heard - a klaxon from the area of Le Pessagne.  I don't waste any time...I get in the jeep and haul ass back to the camp, fearing that those tanks are on the way over.  I unload the M60 into the ammo crates, save, and head back on foot - again with only my pistol - just to see what if anything happened after I had fled.

To my surprise, there's nobody there.  Well, there's one guy, standing in the middle of the town.  I kill him, then grab the RPG I wanted earlier.  I don't hear any alarms, so I must have just been hearing things.  I take cover in a nearby bush to observe the town for a while, again to see if anybody came to investigate.  Seeing nothing after a couple of minutes, I jog back to camp and save - then pop out to write this and get a few assignments for class done.

I'll stick my head back in later.
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: XCess on 02 Feb 2005, 19:59:30
The three soldiers are no challenge at all as it is. They either stand and look at the wall or spin in circles. I'd leave one in the room with Tatyan and have the other two outside. Kozlice would make it more of a challenge too, and point towards the words "old". Personally, I hate the gun, but i think it could be used very well here.

My father's pistol could be changed for myfarthers shotgun pretty easily  ;)
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: THobson on 02 Feb 2005, 20:20:18
@SEAL84

You are very determined and patient.  I am impressed.  Have you had any sight of any road traffic at all?

@XCess

I plan to stop them spinning.  I did originally have them outside, I even had the fire there, then I thought - look at the filthy weather, and look where all the booze is.  That was when I put them inside.

I am not worried too much about this bit being challenging.  It is really only scene setting at this stage.  The whole intent here is to create an atmosphere.  Don't worry there are plenty of challenges later!
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: macguba on 02 Feb 2005, 20:24:38
Blimey, this thread's taken off....

Anyway, you may recall that I was in a bush facing the advancing squad.   The position was much too exposed and I manged to leg it back into the village where I skulked around the jeep and managed, to my astonishment, to bring down the whole squad at the first attempt.    Collected goodies all round leaving me wiht AK74+4 mags, 1 hand grenade, RPG+2 rockets, full pistol mags, NVGs and binocs.    

Set off in the jeep, following the roads.   Didn't meet anybody till I got to the turnoff marker house with the fire and dead woman.   Drove towards the lodge and stopped when I saw it.   Was about to shoot the man on the porch when ~I realised he was in Resistance uniform.   Got the halt message, went on and got another and was then shot.  Second time I stopped and got the cutscene.    

Minor technical faults first:    I was wearing NVGs so it was all green - remove them and add back later.   The sentry on the porch never moved - he should face you at least.   I never saw the approach of the main guy, though maybe I missed him.   At the end of cutscenes, return the player to aware.     The opening shot was of my legs, the camera was in the wrong place.

You need to decide if this is going to be two cutscenes or one.   I had one which finished, and then a couple of seconds later the second one started.    In the first the shots of the story of the wife/daughter had no music and something sad would have been nice.   There was a new enemy squad around her body, which looked a bit odd - clear them out for this.  

The second scene felt peculiar because there were all these people that I hadn't seen just appearing in it.  I didn't have a good sense of what was going on in the place where I was.      Lose the objectives updated hint, not necessary.    "Can you tell me anything else" is a dreadfully weak line.

Having said all that, it's perfectly clear what you have to do next, in general terms at least.

Your new squad:   take away some of the soldier's hand grenades.   I know I always whinge when mission designers make loons low skill, but consider reducing one or two of these guys a bit - there are supposed to be just civvies.

I'm not convinced by the scenary here.     The graves are not in the right place (whatever that means.)    I like the fire with pallets but why have a fire in the open when you have a lodge with a perfectly good chimney?    And why store weapons in the open?    I'm not convinced by the ruin either, though fuel drums round the back is good.    And why two woodpiles.    The vehicles aren't right either:  if they are meant to be just parked, they would be more ordered (it's what people do).     If they are meant to be hidden or dispersed, they would be more hidden or dispersed.     The lodge building is a good choice though, it's a real pity its not enterable.    The dutch barn (near the bodies in Vigny) might come in handy here.

Teatime.   More later.

Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: SEAL84 on 02 Feb 2005, 20:45:44
@SEAL84

You are very determined and patient.  I am impressed.  Have you had any sight of any road traffic at all?

I have seen the roving team of jeeps with fifty-cals on the backs twice...heard them coming and took cover to eyeball them.  They didn't notice me.  However I have been staying off the roads.  Usually I leg it to wherever I'm going, but when I do take vehicles to gather equipment, I go off-road.  I figure the last thing I need is to be driving along and run facefirst into hostiles, losing my cargo.

Anyhow, I went back to Vigny again as part of my ongoing experiment to see what sort of reinforcements I can expect...as I neared it I spotted that tank platoon again.  I turned back and headed back to the lodge.

I armed the civilians with assault rifles - I had left them with shotguns since I don't expect to use them for anything, but we have plenty now so why not - and took the Kozlice for myself since while it is a weapon, I won't hesitate to drop it for anything more appealing that I see.

Right now I have legged it into La Trinite - I blundered into it in the fog earlier on my way to rescue those civilians and saw infantry there, so I figured I'd come back and recon it properly.

I snuck into a house on the west side of town and that's where I've been for the last 20 minutes - I alt-tabbed out to check the thread - while a convoy sits in the town nearby.  It seems to have come from the south and has quite a few vehicles, so I'm planning on waiting them out and exploring after they've gone.  But like I said, 20 minutes have passed and they're still there, so we'll see what happens.  It's 1130 hours in-game.

Back in I go for a little longer before real life catches up with me for the evening...
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: THobson on 02 Feb 2005, 20:51:07
Quote
I was wearing NVGs so it was all green
Blast.  This is a case of, I never have NVGs at this point so it never occurred to me that someone else would.

Quote
The opening shot was of my legs, the camera was in the wrong place
I cannot count the number of times I have seen the cut scene and I have never had this problem.  I think I will move the camera further away.  I don't really want to setPos Alexi to a specific point, but I might have to.  But it would look strange if he arrived in a vehicle.

Quote
wife/daughter had no music and something sad would have been nice
There is something.  I will turn up the volume.

Quote
There was a new enemy squad around her body, which looked a bit odd - clear them out for this.
Another trigger.  Oh well if I stop blocking the 4x that will give me one back.

I won't comment individually on everything.  They are all good points.  You have hit another point where I had a concern, why would they all be standing outside in the rain and why would their weapons etc be out in the open, but the more I played it the less I noticed the incongruity of it all.  The dutch barn is a good idea.
The way I rationalised the buildings was something along the line of: Nikolay's forbears built an old stone mansion in the hills as a summer retreat, over the years it fell into ruin and later Nikolay build the more comfortable wooden construction.  Yes it is a pity it is not enterable.
Having said I wont comment on everything:
Quote
The graves are not in the right place (whatever that means.)
Yes what does it mean?

Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: 456820 on 02 Feb 2005, 20:56:08
downloading now qill review today or tomorow
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: SEAL84 on 02 Feb 2005, 21:17:29
So I started crawling around in the fog in La Trinite, and I've hit the jackpot ;D ;D ;D

Problem is that I still hear an M113 or M2A2 somewhere in the town >:(

*mutters and goes back to staring wistfully at motherlode*
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: 456820 on 02 Feb 2005, 21:27:34
right now played the mission it was alright but anyway the review
 overview
cant even remebr if there was one

briefing
it was good the background seem to go on for ever. you should of hid an objective when you have to go to the mountains. and good use of sound in it.

intro
Right long and abit boring but did explain what was going on but i did find it a bit long winded so mabye if its possible making it slightly more shorter but keeping it so it still tels the story and good use of the font and writing.

mission
right here we go at the begining having to run up the mountain to get in to the town was abit tifeous and slow but i supose you cant insert right next to the town. get into the town i didnt notice any patrols apart from the one in the house then that cutscene, good, good sound but he shouldnt of slinged his gun on his back incase a patrol sees him (bit of realism). then she gets shot i whanted to find that gut to have a boit of fun shotting cause from that point i only shot about 7 rounds or less. then the long trek to that house wich felt like a million miles away then i got half way there ruined my jeep had to run it found out you couldnt accelerate time. havent got any further because of that.

outro
was there one

overall
a bit tedious and slow. not enough guards/patrols should be ammo crates in the town (silenced weapons in it mabye). why was his family in the town if his house was about ten million miles away? nut anyway if you make it with more patrols it would be alot better. could be better but try make it abit more firing say you drive past an area where enemy troop movement was and get shot at. i didnt notice any town's with patrols in.
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: macguba on 02 Feb 2005, 21:35:54
Quote
The graves are not in the right place (whatever that means.)
Yes what does it mean?

 ;D   I dunno, you just wouldn't put them there.    They are too close to the house and not parallel to it.     And not fenced off or in a marked or distinct area.

Keep the 2x/4x ban.   It's original and in this case the mission is deep and immersive enough to justify it, at least that's my feeling at the moment.     Don't panic about lag:  I'm playing with no trouble at all which means many others will too.     Just add things as you need to and then do the lag reduction exercise in a wunner.

Definitely don't feel obliged to comment on everything, you can spend the time more usefully amending the mission.    But I assumed the purpose that wretched squad was to give me NVGs.   ;D   Well, on the second or third attempt anyway.

Continuing ...

Listened to the radio message, liked the static.   A definite location (even if its slightly wrong would be good.)   Rearmed the squad:  I took the hunting rifle and we have 2 AKs and 2 kozlices.  Everybody has a pistol.

Lots of new objectives.   Don't change them twice is such close succession, just do it once.    In "More information" add links to the map.    I'm afraid, in a mission of quality, you can't just add civilians all over the place like this.   By all means keep the gist of the text and of course show us the location of the first lot.   However the locations of the other two lots must appear in the plot.  Perhaps when you rescue the first batch they tell you about the others.

If you want to be picky, change the order of Objectives.   Rescuing civvies comes before taking out the main enemies.     On the map, use some different symbols as well as different colours.   Make all of the fuel stations one colour.

Fires are lagdemons:  consider reducing the number or use existing triggers to put them out where possible when they are not relevant to the player.

Put everybody in the wagon and headed for the SW civvies by road.   A jeep/mg passed us as we turned up their track, but he didn't see us even though he nearly hit us.   Stopped halfway up the track and approaced tactically, just in case.   Found a loon in uniform who ignored us, and two standing oddly who spoke.     Yes we heard a radio message, but from somebody not near here ...... lose the fire (these folk are supposed to hiding), the graves (too many graves in this mission) and the pallets.    Consider putting everybody inside the building, though that will need testing.

Lot of bodies now.   I presume I'm supposed to drop them off at the lodge as a kind of battle casualty replacement reserve.     Somebody calls a chopper but I ignore it.    We all drive home and there is some confusion:  7 and 8, in the back of the lorry, disappear from the group somewhere, and 9 and 10 arrive on foot though I'm sure I didn't tell them to get out of the car.   I hear the chopper fly over the lodge.     We have no green tick for this Obj, although the civvy marker has vanished from the map which I don't think is a good thing.   If you want to be clever change the colour or text to indicate we've got them.

9 and 10 have turned up now, and I've figured out what happened to 7 and 8.    Nice idea to put them in the ruin.    6 gets a pistol and we all jump back in the wagon.  

I don't like the infinite savegames.    You have gone to a lot of trouble to create a sense of realism here, and this spoils it.   I  suggest you replace them with a limited number, at player's discretion.   So the radio menu will say "Savegame (15)" and then after you've used on "Savegame (14)" and so on.    No need to explain, we can work it out.    Be kind but not overly generous with the number.

(Just seen there are now 3 posts after this one ....)

Got my green tick now that all the civvies are here.  As a test I shot all 4 in the head, but nothing happened ... not that it necessarily should - if my boys hadn't been in the wagon they would have shot me at this point.

Drove to the next lot of civvies.    You don't need the fire here - it's easy enough to find a building, especially when you have a group to help you.     Try and use a different building from the last lot of civvies.   Put the medic (good) in the wagon with everybody else and the four civvies in the mini with orders to head to the lodge.   Headed for the last lot.

Well the mini must havfe got stuck because they kept reporting no progress.   Rather than go back and sort it out I ordered them to walk.     (At this point I was glad I had refueled the truck at the barrel behind the ruin.   As the only vehicle that can take everybody consider adding some kind of repair routine available at the lodge.)

Cut across country to avoid patrols, went south of La Trinite and got to the last lot of civvies.   They wouldn't join my group, presumably because there isn't room for them as the last lot haven't left it yet.    It occurs to me that the fires would be a great relief if you didn't have NVGs, so perhaps they should stay.    I confess I find this third lot of civvies tedious:  you've made the point, you can easily offer more than one soldier at each place - it's just a long drive and hassle for nothing new.

I go off to play with the cat ... come back to find the civvies have arrived safely.  Get the next lot, put them into the Trabant and send them off while the rest of us get back into the lorry and head for La Trinite.   We make the final approach on foot:  the civvies report a Bradley which must have caught them as they were crossing the road south of La Trinite and shortly afterwards they are all down with a red cross.    I reiterate that this bit needs a rethink:   I like the no 4x but leaving a mission to run while you go off and do something else is probably a bad sign ....

As we got the civvies does messages and entered La Trinite the hints hint came up.    I ran through the messages.   The first point is that you need to indicate how they communicate and agree the trade.   They are suspicious of each other so no way would one just leave something in LT expecting to find payment when he returned.     I think your idea of suggesting to the player that you should start a war between them is good, but I don't think this the right way to do it.    

Here is my suggestion.    The radio message takes you to the bunch of civvies in the SW.   They tell you about the civvies near La Trinite.   When you get there, you meet somebody who tells you all about the trade and how it works.    You then muse on the situation, and it becomes apparent from your musings and conversation - perhaps including your number 2, to make a three way conversation, which is all too rare - that starting trouble in La Trinite is the way to go.   The third (eastern) lot of civvies disappear, they add nothing but boredom and lag.

Moved into town and got the mines.    Drove the ammo and repair lorries out to the east, then my northern picket reported a BMP which then killed him and zapped me as I drove the BMP ambulance out.    

With this array of goodies I would suggest a timesaving measure.   Assuming there are no bad guys nearby, have a hint telling you of new radio options.   There are two.   Each gears up your squad in a different way, instantly or rather with a fade to black and fade in again.    You can switch as often as you like with a timer runnng:  after 2 minutes, say, that's it your stuck with what you've got.  Obviously you can then re-gear to your heart's content, but it's quicker and cleaner than the endless running around you have to do.   Suggested loadouts... leave pistols as they are, give NVGs as you have made them available already.

1. player         M21+LAW                  bizon+satchel
2. civvy           AK                              bizon
3. soldier        M60                           M60
4. civvy           bizon                          bizon
5. civvy           AK                              HK
6. soldier        AK+LAW                     AK+LAW
7. medic          bizon                         HK
8. soldier        AK+satchels               AK+LAW


That's enough for now.
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: THobson on 02 Feb 2005, 21:43:42
@456820

Thank you for the comments.  Actually what you have seen is a little bit of the begining of the mission.  There are over 400 soldiers on the island, so there is a lot of shooting but that doesn't come until later.   I have not come close to finishing this mission in anything under 6 hours of mission time because it is really meant to be many missions all rolled into one. If knowing that you are willing to continue then I would be happy to have your comments.  If not then I would understand - this type of mission would not be enjoyable to everyone.
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: THobson on 02 Feb 2005, 21:51:53
@macguba

Quote
But I assumed the purpose that wretched squad was to give me NVGs.
Actually no, the purpose was to fulfil Tatyana's promise that more soldiers were coming and give you the incentive to get the h out of there.  I suppose it is a measure of my (lack of) skill that it just never occured to me anyone would take them on on their own.  And then SEAL84 goes back all on his own with just the old man's pistol!!  You are all raving lunatics.

Quote
If you want to be picky
Yes I do.  Ha'peth o' tar and all that.
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: SEAL84 on 02 Feb 2005, 21:53:09
Crawled around a bit more and found that there's at least a platoon of guys still guarding the area even though the convoy left.  I managed to start looting the crates and putting my stash in a nearby vehicle.  I'm just about ready to hatch my master plan to escape, but alas, time for class.

Strikes me as odd that there are no rockets around, since that's what I need most, but whatever...tomorrow I'll have to utilize some of my explosive talents to create just enough havoc to drive out of there like a madman.
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: THobson on 02 Feb 2005, 21:53:53
@SEAL84

After all your work loading up the jeep I thought you might be annoyed at this point.

Edit:

Still not used the clues?

Edit2:
Quote
there's at least a platoon of guys still guarding the area even though the convoy left
Shouldn't be.  Have you had any contact with them or have they seen you recently?
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: XCess on 02 Feb 2005, 23:48:05
Quote
this type of mission would not be enjoyable to everyone.

This missions gonna turn into a cult classic after it's final release.. I can see Seal's getting addicted.
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: SEAL84 on 02 Feb 2005, 23:48:49
Nah, not annoyed at all...it's a great feeling playing Larry the Looter in the enemy's backyard.  Besides, how else will I gather weaponry?

However, I did think there was something amiss with those soldiers.  There is one 5-ton truck with a crew and soldiers in cargo just sitting there near a building, and another crewed but empty truck next to it.  There's a squad of infantrymen on the southern road that leads into the town just standing there in aware wedge formation, in front of another empty truck I assume they rode in on.  There is also a Vulcan next to them that seems to just be driving back and forth from the 5-tons to the infantry squad over and over again.  He keeps cranking his turret around - I could have sworn he was looking right at me once - but niether he nor any of the others have made any moves indicating they've seen me.

I have not engaged any enemies outside of the infantry squads in Vigny.

I do have a theory though: I think the trucks may be disabled, because as I was hiding and waiting, I kept hearing a truck engine going way up in RPMs like he was driving off....it seemed that every minute or two a truck would drive away (at least it sounded that way).  The Vulcan was idling for a while but would drive a bit, stop and idle, drive a bit more, stop and idle, etc etc etc.  The trucks must have crashed into the buildings and can't move, and the dismounted infantry and Vulcan must be following them and therefore not moving either.  Does this sound about right?

In any event, I plan on planting a crapload of satchel charges, then HK'ing the infantrymen, luring the Vulcan to where the satchels are, then blowing it sky-high and making off with the BMP ambulance (in which I have been putting the weapons I'm taking from the crates).

As an aside, I have also apparantly gained the ability to place mines by virtue of my proximity to the ammunition crates.

I finally broke down though and looked at the hints...just vague enough to not really help but give you some idea of what to do at the same time, IMO.

Check PMs for something else I noticed...


*****EDIT****

I suddenly had the epiffany to do things the easy way - I just jumped in the BMP ambulance and hauled ass before anybody could bring a weapon to bear ;D  I didn't fire a shot and made off with 7 HKs and a crapload of satchel charges.
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: macguba on 03 Feb 2005, 00:51:25
Finished my post above.      I'm just reading through the thread and will comment on any comments that catch my eye ....  ::)

Voice acting - everthing I have heard will do and some of it is really not bad at all.    Sure, if you had professional actors it might be better, but so what.

Definitely no NVGs at the start.   I'm not even sure I'm glad I got them off that officer.  

The nuclear apocolypse was only an idea.   My point is that that current background/setup isn't robust enough, which you know anyway.

You can't miss the policeman in Vigny if you're looking - he has a jeep wreck beside him.  It is perfectly possible to miss him if you're not looking, but it's obvious you should be - you have no kit.

My old computer had a benchmark of 750 odd, only had this one a year and a bit.   Mind you, it has been totally fucked for the last week:  today the repair man came and gave me a new motherboard, new fan/transformer unit and a new temporary CPU till he can get a proper replacement.

Thanks for the "hanging" credit ..... I'd always wanted a hanging in a mission.   Must point out that you improved the swinging motion from my original effort.

Markers on the map showing who controls what:   you could try a line of dots.    It would be helpful and legitamate to have something and it would make the map look better.   It's too bare at the moment.

In general I disagree with interfering with the game, in this case taking away the time acceleration.    However, there are always exceptions and I think this may be one.   You need to make up for it in other ways though, and I feel that at present the mission does not do this sufficiently.

The ammo and weapons at the lodge are fine.   Maybe one more mag for the hunting rifle.   Possibly the odd grenade or flare.

Quote
I'm not too knowledgable on the technical side of this, so I'll just say what I thought while playing it.
That's all you need for beta testing.

I had various vehicles report "low fuel" but nobody ran out.    The instructions for dealing with the civvies are probably ok, I can't quite remember.    The important thing is that you don't have to go back with them:  if you're smart enough to work that out, or risk-taking enough to try it, then you're laughing.  If not, well you haven't really lost anything.

Benchmark:   I found it hard to get a level on where conditional eyecandy (for example) should be but somewhere around 2000 is probably about right for most purposes.     Unimpossible is just playable with 1500 apparently.    My benchmark at first glance is unchanged (5660) in spite of a new motherboard and new CPU:   on clicking autodetect it changed to 5639, then 5050, then 5338, 5639, 6000 then all of these numbers again in random order.

I had no trouble at all finding the lodge.     Just set off on a bearing from the house at the little road.

A photo of your uncle in the Briefing would be good.   Help to fool you.   ;D   There is no need for anything more in Vigny:  if you have a sneak round there is nothing there except a police body for kit, a few bodies, a jeep and the house with the people.     You already know that all East and West soldiers are enemies, and the civvy is bound to be a friend.   The "go to the village to find somebody but they're not there although somebody else is who directs you" thing is not original, I've seen it in a few missions so most folk will know what to do.  Checking bodies would be very cool though.  

KEEP THE ACCTIME RESTRICTION!!     But you must make it up to us in other ways.

Beta testing should not be democratic.   It's your mission, you do what you want.     In an immersive experience like this it is particularly important not to consider things in isolation:  for example, the accTime thing; kozlice/pistol at the start; radio for truck rides; and 2 or 3 civvy groups to rescue are all part of the same overarching question.    My view is that you should keep the time restriction but make everything else as slick as possible to make up for it.  That's why I suggested kozlice with no ammo - best of both worlds.    Or lose the pistol.    Killing the guys in Vigny with the pistol is no problem at all.    You're right that it doesn't matter that its too easy.

It was 08:00 in the game when I entered La Trinite in my post above.

Setpos characters for cutscenes.   Nobody minds moving a couple of feet - its much less objectionable than camera angles that don't work because units are in the wrong place.

The 6 man (or so) squad coming at you in Vigny is just right:  you have time to run away if you want, and they are beatable if you want to fight and play it right.    
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: THobson on 03 Feb 2005, 10:57:52
I am totally overwhelmed by all the comments.  I have had more in 48 hours than I had in a couple of months of beta testing on my previous mission.  I am reading them all and I am taking notice.

The extent of the changes necessary - together with trying to stay employed :) will mean the next version could be a while coming, but it will come and it will be so much better for all your comments.

I do have a concern that despite all my soak testing something may be amiss with SEAL84's mission.
Quote
However, I did think there was something amiss with those soldiers.  There is one 5-ton truck with a crew and soldiers in cargo just sitting there near a building, and another crewed but empty truck next to it.  There's a squad of infantrymen on the southern road that leads into the town just standing there in aware wedge formation, in front of another empty truck I assume they rode in on.  There is also a Vulcan next to them that seems to just be driving back and forth from the 5-tons to the infantry squad over and over again.
For the south convoy there should be a Bradley(cargo - one group of infantry), a 5t truck (no cargo) an ammo truck, a ural (cargo - one group of infantry) and a vulcan.  On arriving at La Trinite the infantry should get out,  one group should go to aware at the other side of the town (they are meant to look like guards) and the other group should zig-zag (search) the town.  The searching group then boards the Bradly the guard group then board the ural and the whole thing goes back to base.  The north convoy is the same with a BMP instead of a Bradley.

I have soak tested this for days on end with no problem - now it seems to have broken within a couple of hours.

@SEAL84

Quote
In any event, I plan on planting a crapload of satchel charges, then HK'ing the infantrymen, luring the Vulcan to where the satchels are, then blowing it sky-high
That would certainly put the mission back on track if you could also ensure that any misplaced trucks are killed also.  The other side's convoy will not leave its base until this convoy has either left La Trinite or had all its vehicles killed/disabled.

Do you have a save game of the situation that I could see?
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: macguba on 03 Feb 2005, 12:14:15
Tip:    after making a few changes read the whole thread again, carefully.   It's not just that you might have missed something.   It's more that as the comments keep coming in, and you keep making changes, a throwaway line that had no real significance when it was written (or first read) can actually turn out to be quite handy later.
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: THobson on 03 Feb 2005, 13:02:45
I have just done exacly that and I have copy and pasted a lot of stuff into my to do list.  You are right. I have a different impression of some of these posts that I had when I first read them, also they came so fast that I found that I had missed one completely.

On the problem with SEAL84's mission.  I have just remembered that some of the code I use to keep these damned stupid vehicles running does not cut in if the player is within 200m.  Now that SEAL84 has made his escape they may well all get sorted out on their own.
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: macguba on 03 Feb 2005, 15:06:00
Fucking bastard kittens.   ;D   They climb onto the desk just as the phone rings so I do a Ctrl-C to copy what I've already written.    The post is trashed.    But it seems they managed to do another Ctrl-C of 7 blank lines ......... :swipe:  :wallop:

Anyway.    



Action menu based mine system.  You find instructions for improvising mines int he field at the ammo dump.

- Place mines

Click it and you get

- Place hand grenade mine
- Place grenade mine
- Place satchel mine
- Place smoke mine

but ONLY if you have the requisite item in your inventory.   When placed it is removed from your inventory of course, and the actual explosion does not have to be the exact same thing as long as its consistent.

Next, you get the fusing menu

- Infantry fuse
- Light vehicle fuse
- Armour fuse
- Any vehicle fuse
- Infantry/Light vehicle
- Anything

Or whatever you want.    You'll have to play with it a bit to get what you want but the point is you have infinite mines, fused to got off however you want, as long as you have the kit to make them.  

You could even add a time delay menu if you wanted.    Or place the fuse and mine in different places.   This would open up a world of possibilities:   you could have different coloured smoke grenades go off near your location to indicate that the enemy were present in a remote place.    Obviously you could fix it so that you could order your loons to place mines.    And you could have a defuse mine action if you got close enough to a placed mine and had the slots free to carry the item ... or maybe just leave it on the ground.    Anyway, something upon which to cogitate.   You could just keep it simple and make it hand grenades and AP mine.

The problem is the number of triggers.    This can be handled by making you find a box of fuses or something, rather than the complete mine.



Collected the wagons and headed back to the third civvy point, which I suspect will be safe.    There we rearm.    Bizons and NVGs for everybody, M21 and BGlockS for me.    2 rockets and a satchel for those as can carry them.   It's 8.30 am and it looks like its going to be a nice day.   Let's go and start a war.

Got into position overlooking La Trinite.   The southern convoy was up, so I popped the vulcan and then the brad from 330m.    The bangs took out some infantry and trucks, and the remaining loons who came towards us were dropped by my brave lads and lassies.

An idyllic scene.    (twinSmoke.jpg)   You will note that my civvies are fireteam green and the soldiers red.   I don't know why, it just seemed like a good way of keeping track of things.

Normally at this point I would have legged it to avoid retaliation, but as I testing I hung around to watch.     Didn't see much but after a minute or two got "hmm they're fighting each other".  

Used the retry to investigate this a couple of times - I didn't fully understand what was happening.   Certainly a lorry came up from the south and won a small firefight with somebody in the town, but I don't know who or how they got there.    The place should have been empty of Northrons and although I can't swear nobody arrived just at the moment I didn't see any evidence of it.    Unless they came in immediately by the west road, which I have no chance of seeing.

I'm not thrilled by this massive improvement in the weather.    I would suggest you let it get light, leave it for an hour or two and then have weather improve.     More atmospheric that way and gives a greater variety of conditions.      Fog burns off in the morning only if there no thick rainclouds above it.

Left the firefight in 3 (short for La Trinite, geddit?) and I boxed round to the north with a view to mining the road.    We must keep it fair in terms of armoured vehicles destroyed, mustn't we?  Placed one AV mine, ran back to the squad and then headed south.   We sorta ran into a couple of infantry squads, one moving away from us which we mostly dropped and then 5 standing still which we took out, but then I changed the plan slightly and we headed east back our Base at the old civvy house.  On the way I heard one vehicle blow up - smoke at the northern edge of 3 - and later a chopper's gun firing followed by another explosion.   The war appears to be going well.    We rearmed and I put on a brew and got the map out.

My little base is in a dreadfully inconvenient place but moving it is going to be a nightmare in daylight.    

Oh, here's another idea.   The player finds a transistor radio and picks it up.   Whenever he likes he can listen to it.   There are several channels.   Music of course, for long journeys.   Maybe you could have two stations, one for CWC tracks and one for Resistance, and give the stations funky names.    Then there is the weather channel, which gives weather forecasts for the next hour or two.    They need not be 100% accurate but they should be generally right, allowing you to plan your day:  I can't move my vehicles now, but in a couple of hours it might be possible if the rain comes back.    Or maybe its going to be sunny all day and I can't move them unless I just take the risk.   If I have infinite savegames of course then I might just keep trying till I get lucky.

Anyway, given where I am, it seems the best thing to do is recce the northern airfield.   I could spend the morning clearing towns, but ...

By the way, if there is anythng you want me to check just say so.   I'll plug in a savegame and go look.     My strategy at the moment is to recce the airfield and do some damage/destroy it if possible.   Then perhaps a town or two, working my way south to do the same at that end.    When I think I've got enough brownie points to get away with it I'll go back to the lodge and shoot the civvies.

So I heads north and from as far away as possible hit the dirt and turn up the viewdistance as far as I dare. (3500m)    I see a 3 man patrol going up the east side of the airfield fence in combat mode, which looks a little excessive.    A lone RPGer behaves similarly on the southern fence.   There's nobody on the road to St Louis that I can see and the airfield gate is unguarded.  Bradly and tank by the main buildings, another brad by the fuel station, a few loons running around, the odd M2.... this shouldn't take long.

For fun I decide to take out the M2 gunner by the southern building.   7 rounds at 834m is nothing to be proud of, but in my defence there was a convoy going past which meant I couldn't see the fall of shot.   Feeling cocky I switch to RPG and have a pop at the Vulcan that just arrived, but 1100m is too far and the missile airbursts short, I think.

There is a constant problem with my 2.  He keeps running forward, out of position, even when he is supposed to be lying down.    It's not so much getting himself killed - if he is going to do that the sooner the better frankly - but he has just given away our position.    

That's it for now.
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: XCess on 03 Feb 2005, 15:52:25
Maybe have unlimited saves ONLY when ur at the lodge. Switch it to the action menu as a "group rest" action.. maybe heal the squad too while they rest.
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: SEAL84 on 03 Feb 2005, 16:18:35
On the problem with SEAL84's mission.  I have just remembered that some of the code I use to keep these d**ned stupid vehicles running does not cut in if the player is within 200m.  Now that SEAL84 has made his escape they may well all get sorted out on their own.

Okay, I'll go back and have a look then....and there was also a Bradley there as well.
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: rado1265 on 03 Feb 2005, 16:39:18
This is the first time that I've downloaded the mission which is on beta testing, and did I pick right! This mission is great! But obviously there's too much for one mission; I have no intention to mess every time with the mission saves file to get the mission going again. So here is my first, and quite radical suggestion: make the campaign or mission pack with this material! But if you decide to stick with the mission here're some of my observations for the part which I've played (I've rescued all three civilian groups and take La Trinite):

OVERVIEW:

- Shine with more light here.

BRIEFING:

- You could change (enlarge) the font type. I can't see any space shortage, so there's no need for the smaller font type.

- On page where are provided the informations about the enemy groups add links to the places - towns.

INTRO:

- It's all there, just music is too loud for me. A quieter, "backround" music should be more suitable.

MISSION:

- Reduce fog level a bit. Otherwise the weather just adds to the good ingame atmosphere.

- All voice acting that I have opurtunity to hear is great and works perfectly.

- If this were my mission I'll remove the choppers (execept if they're esential for some later stage); with them those enemy groups looks too strong for some marauding bands. And if there's a fuel shortage the choppers will not fly around and waste that fuel. I mention this only because I think you're devoted to the realism.

- Will the autosave option (0-0-0) permanently stay in the mission, or is there only to ease the work for the beta testers, and will be removed later? I suggest you to do so, and place the autosaves on strategical places - in Vigny right after the cutscene, every time you reach the civilian hideouts, etc. You'll still have plenty of savegames, the opurtunity to save every time you want just "kill" the gameplay. For me anyway.

Overall I like the whole thing: the story (it's beleivable, the Americans are no angels aether), the sense for the details... I just hope I help you on some way or other.


Regards, karantan.
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: THobson on 03 Feb 2005, 19:48:57
@macguba
Neat picture.  I have seen that scene myself once or twice!
Quote
You will note that my civvies are fireteam green and the soldiers red.  I don't know why, it just seemed like a good way of keeping track of things.
I find I am a bit protective of 5, almost as much as I am with the medic - is something you have noticed or is it just me?

There are loons in combat mode at the base!!.  That shouldn't happen until someone in the base is killed.  I add it to the list of things to look into.

There are two Bradlies in the Northern base?!  I take it they are all friendly to each other?

@SEAL84
If the Bradley is there as well then I am afraid the convoy is screwed.  I suggest you kill what vehicles you can.  Sorry.
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: THobson on 03 Feb 2005, 19:58:12
@karantan
Thank you.  I am glad you like it

Quote
I have no intention to mess every time with the mission saves file to get the mission going again
This is not necessary if you don't have ECP.  I don't even know if it is necessary with ECP I just suspect it might be.

Quote
Will the autosave option (0-0-0) permanently stay in the mission, or is there only to ease the work for the beta testers, and will be removed later? I suggest you to do so, and place the autosaves on strategical places
The problem with building in the autosaves is that after a certain point I really have no idea what the player will be doing.  I am warming to the suggestion by macguba that I just have a limited number of saves that the player can choose to use when they wish.

I have not responded to all your points, but that does not mean I have ignored them.  I have turned down the volume on the intro for example.

My list of to do's has grown exponentially in the last couple of days so I am finding it a bit hard to keep up with the comments so far (that and stopping myself from getting fired!)

I appreciate your comments and I hope you do get chance to have another go at it.
If you are running ECP I would welcome knowing if you do experience the large savegame bug.

Thanks again.
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: THobson on 03 Feb 2005, 20:29:46
@SEAL84

Can I just check I have got the symptoms right:
There is a Bradley, a 5t truck (with a crew and infantry in cargo?), a couple of urals (one is an ammo truck) and a vulcan.  The urals do not have any loons in cargo.  There is a squad if infantry on the south of the town (facing south?)

It would help me if you can remember where the vehicles are in relation to the church (first building on the left as you reach the town from the south), and if there are any vehicles actually in the town or north of the town.

The mission is designed so that even something like this will not prevent it from being completed.  It just means that the north convoy will not move south until this convoy is dead/completely disabled or frees itself.
Honestly I have set this running before going away for several days and it was all well when I got back.  With the information above I will see what else I can do to prevent this happening again.
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: SEAL84 on 03 Feb 2005, 20:36:14
@SEAL84

Can I just check I have got the symptoms right:
There is a Bradley, a 5t truck (with a crew and infantry in cargo?), a couple of urals (one is an ammo truck) and a vulcan.  The urals do not have any loons in cargo.  There is a squad if infantry on the south of the town (facing south?)

It would help me if you can remember where the vehicles are in relation to the church (first building on the left as you reach the town from the south), and if there are any vehicles actually in the town or north of the town.

The mission is designed so that even something like this will not prevent it from being completed.  It just means that the north convoy will not move south until this convoy is dead/completely disabled or frees itself.
Honestly I have set this running before going away for several days and it was all well when I got back.  With the information above I will see what else I can do to prevent this happening again.


- 1 Bradley with a 6-man infantry squad nearby
- 1 American 5-ton - looked like an uncovered cargo version, but I'm not 100% - right behind it on the road.
- 1 Vulcan
- 1 Ural, plain version, with a crew and no cargo in the back
- 1 US 5-ton with a crew and an infantry squad in the rear - I snuck up next to it and peeked in the back and there were definitely armed soldiers inside.

I should have taken a screenshot or saved and copied the save file, but unfortunately I didn't...I've moved on in the game.

From there I found some infantry in Larche but nothing worth stealing.  I also went to Arudy and found the place empty.  A fire burned, some tents were there, and there was an uncovered American 5-ton sitting under a camo net - I took it for the ammo it carries.

I just got out of class so I'll fire up the mission and take a quick jog back to La Trinite to see if anything has changed.  If they're still there I'll get a save point and a screenshot.


****EDIT****

Check PMs.
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: THobson on 03 Feb 2005, 22:11:34
@ macguba

Quote
Didn't see much but after a minute or two got "hmm they're fighting each other".  

Used the retry to investigate this a couple of times - I didn't fully understand what was happening.
Each of the loons have a killed EH that detects which side killed them, if a north is killed by a south or vice verca then after some random delay you get the '...they're fighting each other message'

 
Quote
The place should have been empty of Northrons and although I can't swear nobody arrived just at the moment I didn't see any evidence of it.    Unless they came in immediately by the west road, which I have no chance of seeing.
I am surprised they arrived so quickly, it is a fair way from the airbase.

Quote
I'm not thrilled by this massive improvement in the weather.  
Is this a comment about the design of the mission or about the implications of this on your state of health?
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: djackl on 03 Feb 2005, 23:01:43
Quote
Oh, here's another idea.  The player finds a transistor radio and picks it up.  Whenever he likes he can listen to it.  There are several channels.  Music of course, for long journeys.  Maybe you could have two stations, one for CWC tracks and one for Resistance, and give the stations funky names.    Then there is the weather channel, which gives weather forecasts for the next hour or two.    They need not be 100% accurate but they should be generally right, allowing you to plan your day:

I concur wholeheartedly.

*UPDATE*
Dropped the second load of civvies back at HomeBase (my codename for the lodge not the DIY store ;D) and have gone to La Trinite. Found a shedload of Ammo, trucks and heavy weapons, and no soldiers. Have I missed something? Am currently in the process of rearming my troops with the heavier equipment. Will update later.
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: THobson on 03 Feb 2005, 23:26:29
On the radio idea - Lol  I will see what I can do, but I am really pushing some limits here - because of the large savegame bug I am having to be very mean with variable names and it is getting close to a 5Mbt game already.  

This is typical mac - why don't you... and there follows a very reasonable idea that is going to take me ages to get  right.  (I have just spent all day changing the words of the Intro to match the new storyline, while ensuring the background was dark all the time).  And then there is his stunning idea about the mines.  Mind you by following his advice on my last mission I learnt a huge amount.

This is proving to be quite an experience for me.  Vigny cutscene: I think it is really neat that as the soldier walks down the road the Vigny road sign comes into shot - what do I get?  You should have two guys!!
I spent ages getting the sounds, actions and cases for the AP and AV mines - and they go down like a lead ballon.  Still that is what beta testing is for.

EDIT:
On the tranie radio/weather forecasts.  There is no electricity on the island - I even turned off every streetlight on the map in case anyone played it long enough for it to become night - so who is transmitting.  Mmmm I suppose it could be an intercept of the northern base (I picture Andropov as brutal, but  professional so that would fit - Stamenov is just evil).



Quote
Found a shedload of Ammo, trucks and heavy weapons, and no soldiers. Have I missed something?
La Trinite is visited alternately by the north and the south.  There are periods in between when it is empty, so no you have not missed anything.  If it remains loon-free for more than about 15 minutes then please let me know.
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: rado1265 on 03 Feb 2005, 23:43:46
I hope you do get chance to have another go at it.
Sorry, I can't :'(. I'm busy making the campaign, it was just couriosity when I dl your mission (I feel this is not for me anyway).

You have enough of aces to help you already, don't you think? ;)
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: THobson on 03 Feb 2005, 23:49:47
That is fine.  I know there are other things to do and I appreciate the comments.  One of them was something that had been bothering me.  If fuel is scarce why are the choppers flying continuously?  I want the choppers but I don't want it to seem odd.
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: rado1265 on 04 Feb 2005, 00:09:50
They have continiously fly around and over me. Didn't see them though (because of thick fog and bad weather I reckon), but hear them all the time.

It's not just the choppers that it seems odd for me, also they're equipped well too good for some loosed groups; remember, not a long ago they've fight a war, so they must be pretty exhausted in all possible ways.
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: macguba on 04 Feb 2005, 01:57:04
Mate, you have had so much information in the last day or two that the most you can possibly hope to achieve is to absorb it.  Digestion, and decisions about what to do about it, can come later.   Responding to each tiny point is an awful lot of effort and I think most beta testers would not expect it, providing their overall effort/contribution is acknowledged.   (Which I know it will be.)    The more people beta test for you, the more you appreciate it.

Quote
There are two Bradlies in the Northern base?!  I take it they're all friendly to each other?
Yes.    One was near the fuel dump, alone, and I would not absoluely swear that it was a Bradley.    (I was over 1km away.)   The other definitely was, and was with a T72/T80 (I think) near the main (default) buildings in the east and appeared to come after us as a guard group (with infantry) when my no.2 fucking told them where we were.

There were loons in combat mode at the base.  Lying down, covering each other, that sort of thing.    As I say I was over 1km away, had not fired at them nor been anywhere near the area before.   However this was after I had started the war at La Trinite.

I am very protective of the medic, although the only dangerous combats I have been in have been cock ups due to beta testing, in which case I have no compunction about going back the last save.   I couldn't give a shit about 4 or 5, being civvies they are just cannon fodder as far as I'm concerned.     I wish 2, who is a fucking nightmare, was dead already.   In other words green=expendable, red=valuable.

I've only vaguely digested what Seal84's problem was.   I am a vaguely concerened that I have seen groups just kinda standing around without doing anything, but I've never watched them long enoug hwithout killing them to suggest that they shouldn't have been doing that.   As I said before, I'm very happy to set off to try and replicate difficult circumstances if that might help.

I examined Saint Louis carefully though M21 scope and saw nothing ... no vehicles, patrols or tents or anthing like that.   I saw it from only one angle, from a long way off, and didn't watch long enough to detect a moving patrol which happened to be hidden when I was looking, but the overall impression was not somewhere that something was happening.   If it is supposed to be I will look.   I am aware that in my approach to the game I have not sought "background" comings and goings, but that is quite deliberate on my part:  I read that others were, so I decided to go straight for the jugular as it were.

Quote
I'm not thrilled by this massive improvement in the weather.  
Is this a comment about the design of the mission or about the implications of this on your state of health?
Both.   ;D   It does my state of health no favours, but also (and more importantly) I think it does the mission no favours.   I appreciate that you are trying to create continously unfavourable weather (foggy when you want it clear, clear when you want it foggy) and of course there is nothing wrong with that.     However, I think this change fails on two levels:  firstly it is not realistic (the coincidence of the front passing and daylight arriving does indeed happen in RL, but more often the two do not coincide);  and secondly you are throwing away the interest and advantages that an intermediate period - light with bad weather - can provide.    In the good weather I have done all I needed to do, namely start the war and make it to the airbase, where I anticipate no problems in trashing most if not all of the defence, all I'm saying is that it would be more difficult to decide what to do, and therefore more fun, if the weather gave you choices.    The good weather only took away choices from my situation, it did not add anything.   But it's just another detail, not a huge deal either way.

On the "typical mac ideas" if you think its shit, or just not worth the trouble, say so:  I won't be offended.    If I think of something I post it, for the mission designer to accept, change or ignore as he sees fit.  It's not like I really care.   ;D   Having said that I really do think most of my ideas are fundamentally good, if you can be bothered to implement them and the mission has the capacity.   A few are totally bollocks of course.   Don't worry about the "5 meg boundary".   It is true that there happen to be a lot of missions in the 4-5 meg range, but this is purely an accident which results from the size that sound files happen to be.    If it pushes up towards 7 or 8 don't worry about it, the number of folk who would d/l 4 but not 6 is very small.    Once you are over 10meg that changes, but that isn't going to happen so don't worry about it.    As long as you don't add some huge music files size is not going to be an issue, given that you are already in the 4meg+ bracket.

At the risk of immodesty, a fault from which I affect to suffer for modesty's sake, take everything I say on beta testing extremely seriously.    There is the odd occasion (actually not rare) when I am flat wrong, but I am one of the best and most experienced beta testers out there - I like to think it is a speciality of mine - and most of what I say really is true.    The best place to ignore me is on stuff that will take lots of effort to implement - it is often not worth the trouble.    Actually most of what most beta testers say is true.

I have no experience of the variable name bug except what I have read, so I know its real and a problem.    However I have no doubt that in this mission it can be overcome - I know from experience how much you can cut things down once you have the overall picture. (i.e. the "finished" mission.)

The more I think of the mines idea the more I like it.  To make a simple version would not be that hard.  (And well within your capabilities.)    This game is four years old, why on earth has nobody thought of this before?

It is the essence of a beta mission that all the good ideas are ignored, all the indifferent ideas are criticised for not being better and all the crap ideas are panned.   This is human nature.     This missions has acres and acres of good ideas:  as you know (from experience) I do not devote this amount of time and effort to stuff that isn't good in the first place.    I don't want to say anything about the mission as a whole because I haven't finished it yet, and frankly most of the time I've played has been pretty dull.   However, it has huge potential, and I strongly suspect that much of that potential has already been realised ... which I would discover if I played the mission in a potential-realising manner, which. due to laziness, I am not.

I am still very surprised at how soon I got the "they are fighting each other" message and the firefight.    There must have been a Northron patrol in or very close to La Trinite even though the Southron convoy was there.   It may have been about to leave to be fair.     My limited experience of La Trinite is that you don't have even as much as 15 minutes between bad guys turning up:   I entered as soon as one lot had left and after several retries really only had time for a cursory rearm of my squad, to give them all longs rather than just pistols, and for me to drive three vehicles as far as the burnt out tank to the east before the other lot arrived.

The solider walking down the road before shooting the girl at Vigny is good.    You, the creator, have had and executed well a good idea.   However, the job of critic is so much easier than inventor that many people have been able to spot easy ways in which the scene (which they themselves could not have invented) can be improved.      Be flattered by the advice, accept it and move on.   If you feel low, remember that you yourself are one of the best beta testers around, as the Unimpossible mission demonstrates, or rather will demonstrate when I make it finished.

I take your point on who is transmitting the radio stations.   However this links into the whole text story:  it's not tooo hard to make something up that is plausible.    Maybe just broadcast on the hour.

Choppers flying continuously in a fuel shortage is a problem.   Maybe make it that fuel is only short-ish, but is rigourously controlled by the baddies.

Tip:  Given that you have some working sound files, don't re-record any more till the end.   Script and story will change more than you might think, and it just hassles your friends and family to keep re-doing them.   Leave the voices till you have the script absolutely perfect.    For interim versions, if you like, just record your own voice so that there is at least a sound file there, and tell us what is going on.

Total autosaves will not work in this mission - its much too open and you cannot tell what the player will do.   There are several approaches that you could employ, all equally valid.  At this stage I think you should just give consideration to the various possibilities and how many the total might be.   The details can be slotted in in a late version.

The mines are good.    The better something is, the more people can and want to improve the idea.    In this mission you have particularly set yourself up for criticism, by proclaming that you are trying to do something realistic.    You're not the first, I've played many (usually shite) missions that claimed they had the "whole island" experience".     But one thing I can tell you from not just OFP but life in general:  criticism is directly proportional to quality.   Nobody wastes time cricitising rubbish.      The huge and repeated response to this mission (I see many people making repeated posts) states very clearly that it is something that those people regard as valuable, and worthy of their effort and comment.    Any beta post, no matter how critical, is a compliment to the original mission.

If Andropov is brutal but professional, and Stamenov is just evil, then you need to bring that out more.    I know I've been told that, in amongst a whole bunch of other stuff, but I haven't really absorbed that.     If you really want to get it across you need to embed it in the mission:  for example Andropov  towns have a few whole buildings and lots of graves:   Stamenov are ostentasiouly different:  trashed buildings, evidence of rape and robbery, and bodies rather than graves.     If you want to bring this out, do not attempt to be subtle:  this is a subtlety, therefore it must be handled obviously.    (Things that are obvious should of course be handled subtely.)
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: SEAL84 on 04 Feb 2005, 02:49:34
I've only vaguely digested what Seal84's problem was.   I am a vaguely concerened that I have seen groups just kinda standing around without doing anything, but I've never watched them long enoug without killing them to suggest that they shouldn't have been doing that.   As I said before, I'm very happy to set off to try and replicate difficult circumstances if that might help.

Heh, don't worry, I've sent him further info via PM.  I'll handle the recon work behind enemy lines, you keep blowing things up and we'll compare notes at the end ;D

At this point I'm just observing enemy movement and generally being a sneaky bastard, so I'll keep a doubly sharp eye out for any additional AI oddities.
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: macguba on 04 Feb 2005, 03:06:55
Cool.   :thumbsup:   I've been deliberately going for the heart.   I'm sorta trying to wrap it up with as few kills as possible.     Although how that leaves the "extraction" we'll have to see.   ;D


Edit:  fuck, 2am ... If I don't get to bed soon I'm going to turn back into a pumpkin.
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: SEAL84 on 04 Feb 2005, 05:37:15
If Andropov is brutal but professional, and Stamenov is just evil, then you need to bring that out more.    I know I've been told that, in amongst a whole bunch of other stuff, but I haven't really absorbed that.     If you really want to get it across you need to embed it in the mission:  for example Andropov  towns have a few whole buildings and lots of graves:   Stamenov are ostentasiouly different:  trashed buildings, evidence of rape and robbery, and bodies rather than graves.     If you want to bring this out, do not attempt to be subtle:  this is a subtlety, therefore it must be handled obviously.    (Things that are obvious should of course be handled subtely.)

Agreed, great suggestion there.  It would be nice if you could work this difference into the mission more somehow, going beyond mere scenery.
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: THobson on 04 Feb 2005, 09:01:43
I didn't mean to seem down, and I wasn't really, it was the red wine talking. :)  I do appreciate the comments thank you.

I certainly do recognise the quality of your ideas and I do not want you to think otherwise.  They usually involve me having to learn a lot more than I already know.  Which is no bad thing, but it puts mission completion so much further away - again still no bad thing.  Even throw away comments like "the entrance to the base was un-guarded"  are not lost on me.

For some reason I had in mind a 5Mbt limit on what OFPEC will allow, though I cannot remember where I got that from.  If I am wrong then that does give me some scope for additional dialogue files.  I don't think I will be looking for more music.

The Andropov brutal professional, Stamenov evil monster is an idea that has just developed.  You will not see much in this version that reflects that.

I am pleased that lag is not as much of an issues as I feared it would be.  I was very mean about adding new groups (I am a long way from the 63 or whatever limit per side) and have been moving their waypoints about randomly to help spread them about a bit.   I can now do more tailoring at specific locations than I thought possible.

I was planning to take out my AV and AP mines (it will give me back 30 variable names and 30 triggers)  but I like you idea of finding some instructions - I am sure I can work that into the script.

Keep the comments coming.  I now need to get back to doing enough to pay the mortgage!
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: djackl on 04 Feb 2005, 09:11:44
My limited experience of La Trinite is that you don't have even as much as 15 minutes between bad guys turning up:   I entered as soon as one lot had left and after several retries really only had time for a cursory rearm of my squad, to give them all longs rather than just pistols, and for me to drive three vehicles as far as the burnt out tank to the east before the other lot arrived.

I'm only at school so I don't have too much time but I'll just say, I've been in La Trinite for about 10 minutes I think (or at least long enough to put 7 Bizons into the
ambulance and half rearm my squad with pistols, HKs and RPGs) and I haven't met anything yet, maybe I'll stick around, see whether I can lay an ambush....  :o

By the way, I have experienced no lag at all, don't know what you all mean by 'benchmarks' but I know there hasn't been any lag yet (then again my 3.06Ghz might be able to answer for that  8))
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: macguba on 04 Feb 2005, 11:06:10
@ djackl

Stick around in La Trinite for a bit and you should get some company.    

"benchmark" is a tool included in the game to help mission designers.   It is a measure of the speed of your computer.   Big benchmark implies a good, fast comp.     Click on Start-Programmes-Codemasters-OperationFlashpoint-Flashpoint preferences to discover your benchmark.       My old PII benchmark was about 750, which was just and only just adequate to play Resistance.    Your comp is probably over 5,000.


@THobson

You are right, there is a limit on mission size but only for http upload.   OFPEC will accept missions of any size by ftp upload, as long as they're not totally stupid.    5 and a bit meg is  fine.
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: macguba on 04 Feb 2005, 13:48:56
OK here's the AP mine script.    It's not thoroughly tested but it seems to work.    I wrote it then looked briefly at your script and incorporated one or two bits.

This script is called from the Action menu.   It checks that you have a grenade and if you do it:

- removes the grenade from your inventory
- makes you do an animation
- places an object on the ground
- gives you a few seconds to get away
- then moves a trigger to the spot

With this particular trigger the mine is a toe popper - it damages the victim's legs but doesn't kill him.      The trigger is fired (=mine detonated) only by somebody on foot.

I've kept it simple so at present there is only one trigger and the Action is removed after you have placed one mine.   It would be easy to make extend it to have as many mines as you like.  

To improve this script you could amend it to:

- add a sound
- detonate the grenade at ground level to make it lethal
- offer the player a choice of "toe popper" or "regular"  
- make it susceptible to vehicles as well/instead of just soldiers
- allow different types of munition


Given you have variable name constraints, I would suggest that you bin the AV mines and use a version of this as an anti personnel/light vehicle mine.  (If you can split out the armour, not sure.)     Find a box of a dozen fuses at the ammo dump, along with instructions.    


Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: THobson on 04 Feb 2005, 16:44:48
Thanks for the mine I will look at it when I get home tonight.

The AV mines are neat in that they disable a Bradley enough to get the crew out but not enought to kill it.  I have been quite generous with repair vehicles so it makes ot possible to capture the Bradley - but heh who wants to be in one of those when there are AT soldiers about?

I now recall the reason why you might be getting north-south action very soon after engaging the convoy at La Trinite (3 lol).

Andropov and Stamenov do not trust each other and have each infiltrated infantry into the woods near La Trinite.  They do not interfere with the convoys and it would require a deliberate search (or getting hopelessly lost) for the player to find them - but heh - what if he does?  They are there in case the other side starts to play silly games on their trading arrangement and begin failing to meet their commitments.  I noticed in testing that sometimes, but not always, they will wander over to the La Trinite to see what is going on if there is any action there - even if it only involves the other side driving over a mine.  I contemplated doing something to stop this but decided that it was actually quite realistic behaviour so left it.

So I suspect that when you hit the south convoy the ‘enforcers' from the north took an interest wandered over to the town to take a look and it was these guys that made contact with some of the south survivors.

Edit:
I couldn't wait so I have had a look at the mine.  Looks neat.  I could not get the deletevehicle to work like that on my mines, maybe it is beacuse I am using a different case, but the reference ("AAA840" in your script) I used when creating the case would not work on the deleteVehicle nearestObject bit when it is detonated.

Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: macguba on 04 Feb 2005, 17:20:31
Ah, if the AV are neat then keep them.

That explanation of what happened at 3 fits exactly with what happened, particularly if the small enforcer team is in the woods to the northwest of the town.  I think its perfectly realistic: it confuses you slightly, but that's fine.

Hope the script proves useful.  I haven't checked that the bottle (AAA840) actually gets deleted when the trigger fires.  It certainly disappears.
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: djackl on 04 Feb 2005, 17:36:54
Quote
"benchmark" is a tool included in the game to help mission designers.  It is a measure of the speed of your computer.  Big benchmark implies a good, fast comp.    Click on Start-Programmes-Codemasters-OperationFlashpoint-Flashpoint preferences to discover your benchmark.      My old PII benchmark was about 750, which was just and only just adequate to play Resistance.    Your comp is probably over 5,000.

ok just found my benchmark is 6849   :)
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: THobson on 04 Feb 2005, 17:43:50
I searched for all sorts of objects to use as a case.  In the end I used a light fitting buried so that only the top shows.  But I couldn't delete it with the code I use to create it.  I like the idea in the script of requiring the player to carry a grenade.  Much more realistic.

I made the AV and AP mines as much as an exercise as anything else, but found little use for them when playing the mission apart from putting the odd AV mine on the road behind me to: 1. alert me if a vehicle was approaching, and 2. to make sure that, unless it was heavy armour, that it didn't reach me.

I contemplated putting a few ap mines down and then luring the loons in - but eventually realised that droping them with HKs was safer and more effective, especially with my deliquent squad to worry about.  Scattering them around 3 will guarantee a lot of kills - but those guys would be taken out by the opposition anyway.

Yes the north group is in the woods to the NW and south group in the woods to the SE.  Either could cause a probem if the player gets lost looking for the respective civis.
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: djackl on 04 Feb 2005, 18:24:06
Ok just attempted the ambush. The m2a2 was demobilised by the AV mine I set, however the Vulcan (which clearly doesnt get affected by fog :D) shot my squad and then I got overwhelmed by the infantry that disembarked from the trucks. Will try a new plan :D
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: rado1265 on 04 Feb 2005, 19:06:59
For the end I dePBOed your mission and, WOW :wow:! You surely will beat one of the records: the number of scripts per mission.

Good luck with the mission!

karantan out
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: macguba on 04 Feb 2005, 21:31:40
You left me overlooking the airfield from the south.   I made one attempt to go round to the right, just for fun, but there is no cover and thanks to my wretched 2 we were spotted.    I abandoned the firefight halfway through.   Attempted then to head west, with a view to clearing St Louis and then coming at the airfield from the west, a more promising angle.   The comp started to feel  heavy and I suspected a few baddies around.   Sure enough there are.   There were a couple of attempts at this because I kept being interupted but the most entertaining was when a convoy of two trucks and a vulcan came past when we were just too far away to ambush them.   The trucks stopped just as my loons started calling a patrol to our right.   I thought - wrongly - that the trucks were disgorging men so I took my lot off hold fire and attacked.    We took out half the convoy but one truck got away up the road to our left, where it did disgorge troops.   Another patrol - at least one - turned up to help and we were surrounded on three sides.    Armed all with bizons except my M21 we gave a good account of ourselves, and the firefight finished with all my loons dead and me skulking around some bushes finishing off the remnants of the last patrol from a few feet with my trusty silenced Glock.   I nearly went on, but decided for testing purposes I needed some squad.

Picked up the savegame and sent 2 back to my little base since he is only a liability.    He thinks his squad position is about 20m in front of me and he is quite happy to stand up to get there.   (Everybody else is in the right place.)     We advance cautiously towards the road and cross it behind the convoy leaving one AV mine and two APs sited up and down the road to catch any infantry bailing out of a damaged lorry.     Move on and hear many explosions up on the La Trinite plateau.    Then suddenly the screen freezes as the computer has a serious crash.    Power off and on the only option, which makes if feel like a comp crash rather than a mission or OFP one.

We move into St Louis, place AV right on the crossroads and attack the little base there which turns out to be empty.    While I'm putting the fire out (the fires should all go out when it's light enough) a jeep/mg patrol rolls into town.   The first three are all damaged by the blast and I snipe the survivors.   I don't know if there is another and am wondering whether to move when the fourth comes round the corner and I drop the crew.    Check there were no survivors then leg it north - I don't want to hang around for the comeback, though I'm not even sure we were properly detected.    

Got to the woods and turned east to head back towards the airfield.   Found a vulcan in the trees on the outskirts which I toasted with a satchel, then as we regrouped a woman civvy ran from the direction of the airfield right past us.   I caught up with her but she didn't feel like chatting and kept moving.

Settled into my bush to do a bit of sniping and discovered that I was sharing it with another sniper to whom I gave the good news.   Borrowed his Dragunov and started looking around.   1 squad of about 4 standing near the west gate;  1 squad of about 7 lying in the middle of the field, near a single bloke;  a sneaky sniper in a bush on the far side; a few loons lying around, mostly facing south; a Russian chopper hovering over the whole;  what might be an empty tank off towards the north;  what I thought was a brad at the fuel station is in fact a vulcan, possibly damaged.

Got popping.   Took down pretty much all the loons listed above although a couple ran out of my line of sight.    Many of them were 500m away so no comeback.    I had my own loons behind be watching all directions on hold fire.    I was just looking for new targets and wondering whether to switch position or leg it while we had the chance when an Abrams drove up to the fuel station.   Hmmm, thinks I.   Then some new infantry start running around - new targets thinks I.   I'm just lining up on a chap when he unshoulders his LAW and starts pumping rounds into the Abrams!   Who-hoo!   This must be an attack by the Southrons!

At this point I am reminded of another point.   Nobody has any way of telling the Northrons from the Southrons, since they are mixed up.    Choose a couple of nice flags from the flag pack - there are several non-national ones or just enjoy the prospect of a fight between Greenland and Bhutan - and scatter them around a bit.    If you can make vehicles carry them, or make them appear on the sides of vehicles (I think you can do that, or maybe its arm patches) it will help the atmosphere a great deal.    Flagpoles in towns and bases that change as required of course.    The civvies could even have a flag, which they could raise whenever the get the chance.
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: THobson on 04 Feb 2005, 21:41:28
@djackl
Lol ;)

@karantan
Yes but they mostly quite small.

@macguba

Quote
but one truck got away up the road to our left, where it did disgorge troops.
It should have done that earlier, in fact shortly after it noticed you - I am sure you remember the code.

Quote
sent 2 back to my little base since he is only a liability
Is that something I can do anything about?  That is Ruslan, he is just a normal civi grouped to a resistance soldier (Karl) when you find him, just the same as Erik and Irena.

Quote
Then suddenly the screen freezes as the computer has a serious crash.    Power off and on the only option, which makes if feel like a comp crash rather than a mission or OFP one.
Oh dear, well I hope it is not mission related.

Quote
.... this shouldn't take long.
I believe you said this a few posts back ;)


I am puzzled by the loons being in combat mode in the base.  Could some of Stamenov's lot (the chopper maybe) have got to them first?  

EDIT:
Roughly how long in game time is it since you heared the "...we seem to have got them fighting..." message?


At the moment I am trashing towns on behalf of Stamenov.
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: macguba on 04 Feb 2005, 22:40:21
New post to keep things in the right order.

I first arrived at 3 at 08:00.    I took that screenshot shortly after 8.30 so the "fighting" message was probably about 8.40.   It's now 09:50 and the battle has been on the airfield for a few minutes.   Call it an hour and change after they started fighting each other.    I've seen no evidence of fighting between them anywhere between 3 and here.

The attacking infantry came through the gateway roughly due east of the fuel station btw.

If you haven't done anything to Ruslan (it is him) then I don't know what it is.    For a while I suspected it was something to do with all the joining and unjoining:  when some of a group of 4 civvies have left your group, and some haven't, you get funny things happening in your group as you probably know.

I havne't spotted a field hosptial on the airfield - there should be one, unless you that building with a red cross on the roof can heal you.     Although there has been an attack on the airfield I don't think the Brad and T80 haven't come out from behind the buildings, although they may have left before I got round to this position.    There is a Vulcan beyond the fence on the far (eastern) side and a chopper flying around banging away.  

That woman comes running past us again, this time from the south.  Or maybe a different one.    I start to move position slightly and somebody calls contacts at 100m.    One or two squads in combat mode are approaching from the northwest.     We drop them.... actually I allowed myself a second attempt, as in the first the medic was the only casualty (why is it always him?) and I was wounded, which would have make things tedious.    

There is a burning tank to the south of the airfield, it could be a T80.   There are still soldiers around the fuel depot:    the attack squad I think settled in the east of the airfield, out of sight of the loons on the west side of the fuel station.   I shot a couple of the attack squad as they just lay there and the rest ran off.     In other words I suspect that the attack has not been either completely successful or completely repulsed.   Still it was fun shooting that LAW soldier after he'd run out of rockets.  ;D

We're in the shit now:  they know where we are we're partly covered by the M2 and other loons at the fuel depot.   I drop the loons and we start to move, but a T80 appears to our west.   It is dealt with by my boys and possibly a Russian chopper which flies over us.   It looks clear and rashly I save.   Unfortunately we are caught in the crossfire of two snipers on the airfield - I'm totally stuck.    The problem is that there is also a Bradley bearing down on us.   The chopper is too far down the list to be an issue.    However, I could be in real trouble here.   :-[ :(
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: djackl on 04 Feb 2005, 22:43:51
At the moment I am trashing towns on behalf of Stamenov.

Forgot to mention, I keep getting stuck in the destroyed buildings of La Trinite thanks to OFP's awful collision detection not allowing me to move within a few feet of a broken building  >:(. Doubt there is anything you can do about that though  :(
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: THobson on 05 Feb 2005, 00:18:46
@djackl

Just hit the deck and crawl for a while.  Thank goodness it doesn't seem to catch the AI units or it would be a mess.

@macguba

I have always dreded saving just before getting the bullet.  I hope you get out of it okay.  Glad to see the southrons got to the base - they don't always.  There is some symetry - if you stick with it long enough to get to the south base there may be a northron wreck or two there as well.

Great to see you spotted the woman.  A little joke of mine.  I have never seen her!!

Flags  - what a great idea.  Arm-bands and on vehicles - gee where to start on that!?

I spent quite a while positioning those snipers.
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: macguba on 05 Feb 2005, 00:45:25
Yeah the lady was fun.   ;D  


setObjectTexture

I believe - I've never used it.


For flags, create a flagpole on an offshore island and give it a flag in the usual way with setFlagTexture.  Then give that flag to somebody somebody with a setFlagOwner command.    They will carry it and if they get in a vehicle it will appear on the vehicle.    A simple looping script assigning it to the leader of the group will keep things straight.   You don't need one for every group of course.   This is all theory btw, I haven't tested it.

I know how long it takes to place these snipers, and the ones I saw were done right.    They are a bit sneaky and unrealistic though.    I'm pinned by two who have left their original positions and are on the body of the airfield:  I'm still next to the bush in Ga23.     Consider taking one or two out - the mission is hard enough already.   Althuogh of course having fewer makes it harder to find one which means its less likely you'll know they are there ....
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: THobson on 05 Feb 2005, 02:10:02
Quote
They are a bit sneaky and unrealistic though
I was not trying to be sneaky, any base will be covered by snipers and I just made myself into a sniper (or several) and then thought about where I would find cover.  And when I couldn't find cover I used General Barron's editor addon to make some. ;D

Quote
I'm pinned by two who have left their original positions and are on the body of the airfield
I gave them all a doStop.  Maybe I should also do a disableAI move or something to keep them in cover.  Just to add a little to your discomfort, they are all in the same group so if one knows about you, they all do.  Don't get killed.  The weather might change. ;)

I am really (my kids would say 'totally') warming to the idea of these flags.  That's what's great about you mac, you open up so many more possibilities than I originally think of, so what starts out, in my mind, as 'nearly finished' becomes embarrasingly embrionic.  I am long past wishing I had done more work on it before posting this mission.

Bye the way I have tried to arrange things so the second base (whichever you go for first) is a different experience.

Quote
Yeah the lady was fun.
She is not so much fun now I am afraid - she has a man friend.  SEAL84 will know what I mean ;)

Bye the way, the building with the big red cross on it is a field hospital on steroids.  Tanks can't run over it and the odd misplaced rpg will not do too much either.

Just re-reading some of your posts.  This is a concern (thanks for spotting it):
Quote
Although there has been an attack on the airfield I don't think the Brad and T80 haven't come out from behind the buildings,
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: macguba on 05 Feb 2005, 02:41:38
doStop only works until the enemy is detected, or something.  I had this problem in unimpossible.    Can't remember exactly what the answer is but check out some of the snipers there for the code in their init fields.   Them being in the same group is probably why it's so hard at present.    

Glad you like the flag idea.   :)   Also glad the field hospital is there and works.

I have, in reasonably close succession been attacked in my current spot by a T80 (deceased) and Bradley (part of the current problem), which may be them.   I doubt I'll be able to check soon because I'll have to leg it when I get out of this mess.   They twice came to get us when we were spotted failing to sneak round the southeastern corner of the airfield.

All beta missions seem to "go backwards" when the first public version comes out.  That's why my sticky post bangs on about when you think its finished, its ready for beta testing.
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: SEAL84 on 05 Feb 2005, 04:25:39
She is not so much fun now I am afraid - she has a man friend.  SEAL84 will know what I mean ;)

Funny that I saw her in La Trinite during the major combat there...she just ran down the street, right by my hidey-hole.

I take it this is the same woman we spoke about earlier, Thobson?  Heh heh heh...
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: THobson on 05 Feb 2005, 09:11:18
@macguba
You mentioned the camp at Saint Louis being empty.  I also think that was after you had attacked the airbase.  In which case it is okay.  Empty camps are what you will now find if you go looking.  You have given Andropov a problem, he has two fights on his hands and by now all of guys on the island should be involved with one or the other.

Bye the way I like your comment about needing to be subtle about obvious things and obvious about subtle things.  After trying my hand (or should I say mouth) at the voice acting bit I have taken to watching how real actors behave.  Their behaviours are much more extreme than I had realised before.

I had left all that 'flags on vehicles' stuff to the makers of multi-player missions.  A whole new area for me to research. :-\ :)

@SEAL84
Spot on. ;D  I am jealous that two of you have seen her and I haven't.  Anyway I have had my joke.  She will not feature in the final mission, there is a danger her behaviour would be unrealistic.


@djackl or XCess or bedges or Tarados Queng or 456820 etc.
If you have all gone to do other things with your lives, then thank you so much for trying my mission and for the comments you have made.  They will help me with the next version.  I hope you enjoyed this one enough to try the next version when it comes out - but don't hold your breath there is a lot I need to do to it first.

But if you are being put off by what has become almost a dialogue between mac and I then please don't.  Not only are his stories fun to read, they also tell me a huge amount about how the mission is behaving.  From his story about Saint Louis I know that the loons there seem to have done what they were meant to and I also learned something about the mg/jeeps.  I also know I need to look at how the snipers behave and perhaps their number, I need to look at the behaviour of the Southron attack units when they hit the camp, and maybe even look at their number if only an Abrams got through etc. etc.  There is a lot of randomness in the mission that makes testing it all myself pretty much impossible.

So thank you for your help and if you are still trying it it would be helpful know what you are seeing.


EDIT:
mac.  I had another look at Un-Impossible.  The snipers are pretty much the same, we have both used doStop.  The only differences are:
- yours have a conditonal probability of existing, I did do that then put them all back to 100%.  It seemd a shame to spend all that time figureing out where they each should go knowing that they might not exist anyway.  Maybe I should revert
- we both seem to be giving them NVGs and binoculars
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: XCess on 05 Feb 2005, 09:21:26
Actually, I was just off to restart in a clean version to avoid lag. And yup, surely did experience the ECP savegame bug but I've been experiencing it with pretty much everything after the fresh install.
Recently I've just been watching the thread prgress and gettin all excited but not actually gettin any time to play.
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: THobson on 05 Feb 2005, 09:42:16
@Xcess
Lol.  That's fine.  Thanks.

I am struggling to keep this mission away from the large savegame bug even with out ECP.  The idea of putting markers down to show the areas controlled by each side could well signal the end of my mines :'(.  Each marker needs its own name and the number of names used appears to be a component of the problem.  I will need to do a drastic review of the names I use in this mission and cut out all those that are not necessary (If only I had known about this at the start).  I hate making changes like this, it is so easy to miss something, take out an important name and so create a bug.

Bye the way:  Is it true that the workaround of renaming (or moving) the save file, restarting the mission and then alt-tabing to get the save file back always works?  It has for me but I don't know if it can always be relied on.

@SEAL84
I am still trying to figure out what happened to the Southron convoy.  Were you in the town when it arrived or did you sneak in while it was there?


EDIT:
Bye the way - my other half has insisted that I take some time off this weekend - and she doesn't mean from my job either.  I will look in when I can.
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: XCess on 05 Feb 2005, 14:12:44
Well, I've been playing the mission since my last post, nearly 4 hours ago  :o. My first thoughts. Wow!  ::)

Got into Vigny and tried shooting through the windows at a ruskie, missed so they jumped around a bit.  Moved to my left a lil and killed him. Another ruskie ran off towards the crevace and i put a few holes in his back.. not sure what happened to the american, could have killed him but as I say, that was 4 hours ago.Spoke to Tatyana, she died, popped her killer with the pistol.
Ran over to grab his M16 and ended up takin down a night equipped officer before I jumped in the jeep, so I took his binocs, NVG and gun before driving off to the lodge.

Kept everyone with the weapons they had, except the chick who i lumbered with the Kozliceand I gave myself the hunting rifle. Then we all loaded up into the truck and I let 2 drive us to the first batch of civilians. Parked up at the bottom of the hill and scouted the area myself, spoke to whoever and had the truck pick us all up.
Second group of civvies I dealt with in the same way.
One the way to the third group we encountered a MG jeep patrol near Larche, I decided to let 2 keep driving and see if they'd respond. The jeeps opened far just as we were passing them, so retry back to the lodge with the second group of civvies. This time i drove the truck personally and just drove due west to the shed they're hiding in.
On the way back is where I started to fall in love.
Driving across the road i saw the convoy. Only noticed two vehicles at this point: a 5t and a Bradley. With a truck full of Civvies and no AT weapons I decided to run. This meant dodging the patrol by driving between the bradley and 5t... very nearly hit the Bradley but just got past and kept my life thanks to the fog.
Finished offloading civvies around 8am gametime i think.

Now for some weapons.
I took with me 3 mags in the hunting rifle and a few nade's. Drove south west at full speed in the jeep until I ran into a fuel depot and Ural. Thought hmm, so I drove up to some bushes and crawled back to take a look. Turned out I was in Dourdan, so i took some cover in the bushes near the south fuel station and watched a group move scarily close to me.
They were grouped up pretty nicely. Not entierly sure on the numbers but I I noticed they were split into two hunched groups. So.. one grenade to my left, one grenade to my right and a sniper round for the dude with the m60.
Ofcourse.. I had to wait for the convoy to go past again.

Started loading their weapns into the Ural when I noticed someone coming from the East. Jumped back into my bush.
Ruskiwe with an At4 stopped right next to me while the rest of the group (not so hunched) went into the town.
Put a couple of rounds into the At4 soldier which got the attention of the rest of his squad. They movedf into position for some more nads  ;D One survivor taken down with the m16 id picked up before contact with the squad.

Started loading more weapons into the Ural and I thought I heard the Jeeps. Back into my bush. Rather than Jeeps  it turned out to be a t80, what looked like a t72 and i think an m113. They seem to have come to check the gunfire as they turned back when all they found were corpses.

Finished loading up my truck and saved (didn't want to loose such a good loot, in total I had 4-5 AT Weapons, 2-3 M60s, 2 Stingers and a hell of a lot of long arms and nades. Drove to the west and encountered a patrol who destroyed me with a LAW. back to retry.. took the road up towards... Arudy then cut off to the road to Larche and moved southwest to the lodge. Played with the idea of takin down either the cobra or hind, changed my mind ad spent half an hour assigning my squad weapons.

Experience a lot of lag(though I think thats clearing up a bit), but tbh I didn't really care. One lag reduction idea is to send the civs to actual lodge instead of the ruin and deleteVehicle them once they're nearby.. every unit counts when it comes to lag.

I'm scared to go back into it now for fear of my life being sucked away  :o

**edit**
I swear I've missed a million things out. One thing for sure THobson, this is definately an experience... A game has never made feel so proud after I got that loot back to the lodge. Again. WOW! I can't say enough... I'm in shock..

off to play some more  ;D
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: macguba on 05 Feb 2005, 15:08:52
You mad fool - leave the woman in.    All you need to do is add a sound file (and ok just one more trigger) so that she screams "Get away from me!   All of you get away from me!" as she runs away.

Saint Louis was empty after I had both started the war and attacked the airfield (although that attack consisted simply of shooting one M2 gunner from some distance) so it didn't feel odd.

Part of the problem with acting is getting the level right - under acting and overacting are both bad.    Because this is only voice you have no facial expresssions to help you which makes it doubly hard.

I was sure at least some of the snipers in unimpossible had disableAI or something ... maybe not.   Ah wait, I'm thinking of the ones in towers round the Old Base, not just the ones on the hillside.    I don't know if the binocs actually help them:  NVGs are obviously necessary in case the mission makes it to nighttime.     I used probability because uncertainty became an axiom of the design.   Although the mission became so big that chance of somebody playing it twice is remote, and if they did they wouldn't remember.    

I hope my stories don't put anyone off.   I have in the past had comments suggesting that it is necessary to write a lot to be a beta tester, but this is simply not true.    Two sentences can be very valuable.

I'm not convinced you need named, dynamic markers to show who controls where.  When I made the comment I was thinking of something fairly vague and based on the situation at the start of the mission - as if you had marked up your map before leaving to find your Uncle.

I don't know how many of them are named but I have noticed scope for reducing the number of static objects.    When unimpossible got too big I was able to halve the number of objects:  I did have to lose one or two minor sites, which was a great disappointment, but at many others, by means of very careful placement and much testing, to reduce the number of objects a lot while keeping the "feel" right.   This is partly why I got a few compliments on the atmosphere - I had worked really hard on creating locations that looked and felt real with very few objects allowed.

It's interesting that most people seem to have gone wandering around after doing the civvies.     It seemed to me that La Trinite was your best bet since it was bound to have weapons lying around that you could get without having to fight anybody, and also you can start the war.   I did deliberately go there because others were not, but it is how I would have fought away.   Not sure what I would have done after establishing my little base:   I only headed straight for the airfield to be consistent with going for the jugular.

Anyway, good luck on placating the missus.



Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: THobson on 05 Feb 2005, 15:09:31
@XCess

I am totally thrilled ;D.  It is a real pleasure to know so much of it is coming together the way I wanted and that others feel the same way as I do about it.  I made the point earlier that I have some difficulty in trying different ways to play a mission once I have found one I liked - so it is good to hear your story.

Quote
t80, what looked like a t72 and i think an m113.
Quite right.  The m113 is a vulcan, deadly things :)

@macguba
Quote
(the fires should all go out when it's light enough)
I did have that in mind but it means they each need to have a name!.  I will follow your advice and get it all working the way I want it and then start losing things to get rid of the bug and reduce lag.

@all
It is a little early. and it may be a bit presumptious to think that some of you might finish the mission before getting bored, but if you do there is something at the end I would welcome your opinion on.  For you to see what I want you to see, one or more of the following conditions need to be true when the last loon is killed:
- at least two of your team need to be alive and in a vehicle
- at least one of your team needs to be alive and not in a vehicle
- at least one of your team needs to have been killed while in a vehicle
- at least one of your team needs to have been killed while not in a vehicle

If you can't get all these conditions that is fine, I mention it just in case you have the chance to set up any of these conditions.
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: THobson on 05 Feb 2005, 15:13:18
Quote
You mad fool - leave the woman in.    All you need to do is add a sound file (and ok just one more trigger) so that she screams "Get away from me!  All of you get away from me!" as she runs away.
Lol.  Okay.  I will lose her man friend though.

I have just had another look at Un-Impossible.  You remembered correclty.  The snipers in the tower at the top of the hill had AI "move" and AI "target" disabled.  Why disable "target"?
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: XCess on 05 Feb 2005, 15:22:27
Quote
I am totally thrilled .
No more than me.. I'm in awe!! I had to literally pull myself out of my flat to stop playing this after my failed expidition to La Trinite.. next time I'll let the patrol return to the North and set up and ambush... and wait.
One thing that's been really annoying me is the woman in my group speakin like a dude on the radio.. but i loved the voice acting for her and the resistance soldier you meet at the lodge.. reminded me of 'Black & White'.

All I need now is some of those mines and a druganov and I'm set ;D
Now.. what else was I gonna say... something surely, all I can think right now is wow lol  ;D

**edit**
oh yeah.. Larche seems to be empty a lot and the fires seemed to turn off for me, but I disabled a few things in video so that could be why...
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: macguba on 05 Feb 2005, 15:27:25
Just finished my last post while you were posting.

Take your point about the fires.   If triggers aren't a problem you could perhaps have a trigger over each one

Area:    4x4
Activation:   east present
Condition:   this and daytime > 7.5
On activation:   thislist select 0 do fire animation:   this nearestobject fireplace inflame false

Syntax not there of course but you get the idea.   Dunno if it will work but it might help.   And of course you're only trading smoke for triggers which might not help anyway, although having the fires out would look better.

Its not presumptious to think somebody might finish the mission.    As long as you have two loons left at the end it should be possible to set up those conditions if you have a decent savegame.    Do you get any more loons for your squad or is that it?    Normally I wouldn't ask to avoid spoiling the surprise but if its important its helpful to know.

Allow me to quote General Barron's Comment from the online comref, on the topic of disableAI.    If you have disableAI the doStop is probably redundant.

Quote
The "TARGET" section of the AI is likely different than what you would think. Normally, when an AI group is standing still and sees an enemy, the group will break formation and start moving towards the enemy. If you disable the "TARGET" AI, then the AI units will stay where they are at.

Even if you disable the "MOVE" AI, the units will still move out to attack the enemy, unless you disable the "TARGET" AI.

Disabling both these AI sections is useful when placing units in defensive positions. This way, you can have them stay behind their cover, and not run out into the open.

Don't waste time to make the woman in your group speak with a higher voice, I've tryed them all at all pitches and they all sound shite.    Sadly you have to live with it or maybe do something really funky deep inside the game engine.


Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: XCess on 05 Feb 2005, 15:46:52
Yeah the voice is just a minor annoyance realy.. pitch shifting voices usually gives an effect more like alvin from the chipmunks than a feminine tone I've noticed (not in OFP though.. haven't played much with voice pitches)

Also, I've noticed my squad won't follow me, they follow other 3 or 6 when i tell them to fall in. I've got stop written all over my unit icon in big letters so I'd guess this is the problem. This was one of the reasons I was killed by the north patrol.. as well as firing my LAW late. I spent so much time F**kin around with em I didn't notice three russians run right up to me.
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: THobson on 05 Feb 2005, 15:49:16
Quote
Don't waste time to make the woman in your group speak with a higher voice,
Actually I already have!  I went through all the voices and a whole range of pitches.  I made a little missionette to do it, In the same way I have checked all the faces and all the expressions.  If some one needs a missionette that shows all this I have one.

Quote
I've tryed them all at all pitches and they all sound sh*te.
I agree.  What I chose (voice = "Boris" pitch = 1.1) sounded quite feminine in comparison with the alternatives, but in isolaton I agree it sounds crap.

Quote
Do you get any more loons for your squad or is that it?
You have all you are going to get I am afraid.

On the fires: The first priority is that they look right.  Thanks for the idea of the trigger.

I haven't got the hang of all of these yet but does:  :tomato: mean that I am blushing?  How could I ask a question that is so easily answered from the comref.  I thought I had got beyond that!  Thanks.
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: THobson on 05 Feb 2005, 15:54:10
Quote
Also, I've noticed my squad won't follow me, they follow other 3 or 6 when i tell them to fall in.
It sounds like though you are the group leader you are not the formation leader.  I have no idea how this happened.  I noticed formLeader in comref.  It tells you who the formation leader is, but I have not found any way to chane it.
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: XCess on 05 Feb 2005, 15:59:50
I don't see any reason for me to not be formation leader,. I juse seem to be under a stop command (waypoint or script?)
Anyone else experienced this?
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: THobson on 05 Feb 2005, 16:28:44
The player has no waypoints and I certainly have not deliberately scripted this  I have never seen this before.  Is it still playable?

EDIT:
@macguba
Quote
It seemed to me that La Trinite was your best bet
I am begining to wonder if having the treasure trove at 3 is too much of a spoiler.  SEAL84 and XCess seem to have had great fun scavaging for weapons.

Even non-dynamic markers need a name.  Anyway I will put all in what I want and then pull out what is necessary.

Not knowing about the problem at the start I have given names to objects that I need not have done.  A large spring clean should do the trick.

She is placated thanks.

Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: XCess on 05 Feb 2005, 16:50:40
Yeah the mission's still playable but I'll just use my squad for back up from now on. I'll play around with the order menu to see if I accidentally did it myself.. Never happened before though. Units also radio in ready when they disembark a vehicle instead of joining formation with me as usual.
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: macguba on 05 Feb 2005, 17:09:08
@ Xcess
I have had the problem you are experiencing.   The game is still totally playable, but you have to think on your feet as far formations and the position of your loons is concerned.   It just means that you are in a different place in the formation from the one you are used to.    You still issue the orders.

It is part of the game engine that this is supposed to be possible when the mission designer wants it to occur.  I don't know how it happens while playing, except that it appears to be a bug.   I associate it with issuing a lot of orders at once and getting in and out of vehicles.   If you can find a quiet spot and a lorry try getting in and out a few times, selecting the whole group using the `key to issue the order.   That's roughly how I got out of it.

@ Thobson
I wouldn't say the trove at 3 is a spoiler.  It is a legitimate way of playing themissions and expoiting it is not easy because there isn't much time between convoys.     Partly because I didn't get a proper run at it due to interuptions, it took me several attempts.    In the end what actually happened was that I went into the town, got proper long weapons for everybody, drove three vehicles to just outside the town and then legged it as the next convoy arrived.    The wealth of riches and density of ammo crates actually slows things down when it comes to rearming.    There's no problem about having a such a trove given that it is in a dangerous spot.    If I was to change anything it would be to reduce the number of crates - there are more than you need, even to create the impression of a big dump.

If you have made missionette with faces and voices I suggest you tart it up slightly and submit it to the Ed Depot.  My investigation was more ad-hoc.

The correct smily for asking a question that could be answered by the comref is  :-[.    Possibly followed by  ::). Not that I think that it applies in this case, because its a slightly obscure command and such things are hard to find when you don't know what you are looking for.

 :tomato: is more of a jocular "you plonker":  because of the movement in it, and implication that there is a thrower as well as a throwee, it is not really a self-referencing smily in the way that most of them are.    In other words, in this context it would have been used by me rather than you.

me - "disableAI target?   Haven't you looked up the online comref??  :tomato:"

you - "oops  :-["

You wouldn't use it on somebody you didn't know very well, at least not without a  ;D to show you were having a laugh.






Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: djackl on 05 Feb 2005, 17:15:10
Also, I've noticed my squad won't follow me, they follow other 3 or 6 when i tell them to fall in. I've got stop written all over my unit icon in big letters so I'd guess this is the problem. This was one of the reasons I was killed by the north patrol.. as well as firing my LAW late. I spent so much time F**kin around with em I didn't notice three russians run right up to me.

Happens to me too, i once put some men into a bmp, told them to return to formation after giving them a move order somewhere (realising there was a convoy in front of them) but they kept going and got destroyed.
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: XCess on 05 Feb 2005, 17:24:11
Thanks for the tip Macca, I'll try it after I've had some food.
Great side track to the topic btw  :D grammatical use of smilies  :P
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: THobson on 05 Feb 2005, 19:25:38
Quote
If you have made missionette with faces and voices I suggest you tart it up slightly and submit it to the Ed Depot.
Done
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: Dubieman on 05 Feb 2005, 20:03:05
Hey I wanted to test this sooner, but you always find out other things need more attention. :P ;D

Well I finally grabbed it and can't wait to play it. Knowing how Defensive Strike was so good, this should be very very fun. ;)

Just got to do some comp housekeeping then I'll start it. :P
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: SEAL84 on 05 Feb 2005, 21:07:58
Some points before I talk about my progress...

- Yes, the southern convoy was IN La Trinite when I got there.  The sequence of events looked like this:  1) I sneak into La Trinite and realize that the convoy is there.  2)  I wait to see if it leaves -> I hear lots of engine noise but can see nothing due to fog.  3)  I sneak over to ammo crates, see convoy.  4)  I stuff ammo in the BMP ambulance.  5)  I observe some more.  6)  I jump in the BMP and drive away...they absolutely had to have seen me leaving but nobody shot at me.  7)  I go back to the town a little later and the convoy is still there, but all the vehicles are in slightly different positions but are still parked next to the church.  8)  I get bored and start LAWing stuff, at which point WWIII breaks out in La Trinite.  9)  I wait around and watch the show.  10)  I leave.

- You could leave all that ammo right where it is, because there's always the chance that what happened to me will happen to somebody else.  And even if the convoys work properly you don't have much time.  My only concern here is that there seems to be a little TOO much here....will explain later.  

Anyhow, after fleeing La Trinite, it goes something like this:

I got back to base empty-handed since pretty much every vehicle was destroyed by infantry or the Cobra.  Just before I left I heard the Cobra get shot down.  

So I get back to base and save, then I believe that's when I headed to Arudy - which I've already mentioned - but basically I crept up on the town, looked around, saw it was empty and took the open 5-ton for the ammo it holds.  I get back to base and save again.  Load up with an MP5 with 4 mags, a satchel charge, and a LAW with 2 rockets.  

A little jog to Goisse reveals that the place is abandoned...while in the town a T-80 and an Abrams rumble by and they looked like they were in very bad shape.  After they pass I go on foot to Vigny, my favorite place in the whole world ;D

I didn't expect to see anybody here and I wasn't surprised.  Meanwhile the fog has crept in again and I literally can't see my hand in front of my face - visibility is absolutely zero.  Regardless, I jog to Le Pessagne, find the fuel depot, and satchel it.  I didn't see any infantry but I didn't go looking either.  I return to base.

I go to Larche - nobody here.  I proceed to the fuel depot between LArche and Saint Louis - killed by a patrol at the edge of a forest.  Retry to the point about five minutes ago.

Off to Dourdan...creep towards it, get really close to the town, and run into a patrol...I take down some of them but am killed.  I'm really getting careless here.

On a general note, I no longer hear either chopper.  For a while after I left La Trinite, tank and infantry battles could be heard...they seem to have dropped off altogether.

Back to Dourdan...this time I drive there in the jeep and hide in the town to set up and ambush for the infantry squad.  I get up in the second floor of an undamaged building and watch as they approach from the direction of 3 (okay, lazy time).  I pick them off one by one from the windows, wait to see if anybody else comes to investigate, and then - you guessed it - plunder all their weapons and throw them in the jeep.  This time I have the luxury of saying "hmmm don't need one of those....don't need one of those....but I do need this!"  I drive over to Houdan and find nothing.  By this time the sun has set and it's twilight, but the weather has cleared up.  I go back to base and save.  

I unload all the goodies at base, then dive onward to Larche in a car since they're expendable.  Killed by a roaming infantry patrol just north of my base.  Retry from thirty seconds prior.  This time I set up on the hill east of the base and watch them come jogging up to me - I fire a LAW into them, killing two of them, and then kill the rest with the HK.  I see a machinegun jeep drive towards Larche from the west, down from that windy road - I see his headlights, mainly - but then he stops.  Hmmmmmm.  Back to base for more ammo since I'm nearby, also I leave the NVGs I had for #8.  Back down the hill to start looting again, and another infantry squad is coming along - I wait for them to leave, then grab the NVGs from the officer I just killed and bring them back to base for #6.  I go back down into that valley and see a long tank crewman standing there....okay, fine....I shoot him too and take his NVGs :P

Then I head over to that machinegun jeep (which is still just sitting there, manned), crawl nearby, and HK the crew.  I jump in and sure enough, it's out of gas.  Back to base to fetch my own jeep and load it up with the weapons from the three dudes who were in it :P  Drop the loot off at base.

I head over to 3 on foot again, and am greeted with dozens of bodies and vehicle wrecks all over town...not a living soul in sight.  I look around for a vehicle and find one Ural fuel is still in working order, so I drive it over to the ammo crates and start loading it up.  I take HKs and HK mags, since all this time I've been going lone-wolf with the HK.  I take 4 LAW launchers and like 20 LAW rockets, two M60s from the dead infantry, a Carl Gustav launcher and 8 rockets, and then I drive back to base.

My little ammo crate is getting quite full, so I leave all that stuff in the truck and save.

Down into Larche I go on foot, wondering where that infantry squad I didn't kill has gone...I go back to that gas station along the way to Saint Louis...ah, there they are.  I drop them all and head into St. Louis.  Nobody here save for another empty 5-ton.  I jump in and drive back to base, then save for the day.  It's 2000 hours with some fog and rain.

There's like no way I can take stock of all the weapons I have, but here's the inventory from memory...

- the civilians are armed with AK74s, except for one who has an M16.  6 and 8 have NVGs.
- My soldiers are armed with AK74s and RPGs.
- I have an HK and a LAW launcher.
- A Tokarev and a couple of CZ75s in the crate.
- a LAW, RPG, 6 HKs, PK, Stinger, Strela, Carl Gustav M60, M16, and 2 AK74s in the ammo crate.
- At least ten satchel charges in the crate.
- Another AK74 and M16 in my jeep.
- a Carl Gustav with 8 rounds, 4 HKs with plenty of mags, 4 LAW launchers with 20 rockets, and 2 M60s with full ammo in the fuel truck.

Why I gathered so much, I have no idea....there's so much here that I could never hope to use it all ;D ;D

I'll try wrapping this mission up later today.
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: Dubieman on 06 Feb 2005, 02:34:21
Thobson...Thobson...THOBSON! I can feel the realism and atmosphere building in my room, I think I have to open a window....
WHOOSH
Ahh better now. ;)

Great mission, I haven't got much into it yet though.

Overview: graphic but good, shows how you know something is seriously screwy here. ;D

intro: Damn, the text goes along nice nice, and good shots too
though i kinda lost who was who at the civvi island
but seeing the "gagglefuck" (BHD quote ;)) of vehicles on each side was kinda weird but cool, nice battle shots too. The hanging was a nice job of scripting. How'd did you do that? ??? ;D

briefing: voices are okay, woulda prefered a woman's voice cause I think the player is a woman. I hope I'm right.... :P :-[ :-X

pistol? Vigny? hill? :'(
Knew this was gonna be bad at the start, well the run anyways. :)

mission: Here we go, pitch black, no real running. Get up the hill and shoot ppl in the house. Okay pistol has no penetrating power, damn 3-5 bullets per person. :'(

The cutscene was okay, I woulda thought the woman woulda been more excited when seeing a family member with a gun. Plus she didn't seem to see me killing the guy in front of her. ::)

So she dies and I think that some sorta large squad is coming so I grab an M16 and grenades and take off in the jeep. Now I'm pretty damn good at knowing where I am on every BIS island without any GPS, but wow, I was staggering around trying to find that house. Haven't found it yet. I've lined up on the road alright and found the hill so I could line it up with the marker but after going straight east.... nothing.... nothing.... hit a tree :o ;D....nothing...hmm

That's where I am now, but I think there is much much more to come. And its looking good so far. Good voice work. ;)

@to compare it to Macca's unimpossible mission, this seems to have the story, but I dunno so far Macca's mission has the trophy for gameplay and game time. ;D ;)

Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: macguba on 06 Feb 2005, 05:03:51
@GRK, the lodge is not hidden:  find somewhere you are sure of (for example a road junction) and just head down the bearing.    This is much harder to do in the fog than you might think:  use your compass well.   (I will post a lesson on navigation in fog if needs be.)   If you think you are there or thereabouts do a square search.   There are a couple of buildings and a fire - if you're close you can't miss it.  I wouldn't normally give spoilers like this but we're beta testing. :P

Although this mission has many similarities with my Unimpossible mission, there are also many profound differences.    For example Unimpossible was never intended to have a decent story, or cover the whole of the island.    There is no question that this has a much better story.   And you have a long way to go yet .....
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: THobson on 06 Feb 2005, 10:48:17
@SEAL84
Quote
Then I head over to that machinegun jeep (which is still just sitting there, manned), crawl nearby, and HK the crew.  I jump in and sure enough, it's out of gas
Damn.  That didn't happen in the rehearsal!  In soak testing those jeeps keep refuelling at their fuel station, forever.  Obviously with all the other action going on they get distracted, take detours and so run out of fuel.  One full tank will get them round their patrol route just less than twice.  

I think I need to relinquish some of the underlying realism here for the sake of playability.  As the player would you rather I kept refuelling the jeeps on their journey, irrespective of where they are (In other words give up on only refuelling at fuel stations), or did having it run out of fuel feel okay?
Quote
By this time the sun has set and it's twilight
Strewth!!  I am deeply grateful that you have spent so much time on it.

@GRK
Having people fail to find the mountain lodge was my biggest worry when I posted the mission, but many seem to go straight there.  I originally had it so the jeep at Vigny only had enough fuel to get you there, then I relented and gave it a full tank.  I now have a long list of other concerns.

mac is right, it would be wrong to compare this mission with his Un-Impossible mission, though I freely (see the readme file) admit to being influenced to a very great extent by my experience playing that mission and I have also lifted some of the excellent ideas he used there.  I was overawed by Un-Impossible.  I hope people have a similar feeling with this.  More than that I would resist comparisons.

@all
I have done some work on mac's idea about the flags.  Currently each side has its own flag (there are now a couple more placed on the planet I should not visit - but I may later make my own).  These flags are displayed in each base, each camp and the leader of each vehicle group displays their flag.  The flag does not move to another vehicle if the leader is killed, that felt a little unrealistic and anyway would have required each flag to have a name.  As the flag is attached to a person not the vehicle if they get out the flag goes with them.  The infantry groups do not carry flags.  More experimentation to do on all this.

I am sure there were other things I meant say, but I have forgotten for now.

EDIT:
I now remember a couple of them.
At the start of beta testing there was a lot of discussion about slogging up the him with only a pistol being a bit tedious and there was also discussion about banning the use of acctime.  At some point, now that many of you are well into the mission, I would be interested to know if you have any strong opinions about these early topics.

@SEAL84:
So it is now dark and the streetlights should be coming on.  Except that I have turned them off because Malden has no electricity available outside the main bases.  If you see a lit streetlight that I have missed then please let me know.
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: XCess on 06 Feb 2005, 10:58:09
Quote
I would be interested to know if you have any strong opinions about these early topics.

The journey up the hill is very slow and tedious. I think everyone that plays will tap the + button.. I'd suggest leave setAccTime in here.
But further on in the game iI love not having setAccTime, waiting in the bushines in Dourdan for the armored patrol to leave me alone is one experience I loved in the mission. Maybe disable it once you're near Vigny.
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: djackl on 06 Feb 2005, 11:23:06
Now that I have played a bit, it does add a lot of atmosphere not being able to speed up time. I think that it's best left out, as it isn't good to change a mission because of impatient people like me  ;D. The journey to vigny is long, but manageable, and it is worth it leaving accelerated time out.
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: macguba on 06 Feb 2005, 12:05:25
Part of the problem of that early journey to Vigny is that you not yet used to the absence of 4x, so its extra frustrating.  I'm used to it now so its not so bad, and having no 4x is part of what gives this mission its special character.    Once you have done the civvy bits there are no truly long journeys - you never have to go further than the next town to find something happening.      Allowing 4x at the start I think would be wrong - its so important to setting up the atmosphere.

However, getting up to the end of the civvy collection is tedious.    You need to speed it all up to compensate for the lack of 4x (which may involve changing the start time slightly).





Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: XCess on 06 Feb 2005, 15:02:08
So I've been playing for another 5 hours and I've found something I absolutely hate. The mines. Not the mines themself but a few problems with them. I've had to retry twice so far because of accidentally placed mines. A de-activation option is ESSENTIAL especially as it's the first two actions on the menu.. I just accidentally placed a mine by my jeep and exited the game forgetting abaout the autosave when u quit, hopefully I can drive the jeep off quickly enough before the mine is armed, then I'll just send one of the civs to blow themselves up over it with a car.

So first off, I went to La Trinite to see what I could find. Took the motorbike and drove straight into the town. The southern convoy was by the south of La Trinite but I managed to get in unnoticed. Saw the Bradley and LAWd that and a 5t. Then I got shot by some dude with an m16.

Decided to go in with 3 as he had an RPG and take out the south convoy. Hit a tree on the ay there so we had to go most of the way on foot. By the time we got there the southern convoy was just leaving, so I waited a bit and moved in to ambush the northern convoy. Set 3 to sit in some bushes and view the north while I grabbed a bizon and the mines.
Set up a few mines around the north of La Trinite and waited.
First I saw a 5t driving ahead of the convoy, he went staright into an AV mine I'd placed on the road. Then came a Ural ammo and a BMP. the BMP stopped north of La Trinite and i started firing at the wheels of the Ural ammo. The Ural ammo ended up turning towards me before I'd popped it's tries so I popped the loon inside instead.the BMP and another Ural moved closer and just as they were unloading I let 3 open fire and fired a LAW low n the BMP myself hoping to disable it. BMP disabled. Ural dead. Or so I thought.
Turned out I only killed the driver of the BMP so they sorted themselves out and 3 but an RPG in the armor as soon as they'd boarded, then he opened fire on a few infantry.. 3 was somehow killed although I dind;t see any infantry nearby until two full squads came in to investigate. I lay in bushes for absolutely ages waiting for the southern convoy to come and help me out. They didn't.
One squad entered La Trinite and another line of view at me was blocked by some fallen trees so I jumped in the Ural ammo and sped off back to the Lodge.

Then I thought I'd find another use for my mines. Took a journey to Dourdan on foot and placed AV mines on both sides (north and south) of the road and a few AP mines nearby.. on AP mine furtherst from Dourdan to the south - hopefully I can disable the bradley or vulcan. Went back to the lodge.

Armed up with an m21 and got another LAW then went back to La Trinite for some theft. Just jumped in the BMP ambulance and drove off.

Then back to Dourdan to check on my mines. All still present, no dead except the first loons I'd killed with my nades. Waited around for about 40mins to see if anything happened then got bored and went to get my jeep back. No idea whats happeed to the southern convoy, I've just loaded my jeep up with 9 satchels and seven LAWS, took the SVD, two Nades and another two LAWS. If the jeeps not blown up by those accidentally placed mines I'm gonna take an expedition to Chapoi and see if I can find an explanation for the dissapearance of the Convoy. Also I have the fuel depot in my targets.

Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: macguba on 06 Feb 2005, 15:46:46
Grrr, just lost the whole damn post.

The summary:

1)  In my squad 6 and 8 are soldiers, 7 is the medic.   These guys get killed all the time because they are tailend charlies and carry laws.   The wretched civvies in my group are at the front and don't ever seem to be shot at.   It would be good if somehow, something could be done about this.    Soldiers at the front, medic in the middle, civvies at the back.    Maybe have a reorganisation once you collect everybody.

2)  When you get spotted, as I did in Saint Louis on this new attempt from an Abort save (the Retry was just too hard) you get an awful lot of trouble coming your way.    You can get out of it because you have infinite savegames.  I'd rather have fewer savegames and a slightly easier mission.     I had four or five groups, including one armour, coming in on one 90 degree arc in very close succession.   I don't know waht was coming up behind because we kept moving, but it took many retries and I got bored.     In poor weather you'd have a chance but not in this sunshine:   armour can whack you from miles away.

3)  Pic from S-L looking towards 3 at about 9.30


Edit:  totally agree with Xcess on the mine problem - you  must have a deactivate Action.  The same sort of thing has happened to me.
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: XCess on 06 Feb 2005, 16:28:10
Also you can still place the mines while in some vehicles. This means the mine poppi up under the vehicle and ur characte popping out the top becauise of the switchMove.

Managed to keep my jeep on the second try the mine seemed to have just dissapeared. So I drove of the the south heading for Sain Marie which would be the start of my lone attack n Chapoi but as I passed Arudy I heard explosions to the east. My mines in Dourdan, so I drove off to take  look leaving my jeep back a bit and went to inspect the dammage.
I saw two disabled jeep MGs and a couple more dead loons. So I ran off to La Trinite, snuck in and stole the 5t Repair, took it back to Dourdan and got the two jeeps MGs and 5t repair back to the lodge. was killed by a patrol while I was on my way back to the jeep.
My new objective is to snipe out Arudy from the north. Game time's about 1200 now.
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: THobson on 06 Feb 2005, 16:45:21
@XCess
The set up is that a convoy does not leave its base until the other convoy has left La Trinite (or has been completely disabled).  I think I might need to change this.  Do you recall the state of the north convoy?

The mines are a pain like that.  I tried to get them further down the list of actions but so far with no success.  A disable option is a great idea. :thumbsup:

Quote
Also you can still place the mines while in some vehicles. This means the mine poppi up under the vehicle and ur characte popping out the top because of the switchMove.
Another good catch.  Thanks.  Now why didn't I think of that!

Quote
My new objective is to snipe out Arudy from the north
Good luck


@macuba
Quote
on this new attempt from an Abort save (the Retry was just too hard) you get an awful lot of trouble coming your way.    You can get out of it because you have infinite savegames.  I'd rather have fewer savegames and a slightly easier mission.
How far back did you have to go?  Prior to starting the war?
Quote
In poor weather you'd have a chance but not in this sunshine:  armour can whack you from miles away.
I was begining to think that the weather gets too good and was thinking of increasing the minimum settings for overcast and fog.  It limits your ability to snipe but perhaps improves the game play.

Nice picture, your work or seomething done by the otherside?  They all seem to be in a line

EDIT
Quote
When you get spotted, as I did in Saint Louis on this new attempt from an Abort save (the Retry was just too hard) you get an awful lot of trouble coming your way.
A lot of trouble is certainly possible, but it is all pretty much spread out so it should take a while to arrive.  Hit and run is a good tactic, but I guess that keeping doing that might bunch up the groups looking for you so that instead of arriving individually they could all be getting to you at once.

Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: SEAL84 on 06 Feb 2005, 17:08:40
Let's see....took the fuel truck down to the machinegun jeep and refueled it, then brought both of them back to my base.  Then I loaded the machinegun jeep up with some extra LAWs and other ammo and set out to see what hell there was to be raised.  Drove to Saint Louis - nobody along the way - and was going to take up a sniper position over the airbase but the weather turned extraordinarily bad, so I headed back.  

Took my machinegun jeep and drove around...Vigny, La Pessagne, Arudy, Dourdan, Houdan, Le Port....nobody left alive, it would seem.  I did however find the other three jeeps.  Two were destroyed at the road junction where the winding road west from Larche meets the North-South road west of your base, and the other was destroyed just south of Arudy with what looked like an entire infantry squad dead nearby.

I drove through the mountains to Saint Marie, saw nobody in town, so I walked in...apparantly those little signs meant it was mined, eh?  D'oh....retry.

Headed back there but went around the town on foot, then headed for Chapoi...observed a little from the hills north of it, then got shot by a sniper...damn.

Retry, this time come around on the road to Chapoi from the west.  Crept up on the fuel station and planted my satchels around a T-80, then realized that it was empty...I left the satchels there in case I needed to blow it after all.  Crawled all the way into Chapoi and snooped around...after a few minutes, a medic started running around, so I HKed him.  Two more soldiers and a black op were prone behind the tents, outside the fence...I ignored them for the time being and spotted three more blackops and a soldier inside the fence.  Eventually the three guys outside the fence started running around, so I killed them and climbed to the second story of a house and killed the black ops inside the fence.  I went back down to ground level and killed one more Russian soldier prone inside the fence and was making my way back around to the entrance to the compound, but then some a$$hole with an AK74 put a bullet in my head.  Why is it always some no-talent conscript who find me and kills me after a great feat of infiltration, after I kill like 4 commandos?

The town was littered with bodies and wrecks...infantry of all types, a Vulcan, a Bradley, an Abrams, and a couple of others, plus the Hind wreck.  At most there were a dozen men left alive in town.  The weather had been clear and fogless prior, but shortly after entering the town the rain and fog came again.  It's about 2300 hours ingame.

Hmmmm....I plan on the same approach next time, but perhaps I'll steal that T-80 if it's operable.  There appears to be a healthy Abrams in the town, so this may or may not work :P  Maybe I'll crawl in, satchel the Abrams, and then return to the tank and charge into town after I've blown it up.

**EDIT**

Almost forgot to mention that I have seen no streetlights.

@macguba:  where the hell did you get that M21??  One of the ammo trucks?  I've looked all over for it but then again all the support trucks in 3 have been destroyed.
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: macguba on 06 Feb 2005, 17:41:53
@SEAL84
The M21 came from the ammo truck in 3.    I've not found any ammo or snipers knocking around.  There should be at least some.  I haven't actually covered that much ground so maybe I just haven't found it yet.

@THobson
I went back to shortly after sniping the M2 gunner at the airfield, so after starting the war.   In terms of what happened first time round it wasn't too far at, but second time round its been much harder.

I think I was probably slightly unlucky with the guard groups, and the location of my naughtyness - Saint Louis, right outside the airfield, probably didn't help.     It wasn't spread out in time at all:  as soon as the first squad was destroyed I had to line up for the second - there wasn't even time to run 50 yards and plant a mine.   By legging it immediately we just got to a position in the bushes about 200m up the road from the village.    As we arrive there the armour arrived in the village and a squad of 5 gets to 50-100m to the northeast.     We then moved immediatly - sometimes the Bradley stung us, sometimes it didn't and after several attempts discovered the only direction that was safe was NW.    There was a squad somewhere to the west and one or two to the north/northeast.   As soon as any of them spotted us the Brad started boiling the ground at our feet.    I suspect there was also a Vulcan to the south of the village but not sure.

I didn't quite get lag in the approach to and exit from the Saint Louis area, but I did have to turn the graphics down to minumum and the landscape was redrawing itself a bit.    

But as I say, my computer is a law unto itself at the moment.     It's interesting that a new motherboard, CPU and power unit haven't solved its problem.    Nor, it would appear, have they changed the benchmark.

The pic was nothing to do with me:  it's a battle which occurs north of 3 every time I've gone back to that save.  I've never seen it directly, its over the skyline, but the result is always several spires of rather attractive black smoke.  
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: macguba on 06 Feb 2005, 18:31:26
Made my way back towards the airfield.    Managed to disable the Vulcan in the trees by placing an AV mine right next to it, to catch it when it swivled, then legging it out of range before it did swivel.    Badly wounded, I shot the two crew after the jumped out and called the medic.    An Abrams appeared onthe skyline to the south, and was blown up by something.    Returned to my old sniping position, borrowing the Dragunov as before.   A few changes since my last visit.   There is light fog this time, making it hard to see targets on the far side of the field.   Two of the squads I took out before are missing:  I suspect I destroyed one or both at Saint Louis.    I know one was of 5 men and we destroyed one of that size.    

There is is the chatter of an M2 but not at us.   I start sniping.   Targets include a running blackop.    Very few targets.   It all goes quiet.    I have shot a sniper down near the gate on the road going north, and want to see if he has M21 ammo.    There is a squad in the area of the Vulcan, which probably responded to its death-throes.   I snipe them out one by one, without them figuring out where I am.    Move down the hill a little and take out a couple of remaining targets but the visibility is falling and the sky overcast.    As I continue to move it starts to rain.  

It's 10.15.    I'm picking up M21 when there is a brisk firefight - I  had left my lads where they were.   6 is killed but I'm fed up of fighting firefights twice so we pick up his one remaining bizon mag and move off.


/more
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: THobson on 06 Feb 2005, 18:31:41
@SEAL84
Quote
The town was littered with bodies and wrecks...infantry of all types, a Vulcan, a Bradley, an Abrams, and a couple of others, plus the Hind wreck.  At most there were a dozen men left alive in town.  
It looks like the northron attack group got through then. ;D  They don't always.  Sometimes you have do the whole damn base yourself!

@macguba
Quote
Saint Louis, right outside the airfield, probably didn't help.
Not really that far from 3 either, units on their way there might have been diverted to deal with you.  I am using less than 30 groups per side, but looking at the map in the area of 3 and the airbase - that could result in quite some concentration!


Vigny cutscene now has two loons-a-walking.  It does look a lot better.
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: Dubieman on 06 Feb 2005, 23:07:22
Well to tell you the truth I haven't "really" searched the cabin out. I was short on time so you get that rush to find or finish something even though you know you won't.... ;D

But I'll prolly do some more advanced searching, its too hard to play in the day, too much sun.  :P

Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: XCess on 06 Feb 2005, 23:10:41
Statuis of the northern convy:
Killed the driver of the Ural ammo and drove it off.
Destroyed the BMP.
Destroy the 5t.
Destroyed the Ural.
I think all infantry from the Ural and BMP were dead. Not 100%, but two full infantry squads did come in afterwards.. although I'm guessin they came to investigate like the armor in Dourdan.
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: THobson on 06 Feb 2005, 23:24:31
OK so the northern convoy has been killed or captured.  Very neat getting the ammo truck by the way :thumbsup:

So the south convoy should be released and be on its way, my guess is it should be a few minutes after the jeep patrol you took out.  You definitely killed the jeeps at Dourdan?
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: XCess on 06 Feb 2005, 23:28:19
Are the convoys hourly? I was waiting about 40minutes i Dourdan for it.
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: Dubieman on 07 Feb 2005, 03:35:32
Well I've progressed further now.

I've rescued the civvis near Vigny, but am unsure as to what is supposed to happen when I rescue them. Do they join me or something? :P

Well I've stocked many weapons up and I drove around in the PV3S. After losing the road for a bit, I came up north and intercepted the jeep mg convoy going for the civvis (i think they were going there?) and well didn't get out. I just ran my truck through each jeep, all being tossed about like a matador being hit by a bull. ;D

The first jeep blew up and I turned the truck around and my group killed the survivors who jumped from the destroyed jeeps. Too bad I can't take them now. ;D Maybe a repair crew might hook me up.... :D

So I stole their weapons and got an AA launcher so maybe I can shoot the heli down later. I heard it following me.

Now I'm assualting Vigny now, the troops seem everywhere with the fog so thick. But a few grenades have settled the score and I'm now the proud owner of a pair of NVGoggles. :o

Though I think there are a few little bastards hiding in the wreckage right now. But I can say my civvi pallies are good shots, the chick with the sniper rifle put a bullet in this officer who I'd just ran into around a house. I came around the corner, and whoa! Officer in front of me! :o Then BOOM, and whack, bullet from the hunting rifle goes into his head... ;D 8)

Okay time to scavenge weapons and get out of there. I'm aiming for La Pessagne next, I've got some RPGs too, so the guards at the fuel station won't know what hit them. 8)
Then I should help the civvis to the middle of Malden, they might already be dead now... :P

I'm likin this so far Thobson. :thumbsup:
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: THobson on 07 Feb 2005, 08:25:51
@XCess
Quote
Are the convoys hourly? I was waiting about 40minutes i Dourdan for it.
No.  This indicates there must be a problem with it.  It is about 15minutes from Chapoi to La Trinite, add a few minutes for it to realise the north convoy is no more and maybe a few more minutes while the jeep patrol moves up the road 25 to 30  minutes would be the max timeframe I expect.

Looks like something is amis I will investigate.  Thanks, and sorry.

@GRK
Quote
I'm likin this so far Thobson.
I am glad.

Quote
I just ran my truck through each jeep, all being tossed about like a matador being hit by a bull.
I never tried that!

Quote
I've rescued the civvis near Vigny, but am unsure as to what is supposed to happen when I rescue them. Do they join me or something?
Should I do something about the briefing?  So you went into a firefight with them?

Quote
maybe I can shoot the heli down later. I heard it following me.
I know it feels like it but they are not actually following you.


@macgiba
I am giving thought to your comments about how difficult this is.  It is meant to be difficult but not unplayable.  My reflections so far:
This is not a mission where you take out one group of loons and then move down the road to find the loons there are sitting with their feet up playing cards and having a cig.  I don't use reveal or knowsabout, but I have tried to make it so that each side responds as if it is under some sort of intelligent control.  So attacking the main base is going to meet with quite a response.

I can think of only one way that you could have made this more difficult and that is not to have started the fight at 3.  Then you would have had no help whatsoever in dispatching your loons.  Your idea about having some sort of dialogue/musing about what to do should help me warn the player off the direct approach.

There is quite some randomness in the mission that never cease to surprise me.  I have never seen the southern base in the state SEAL84 describes.  It seem the northrons really caught them napping.
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: XCess on 07 Feb 2005, 09:26:45
Arudy
Took the jeep south of Arudy and parked up by some trees. Moved in closer and scped the area out with the SVD. No signs of threat so I took the jeep and went to the north side. Still no sign of enemy so I stole the 5t and drove it home. Came back from my jeep and ti ra out of fuel on the way back home.

So now a new objective. Find a few truck. I think I'll heck Chapoi, see i f i can see the convoy too.

Other
I still haven't had a message of the two sides fighting each other. it's around 1300now I think.
I haven't really experienced too much difficulty so far.
I've also found my squad to be pretty useless, I've only used them for marking my position on the map apart from the convoy ambush. I think I'll save them for a nice base ambush at some point.
One addition I'd love to see is an inventory weapon. I lost track of the weapons I had in after the second squad in Dourdan.
therewas another thing to do with conversation I'd though of.. reports f some kind but I forgot what it was (an idea not something in the mission)
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: Fragorl on 07 Feb 2005, 09:47:21
Mon dieu! So many posts in 5 days! :o

I haven't had a lot of time to play this, bar the first evening when I got it, but let me chip in to add my thoughts/feelings. Especially considering how much work must have gone into this (reading 'A long run...'). Ok, pretty much all the stuff I'm about to say has been said before, but what the heck i'll say it anyway in agreeance/disagreeance with everyone else. :-\

*Searches for his list*

1.) The Intro. I like! Yellow writing immediately stands out and shows that the mission is unique. That and 'To Vigny...' after the cutscene show effort in the small details as well as the big picture I've no experience in cutscene editing, so I can't remark on camera work or anything, but I was quite engrossed. Mars from the planets - interesting choice of music, made me grin, but strangely quite suitable, or at least not unsuitable. Russians and Americans united for the common bad! I can't say I noticed details like the balance between Andropov's and whatshisname's armies, I was too absorbed with the spectacle of T80/72's and M1A1/2A2's lined up together. Cool. One thing I didn't like was the setdammaging of those three guys; it might have looked better shooting them, but meh. Minor gripe. The cutscene progresses. Those poor civvies. Then it switches to Alexei and his family. Suitably outraged, I am ready to wreak bloody vengeance upon anything sporting a military outfit.

2.) The Briefing. By all accounts good. I liked the custom voiceover...

3.) The start. Enough has been said on the pistol/hill theme. Suffice to say I got up the hill by hammering the (+) key, which gave me accelerated time of a sort. There is a definite gap between when you increase the acctime, and when it is reset, but im guessing this is unavoidable. I hope I didn't interfere with the various scripts which seemed to be getting hung up in A long run, but the amount of time was so short... Anyway, managed to scale the beast, bumped into a Rusky standing guard inside the house behind some barbed wire. Did not shoot straight away, but gave him a chance to explain himself. He doesn't seem inclined to talk, instead unslinging his rifle. I shoot him mercilessly. Continue round to front of house, killing a couple of americans. Enter house. Cutscene.

4.) The Voices. So you're Alexei, eh? Putting your a** on the line. Good on you! :D The voice acting could perhaps use a bit more emotion, and seem a bit more involved, but having said that the voices were clear, firm, the quality of speech/diction was excellent, and so was the quality of the recording. None of that whooshy, crackly noise that so often accompanies poor voice recording. Again, I'm no expert, but I like!

5.) The Environent. I don't care what anyone says, fog and rain are good. Heightens tension and all that, but I also think that operation flashpoint looks at its best in mornings, evenings and with weather. Dunno why, but it seems to gain an extra something at certain times of the day. I did something I haven't done in flashpoint since whenever. I rolled my jeep. Twice. Not to mention on another occasion crashing and killing myself. Ouch. I'd have to blame the bumpy terrain/rain and fog/trying to read the map to figure out where the d*mn I'm going combination. Not, of course, that my terrible driving had anything to do with it. Anyhow, had a laugh and reloaded.

Having added to the road toll on Malden several times, I finally made it to the lodge. I met whatshisname, and the others. We swear to take our revenge on all the soldiers on the island. Considering the gravity of the situation (Alexei has lost his cousin, and the man his wife), more emotion (ANGER!!) would have been appropriate, but nevertheless. They join me. A motley crew! With scarcely a weapon between us, I begin to wonder how we 5 are supposed to reclaim the entire island. If indeed that is what we are supposed to do. I order the others to get in a handy pv35 civil, and decide to take a last look around the place before setting off to cause mischief, to see if the mission designer has left any surprises for the inquisitive player. . Sure enough I spot a radio (maybe I was told to check it, i dunno, but i remember i was surprised when i found it :)). Cue pleas for help. I decide to temporarily set aside my mission of destruction to rescue these comrades in misfortune. Hmmm. At what point did Alexei become such a leader? He's gone from a simple lad searching for his uncle Nikolay to a man commanding armed militia, and coordinating civilian rescue attempts! This could perhaps do with some elaboration. ('Ever since he was a boy, Alexei had shown all the signs of a natural born leader...')

The pickups go off without a hitch, apart from the unsettling sound of a chopper. Fortunately nothing comes of this; after all, the fog is thick. The only thing I will add here is that it is a long drive to do three times, from each pickup point to the mountain lodge. And each was quite uneventful (for me). Perhaps something like a randomized patrol or road block would be good (having said that, I drove cross-country for the pickups. The pV35 is good in that way ;)). Something odd happened with the third set of civilians, however. They refused to join my group (I HAD let off the other civilians, so I certainly had space for these guys in my group) however after a few seconds i got an 'objective complete' message and a check in the 'rescue third lot of civilians' box. Having 'rescued' the third set of refugees...nothing happened. Perhaps a small reward for the player might be in order...or does that come later? :D Either way, Alexei should get something for traipsing about the countryside...

On the road again, I head for the original destination: the trading post at La Trinite. I decide to chance the main road. Driving, I watch the gloomy countryside pass by. Malden could be uninhabited for all I see. I admire the pastoral setting. Suddenly headlights loom from out off the pea soup. I swerve, nearly sending my jeep upside down for a third time. A truck hurtles past me, then another, and an m2a2, and some other kind of tank. I grit my teeth and weave in and out of the convoy, through the armored vehicle, fully expecting at any moment to be blown sky-high for my stupidity....yet nothing happens. The last of the convoy has passed, and i pull over and quick-save. One final aspect-i like being able to save without having to press more than one type of button. Hurrah for 0-0-0. I look forward to seeing the conclusion of this mission.  :thumbsup:

EDIT: having now read most of the thread, i see i am only a smalll way through the mission. Golly!

Instead of having a whole heap of scripts, have you considered rolling some (or even all) of them into a single .sqs file? I think Sui and probably others mentioned this before.

Code: [Select]
;MasterScript.sqs - call with this: [numberofscript,param1,param2,param3...etc.]
Goto format["script%1",_this select 0]

;----------------Script 1----------Whatever.sqs
#script1
_s1param = _this select 1
_s1param2= _this select 2
; Your code here...
exit

;----------------Script 1----------SomethingElse.sqs
#script2
_s2param = _this select 1
;Your code here...
exit
... and so on.
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: macguba on 07 Feb 2005, 11:10:39
One little tip you should try and include somewhere is to remind players that they can double click on the map and place a marker.     As a rule I don't bother, in a normal mission its no trouble to remember everything.    Here I'm doing it quite a lot:  for example I mark everywhere I place a mine so I don't run into them myself later.

I gather my squad near the disabled Vulcan and plan the next move.   The weather has deteriorated very quickly and its now heavy rain.  

(Regarding difficulty, I suspect I've been both punished fairly and unlucky.     I made a nuisance of myself in the most difficult spot, in the most difficult weather, and it just happened that the cavalry all arrived together.   Plus I'm not the player I was once.    And it has to be remembered that I came through with no casualties in the end.)

I decide to take a huge risk and go onto the airfield, the idea being that the weather will protect us.    Thanks to good navigation we make it to the fuel station - which you can't see from the road -where there is one loon alive:  fortunately he is facing the wrong direction.    Contacts are called to my right:  I can't see them.     My loons are calling victims.   Suddenly I am shot, by a sniper in a bush outside the base - far, far further than I can see.     Ah well, I didn't really expect to get away with it anyway.    

Back to Plan A.    North to clear the fuel depot base:  to my surprise it is completely empty.    East across the airfield then south.     At the very least we'll thin out the defences on our way back to the stores base, and maybe if we get some luck we'll take out Andropov's HQ.

Visibility is so low that as I step onto the runway I can't see the other side of it.    We come up behind the T72:  I'm wondering if it really is empty or not when 8 bangs a missile into it.    We finish it off quickly and continue.    Almost at once we hear tracks and a Vulcan is called.  Ah yes, just outside the fence, I'd forgotten about that.    The Vulcan appears, 3 zaps it and I am shot by another tank which is way, way across the other side of the airfield somewhere.

Being a slow learner, I'll give it one more try.   ;D  But having the vestiges of animal cunning, I turn the viewdistance down to 500, the minumum.   We sneak up and kill the tank.   Easy.    Vulcan is called but no sign of it.    Incredibly, the weather gets worse.    I cannot see my whole squad:  on command view at max zoom out you can't see anything at all.    At times the line between ground and fog disappears in the rain and on one occasion I became completely disorientated.    (This is wonderfully alarming:  I have real life experience of navigating in visibility of 5 feet - you can't see the ground - and this is not very far removed from it.)    

We crawl forward by the compass.   A bush looms up, then a building.    No opposition.    The hospital.    To my disappointment there is an empty M2 right beside the hospital, but to my pleasure behind it there is a black op who hasn't seen me.   I drop him with my GlockS and take his HK.   My buddies call out a couple of blackop contacts.  I see a spetz natz lying beside a tent, hit him with the HK and ta-da, Andropov is dead.    There is an officer in the tent too, so I shoot him.    A couple more contacts called then silence again.     We rearm:  you may recall my whole squad has bizons and HKs, a lesson I learnt from playing Unimpossible.

No green tick since we haven't destroyed his army, but in spite of the nice voice file there is a bit of an anticlimax.    The tent is well hidden and it is of course in character for him to hide beside the hospital but we need more furniture:  something in the tent.     Maybe also something to build the suspense, perhaps a voice file when you get close.    I didn't know it was him I was shooting, that's the problem.

Consider splitting the two Objectives into three or four, making each leader's death a seperate Objective with perhaps "Clearing the island of their followers" being another.

Was so tempted by the UAZ and jeep I gave it a go even though I suspect there is a vulcan lurking nearby.    Tremendous trouble getting everybody in for no particular reason, you know how the game can be arsy like that:  I knew it was taking too long and sure enough a Hind came and burnt our ass just as we left.    From the retry we just legged it, leaving the airfield by the gateway beside the buildings and heading south.     The plan is to go back to my little base at the third civvy collection site, pick up the vehicles and move them somewhere more central.

Had a brainwave on saves btw.   I alternate both the radio retry and the savegame cheat which gives you a "load" savegame.   Cheating I know but will avoid a repitition of that unfortunateness I had earlier.

Well it all worked out.   It was hard work finding the vehicles in the fog - I must have passed no more than 30 or 40m away the first time - but as soon as we did we leapt in (picking up 2, who you might remember was posted here as sentry for being a naughty boy) and drove south.   The rain stopped as we found the wagons and I suspected there wasn't long before the weather cleared so I took the risk of going by road.    There was nobody in Houdan and we ran south without seeing a soul.   I would have liked to have picked up a fuel truck at the airport to complete the set (we have the ambulance, ammo and repair trucks from 3) but here wasn't time and anyway they were covered by the all-seeing sniper.      We arrived at the little village port at Fi72 as it really started to get sunny again and rearmed.     We are in good order and at last I feel I'm making some progress.    The idea, in case you hadn't guessed, is to have a go at Chapoi.

Just seen that you've posted so I'll stop here.
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: THobson on 07 Feb 2005, 12:34:13
All tremendous stuff from all of you.  I cannot respond to all of it but it will all be used in making changes for the next version.  One comment I would make though is:

Quote
North to clear the fuel depot base:  to my surprise it is completely empty.
Me too!  That certainly needs to be looked at, maybe the reinforced the base too soon.

Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: macguba on 07 Feb 2005, 14:26:45
North then west from our new depot, to approach Sainte Marie from the east.   I'm going to be sniping at Chapoi and I don't want to be taken up the jacksi while I'm doing it.   What's this?    Danger?    This can mean only one thing - a spot of beta testing.   I run around the village:  when my loons cut across to get back in position bang bang bang.   I go in myself and bang.     The jeep wreck is good (move it back 5m so it can been seen from the side between the two bushes) but you could lose the pallets (if you placed them, not sure) and possibly the truck.    You could at least halve the number of danger signs.    Consider adding something attractive to the jeep wreck to tempt the player in.

Back to the savegame.  Its a few minutes before noon and visibility is up to 250m.    Actually no its much more once I put the setviewdistance back up.    The whole village and base open up before me.    The first impression is good.   There are a few bodies scattered around, the odd burnt out vehicle, and a few lyings lying around on guard.   There has been a battle here.     I shoot a couple and a whole group of snipers appears of out nowhere and take me down.    Again.   They appear as if by magic from behind some trees.   But the third time they don't appear.

I form fire teams:  the real soldiers stay with me covering all angles.   The civvies crawl forward to the next layer of bushes.   There is an exchange of fire:  one is killed but I suspect the sniper is too.    I crawl forward myself, and sure enough there are 5 snipers all curled up together, almost like kittens.    One is already dead.   I shoot the other four.      Pause.   Quiet.   Savegame.    

Then a moment of madness.   A sniper is called, 3 shots and my three proper soldiers are dead.   WTF?    Eventually I sort it out.    A sniper has run in from behind, exactly from the direction of Sainte Marie.   (Was I right or was I right?)   He is seen by the sentry, but having a longer ranged weapon he just blows away my fireteam.    This I cannot tolerate, not least because I need loons alive at the end to test the conditions.    At last I find a spot where I can run to, get a sightline (he was hidden behind bushes) and drop him before he drops us.

All the while, the Hind hovers above the base.    I ignore him - in accordance with the hints I've left the choppers up to deal with each other's armour.

We sneak into the base.    I love the wire fence, the place has an original feel.    Peering through the fence I can just see a policeman lying down in a tent.   That'll be him.   Yup.   ;D   Voicefile.   There are two women running around so I shot them:  got a Damn damn damn for the first and a red crossed Objective.   Nothing for the second althoughh they were in close succession.  I picked up the savegame because I wouldn't really have shot them, it was just for testing purposes.   Always nice to see a consequence.

Checked that the town was clear by using the old recconaissance by death technique.   It wasn't.   ;D   Went up to clear the fuel station but nobody there except more burnt out armour.     A few bodies.   Came back into town to find two new loons which we shot.    Got the "Thats the last of them, lets head north message" which explains both these two and the manic sniper problem - the last few are being mustered here.   It's 12.26 game time.

I brought down the chopper with a Strela but the next 15 minutes were very frustrating.   It was very hard to get the armour refueled and repaired because there is so little space and the support vehicles are facing the wrong way - you need to get behind or alongside them for them to work.      Eventually I managed to get things sorted out, but this is the sort of thing I'm talking about when discussing the 4x question.   Everthing else in the mission must be really slick and at the moment this isn't.    

There is also no sense at all of their being an HQ here - the big evil boss just has a tent in the corner of the convincing but badly overcrowded repair yard.  I couldn't even get loons to collect stuff from the ammo truck.     (The two women are still running around btw:   get them to go to that nice pile of bodies and do some weeping animations.)    You have all this open space outside - I suggest a minor rethink of the layout.   The support vehicles under the trees did look good from a distance.    

However the big problem was that I could not rearm the armour.    I was sure you could rearm an Abrams at least from an ammo truck, and it is a US ammo truck if that matters.     I was really looked forward to charging up north with a little armoured column to throw my weight around, which would have made a nice change from being scared all the time.

One enemy loon turned up in the middle of all this and was shot by one of my chaps.   Dunno who he was or where he came from.  Green tick for Stamenov btw.

We took a fuel truck and abrams, bradley and vulcan and headed back to our original wagons.   There everybody refueled and repaired everybody else and we rearmed.   Much as before except I took a Strela.   After some thought I put two men in each armoured vehicle and we ran north up the road, to see what we could see.    Met two or three infantry coming south at one point, who through grenades at us while I ran them over.     We got separated - you know what vehicles are like - and instead of reorganising I just pushed on, meeting nobody till we got to 3.   There there was stuff going on:  we met infantry in the town and I heard the rattle of a chain gun.    I've just noticed you've posted again so I'll end this post here.
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: THobson on 07 Feb 2005, 16:46:59
@ Xcess
Quote
I still haven't had a message of the two sides fighting each other.
That is because of the south convoy going AWOL.  You set it up nicely at La Trinite with the northrons ready and waiting, but the south convoy never showed.  You need to get some of the southrons there.  I have looked through the scripts several times to see what might be the problem.  Killing disabling or capturing the convoy vehicles should release the other convoy on its journey.  I suspect the convoy is at its base in Chapoi.  If you find it there please let me know as it will help me understand the problem.  Well it is only a problem in the sense that it is not what I designed.  But it is not a problem in that this might happen anyway - problem in La Trinite so the convoys stop.  I hope it doesn't spoil your enjouyment.

Quote
One addition I'd love to see is an inventory weapon
I am not sure I understand what you mean.

Quote
therewas another thing to do with conversation I'd though of.. reports f some kind but I forgot what it was (an idea not something in the mission)
If it comes back let me know.  All ideas very welcome.


@fragol
Quote
Mon dieu! So many posts in 5 days!
Is it really only 5 days!!

Quote
Ok, pretty much all the stuff I'm about to say has been said before, but what the heck i'll say it anyway
Good.  It lets me get a feel for where there is a general consensus.

Quote
One thing I didn't like was the setdammaging of those three guys; it might have looked better shooting them
I agree but shooting to order is murder.  I wrote that before I realised what I had said Lol.  I mean it is very difficult.

Quote
There is a definite gap between when you increase the acctime, and when it is reset, but im guessing this is unavoidable.
If it is avoidable then I have not found a way.

Quote
So you're Alexei, eh? Putting your a** on the line. Good on you!
Thanks, but actually it is more to do with the fact that I can't get anybody else than with any aspirations of my own.

Quote
Sure enough I spot a radio (maybe I was told to check it, i dunno, but i remember i was surprised when i found it  ). Cue pleas for help.
It will be in a better place in the next version.  Also, if you don't find it and then head off as you are leaving the area one of you team will turn the radio on for you ‘it might be important'

Quote
At what point did Alexei become such a leader?
Cometh the hour cometh the man.

Quote
it is a long drive to do three times, from each pickup point to the mountain lodge.
I agree something will e done about it.
Quote
Perhaps something like a randomized patrol or road block
But probably not that.  This is in no-mans-land.

Quote
They refused to join my group (I HAD let off the other civilians, so I certainly had space for these guys in my group) however after a few seconds i got an 'objective complete' message and a check in the 'rescue third lot of civilians' box. Having 'rescued' the third set of refugees...nothing happened
So let me get this right.  The third set would not join you even though there was space for them, and instead of joining they gave you an objective completed green tick, but stayed where they were in the hut!?  Which hut was this?

Quote
Alexei should get something for traipsing about the countryside
I had two intentions here, give him something to do to set the atmosphere, and to help augment his team.  At each hut you should gain an additional soldier for your team, one of which is a medic.

Quote
A truck hurtles past me, then another, and an m2a2, and some other kind of tank. I grit my teeth and weave in and out of the convoy, through the armored vehicle, fully expecting at any moment to be blown sky-high for my stupidity....yet nothing happens
They are all armed and ready to go, darkness, fog and rain seem to impact (realistically) their ability to see you so you clearly surprised them and got away before they could react.  You should make sure you get well away before stopping in circumstances like that

Quote
Instead of having a whole heap of scripts, have you considered rolling some (or even all) of them into a single .sqs file? I think Sui and probably others mentioned this before
I am not sure of the benefit of doing this.



@macguba
Quote
One little tip you should try and include somewhere is to remind players that they can double click on the map and place a marker
Actually I didn't know that!

Quote
No green tick since we haven't destroyed his army, but in spite of the nice voice file there is a bit of an anticlimax
Good point.  I was wondering about that

Quote
I shoot a couple and a whole group of snipers appears of out nowhere and take me down.    Again.  They appear as if by magic from behind some trees.  But the third time they don't appear.
Well I do have snipers, but they should all be scattered about - that is until the base is sufficiently weak that all forces are called into the base.  Anything special about the third time?

Quote
5 snipers all curled up together, almost like kittens
Where is this?


It looks like the recent adjustment I made to the northron attack group might have been a bit over the top.  It shouldn't (well it was not planned to) be so easy at the south base.

Where is the hind at this point?  The hints are fine for when the other side has armour

Quote
It's 12.26 game time.
That is very quick.

Go mac go!  You are nearly there!

Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: macguba on 07 Feb 2005, 18:00:50
Quote
Well I do have snipers, but they should all be scattered about - that is until the base is sufficiently weak that all forces are called into the base.  Anything special about the third time?
That is probably what happened.     The opposition was 1 M2 gunner, 1 loon (sniper?) in the hospital square, 2 out the back of the village (1 sniped, 1 caught in the final clearup), 3 or 4 blackops near the boss's tent, the boss himself of course, a couple of loose runners, the mad sniper coming in from behind us, and 5 snipers in a bunch just outside the sandbag fence a few yards east of the north gate.   All followed by 2 late arrivals at the goodnight vienna ball.

I suspect all that happened the third time was that for some reason they didn't react:  maybe I wasn't detected, or the sound of the shots didn't carry in the wind.    Now that I know who and what they were, I don't think it was anything weird - just the game engine.     They were very close together, actually more like sardines than kittens.

When I arrived overlooking Chapoi the Hind was hovering above the western end of the village.   It mooched about abit but never went far away.   It started shooting at us very shortly after the "army is dead" message, but didn't hit anything.  It then made a number of very low passes (in both directions roughly east-west) right over the repair yard while I dug out the Strela.    If you scripted those passes they looked great - don't think I've ever seen a chopper come so low.

The pic is of 5 dead snipers, lying in a row.    When I went back to Chapoi (from my savegame at my base by the jetty) there was were 7 or 8 loons actually inside the repair yard.   They looked like one squad and they were trying to stand still - they weren't seeking and destroying or anything.


Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: macguba on 07 Feb 2005, 18:18:34
New post so I don't distrupt the pic by editing the old one.

It wasn't trivial at Chapoi.    I had selected my position (bushes at Eg69) with care and a while I wouldn't claim to be an expert sniper it is a way I like to play.   The gang of 5 snipers would have been a problem however they were arranged.     As the number of defenders is low your are much more likely to be taken unexpectedly from behind which is what happened to me.    I actually used 3 retry points (the original one, the mad sniper one, and the final one before clearing) at least a couple of times each.   Of course I would have been more careful without infinite savegames, but 17-odd defenders in a village, most of them static blackops and snipers, requires the player to pay attention.

Anyway, that's enough for now.   I was hoping to wrap it up but it's obvious I need to clear 3 properly even before going back to the airfield.    Is there any ammo for my armour?   IM me if you don't want to broadcast the situation.
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: THobson on 07 Feb 2005, 20:29:25
Quote
It then made a number of very low passes (in both directions roughly east-west) right over the repair yard while I dug out the Strela.    If you scripted those passes they looked great - don't think I've ever seen a chopper come so low.
I can't take credit I am afraid.  At this stage of the mission the only instructions of mine that the chopper has is a flyInHeight and a Guard waypoint.
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: macguba on 07 Feb 2005, 21:32:31
Well flyInHeight was all I was really thinking of ....  8)

Right, well following on from our brief IM conversation I'm gonna finish this sucker off.    We take the ammo truck and BMP ambulance from the jetty laager and head for Chapoi to take out the squad that I happen to know has set up show there.   No bother.    Moving on west - I'm going to go the long way round since you already know what I met up the Dourdan road.

The rain has started again so how much I'll see I don't know.    Anyway, there is a burnt out Abrams at De67.  Nobody at La Pessagne.   There is a field hospital there I notice:  I dont' seem to have seen many of those on my travels, which I suspect is just a function of where I've been but have a quick check round and make sure there are plenty.  

Only bodies in Vigny.   I didn't really notice before because it was dark and I was in a hurry but the soldiers room, next to the room with the girl, is not satisfactory.  Rearrange the bottles (probably fewer) in a more aesthetically pleasing way and lose the pallets and the box.   The soldiers have a whole village to loot from, they'd have made the place more comfortable than that.    

Eb47, just west of Arudy.    Bodies and remains of jeep/mg.    It's 1.40pm as we arrive in a deserted Arudy.     At the old hunting lodge the are civilians still here, hiding in the ruin.   (You have to crawl to get in, which isn't ideal.)    Most players are going to come back here at some point and there should be some kind of reward for so doing.   For example, if your squad numbers are low perhaps one or two of them could join you.   You don't necessarily need a whole cutscene, just a couple of voice files.    Or maybe they have found some ammo and/or fuel, or maybe if there are wounded you get healed.   Whatever.    

Larche is quiet but the unnamed hamlet at Fb31 is completely undamaged, which looks odd compared to the utter devastation in most places.    Mind you, with visibility only 50m I'm heavily influenced by what I just happen to drive past.   Saint Louis is as we know:  I found two trashed jeeps at any rate.   (At the time I suspected at least one had got away, and we were passed by a single jeep/mg with only a driver about the time I was sniping the airfield.)

2 and 5, the remaining civvies, are way behind with teh ammo lorry.   The other lads (two soldiers and the medic) and I jump out of the bmp ambulance a little short of the airfield.    This shouldn't take long.   ::)

We look for the sniper with x-ray eyes but don't find him:  I suspect he is long gone.     There are bodies just in side the main gate of the airfield that were nothing to do with me.   We move east and shoot two seperate stragglers near the building on the southern road.     But after that it's no good.   You can't fight in this weather.   The AI can shoot me from much further away than I can see and sending my own loons forward just gets them killed on a one for one basis, which doesn't help

Endpost.
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: THobson on 07 Feb 2005, 22:10:06
Quote
lose the pallets and the box
The pallets cover the fire, to give the latter a non-standard look.  I quite liked that.  The box comes with the building I am afraid.

Quote
(You have to crawl to get in, which isn't ideal.)
Say more.  This is the ruin with the rescued civis?  What is preventing you from waking in?

Quote
if your squad numbers are low perhaps one or two of them could join you.
Neat idea.
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: macguba on 07 Feb 2005, 22:35:08
Ah, well in that case keep the pallets.

The ruin with the civvies was seemed a bit sunk into the ground.   I'm sure if I entered by a door or a window, unless there was a door round the back that I missed.    I would actually swear that it has sunk since I was last here.

On with the story.   There's no way to fight in this weather, and there is nothing else for me to do so I'll just have to wait till the sun comes out.    Pity I can't write this at the same time.  ;D

The weather is fantastic:  I love that the mission is actually big enough so that the weather has a real impact on how you play it.   There are however two problems.    Firstly, the changes are too fast and unpredicable.     When the rain came last time it was a real nuisance because at the time I needed visibility.    Sure, I changed my plans and made the best of it, but I had to finish my sniping job in the rain and then there was only just enough rain for me to finish the job I wanted to do in the rain.    In other words the length of the rain was about right per se, but the weather changing faster than you can physically adapt your plans.   It doesn't matter how fast you think you still need to get physically from A to B.      Weather forecasts and/or slower changes will fix this.

The second problem is the weather being wrong for what you want to do.   Up to a point this is fine, it add interest to the mission.   But earlier on the mission was very, very hard because it was so bright, and now the mission is completely unplayable because its so gloomy.   Both of these extremes should be in the mission, but the randomness should be biased to provide more bad weather early on and more good weather later.    
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: THobson on 07 Feb 2005, 22:47:47
The door for the ruin is on its west side.  I soak tested the movements of the vehicles for days on end, but not the movement of the buildings!!  I suppose I could periodically setPos it back (at the cost of another name).  It plays a more significant part in v1.01 than it does in the version you have.

It would help to know if other beta testers that have a long mission time (I think particularly of SEAL84 who has I think the longest so far) have notice anything like this.

EDIT:

Just read your latest post.  I agree about the speed of weather change, I need to slow it down.  It is actually not random though.  After a random intial period the fog and the overcast simply follow a sine wave, each of random period.  The rain is driven by the overcast level.  So each time it is played it will be different, but once the pattern is set for a mission it doesn't change.  Because the fog and overcast have difeerent periods (unless the same random number is picked) they get out of phase over time.
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: macguba on 07 Feb 2005, 22:50:25
The west side was the direction from which I entered.

Try and avoid using too many red markers, since that is the colour of the player created markers.

If you press + as fast as you can you do actually get roughly 3x time acceration.   It is advisable to switch the sound off temporarily.
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: Dubieman on 07 Feb 2005, 22:51:32
Wow I can leave for one day and alas! Another page. :D ;D

About the civvies, they didn't do anything. I ran into their cabin (these civvies nearest Vigny) and ran around them, nothing. Then some voice comes up saying "good civvies rescued" or something, then they sit their going about their existance. For some reason I thought they would join me. :P
Didn't seem to clear to me in the briefing so maybe more documentation on that? :-\

Haven't been able to play it more, too much to do... ::)
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: THobson on 07 Feb 2005, 23:07:43
Quote
Try and avoid using too many red markers, since that is the colour of the player created markers.
Holy-moly,  back to the drawing board - again!

Quote
If you press + as fast as you can you do actually get roughly 3x time acceration.
I have to have a small delay in the trigger that detects acctime othrwise it will not work.

Quote
It is advisable to switch the sound off temporarily
In what situations.  I don't follow.


Quote
About the civvies, they didn't do anything. I ran into their cabin (these civvies nearest Vigny) and ran around them, nothing. Then some voice comes up saying "good civvies rescued" or something, then they sit their going about their existance. For some reason I thought they would join me.
There is something wrong with these guys, but not always.  They have been fine for me but you are not the first to have this problem.  Also my son played this yesterday and when he got to the lodge the resistnace solder their was as dead as a do-do.  The whole civilain thing is to be re-done.  Sorry :-[  Was this the first group of civis you visited?
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: Fragorl on 07 Feb 2005, 23:26:38
For me it was the third and final group. There were two groups east of La Trinite; this was the one that was much further west/ closer to the lodge (talking from memory now, as I've just realised my savegame has become corrupted now - have to restart :()

About the scripts; no, there is no real benefit (it would be more tricky to use this system) save not having so many sqs files. I think you had about 83  :o
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: macguba on 07 Feb 2005, 23:40:17
Quote
It is advisable to switch the sound off temporarily
In what situations.  I don't follow.
When you are banging the + repeatedly.   ;D   Don't worry about the delay, its not worth the trouble.

When I first started meeting civvies I was also slightly confused though it didn't take long to work out.    Perhaps a little more clarity in somewhere in the instructions wouldn't go amiss.

Anyway I let the mission soak for 45 mins while I went and did something else.   When I came back the rain had stopped and the mist was clearing.     We moved from the loiter position towards my favourite old sniping position.   On the way we found one sniper overlooking the base.     On arrival there was nothing to see so I arranged my loons into all round protection - one of them also has an M21 now - and sat down to to wait.    Still nothing happening so I moved position a little to bring the fuel station into view and in that area I found a soldier and a sniper to drop.   Returned to the squad.    From the recent failed excursions onto the airfield I'm expecting at least one patrol of about three on this side (which we haven't seen) and a Vulcan and a few soldiers on the far side which are still too far away.    

We wait.     The fog lifts, inexorably but interminably.   Suddenly it's all action:  8 calls in close contacts and I turn to see figures running in from the south.    He drops all three of them without return fire.     Lucky I'm still paranoid enough to put in an all round defence.    My little heart is still pounding when Irena, the demon sniperess, calls a contact at 200m and pumps two rounds into him.

Cross at being beaten by a girl, I move forward a little, into the open.    Suddenly a whole world of runners opens up.   Between us we knock over eight or nine.    One or two distant ones escape.  The far side swims into view and - at last! - the mysterious Vulcan.    417m.    The running woman crosses my field of view as the second, and successful, rocket, arcs across the runway.

We wait.   I pan across the airfield, looking for targets.    Several slowly come into focus:   blemishes on the runway verge that you missed on the last pass gain definition as the fog continues to thin.    Occasionally there is a cry, "Run, runner!"      Irena does her bit, on occasion hitting runners at well over 300m after just two or three shots.    I wonder what's happening up at La Trinite, and contemplate sending or leading a patrol up there, when a Vulcan comes racing onto the field.   Ah-ha, there was a Vulcan up there when I did that recce run earlier.   This suggests that the threshold has been reached and all remaining northron forces are heading this way.     We'll stay here for a bit.    I think there was only the vulcan and one or two small patrols in 3, though I'm not sure.

It's close now, the end.    I can smell it.  Which reminds me: something about

- at least two of your team need to be alive and in a vehicle
- at least one of your team needs to be alive and not in a vehicle
- at least one of your team needs to have been killed while in a vehicle
- at least one of your team needs to have been killed while not in a vehicle

While trying arrange for as many of these as possible, it transpires that there are still soldiers in 3 and soldiers and a tank, would you believe it, at the northern end of the airfield.  Still hidden by the mist but able to blow me sky high the second I jumped into that vulcan by the fuel station.    

....

Well much time has passed.    The tank was dealt with easily, and I repaired the vulcan I had so carefully preserved many hours ago.   We went running around and up to 3, where we found and splashed a few loons.    Ran around 3 on foot at length, while 7 and 8 ran around the airfield.   5 still covering the airfield, 2 died some time ago in mysterious circumstances.    8 was also killed, I suspect by 5.   Game time is now 4.15 and its getting dark.

Any suggestions on where that pesky last loon might be?   There was a report but it turned out to be the running woman.
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: SEAL84 on 07 Feb 2005, 23:58:07
The door for the ruin is on its west side.  I soak tested the movements of the vehicles for days on end, but not the movement of the buildings!!  I suppose I could periodically setPos it back (at the cost of another name).  It plays a more significant part in v1.01 than it does in the version you have.

It would help to know if other beta testers that have a long mission time (I think particularly of SEAL84 who has I think the longest so far) have notice anything like this.

?!?!?!?!?!

Am I missing something or are we actually suggesting that the building is moving? :o :o :o

I can assure you, sirs, that it is not.  I've been entering on the west side, on the right side of that wall...it appears to be a door that you can run through, although given that the building is on a bit of a slope, it is sunken into the ground.  As we all know, buildings in OFP don't contour to fit the landscape, so it is a bit wierd when you're inside it.
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: macguba on 08 Feb 2005, 02:03:29
I have suspected buildings of sinking during missions in the past, though I've never managed to prove it.    I haven't got the energy to run back there and check at the moment, unfortunately.      Even if it is happening to me that doesn't mean its happening to you.

I was hoping to finish tonight but the pesky last loon has temporarily beaten me and its starting to rain again.    I leave it running overnight, in case he walks into somebody's sights.
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: THobson on 08 Feb 2005, 08:31:53
Quote
Any suggestions on where that pesky last loon might be?
Having experienced this myself  ;) I was quite paranoid about the scriping to deal with this.

The last northron loons should all end up in the group previously led by Andropov and should all be situated close to his tent.

Oh please don't let ther be a missing last loon problem ???
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: XCess on 08 Feb 2005, 11:19:18
I actually don't mind the idea of searching around for the last loon. Hunting to kill war criminals after the war ;D
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: THobson on 08 Feb 2005, 11:49:14
Actually that might not be a bad idea for a whole new mission.  

But believe me looking for one loon on a large map is no fun.
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: macguba on 08 Feb 2005, 12:47:35
 ;D Yes I suspected you would.

Good news - it looks as if the trigger fired as there were several loons and one Vulcan who clearly headed for the right place.

Bad news - after that trigger had fired there were still loons in La Trinite.

I've checked 3 again and nobody there, although there are so many wrecked buildings I could have missed somebody.    It is dark and raining.    Nobody at Chapoi, which I thought was a clever idea at the time.    I'm just checking the roads now.   No sign of life.   The other good news is that I haven't seen any stuck convoys anywhere.    

It may not be a last loon problem per se.   It could be an end trigger problem.   In other words I could be looking for a loon that isn't there.....  

Burnt out tank at Ef26.

At Ed12 the placement of the wreck and body are unconvincing.

OK that's it, I've checked all the main roads.     The only roads I have not checked are:

- little spurs
- those around Goisse
- ditto Cancon
- ditto La Riviere
- ditto Le Port

Wearing NVGs to drive I did occasionally forget to check streetlamps but I didn't see any that were on.

If there's anywhere else worth checking I'll do it but in the absence of bright ideas I'll call it a day for now.   Endmission cheat to bring up the debrief screen.
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: macguba on 08 Feb 2005, 13:45:15
I was going to attach a pic of the kills but its 3 pages

110 kills
1 civvy (police - probably Stamenov)
1 military fuel station (I couldn't resist putting a law into the one on the airfield)
Mi24
T72
4 Vulcan
M2A2
2 Ural
Ural fuel
M2 mg

The civvy page I have attached because it is odd.   I finished with 3 squad members alive.    soldier 3, Elena at 5, and 7 the medic.    There were only ever 8 in the squad so the numbers don't add up, unless some of these guys were civilians.    Presumably one of them was called "2x".  The third group (from east of 3) were all killed.

The mission time is also wrong.    I didn't check towards the end so it was actually more like 12 hours.    This may be a consequence of the endmission cheat.     I didn't use any other cheats except a savegame one as already mentioned.

No Outro, though that may be endmission.   I'm looking forward to opening this in the mission editor anyway.



Summary

Buckets of good stuff here.    For example the way that the two main bases are so different.  I never got a chance to enjoy life in the villages and convoys, but from the experiences of others it seemed to be good.    No error messages, which in a mission of this size and complexity is an achievement in itself.     No crashed convoys.     No problems at all in fact, except at the very end.

I've written a lot about this mission already and I'm not going to try and summarise it.    There remains little to add except for the one overriding problem that the mission has.   You'll laugh when you read this.  No, you will.

It doesn't have enough atmosphere.

It is a measure of the quality of the mission that it can have so much atmosphere and yet still not enough.    An example of what I mean is the voice acting.   The reason there have been so many complaints about what is, by OFP user mission standards, pretty good voices is that the atmosphere has been created so well that a very high standard of acting is required to keep things going.

All the connecting things I was talking about earlier come together here.    The pistol/long thing at the start, time acceleration, the anticlimax when you shoot the baddies and so on.     The problem is that creaky or slow mechanics cause frustration, which destroys atmosphere.   Normally that doesn't matter because you have 4x to get past it and there isn't that much atmosphere anyway, but here it really matters.

This mission needs two things.   Firstly, a magic wand of slickness waved over it.   Everything has to be as smooth and quick as possible.   It is a very big mission, therefore the mission designer must help the player to get through it as quickly as possible.   No matter how fast you go - and frankly this is a mission to be savoured, not rushed - its still going to be a big mission.   You have already done a great deal in this regard but we need more.    Slickness trumps atmospherics.

The second thing required is more story.   At present the story basically stops once you have brought the first lot of civvies back to the lodge.    The other two lots are just a chore and don't add anything to the tale.    You already have characters, so develop them.    There's no point in getting too carried away because they can get killed, but for example you could have the occasionaly line or two of dialogue between you and Ruslan.   Or maybe some of them cry out something inspiring when they die.    You need to care about them more.      

We also need more plot.    Cutscenes are hard to arrange in the midst of battle its true so some lateral thinking is required.    At the extreme, maybe you have to capture one or both baddies, bring them back to the lodge and hang them.     Certainly you must make more of the lodge:  it's a hugely important place at the start, and then never really comes in again.

Having said all that, its important not to lose sight of the most important point.    This mission attempted to achieve two very difficult things.   Firstly, to create a "whole island" experience.   I didn't actually see a great deal of that, due to the way I played the mission, but insofar as I did it seemed to work.  (Although the little bases in the towns were too similar - make them look more different.)     Secondly to create a genuinely triangular war, where the other two sides fighting was relevant to the player and not just something that could be better handled by a cutscene.    In this regard the mission is already an outstanding success.     I don't think I've ever seen it done better.  :thumbsup: :toocool:
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: macguba on 08 Feb 2005, 14:10:29
Problem with the second debrief pic uploading.   I'l try again.
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: GI-YO on 08 Feb 2005, 14:51:03
Right then here comes my BETA, i'll play a bit and write a bit so I dont forget whats happened.

OVERVIEW - Nice pic (how was the hanging done?). Gives enough info without ruining everything, tension building...

INTRO - Awesome song that go's real well with whats being showed which is cool. I liking the story so far something totaly new, never been donw as far as I know. All the camera stuff is awesome but the voices at the end seemed a bit monotone and lifeless. just a thought.

BRIEFING - Ahh its talking to me, madness. clearly designed for the lazy player who cant be bothered to read all the text  ;D. Objective seems simple enough. on with the mission

MISSION - looks a bit dark and a bit wet, perfect night to sneak on to an island! make my way slowly up the hill with the pistol heading southeast, walk into a fence and floow it along until the shadows of the village come into view, im feeling the tension and it looks quiet out there, too quiet....I save and then clear the house with the ruskis and the yank, weird to see them being buddys but hey there all bad today. I pick up an AK and 6 mags and some grenades, cue cutscene and more information about my uncle who now is miles away, then my cousin gets shot. dam. I shoot the yank who shot her then jump into the jeep and head due east towards the big mountain, my plan being to avoid the roads and baddies, just resting on a hill for a cup of tea  :P.I drive across a road and then drive around on the hill side for a bit trying to find this mountain hut, eventualy i find the road on the top of hill and then find the hut using that, i think i need some more map and compass practice. The story deepens my uncle is dead and all these civis are stuck in the middle and they need my help. This mission gets better by the minute, they all join my group and then cues the autosave and i'll be back later to continue the BETA, looks awesome so far!!
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: THobson on 08 Feb 2005, 16:39:21
mac.  What can I say. :-[  I have not yet had chance to read fully your post, as always I expect it will be full of tremendous advice.

What is the endmission cheat?

There is not outro - but there is an end scene that should show the mayhem you have created.  Any outro would mean me having to guess what the player had done.  If you have any interest and are willing to give up even more time for this the link below is to a file that is exactly the mission you have played but it includes several radio commands.  One to assemble the team, one to kill several of the team, one each to kill Stamenov and Andropov and one each to kill each army.  If you get chance your comment on the end scene would be very much appreciated.

The mission takes about 20 odd seconds to initialise everything so wait that long before activating the radio commands.  Also remember that Tatyana will not be dead in this version - unless of course you flog all the way up the hill again.

Link Disabled 27 March 2005
Cheat version (http://homepage.ntlworld.com/trevor.hobson/Operation%20Flashpoint/Abandoned%20Armies/Abandoned%20Armies%20v1-00cheat.Abel.zip)

I think the civi you killed was the woman from Stamenov's tent.  Stamenov is actually a west soldier.

I am hugely thankful for the time and effort you have put in to testing this.  As I said before once I have a way of doing something it is hard for me to find another.  It is really helpful for other people to come onto my island and make a mess of it.

I must admit to not focussing much on the de-brief screen other than to check the objectives were correct.  It may be that all the joining and leaving caused a problem.  There are certainly names there I do not recognise.

I am not sure how to check what happened here with the end game.  There is a script that checks the same array of loons as I use in the radio command mentioned above.  Also the end game script has several levels, the last level (5 loons or less) results in them being setPos-ed to near to Andropov's tent if they are more than 500 m away.  I thought it was fool proof!  It is essentially the same logic for both bases.

For the next version I will not require everyone to be killed,  I will get it down to a small number and then have all the remaining survivors surrender or run away.

Off now to cry in a corner and then to come back and read what you have written

Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: macguba on 08 Feb 2005, 17:00:29
Having had a quick look in the editor I have two main observations.

1)   It's your static objects that are giving the lag.    When I tested the laggy version of Umimpossible I found that the version with all the objects and no units was more laggy than the one with all the units and no objects.    I've had a quick look round though and it will be easy to reduce the number significantly.

I would advise against using prob of presence for statics.   If its just a little campsite somewhere it will look best with three A tents and a fire.   There is no virtue in placing four with probabilities.  It doesn't make any difference to gameplay and the absence of change is in fact is one of the things that make a re-play more fun.    Humans (most animals) like to recognise things.   Only the important stuff should be different.


2)  Difficulty.     The spot where I had trouble - northwest side of Saint Louis - is clearly the hardest corner of the map.     No wonder I felt they were coming in from all angles at the same time ... although if I'd known I could have legged it southwest.

The other difficutly problem was of course in the bad weather.   I think this must be rain related - I don't recall problems as bad as this with Unimpossible which has no rain, only fog.    You did get zapped by people you couldn't see occasionally but only by a few yards.    Here I was being hit from 200m when I could see only 50m.

Other than that the difficulty level was about right.    If you didn't have infinite savegames I'd say it was slightly too hard.    As it was I used many of them.   However I would consider limiting the number.    The absolute minimum is about 12 and it's hard to see how you could really need more than say 48.    So lets say about 32.  It's not so much to limit the number of saves, just to make the player feel that they are valuable.     Most of the times I was killed it was because I was being too cavalier, knowing I had just saved.   It's more fun if the game makes you do things properly.

Edit:  was writing as you wrote yours.   d/l cheat now.   There were no loons in the immediate vicinity of the airfield buildings - I ran around them with a small squad several times and when I went walkabout I left a loon on guard.     Given how carefully I know you will have done it, my theory is a trigger problem caused by the way I played it, in some unobvious manner.

Endmission cheat is well known.   Press the shift key and, while holding it down, press the keypad -.    Release both keys.    Nothing happens, but if you now type endmission the mission ends and takes you into debriefing.     This is also how you work the savegame cheat.


Outro

You are right of course that this has to an end cutscene rather than an Outro.    I did laugh at the music, I hate it myself but it is utterly appropriate and the performance had sufficient gusto to raise a smile.

Couple of general points.     The cutscene consists mostly of stills, which is fine, but remember you are taking a photograph.    Attention to composition, and backgrounds in particular, will repay the extra effort handsomely.     Overhead shots of mayhem are good, but no more than three of one area, two if you can get away with it.    This is an easy area to play with depending on how long the credits turn out to be and so on.

At the start use either plain or plain down, don't mix them.   Better still use proper coloured text.     The "at a cost" change doesn't quite work.   Either go straight to the bodies without comment or make more of the change.   Don't be afraid to change to some stock music.

The opening shot of the credits is no good:  "Abandoned armies" needs a much stronger shot and one that in some way relates to the armies of the title.

If you really want to make it a tearjerker, then have a little scene of a mixture of Soviet and US troops being captured by some civvies.   They are disarmed, and the troops and civvies shake hands to indicate that the few remaining soldiers on the island have decided to throw in their lot with the civvies.

You must include the offshore island and your mum in the cutscene in some way.   (Basic rule of novel writing - never mention a character once.)

Consider using Mars from the credits section.  Not sure if that would work but worth a try.

In other words, its basically fine and if you wanted to you could leave it as it is, but it feels like a little bit of a placeholder.  

Oh yes, and typo on Ludwig.    And I loved "You have achieved the impossible."  Ah, there's nothing like an in-joke.

Don't have the live squad members just where they are.   You have changed the time of day and weather, so change the location.   Film it where you like.    Pull the camera back a bit from the dead ones, you don't need to be that close.   Also shoot them from lower down so you get some sky in the shot.   They will always be a bit awkward of course, since you don't know where they will be unless you change it to where they were taken after the fighting.

The civvies at the lodge should not still be shut up in the building - they would have started to go home.

If I was doing this I would shoot the whole thing as if it was a few hours after the fighting finished.  That gives you teh excuse to change the light and weather and put everybody somewhere good, but there hasn't been time to clear up the mess.    Evening sun would be best, since it's believable whenever the mission finishes.  (Either that evening or the next, if you ran into the night.)


Thought:  at the end it may be that they haven't even got down to the 5 left.   What are the preceding conditions and numbers and consequences?   (The southron army was ticked as being destroyed and there was nobody in Chapoi when I looked.)
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: THobson on 08 Feb 2005, 19:42:08
I thought the savegame cheat was saving the game, alt tabing out, renaming the file and then saving again!  You can see I learned a lot of my basic stuff by trial and error.

I was using the probability of presence as an easy means of putting down the same camp but it not looking the same.  I will custom make them.

Glad you liked the impossible reference

Ok the logic for the end of each base is the same.  There is a script (DefendBaseX.sqs) for each base and it is run when one of the following event occurs:
- faction leader (Andropove or Stamenov) is killed
- resistance is detected within a small area near the leader (I think I will lose this or make the trigger area wider)
- loon count for that side is <= 30 (each side starts with 220+)  This is checked about every 5 minutes

At this point a switch trigger will fire for several groups that send them to guard the base.  Most other groups are already on guard by now.

Key elements of the DefendBase script are:
It start running a script that finds all the loons that are on foot and joins them up into larger groups, with preference being given to putting units in the same group as the faction leader.  This runs about every couple of minutes.

Sends each mgJeep to an assigned location in the base

Gets the crew out of the support vehicles, gives them a Move instruction to somewhere in the base but this is really only temporary, next time the joinUp script runs it will pick these guys up and start joining them with other groups.

Sends each of the convoy vehicles and choppers to an approximate location in the base.

Then loop the following every 5 to 10 minutes:
Phase 1
Loons that can only crawl are repaired just enough so they can stand, they are made AWARE and told to run fast.

Loons that are not in groups that have waypponts in the editor and are not in a vehicle are given a doMove to somewhere in the base

Loons that are in a vehicle with a problem (cannot move, low fuel, driver not of correct side) are got out of the vehicle.  They are not given a doMove at this time but will be picked up next time through the loop and also by the joinup script.

The only loons not considered by now are the two groups that are riding in the convoy, if any are still alive.  All the waypoints for these two groups are moved to the base.

If loon count < 20 then now drop into:
Phase2
Any vehicles that are occupied and that are > a specified distance from the base are given a doMove to the base.  This distance starts at 1000 and reduces each time through the loop to a minimum of 200

If loon count < 10 then now drop into:
Phase3
Any loons that are in vehicles that either have a problem (as specified above) or is greater than the specified distance from the base are got out of the vehicles and setPosed to in the base (If all the code above works there should be none)

The snipers are recalled to the base (this should happen sooner)

If loon count < 5 then now drop into:
Phase4
Any loons still in vehicles are got out irrespective of where they are and what state the vehicle is in.  If there are any loons still in vehicles after the first time through this code (how can there be any?) they are setPosed out of the vehicles into the base.

The finally any loon > 500 from a specific point in the base is setPosed there.

The list of loons all the scripts use is created as follows.  Triggers covering the map fire at the start of the mission.  A script then runs that creates an array of the loons in each side - these are living loons, even those in vehicles are picked up individually.  Subsequently when I need to know how many are still alive  I count the number of living loons in this array.  I did it this way so I can deleteVehicle the triggers (but I have not done that yet)

You can see there is a tonne of redundancy here and it could do with some tidying up (it grew as my paranoia about this sort of thing happening grew) but after all that how on earth does a loon go AWOL?

For me the killer is the join up script.  Even if I have forgotten about some loons that might have waypoints miles away, eventually the join up script will hoover them up and stick them in the leader's group.  
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: macguba on 08 Feb 2005, 23:17:02
Well, that's pretty thorough.    There are two obvious possibilities.   Either there really are no loons left and it is a trigger problem that is preventing the end.   Or DefendBaseX.sqs has been screwed up in some way by my approach.    I killed Andropov in the north first but did not attempt to destroy his army at that point - in fact I legged it.    He still had significant forces actually on the airfield, I had sneaked in due to the weather.

I think phase 2 worked because the vulcan that was at 3 came in.


What would happen stage 1 and 2 had occurred correctly and there were 12 loons left.   All are on foot, have been wounded in the legs when there were 13 loons left, have fleed repeatedly and are scared witless, and none of whom have detected the enemy for ages?

Similarly if there were 8 left.     My thinking is that maybe stage 4 has not fired because it has not been reached.    Maybe 1 and 2 worked ok but loons have been injured - or more importantly fleed - since the early days of the script running.

What would happen if there was 1 loon left, healthy and on guard wp, less than 500m from the base but hidden somewhere?

I don't think its a vehicle problem because if the vehicle was on a road I would have found it.   I know they don't have to be but ....



Good point about labour saving bases.  I wasn't suggesting they didn't look ok, it was just a thought to save objects while still looking good.

Edit:  Argghh!! I've just restarted the mission by mistake.  Damn damn damn.

Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: THobson on 09 Feb 2005, 00:34:35
Quote
What would happen stage 1 and 2 had occurred correctly and there were 12 loons left.  All are on foot, have been wounded in the legs when there were 13 loons left, have fleed repeatedly and are scared witless, and none of whom have detected the enemy for ages?
Every 5 to 10 minutes any that cannot stand are repaired until they can and are given a doMove to the base.  I should also have said they have allowFleeing set to 0 at the same time.

Quote
Similarly if there were 8 left.    My thinking is that maybe stage 4 has not fired because it has not been reached.    Maybe 1 and 2 worked ok but loons have been injured - or more importantly fleed - since the early days of the script running.
Well the script loops every 5 to 10 minutes

Quote
What would happen if there was 1 loon left, healthy and on guard wp, less than 500m from the base but hidden somewhere?
Well the joinup script should put it in Andropov's group that is on hold just outside his tent.

Having said all that.  That is assuming I have made no stupid typing errors (but I have checked it before) and also assuming the mission is not stretching the OFP engine.  I recall that a few people have had civis say they were rescued and were still at the hut!  This should only betriggered when they reach the lodge.

What I plan to do is to completely re-write the defendbase code with sufficient robustness that the odd loon or several getting lost will not prevent the end game.

I can now rearm the empty armour in the bases by the way.  I still can't find the sound file that OFP uses when it rearms/repairs a vehicle, but I will keep looking.

What is astonishing to me is that this mission took over 5 months to get to this stage (I do play around a bit inside my worlds!) and it now looks as far from finished as is was when I started.  Mainly because what constitutes finished has moved.
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: macguba on 09 Feb 2005, 00:51:20
Comes back to my original feeling .... there is no last loon.    Its academic now I've zapped the file ... really cross about that I wanted to find him.    Are there any ruined buildings less than 500m away?  (Beyond that he'd be setpossed in.)   I don't suspect typos because there were no error messages.

I think you have the right plan, just make the whole problem go away.    Well done on the rearming.
..

That is the problem, you keep moving your own goalposts.  I gave up on Unimpossible several times becuase I was bored with it.  The last time I took it up was because I thought it would be quicker to finish than my other 99% finished mission.    6 months later ....

The oldest version of unimpossible that I have, of the one set on Kolgujev, looks much the same as the current one if you glance at it in the mission editor.   It's true there are many more scripts, but you simply would not believe how much work it took to make all these tiny changes which add up to a really big improvement.   This is much further on now than that was then .... but I've never heard of a beta of a really good mission that was much past half way when the first public beta came out.    4.5 months to go then.  ;D
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: THobson on 09 Feb 2005, 01:20:59
Quote
but you simply would not believe how much work it took to make all these tiny changes
I damn well would!  Just getting some fencing to line up an be an hour or two!

One thing you didn't mention that was bothering me (everything else that was bothering me was picked up - and more) is why is Stamenov's tent in a repair yard?

By the way there was some evidence of his evil ways round the back of his tent if you noticed.

Quote
4.5 months to go then.
I can't see it being less than that,  I amnow back to soak testing again
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: Dubieman on 09 Feb 2005, 01:34:19
Hey Thobson!

I know I'm not that far along, but back from where I was....

Scavenged TONs of weapons at Vigny. Finally left as another big squad came to check everything out. I went over and dropped off my mates to defend the villa/house. Went on and freed the civvis nearest to me. Left them in the truck and took a car to check out La Trinite and cause some trouble by myself. Now I get in there and since there's so much fog, I jump out in the middle of town. Stupid I know. Then see a big ole convoy pull up. Guys jump out...

Crap, run run, hmmm, Law the M2a2 and hide in some wrecks. I finally back off then go across town in hope of doing something to get the two sides in their at the same time. I found a glitch in a destroyed building. I lied down and killed 15 soldiers in the space of 3 min. now I lay there, they for some reason walked in, and cause of clipping or something couldn't shoot or see me. So bang bang and I killed part of the convoy guard. This infuriates them more so ppl and vehicles are all over the city. Then I hear armor. Vehicles, lots of them. ;D

"hmm they're fighting each other...."

Yay, the northerners arrive and the sh!t hits the fan. I run away looking for the third group of civs. Some serious fighting is going down. ;D

The third civ group has the same error as the ones at the first place, except no voice or hint saying I rescued them. :P Is it cause the 2nd group is still in my PV3S? I don't know. I steal the car and drive back to see how the fight is going. Hmm, empty ammo truck, knicked driver.... Steal the ammo truck and run using the fog to my advantage. Figures I have to leave the ammo truck at the 2nd civ place cause they won't drive it, nor will any driving situation work. :-\ ::)

But that's okay, I'll come back later. Get the civs in my PV3s and back to base. I encounter 4 coming to me, then some infantry mate shoots my truck with a LAW. Reload/retry at my good savepoint about 2 min before. This time I pick my guy up and head towards the cabin. I guess I lost my 3 & 5 group members cause all that action plus the crap I pulled warranted 2 infantry squads ramapaging through my camp. Then as I arrive the armor support drives through. :noo:

I'm really scared now, T80, T72, and a vulcan. Got my ppl to cover and no one died. The vulcan gave me a mean look and a lucky warning shot and they left. Right after they started down the hill to La Trinite, a Cobra blows them up with FFARs all over. Only 70m from my cabin area! ;D :D :P

Well that's where I'm at now. The tension is building so much... :)

The civs are a real odd thing. They join you or ignore you, or a voice comes up but nothing happens.  :-\

Well, I guess my plans now are to head south and hit La Pessagne, then see if I can hit the little idiots who drove me from Vigny. Only problem is I have 4 guys including me. And I'm the only one who can carry AT stuff. :tomato: So I'll prolly visit the civs east of La Trinite to see if any want to join...:beat:


Edit: Oh and I must add that before taking cover in the glitch house in La Trinite, I was hiding in a field. I jumped into a big bush and didn't move. 2 infantry sweeps went around me. Their officer only 4m away! :o But it was prolly the fog, cause it didn't seem right, but I was lucky there, then I found that house.....
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: macguba on 09 Feb 2005, 02:18:26
I thought I'd complimented you on the bodies behind the tent, sorry.... I did say (or thought I did) that the loose women should end up crying over these bodies to get them out of the way.

I considered the possible oddness of the tent being in the repair yard and decided it wasn't odd.   Firstly, there is nowhere else in the Base for it to be.   (I considered mentioning that the area enclosed by the sandbag fence was too big but then decided you probably needed it for vehicle turning.   His tent would be no better out there.)   Secondly, it is to some extent in character: he is a a base and practical man and he would not find it odd to put his tent in such a practical place.    Thirdly, the position reflects the encirclement of the tent by the hospital at the airfield.   The proximity of the buildings creates a sense of closeness which is effective in relating the two bases to each other, while keeping them very different.

If I had a complaint about that whole setup, other than those I mentioned at the time, it is the repair building at the end of the track.   It feels very odd, stuck in the middle of that space.   It's also a bloody nuisance, although it does contribute to the closeness thing just mentioned.    I would have been tempted to lay a little more track and place it further in.   (With the famous tent somewhere else of course.)    I wasn't thrilled by the closed tent either to be honest.   In a sense what is much odder is that he is not in one of the houses.    If it could be made to look OK I'd have put him in an enterable Nogova church, or a graveyard.  If he's going to be evil lets emphasize the point.


Little idea for the lodge.   When you first arrive there are not graves, there are bodies.    After you bring the civvies back, while you are away, the bodies are buried.


Unimpossible is pushing on for 3 years now, if that's any consolation.   On and off.   Since the original Goisse version.


A small favour:  I tried to create this but it kept going wrong.   Could you create a version with player start and Tatyana and civvy locations all moved to very close to the lodge?

I tried it but it kept going wrong:  I was teleported back to Vigny, or shot on approaching the lodge or something.   I managed to make it daylight with no weather and 4x allowed and I can add setCaptive and kit galore myself.  

I can then run speedily through an approximation of what I did (without the need for altering triggers or anything) and see if we can replicate the problem.  It could be a variable in one of those early cutscenes so we can't just bypass them.


Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: THobson on 09 Feb 2005, 07:32:34
@GRK

Glad to hear you are still at it.  I think I figured out the problem with the civis being 'rescued' but still being in the hut. It looks to me like a couple of scripts running out of order,  I will fix that be getting one script to call the other when it is ready. Why it works sometimes and not others I don't know.

The problem you had with the latest lot is dfferent.  There are 5 of them, so they cannot join you if you have a squad > 7, which you probably have if you still have one lot with you.  Get the first lot back to the lodge and they will leave you.  You should then be able to pick up the last lot.

Quote
have 4 guys including me. And I'm the only one who can carry AT stuff.
You get one resistance soldier at the lodge and one each at the civis so you should (if it all works) end up with 4 soldiers + you in the team that can carry AT stuff.  The civis have the same capacity as medics.

I really need to rework the whole civi thing.


@macguba

Quote
the loose women should end up crying over these bodies to get them out of the way.
Loose as in un-attached I presume. ;)  Good idea.  I have given them a domove instruction to make them seem like they are running away, but all the wire around the enclosure confuses them and they just stop after a while - even with  the domove instruction being repeated periodically.  Another case of "Why didn't I think of that!"

Quote
A small favour:  I tried to create this but it kept going wrong.  Could you create a version with player start and Tatyana and civvy locations all moved to very close to the lodge?run away but all the wire around the enclosure confuses them eventually.
I am in bed with flu but will look at it soon.  This may take a little time as I am now near the maximum allowed on my webpage.  In the meantime:  

You would be teleported back to vigny, to reduce the number of names I changed from using markers and GLs to absolute addresses for things like the camera and player position.

Also:
In Init.sqs:
near the top are the lines
Code: [Select]
DeBug = false
_setEnvironment = true
Changing setEnvironment to be false will turn off the weather - I presume that is what you have done.
Changing DeBug to true will enable you to approach the lodge without having to do the vigny cutscene.  It will also turn on a whole lot of messages as well as allowing 4x
Further down Init.sqs are the lines
Code: [Select]
#DeBug
[] exec "reportOnPatrolsnConvoys.sqs"
If you comment out the second line it will turn off most of the messages - these don't make much sense now anyway because you will see that further up I have commented out a lot of variables that are only used for de-bugging and are used by this script.  (I needed to reduce the number of names.)
As for moving the civis closer I think if you just select everything at the hut (civis, loon, trigger) and physically drag the stuff nearer the lodge it should work.

As for moving Alexi.  You can see where he starts.  There are 4 empty markers close by that he is grouped with .  Ungroup them and just drag him to where you want to be.  Presumably just outside the triiger area at the lodge

I will do this, but as it involves doing some housekeeping on my web site it may take a while - and I only got out of my sick bed to call the office to say I will not be in, check the mission I have soaked over night to try and replicate what happened with Xcess' convoys (I can't - not yet anyway) and check here for messages.

Thanks for still being interested.

SEAL84 and Xcess, if you have not been put off by all this I would be interested to know of any similar experience you have had,  SEAL84 was last heard of a whisker away from hitting Stamenov, with an empty T80 nearby.
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: macguba on 09 Feb 2005, 12:14:38
Quote
I am in bed with flu but will look at it soon
Och, flu is such a bore.    Get well soon and all that.    

If you're tight on the webpage forget it, its not worth the trouble.    I'll dig into the scripts:  fixing it will not be the problem, its just finding all the relevant bits.    The vital one I was missing was debug, that pretty much should do what I want.  
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: GI-YO on 09 Feb 2005, 12:52:52
Right then i'm back for more.

MISSION (continued) - i get my group armed with the weapons out the crate and turn on the radio so theres some more objectives to complete, by the looks of it this mission may take days to complete! I get everyone into the truck, time is 6.45AM. Drive east then disembark by the dirt tract and make my way on foot to the civi's. they form up and then i sprint back to the truck and load them in, heading west now back to the mountain hut, haven't seen any one else on my travels, now 6.51AM. With a bit of nifty navigation i make it back to the lodge in the hills, thats one group of civilians who are safe. Two more to go.I have to go and have some luch and do some chores but i'll be back laterto carry on this monster of a mission. I might start ambushing convoys to capture some war booty for my rubbishly euiped forces.

 just noticed that the civilian links on the brifing page seem to be linked to the wrong location. The radio message link is linked to the civi's in the SW area of the map not the civi's near the woods. I decided to rescue the civs first and then do the killing last so i head for the civis on the hill near vigny with my armed budys, leaving the truck in some bushes and making my way their alone on foot, i get a report of a veichle 7 oclock 100 meters but ignore it. Im nearly at the hill. lighting and rain make for good concelemant, hope there arent any bad guys around. I get to the hut no baddys, not sure if there is spose to be voices here, just text on screen and then the 4 civs join my group. I finaly find the lodge and another group of civi's are safe, also managed to collect a few AK 47cz's so my groups fire power is improving. Going for the final group of civi's now. Starting to notice a helicopter buzzing about quite regualry so will have to watch for him as it gets light. time is 7.23AM.hop back into my truck after dropping of my pals and drive straight on an east bearing, with a hint of south (not sure how that is said  ;D) and cross the main road. searching for the civs. I find them nd get them to load into the truck. Set a heading a bomb cross country and finaly find the lodge. Now i have some hints. I will isten to those. Now for the hard part of the mission. I have to go to work soon but i will continue tomorow. Cant wait!!!

GI-YO
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: THobson on 09 Feb 2005, 16:30:45
@GI-YO

I am going to completely redo the civilians.  You have exerienced something that many have not but my son did - when you get to the civis in the SW the resistance soldier there is dead!! - that was why you got no voice.  Not sure what caused it, maybe it was being close to the fire.

Keep at it!  The descriptions reall y help me to understand some of the things that are going wrong.
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: XCess on 09 Feb 2005, 17:32:32
I took a Jeep MG and 2 with me to La Trinite. 2 jumped on the MG and I stopped the jeep west of La Trinite fror him to give cover from the northrons in the town. By the time I'd reach the town he was dead without firing a shot  ::) He was set to Open Fire Engage At Will, Combat and i gasve him a watch order over the town.. no help.
I just ran in stole the Ural ammo and drove off. Left the Ural ammo in Dourdan and moved SE to give me highground over Houdan. Spotted a Vulcan and LAWd it (i had an SVD with 4 mags and a LAW with 3 LAWs equipped). Checked the village with my scope and there was no one around so I went to the hamlet to the east. Here there was a t80 and a t72... time for some fun :D
I was to the NE of both tanks and hiding in some bushes. Put both LAWs I had left into the t80 and legged it after the t72 started inspecting.
Cam back equipped with three LAWs and hid in the bushes on the south side of the buildings, 10-20 metres from the t80... the t72 somewhere else.. to the south I think.
The t80 was being repaired by a 5t Repair. Put all three LAWs into the tracks and ground near the t80. Turned out that the crew was turned out and I'd kiled em (how did I not notice this???) and the 5t was overturned. The t72 parked up next to the t80 and I just jumped in and drove off.
Drove towards Arudy and saved.

Now.. each time I resume the mission I get sent back to La Trinite just after the death of 2... whenever I die teh game crashes... no CBT just blackness..
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: SEAL84 on 09 Feb 2005, 19:42:00
SEAL84 and Xcess, if you have not been put off by all this I would be interested to know of any similar experience you have had,  SEAL84 was last heard of a whisker away from hitting Stamenov, with an empty T80 nearby.

Indeed...I'll try again tonight.
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: macguba on 09 Feb 2005, 22:22:23
@GI-YO
Here's a quick tutorial on compass point descriptions.   They go like this:

North

North Northeast by North

North Northeast

North Northeast by East

Northeast

East Northeast by North

East Northeast

East Northeast by East

East

Those in bold are important, in italics are obscure.    Obviously its similar for the other quadrants.    "East with hint of south" would usually be said as East-southeast or written ESE.     East-southeast by east (ESEE), which is East with a really tiny hint of south, is something you would really only use in navigation - it's too troublesome to use in general conversation.


@XCesss
I once wasted a great deal of time trying to make a jeep/mg mission.   It didn't work.   Being a gunner on one of these things is the fastest single way of getting killed in this game.   It's right up there with laying a satchel, setting the timer to 30s and then not moving.   You're not much off driving or in cargo.  


@THobson
I pretty much figured out what I was trying to do.   Those two variables are the critical ones.
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: THobson on 09 Feb 2005, 22:58:05
Quote
Those two variables are the critical ones.
They certainly are.  If a text file could wear out from usage then mine would look like:
DeBug = <warn patch>
_setEnvironment = <deep hole>

I feel a bit guilty not responding more than I do, but I have just checked and in the first week this mission has been on this site it has had more comments than my previous mission ever had, and that was spread over 3 months.

Just so you all know I am not being idle.  I have tried unsuccessfully to replicate what happened with XCess' convoy, but I have changed the logic so that if that sort of thing happens again the other convoy will be released and so a war will start.  I think it is only fair that if you go to the trouble of making your presence felt on one convoy at La Trinite then north and south will take it out on each other.  XCess seems to be doing well taking them down a bit at a time, but it will be a hell of a long job.

I have fixed the bug that caused macguba's north base to go on alert too soon, restructured the south base, changed the dialog at Vigny, changed the storyline somewhat, CHANGED THE START LOCATION - no more flogging up that damned hill, enabled the empty armour in the bases to be re-armed.  etc. etc.  Still a long way to go though.
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: macguba on 09 Feb 2005, 23:07:00
I created a test version of the mission, based on the original version not the cheat version.

- The weather and debug variables were set

- anti 4x trigger deleted
- AV and AT mine triggers deleted
- many static objects around the map deleted
- several empty Abrams, Shilkas and support vehicles placed near lodge

- three civvy locations moved to near lodge
- Vigny stuff moved to near the lodge, soldiers deleted, Tatyana setCAptive true
- Player start moved to just outside the lodge trigger area and the player was made setCaptive true

- Lodge cutscene file edited to skip the bulk of the scene.   Kept Mountain_CutScene = true at the start and jumped to just after the camera was destroyed.   Kept
[Ruslan] join Alexi
"0" objStatus"DONE"
"6" objStatus"ACTIVE"

- radio trigger added to setDammage 0 the player's group and vehicles of the player's group


Actually it took several attempts to get all this right.     On the "successful" run - I use the word inadvisedly, as you will see - I started near the lodge, moved towards the lodge and had first Ruslan then the other 3 join my group.    Heard the radio message.    Went to fetch 3 lots of civvies, all acted correctly.  (I had had trouble with this but I think it was just me doing htings too fast and the scripts stepping on each other.)

When I had my final and correct squad of eight we jumped into 3 Abrams and a Shilka and set off.   I had not been anywhere near Tatyana.  Green ticks for find uncle Nic and the three civvy objectives.

Moved towards Arudy and trashed the squad there.   Moved to west of La Trinite with everybody on hold fire.   Waited for a convoy from the south and trashed it.   Moved to east of 3, the Shilka got trashed but I saved the crew with my magic radio trigger.   Sent them to walk back to the lodge.

Our three Abrams headed north and came over the skyline to get a view on the airfield.    Got "oh theres a war on" message.    Massive armour battle at long range.    Had to put the viewdistance up to 3.5kmm which is why I'd deleted lots of stuff.    Killed Andropov and lots of others, I think there was a tank left and certainly some infantry.    

Chopper in Vigny fjord activated several times.

Ran south on 4x to overlook Chapoi.   More interesting tank battle.    Killed Stamenov and cleared the place out.   Enemy tanks turned up form time to time.     Lost an Abrams but managed to put the guys in a captured T80.   Very low on ammo as the ammo truck I had managed to preserve was blown up by one of the enemy tanks which turned up from time to time as one of my tanks was rearming from it.

At this point I was getting hints "East phase 1 pass 4".  In fact we got to a much higher pass than that but can't remember.    I think we also got a "West phase 1 pass 1".     Are the southrons East?     Never saw an East phase 2 message.

There was nobody much about.   I had gone down to the remains of the tent a couple of times and shot a few stragglers.    It was just a case of waiting.    Mission time was probably about an hour but I'm really not sure.     I had to go out, so I decided it to leave it to soak.  I came back, many hours later, to find the debriefing screen.    How has it ended, I thought?     It is possible for my chaps to end the mission because the only outstanding objectives were to destroy the two armies, although I had nobody going near the northern base we were covering the southern one.

4 green ticks
2 black blobs for the two kill army objectives
3h51m
19800 *    
loads of kills
3 civvy kills, I believe Stamenov and his two bitches
Casualties:-
  me (but we have debrief screen not you are dead)
  6x Karl Danek
  2x Ruslan Ivanovich
  five assorted others




Edit:  Well of course I'd forgotten that you get the debriefing after death in the mission editor.     I ran it again, this time collecting all the civvies, then shooting them and myself.   I noticed that some of the civvies, while in my group, did not have names.    When they were dead they were listed as man2, woman3, etc.

And of course the multiples earlier were because my magic script was bringing them back to life ... although I hadn't realised they had been killed.   So no mysteries after all then, I was just killed.

Just seen your post.  I think you respond quite a lot and I'm impressed you've manged to change so much so quickly.      
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: THobson on 09 Feb 2005, 23:26:21
First: that sounds like a lot of fun.

Second; southrons are west and northrons are east.

Third: there are two ways to get the debriefing screen.
1 Tatyana is killed before her cut scene
2. In this version - all the loons are killed.

Neither of those seems to have happened.  I am now totally confused.

Tatyana is unlikely to be targetted by anyone, not only did you set her cative but she is also a civilian (one of very few on the island)

Quote
hints "East phase 1 pass 4".  
That indicated the northrons have entered the endgame and are defening their base.  Killing Andropov is enough to cause this.

Quote
Never saw an East phase 2 message
There must be > 20 northron loons still alive

EDIT:  

Just saw this:
Quote
3 civvy kills, I believe Stamenov and his two whinees
Stamenov is west.  I guess you blew away the two women that were with him.  The only other true civis are 2x lunatic women that run up and down the island and Tatyana.  Could she have been killed?   The debriefing screen would have said something about it.

Bye the way - with all that armour early on, how did you deal with the choppers?
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: macguba on 10 Feb 2005, 11:45:20
Quote
Neither of those seems to have happened.  I am now totally confused
Forget it.   I suspect what happened was that I was killed and my flatmate move the screen on when he wanted the computer for something.

On a previous run Tatyana was killed.   She was near the lodge and, having finished trashing the airfield, I was on my way south when suddenly the cutscene started and the mission ended.     Ah! I've suddenly realised what happened - the murderer must have run all the way across the island.   Edit:  no, he can't have done, the cutscene never happened.    So somebody did shoot Tatyana, though I have no idea who.   This was before she was setCaptive.   She had nobody near her so it is unlikely she was killed by a stray round or anything.   I really have no idea what happened.

I meant to ask you about the choppers.    I took Shilkas with me but for a long time they weren't a problem.   Flew over us many times without striking.     It wasn't until I got to Chapoi that they started attacking us and I took out one with a sabot and a second with a single machine gun round - it must have killed the pilot, or maybe somebody hit it simultaneously or something.

The civvy kills were two women and a policeman.    Even though Stamenov is west, I think he must show up as civvy in the debriefing.    Are there any other police on the map?

And yes, it was a lot of fun.  ;D   The tank battle at the airfield went on for ages - at over 2000m nobody, human or AI, can hit anything.   But each tank is surrounded by explosions.     Sometimes I couldn't fire for ages because I was obscured by smoke from near misses and friendly tanks muzzle smoke.
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: THobson on 10 Feb 2005, 12:24:40
Tatyana's death in the cut scene is caused by a unit having a fired EH that sets her damage to 1.  He starts on an offshore island and is setPosed during the cutscene and then told to fire his gun.  In Phase 4 of defend the base all units > 500m away are setPosed to the base.  If you got the southrons down to < 5 loons and he got setposed into a battle and fired his gun before he was killed then that would explain her being killed and the mission ending while you were leaving it soak.
Sorry only just figured that out.

Quote
Even though Stamenov is west, I think he must show up as civvy in the debriefing.
I suppose he must, but other civis that are grouped with east or west show up as belonging to that side

Quote
Are there any other police on the map
Only the dead one at Vigny - err a bell is ringing in the back of my mind.  In Saint Marie or where ever I put the mine field there is a police vehicle I think.  I need to check if that is the case and if he starts off setdammage 1 or whether I leave the mine field to do its work.  That would explain why in de-bug mode the mission starts with a hint telling me someone is in the minefield.  I will check when I get home.
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: GI-YO on 10 Feb 2005, 15:35:55
Im back for more!

@macca

Thanks for the compass info, I can sorta use a real one but I just point and say "that way". harder to do on a pc screen  ;)

@thobson

I'm glad to be helping on this project. As they say 'By the community for the community'

MISSION (continued) - With all the civs safe I begin to figure out how im going to go about this. I decide to take a single man recce to the nearest village Arundy to see whats happening, now baddys here but a nice 5ton truck. Im saving and then leaving it in the road, maybe ambush the peole that occupy this small camp.more as i go.That didnt work very well. Saw one jeepMG so gunned down the crew only to be wasted by a nother jeep behind him. Tactical change. going again. I get lost on the way and miss the convoy so i take the 5 ton truck back to my lodge and get my group to load up on grenades. I head back to Arundy and await the convoy, with some more ammo i cant lose.I hop into the yellow car and try and find Arundy, miss it but chance upon the village down the raod with the petrol station. I laucnh my attack with a grende and after a few well aimed shots the small garrison is gone. I load all thier weapons into the Ural and then a small group of soldiers arrive, i hide in a building and shoot one of them and they seem to run away so i hop in the truck and speed back towards my lodge. (as you can probably tell i play these type of missions slowly and I like to prepare for proper combat so i may take a while, but at least i will destroy the baddies in one go ;D, I call it the 'old lady' combat tactics but it works).I head back towards Dourdan looking for convoys and spot one leaving as i come into view of it. The sun is coming up and the fog is clearing  >:(. did you tell the fog to leave. I quite liked it!Im going looking for RPGs and other big guns, and to shoot up the reserves in the village.Looking at the convoy they seem to be struggling to negioate around the houses instard of going straight though the middle of them and down the road, but Ai is like that i suppose.I try to get into dourdan alone a few times but get shot.This mission make take me weeks to complete looking at my progress so far  :o but i shall stay at it. I might start using my sqaud to assist me, but i can see them being mown down easily. Off to work I go. more tomorow.

GI-YO
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: THobson on 10 Feb 2005, 17:36:48
@GI-YO

It sounds like you play the way I do.
Quote
This mission make take me weeks to complete
That was my intention.  I want to create a place that people can go back to, not to repeat the same mission but to progress the existing one.

Quote
did you tell the fog to leave
Yes

Quote
Looking at the convoy they seem to be struggling to negioate around the houses instard of going straight though the middle of them and down the road,
Do you recall the specific place this is happeneing?
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: THobson on 11 Feb 2005, 08:10:20
@macguba

The civilian police casualty I think is caused thias way.  I ahe put a police jeep in the town with the mine field and in its init line I have put setDammage 1.  This of course kills the jeep and either that or the mine field kills the police man.  I have now inertest the line:  driver this setDammage 1  as well.  I think that mighht fix it.

Tatyana:  The easiest way to avoid Tatyana being killed in the way I described earlier is either to delete her in the editor, or to simply change her name.  The cutscene on her death is triggered by a {killed} EH that is put on her in one of the initialisation scripts.
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: djackl on 11 Feb 2005, 09:15:09
Do you recall the specific place this is happeneing?

I noticed it happening in La Trinite, the convoy wasn't going into the town, it was trying to go around and sorta getting confused on the way, this happened even when I didn't attack the convoy.
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: THobson on 11 Feb 2005, 10:10:31
Okay.  This is important.  Several of you have now experienced this.  When I soak test it for days on end I don't go in and play it (and presumable my convoy monitoring script eventually sorts them out), when I do play it I go and zap the convoy as soon as I have my team so I have never seen this.  If you have all seen this with Stamenov's convoy from the south then that would also fit with a high intervention count I was getting from the script that monitors the south convoy.

This is going to be fun to fix :-\
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: GI-YO on 11 Feb 2005, 11:12:05
The convoy was getting all mixed up in Dourdan. Just after I had killed a few people there though so maybe thats why

GI-YO
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: macguba on 11 Feb 2005, 11:26:48
Convoys frequently have trouble in towns and after battles.    Objects near the road a surprising distance away can have a severe impact on the AI drivers' pathfinding ability.     There is nothing much you can do about it, not least because it's a very subtle problem:   an object very close to the road near the vehicle may be no problem, while another object (similar or different) further from the road and further from the driver may cause him to zigzag all over the place.
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: THobson on 11 Feb 2005, 12:49:25
Dourdan after a battle I am okay with, they should eventually sort themselves out of that.  La Trinite without a battle I am not.  

mac you are right this can be really sublte.  The convoys can run for hours and then get screwed up even though nothing else is moving on the map.  My first try to improve this will be to have the south convoy park a little further south of La Trinite than I currently have it, but why the presence of the large church there should upset it sometimes ad not others I don't know..
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: macguba on 11 Feb 2005, 13:02:10
Can't help further with this ..... whenever I've seen a convoy near La Trinite I've trashed it before its had a chance to turn round.  ;D
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: djackl on 11 Feb 2005, 14:23:40
Maybe it's all the destoyed buildings?
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: GI-YO on 11 Feb 2005, 15:38:07
MISSION (cont'd) - Taking the sniper rifle I head back to dourdan looking for LAW/RPG. I spot a guard and drop him and then an M60 guy turns up and i get him too. I begin to move into the town and i spot too soldiers and get them with some nifty shooting.Grab an RPG and make a run back to my jeep.Save. Going to try and ambush the bradly/vulcan convoy next time it is in the town, and the MG jeeps if i see them.I head to the hills on the southern side of town and hop in a bush to my surpreise see a t80,t72 and a vulcan trundle into the town and have a look around. These targets are too good to miss  :). wish me luck...Hmm i seem to keep dying here. not enough RPG and too much tank.

I kill a whole squad in the valley leading to dourdan and save, but then realise three tanks are on thheir way to kill me, i try and escape but die alot. will get out of this pickle tomorw now (hopefully)

GI-YO
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: THobson on 11 Feb 2005, 17:00:02
So I am back to where I was months ago now, soak testing the convoys.  Problems being caused by destroyed buildings is an interetsing thought, especially now since I have trashed even more for the next version.  I have set up a trigger that detects if any of the south convoy try to enter the town, it will then save the game at that point and increment a counter to tell me how many times it has happened.  It is just a matter of leaving run for a while.

GI-YO:  Lol.  You took on a T80 a T72 and a Vulcan on your own with an rpg launcher!! What is it about this game?  Does it attract eternal optimists, or plain lunatics!!  Keep at it guy. :)
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: macguba on 11 Feb 2005, 18:13:05
It did occur to me, when looking at the mission editor, that the density of destroyed buildings and kit around La Trinite was very high.    It certainly isn't making life any easier for the convoys.    

I'm also not convinced about the effect it has on the atmosphere.     Lots of towns were trashed - why is La Trinite special in having lots of vehicle wrecks?    If that is where the main battle was, you wouldn't use it for your trading ground - too much unexploded ordnance for a start.

Even putting that aside for a second, think about the geometry:  by necessity the armoured wrecks have to go around the circumferance, which means you need an awful lot to make them look it dense.    Better to give up on that unattainable objective, use fewer and let the player's imagination do the rest.    I liked the blocking off the road to the west though, because it was done at both ends.      That's the sort of thing that really contributes to atmosphere.
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: THobson on 11 Feb 2005, 18:50:50
Thanks,  Just keep the ideas coming.  It all gets added to the list.  I have never been one for subtlety - if one is good then ten must be ten times better!  Except of course it isn't.
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: macguba on 11 Feb 2005, 20:26:52
It's not so much a question of subtlety vs. quantity.   As you know, I am a great believer in using objects to tell stories.    For example see attached.  Only three objects, but a picture saves a thousand words.
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: Dubieman on 11 Feb 2005, 20:51:27
Possible caption:
Macguba's unfortunate night at the bar had lead to an empty wallet and some angry feelings. However he really was too wasted to drive a car and he woke up the next day all bloody, but sober. Then thinks, this isn't the UK...  :P :D


THobson, is a new version expected soon? If so I think I might stop on this one cause its so damn addicting. ;D But if not I think I'll keep plugging along and see if I can get a few more ressy guys to join up so I can cause some mayhem. :cheers:

And about the objects, some blocked off streets and things like that would make La Trinite seem better for the story. Maybe even random rifles, bodies, and other things if the main battle was really there.
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: macguba on 11 Feb 2005, 21:47:49
 ;D

Plug along to the end if you can GRK, I had a problem with the end.   The more information that can be gathered about the ending the better.    
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: Dubieman on 11 Feb 2005, 22:06:13
Okay I'll keep plugging along... ;)

Anyways, you're lucky Mac, you seem to be able to play all day...
Whats your secret? ;D :D
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: Planck on 11 Feb 2005, 22:09:38
Just to let you know THobson.......I am trying this mission and I will write my report in a month or two when I finally complete it.

It will take a while as I have 2 - 3 fps playing speed, it makes it rather interesting when it comes to trying to shoot someone, especially if they are moving at the time.

I really must get a new machine.

Having said all that I think I am doing ok so far.

I decided to try it using ECP as I don't think anyone else is running ECP with this.

As a side note, I try not to save the game too often as it takes about 6 minutes to reload the mission with the save.

The save file is well over 10Mb.


Planck
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: Dubieman on 11 Feb 2005, 22:17:25
And I must add...

I wonder how this would go as a MP mission?

Think of it, you and your mates get to wreck havoc on the island and for every civvie you rescue that's another person to be "transferred" to when you die. ;)
Though it might be laggy... :P

Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: THobson on 11 Feb 2005, 23:01:42
@macuba
In deed.  I remember looking at Un-impossible in the editor and being quite taken with how efficient it was.  Minimal use of 'suff', but to add more would be redundant.  That level of polish is a long way off at the moment, I am still moving load bearing  supports.

@GRK
Mac is right.  There was a problem at the end when he played it.  I am going to re-write the end to try and cope with OFP glitches but the more info I have the better.  Also I am interested to know if anyone else suffers from having the ruin at the mountain lodge sink into the ground as it did for mac.

Quote
is a new version expected soon?
Short answer - No.

Quote
cause its so d**n addicting
;DThat is what I hoped it would be.  

Quote
I wonder how this would go as a MP mission?
MP would be a neat idea, but you would need to get your mates together for a weekend fest.  I would also need to change the story otherwise it would be pretty boring for the likes of Ruslan, Karl etc at the Mountain Lodge not to mention Pavel, Yuri and Marek in the hut with the civis.

@Planck
Quote
I am trying this mission
I am glad you are.  Thanks.  This is a mission that takes tenacity and patience.  I thought about how you dealt with mac's Un-Impossible mission several times when considering if anyone would like this mission.
Quote
2 - 3 fps playing speed
You exagerate I hope.
Quote
The save file is well over 10Mb.
They are about 5Mbt without ECP.  I am guessing that ECP adds the rest.
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: Dubieman on 11 Feb 2005, 23:04:03
For MP, forgot to add that you'd need to kinda remove bits of the story and just start at the lodge.
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: Planck on 11 Feb 2005, 23:19:14
Quote
Quote:
2 - 3 fps playing speed
You exagerate I hope.

Actually no, I'm deadly serious.

To be honest it occasionally speeds up to about 5 fps, anyway, you can imagine how careful I have to be whilst running about.

 ;D


Planck
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: macguba on 12 Feb 2005, 00:41:02
@GRK
I work from home so I don't have a boss peering over my shoulder.   ;D

@THobson
The house didn't sink much.    Your top half does go through the wall.    I'm trying to remember how it was when I came back to it that time and I didn't even contemplate not crawling, but crawling was ok so it can't have sunk more than about 18 inches.   Anyway I wouldn't worry about it, although maybe reconsider the building or its orientation.

The last couple of times I played I thought "duh-oh" and kept the last lot of civvies, giving me a group of 12.   As far as I can tell there is no downside to this.    I know you are rethinking the civvies anyway, but consider having them just leap into their transport and make their own way home, not joining the player's group at all.

The history of the statics in Unimpossible is that they started off very sparse indeed - in what was at the time not meant to be a proper mission, they originally appeared onto to help you identify which starting position you were at.    When I decided to make it a proper mission I put a lot more in, and later on, when I was trying to make it look good, I put a lot more in again.     This brought the lag up to unsustainable levels and I stripped out a great deal.   Whole scenes had to go - some I was proud of - so only good things were left before you even start.   They were taken to down to the minimum - every last object really had to justify its inclusion.   If you group things in the right way its amazing how few you need to create the impression of more.

@Planck you are a hero.   I have found 2 fps unplayable.   3-4 is doable but its very hard work.     Never had any real problems with this mission fortunately.
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: THobson on 12 Feb 2005, 08:15:28
Quote
As far as I can tell there is no downside to this.  
Well if they get killed you get a red cross and also you wont get any hints.  Not much of a downside I admit.  As soon as I saw you were popping the civis after you had got them safe I realised there are loop holes in all this that you can drive a coach through.  Hence the re-think.  

The idea of the last lot not joining the player - I was wonderimg about something like that to help make the whole experience of the civis more varied - but of course it would help with avoid this also.  I will give some thought to what I can do to make them a liability in combat.  If only I could replicate the behaviour of Ruslan when he was with you.  You mentioned you have played the mission more than once.  Did you notice how Ruslan behaved on other occassions?
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: macguba on 12 Feb 2005, 12:44:16
I haven't played it properly more than once, I've only been mucking around mostly with my cheated version, now consigned to re-formatted hard drive hell.    Panic ye not, I have already downloaded a fresh original.     Ruslan was always fine, not that I really checked.    His tank always stayed in the right place.    I'll check it properly when I get the chance.

I was being a bit flippant with the "no downside".     I know now that you can still win the mission with civvies dead, although when you pick them up you wouldn't be willing to take the risk.     I don't think the hints are a great success anyway:  they are a bit clunky and they didn't mention anything I hadn't or wouldn't have thought of anyway.    I got hints even though the third group of civvies were killed by the enemy on their way back to the lodge.

There is a real problem with making civvies a liability in combat.    The problem - and I only noticed it when playing this mission - is that in a mixed squad the soldiers all have to carry rocket launchers of one sort or another.   This decreases their camouflage value to worse than that of the civvies.    Therefore the soldiers get targetted first.   Perhaps that is sufficient liability.

Turning back to the war for a second, is there any advantage to the player in not starting it?  
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: Dubieman on 12 Feb 2005, 15:26:45
@ for starting the war

Only advantage I see is that everyone is mostly peaceful and you're not going to hit much more than infantry if the war never happens.

Like before, when I started the war and came back to find the tanks and infantry had pillaged my lodge area. That wasn't good and the player will have to deal with many more heavily armored or alert enemies. On the other hand its nice to not have your arse being riddled with bullets and grenades all the time... :P ;D
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: THobson on 12 Feb 2005, 17:09:20
I am working on the civis at the moment.  They will be quite different - and so will avoid a lot of issues.

On not starting the war:  GRK has is.
There are 450 to 500 loons on the map,  some of them in quite heavy amour groups.  A fair number (but not all) go on guard if you kill anyone on their side.  

You could decide just to sit and wait a the lodge and do nothing.  Assuming you don't do that and want to do the mission, then if you don't start the war you will have to deal with all the loons yourself while avoiding some pretty nasty pieces of hardware that will follow you around.  Much better to get the guard units on each side to cancel each other out.

Well that was my design, but who knows there may be a flaw.
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: ACF on 12 Feb 2005, 19:21:16
First off - 10/10 for the concept/story. It's been a long time since a mission has made me want to fight the AI as a player and not an editor.

I'm some way behind on the playing of this. Suffice to say my night navigation was much better than my CQB skills in Vigny; it had to be after I'd fragged the jeep and car with grenades in a vain attempt to not give my position away. Walked up to the lodge - hit it spot-on and met my group. Promptly left them hiding in the lodge area and bimbled down through the fog to La Trinite; it was starting to get light.

Detoured to rescue the civvies NW of the town.  Sent them back under there own steam to the lodge where, except for the res medic, they were unjoined from my group.

Into La Trinite. Had enough time to take in the oodles of ordnance and start the tedious task of loading the BMP ambulance when the first convoy arrived. Spent the next two hours crawling around the town picking off soldiers with a Bizon as they came along.

During this time the lodge group were engaged by a patrol - a nice consequence of my neglect.  Two are still alive plus the medic from the civvy group. The civvy objective is still ticked so I assume they must be alive somewhere . . .

Spent a while in La Trinite watching the two sides have a go at each other, helping out where I could. About 1030 the fog came down fairly quickly and I set off back to the lodge. Completely missed it and ended up the other side of the hill (DJ39-ish I think), bumping into a convoy that was halted on a road.  It was late and I didn't recce it before opening fire.  KO'd one MG jeep but got KO'd by another.  There was also a fuel truck. Try again later.

Next serious attempt, I ended up meeting the two jeeps and captured both. Took one down to La Pessagne and La Riviere before stashing it near Cancon. All the above were devoid of obvious activity. Moved carefully over the saddle to Chapoi and could see why - looked like Stamenov had been attacked fairly hard.  Crawled around and into town Bizoning survivors and ended up in the street behind his tent. Borrowed a couple of grenades off of a victim and lobbed them at the tent.  Got a scream and the 'killed him' speech followed by 'killed civilian' slap.  Got a red cross for the civvie but nothing for Stamenov!  Never got to see if he was still alive as I was caught in an adjacent building trying to get up a ladder (action didn't appear) by a Spetsnaz who'd been called back to base. I'll try again again later.

/warstories

My thoughts so far are:

Structural things:

Objectives don't seem to consider the ultimate fate of the civilians. I've not seen an attack on the lodge reported elsewhere or sending off the civvies on their own.  If you want to prevent this uncaring tactic you could:
i) have them follow sheep-like, rather than Join, until they are led back to the lodge area;
ii) a weak enemy patrol tracks and engages the civvies after release - if you're not there to defend them they suffer their fate and you get the red cross.

I popped in on the western group of civvies later in the game. It seems they'd been bumped as the res soldier with them was dead. After a slight delay I got the 'rescued' speech and my tick but the four civvies didn't join me.  Curiosity got the better of me and I !Alive-d them; still had a tick afterwards . . .

The arms bazaar in La Trinite doesn't feel right, particularly as it's no-man's land and would already have been plundered by one side or the other. Personally, loading vehicles one weapon at a time was a pain in Resistance - too much like 'It's A Knockout' - and of course it's the same here. Real scavenging is harder but, perversely, seems easier because it isn't as tedious, you don't have to pick and choose.  

If there's to be a gift to the player of a respectable armoury, how about a slightly contrived player-triggered scene on first entering La Trinite - some squaddies loading the truck? Might help establish the tension between the two sides ('hurry up before the so-and-so's get here') and replace the pain of loading with a bit of a firefight. It might also be possible to preload the lorry with mines and satchels and avoiding the problem of picking them up but not being able to put them down safely.  All the signs point to La Trinite as the first port of call so it seems permissible and could add both slickness and atmosphere. Convoys would have to be prevented from cycling through scene until such a setpiece had happened.

Alternatively, why not preload random weapons cargos to all vehicles as a compromise rather than a single big stash? Not too random - right mags for the right weapons would be helpful. As they patrol, it's not unreasonable to expect vehicles to have hoovered up arms and ammo. Alternatively, they could dynamically collect arms from corpses they pass - so if you don't stash them yourself, they may not be there when you get back.

You're carrying an awful lot of mines which is obviously unrealistic. Default mines are far too powerful so it may be worth a micro-addon to create one at your desired power and sound - it'll save 20 triggers as well.  The grenade-based AP mine is a neat idea and I don't think it would detract too much to simplify it to an 'Anybody present not player' trigger to prevent self-fraggings.

Could the evaders and rescued civilians have uniformed doubles swapped in at appropriate points to suggest uniforms had been looted off enemy dead? That would resolve some of the camouflage and cargo-capacity issues.

I haven't tried, but are resistance units locked out of AFVs and helicopters that they wouldn't be able to operate? Maybe a concession for Cadet mode?

Most of the main road villages I visited seemed to be devoid of garrisons.  My gut feeling is that there would be some post/patrol presence even if part of a garrison had been called away to fight.  Obviously, that wouldn't apply to the endgame when it's quite plausible that the outposts collapse back on the main base.

Pleased to say I didn't notice any loons standing around in AWARE begging to be shot!

Story things:

If numbers need to be thinned at the lodge, a group could express reluctance to resist and go off to hide.

Intro music - timing's great, but that 'middle bit' (not the technical term) of 'Mars' seems too jolly go with the tone of the story. I realise that's Holst's fault and not yours.

I don't think the backstory needs any great elaboration, it serves its purpose. The more densely it's woven the more threads there are to unravel. Personally, I'm not keen on the armoured standoff scene; I know it's a representation but it just  looks artificial.

The women - I am uneasy about the portrayal of the women . . . surely the desirable ones would not be killed out of hand?  I might just have been unlucky in where I've lived, but an inexhaustible supply seems unlikely.  Given the evilness of the opposing factions, a bit of sex-slave-trade is not outside the scope of the story (hard to imagine what they'd trade of military value). It's probably not worth developing as you're unlikely to witness much. However, if the ladies were held as 'comfort girls' it could add another rescue element to the mission and also motivation to the resistance.

'Why/how does the player become the leader?' is a question that's been asked. Why not have the evaders unarmed and scared, then you, as a confirmed baddie-killer, are already a rung up the leadership ladder. Unarmed fugitives means having to go to find arms and take them back to the lodge (or risk taking the group with you) and might reinforce the lodge's importance as a base as per Macguba's comment. If Alexi has to motivate them: Cota's (?) quote on Omaha springs to mind? Something along the lines of 'only two types are staying on the beach: the dead and those who are going to die' could be usefully paraphrased to set the player up as the vengeful driving force. Or a Pythonesque 'we have nothing, we are nothing.  What can we lose? Nothing.'

I hope there's not too much tedious repetition in the above - I've been following the thread but there's a bit too much to cross reference!
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: THobson on 12 Feb 2005, 20:17:25
ACF

Thank you that is excellent.  Some of the points you make confirm those made by others and some are brand new.  

You walked to the lodge!?

I am re-doing the whole civilian bit.

The enemy attack on the mountain lodge is purely random.  I don't tell them to do it.

There is a perfectly good ammo truck in La Trinite complete with extra goodies.  Maybe I should re-locate it.

You saw a jeep with a fuel truck.  Interesting.

Quote
You're carrying an awful lot of mines which is obviously unrealistic.
macguba had a good suggestion for this.  It is all on the growing pile of things to do.

Quote
looked like Stamenov had been attacked fairly hard.
I am not sure I have this bit right yet.   Sometime the attack doesn't strike home and others it seems to pulverise the base.  I am inclided to leave it and put it down to the vagaries of war.

There are a few illogicalities in the mission as it stands.  I am working on them, the one that I have yet to think about more fully is the one about, how come I get to be leader?

Thanks again for your comments, I appreciate it.
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: GI-YO on 12 Feb 2005, 21:22:08
MISSION (con'd) - im finaly managed to escape the tank trio, and decide against taking them on single handidly. Made some progress on the weapons front gathered two AAl aunchers,3 RPGs, an AT4 and some M60s and M16/203's. Cleared the 6 man squad out of Arundy and clearled them of weapons. (perhaps you could add another ammo crate by the lodge,empty so it can be filled as weapons are collected). Thats about it for that little session. Looking for some convoys to take on with the 'RPG krew' lol. More tomorow.

GI-YO
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: Dubieman on 12 Feb 2005, 21:24:46
Okay, I think I may be able to do some serious kicking of arse soon.

Back from where I left off...

I reloaded from where I was before and was getting ready to go rescue civvies to the east of La trinite. Then a big infantry AT squad jumps into our lodge area! I just shot each down having the advantage in terrain and I now have about 5 more AT weapons/ammo than before. ;D

I've decided to save my men for later and leave everyone in the lodge where they don't get shot at nor do they shoot back. Seems to work cause the enemy infantry just pass by.

Anyways I see a bicycle and decide to use that. My jeep & motorcycle are bust from my stupid misfires with the infantry 5 min before. And I want to keep that PV3S in good condition cause it holds tons of ammo + it shields the cabin. So off down the hill.... :o :o... crap too fast, weeeee....

Exciting ride, I get to the bottom of the hill and find myself in a rock field with a solitary destroyed T80. Hmm, then I hear a crapload of firing/explosions towards La trinite and on the hills to my right. ???

So into La Trinite. I kill some leftover southerons and move into town hopefully before any other ppl arrive. I find a damaged T80 still functioning inbetween the BMPs and ammocrates. I move around find the mines (yay) and I can't figure out how to get rid of the T80, it can still shoot easily but its stuck. :P So I move a BMP and it conviently pulls out and tries to drive around. After getting stuck on the building I use a RPG and the commander jumps out cause his mates are dead. I shoot him.... ;D ;D....my T80! I stock it with HK and AT weapons/ammo and I go visit my civ buddies and take 2 of them to crew my tank. I leave the others to be picked up later.

I drive about and see that nothing is happening in La Trinite. So I drive to Dourdan and find an empty camp. ??? And I set an AV mine in the main road incase any other nourtherons or southerons try to drive around. I go up to Arudy and nothing is there, just a camp with a truck. I guess the infantry is on the move. Oh yea and I destroyed the fuel in Dourdan but it didn't explode nor could I refuel there. ???

Off to Vigny and La Pessagne where again, nobody is around and the fuel station there does not work. I decide its time to see if I can hit Stamenov in the back by driving down from La Pessagne. My tank can only take one more shell or AT so I'm careful. Inspect La Riviere and Cancon and find nothing. :P

So I drive to the fuel west of Chapoi. A repair truck eh? Hell yes. A bright shiny T80 8). I save here and this is where I died a couple of times. A few infantry with big ATs flanked me and the civ commander was stupid so with a little HK action the enemy was destroyed. I then drove my tank (I was the driver, makes life easier) into Chapoi after putting shells all over their town. I ran over about 15 ppl before 2 LAWs hit me and I hightailed it out of their cause I got reports of 2 T72s. :o

I got to the top of hill by the fuel once more. Save. And I died a few more times as an abram and a BMP2 came up the road behind me. >:( The T72s kept me outta town and I finally flanked the Abrams and BMP2. Too bad for Stamenov, I'll get him later. ;D

I roll up to St. Marie the back way and find a danger area. I soon find out why cause a southeron infantry squad ran through it. I kept the tank back, the enemy armor is still lurking about...

Then boom, boom, boom the infantry is killed. Grenades or mines?  ???

Oh well can't think the Abrams and BMP are coming! Somehow through the terrain we disabled then blew up the Abrams and then the BMP. ;D Then I hightailed it through the woods to the north with LAWs flying around. I noticed heli sounds and lots of fighting again. Its now 10:00 ofp time and its clear and sunny.  :'( The infantry follow us up the hills and we turn and ice them. Good thing too, the tank will only take 2 more AT hits. :P

I visit the western civs again, but they haven't changed. I get back home and take another jeepmg convoy out. Yay, but we have to get back to base, heard something about another Abrams and T72. :P

I get back kill some more infantry hanging around our cabin and decide that there's tooo much going on to be in a tank. I park all my vehicles outside blocking the cabin/lodge. Then I grab an AT4 and more HK mags and head for Larche on foot. I find the Abrams and T72 milling about the city but they leave before I can shoot. I run towards La Trinite again to rescue the rest of the civs and cause more mayhem. I harass some infantry in the valley and sneak back into La Trinite. I dodge an northeron infantry group headed south and steal a BMP Ambulance. I pick my civs and we're now headin home. Hopefully I can jump back into the city to put some AP mines down to screw with some infantrys' heads when they pass through. But gotta keep mines away from the ammo. ;D

And that's all for now... ::) :P ;)

Comments:

I'm enjoying myself immensly, I do need a repair truck to fix my T80 but I feel like I'm gaining control. Maybe another deadlier visit to Stamenov.... ;D

The civs west of the lodge are the only ones acting oddly, the others act fine.

Why is there so much unused ammo in La Trinite? I would think one side would just take it and obliterate the other. :P

Mines, had to restart one time when I accidently placed an AV mine under my T80 when trading guns... :'(
Maybe a deactivation action?

Noticed a Cobra went down east of my lodge. I think I hear a Hind, isn't that kinda unfair?
Cobras= 1 AA hit
Hind= 2 AA hits
AH64= 2 AA hits
though I dunno how that would affect the mission.

The cities south of Chapoi are totally desolate of life? Could you explain that? And why some infantry didn't leave 1 or 2 mates behind to guard camps in Dourdan, Arudy, and La Pesaagne? Unless they were killed of course, but no bodies.... :P

I think that's all, damn long post... ;D


EDIT:
Oh and other things
-not playing with ECP, too big a save problem
-Why does it seem the northerons are always the tougher oppoenent? They seem to be winning cause they are kinda in control of La Trinite except for the odd Southie infantry patrol that invades north territory, but they don't last long

-Have a TON of weapons now. Prolly about 25 rifles + about 5 mags for each rifle, 18 AT weapons, and tons of other things.
Plus my new hardware... My T80...
I think I might visit Stamenov to steal that Repair truck to grab some jeepmgs
Actually I think I have more mags for weapons then previously.... ::)

-Stamenov's base was pretty cool, I'm lucky I didn't hit it at its full strength, their were at least 7 wasted vehicles about but 2 T72s and a BMP are still lurking in the city along with infantry

-Stamenov seems to control southeastern Malden and Chapoi. I kinda rule everything else except La Trinite and up

-why do the Northeron forces go straight for Stamenov's base? I mean if it were that easy to go for the general, I'm surprised it didn't happen before I arrived on the island.
But I may be wrong, the southeron base is definatley Stamenovs cause I saw a large amount of tank carcasses to the east of it, meaning the Southerons prolly don't control southeastern Malden anymore. And there isn't much armor left on the island. I'll have to check to the north to try and find more abrams... :P


EDIT2: And I've just read about some woman in La Trinite, never saw her. The only real civvies I've seen were at their hideouts when I tried to rescued them, some dead ones in Stamenov's base, and one dead woman by a house on the road that is west of the lodge. :P
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: THobson on 13 Feb 2005, 00:00:42
@GRK
Quote
Then a big infantry AT squad jumps into our lodge area!
This happens sometimes.  It is not scripted.
Quote
leave everyone in the lodge where they don't get shot at nor do they shoot back. Seems to work cause the enemy infantry just pass by.
That shouldn't happen
Quote
my T80! I stock it with HK and AT weapons/ammo and I go visit my civ buddies and take 2 of them to crew my tank. I leave the others to be picked up later
Well done.  I had hoped that with all the armour about some of it would be serviceable  
Quote
I drive to Dourdan and find an empty camp.  
Quite right too.  The loons don't just stand around waiting for you.  They go looking.
Quote
Oh yea and I destroyed the fuel in Dourdan but it didn't explode nor could I refuel there.
The only fuel stations with fuel are guarded by the soldiers and are shown on the map
Quote
I got to the top of hill by the fuel once more. Save. And I died a few more times as an abram and a BMP2 came up the road behind me
Probably Andropov's attack striking home.
Quote
Then boom, boom, boom the infantry is killed. Grenades or mines?  
Mine field.  Explosions caused by grenades - so both.
 
Quote
I visit the western civs again, but they haven't changed.
I have just re-written all the civi stuff.
Quote
I'm enjoying myself immensly,
It sure sounds like it.
Quote
I do need a repair truck to fix my T80 but I feel like I'm gaining control.
It is a good feeling when that begins to happen
Quote
Why is there so much unused ammo in La Trinite? I would think one side would just take it and obliterate the other.
This is meant to represent what they are trading - in part.  It is a case of Mutually Assured Destruction if any one side starts anything.
Quote
Mines, had to restart one time when I accidently placed an AV mine under my T80 when trading guns...  
Maybe a deactivation action?
On the list
Quote
Noticed a Cobra went down east of my lodge. I think I hear a Hind, isn't that kinda unfair?
Cobras= 1 AA hit
Hind= 2 AA hits
AH64= 2 AA hits
though I dunno how that would affect the mission.
I have worked hard to ensure that each side is well balanced.
Quote
The cities south of Chapoi are totally desolate of life? Could you explain that?
The are not significant places in the context of the northern front.  In later versions these towns will show signs of destruction and pillage.
 
Quote
And why some infantry didn't leave 1 or 2 mates behind to guard camps in Dourdan, Arudy, and La Pesaagne? Unless they were killed of course, but no bodies
I would like to, and may still do - but that will mean extra groups and so increased lag
Quote
Why does it seem the northerons are always the tougher oppoenent? They seem to be winning cause they are kinda in control of La Trinite except for the odd Southie infantry patrol that invades north territory, but they don't last long
As I said I have tried to balance the forces numerically, but the northrons have a geographical advantage in that their base is closer to La Trinite so they can concentrate their forces there more quickly.  It is surprising just how powerful that is.
Quote
Stamenov's base was pretty cool
I liked it.  But I like the new one better!
Quote
why do the Northeron forces go straight for Stamenov's base? I mean if it were that easy to go for the general, I'm surprised it didn't happen before I arrived on the island.
MAD - Mutually Assured Destruction.  The northron attack on Chapoi is actually a reprisal for an attack by the southrons on Andropov's base.  The attacks don't always get though - part of the fortunes of war.
Quote
And I've just read about some woman in La Trinite, never saw her
A little joke of mine - actually there are two of them running up and own the island.
Quote
The only real civvies I've seen were at their hideouts when I tried to rescued them
You have probably realised that these aren't civis, they are resistance bods that just happen to look like civis.  There are actually very few civis on the island.

Keep going!
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: Dubieman on 13 Feb 2005, 02:46:39
About the lodge. I've arranged it so that I have vehicles blocking the entrances so my guys don't die so easily when I'm out to the "store"...
Plus no one shoots through windows, I guess its out of style... ::) :)

The abram & BMP2 seemed to be a southeron defense, cause they were never lawed or attacked by the T72s around and in Stamenov's base. Plus the infantry there were rather calm. I think if I ever go east of Chapoi I will find the remains of a large battle. :o

Why is St. Marie just a random minefield with some vehicles in it? :P
Though its kinda cool, it obliterated a squad for me.

Civs acting even weirder. Though I think you got it under control.

Northerons I guess will always have the advantage unless Stamenov does really well. Maybe next test I'll try to reverse the roles by my own doing, cause Stamenov has been relativly easy to attack. ::)

About guarding: I understand.

And now on to my current situation.

I've done well. I've returned the remaining civvis to my lodge but they're still on my team, oh well more riflemen/women... ::) ;D

I then proceeded to leave with my jeep and I come across a large infantry battle only 150m away, I quickly dodge it as bullets are flying everywhere and I find a jeepmg, driver dead. Perfectly usable later. ;)

So I go down to see Stamenov about "borrowing" his repair truck. He said yes... ;D

Though once I reached the truck its foggy as hell and raining once more and visability is only 25m in front. I decide to put an AP mine or two in the base. I do that and attract attention by killing 2 guards. Hopefully I'll see the fruit of my labors later. Maybe the infantry will run into my mine, maybe not, its all in good fun. ;) ;D

So back to my prize repair truck. I drive it away to worseing fog. I hear that 9 has died. Another patrol has got him. The little bastard prolly clipped himself out of the building. ::)

I drive back no resistance and come back to find my little lodge has sunk or risen or something. It moved and I'm sure of it cause half my people were under the floor! :o I told them to stand up and they got back to normal, but :wow: that's just odd. :P

So now my T80 is basically indestructable unless I do something stupid. ;D ;D
And I've barricaded my lodge with vehicles all around to hole up cause this fog is getting horrible, only 5m in front are visable. And I suspect that when I cause trouble the guard units come long distances and a long while later they find the lodge. That's prolly what's happening. :P :)

So now I've armed everyone and I'm also in control of an ammo truck. ;D ;D ;D
Now I've got M21s, HKs, Bizons, RPGs, etc! And my T80 has more ammo.

Anyways yea, I'm gonna have to wait out the fog as I can do nothing at the moment. Later, I'll go out "hunting".  I'll report back what I bagged. :-*  ;)
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: THobson on 13 Feb 2005, 10:38:51
Quote
I drive back no resistance and come back to find my little lodge has sunk or risen or something. It moved and I'm sure of it cause half my people were under the floor!
This is a total pain!!

I have a solution to the question as to why I am leading this team.  I am wearing my fathers unifrom - remember the Intro!  I just need to bring that out a bit more.

By doing a savegame when a problem develops I have been able to observe the prblem that SEAL84 experienced with his convoy.  It happened last night sometime about 3 hours into the mission.  I know what caused it.  I now need to find out what caused the thing that caused it. More soak testing with a different set of triggers.
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: GI-YO on 13 Feb 2005, 22:20:08
from where i left off.

After getting so much AT weaponary i went tank hunting around La trinete and discovered a convoy of BMP2, vulcan and 3 trucks heading towards the town. With my four RPGs i took down the armour and then two of the trucks, rather good i thought. I then ran away very fast back to my lodge for supplies. Currently scouting Larche although it looks empty and bombed out. Im taking the northeners on first becase they have an airfield and am trying to provoke some combat between the fractions to lessen their numbers.  :o Larche is empty, not a person or tent in sight. (i would add a few bits and bobs because this town it the key to the vally to the north west). I would think some troops would have been stationed there even thought its bombed out.I got stuck in a building for a minute  ;D but escaped. moveing to st louis on foot on a recce. I hear fighting in the distance and a voice says they started fighting should be intresting, then recieve a burst of 50 cal in the back (again). must kill those jeeps!!

EDIT
I took out the squad in st louis with the M60, much like rambo! Took all the AT weapons and the other M60 and loaded them into the 5t truck and drive back to my lodge with the weapons. Now thinking about striking south and killing those jeeps, revenge will be mine ha ha ha   :D

GI-YO
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: THobson on 13 Feb 2005, 22:59:35
Quote
Larche is empty, not a person or tent in sight. (i would add a few bits and bobs because this town it the key to the vally to the north west).
This also relates to a comment made by GuiltyRoachKiller.  There is a group stationed at Larche, but they are on guard and so have left by now.  I need to re-think this.

Glad you got them at each other.
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: Mr.Pibb on 14 Feb 2005, 00:24:57
 I just wanted to add something here, I just downloaded the mission after spending like half an hour trying to quickly read through some of this lol. I personally have often dreamed of a mission such as what it seems yours is, anyone remember the rpg Twilight 2000 from way back when? I thought  man! This sort of mission could really be done with ofp, an entire island with an alive enviornment. And I dont hold any 'expecations' either, seems to me even with the bugs if it even comes close to what I've been waiting ages for then its already too much to be free. Personally have been working on and off on a similair scale project and as time has worn on I have all but quit on it because of the massive time involved, thank God someone actually put in the time to make a mission like this happen.
 This is all pre- emtive considering I havent even played the thing yet, but I'll just thank you now, I might be pre - occupied with the mission for a while and forget to return here ;D

 Pibb
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: Planck on 14 Feb 2005, 04:14:19
Ok TH

I have finally managed to complete this mission.

I will write up my full story in the next couple of days, whilst it is still fresh in my mind.

By the way, you will need to apologise to Beethoven for missing out the 'd' from Ludwig as well.    ;D


Planck
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: THobson on 14 Feb 2005, 08:17:55
@ Mr Pibb
Well I hope I have not built up your expectations too much, I can already see lots of ways to make this better.  I hope you enjoy it as it is.

@Planck
I knew you could do it! :thumbsup:  I look forward to your story.  I hope you enjjoyed it, though I have to say I had intended that this mission should take longer to complete - even for someone with your dedication.  

Yes in deed poor old Luwig :)
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: Mr.Pibb on 14 Feb 2005, 15:16:44
 A few quickies:

Ran the mission for about 2 hours last night, honestly its the best Ive seen (personaly) -

 Heres just a few constructive criticizms:

 The civie rescue was super easy, never encountered one enemy in the entire process.

 Does the heavy rain and super close fog ever dissapate? Only because I found it more and more difficult to engage large numbers of enemies, especially in LaTrinite where I couldnt really set up any effective distance ambush, couldnt even see the enemies till they were right on me. Would be nice to have a much better viewing distance, and I think the rain added to the lag some (wasnt terrible lag, but certainy got kinda bad in LaTrinite with all the enemies).

 The story is very good and the freedom is great, as I said, my only dissapointment is really the very limited viewing distance which to me is very unlike large scal ofp missions, aside from that excellent job - like I said - best Ive seen in a mission style as such.

 Thanks for your efforts ;)
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: THobson on 14 Feb 2005, 16:55:43
A quick reply.

Thank you for your comments and compliments.  I really appreciate them.

I have completely re-written the civi rescue - it doesn't get harder (they are in no-mans-land so there should not be much chance of enemy contact) but I hope I hope it builds the atmosphere better without taking quite so long.

Quote
Does the heavy rain and super close fog ever dissapate?
After 2 hours I expect the weather would begin changing.  It is random but by now it should have started to change.  I forecast clear skies and only a very light mist (for a while anyway ;D).
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: Mr.Pibb on 14 Feb 2005, 20:18:13
 Sounds great, didnt know the weather does change, hmmmmm, now you got me wanting to play again to see the sky clear up, then I can get my cute little female sniper to do some work in La Trinite ::) - and I cant right now cause I got ton of work to do :'(

 Thanks
 
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: Planck on 14 Feb 2005, 20:27:58
I played this mission with ECP, this might account for most of the reasons for my small fps.
The other reasons are probably my aged machine.
The save game bug is present, probably because of ECP, also the save file itself is well over 10 Mb in size.
Saving and reloading the mission takes longer than starting OFP up :)

I have a 900 Mhz AMD Athlon, GeForce 2 GTS 64 Mb (knackered), 256 Mb RAM.

Benchmark = 2235

When I built this machine it was almost state-of-the-art at the time.
That was a few years ago now.......time for a new one I think.

I played with a clean Addons folder......the only extra addon was the Editor Update required for the mission.

The fps I was getting was 2-3 fps, with occasional bursts of 4-5 fps on rare occasions.  That said, I also experienced complete freezes for a few seconds at a time at some points.

This is a shortened account of the way I played this mission, it is mostly the normal way I play, although this can depend on the mission type. I have a lot of patience and take my time, very low fps presents a degree of extra difficulty.....it can be very annoying too :|

Others have pointed out little quirks and suggested improvements and I have nothing much to add to that, so I will just stick with this account of the mission as it happened.

I can't comment on the burning effects because the fps I was getting screwed that to some extent.....I presume it was mostly the ECP burning effects, sounded like it anyway.
I didn't actually read your provided hints, I always meant to, but kept forgetting.

Total Mission Time = 24h 4 mins

Vigny
-----

Very foggy and raining, I put my gun away and climbed the hill, only getting the gun out again once I was on top.
I saw a light through the fog and made my way towards it.
Once I was close enough I saw a soldier through the window, so I shot him.
Two other soldiers appeared, one in another window and one at the door, I shot them also.
I put my handgun away and picked up an M16 from one of the bodies.
Looked around a bit and noticed the jeep on the other side of the house, I also noticed a girl through another window, sitting on a bed.
I went in to investigate and the cutscene kicked in.

Ok, so Tatyana got shot and killed. I went outside and presently I saw an officer, I knew he was an officer because he had NV goggles. I shot him and started to rob his body of the goggles and binoculars when the rest of his squad ran past.
They didn't seem to notice me as I was lying next to their dead boss, so I shot 3 of them and the rest ran off into the fog searching for me.
This was my cue to find a nice bush to hide in.

From my relatively safe bush, I was able to pick the rest of the squad off one by one, it took a while because shooting at 2-3 fps requires that you are VERY sure of the shot before you pull the trigger.

I looked around the rest of Vigny, but found nothing to interest me except of course the dead civvies.
I collected all the weapons and ammo the jeep could carry and set off in and easterly direction across country to the lodge.
On the way I saw a hut with civvies in and around it, I didn't investigate as I wanted to avoid the possibility of mucking up any triggers, I carried on to the lodge.

On approach, I was told to halt, which I did, and the cutscene started.
Now we are 5, so I re-armed my group with better weapons from the jeep.
I also investigated the ammo crate, but, there was nothing worth mentioning there.
I also turned on the radio and got the call for help, and information about 3 groups of civvies that required help.

I piled everyone into the civvie truck and we headed back west to the hut I saw before.
At this hut we gained 5 extra passengers and when we got back to the lodge the 4 civvies disembarked and headed for the (alleged) sinking building, and I gained an extra soldier.
I then proceeded to visit the other groups of civvies, bringing each group back and gaining an extra group member each time.........now I had 8.
All the civvies (12) were safe in said sinking building (I never experienced any sinking btw).
I checked my new group members weapons and re-armed where necessary.
I told them all to stay there as I was planning to recce Arudny next.


Arudny
------

I went on foot, I nearly always go on foot as vehicles tend to attract to much attention, especially from choppers, which were buzzing about.
It was quite light and the fog had mostly lifted and the rain had stopped by the time I got within sight of Arudny.

I noticed a squad at the eastern end of the village......and they must have noticed me, because they were coming my way at a great rate of knots.
I downed 2 of them then ran off to find a bush.
Eventually the remains of this squad stationed themselves near where they last saw me, it was an easy task to pick them off, but one of them got away.

I had started towards the village when a jeepmg approached from the east, driving slowly along the road with 2 soldiers either side of the road accompanying it.
I let them pass and they went through Arudny and carried on westwards.

I got into the village and found nobody else, however there was a truck, which I decided to take.
I planned to load up the weapons from the dead squad.
As I approached the bodies I saw the missing squad member, so I ran him over.
I collected all the weapons and drove the truck to the lodge.
I next planned to visit La Trinite.


La Trinite
----------

Leaving my group at the lodge again, I made my way to La Trinite, there was nobody around, so I had a good look about.
On examining the ammo crates I found I was now endowed with 10 AV mines and 10 AP mines.....goody goody.
I took the opportunity to change my weapon for a Bison.

I noticed the BMP Ambulance, the Repair truck and the Ammo truck, I decided to take them all back to base, one at a time, starting with the Ammo truck. Taking the Ammo truck was ideal, it meant I didn't have to faff about taking weapons and ammo from crates.
When I got back to La Trinite after delivering the Ammo truck to the lodge, and once again re-arming my group with even better weapons ( the woman I gave an M21, one guy got a PK and the rest got Bison, although I had one equipped with an RPG as well), there was a convoy from the north in town.
So I waited and watched until they left, then I went in and stole the BMP Ambulance.

On the last trip I planned on taking the Repair truck, but before leaving I left carefully placed AV mines and AP mines at both the north and south approaches to town.
When I got back to La Trinite after delivering the Repair truck to the lodge, there was no sign yet of any fireworks.
I had a bush all picked out to give me a good view of the south approach, because by my reckoning it was the south convoys turn to visit.
I was just approaching my bush when the south convoy arrived and the Bradley hit my first mine.
The Bradley was not destroyed but badly damaged and the crew and cargo ejected.
I thought this was great......I could repair that later, however it was not to be, the Ammo truck tried to go around the Bradley and hit another mine, which destroyed the truck and finished off the Bradley.......and its crew and cargo which were standing close by.

The Vulcan hit another mine as it was charging about, this also took out another truck, which by this time had already dropped its cargo.
The soldiers which had disembarked from the trucks were running around finding my AP mines.
Any which got too close to me were dispatched.

After a while, there were explosions from the north end of town, I took this to mean that the northern forces had arrived, they had obviously found some of my AV and AP mines.
Then there was gunfire and a message to the effect that they had started fighting each other........The war had started :)

I hung about in my bush for ages watching the battle and helping each side out now and then when any got too close to my position.
The armour from both sides was turning up and there were lots of armour wrecks dotted all over the place......not one was able to be repaired......no tanks for me :(
At one point I was in fear of being crushed by passing tanks, I thought I would have to change bushes, but in the end I didn't need to.

Eventually the flow of armour stopped and I got a message that Stamenov was dead.
The time now was about 14:20 and it was slightly foggy but not too bad, but it was raining again.
It got very quiet in La Trinite, but there was one or two squads or partial squads still around......northern forces I think.
I took time finding them all and wiping them out, then I called my group and told them to leave the lodge and get to La Trinite....on foot of course.

They were about 2 thirds of the way there when another northern squad arrived in town, I heard them arrive, three of them found some AP mines.  I told my group to halt whilst I dealt with the rest of them.
Once the town was clear I told my guys (and gal), to continue.
I was slightly wounded so I sought some medical treatment from my medic when they arrived.
The Ammo truck from the northern convoy had survived and I put it somewhere safer in town.
I got all my group equipped with NV goggles taken from dead officers
I waited around for a little while, in case any more soldiers turned up, but all I saw alive were 2 women running down the road.......then running back again....I left them to it, hoping they didn't stray from the road and find an AP mine.

My next stop was going to be Larche and then on to St. Louis.


Larche & St. Louis
------------------

We took the dirt road from La Trinite to Larche, by now it was very very foggy and it was raining heavily.
The journey was uneventful and there was nobody at Larche....we continued on to St. Louis.

There was nobody in sight at St. Louis that I could see, but one of my group reported a soldier apparently way to the west of the town.
I searched the town and only found the camp with a truck.

I stationed my group at the western part of town and went off myself in a south-easterly direction......intending to check out the south-west perimeter of the airfield.
The fog had lifted a lot, but it was still raining.
I was about half way to the perimeter when I noticed an enemy squad approaching from the north-east.
From their heading they were going to pass between me and my group.......so I used my binoculars to spot and report each soldier to my group......we cut them to shreds.

I decided to move my group to my present position in case they had compromised their position. I moved up closer to the perimeter of the airfield and spotted about 6 soldiers inside the fence, lying down.
I dispatched them all and waited to see if there was any reaction from any other direction.....there was none.
I was in a good position to survey the airfield by now, being on a small hill overlooking the southern airfield area, however, it was very foggy again and pi**ing it down and I could see very little. It was also starting to get dark......time was about 17:40
There had been a battle here that much was evident, there were armour wrecks and bodies dotted about.  I had heard explosions and gunfire whilst approacing St. Louis, so I was probably hearing part of this battle.

I moved my group to this position, it was amongst some trees and bushes.
I then entered the airfield through an open crash gate.

---------------------

This is a long post,,,,,,I will stop here and post the rest in another posting, maybe tomorrow.


Planck
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: THobson on 15 Feb 2005, 00:11:11
Planck

You are a hero, not only doing all this but doing it with those fps!

A couple of new points here:  The mg jeep was accompanied by some soldiers on foot.  That means one of the jeeps was damaged and the crew had got out.  I think I have fixed that for the next version.

Stamenov seems to have been killed by the northron attack.  I really must do something about the strength of that attack.  I have now changed the southern base anyway so the northrons will not be able to kill Stamenov so easily.

Keep going...

I am currently working on the mines.  Follwoing mac's suggestion (and helpful code) they now require items from the players inventory.  Handgrenades for AP mines and LAW or RPGs for the AV mines.  They also have a disable mine action.  A few problems so far: using a LAW or RPG explosion for a mine doen't even stop a Bradley (I think I will have to go back to useign Shell120 (ie HEAT).  Other problem is I have not figured out a way to have the disable action without having a script for each mine!!  It works but it looks ugly, and it might be that script names are as bad as variable names when it comes the the large savegame bug.  I have not checked that yet
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: Mr.Pibb on 15 Feb 2005, 00:51:54
 Man, this is really ground breaking stuff here ;)  Im hanging around the north base right now watching the 2 sides battle it out, and its been quite a ride on the way here. Nice thing is I have noticed as the battle has subdued in La Trinite the lag is now all but gone, very happy with that (1ghz p3 256 mb Ram ,geoforce 64mb). Heck, I dont even want to kill the leaders and win the game, it would be over too soon! Think I'll spend some time trying to live on the island for a while and see what happens along the way. Hopefully your mission will inspire others to make similiar scale missions in the near future, cause I wont be enthused to download much else now :P

 I actually decided to just leave all the ai teammates back at the lodge and just go on an adventure, worked out well cause the lodge got attacked twice lol, lost 3 guys the second time - pretty cool to have so many variables in the mission. Also decided after getting killed like 20 times (or more) in LaTrinite that it was time to pull out when they started battling it out, at that point I was happy to leave them to their own affairs, funny cause I continued to see support coming towards LaTrinite even from a long ways off, real time stuff happening, got that right ;D.

 Lastly, its the first time ever I have downloaded a beta version of anything, and walked away with one of 2 of the best missions I have ever seen (other is CTI), so I'm sure the final version will be fine if the beta is this good. I might sound like a 'yes' man or something, but dude, I have searched all over for something like this for years. Good luck with the completion and release of the final version, assuming most of the ofp users out there can recognize excellence I would think in time this mission will be allover the place.
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: macguba on 15 Feb 2005, 01:59:25
With my fancy mines idea, it was never the intention that the actual explosion should be the same as the item you placed.     As it happens, grenades are quite a good bang for AP so that's fine:  for AT I'd just whatever bang works best.

@Planck, I love the way you stole one wagon at a time from La Trinite:  I automatically tried to take all three at once.   Mind you, I got caught.   ;D
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: Dubieman on 15 Feb 2005, 02:23:26
I really wouldn't use a HEAT shell. They are much too weak. Use Shell120 or Shell105. Just a suggestion, when you place an AV Mine it puts a real OFP tank mine there. Either camcreate it or have it setposed from some island or something. :P

@Planck- You're already finished! Gaa! You ppl with your spare time! ;D

@Thobson- yes maybe tweak northerons like you said, almost every story I've read, the nourtherons have the advantage.

Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: Mr.Pibb on 15 Feb 2005, 02:30:32
 I have just noticed the 2 armored vehicles(T80,Vulcan) at the refuel station next to the North base, they dont have re-arm option when u drive them to the ammo truck thats there too, they do repair and refuel, but thats it. The ammo truck is fine, I re-armed a T72 I hijacked with it. Just thought you might wanna know about that.
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: THobson on 15 Feb 2005, 08:40:14
@GRK
Quote
really wouldn't use a HEAT shell. They are much too weak. Use Shell120 or Shell105. Just a suggestion, when you place an AV Mine it puts a real OFP tank mine there
Actually due to a 'feature' of OFP if you ask for a Shell120 you get a HEAT (try rearming an empty tank to see what I mean - addmagazine "Shell120" and you get a fullload out of HEAT).  That is what I am using on the mission you have.  I quite like it.  It takes out anything less than a Bradley, and it disables a Bradley so the crew get out but it is repairable - so long as you don't have another explosion near by like Planck did :).  A real OFP mine will only explode when it detects armour.  I want somthing that will take out anything from a motor bike upwards.

@macguba
Quote
With my fancy mines idea, it was never the intention that the actual explosion should be the same as the item you placed
No, but I thought it would be elegant to do it that way - I was also quite pleased with myself for camcreating  LAW and RPG explosions.  I think I will go back to the explosions in v 1-00.

@Mr Pibb
The empty tanks that cannot be re-armed - All I can say is - sorry.  They are there so that having taken one base as infantry you can have a different experience in taking the other base riding in a tank.  There are two problems with v1-00, one caused by me (in a quick last minute change I removed weapons from the tank, not removed magazines) and one by OFP (a tank with no ammo cannot be re-armed by an ammo truck). Both are fixed in the next release.  In v1-01 these empty tanks will still start off damaged, with no ammunition and only a whisper of fuel, but you can now bring them to full operational condition.

On your wonderful compliments - thank you, I realy do appreciate them.  I realy did want to create a world where people would 'want to live for a while' until they figured out what they wanted to do next.  Your comments have given me the energy to continue flogging though the mountain of To-Do's that the last two weeks have created.

EDIT:
Disabling Mines:  I put an Action on the mine case for this.  The idea is that the case is placed ~10 seconds before the mine is primed and so it should be possible to disable it immediately.  Unfortunately OFP seems not to work like that.  It can take a while for the addAction to become available in the player's menu - so mistakenly placing a mine next to your tank will still be a problem (except you might not have the required item in inventory to make the mine) - Oh, I can't remeber if I said.  You cannot now place mines when you are in a vehicle, sometimes the action is removed by OFP when you get in a vehicle and sometimes not.  Even when the action is not removed it is now not possible to action it.
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: ACF on 15 Feb 2005, 11:07:58
I've had a thought about the 'sinking' lodge - could it be down to different terrain detail settings?

As you crank the terrain detail up the fine detail is interpolated against some 'roughness' factor in the island config. My theory is that the random interpolation is different for different people and, maybe, the same person at different times; so it's not the building that's sinking, it's the land around it being drawn differently.  If you ask, I'm sure screenshots of the critical (west?) side would be forthcoming to confirm or deny this.

If that's the case, the fixes would be to find a flatter or less rough spot, or force SetTerrainGrid.
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: macguba on 15 Feb 2005, 11:13:42
The "arming process" takes a few seconds anyway, and its not unreasonable that you can't disarm it till it has armed, so I wouldn't worry about the delay.

The southron base hadn't been completely overrun, but the northrons did come out on top when I played.   When I arrived at the southron base the northrons still had at least two armoured vehicles to the southrons none, although the chopper hovering over the southron base was presumably southron.     Northrons were left in complete control of La Trinite.  

When I looked at the map in the mission editor one of the things that surprised me slightly was the density of northron troops and bases compared to the much more widely spread southrons.    This shouldn't have surprised me - its a function of the road and village network, but it does mean that the northrons have the advantage of concentration and short lines.

ACF, I've only had time for a very quick test but it appears you are correct.   Good thinking!
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: THobson on 15 Feb 2005, 12:25:12
Quote
ACF, I've only had time for a very quick test but it appears you are correct.  Good thinking!
Well that's a relief. I was wondering how I was going to fix a problem I have not seen.

Quote
the fixes would be to find a flatter or less rough spot, or force SetTerrainGrid.
The lodge is at a saddle between two peaks so it is about the flattest land available for miles.  It looks like I will have to try setTerrainGrid.  It would help me to know what settings people have for their terrain detail and whether or not they have experienced the 'sinking lodge' so I can home in on an appropriate setting.

Quote
This shouldn't have surprised me - its a function of the road and village network, but it does mean that the northrons have the advantage of concentration and short lines.
This really is a practical demonstration of the power of short lines of communication.  I have been scrupulous in balancing forces. And then laying them out in a reasonably realistic way.  At first I thought the northrons were exposed having their base so close to the front but it turned out differently.  In the version I use for de-bugging I have markers to show the location of each group, and for the convoys, patrols and choppers the location of each vehicle (I have removed these from the version I posted because they consume valuable names and so contribute to the large savegame bug). It is fascinating to see the battles progress by watching the map.  Northrons really are able to get their stuff to La Trinite much more quickly.  For some reason I also always seem to target the southron convoy so they are already weaker by the time the action starts.

Quote
but the northrons did come out on top when I played.  When I arrived at the southron base the northrons still had at least two armoured vehicles to the southrons none,
I think I will down grade one or two of their T80s to T72s, nothing too drastic.

Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: macguba on 15 Feb 2005, 13:43:52
It should be emphasised that although the Nortrons always appear to win, certainly in my case they won by about the right margin for good gameplay.     Thinking about it, I'm not convinced you should mess with this, at least not without a fair amount of testing.

At the moment it works.    The only problem is that northrons always win.   Well when you play the mission for the first time that doesn't matter because you don't know.   When you play it for the third time its actively good because you will, knowing this and wanting a new challenge, play it to try and get the southrons to win.     It's only a problem - if you admit its a problem at all - for folk playing it the second time.

However, if you mess with it a little you may end up with the two sides annihilating each other perfectly, leaving nothing for the player to do.     Simply reducing the northron's strength a little is, I suggest, a mistake.    Either live with it - and nothing wrong with that - or do lots of work.    The trouble is that you are trying to create a knife-edge (where clear victory can go either way) and you may end up with a plateau (mutually assured destruction).

Attached pic of doorway into sinking building at very low terrain detail.
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: macguba on 15 Feb 2005, 13:54:29
Low, obviously.   There is a slight difference.
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: macguba on 15 Feb 2005, 14:03:36
Normal.  I suspect this is where it was when I first arrived (or maybe low), and when I came back later I was on very low.    I certainly had been playing with terrain.
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: macguba on 15 Feb 2005, 14:05:10
We're getting there ...
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: macguba on 15 Feb 2005, 14:05:26
Lastly ...
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: Mr.Pibb on 15 Feb 2005, 16:08:53
Heres a breif descript of what I found last night through playing for bout 3 hours and a few minor suggestions following:

 Spent alot of time at the north base until every enemy vehicle or soldier I could find was dead (including the N boss), then carried on in a T72 I fixed down towards the southern base. Fog started setting in as I neared the southern base from the mountians, I drove right in the base area with the area mostly devoid of enemy presence, except for scirmishes happening nearby the base, everything in the base was dead - except the N boss and one of his ladies, - took out the N boss, at this point fog was gettin really bad, raining again. I hijacked an empty T80 nearby and dumped the T72, fog now so close I decided that trying to engage enemies would be almost impossible, so I drove back to the Cabin and called it a night.

 Heres a few suggestions, thats all they are is suggestions, nothing actually 'wrong' did I find in last nights run (aside from the no ammo rearm which I described). - and I do also reccomend if you allow some 'repairable' tanks to be around, personally I would set them back in an area where they would be being fixed at, not at the front of the base (like at the rear refuel depots), just looked a little to much like they were put there for you.

 The N base had good defenses, nice dispersal of troops and tanks. The S base seemed to show less sign of substantial defenses, although I had gotten there after the battle there were only a few destroyed tanks around, and the base seemed very 'crammed' with its elements in the city itself.
 My suggestion is to make both bases really more like large scale bases, simply put. The N base like I said really was perfect mostly in the defenses, but the base structure itself was very tiny. Would be nice to see more buildings spread out, parimeter MG bunkers, more tents for troops, camo canopies for some more of the vehicles, and I would set those damaged vehicles back from the front lines of the base, a little imagination into what a large base at that location would be like and just placing some stuff would make a very big difference in my opinion, and also few more enemies within such a base structure would be nice just to make it more 'interesting' when the player does finally get inside the base itself, just a realistic base for what really is a huge enemy force.

 The S base could use pretty much the same overhaul as mentioned above, frankly I thought the S base was super small and very crammed. Even if the city is the base I would still put alot of additional military style buildings and tents in there, personally I prefer to seperate the areas, tent areas for housing troops, some building structures for whatever in certain areas and spread out too, etc. Personally I would spread the S base way out from as it is, even if it means going beyond the city limits abit, it just really didnt feel like a base at all when I was there (even with the sandbag walls).

 Really to me it seemed arriving at the 2 bases was 2 of the 'high' points in the mission, I think they should be very immersive expereinces.

 Lastly, its your mission and the changes are purely your decision, but I found personally that the second wave of fog was just too much, I felt quite helpless when thinking about engaging an enemy force at that time, it does add a neat twist, but personally I am gonna wait as long as it takes for the fog to dissipate before I move on to any major operations at this point.

 So, these are just pointers, nothing more, I still feel the same, outstanding job, I'm sure to be playing this mission many times over and it will prolly remain on my hard drive for like forever. And I hope you dont feel like you have to kill yerself to make any changes you have decided to add, a mission this size I am sure took many months to get this far and I would rather just enjoy it as is and see you come out with the final product in yer own time rather then you going overboard to try to get it done as fast as possible.

 Best to you

Pibb
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: Dubieman on 15 Feb 2005, 20:41:06
Now that I think about it, my settings are usually normal (I think) for land detail. And when I was trying to get my T80 away from those nasty southerons LAWmen I was climbing some big hills so I set my detail to low so I could hurry on a bit faster being that there is no 4x. :P

I suppose it supports the theory we have now... ::) ;)
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: THobson on 15 Feb 2005, 21:02:15
@ACF & macguba
You are my heroes.  ACF thank you for the idea, macguba thank you for the screen shots.  Looking at them I clearly play on normal all the time.  From the comref I see I need to setTerraineGrid to12.5.

@Mr.Pibb
Quote
And I hope you dont feel like you have to kill yerself to make any changes you have decided to add, a mission this size I am sure took many months to get this far  
It did! but I am now very consious of its shortcomings so I want to get them fixed  But at the same time I want to take time and savour the improvements.  

I was quite mean with buildings etc in the bases because I was concerned about lag, but that doesn't seem to be a terrible problem (except for poor old Planck.)  

I do appreciate your comments thanks.

@macguba
I understand what you mean about a perfect cancelling out.  That would be a problem.  What I had in mind was a slight weakening of the northron attack force so that more is left of Stamenov's base for the player to deal with.  I might experiment with it a bit.
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: Planck on 15 Feb 2005, 21:08:45
I agree that the 'sinking sensation' is probably a consequence of terrain detail.

I never change my terrain detail level, it is always 'normal'.

I also never use accelerated time, I play a mission always in 'real time'.
So I don't really notice the absence of this feature.

OK......Time for part 2 of my story.


The Airfield
------------

Ok, it's dark now and I'm inside the airfield perimeter.
I can see a manned M2 beside the lone building to the north.
There is also a machine gunner and a black-op or it might be an armour crewman, it's hard to tell in this fog.
I sneak closer intending to take out the M2 first.
I'm almost in position when 2 jeepmg's arrive and pause on the road just before the turn-off to the far northern fuel dump. They wait here for about 30 secs then turn up the road to the fuel dump.

Once they have gone I take out the M2, the machine gunner and the black-op.
I wait around to see if there is any reaction....there is none so I continue towards the first fuel dump, there is a lone black-op at the fuel dump, he is standing beside the Ammo truck.
I shoot him and continue to explore the dump.
All vehicles, apart from the Ammo truck and a T80, are destroyed already.
The fuel station is also dead.
I decide that I will take the T80 once I manage to find some fuel for it.

I continue north towards Andropovs HQ.
On the way, I notice another Ammo truck and a Fuel truck stopped together in the middle of the airfield area across from the HQ.....I found some fuel :)
These trucks are guarded by 2 soldiers, probably the drivers, so I kill them and continue on.
On the approach to the HQ I notice another manned M2 and another machine gunner lying down.
So I find a nice convenient bush to use as cover whilst I deal with them, however, I notice a sniper in another bush, not far from my bush, but further north. So, I deal with him first before taking out the others.
The fog is beginning to lift a little now, but the rain continues.

No reaction from the HQ, no sign of life, so I advance to investigate the buildings.
I went round the back of the buildings, the ones near the fence, and crawl back towards the road, in-between two of the buildings, there is a bush at the other end.
Once I get to the other end I see a Spetz running about between the vehicle enclosure and the hospital area, he just keeps going from one to the other, pausing now and then to look around.
I wait till he pauses in the vehicle enclosure, then I give him the bad news.
Up pops a message that says Andropov is dead.
I continue to search the buildings area and eliminate any other soldiers I find.

I decide to investigate the northern fuel dump next, but my plans are interrupted by the arrival of more troops, then more troops, then more troops.
Then I realise that this is the remnants of Andropovs men returning to base after his death.
I spend some considerable time killing them all and waiting for more to arrive.
They must be coming from different areas on the island and the last remnants will take a while to get here.
The 2 jeepmg's arrive at the HQ........easy prey.

Eventually a Vulcan turns up, followed shortly after by an Abrams.
The Vulcan is very actively looking for me around the HQ area, so I find a spare RPG launcher and take him out, the crew survived and headed for the trauma tent, where they died.
My group report the occasional contact, followed by a 'I got him' or a 'soldier is history'.
I need an AT4 or Carl Gustav to take out the Abrams, but all the ones on the dead soldiers are empty.
The fog has all gone now and the rain has stopped.
I notice the wreck of a Hind on the hillside west of the airfield.

I make my way to the first fuel dump and the Ammo truck, where I get myself an AT4.
The Abrams eventually parks near the HQ after failing to find me, so I let him have the AT4.
I am now immediately under fire from the right of the fuel dump, so I drop the empty AT4 and hide under the T80.
I took out 2 soldiers that were running about looking for me, then it went quiet.
I turned around and looked out from behind the T80.....there was a squad lying down right behind me. They hadn't seen me yet, so I crept quietly away back to the HQ area and borrowed an M21 from that snipers body.
My group reports a Hind way over to the south.
I took them all out from a safe distance, the officer first, as he was the one with NV goggles.

Back to the Ammo truck for another AT4 and re-arm with another Bison.
Waiting for the Abrams to reappear, but he had gone east of the HQ area down near the water and didn't seem to want to play any more.
I was just considering going to look for him, when there was a large explosion followed by another.
The Abrams was dead, but, who killed him.........must have been that Hind, in fact it was buzzing about the airfield right now.
I get rid of the second AT4 as I don't need it any more, I instead restock on my Bison mags.
I went over to the HQ area intending to kill any survivors from the Abrams that had made their way to the trauma tent, but there was nobody there, so they must have been killed.

I picked up a Strela Launcher and waited for the Hind to pass overhead.
It only took the one shot to kill him, I think he must have been damaged already at some point during the fighting.
As he went down over the water, the crew, if they bailed out, would not have survived.
I drop the empty Strela and pick up the Bison mags again.
There was still the odd few soldiers turning up, but I decided to take the Fuel truck I had found and go refuel that T80.

I was under fire as soon as I started driving the truck, I ignored it and reached the T80 ok.
I jumped in the T80 and refuelled it.
I moved the T80 to the Ammo truck but I was unable to re-arm it, the action to re-arm just never appeared in the action menu.
When I was in St. Louis previously I found a damaged jeepmg at the eastern entrance to town, it had hit a building.
Slightly further east, along the road to the airfield there was a Repair truck, undamaged, but abandoned.
I had used this Repair truck to repair the jeepmg, then parked the Repair truck at the roadside.
This is where I took the T80 next in order to repair it.
Once I had repaired the T80 I went back and tried re-arming it again. but no joy.
Never mind, I had at least gained a bullet proof vest on tracks.

I took the T80 to the fuel dump further north.
There was absolutely nobody there, there were no vehicles there either.
I don't know if the fuel stations are supposed to work at this dump, but in my case they didn't work.
Back to the HQ area....crushed a further 6 troops, they were probably the ones shooting at me whilst I was getting the Fuel truck.
It was now very quiet with no sign of anybody, but of course there must be more troops it was just a case of finding them.

I called my group and told them to move to the first fuel dump.
Whilst I was waiting, I moved to the HQ area and spotted 4 snipers there plus 2 other soldiers, all of which I crushed with my trusty T80.
I went looking in the beach area for the Abrams wreck, but instead found a lone AA soldier just standing about, I made him lie down, permanently.
I still never found that Abrams wreck either.
Back to the fuel dump and waited for my group to arrive.
When they arrived I told them to go prone and ordered #2 to board my tank as gunner.
Whilst he was doing that he was fired upon, the rest reported a sniper followed by 'I got him'.

I took #2 to the Ammo truck that was parked further north and got him to board it as driver and then go back to the fuel dump.
#3 was ordered into the other Ammo truck as driver. #4 became driver of the Fuel truck.
I got #5 to join me in the tank as gunner.
#6,#7, and #8 went into a truck each as passengers.
Ordered a 'return to formation' and proceeded to make my way to the road.
#4 somehow managed to put the Fuel truck on its side, so I had to order #4 and #6 out of the Fuel truck.
#4 and #6 were put into other vehicles as passengers instead.
So I had to leave the Fuel truck.
I was leaving the airfield, but planned to return another time to look for stragglers.
We made our way to St. Louis.
Once there, I got #4 to board the Repair truck as driver, #6 and #8 crewed the jeepmg.
Ordered a 'return to formation' and started off for Larche.

At Larche everything went pear-shaped, in that 3 of my vehicles got stuck.
I carried on to the lodge and waited.
By carefully ordering the stuck vehicles to various positions I managed to get them unstuck and eventually everyone arrived safely at the lodge.
At the lodge I healed anyone that was wounded, including myself.
I also replenished everyones ammo.

By now, at the lodge, I had:

1 jeep
1 jeepmg
1 5t Truck (open)
3 Ammo trucks
2 Repair trucks
1 BMP Ambulance
1 Car
1 Bicycle
1 Motorcycle
1 T80

I told everone to wait for me, I was planning to make my way to Chapoi to visit Stamenovs HQ.

--------------------------

This post is getting long, so I will stop again and continue in another post tomorrow.



Planck
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: THobson on 15 Feb 2005, 22:16:25
Planck.

This is wonderful ;D.  I apologise for you not being able to re-arm the tanks.  I mentioned in a post above that there are two reasons for this.  Both have now been fixed.
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: Dubieman on 16 Feb 2005, 02:13:21
Hey! Almost finished. Its just been too many hours playing.... ::)

Well a shorty version from where I last left off.

I took a squaddie with me to be the gunner of the tank. Now I can usually if I'm leader command the gunner what to shoot at and with what ammo. But because I'm a private, I can't tell anyone what to do in a tank. :P A quick fix would be nice. ;)

Anyways off to Stamenov's again to deal a death blow. I drive down there and mow down lots of ppl and kill Stamenov. ;D His women ran off. ;) So I search and kill a few more soldiers and look for that T72 that's prolly headed north by now. So I'm relaxing when whiiirrr crunch crunch....Seems Stamenov called his last cobra back to base to rescue him. Well after a few retries and dodgy driving my civ gunner manages to machine gun the heli out of the sky. The city is now more destroyed than before with those TOWs and FFARS!

So I head east then north to inspect Le port and Houdan. Find the remanants of a large tank/infantry battle east of base as suspected before. I lose another guy at the lodge...damn right through a window prolly. :P

Find nothing and go up through La Trinite and kill a LAW guy and a MGer and continue on to ambush a jeepmg with infantry escort. Ran them over and rammed the jeep into a tree.  ::)

So save and I decide I'm so cool :toocool: so I attack Adropovs (forgot his name) base and get the stuffing beaten out of me by an abrams, vulcan, and a hind. :'(

Alright, I head back to base on a retry. Find a wayward T72, put him out of his misery(he was patrolling the mountains). I get back to base to find the infantry that had killed a team mate of mine. Killed them. :P

Now I went solo with my PV3S (full of weapons galore!) to go in the back door through the desert to Adropovs base. I get to the desert with no contacts yet. Then I happen upon a vulcan and abrams sitting in the desert staring the other way. ;D ;D

I get an AT4 out and put it right into the engine area of the abrams (forgetting the glitch that makes the engine the strongest part). :-[ :o

I grab my RPG while hiding by my truck in open desert and blast the vulcan away. After  a frenzy of running, ducking, and hiding around my truck I disable the Abrams (with 4 RPGs :P) and kill the crew. :booty:

I can come back and salvage it later. Anyways onto the base where I kill about 35 infantry with my M60 and M21 and then shoot down the pesky hind. ;D I come upon an abandoned T72 with a busted track. The big force of the northerners are approaching now and the turret is still usable on the T72. I slice into them with the T72's weaponry and blow away 2 M2A2s and kill 15 infantry + another vulcan. ;D

I then run into the base, which is kinda a small place on this large airport and grenade the adropov guy and he dies then I kill another squad and shoot some snipers. Now I take my truck full speed to the repair place where some infantry are firing on a southeron tank that's stuck in the wrecked building, they "just" saw it... ::)

Anyways I park and find a fully working abrams that's been abandoned with a busted turret. I repair, refuel, rearm. Then off to St. Louis and down to Chapoi to show any surivivors my new shiny abrams. I eliminate an infantry squad and find no one else. I head back to base, lost another guy from my group... ::)

Now its foggy as hell again, it was nice and sunny before, but now its 1:20 OFP time and I get my guys to crew my abrams and my T80. Time to go huntin! ;D

So we kill some wayward infantry and I send my T80 down a road I haven't been down yet. We arrive at the airport to hear my mates back at the lodge are reporting M2A2s and lots of infantry. (where the hell are they coming from? ;D :D :P)

Me in the abrams with "6" wipe out an infantry squad and then I find that putting AP mines at the fences entrances could work very well cause the infantry are bottlenecked through the gates. ;D We'll see how it works out. So my T80 joins me and we get attacked by 2 M2A2s and 2 Vulcans. ::) Dead meat they were. ;)

Okay that's it, I'm waitin at the airport to just let everyone's guard waypoints draw them to my abrams and T80 while we wait with the repair, refuel, and rearm trucks behind us. Odds= in our favor ;)

Okay that's my account for now....

Comments:
-change my rank higher?
-some serious clipping troubles at Adropovs place, found a T72 in perfect condition upside down :-\
-found those women running up & down the streets
-fog is nice when starting for cover while you're weak but a real pain when near the end
-the northerner base is kinda odd, spread out and not very "real" to me :P
-many units in the bases are very stationary, is there anything to be done about that?
-don't know why so many enemies pass my lodge. When I'm on the other side of the map. ::) :P Shouldn't they attack me? :-\


Hmm, if I think of anything else I'll respond again. Almost done now, its just a waiting game. :)
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: Mr.Pibb on 16 Feb 2005, 02:48:34
 Finally finished the mission after 8 hours roughly lol. Very nice outro, was awsome seeing some of those shots of the map locals, and neat seeing the cam zoom out away from the island at the end of it. It was tedious trying to finish off the North army, I kept wondering if there were guys out somewhere on the map that I needed to somehow find to win after already combing the map once. I thought I had cleared the base the first time, but I apparently missed some guys cause upon returning I found another infantry team running about and also located like 5-6 snipers and then was awarded mission completion.

  During the mission I many times found enemies out in the boonies where later on when I was close to completing the mission I was thinking man, how will I find all these guys - but it seems that you must have it so the enemies return to base once the opposite side is nuetralized, or else I dont see how I could have been that lucky to have by accident killed every enemy outside of their base parimeter.

 Wow. A single player mission that topped my now previous mission record time, which was a CTI game that lasted 6 hours - sure is nice to have that infinite save function ;D

 Great stuff, the neat thing is, now that I know whats goin on to a degree, I can already feel the urge to want to play it again and try different stuff, but not tonight I think, all burned out on ofp right now ::)
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: THobson on 16 Feb 2005, 08:33:17
@GRK
Thanks.  A lot of good comments there. I am glad there was sufficient armour left over from the N/S battles that you could get some of your own.  On Alexi's rank, It would be really good if I could increase that during the mission.  Failing that I will just need to think of a plausible reason that will not strike an odd chord when the player gets to the briefing for the first time.

I am anxious, you have got to where macguba got to and the last loons were never found.  I hope they turn up for you.

Your comments about the fog support many other's views.  You see I know how it works so I expect it and never saw it as a problem.  It will be fixed.


@Mr.Pibb
I'm so glad you enjoyed it and had no problems with the ending.  You are correct, under certain conditions the loons on each side return to base.  Sorry if the last bit was tedious.  I am thinking of having the last few loons surrender to help avoid that, and any possible ‘lost loon' problem.
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: macguba on 16 Feb 2005, 12:03:10
From reading people's reports it seems to me that the Lodge is not a safe place.    I'm not suggesting that it should be totally secure, there just seem to be a lot of passing patrols.  

I can think of several things to do about this (set knowsAbout values of passing enemies to 0 on a loop;  an exit trigger making approaching loons leave the area;  more trees and bushes around to make it more hidden;  fences at a distance to divert the wandering patrols away;  perhaps even a new location that isn't quite so in the way of the various forces moving from north to south) but none are totally satisfactory.     The answer, as so often, is probably some kind of combination.

And since it hasn't totally ruined anybody's mission perhaps I being overfussy and its fine as it is.

Very pleased to hear somebody else has finished it.

I had no problems getting my loons to do what I wanted in the tank.    I always getin first myself as commander - I dont' know if that's actually necessary but I suspect it helps.   I have in the past had the kind of problems GRK describes.   I dont' actually think its a rank problem - you are group leader and that overrides rank.     You have to be a private at the start for the plot to make sense.  Pity there is no setRank command.
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: GI-YO on 16 Feb 2005, 16:53:50
Here is a little progress (if you can call it that) update. The bradley+vulcan convoy i discovered in la trinete very dead, so i stole a load of RPG and AA weapons. A small squad turned up from the north so i ran away. On my travels i see small squads about the place and spotted one on the small road that leads to the coast to the north, which winds down a hill. so i killed them all, first time.  Oh yeah  :). The fog is closed in now and i have about 10 meters visability which is hampering my progress cause i walk straight into any baddies. Currently trying to bust up the airfield. More soon (this mission rocks but i suck at it  ;D)

GI-YO
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: THobson on 16 Feb 2005, 16:56:44
I quite like the idea of patrols happening on the lodge, and probably happening quite often if they are following the player :).   Once the rescued civilians are at the lodge they are safe (from everyone except the player that is ::) )  They obviously hide deep in the ruin when any patrols pass and so don't get noticed.

Quote
Very pleased to hear somebody else has finished it.
I make it three now.  You, Planck and Mr.Pibb.  I am not sure how I feel about that. When I was putting it together I had envisaged something that would take weeks.

Quote
I had no problems getting my loons to do what I wanted in the tank.
I was puzzld by that too.  I have not chance to check it out yet.

EDIT:
@GI-YO
Just saw your post.
Quote
spotted one on the small road that leads to the coast to the north, which winds down a hill.
Do you have a map reference.  I can't place it.
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: GI-YO on 16 Feb 2005, 17:24:27
Thanks for the quick reply. Grid reference was EH 21 and the squad was looking to the north. Hope that helps.

GI-YO
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: macguba on 16 Feb 2005, 17:50:53
Quote
I make it three now.  You, Planck and Mr.Pibb.  I am not sure how I feel about that.

It's good.     I don't know how much gameplay it took me, 16-20 hours I would guess although the last few were running around after that last loon.     It took a lot of effort and dedication, do not be misled.   Nobody is going to finish it in much less than 8 hours of gameplay and very few less than 12.    That's quite an achievement.      Compare it to unimpossible, which is meant to be as hard as it can be.   This is not - this is meant to be more fun.    Also this has infinite savegames, which makes it quicker and easier.

As you edit and improve it will get more difficult - that's the nature of editing.    Also, I for one was playing it for the result - I was deliberatly not taking the time to float around admiring things.

And just remember what you are trying to do.  You are spreading the enemy out over the whole island.   The density in any one place should never be that high.   You are trying to create a long sequence of relatively small battles.     It should be possible to calculate a theoretical time:   the distance you have to travel, plus the number of battles plus the time each one lasts.

If you like having lots of patrols pass the lodge, then keep them.    :)
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: THobson on 16 Feb 2005, 20:38:52
Mac

Thanks.

GI-YO.  EH21  - Got it.  I knwo wat they are.  They should not have been stationary for too long I hope.
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: Planck on 16 Feb 2005, 21:27:15
On the subject of ordering your men in tanks:

I can confirm what macguba said.
In my experience you must board a tank as commander first.
Then you will be able to change positions at will and give the others directions properly.
If you ever get out of the tank, you must get back in as commander again in order to have the same result.

I never saw any sign of enemy troops near the lodge, nary a one, and I had a whole fleet of vehicles there.

OK.....Here is the final part of my story.


I have decided to visit Chapoi, travelling there via the road down the west coast of the island passing through La Pessange on the way and visiting other villages ......just in case there is anyone there.

I pop back into my T80 and set off.


Journey to Chapoi
-------------------
I went via Larche then on to St. Louis and turned south for Dourdan.
Dourdan was empty except for a burning fire, which I put out. I took the west road from Dourdan, through Arudy, which was empty, and continued on to La Pessagne.
There was no sign of anyone in La Pessange, just a fire burning brightly.
A word about these fires......every time I came across a lit fire, I put it out, mostly in the hope that my fps might benefit. However my fps didnt seem to notice.
I continued on to Vigny, just to check that it was still clear, it was.

I continued past La Pessange again, heading south.
I came across a broken jeepmg at the intersection of the main road with a dirt road.
It had hit a road sign and had a puncture....amazingly the road sign was still standing.
No sign of any bodies or stragglers.
I continued on and presently came across an Ammo truck at the side of the road, nobody was around, the truck was undamaged.
At the next junction I turned right, I visited La Riviere, which was also deserted, so I turned round and rejoined the main road and continued towards Chapoi.

A short distance before the turning for Cancon I came across an abandoned Fuel truck, it also was undamaged.
I drove it further off the road and then got back into my tank, refuelled, and set off again.
I turned right at the next junction in order to visit Cancon.
Cancon was quiet and peaceful, so I turned north across country, I was planning to visit the Fuel dump west of Chapoi first.

I parked the T80 beside the woods south of the fuel dump and continued on foot.
The fuel dump was deserted, apart from a Repair truck.
The Fuel truck further up the road to the west probably came from here.


Chapoi
------

I continued on foot east to Chapoi.
It was starting to rain now and the fog was coming down rapidly.
I noticed a tank wreck in the southern part of Chapoi and a few bodies lying in the streets.
I found Stamenovs HQ and noticed there were a few soldiers lying down beside a fire, in front of a tent.
I took them out one at a time and decided I would get in there and put that fire out.
I continued round and noticed an Abrams and a Bradley parked in the compound. There was also an M113 Ambulance and some support trucks on the other side of the compound.

Rounding the final corner before the entrance, I noticed a lone soldier lying prone up near the sandbag defensive perimeter. I shot him.
I reached the Abrams, and, as I suspected it was in a similar state as the T80 was before I repaired it.
I didnt bother trying to repair, re-arm and refuel it.....one bullet proof vest was good enough for me.
When I got near the fire I noticed a policeman in the tent....Stamenov??.......so I shot him and the message popped up to confirm that Stamenov was dead.

I think I know how Stamenov died twice, it is all down to save games and my memory.
I saved my game before I went back to La Trinite to watch the convoy hit my mines.
During the subsequent battle I got the 'Dead Stamenov' message.
When I was tidying up La Trinite afterwards.....killing off the stragglers...I died.
I wasn't shot, I went too close to one of my own AP mines.
So, when I reloaded and did it all again, I suspect that this time Stamenov didn't get killed.
However, no matter, he was dead now.

After Stamenov was dead, two women issued forth from his tent and ran off.
I noticed a whole bunch of civilian bodies behind and around Stamenovs tent.
I put out the fire, and decided to steal the Bradley and see how far it would take me back to my T80.
About half way there it ran out of fuel, so I hoofed it the rest of the way.
I used the T80 to check around Chapoi for troops, I found 4, which I crushed.
I couldn't find any more, but I did notice a partially damaged T72 on the hillside west of St. Marie.

Then bingo!!
Partially buried in a building in Chapoi, I noticed an Abrams.....mostly undamaged.
The crew had obviously got it stuck in the building and was unable to escape, so they had abandoned it.
I left my T80 and boarded the Abrams, I took it to the support trucks and refuelled, re-armed and repaired it.
Smashing, I now had a fully functional tank.
I decided it was time to revisit the airfield to search for stragglers, but I would return here later.
As Stamenov has just been killed, it will take a little while for the stragglers to gather.


Back to the Airfield
--------------------

Heading east I eventually came to the north-south junction, as I wasn't planning to visit Le Port I turned north for Houdan.
About half way there I noticed something in the middle of the road coming my way.
I had my lights on and despite the fog I could see it was a person.
I put my foot down, thinking....a straggler returning home to HQ.
Aaarrrrgghhh......it was a woman.
I swerved and just missed her, leaving the road and crushing a few trees and bushes in the process.
She for her part just continued down the road as if nothing had happened.

I continued on at a reduced speed in case I met any more women.
Nobody at Houdan....I carried on to Dourdan and then La Trinite.
I took a wide berth around La Trinite to avoid hitting any of my AV mines that might still be there.
I went straight to the HQ at the airfield to see if anyone had turned up.
I was almost immediately hit with an RPG, so I carried on past turning also in order to see where he was, his next 2 RPG's just missed me, then it went quiet, so I think he had no more RPG's to fire.
I eventually spotted him, he was prone by now, so I crushed him.
There was another 2 soldiers which I despatched in a similar manner, and also 4 snipers, they also met the same fate.
Still no objective complete, so there must be more, but I failed to find them.
After a while of searching about, I headed back to the lodge for any repairs and extra crew.

I repaired at the lodge, and ordered #5 into the Abrams as gunner.
I switched to commander position and then ordered #2 to board as driver.
I intended to switch to driver position once he had boarded and make my way back to the airfield.
However, as soon as #2 had boarded he zoomed off in a southerly direction.
I was going to order him to stop so I could switch positions, but I decided to leave him alone....I was curious to see where he was going.
It looked very much like he was going to Chapoi, yet I hadn't ordered him to go anywhere yet.


Chapoi again
------------

The Abrams came to a juddering halt within the area enclosed by the sandbag wall after smashing through them.
I switched to driver and started looking about.
Nothing inside Chapoi or the defensive perimeter.
The fog was very very bad now and it was raining cats and dogs.
I started for St. Marie, I couldn't even see the road, even with my lights on, so I stopped and waited for a break in the fog.

Eventually after making coffee and drinking half of it, the fog had lifted enough for me to see the road.
I reached St. Marie, I went past the 'Danger' signs and into the middle of the village.....nothing here.
I was being bombarded with grenades, but I presume this was a script setposing grenades at my position because I was inside the mined area.
Anyway I left and headed for the damaged T72 I had noticed earlier.
I gave up driver position to #2 and boarded the T72 instead.
I managed to nurse the T72 to the support trucks and now had a fully functional T72

I ordered a 'return to formation' and went to check out the southern area of Chapoi.
We found 4 soldiers in the southern part of Chapoi.
I reported the first sighting, a machine gunner, who ran past the front of my T72 on the way to the HQ area.
The Abrams gunner (bless her heart), decided to fire using a HEAT shell, which killed the soldier but also damaged my newly refurbished T72.
She immediately switched to MGun and killed the other 3 soldiers, much to my relief.
I returned to the support trucks and got repaired.

I next headed to the fenced enclosure north-west of the town.
There was a whole mess of snipers here and 3 other troops.
Between me and the Abrams we took them all out in short order.
Voila!!.......another objective complete.
Time to head north again for the airfield.

We leave Chapoi for the last time and head north again.
The fog has really come down again by the time we reach Houdan and it is raining hard.
Suddenly, just a little north of Houdan, a figure appears in front of me.
Beacause of the fog I hadn't noticed this person till they were very close.
You guessed it, it was a woman again.
I don't know how I managed to miss her but I did, she continued on her way into the fog and the countryside was minus a few more trees and bushes again.

At La Trinite I once again took a wide berth to avoid any remaining mines, but #2 in the Abrams had other ideas and steamed through town.
**BOOM**....I got the message '1 cease fire'.
We continued on to the airfield.


Airfield again again
--------------------

The fog has lifted quite a bit and the rain has stopped.
I came to a halt just short of Andropovs HQ, I had my lights on, and I could see a whole mess of bodies.
I was thinking, did I really kill all those soldiers.
Then I noticed that one of them was not a body, it was a prone soldier.
Just as I noticed this my character reported the sighting and #5 in the Abrams (bless her), took care of him with her MGun.
And that was it.....final objective complete......end of mission.
Endscene and credits.

----------------------

I was killed during this mission 3 times.
The second time has already been described.

The first time was when I was in La Trinite, waiting for the northern convoy to leave, so I could steal the BMP Ambulance.
I was in fact hiding under said ambulance.
Whilst waiting there, an enemy soldier joined me under the ambulance, so I had to shoot him.
This caused the rest of the soldiers to start running about looking for me.
After a while, when I thought things had calmed down a bit, another soldier joined me under the ambulance, so I shot him also.
After another period of intense searching, the soldiers appeared to settle down again.
Then a third soldier crawled under the ambulance so, once again I shot him and I promptly died.
I like to think that my bullet went through the soldier, bounced off the BMP and then hit me, but it is more likely that we both fired at the same time.

The third time I was killed was at the airfield, when I was firing the AT4 at that Abrams.
I was firing the AT4 so it would pass between the building I had been hiding behind and the Ammo truck parked next to it
I was too close to the building when I fired and the AT4 hit the building and killed me.
It was sheer carelessness.

Despite my very low fps during this mission, I really enjoyed playing it.
After a while you don't notice the fps that much, mostly due to the way I play anyway.
Slowly and carefully........at least most of the time anyway.
Two missions I have played now that I have enjoyed immensely, Abandoned Armies (this mission) and the Un-Impossible Mission by Macguba.

Ok, so it still needs a little polishing, but not a lot, it is mostly small details.
Once again, thanks to THobson and his supporting voice actresses and actor for a great mission experience.

Link below has my debriefing picture.



Planck
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: Planck on 16 Feb 2005, 21:28:33
And the next link has the 2 pages of my stats.


Planck
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: THobson on 16 Feb 2005, 22:18:24
Plank

You are totally wonderful!  I loved your story and it was told in such an amusing way I laughed so much I had tears running down my face.  I am so glad you enjoyed it.

On the technical side I would prefer it if the player did not have to leave each base 'to soak' for a while until all the loons turn up.  Also, about the jeep:
Quote
It had hit a road sign and had a puncture....amazingly the road sign was still standing.
This sort of minor damage is a pain, the loons get out and walk!  I now have it that something like this will result in the jeep being repaired and the loons getting back in to continue their patrol(It is not unreasonable to expect a solder to change a tyre after all!)

Edit:
It is interesting that the women stick to the road.  There is no reason why they should their waypoints are quite random.

On the women that run away from Stamenov's tent.  Did you notice if they left the compound, and if they did was the wire intact or had vehicles made holes in it?
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: Planck on 16 Feb 2005, 22:51:35
Glad you liked my story   ;D

It was a pleasure to try out your mission TH.

As for the women.....I didn't really notice where they went after they left the tent.

I myself made a hole in the fence when I left with the Bradley.
I also demolished some fencing when I visited the support trucks.

I just presumed they had left the area because I didn't notice them again.
I got the impression that the women I met on the road were the 2 from further north.


Planck
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: THobson on 16 Feb 2005, 23:39:52
Quote
I got the impression that the women I met on the road were the 2 from further north.
I think you are right.  The women in Stamenov's tent are told to leg it to towns south of Chapoi.
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: macguba on 17 Feb 2005, 03:10:03
I think that at Chapoi, after I had made many holes in the fence, that one woman got stuck - she stood still in the same place - but the other had vanished.

I was killed many times when I played, but mostly many times from the same retry.    There were a couple of key areas - in La Trinite when I was being overoptimistic about trying to steal wagons and in that nightmare bit around Saint Louis, but most of the rest were one offs usually by being stupidly careless - partly caused because I had a recent savegame - or just unlucky in the fog with loons hitting me from far further than I could see.

With tanks I almost always play with me as gunner and AI as driver.     Rarely play with a third crewmember.   Sometimes I drive to save time but I move to gunner as soon as any fighting is required.

Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: THobson on 17 Feb 2005, 09:00:23
I have changed Chapoi a bit.  Stuck women are now not an issue.  As you say - if you can't make it work, ride with it and do something else. I think what I have done is an improvement anyway even if the escaping women bit had worked the way I wanted it to in the first place.

Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: Henderson on 17 Feb 2005, 17:36:39
My first post here, I just had to register to tell you how great a mission this was. The atmosphere, (though it's kind of tough with the fog because the AI can see YOU but you can't see THEM >:().

Everything was going great, I was advancing on Stampenov from the Saint Marie area of Chapoi, but it was late so I saved my game and closed it. I tried to load it today and I got the dreaded save game error! No! *cries* Was so close too. I'm going to give it another go though.  :)
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: THobson on 17 Feb 2005, 18:12:37
Henderson:

Are you using ECP?  It would help me to know as I thought I had got the  mission to a state where it would not suffer from this problem on its own.

I believe you can get back to where you were.  I understand that if you rename your save file, then start a new mission, alt tab out, rename your save file back to what it was then then resume - I am told it works.  Though you might want to save a copy safely elsewhere just in case.

EDIT:
Quote
atmosphere, (though it's kind of tough with the fog because the AI can see YOU but you can't see THEM
I am coming to the conclusion that fog does effect AI, but rain doesn't, though I don't have a lot of data.  I have had AI lie down next to me when it is foggy and not notice me up to and including when I put a bullet in them.  Rain seems to pull visibility right down for the player - but I suspect (I don't have a lot of data on this) that it has a smaller (no?) impact on AI.
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: Henderson on 17 Feb 2005, 18:41:56
Errrr, zapped my reply! I don't have ECP though.

What I was also going to say was, most of the time I got zapped through the fog it wasn't raining.

Edit: Tried what you advised, didn't know what save was which, so meh. No problems though, maybe I can get the northreners to live longer this time.

Last game when I tried to attack the fuel dump they kept coming and coming and coming, so I hurt them pretty bad. I was trying to play both sides against each other, slowly reducing their forces so my final attacks would be easier. Plan didn't work out though, I got pinned and had to fight it out, at one point being surrounded on three sides, then when things quieted down I withdrew to my fuel truck to get out of there, only to find that an armor squad was coming my way. Many retries later ;), I finally got out of there. Just in case someone asks, they were coming right from the fuel dump it seemed. No flanking, no nothing, they came straight down the road where I was holding on at. The guys from the South must of broken through because they were the ones that came out of nowhere and helped surround me.

Good fun, unscripted missions are my favorite, and I want more!  ;D
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: THobson on 17 Feb 2005, 21:22:48
Quote
I don't have ECP though.
Oh dear!  I thought I had fixed that problem.  I am glad you are enjoying it though.  So which fuel station were you at when this happeneing?
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: .pablo. on 18 Feb 2005, 01:21:24
18 pages  :o

     just started it yesterday, i'm enjoying it although i'm not sure what to do next...

     i won't bother telling everything i did, i'll just give my basic thoughts throughout

     great intro, although i agree that the island scene was a little ho-hum in comparison to what came before it; what i would do is have the scene take place at night with the family sitting around the campfire, as i think the contrast of their firey faces and the darkness around them would look moodier

     also, i had my viewdistance set to 500 when i watched the intro, so a lot of scenes had me looking at a wall of fog (i dont remember if the mission editor can adjust viewdistance, that might only be for mp)

     getting lost in the jeep was fun, and i like how your first group doesnt necessarily start out with the best weapons available to them (in the ammobox), it forces the player to customize (customization is fun)

     i thought it was kind of weird that the location of these three groups would be known so concretely, and i liked macguba's idea:
Quote
Perhaps when you rescue the first batch they tell you about the others

     i liked the rain/fog/lighting, it really added to the atmosphere, and it improved my fps (~12 instead of my normal ~3-8)

     anyway, i saved all the civies, and with my new army headed off to la trinite.  its a little weird to say the north and south are in a truce and trade with each other and then have them shoot each other on sight.  i would spend more time in cutscenes emphasizing the tenuousness of the truce; you could have the first guy you meet talk about how the truce actually only exists in the minds of the two leaders, and how the only thing keeping the two sides from erupting in warfare is the fact that the soldiers have been ordered to patrol areas well clear of the other side by their leaders (hence the "no man's land").  you could also explain how the "trade" in la trinite is more of a product of the leaders' desires than that of the soldiers, who are just following orders and would in fact prefer to be as far away from their enemy as possible, as they have no illusions about the state of the "truce".  this, i think, would make the soldiers' willingness to fight more rational to the player.

     i destroyed a convoy from the northerners heading into la trinite by placing an AP in the middle of the road just outside the N end of town, and then running behind them and placing an AP and AV on the road there, and getting lucky by having my first AP hit a LAW soldier and then having my AP and AV take out a BMP, and then dispatching a Ural and Vulcan with the BMP with my new LAWS.

     i was at a bit of a loss as to what to do next, but after reading the posts here i realize i have to start a war between the two.  i think you should have a cutscene after saving all the civilians, and have them give you an alternate mission to heading into la trinite, as attacking a convoy of that size as your first real combat mission was kind of like "ok, here's where we revert to standard ofp combat."

     maybe have the player asked by one of the rescued civies (in a cutscene that takes place in that broken down house/castle-thing) to go on a small rescue mission in a town in central malden (arudy popped into my head), which would allow the action to slowly build (and thus increase the suspense).  you could then have the player use this skirmish to build his arsenal for any larger fights he may have.  i left my squad behind when attacking the convoy in la trinite, simply because with their current weapons they would be useless.  the player should be given missions where his squad will help him, not hurt him.  and having the option of either rescuing the guy in arudy or messing around in la trinite could make things interesting.

     other issues of realism: if they have helicopters and enough fuel to have them just patrolling randomly, why don't they leave the island?  this issue doesn't necessarily mean you have to take out the choppers, but it should at least be taken into account with regards to the story.

i just loaded up the mission, and the reduction of fog with morning is dropping my fps to ~9-11

edit: down to ~6-7 fps, realized the frustration of being shot by a vulcan twice as far away from you as the wall of rain which blocks your view
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: Dubieman on 18 Feb 2005, 02:19:42
Hey been out of it for a bit. Those damn anethesia docs, they don't know how much of that stuff to give, really! ;D ;)

Anyways, I haven't played in a day or two. Just wanted to bring some things up.

-Bases are odd, if their was a way to make those guys who sit in wreckage do something instead of sit there (like the spec ops) and look at the ground.

-women on the road, had a few close calls, are they a joke? :P

-on fog, it'd be nice if towards the end, say when most of the manpower on both sides is depleted that you kind of keep the fog away or when the manpower is down on both sides plus their choppers (if its sunny you're dead in a vehicle... :'( :)). Just a thought.

-I know my account is back a page or so, but when I found that vulcan + abrams in the desert, I kinda thought it wasn't right. I dunno if they patrol that area but they sat with backs to the south and were quite a ways away from the airport.

-base makeup? If its been mentioned before soz, but the northeron base needs some "bulky" defensive feel to it. Right now its spread out and anyone with  a M60, M21, or a rifle with lots of mags can eliminate infantry if they use the terrain. And the southeron base feels good, just a little cramped. :-\

-and for loons returning to base, I think once the troops are in desperate circumstances they should go to the nearest city or something and surrender unless by "random" chance they still decide to fight. Better than waiting for them to cross the country five times over. :P
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: Fragorl on 18 Feb 2005, 03:52:06
Bugger. Made up my mind to try finish this mission this weekend :D, but I'm also getting the same savegame error as before. If I cant get it to work, this'll be my 4th restart.  :-\ D*mn! But I'll try what you've suggested, with the renaming the savegame and restarting etc. Hope it works! I really want to play this; i haven't even got to the action yet (apart from my run in with the convoy that once)  :-[.

Btw i am using ECP; i started the mission using ECP also. The savegame thing is only happening when I retry *after* I've aborted your current mission afaik. Should it make any difference if i start the mission in normal ofp then switch to ecp and load my savegame? I'll try anyway.

EDIT: OMG I am an idjit! Just realised that i was in a different profile when i was trying to load the mision before. It seems to be working now... *slaps forehead*
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: THobson on 18 Feb 2005, 08:35:56
.Pablo.
Quote
what i would do is have the scene take place at night with the family sitting around the campfire, as i think the contrast of their firey faces and the darkness around them would look moodier
That's a neat idea.

Quote
dont remember if the mission editor can adjust viewdistance
I can set it in the script that runs the intro.  What setting would you recommend - this is not something I ever change myself.

Quote
i would spend more time in cutscenes emphasizing the tenuousness of the truce; you could have the first guy you meet talk about how the truce actually only exists in the minds of the two leaders, and how the only thing keeping the two sides from erupting in warfare is the fact that the soldiers have been ordered to patrol areas well clear of the other side by their leaders (hence the "no man's land").  you could also explain how the "trade" in la trinite is more of a product of the leaders' desires than that of the soldiers, who are just following orders and would in fact prefer to be as far away from their enemy as possible, as they have no illusions about the state of the "truce".  this, i think, would make the soldiers' willingness to fight more rational to the player.
Good thoughts.  Perhaps for the version after next.

On the subject of giving the player mission, what I want to do is given them options then they can choose what to do and when. Good thought about a possible rescue mission in at one of the towns

GRK
I hope you are okay.

Quote
their was a way to make those guys who sit in wreckage do something
The problem is I don't put the wreckage there, there is largely unscripted battle and I leave the OFP engine to do what it wills.  Does it really look odd?

Quote
women on the road, had a few close calls, are they a joke?
I just gave a couple some random, and randomly moving, waypoints to see what would happen.

I am looking at the whole fog/weather model.

Quote
they sat with backs to the south and were quite a ways away from the airport.
It sound like they had returned from somewhere.

Quote
the northeron base needs some "bulky" defensive feel to it.
In hand but I am concerned about the large savegame bug and about lag.  It will be a balance, but I hear you.

Quote
they should go to the nearest city or something and surrender
The whole end game thing needs to be looked at.


Fragorl

I wish you success!


EDIT:
************************** This is a note to me ********************
Thread printed to this point - all 167 pages!!
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: Henderson on 18 Feb 2005, 17:25:00
Oh dear!  I thought I had fixed that problem.  I am glad you are enjoying it though.  So which fuel station were you at when this happeneing?

Sorry it took so long to get back to you. :) I was at the fuel station just below the Malden airfield. I presume that's where they were massing at.
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: Dubieman on 18 Feb 2005, 20:44:53
I feel bad for your printer... ::) :beat:

@ wreckage, I really didn't mean the wreckage is bad, the fact that spec ops are lying down in the base not doing anything is bad. (southern base) Its one of those common problems in some missions. Though I don't know if you have some purpose for those spec ops or something. :P

@me yeah I'm good. ;)

@women, well they're kinda weird. But the only thing is for the final version you might want to take them out cause of how it might affect the story, I guess. :P

Or maybe the two sides are using them as messengers? :D


@tanks: well it was just odd that they had their back to me...  ;D
such easy targets.... :P

@end: okay ;)

@northern base: Well a fortress here and a little something there, small guardhouse that's it :-\

@comp specs(old comp is being used):
no ECP
v1.96
barely any lag unless serious armor battles come up :)
512mb RAM
64mb graphics card
2.4 ghz machine
playing with viewdistance around 2000 I think, doesn't really matter cause of the fog ::)

Can't wait to get my new PC together, should be nooo lag at all ever! ;D Hopefully. :help: :P
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: THobson on 18 Feb 2005, 22:42:55
Quote
the fuel station just below the Malden airfield
That certainly would attract a lot of attention :)

Quote
spec ops are lying down in the base not doing anything
They are Stamenov's body guard.  I think it will be more obvious with the changes I have made to the southern base.

Quote
I feel bad for your printer...
I did it at work.
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: Dubieman on 19 Feb 2005, 03:54:30
I've waited a bit more. Then found out the last of the civvies on my team have died, now the last civ obj on my list is failed. ::)

So I have a T80 and a M1A1 on the airfield. Figured out my command problem and all is well. We mowed down 2 big infantry groups. I then placed some mines where they came through the fence. I then went off to find that my lodge had been ransacked once more, that's the reason for my dead teammates... ::) :'(

Grabbed oddles of weapons and took off in a BMP ambulance to support my stand at the airport. No contacts yets. I arrive and find I've missed some snipers in some bushes, crush them. :P

Then reboard my M1A1 and wait and wait. 5 min later its foggy as hell once more and then I hear 2 grenade sounds in the direction of my 2 AP mines. Yes, score one for me. ;D (well make that like 500 now, cause I've beat the crap out of both... ::) ;D) I go to inspect and find another big infantry group all dead, in a bottleneck to get through the fence they hit the mines, not pretty, and they were made up of mostly AT weapons. Good thing I took them out, they would have gotten pretty close to me. :o :P

Still waiting, I haven't "defeated" either side yet. I might check the southeron base later.

@ the work printer:
Thobson's running up his expense account again with ink and paper... ::)  :D ;)

Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: THobson on 19 Feb 2005, 10:58:38
@GRK
I need to change the end game so that it is less tedious.  I do hope all your loons turn up.
Quote
well make that like 500 now
Well 450 to 500 is about what you have to deal with (it is random).


@ALL
Well I have been overwhelmed by the response.  I feel I have not done justice to the time and effort you have all put it on playing, thinking about and giving me feedback.  I have a tonne of stuff to be working on and it will be a while before I get back with an updated version so I thought I would give you all a progress report.

Already in the next version I have:
changed the background story line, with consequent changes to the text in the overview, briefing and intro.

changed the starting time and location.

removed the random starting locations

restructured both bases and the mountain lodge area to be more realistic.

changed the Vigny cut scene to have two soldiers arriving by foot and to help explain Tatyana's sudden rush out of the building

changed Stamenov's accommodation, changed the way the females with him work and made his bodyguard behave in a more realistic way

Created an addAction for the empty and damaged armour in each base that will now enable the player to re-arm them.

changed the mines so that: they can only be placed if you have an appropriate item in your inventory and that item is removed from inventory when you place the mine.  I am indebted to macguba for his code to do this.  I incorporated his ideas into my scripts, the need to ‘re-arm' the player is something I would never have spotted.

prevent a mine being placed when the player is in a vehicle

provided a disable mine action.

gave each side a flag, put a flag at each base, each field camp and on the lead vehicle of all vehicle groups.

removed most of the dead vehicles and wrecks from around La Trinite

reduced the civi groups from three to two and re-written the method by which the player finds out about each of them and interacts with them, there are now proper cut scenes at each of the civi locations.  Also, any one death of a civilian will now result in a red cross - even if it occurs after you have got them to safety at the lodge mac!.

killing Andropov and Stamenov are now separate objectives, distinct from destroying each side's army.

The sequence of the objectives in now more logical.

removed the hints.

removed the infinite save games.  The player now starts with a set number and then gets an additional one every 45 minutes or so.

compressed the two scenes at the mountain lodge into one.

fixed the bug that sent a base on alert even if a loon was killed by being run over by one of his own trucks.

changed the convoy and patrol monitoring code so that damage from simple collisions will not prevent them from working.  I believe this might have been the cause for several of the stuck southron convoys detected at La Trinite (I have run a few soak tests and did observe this happening), it certainly was the cause of some of the abandoned, but only slightly damaged, jeeps some of you found.  I believe it is also the reason that SEAL84 found a jeep that had run out of fuel (another jeep in the group was damaged, the crew got out and walked, the jeep SEAL84 found slowed down to wait for them and so ran out of fuel before getting back to base - that is speculation, but I have seen it happen).  Much of this was already dealt with, but I then restructured the scripts to avoid the large savegame bug and inadvertently disabled the relevant pieces of code.

force setTerrain detail to normal to prevent weird things happening at the lodge

removed all fires except two (Vigny and the mountain lodge).

ensured no cutscene would be watched through NV goggles even if the player happens to be wearing them when it starts.

removed the NV goggles from the officer in the group that attacks you in Vigny if you hang around after the cut scene.

removed the hard to find, and surprising if you do, little groups of tents.

Made some changes to the layout of the field camps so they each look a bit different.

trashed a few more towns and left evidence around of the criminality and indiscipline of Stamenov's army.

made the initial appearance of the choppers more realistic.

lost the two mad women that run up and down the island.  They may yet come back if the mission can bear the load of the extra units and the extra triggers etc. needed to make them interact with the player.

changed the markers used on the map.

changed the waypoints for the attack on the southron base by the northrons to reduce the likelihood of it getting stuck on the way.

very slightly reduced the strength of the northron group that attacks the southron base.  What was 1xAbrams, 2xT80 and 1xVulcan is now 1xAbrams, 1xT80, 1xT72 and 1xVulcan.

a lot of invisible stuff to streamline the code - fewer scripts and fewer variables to help move the mission away from the large savegame bug.

and of course I have updated the list of Beta testers!!

I think that is all but there may be other changes I have already made that I have forgotten to mention.


Still to do:
Re-look at the weather pattern.  Reducing the maximum intensity of the fog is easy.  The thing I am giving thought to is the pattern of change.  Some of you completed the mission in about 6 hours some took about 4x that amount of time.  I want a pattern that works for both extremes, and I already think the weather changes too quickly.  Also the way it currently works is that early in the mission both fog and overcast are low at the same time, giving a clear day.  As the mission progresses the fog and overcast get out of phase so the weather is never so good again (well obviously if left long enough they get back into phase eventually).  I think I will aim to have the first really good weather occur at about 13:00 to 15:00.

Change the ‘end game' logic so that waiting for the last loon is less of a problem.

Rework the ‘offshore island' part of the intro.

Re do the end cut scene - at least one of the locations shown no longer exists in the mission.

more customising of the field camps.

add a photograph of uncle Nikolay to the briefing to help the player identify him.

Re do all the voices and get the scenes working smoothly.  Hah - so easily said!!

getting it all polished - despite all the improvements above the current version is even less polished than the one posted!  It looks like it has gone backwards, but the fundamentals are better.

add more eye candy to the map once everything else is working.

re-read the whole thread again to see if I have missed anything

Still thinking about:
having a radio/tape player in the cab of some vehicles

having weather forecasts

adding one or more additional missionettes. like rescuing someone from a camp.

removing the empty, damaged armour units from each base.  Most of you picked up and got working, damaged
armour units that had been left around after the north/south battles.

having some soldiers remain at the field camps when the others go off to join the battle(s).

bringing back the mad women runners.

Indicating on the map the areas controlled by each side.  Without using the markers addon everything I have tried so far looks crap and/or puts the SW group of civilians into Stamenvo's area and/or puts Vigny into no-mans-land and/or uses a lot of markers, which means a lot of names which means the large savegame bug.  Given the choice I would rather use the names for the mines than for the markers.

forcing a specific view distance in the intro.

having an outro that shows the fate of any surviving soldiers.


If you have made any suggestions I have not covered then blame my failing memory.  When I think I am done I will re-read the whole thread again to see if I have missed anything.

Once again.  Thank you all I really do appreciate all the help.
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: macguba on 19 Feb 2005, 12:38:33
I think you have done beta testers justice in responding to their comments.   Anyway, the best way to make beta testers feel good is to incorporate their suggestions in the next version. ;D

Sound files leave till the very end.   You can find yourself redoing the same cutscene several times.   It's a work in progress, we don't expect polish.

The list of changes made is excellent.   It's a much better mission already.

To do list.   I suggest linking the weather to the player's progress in the mission.    Objectives completed, player's score and so on.    This will mean you don't have to guess at what time to make the weather good.     The other to do things are all excellent ideas.

On the thinking about list obviously it would be great if the mad women came back, but that is of course resource dependant.    Having some loons stay at camps when the others go off is a good idea, but I appreciate it increases the number of groups.     You should definitely make it happen in at least a couple of places, to put doubt into the players mind and also reward him for taking the time to approach everywhere tactically.  
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: THobson on 19 Feb 2005, 13:18:50
macguba:

Thanks, and thanks also for so many good ideas earlier on.

One thing that is on my 'To think about' list that I forgot to mention was your suggestion to provide the player with the option of re-ordering the team so that all the civis are on the outside.
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: Dubieman on 19 Feb 2005, 19:55:00
I'll agree with the linking the player progress to weather. Like right now its very tedious to do anything when the fog & weather is crappy and changes so quick, while waiting out some troops. :P ;)
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: macguba on 19 Feb 2005, 21:00:06
For the avoidance of doubt I didn't mean that the weather should be hardcoded.    Merely that there is a bias towards more sunshine as you go on, and particularly towards the end.

Just glad you thought my ideas were good.   :)
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: THobson on 20 Feb 2005, 10:00:14
No - I think I understood what you meant.  I need something that will give different weather, but the same weather pattern each time the mission is played.   I think I am homing in on a solution but as you can imagine testing it is a long term task :P.  It is one thing looking at graphs of fog, overcast and rain in Excel, it is quite another to experience it on the ground in real time.  Also it is meant to be a nusance as much as a help.

Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: Fragorl on 21 Feb 2005, 08:35:00
19 pages... phwaw...

Right! I will now relate the fruits of my weekend's activities with abandoned armies.

DISCLAIMER: the author wishes to deny any responsibilty for the lack of original material in this post from this point onwards.

Now, with that out of the way, I will begin.

For starters, I didn't get quite as far as I'd expected I would with the mission, but that's fine with me. I'm not a *particularly* skilled flashpoint player, and I tend to retry if things don't go perfectly according to plan, so this probably contributed to my lack of progress. Played in cadet mode but with quite a few vet options enabled; this is mostly 'cause I can't drive (or command) a vehicle without 3rd person view or I'd be fodder for the first RPG or LAW soldier with any degree of skill. Having said that, I've made a pretty mess of Stamenov's convoy(s?), caused a major fracas between the so-called Northerons and Southerons, and am preparing an armoured assault on Stamenov's HQ.

La Trinite

One of the good things about beta testing after everyone else is that I could glean a bit of situational awareness (knowing what to expect) as well as a few tactics for the mission. Cheers Planck especially for the bit about hiding under the bmp ambulance. I must have spent the larger portion of my time in Trinite under there ;D Anyhow, I knew to expect a lot of opposition both armoured and on foot. Oh yes.

I started out from my salvaged savegame at the lodge having rescued one lot of civilians. Instead of going straight to the other 2 spots, I decided to head straight for Trinite, figuring that I'd pick one of the other lots up on the way back (the one closest to Trinite), and use 'em as drivers to steal some of the support vehicles and any tanks I could make servicable from the town. ('Civilians'? Hah! They can earn their keep if I'm rescuing them ;D). At any rate, I figured 5 other group members was sufficient, as I wasn't planning on doing any heavy fighting on my own. Let Andropov do that. If any other men joined me later, I would arm them with my stolen ammo truck.

So off we went in our Pv35, taking care to avoid roads this time. The ever-present helicopter to the North made a few close passes but never did more than that. We reached Trinite without event. Not a soul. I'd considered doing a bit of insurgent-style RPGing from 2nd-storey buildngs to complement the excellent AV/AP mines, but the town was a ruin. Not a building left standing (aside from the church- but I don't think anything can be done about that :P). So I ordered a disembark a little way from the outskirts of the town, and had a quick squiz about - no one home. Deciding I could spend all day fretting about unseen soldiers (the fog was bad at this point), I boldy strutted in with my squad, as if we owned the place. Still not a soul in sight, and I soon located the ammo crates and the BMP ambulance. I received my mines. Minelaying takes a while, but now was as good a time as any since I could go about it unmolested. I placed a few of the scripted AV mines as well as some real ones; according to various people the scripted ones weren't quite as powerful. I put a few in the city, as well as some other key choke points, yada yada, the usual. Took me, with great care, about 10 minutes. Next, 'twas time to break out some guns for my squaddies - however, my good luck began to turn here. 2,3 and 5 armed up just fine, but 6 refused to take a gun no matter what. I begged and pleaded with him (exaggeration), I threatened him at gunpoint, but the daft sod just wouldn't. I left him exasperated, and turned my attentions to 3, the only other member of my squad able to tote a heavy weapory. I realised I'd told him to take the wrong gun. Rectified that, managed to arm him with a G36 and a AT4. Grabbed an RPG for myself. 5 was looking good with her dragunov, but d*mn! The others all had pistols out. Another 3 minutes whilst I figured how to get them to switch to primary weapons (of course, there was no 'select AK74' option, no, that would have been too easy). Eventually I solved it by getting them to 'put it to' the ural ammo. As for 6, I'd just about given up on him; he'd managed to drop his pistol but not to pick up anything else. I decided that he could just stay like that, and do any surrendering we needed for us. I moved the others off, away from the ammo trucks ready to leave, and- Lo and Behold! 6 runs up to the truck and takes his M21. The others must have been blocking him... or something? A bug perhaps, but annoying to the extreme.

Anyhow, I said my luck was taking a turn for the worse. With all this mucking about and frustration, I'd forgotten to save. I became acutely aware of the squeaking sound of tracks nearby, and realised this then. My entire squad would be cut down; I had planned to evacuate at the first hint of the armoured column. I could retry, but my intricate mine-laying work would be lost. I agonised for a bit. Decided to save and keep going, see how things panned out. As it happened it took about 10 retries before I managed to save all of my squad, and throw myself under the ambulance. To use a cliche, in the nick of time. Enemy infantry swarmed through the town, it really felt like that. Fog was moderate at this stage. Then: the brown stuff hit the spinning thing. The convoy began to hit the first of my mines. Infantry poured past my position- I shot any that crossed my field of fire. This went on for some time; I'd long since got the message that the two sides were fighting each other, and the sounds of gunfire rang merrily through the streets. I must've spent the best part of 1 and a half hours, alternately hidden under the BMP ambulance when things were hot, and running around the streets tracking and shooting any stragglers. An M1A1 managed to get through several of my mines without any great impedance, only to stop a couple of LAWs from an enemy rocket soldier. 2 of its crew died there and then, the other one escaped the blaze on foot but died soon after. Another M1A1 hit one of my mines in the town and was propelled into an alley, sideways... much to my annoyance, since I could have repaired/used it later. An infantry squad of Southies was heading around the outside of the town dangerously close to where i'd hidden my men, I ordered them to hold fire and fortunately the opposing force was was torn to pieces by some of Andropov's infantry and an m2A2, and the survivors fled into the city where they met their fate. At one stage a cobra(?) joined in the fight, launching TOW after TOW, before being shot down itself. Must to my dismay I found he'd been finishing off armour that I was planning on taking for my own ends. There were countless scenes like this going on; I dont know how many of them were deliberate (although I'm sure you helped them along ;)), but the combat ambience was quite thrilling and cool. Although I wont tell you how many times I died.

La Trinite - the aftermath

Eventually the combat died off and the remains of the convoy(s) left. After being shot a couple of times, I decided to make a good go of it and eliminate every last enemy who was likely to cause me grief. Much to my surprise there were only four or five about the place, and after they were dealt to, I was able to reclaim a few tanks; a T80, A T72 and an M2A2 (weak, but great for the TOW launcher). Corpses everywhere. La Trinite was a mess- there were quite a few armoured wrecks to begin with; now, well... it's more practical to drive around the town than through it. :P The cobra lies crumpled some way away in a copse. A shame; I had plans for shooting the pilot when the heli was flying slowly and low down, or perhaps gettting lucky with ECP's tail-rotor faliure script (which inevitable results in an intact chopper). Ah well.

I went off to grab me a civilian work force, picked up the tanks, support trucks and my trusty PV35, and headed off back home. Or at least, intended to. The logistics of getting that many trucks and tanks back to the lodge is a nightmare. For a start, forget about going directly offroad from Trinite to the lodge. After experimenting for about half an hour, i found it was a no-go, and was forced to use the road via Arudy (no convoy to run into now). Which took a long time indeed. My advice: if you want the player to have a sense of 'base' about the lodge (and I did-I found myself heading back there automatically after combat), and think there is a possiblily that he/she might have armour, then please put the lodge more accessible.  :) Anyway, I was forced to return 'coz I had to 'rescue' the civilians... and of course i realised too late that they comprised the crew of one of my tanks. So when the civil arrive back at base my m2a2 was left high and dry.  :-[ :P

Currently camped out some way from Houdan, preparing for a final assault on Stamenov.

Apologies for the long post, that summarises a couple days of gameplay. Having a blast  ;D, but might be a while til my next post. (Gotta find time). Cheers

Fragorl
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: macguba on 21 Feb 2005, 11:45:33
Fragori has reminded me of a couple of things that I may have forgotten to mention.    

I too had trouble arming my lads in La Trinite:  there is so much stuff in that square that the routefinding comes to grief sometimes.    Thin it out a bit.  (You probably already have.)

Handguns in your squad make life really tedious.   More Kozlices and fewer pistols at the lodge please.

Getting to the lodge from the west is ok, but from the east - with vehicles - its tedious.  That's partly why I didn't go back there.   It may well be in the best spot, and it obviously must have an "in the mountains feel", but a final recce to check for other possible locations wouldn't go amiss.
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: THobson on 21 Feb 2005, 12:23:02
Quote
There were countless scenes like this going on; I dont know how many of them were deliberate
Well the fact that they fight is deliberate.  Getting them to fight at La Trinite was down to you.  (I have not managed to get them fighting anywhere else I would add).  How they fight is entirely up to them, and one thing I really like about it is that it is different everytime.

Quote
Having a blast
I am really glad to hear it.

Your other comments and macguba's follow up shows the benefit of beta testing.  I have spent all my spare time on Malden for several months now so I have just got acustomed to telling the team to put their pistols in the ammo truck  (I seem to remember that telling them to go prone is also a good way to get them to put away the pistol and get out their primary weapon).  I also know that going due west from La Trinite will eventually bring you face on to a very steep peak, skirting the peak to the left you can go diagonally across a steep slope (instead of going up it) and so come to the lodge.  Despite many weeks of instruction from me the AI drivers insist on going round near Arudy though.  It is good to get feed back from people trying it for the fist time.

Edit:
By the way I am impressed by the amount of hardware you picked up.
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: macguba on 21 Feb 2005, 16:01:49
I take it back.   There is an easy and obvious driving route from La Trinite to the lodge. I just hadn't spent enough time looking at the map to spot it.   Straight along the top of the rigde as you say, the last steep section is indeed easily traversed.
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: .pablo. on 21 Feb 2005, 19:41:56
Quote
Handguns in your squad make life really tedious.  More Kozlices and fewer pistols at the lodge please.

i think the sense of "damn we have crappy weapons" is worth the small inconvenience of having to tell the ai to drop their pistols after getting better weapons; the only thing that i disagree with is giving the player access to such great weapons so early on.

Quote
please put the lodge more accessible.

if you think about the lodge's location within the terms of the plot, it would make sense for the main characters to hide in a lodge in such an unreachable location, as the only people with tanks that might want to go there would be trying to kill them
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: Dubieman on 21 Feb 2005, 21:20:53
All I can say is that getting tanks up to the lodge via a western or northern/western road through Larche is hard. (oh yea and arudy, that road too...)

And all enemy tanks that attacked my lodge, well they passed by, were coming from the west heading for La trinite. No tank ever attacked the lodge. Only those pesky infantry.  ;D

@current status: still waiting in the fog for those last infantry peeps to show their ugly mugs... :P
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: THobson on 21 Feb 2005, 22:20:17
@GRK
Quote
@current status: still waiting in the fog for those last infantry peeps to show their ugly mugs...
I hope it won't take long.  I have changed the weather model to give better weather later on.  In fact I just tested it and I think I have over compensated so I have just wound back a few parameters.

Also the whole end game is to be re-thought.  By now you would have finished and any remaining loons would have surrendered.  Having surviving loons that surrender gives some interesting outro possibilities.

@.pablo.
Thanks.  on reflection I agree.  When I was placing the lodge and giving the guys there weapons I was not thinking about how the game would play, rather I was thinking about what it might be really like.  

I have just checked the weapons available in the ammo crate at the lodge, there are 2xkozlice and 1xhunting rifle, in other words enough primary weapons for everybody to have one.  Also when I first started playing it I didn't use the lodge as a base, I just grabbed an ammo truck and the BMP ambulance, and they formed my mobile base.

So before I make any chenges here I think I will just soak on the idea, after all the location of the lodge was not an accident, I took quite sometime finding that place.

Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: Dubieman on 21 Feb 2005, 22:25:14
Hey Thobson,

@the surrendering troops...
Hmm what will we do with our new indentured servants Bill? I dunno, lets make them drag those Abrams carcasses from La Trinite to La Pessagne and back... :P :D

And not that I want you to rework your entire mission or anything, just thought it was kinda odd but check for a random movement script by Wizzywig at  http://www.ofpec.com/editors/browse.php?browsewhat=2&category=2_10

dunno if you saw that before. :P :)
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: THobson on 21 Feb 2005, 23:28:06
No I didn't see it.  Clear evidence that there is nothing new under the sun.

Edit:

I have just looked at the script.  It seems very dependent on specific locations.  My scripts just move the waypoints of patrolling groups randomly within a defined rectangle or circle - which is why I had the code ready to answer the question on GLs you just posted.
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: Fragorl on 22 Feb 2005, 00:25:52
One more thing I forgot to add: my medic (6) seems to be malfunctioning. He wont heal anyone (including me, the group leader) except (as far as I can make out) himself. Although I haven't seen him do that even, it's just he always seems to be fine while the others are in various states of injury.

The problem is that there is no 'heal at medic' action for either my squaddies or myself, no matter how close I get to him. He's definitely a medic, though, as far as I can tell: he has the 'medic' icon and he looks like a medic.

Because of this, my first sortee at Stamenov's was disasterous. A lone RPG soldier shot the T72 under my command, instantly killing the commander. Another explosive projectile of some description wiped out my driver and I was forced to take up the position and flee, but having lost 2 of my men, any further attempts at an assault would be ridiculous, so I retired and retried. I'm now back at my mobile base, but unfortunately I didnt have enough men to bring any support vehicles (apart from a repair truck), and I'm faced with the daunting task of retreiving that BMP ambulance. On that note, a first aid tent would have been good at the lodge as well. Or perhaps a script allowing you to 'deploy' a first aid tent would be better, given the scope of the mission and the fact that you'll be setting up camp in a variety of positions throughout the game. Plus, the medic is only human, and if he should fall...

Anyhow, just thought I'd let you know. More later.
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: Dubieman on 22 Feb 2005, 01:25:22
Yea, I know yours is a little better cause its based on WPs. Just thought it was odd that there was something like it in the ed depot.

@Fragorl
I kinda like that idea, maybe a "basic" medkit at the lodge (any premium mountain lodge would, with the bear attacks and all :D ;D) so you can go back and heal up. Even though there are BMP ambulances and some medical tents, its sometimes a problem to get to them. Though I was only in that tight spot (damaged hands while trying to shoot ppl) once. :P
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: macguba on 22 Feb 2005, 02:55:52
It is, in my humble opinion, a sign of a good mission that people are discussing whether the lodge really is in the right place or exactly what medical attention should be available there.

The non-operating medic sounds like ofp having a fit, as it sometimes does.   (For example with my no.2 who thought his formation position was 30m ahead of me.)    Some kind of medical script at the lodge would be good:   my personal preferance would be for one of the civvies (perhaps female) to join you as medic if your squad medic was dead.     Although, since I never used the lodge as a base, it's not something I feel strongly about.    

The underlying point is one I have made before:  do you want the player to feel the lodge is a base?   If so, make it more attractive to use as a base.    If not, make the civvies leave - magically protected - as a group to go to some undefined location where they vanish in a puff of setPos.   The current civvies-stand-around-being-neither-fish-nor-fowl is, for a top class mission, unsatisfactory.   It's novel writing again.... the Lodge is a character, and as we all know so well a character in a novel should never appear once unless he/she is a throwaway ship passing in the night.

Wittering.  I must have been drinking again.    Never trust a post made by me after 1am.    Or rather, trust only those since I'm pissed and therefore writing what I really think.
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: Fragorl on 22 Feb 2005, 03:32:40
For example with my no.2 who thought his formation position was 30m ahead of me
;D

some undefined location where they vanish in a puff of setPos.
;D

I must have been drinking again.    Never trust a post made by me after 1am.    Or rather, trust only those since I'm pissed and therefore writing what I really think.
;D ;D

Yes, I'll second that, the mission must be good indeed if we're quibbling over the lodge and the availability of medical attention. Ignore my complaints on that score; its my fault for deciding on an armoured assault where injury is inevitable, yet not retreiving the BMP ambulance. As for the bum medic, ah well ofp pot luck, the game's thrown me another curveball. Should be able to manage just fine. I'll make sure I use a tank with a healthy crew & bung the others as infantry/support crews.
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: Planck on 22 Feb 2005, 05:24:12
Actually by this time the 2 sides are fighting each other and all the little camps at the various villages will be mostly deserted.

If I recall correctly most, if not all those camps had a hospital tent.

So, you can always drop by the nearest village that has a garrison camp, for medical attention.

If the newer version has a guard still in position in these villages you will just have to 'pop' him off first.


Planck
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: THobson on 22 Feb 2005, 08:32:06
Quote
a first aid tent would have been good at the lodge as well
In fact I have already put a MASH first aid box on the wall inside the ruin.  It works just like a Field Hospital.  It is next to the relocated ammo crate (out of the rain) and is clearly visible behind Irena in the cutscene - so there should be no excuse for missing it.

The lodge is begining to look more and more like a base, so I had better re-think those civis.  I am not yet with the idea that they should go somewhere else, after all this is meant to be a refuge and I have just got them there, perhaps getting them to lie down clearly hiding, or perhaps have someway they can interact with the player later in the mission, or maybe they can head for the first base that the player manages to clear.  Hmmm worth thinking about.

Quote
Actually by this time the 2 sides are fighting each other and all the little camps at the various villages will be mostly deserted.

If I recall correctly most, if not all those camps had a hospital tent.
Indeed.  Actually it is all.

Quote
If the newer version has a guard still in position in these villages you will just have to 'pop' him off first.
 ;DSingular? ;)
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: GI-YO on 22 Feb 2005, 13:12:04
Havent played this for a while so im back in straight at the deep and, massive fog and rain attack 1 meter visibility. After taking out that squad i drive back to the lodge and save, then head south down the main road but get wasted by a T80 I can neither see nor hear! This fog is hindering play cause you cant see a thing and you drive right into the arms and tracks of the baddies. I think this has been mentioned before but i would suggest looking at this, the fogs great for infiltrating onto the island, but most coastal fog clears once the sun comes up, maybe you could have it overcast with a little fog, but not the whiteout im experiencing at the moment.
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: XCess on 22 Feb 2005, 13:28:52
How about have a "base" position you move onto after collecting the civilians, refual rearm and all tha sheet.  Have one of the last civs tell you about an almost unguearded area u could use a strong base - maybe even have a landed helo with crew on the other side of the base so if u kill em off before they get in u can steal the helo. Another sub mission idea maybe.

dunno,jus an thought
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: ACF on 22 Feb 2005, 13:55:35
I am not yet with the idea that they should go somewhere else, after all this is meant to be a refuge and I have just got them there, perhaps getting them to lie down clearly hiding, or perhaps have someway they can interact with the player later in the mission, or maybe they can head for the first base that the player manages to clear.  Hmmm worth thinking about.
No guarantee that this is worth thinking about, but why not an objective to move the assembled civvies (who don't want to stay and fight) back to your 'boat' so they can reach your island?  It gets them out of the way and may provide opportunities to develop some characters a bit.  Maybe there could be consequences if it's not dark/foggy.

Structurally, it would add a rare linear element to the mission if there are specific things you need the player to see or do (I'm thinking things like information)

To keep it addon-free, you could cheat with the boat itself and finish it at a clifftop cutscene.

While I'm here, another opinion: I haven't seen much of the Northron base as it's been foggy when I've been passing. I did like the cramped nature of the Southron base (so much I stayed there; though I was dead) and it seems a good idea to have bases of different character for more challenging gameplay.  Stamenov (the copper) with the amateurish king-of-the-castle physical defenses and Andropov (Spetsnaz) with a more professional firepower-based defense (snipers, etc.). He's got the fields of fire for it  and it would help keep the object count down.
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: THobson on 22 Feb 2005, 15:54:56
GI-YO
Quote
This fog is hindering play cause you cant see a thing and you drive right into the arms and tracks of the baddies
This is now fixed.  The weather pattern remains but the maximum level of fog is lower and it changes more slowly.  The frequency of rain coming and going is pretty much unchanged (it is a showery time of year), but maximum overcast level, fog level and rain intensity all reduce as the mission progresses.

XCess, ACF:

All ideas are worth thinking about, I will certainly think about them and thank you for offering them.  I find it best just to let things like this soak for a while, then a result emerges.

@ALL
I feel I am now getting to the point though where if I am not careful I might start to diverge from my original design intent.  Up to posting this mission here I had given little thought to fun, or playability.  My intent was to create (within the limitations of OFP) as reasonably a realistic world as I could, and then just let the player loose on the island to figure out what they want to do and when to do it.  I did also want it to be smooth and polished.  The suggestions so far have helped enormously with the smoothness and polish (or will when they are all done) as well as helping with the fun and game play.  But now they are in danger of diverging.  I have tried to make sure that everything that happens on the island happens for a reason (eg: kill the lead vehicle of a convoy and infantry will come and investigate; kill the whole convoy and that side will occupy 3 in retaliation, a side has its fuel bases destroyed - tough, its units don't get refuelled there, even synchronising the waypoints used by the northron group that attacks Stamenov's base with the southron attack on Andropov's base is justifiable in the context of the northrons being more professional.  The recent change of linking the weather pattern to the progress of the player is my first real break with my original intent, however, one of my original design premises was that most people would hate the mission and so I was only writing it for me and perhaps one or two other people in the whole world - the response has caused me to re-think what I am trying to do here.

Why did I write all that?  I don't know I just started writing and it came out, and having written it I might as well post it.  I guess it is a reflection of some lingering discomfort on changing the weather model.

Thoughts welcome.
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: macguba on 22 Feb 2005, 16:35:52
You are moving from creating a game world, which a player may choose to inhabit for a while, to creating a mission which a player might enjoy.     However, there is a great deal of overlap between the two.    Is rescuing the civvies world-creating or mission making?    Your discomfort at changing the weather model is perfectly understandable, but remember that your original weather model was arbitrary anyway.    

If you want to keep away from mission making, and on the side of world-creating, then make the weather changes dependant on the time of day rather than the player's progress.   The two are of course correlated to some extent.    
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: THobson on 22 Feb 2005, 17:13:24
Quote
Is rescuing the civvies world-creating or mission making?  
That is a good point and now I think about it I remember having a little discomfort over that at the time, but not any more.  So it looks like this is going to be a mission - I will save the mission free world another day.  Maybe when I retire.
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: rado1265 on 22 Feb 2005, 19:50:13
If I understand you TH (and I'm not sure), you've came to a point when the beta testing affects your mission so much, that you're not comfortable with it any more.  Well, this is one of the "traps" that is hidden inside beta testing, and that's why I have a little reserves about beta testing and their meaning; where can I (the beta tester) help the mission maker, where's the line which I (the beta tester) shouldn't cross in order not to interfere to much in the mission's concept...

Just stick to your own ideas, you can't please every beta tester on this world, and that's I think you trying to do (you're just too kind, bro :)). Some will not like YOUR mission, but many of us just can't wait to play it.  :D

Regards, karantan
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: Planck on 22 Feb 2005, 21:47:27
TH

I played your 'film'... ;D.....from beginning to end.

I enjoyed it the way it was, despite my fps.

If it had been foggy all the time I would still have played it.

The only time the fog caused me to stop and wait was when I was going to St Marie in my tank.
It is very easy to miss and go right past when it is foggy, unless you can see the road.
I only waited until such time as I could see the road again.

The way I see it this mission is fine, and only needed minor tweaking to clear up small anomalies.


Planck
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: ACF on 22 Feb 2005, 22:32:36
Yes - remember it's far easier for us to 'solve' others' problems than the ones in our own missions!

But, good news: maybe everyone can have their cake and eat it.  If the civilian rescue is a mission within the world, but the world will still carry on if the civilians aren't rescued, the mission should appeal to the broadest spectrum.  I'm thinking especially of the replay factor - second time around a player might want to get straight into the war of the world rather than the story.

If the civvies are rescued, then yes, the player ought to get some tangible reward and/or more stars, but if the war is dependent on the civilians being rescued then the quick conflict isn't an option.  In it's current position, the lodge fits well into either situation as it and your core team are on the direct route from your insertion point to La Trinite.

Anyway, your gut feeling's got you this far with the mission so keep going with it.
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: THobson on 23 Feb 2005, 00:20:59
Thank you all for those comments.  They are very supportive and helpful.  I appreciate it.
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: dmakatra on 23 Feb 2005, 00:34:54
OK, I'm going to test this 'cause every one else has done it (cheap mission, *wink wink* ;D ) . I'm such a sucker for group pressure. ;)

:beat: *Gets Shot* :beat:
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: Fragorl on 23 Feb 2005, 01:22:26
@ THobson

I would agree with the others. The mission/world is spectacular as it is. I can see the enormous amount of work that has gone into it, as I (think I) have said before.

In my (humble) opinion, avoid the 'mission' side of it and stick to the 'world' side of it (like you have) as much as possible. Do things because they make sense, and are realistic, not because they help the player. When you do this, and the player should develope an intuitive feel as to what actions will have what consequences. For example, as you just mentioned, blasting the fuel depots causes the convoys to be stranded. Shooting one side in close proximity to the other triggers a retalitation. Upscaling the conflict will lead to an all-out assault on the other side.

A few ideas. I really wish that there were more aspects to the mission that stood up and shouted to the player that this is a living, breathing world. It is, I know. But the impatient player will sit in e.g. Arudy for 10 minutes with no sign of life and think 'oh well, nothing's really going on here.' Beta testers here know that there is, because they have all played through the AA thoroughly, possibly followed some of your other forum threads (like 'A long run'). The sort of behaviour, where convoy guards get out and check a town thoroughly before allowing the convoy to proceed, is superb, but how to show it to a player who simply blasts the soldiers as soon as he sees them, and then thinks, 'oh well, another bang-bang-shootemup mission' ? Of course, you might just preclude those sort of people ever playing the mission, but it'd be best to make it accessible to as many as possible. I can't imagine how you could slow otherwise impatient players down, make them see what is going on, but if you could, that would increase the immersion factor greatly (from an already high value).

Encourage the player to use the island more, i dunno, dynamically? I mean the whole island not just one or two hotspots like La Trinite, the Airfield, Dourdan. Perhaps (and this is just an example) you could give the player more 'alerts' as to events on the island, like 'the convoy has passed La Pessagne', and 'Your mine at Ga23 was triggered, damaging a T55', or, even 'A convoy guard detected your mine at Ga23 and disarmed it' :D. Perhaps also organising those civvies you saved into semi-autonomous bands of militia which you could 'assign' to certain areas (e.g. closeby to a section of road you mined). Then you could receive an alert like 'your 2nd militia group have had a total victory over the southeron convoy', or 'your 2nd militia group was massacred by convoy forward scouts' (if the convoy was tipped off by a mine they discovered). This would allow the action to take place in several spots at once, and for the player to be able to plan/organise and enjoy the experience more. There would be some loss in realism though.

Make a few more places in the island hospitable, ie as bases. This doesn't have to mean much, just a first aid tent, some space for vehicles and concealment from the road. Encourage the player to get out more, and base him/herself in different locations. This would facilitate more ways to play the mission.

Anyway, those are just my ideas. I will definitely be replaying this mission and doing it differently when I get time (and once i finish it first :D).
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: THobson on 23 Feb 2005, 08:53:33
Quote
but how to show it to a player who simply blasts the soldiers as soon as he sees them, and then thinks, 'oh well, another bang-bang-shootemup mission' ?
I don't know if any of you enjoy cooking. I do sometimes and what really gets me is, you spend ages deciding on what to make, choosing all the bits, putting them together, cooking them, laying them out and the the family comes in and it is all gone without a second thought.  I felt like that when I was puting together these convoys - the player will never see what is going on here and without it being contrived I am not sure they ever will.  But in a way it doesn't matter.  If people have fun that is fine and I hope that the behaviour of the convoys is sufficiently dynamic that if they player does somethign different they should respond appropriately, but even there I have some problems.  If a convoy detects an enemy then onboard infantry gets out and deals with it.  Once the enemy is dealt with the infantry get back in and continue on the their journey.  There are two things that hide this: 1. if the enemy is the player then once dealt with he will not see what follows; and 2. Before the infantry can respond the APC of the Vulcan will have usually done it for them.  But should I bother about that.  I have tried to make each behave realistically and then just left them to it.  As a result I hope that if the player does something totally unusual then he will get an approriate response without me having to predict that behaviour.

Anyway.  Thanks for your feedback and support on this.

dmakarta:
I wondered what was keeping you :)
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: macguba on 23 Feb 2005, 11:25:44
I think this is a case where some designers notes in the Briefing are a good idea.     Fragori is right, this is a mission which should be savoured rather than blasted through as I did.  (Although I blasted for beta testing purposes, knowing most would savour.   I'll be savouring next time.)     However, anything happening in the mission to encourage the savouring is likely to spoil the taste.     Why not just be blunt about it and say somewhere.  "Just take your time.   This one isn't really about Objectives."

The alternative is to have more of a treasure hunt:  instead of getting sent to the lodge you get sent to a village, then somewhere else and so on.    Doesn't have to be cutscenes - you could find a note or something on a body.

Another thought is to change the Vigny situation so that you can't get a proper weapon.    (Have the guards drive off as the player arrives perhaps.)    The more the player has to wander around without a proper weapon the better.   Up to a point anyway.   If all you can do is watch, then you have to watch.      Actually as I think about it more .....

Right, what we are trying to do (in this discussion) is make sure the player appreciates the island.   In particular, we (or rather, THobson the author  ;D) doesn't really want it to feel like an ordinary mission.   Nor do we want people to play it like an ordinary mission.     I did, and I did partly because I could.    There was a nice little sequence of objectives and clues.    Go to Vigny, shoot the guards and take their guns, go to the lodge and get a squad with light weapons, collect civvies to complete the squad then raid 3 to kit them out.      We need to break this sequence up.

In particular, the information that 3 is a trading post should come much later.     Maybe from a prisoner who joins your side?    He could be a straggler or deserter rather than having to pick him up after a battle.     The point is that, like most missions (and I've mentioned it before in the context of this one) the plot is all front loaded.    It would be better if if appeared more gradually.    There is no point in this mission where you are sitting around wondering "what I am supposed to do next", and there should be.       (I do mean "Hmmm, what I am supposed to do next?" and not the more familiar "Holy crap this mission is shite.  What the fuck am I supposed to do now?")

In summary:  due to the nature of the excellent plot, this looks like an ordinary mission.    Keep the plot - improving it as necessary - but somehow make the mission look less like an ordinary mission.
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: dmakatra on 23 Feb 2005, 13:01:04
README:
Now that's a whole lotta text... that I'm going to ignore. ;D
OVERVIEW:
That is a nice overview. Although I didn't really catch the text. Y'wanna clarify it or something maybe.
INTRO:
Nice intro, I didn't like the Custom Text though. Too big (low-tex text) and that must've been the ugliest colour you could find.
BRIEFING:
My suggestion? Scrap the briefing. He's a civvy! There's no realism here. Besides, most of the information that's in the briefing has allready been told in the intro and the information that has not been told can easily be told by adding out some stuff in the intro. Might even a bit of MapAnim or something.
MISSION:
Make a boat return for the island, so it looks like I've been dropped off. You don't need an addon, just use a russian or NATO boat, they could've stolen it.
W00t! Blast you! Gimme back my 4x dammit! ;D
OK, that's starting to annoy me now... Gimme my 4x!! Don't make me change it manually with DePBO! ;D
Do a playmove/switchmove instead of a setdammage. You can clearly see you used a setdammage now since the girl was all bloody. Maybe a combined playmove/switchmove with a setdammage 0.6 or something.
Singing in the rain
Oh, Singing in the rain
What a glorious jeep
And no 4x dammit
Singing in the rain
I'm not playing cadet but are those n00bies having GPS? First of all, that sucks because a civvie should be the last one to carry one. And this I reckon is a mission where you get something out of knowing these islands better than your own pocket. I grew up with these islands, they're my childhood homes. :)
"My friend, let us kill them all together" - Now THAT is going to stay in my quote collection for ever! ;D
WTH is choppers doing in the air at this weather? They'd be lucky if they didn't crash into their own nostril hair.
Way I figured it, there's bound to be a lot of traffic on the La Trinite road, although I waited for half an hour and didn't meet any. :-\
Fuck it, let's just blow up La Trinite instead.
Bam, bam, bam! This is fun! ;D Oi, lunch's ready! Finnish later.

:beat: *Gets Shot* :beat:

OMG, they got totally raped, seriously. Must've taken out a whole platoon with my 6G-30 alone. ;D Not to mention when I started to play with LAWs. Alltogether must've taken out 40-50 men + 2-3 APCs or something. I lost my entire squad of five others, but hey, nothing's free. ;D
I ran around shooting some things, but when I got to the last civillians (those closest to Vigny) the res guy was dead and the objective ticked off even though the civis just stood there! They didn't even join me! :-\
Fair enough, I'm off with two to kill some generals. ;D
Stamonov down, one to go.
OK, killed both generals, cleared all towns, blowed up all four fuel stations and rescued all civvies (if you count them in the bug). Now what? Objectives won't tick off, whadya mean kill both armies? You want me to run around and kill every little wanker on the whole island? That's insane! ENDMISSION cheat.
Quite pleased with my score. :)
http://dmakatra.mine.nu/yabb/filer/files/AA.gif
http://dmakatra.mine.nu/yabb/filer/files/AA2.gif
http://dmakatra.mine.nu/yabb/filer/files/AA3.gif
Oh, and forgot to mention. You might want to, when the sun comes up, quickly remove the fog. The red sunrise and the night with thick fog is very atmospheric, but I was sick and tired of being shot through the fog for the 10985th time when the sun came up.
OUTRO:
None. :(
SUMMARY:
Very good mission. Like a combo between that Partisian campaign I think it's called (the never-ending one) and un-imposs mission. I like it. Kinda slow in the start, you have to come up with something to fix that, like, ehm, ENABLE 4x speed?! ;D
This mission has a very good atmosphere and the world seems very much alive, especially driving through La Trinite. There must've been like a hundried bodies there at least. And not a single bush standing up.
You've inspired me for my next project btw, when Frontline Commander is done of course. :)
Ace! ;)

:beat: *Gets Shot* :beat:
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: macguba on 23 Feb 2005, 13:18:59
Quote
My suggestion? Scrap the briefing.
That is worthy of very serious consideration.    
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: Dubieman on 23 Feb 2005, 18:03:28
dmakatra made me remember something, the overview really doesn't make sense. I "get" it, but there are two sentences that are linked together for no reason. Little grammatical error. ;)

And the other thing I wanted to bring up...
If you're going for this "world" idea instead of a player-based mission, what do you think about trying to spread it out over several days? Use the skiptime or something to make day & night, since I doubt any rebel could overthrow an island like this in 1 day. :P And it could add to some of the tactics. Grab some NVGoggles and off to go hunting for some southerons... ;D

Though it could complicate things more... ::)
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: THobson on 23 Feb 2005, 18:21:43
Now there are some really neat ideas.  My intention was that the player would get to a point where they think - now what do I do?  But as I set it up that doesn't really happen.  I am doing some lowish level rescripting at the moment (improving the script that joins up groups as they take casualties, dealing with the whole end of mission thing etc.), the ideas above are some good things I can soak on while I am doing all that.

macguba:  your post takes me back to what was my original intent.  My question though  is - how much of you view is because of the journey of discovery and the experience of playing the mission for a while?  I did have a concern that if I posted a mission with a short overview and briefing, shite weapon, no weapon load out and bugger all by way of pointers as to what to do, people would just turn off.  As it turns out I think my 'pointers' are a bit too strong.

I have re-written the overview and the briefing.  I will check it again to see if it contains more than could be expected for a young civilian being sent off on a short trip to find his uncle

dmakatra:
Quote
that must've been the ugliest colour you could find.
I liked it :'(

Quote
You can clearly see you used a setdammage now since the girl was all bloody.
I thought that was okay - she has just been shot.  I will add that to the list of things to be looked at.

Quote
Might even a bit of MapAnim or something.
Now there is a good thought.  It fits with a suggestion macguba made that I like but have not been able to do anything about yet and that is showing the offshore island I have supposedly just come from.  The list grows.


Quote
I'm not playing cadet but are those n00bies having GPS? First of all, that sucks because a civvie should be the last one to carry one. And this I reckon is a mission where you get something out of knowing these islands better than your own pocket. I grew up with these islands, they're my childhood homes
If you have GPS I didn't give it to you. I might be misunderstanding your point.

Quote
Way I figured it, there's bound to be a lot of traffic on the La Trinite road, although I waited for half an hour and didn't meet any.
Oh dear.  If you waited that long there could be a problem.  Let's say you might have just missed the south convoy heading for Chapoi,  15 mins there, a bit of turnaround time and 15 mins back.  They should be with you soon.  If you are south of Dourdan you should also get 2x jeep patrols in the same time frame so a 30 minute quiet period there would be a serious problem.
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: ACF on 23 Feb 2005, 19:50:08
Re: the SkipTime idea :

Having an option to use the radio or an action to skip an hour at a time to bring on your chosen weather is one of those things players can use or ignore so it should please everyone; or at least not offend everyone.

Suggestion two's a little more off-the-wall but offered anyway: you could, say, skiptime a minute every minute to give a 12 hour game 'day'. (Yes, I have been daft enough to experiment with the concept.)
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: THobson on 23 Feb 2005, 20:09:35
All ideas are good.  Thanks.

GRK I just notice your post above - you must have been posting when I was.

The overview is completely re-written.  As macguba said in his firts post - It might just get away with being a little longer!

I had hoped that the mission would take days - without skiptime!!

Anyway, pelase keep these ideas coming.  I am doing some rather basic stuff at the moment while all these ideas mull around.
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: macguba on 23 Feb 2005, 22:57:48
I think skiptime is a bad idea here.    I've played "realtime" missions where it was used, sometimes well and sometimes badly, but I think the essence of this mission - the real world idea - precludes its use.     There's no point in banning 4x time but allowing skiptime for instance.

Turning to briefings, pointers and clues, yes in the original I think they were too strong.    It is true that you have to beat stupid players over the head to make them understand what they are supposed to do, but the stupid people will not be playing this one anyway.     I think we'll need to wait for the next version and see how it plays.   Don't try to make it perfect btw - there is bound to be a third version anyway, so don't kill yourself getting every detail right.    
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: dmakatra on 23 Feb 2005, 23:29:49
I updated the post with the rest of my thoughts. Look above. :)

If you have GPS I didn't give it to you. I might be misunderstanding your point.
Nah, was just wondering if the dudes playing cadet mode were allowed GPS. Sorta ruins the atmosphere IMO.

Oh dear.  If you waited that long there could be a problem.  Let's say you might have just missed the south convoy heading for Chapoi,  15 mins there, a bit of turnaround time and 15 mins back.  They should be with you soon.  If you are south of Dourdan you should also get 2x jeep patrols in the same time frame so a 30 minute quiet period there would be a serious problem.
Nah, I was north of La Trinite. I set up an ambush and started reading C++ for about 20-30 minutes, but nothing happened. As soon as I entered La Trinite though, that's one HELLUVA welcome party. ;D

Oh, and yea, I'd like to see westies carrying AKs and easties carrying M16s, it'll look like they really scavanged the place.

:beat: *Gets Shot* :beat:
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: Pilot on 24 Feb 2005, 05:00:57
Ok, after reading this thread for the past 2(?) weeks, I have decided, what the hell, I'll give it a try.  It will probably take me the longest time to complete this mission, so be patient with me.  At first I tried this mission with ECP, but apparently I ran into the savegame bug :'(, so I have restarted without it.

Ok, first off:
CPU: 1992.5 MHz
Benchmark: 2994

Now that that's out of the way:
Intro:
I liked it, I thought the text color fit the mission quite well.

Briefing:
I liked this, too.  There was plenty of neccessary info, and I especially liked the talking in the briefing.  Although I belive removing the briefing would add to the atmosphere.

Mission:
Ok, I start out and run up the mountain as fast as I could.  In the process I get lost :-[ (please don't laugh too hard ;D), ran around trying to get my bearing, found the town, and rescued Tatyana.  Cutscene, Tatyana died, damn, so much for the rescue part.  Kill the enemy group after 2-3 tries, forget the NVG's ::), and stash as many weapons as I could in the jeep.  I then attempt to drive over to the cabin.  Guess what, yep, I get lost again :-[ (yeah, this mission will take me awhile :P).  I meet up with my new pals, stash the weapons from the jeep into the ammo box, and put 2, 4, and 5 in the ruins.  The only person I'm going to bring along is 3, as my superb leadership skills will only get the rest killed :P.  At this point I decide to call it a night, as it's getting late. (yeah, I know, I haven't gone too far), I will try some more tommorrow, and will respond accordingly.

Opinions so far:
I really like the way the town looked, with the buildings, fences, bushes, ect destroyed.   This really convinced me that something pretty shitty happened here.  I was also amazed at the attention of detail inside the building, with the bottles every where.  I also like dmakatra's suggestion, to give west soldiers AK's, and east soldiers M16s.  I like not having 4x speed, it seems to add to the mission.  I am enjoying this mission already, and can't wait to start making some serious assaults against both sides.

EDIT:
One thing I forgot to mention.  I like the rain!  It is much better than the default OFP rain! (The rain is custom, right? :P)
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: Dubieman on 24 Feb 2005, 05:22:44
I think its reg OFP rain. ;)

And don't worry about going slow, it can take extraordinary large amounts of time to find something and not get lost along the way.

I know I did a couple times...okay 15 maybe... ;D :P

Haven't played this much, since its all waiting. Maybe I'll let it soak and see if anything turns up. Though I don't trust my teammates to spot much in their tanks. :P

Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: THobson on 24 Feb 2005, 08:31:26
dmakatra:
Quote
Oh, and yea, I'd like to see westies carrying AKs and easties carrying M16s, it'll look like they really scavanged the place.
Neat idea.

I am glad you didn't have any convoy problems - it took me months to get them working and I am still sensitive to them going wrong.

EDIT:
Just read your post - you don't hang about that's for sure!  Several of the problems you mention are already fixed, or are about to be.  Thanks for your comments.

Quote
You've inspired me for my next project btw
There is not much praise better than knowing someone else feels inspired to do something similar, thanks

 
Quote
when Frontline Commander is done of course
So I should look out for it about the time we are all playing OFP 3 then. ;)



@Sudent Pilot:
Welcome.  GRK is correct the rain is standard OFP stuff.  The waiting GRK refers to is the end of the mission.  It can take ages for the last loons to turn up.  This is something I am now working on - probably this weekend.
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: GI-YO on 24 Feb 2005, 13:47:27
another small update from the slowest player in the world! Drove my jeep into a tree near the northron base, so jogged into la trinete to fetch the repair truck and encountered two russian NVG officers who i dispatched without even aiming, they both ran near to me and then ran away so i could see the whites in their eyes, progress of sorts at last. I grab the truck and head to my jeep, fix it and then mark the trucks pos on my map for future reference. seems the fog is clearing up !!!! Yippie! ;D. more soon.

(and a quick question - I have taken inspiration from this mission and am trying to build a similar whole map war thing and am wondering how you get the jeep patrols to act as they do, i have a jeepMG and a BRDM in a patrol and when they are attcked the cargo hop out and then the jeep just carries on and doesnt let them board again. Your jeep patrols hop out and then hop back in again once the coast is clear, this is the effect im looking for. thanks) - (if its a top secret code or you don't want to share then i will understand)

GI-YO
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: THobson on 24 Feb 2005, 14:02:32
Not top secret: My jeeps are placed as empty units.  The crew for all the jeeps in a single patrol are all in the same group.  Each crew member is explictly MoveInGunner/Driver/Cargo.  I did it this way when I used probability of presence to vary the number of jeeps in each patrol - in fact I think that applies to the version being tested here.

I suspect that not using empty jeeps but making the cargo loons part of the same group would also work in the way want, but I may be wrong I have not tested that.
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: GI-YO on 24 Feb 2005, 14:08:18
Alright thanks for that, i will have some experimenting to do.

MISSION(con'd) Im hiding on the big ridge above the airfild, visibility getting better and it sounds like there is a tank battle going on down there, and i hear a lone sniper...

EDIT

Now this is more like it, i find a sniper in a bush and dispatch him, and then pick off the many RPG/AT4 men all aiming at a slightly disabled T80, with their ak's on their backs (is that suppose to be like that) makes them very easy to shoot seeing as they dont shoot back. slowly reccing the field with my new gun.After a few attemps i manage to get to the tank and i hop in and drive back to the repair truck from earlier, after fixing my steed i speed into the base and finish of the baddies, another tick done. I save there in my shiny T80  ;D, off to work soon.yay

few comments on the base - why all the rpg soldiers aiming at the disabled tank, they were too easy to shoot in the back. There were  alot of soldiers running into the base through the southern gate , where are they coming from? Are the helicopters destroyed at the start of the mission or during it, because they were crashed all over the fuel pump rendering it useless.should the boss man, stamanov in the north try and escape or run away, or plead with you before you execute him, just running him over in the tank ws not as satasfying as it could have been. Good to hear some voices again after my lack of progreess. Awesome stuff all the way. more tomorw.

GI-YO
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: THobson on 24 Feb 2005, 16:59:26
Lone sniper?
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: Dubieman on 24 Feb 2005, 17:01:55
I've dispatched the northeron army... :)

Now to go find some southerons.... 8)

Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: GI-YO on 24 Feb 2005, 17:04:32
just spotted your post, they was a nother couple down there, but they were already dead.
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: THobson on 24 Feb 2005, 17:23:20
Couple?
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: dmakatra on 24 Feb 2005, 18:37:41
About the rain:

http://www.ofpec.com/yabbse/index.php?board=27;action=display;threadid=18119

Old, crappy written, but it looks quite cool. Worth checking out, but remember to do a benchmark check before you launch it.

Been wondering of rewriting it, but not now. :)

:beat: *Gets Shot* :beat:

EDIT: Ooooh, and I fuckin' hate 'em snipers. Especially when the sun starts to come up but the fog is still there. They can see through the fog and shoot me like 200 meters away. Dammit! :-X
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: THobson on 24 Feb 2005, 20:19:49
dmakatra:  I saw your rain thread when it first started, I also followed a few threads on snow falling as well.  In the end I decided that I would use default OFP as much as possible.
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: Pilot on 24 Feb 2005, 21:17:01
The rain is default?!  I'm not sure what made me think it wasn't, oh well. :P

Ok, from where I left off, I had just gotten to the lodge, and found out about the civies.  After getting ready to move out to rescue the civies, I find out that 2 won't respond to my commands. ???  Insubordinate bastard!  So I head out alone, and am able to rescue all three civie groups, without, I might add, getting lost! ;D.  I did not come into any contact along the way, and it was quite easy.  After rescuing the civies, I thought about what I will do next.  I dicide to attack Larche first (attacking La Trinite seems a bit to aggresive this early on).  I set out alone, and move north to scout out the town.  I find 1 infantry squad guarding Larche, and immediately set up my plans.  While I'm looking for a good place to attack the squad, a jeep patrol comes into town.  Damn, they're right in front of me, and me being the brilliant soldier I am, find myself in the middle of the road! :P  Somehow, I am able to duck into an ally, without them seeing me.  The jeep patrol passes without incident, and I attack the infantry squad.  I kill them all on the first try, and get out of there before someone comes to investigate.  I make it back to the lodge without incident, and realize I forget the NVG's again! ::)  I decide to go back and get them, and hopefully find some binocs.  At this point the fog is receding.  I approach the town, and don't see anyone.  Wait, what's that?  It appears to be a soldier, yep, it is, three in fact.  BAM! BAM! BAM! BAM! BAM!  That was easy enough ;D, I get my NVG's and binocs and head back to the lodge.  On the way, I decide to shoot down the hind.  It takes me several retries, but I finally succeed.  A parachute.  Great!  Another pair of NVG's.  I kill the person who landed and walked over.  Wait a minute, THIS IS A CIVILIAN! WTF?! ???  Uh, ok, I guess I'll just head back to the lodge.  At this point 2 is listening to me again :D.  Before I started out to my next target, an enemy squad decided to pay us a visit, probably investigating the hind wreckage.  We dispatch them quickly.  No casualties yet.  I scavenge the weapons, and put them in the ammo crate.  Four more men come from the south, we dispatch them, another squad comes from the south-east, we dispatch them, I take one casualty doing this (it was 2 :P, he deserved it anyway).  I'm thinking maybe I shouldn't have shot down the hind ;D.  Suddenly all goes to hell.  A T80, T72, and Vulcan approach from the south.  I destroy the T72 and Vulcan and disable the T80.  Right after I accomplish that, an M1A1 and BMP2 approaches from the same direction.  Somehow, I am able to also destroy these two vehicles, so much for not being aggressive :P.  I decide this place isn't safe, I get my men together and we prepare to move out.  Before we do so, we have to dispatch another squad that snuck up from behind.  No more casualties, yet.  We leave the area to the north (I decided the forces I dispatched were southern forces, considering they came from the south, as a result, I would have relative safetly in the north), and I have put my men in a small clump of trees at Ed 33 (or is it Ee 34? ???  I can never tell, it is the clump of trees just south of the first large bend in the road west of Larche).  Fortunately, my squad is mostly intact.  Unfortunately, I don't have access to the ammo that I stashed away at the lodge :'(.  I decided to go back alone and see if I can't get another RPG or two from a dead guy for my RPG launcher.  This was done easily, I didn't see any more troops, but I didn't stay long :P.  I head back to my men.  A jeep patrol goes by on a nearby road, I decide to wait for awhile.  At this time the fog is completely gone, and the sky is clear, which is what I don't want.  Current game time: It's the 10th, at 9:50.

I have one suggestion for you:
If the player is able to kill a lot of men and vehicles (like me) on one particular side, it would be nice for the other side to attack, to relieve pressure off of the player.  And I think this would be a realistic reaction.  One general, seeing the other has been weakened, attacks, expecting to have the upper hand.

As I said above, I'm going to wait for awhile before I make my next move, maybe I'll do some recon.  I'm having a blast (literally) with this mission!  I love the freedom of movement, and the fact the player isn't really tied to any specific objective.  This is a wonderful change from the usual missions! 8)
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: dmakatra on 24 Feb 2005, 21:22:37
So I should look out for it about the time we are all playing OFP 3 then. ;)
Actually it's ready for an early beta testing now... But I'm holding it on until the beta testing party.
OoooOOooO, OFP 3 is out! ;D

dmakatra:  I saw your rain thread when it first started, I also floowed a few threads on snow falling as well.  In the end I decided that I would use default OFP as much as possible.
Yeah, thought you'd say that. It's kinda crappy ain't it. Was like made ages ago, when I first learnt drop. :P

BTW, what's with 4x speed? Why? :-\

:beat: *Gets Shot* :beat:
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: THobson on 25 Feb 2005, 01:15:02
@Student Pilot:
Quote
If the player is able to kill a lot of men and vehicles (like me) on one particular side, it would be nice for the other side to attack, to relieve pressure off of the player.  And I think this would be a realistic reaction.  One general, seeing the other has been weakened, attacks, expecting to have the upper hand.
I thought about this for a long time.  I decided - no what the hell, let the player take the heat.  I may still add a: the enemy is weak let's attack them scenario.  In fact the more I think about it the more I like it.  As it stands the player has a difficult way to finish the mission (get them fighting at La Trinite) or a very difficult way (don't get them fighting at La Trinite).  Having one side attack because the other side is weak would really help reduce the linearity.  Jeez beta testing is wonderful - I wish I had done it for all my missions.

Your need to abandon the lodge raises interesting questions about leaving the civilians there that supports macguba's instinct that something was not quite right about this.

Keep at it you are doing well.

@dmakatra
Quote
It's kinda crappy ain't it. Was like made ages ago, when I first learnt drop
A  couple of points: no it is not crappy, and  I have not yet learned drop.  I just got the default rain working well enough that I was happy.  Also I knew from the outset that this was going to be a big mission so lag could be an issue so: smallest island, minimal use of non-standard stuff, and apart from General Barron's editor upgrade - absolutely no addons.

EDIT:
Quote
So I should look out for it about the time we are all playing OFP 3 then.
Actually it's ready for an early beta testing now... But I'm holding it on until the beta testing party.
I was refering to the mission you say mine has inspired.  I naturally assumed that the one you have been working on for the last 37 years is nearly finished. ;)
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: Pilot on 25 Feb 2005, 05:13:21
At my camp in the cluster of trees, I decide to set out alone to do some recon to the south.  Nothing but a 5t Truck and a few tents were in Arudy, so I moved on to Chapoi.  Before I could do much recon, the weather went to hell, and I spent at least 40 minutes waiting for it to clear.  After it cleared, I checked out the main base at Chapoi, but the T72 kept me from attacking.  I then checked out Cancon, which seemed like a Utopian town in this ravaged island, as it was fully intact, and no guards were there.  I then checked out La Riviere, but found it to be like Cancon.  At this point I decide to head back to my men.  On the way, they reported seeing two trucks, but nothing else happened.  After a lot of walking, I finally arrived at my men's position.  I think I will start clearing some towns in the north.  I am going to stop for tonight.  It may be a few days before I can do much more, as my schedule is busy this weekend.

When I made my way south, I stopped at the lodge, and found, to my surprise, that nobody was there except the civies.  It was also unoccupied when I came back.  It appears I must have killed all of the response units.  I will probably stay out of the lodge for the remainder of the mission, however, considering what did happen there.
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: macguba on 25 Feb 2005, 11:53:06
Having multiple triggers for starting the war is a good idea.  

Do you want to ensure that the war starts even if the player has chosen not to start it?    If not, what kinda probability do you want?

At what strength ratios do you want the war to start?

Or is it going to be when one side hits an absolute trigger?  (Obviously randomised.)

What mechanism could you use?    Side A must somehow learn that side B might be weak, and then investigate that, and then get the informatin to the boss who then has to decide whether to start the war.    

Maybe bring back your mad civvy women:  except make them not mad, make them itinerant whores, heavily armed for their own protection, who travel between the sides selling booze and sex.   They can start the rumour (as long as they are still moving) and then a recce patrol can confirm/deny it.   If the recce patrol comes back, a war starts.   If it doesn't, it doesn't.    Or something.

Or perhaps have a setCaptive observer from each side at the other side's HQ.    If the side he is visiting gets weak, he legs it.  An appropriate distance away he gets setCaptive false and again, he either makes it or not.
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: THobson on 25 Feb 2005, 15:33:04
Wow!  In deed.

One of the things that really took a lot of time was to ensure:
1. The player has a 100% chance of starting the war if they do something remotely reasonable
2. There is a 0%  chance of a war starting on its own.

That is one of the reasons I had some very long soaks (multiple days) not just to make sure the vehices were not getting screwed up, but also to ensure the war did not start spontaneously.

So I am going to mess with this balance with very great care!

I like the idea of the mad women 'peddling their wares'  but it is not quite in keeping with the ethos of the island where the soldiers just take what they want anyway.

The patrolling choppers are there to observe the truce and so would be a reasonable source of information about what is happening to the otherside.  A bit boring I admit.

EDIT:
Quote
Or perhaps have a setCaptive observer from each side at the other side's HQ.    If the side he is visiting gets weak, he legs it.  An appropriate distance away he gets setCaptive false and again, he either makes it or not.
Now there is a really neat idea.  Unfortunately units that are setCaptive will still cause guard units to respond.  A real pain in the arse.  I originally had La Trinite occupied by 'border guards' (setCaptive, never fire and all that) from each side.  Problem was all the guard units from both sides turned up and started whacking each other.

I will think more on this one it is such a neat concept.


EDIT2:
Now this reminds me, one plan I had was for the player to find some high ranking officers from each side that did not like what was happening on the island and would cooperate with the player and each other to stop it, but that was screwed by the same problem.
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: Tomasz on 25 Feb 2005, 17:36:48
Guys, Im with ya'll, you still ( just ) need 137 posts to reach un-impossible mission reply amount :o :o.

Good luck lads :P

Tomasz
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: GI-YO on 25 Feb 2005, 21:55:32
Victory is mine! But i think it wasent suppose to be so early. from the airport i drove north to the fuel pumps and blew up that pesky jeep patrol with HEAT, that will teach em  ;). Drove along the coast and then headed to my ldge to load up my tank with friends. got them into the tank and headed down to goisse, but no one there so then to vigny. but on the way down the hill just before i got there text and voice stated that stamanov was dead. Did he commit sucide before i got him? Must have been killed in an accident.

OUTRO - good stuff, like the tune. not to sure about the repetion of the shots of the sea in between takes, could focus on a dead man or civ etc. Apart from that all good.

Score - 26300
Kills - vulcan
10 x night eqip officers (east+west)
2 black op
spetznat bizon
2 x snipers
9 x LAW
4 x AA (east+west)
bmp2
3 x AT (east+west)
10 x RPG
5 ton truck
8 x machinegunner (east+west)
6 medic (east+west)
5 x grenadier (east+west)
ural
ural ammo
5 x crew (east+west)
23 x soldiers

Freindly kill
MASH trauma unit east.
I would take a screenshot but i dont know how.

OVERALL

First of this mission is brilliant. The whole idea of fighting on a whole island seemed like a dream back in the day when ofp was released but the community has come so far, so well done :thumbsup:. There are realy no errors in this mission, which for a mission this size is incredable! Some things i will make a comment on are things that have been mentioned before but oh well.

WEATher - the fog needs to be not quite so random, it realy does hinder play although i think this has been fixed in the next version if i rmemeber correctly. I thought that it would be good for the fog to drop after the two sides start fighting to allow the player to gather weapons and ammo in safty of sorts.

Maybe change the pistol so it makes it easier to make it up that cliff, oh how i missed x4 running speed. Other things i have already mentioned so you will be aware of them already.

The voices should sound a bit more emotional, i know your not actors but some of those statments were devoid of all emotion, but voices at all rock!!

And i think my ending was a fluke so i will try and finish it off properly tomorow. dont remeber this happening to anyone else.

Hope my words have helped in some way with this incredible mission and i look forward to version 2 :)

GI-YO out....



Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: Pilot on 25 Feb 2005, 22:36:21
I decide to head east to Sainte Louis.  But along the way, I come to a group of houses and a presumably empty fuelstation.  I decide to divert to La Trinite, and see if I can't find some sort of mine to place on the road going through this roadstop.  As I enter La Trinite, I find a northern convoy is just leaving.  After the convoy leaves, I run into the town, over to the ammo crates, I pick up the mines, and run back out.  I move to the roadstop, and place three mines on the road. I then take position on a hill to the south to view the results of the mines.  I start to move out, thinking the convoy wasn't coming.  I think I put the mines on the wrong road for the convoy :P.  Just as I was moving out, a jeep patrol came in.  But they didn't set off the mines?!  wtf?!  I thought the mines would destroy any land vehicle? ???  And I would be surpirsed if the three jeeps missed the three mines I put on the road, as I put them right in the middle of it!  Ok, I travel east to Saint Louis.  I crawl into the town to ckeck for guards before I start laying mines.  As I am searching, I hear two or three explosions, and the sound of a vehicle blowing up.  Then suddenly I get the message of them fighting each other!  Oh shit!  It's raining, the fog is coming in, they're fighting each other, and I'm in the middle of a Saint Louis in a small bush :P!  I'm not sure what made them start to fight each other.  I didn't attack anyone in La Trinite, and I haven't killed anyone in Saint Louis. I think it has to do with the mines I placed, but I'm not sure how that would get them fighting.  I decide to lay the last of my mines, and get the hell out of Dodge.  I can hear gunfire, grenades, and the occasional Vulcan cannon around nearby.  A convoy comes right past me, and the vulcan destroys something.  It gets tense for a few moments, but the convoy soon moves on.  I keep running west to get to my men.  The weather worsens.  I hear an RPG hit a vehicle and destroy it, awfully close to my position.  I run some more, another vehicle is destroyed.  I finally make it back to my men.  Current game time: It's the 10th, at 1:50 p.m.  I am considering waiting here until the storm passes, and ckecking out the airfield when it does.
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: THobson on 25 Feb 2005, 22:48:01
@GI-YO
Well the only other time something like this happened Stamenov was killed by the northron attack group.  That should not happen in the next version.

Quote
repetion of the shots of the sea in between takes
The sea!! say more.  I did not plan on it showing shots of the sea.

Glad you liked it.

Progress report
The scripts I use to join up groups and to manage the endgame are now very much improved.  I tested it by creating a solitary loon way across the island from the base and made it the player.  I used a radio to kill the leader.  After a while I was joined to a group and ordered all over the place, I stayed put, but nothing I did could prevent me from ending up in the base.

Also, it is now not necessary to kill every loon, when they get down to a small number of living loons the northron survivors surrender, and the southron survivors run away (well some might also surrender depending on where they are).

Also if you turn up to collect the civis in a vehicle that does not have the capacity to carry them they will not get in.


EDIT:
@Student Pilot

We were posting at the same time.  The mines that did not explode - were these my mines or standard OFP mines?  Mine should detonate when a jeep passes, but the standard ones won't.

I am not sure I can figure out what started the war in your case.  Killing or disabling all the vehicles in a convoy will do it, as will killing or disabling the lead vehicle near La Trinite.  I have not had a case of the war starting on its own for months now - but if the war starts and the player doesn't know why then it might as well have been spontaneous.  Could it be that some of the southron guard units were following you and you led them into the northron's area?  If so that is magic.  I have tried for ages to get that to happen but never managed it.
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: Pilot on 26 Feb 2005, 00:52:17
Quote
The mines that did not explode - were these my mines or standard OFP mines?
They were your mines.

Quote
Could it be that some of the southron guard units were following you and you led them into the northron's area?
This might be the case.  After I had gone to my position on the hill, I decided to go back down and lay the rest of my mines.  While I was doing this, I was killed, as I accidently had the sound muted at that time, I'm not sure if I was shot, or if I blundered into an already set mine (I think I was shot, as I was quite careful about not stepping on the mines I placed).  My retry point was back on the hill, so I retried, and moved back down the hill to place more mines, this time the sound was up, and I was shot.  The next time I waited in the bushes until the jeep convoy passed, then moved out.  My best guess is that when I moved out, a few men might have followed me, and engaged the convoy.
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: THobson on 26 Feb 2005, 08:24:36
@Student Pilot
I don't recall having any problems with the mines before.  I will see if anyone else has had.
Quote
The next time I waited in the bushes until the jeep convoy passed, then moved out.  My best guess is that when I moved out, a few men might have followed me, and engaged the convoy.
From my (the builder's) point of view this would be neat.  It is a pity it is a puzzle to the player.

@ALL
Thoughts on the start (building on the idea that the island is something to be experienced not rushed):
At an early stage of developing this mission I had Alexi starting in Le Port and the only form of transport he could find there was a bicycle.  The only reason I changed this is that the dawn looks so wonderful I wanted to have him travelling east during the early stages of the game (and then I go and make a mistake of giving you all access to NVGs at Vigny!) .  Anyway - I probably won't go back to a Le Port start but I just wanted to see if any of you have views on the idea.
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: macguba on 26 Feb 2005, 11:48:35
My old mission Lookout! had the player travelling west in the early morning for the opposite reason:   I wanted the player not to see the dawn until the end, when it suddenly appeared as you completed the last objective on a little hilltop and turned round.   The mission was timed so I knew what time the player would get there.    

It worked quite well, though I don't think anybody noticed.  ::)    The whole mission was in fact a study on light in OFP ..... as if anybody cared.  :P

Anyway, your fundamental principle is correct - keep it slow at the start, to build the suspense.     The problem with the pistol and the hill was that you felt nothing was happening:  this would not be the case with a bicycle.    I like the bicycle idea because you rarely get the chance to use one, and when you do you normally turn it down.     Encouraging the player to use one is unusual and therefore good.    

Not for Le Port to Vigny though, that's too far.    

Oh, and another thing I forget to post ages ago.   Cd44.   The landing beach in Vigny fjord.   That is the obvious place to leave your boat if you know the island and want to land secretly.      The climb up is hideous, but that's good.   The original climb was merely tedoius, this is actively difficult so you feel something is happening.   Then you meet the unmarked fence.     By the time you get to the village you are in a thoroughly bad mood, which is just how you would really feel.   The loss of 4x is not so keenly felt because it doesn't make much difference anyway.    

Better still start in Vigny fjord in the boat.    

There's no harm in using a default OFP boat - its not that unrealistic under the circumstances, plus people understand that one of the biggest mistakes BIS made was not to include a dinghy as a default unit.    The Soviet one is probably better for this mission.

Returning to the bike, landing at the pier at Bb63 is attractive.     Nearby place two bikes, a fire and a couple of bottles.     It is a long way to Vigny though, all uphill, and there's the garrison at La Pessagne to be considered.    Maybe motorbikes.    


Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: XCess on 26 Feb 2005, 12:17:30
I know you want to keep addons to a minimum but after Mac's suggestion the KLR popped into my head. It would have bneeen so usefull to have a few of them dotted around the map.
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: THobson on 26 Feb 2005, 12:28:58
I had Le Port in mind because it would then be necessary to negotiate Chapoi and there also would be excellent chances of the player bumping into the Stamenov's convoy and/or the MG jeep patrol.  Being on your own in the dark, rain and fog and suddenly having the convoy appear and thunder past is quite an experience.  It becomes even more of an experiance if they happen to see you!

The burnt out house at Fh70 was to be the first stop where I would meet a little old man huddled by a fire who would not be my uncle but who would direct me to Vigny.  Trouble was the building cannot be entered ( and at that time I had not discovered the joys of General Barron's Editor upgrade).  So a west coast start it became.

My current version has taken the other extreme.  Starting point just over the brow of the hill from Vigny.  A couple of steps and you can see the building.

That is a neat landing point at Cd44.

The lack of a civi boat is a problem - I just couldn't bring myself to use one of the military ones,  I had no idea how on earth could I explain it

EDIT:

XCess I just saw your post:

What is a KLR?

and yes I am a bit fanatical about not using add-ons.
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: macguba on 26 Feb 2005, 15:08:27
Quote
The lack of a civi boat is a problem - I just couldn't bring myself to use one of the military ones,  I had no idea how on earth could I explain it
You don't.    Just give it 3/4 fuel (to simulate the journey, it has to be more than half since you are planning on getting back) and bit of damage and little or no ammo, not that that really matters.    

We all know you have to compromise a little in OFP and in this particular case we also know that all kinds of wild and strange things are happening on the island.   A slightly odd boat is nothing.

The alternative - no boat - also looks odd.    So its all a question of what is the least worst option.   My vote is a Soviet boat.

When running around the little pier place, I did consider suggesting a ruin with an old fisherman, who you knew at least by reputation as somebody who might help you.    I didn't mention it because it means a whole extra cutscene, and right at the start of the mission.    But if you're willing to consider that anyway .....

Fh70 is ok as a house - he cann snuggle down between the wall and the building - but the location is too exposed.   It's also too far away.   With no 4x, and needing to be a bit tactical, it could take you the best part of an hour to get to Vigny and that really is too long.

Starting right on top of Vigny is also no good, you need the space.    

When stuck, return to first principles.....

There are three plausible islands for where you are living.   The bare island where the intro is shot; lighthouse island immediately to its south, and island point 15 south of Kassalon (as I call the Desert Island shaped isand).     All on the east side.    Kassalon and Airstrip Island would both be inhabited by marauding bands of soldiers.   The other islands are little more than rocks.

Let us assume that it is obvious that the main airport is going to be thick with soldiers and let us also assume that you have a suspicion of lots of soldiers in the main towns in the south.

Because it is shorter, and avoids the airport, you will come round the south of the Malden.   Your possible landing areas are:

- La Riviere jetty, particularly if you are short of boat fuel and think it would be safe to go there.  Or maybe south of Cancon but its a long way to Vigny and dangerous.

- the southern tip of the SW peninsula, though only if you know you can get transport at the lighthousekeepers' cottages

- the jetty, where there are facilities for boats and possibly an old fisherman.  Or the beach around there.

- Vigny fjord if you have the bottle to get in

Most of the western side of Malden is rocky and very open to weather from the west and is not suitable either for landing or leaving your boat on a filthy night.  

I think you should start on the shore near the boat, for realism reasons.  (Or in the boat.)

The other alternative of course is that fuel is very short and you land on the east coast in the Dourdan/Houdan area and go straight across the island via Arudy.  

Or use the Cessna somehow.
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: Dubieman on 26 Feb 2005, 15:59:12
KLR is a Kawasaki KLR250. Dual sport/enduro motorcycle. Pretty fun to use in OFP, but I don't think its appropriate.  :P  The Kawasakis are old anyways, we need some Suzuki DR-400 SMs! ;D ::) :D

@ the bicycle: I used it for one of my mad rushes down the hill from the lodge to La Trinite. Very scary, but fun. It was good too, cause I could waste the bicycle to grab a better vehicle. Making my squaddies drive & follow me with enemies all about is too hard. :P

I believed you rowboat story, but maybe say you landed and when checking the shore it drifted off because of the darkness and rough seas. ;)

@start: keep it where it is. Le port is too much. You'd run into the big convoys to fast. Dealing with jeeps at first isn't too bad. (best to ram them with your trusty PV3S ;D) But if you encounter M2A2s, vulcans, and truckloads of troops....too much. :-\

@way back on previous page: Malden is the smallest island? I don't think so. I thought it went desert island, everon, kolgujev, malden, and nogova. (smallest to biggest)
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: macguba on 26 Feb 2005, 16:03:30
Malden is the biggest of the original islands.   IIRC it has nearly twice as many objects as Everon.
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: GI-YO on 26 Feb 2005, 16:29:44
@thobson

The shots of the sea were in between the other shots showing the destroyed building and villages etc. The camera was stationary and the sea bobbed up and down a bit. looks like what happened when i tryed to do a scripted cutscene, camera doesnt appear to have any target. And at the end it zoomed (real fast) across the sea and went to a blackout. Possibly becasue of the way it ended for me. And on the debrief screen my mission time was 4 minutes. I think i broke your mission   :o

GI-YO
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: THobson on 26 Feb 2005, 16:53:41
Quote
Malden is the biggest of the original islands.  
Okay I got that wrong.  When choosing the islands small size was one requirement.  Another was the ability to have two circular road patrols - one for each side.  I forgot I had to give up on the first to get the second.

I need to think about (I guess I mean come to terms with) using a military boat.

Quote
The shots of the sea were in between the other shots showing the destroyed building and villages etc. The camera was stationary and the sea bobbed up and down a bit. looks like what happened when i tryed to do a scripted cutscene, camera doesnt appear to have any target. And at the end it zoomed (real fast) across the sea and went to a blackout. Possibly becasue of the way it ended for me. And on the debrief screen my mission time was 4 minutes. I think i broke your mission
Gee it certainly sounds like it.

You can't believe the mission time at the debrief screen anyway.  I start the start time in init.sqs (it makes de-bugging easier to have the mission editor set to day time).  Also at the end scene I jump time to midday.  But 4 minutes does seem a little strange.

EDIT:
Quote
The other alternative of course is that fuel is very short and you land on the east coast in the Dourdan/Houdan area and go straight across the island via Arudy.  
I am now quite taken with the idea of eastward movement early in the mission.
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: Pilot on 27 Feb 2005, 04:53:32
Ok, after a flight lesson this morning, I am back at it. (Flying and OFP, Lord, I am truly blessed! ;D)

I decide to start making my way slowly to Larche.  I stop in a bush nearby, and wait for the weather to clear some more.  A tree near me falls, although I don't see the vehicle that did it.  By this time the sky has cleared, but the fog is still here.  Suddenly I hear tank guns go off!  Several rounds hit somewhere ahead of me, and a vehicle explodes.  More guns, a vulcan joins in (or a shilka), another vehicle explodes, and I can't see a thing!  More heavy weapons fire, soon small arms fire joins in, and some grenades.  More vehicles explode.  Everthing goes quite.  Then more tank guns and a Vulcan shilka?) chimes in.  Must be the counter-attack.  More sporadic fire.  After awhile, the helicopter joins in.  The fog has lifted a lot, but not enough to see the results of the still sporadic battle, and I am not moving from my bush until I can see what's going on.  Finally I decide to move to another bush, then another.  I crawl into the town, and find a fuel truck, a repair truck, and a damaged Jeep MG.  I kill the two guards, and take the repair truck.  I hide it in some trees nearby.  I intend to use it to repair the disabled T80 up on the mountain.  After a bit of waiting, I decide the remaining helicopter flying around is a bit annoying.  I climb up the mountain to the lodge, take an AA launcher, and destroy the cobra :gunman:.  I pick up my RPG launcher, and head back to my men.  Tomorrow, I intend to clear Larche again (if there are any troops there), and repair the T80.  From here I am not too sure what I will do, I am still deciding.  Current game time: It's still the 10th, at 3:10 pm.  The sky is clear, but the fog is still there, limiting my vision to somewhere around 500 meters.

(If I am putting too much detail in my account, please tell me, I can shorten it if you like)
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: THobson on 27 Feb 2005, 09:04:14
Not too much detail at all.
 
First it is fun to read.

Second it gives me useful information that is leading to changes in some of the game logic.  The weather you know about.  One of your previous posts sent me rescripting one particular feature, your post above has prompted me to check, and possibly change, something else.

Third I think you are the only person to start the war somewhere other than La Trinite.  Yours is quite unique experience so knowing all about it will be really helpful.

Keep at it and thanks for taking the time to write it all. ;D

Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: GI-YO on 28 Feb 2005, 20:07:00
Well i've found out who is killing Stamanov. A T-72 and a Abrams. They hit chapoi from the east just as I get there and they blow me up real good. Seems like this is going to be harder than the RPG vs Many tanks battle I had earlier. :o

GI-YO

EDIT - I killed Stamanov at range with HEAT shell and I got that same outro which is not the right one, so I don't know what i've done wrong. But this has only happened once and I always seem to break things so maybe it's just me......Cant wait for version 2. keep up the good work!

(review wordcount - 3303). Thats more than most the coursework i ever did  ::)
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: THobson on 28 Feb 2005, 20:58:32
GI-YO
Thanks for all the effort.  I hope the noext version works better for you.  
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: Pilot on 28 Feb 2005, 21:10:34
Here is my progress for the past few days.

I decide to put my plans about the T80 on the back burner.  I keep hearing sporadic weapon fire from somewhere in the distance.  I head to La Trinite to see if this is where it is centered.  

There is no one alive in La Trinite.  There are remnants of two convoys here, apparently one convoy from each side.  I trade my AK74 for a bizon, and head back out.  I search the mountains west of La Trinite, and around the lodge, but find nothing.  At this point I am unsure of exactly where the battle took place ???.  While I'm at the lodge, I bring the T80 down the mountain and repair it.  I then "hide" it with my men.  It is getting dark, and the rain has started up again.  

I decide to head northwest and recon the airport.  I go into the airport, and get shot by a sniper.  Retry  Instead of going into the base, I decide to observe it at different points along the hill to the west.  I run into a bush, and find I'm sharing it with a sniper :o.  I kill him with my Bizon.  I observe the fuel station, and crawl back out.  I see another sniper two feet away from me.  It seems I was sharing the bush with two snipers, well no more, three shots and he's dead (the bizon doesn't kill a good as other guns).  I head back to my men.  I stop in Larche to retrieve the fuel truck, and I fill the T80 with fuel.  When day comes around again, I intend to use the T80 to destroy the fuel station.

I have decided to check out La Pessagne, so I head back up the mountain and get in the jeep.  I drive south to just about Arudy, when suddenly a shell hits my jeep.  You are Dead  I don't know how, but that T72 gunner hit me in the fog and rain from over 500 meters, and on the first shot! :wow:  I'd say he deserves a medal! :P  Anyway, retry, I decide to head to La Pessagne on foot.  I hear a vehicle coming, and hide in a bush.  Three tanks go by, the same tanks that killed me earlier.  At least 2 of them appear to be damaged in some way, and they are heading north.  I'm not sure if they are northern tanks that are retreating, or southern tanks on the offensive.  I wait for them to pass, then head back out.  I eventually reach La Pessagne.  It is empty.  I heal myself at the field hospital (I don't know how I got injured), and head south to Stamenov's base.  I am going to wait for it to get dark, then I'll try to sneak in and kill him.  

As I sneak in, I come across several dead soldiers and a destroyed Vulcan.  I crawl into the town, and do a quick recon.  Many bodies and destroyed vehicles.   I have only seen one living soldier, and he is in the area I expect Stamenov to be.  I find one more soldier alive, a black-op.  I dispatch the blackop, and kill Stamenov.  The objective is completed.  Apparently, all that was left of Stamenov's army was him and a guard.  I guess the armoured vehicles I destroyed at the lodge were Stamenov's :P.  I shoot down the orbiting hind, and start back north.  I decide to take the abrams back, just so I don't have to walk.  About halfway there my men report seeing two tanks and a vulcan.  I hop out of the Abrams, and start out on foot.  My guess is the tanks are going south to investigate what happened to the hind.  My men report the tanks are heading south.  I start to hear the tanks, so I duck into a nearby bush.  After I hear them pass(I can't see very far in the fog), I start out again.  The rain starts up again.  I stop at the lodge.  I hope to ambush the three tanks when they come back north, if the weather clears in time. :gunman:
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: THobson on 28 Feb 2005, 23:03:34
Thank you.  Very impressive.  It seems the northron attack on Stamenov's base is a bit too powerful.  

In the next version each vehicle group will carry a flag so you will nowwhich side they belong to.  They already do of course.

Keep going you are nearly there.
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: Dubieman on 28 Feb 2005, 23:51:03
Soz Thobson...
After uploading my OFP files to my new computer, it didn't take the saves with it... :P Looks like all my saves are gone. But I'll prolly start over just because the mission is fun to play once you get to your lodge. ;)

Anyways, looking forward to the new version with surrendering ppl and all.  :)
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: THobson on 01 Mar 2005, 08:43:33
@ Student Pilot:
Just a few things I have been thinking about over night:
You saw dead convoys at La Trinite - did you do anything that might have caused anything to happen there (Like putting a mine down. killing someone or even just being seen by someone)?

You had two snipers in the same bush!  If one was east and one was west they might have been discussing politics, or they might have been talking about their mutual friend Dorothy, or perhasp they were just lonely - But I did not put them both there!

You mentioned taking down the first two and the last chopper.  If that is it you might just find an empty undamaged Cobra somewhere (it is a long shot but it is just possible - and it literally could be anywhere with a slightly increased probability in the vicinity of Chapoi)

@GRK:
Well that's life.  Thanks for all your comments so far.

I have done a tonne of work on the internals of the mission, added three cutscenes etc. etc.  Actually when I say added cutscenes I have the triggers, the animation and the scenery - not yet the voices.  
Still to do:
- improve the Intro
- re-do the end scene
- re-do all the voices and get the scenes working
Then I will post the next version.  Realisitcally I will be happy if I can get that done by the end of the month.  I am slow - remember the woman walking towards the barn in the intro? and macguba's comment about her being too calm?  He is right of course.  It took me the best part of a day to do somethign that looks halfway plausible about that.  As I said - I am slow at this.

For the version after that I will be looking at things like:
- adding an Outro
- getting more activity at the lodge
etc.  In other words mostly eye candy stuff.  These last few weeks have required a lot of detailed re-working of some of the internals - especially around the behaviour of the loons when they are on their last legs, and changing the weather model.

I thought the mission was quite good when I put it on here - I am now a bit embarrassed about crappy a lot of it is.  Scripts working in the wrong order, people dieing for no reason (I am beginning to think that Malden is haunted), loons not turning up at the end etc.

Just shows the benefits of beta testing.
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: Pilot on 01 Mar 2005, 13:23:26
Quote
You saw dead convoys at La Trinite - did you do anything that might have caused anything to happen there (Like putting a mine down. killing someone or even just being seen by someone)?
I didn't try to make my presence known.  I laid no mines there, and killed no one.  I can't tell you if I was seen or not, but I would be really surprised if I was, as I took many precautions against being seen.

Quote
You had two snipers in the same bush!  If one was east and one was west they might have been discussing politics, or they might have been talking about their mutual friend Dorothy, or perhasp they were just lonely - But I did not put them both there!
lol, I didn't actually see the second one in the bush.  When I went in the bush, I only saw the one I was laying next to.  I quickly observed the base, and crawled out of the bush.  As soon as I crawled out, I saw the other sniper in the open to the south-east, about 5 feet from me.  He was crawling away, and I assumed he was in the same bush.  He could have climbed up the hill to my right, and I probably wouldn't have seen him.  If you say you didn't place two in the same bush, then you are probably right, and it was a coincedence I saw two in the same vicinity.

Quote
You mentioned taking down the first two and the last chopper.  If that is it you might just find an empty undamaged Cobra somewhere (it is a long shot but it is just possible - and it literally could be anywhere with a slightly increased probability in the vicinity of Chapoi)
Now that would be cool! :D  I think I'll forget about ambushing the tanks as they come north, and try to find that helicopter (ambushing an M1, a T72, and a Vulcan might not be a good idea, anyway :P)

Hopefully I'll find that chopper, so I'll have the advantage of airpower when I defeat the northern tanks :joystick:
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: macguba on 01 Mar 2005, 13:36:52
Quote
I thought the mission was quite good when I put it on here - I am now a bit embarrassed about crappy a lot of it is.
;D  That's why I wrote in the sticky topic, choosing my words carefully, "When you are convinced the mission is perfect, and have the results to prove it, it is ready for beta testing."   I thought was in pretty good nick for a first beta of a mission of that complexity - simply getting no error messages or debug hints shows it was in quite a tidy state.

Best part of a day to make the calm woman not calm?   Sounds about right.   Cutscene making is slow and very painful work.

Somewhere along the line, can't remember exactly where, I found two snipers not quite in the same bush but very adjacent to each other.  Overlooking the airfield from the west, not very far up from the main gate.  

Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: THobson on 01 Mar 2005, 14:08:45
Quote
Hopefully I'll find that chopper, so I'll have the advantage of airpower when I defeat the northern tanks  
I deliberately designed the mission so the player would not get his hands on a live chopper.  But having recently been testing the end game code for each side I realised it is just possible in very rare circumstances.  Please don't take too long looking it is a very long shot, and as I said it could be anywhere

Quote
I found two snipers not quite in the same bush but very adjacent to each other.  
Near each other is okay.

Another progress report.  I have now coded an additional means of getting the two sides fighting.  If one side has a significant numerical superiority, and knows it (defined by does it have a live chopper in the air), and if it still has a significant force of its own then it might launch an all out attack on the other base.  All parameters are randomised and the condition is checked repeatedly at intervals - so the longer the conditions apply the more likely such an attack becomes.  So that now makes four ways of getting them fighting:
- do anything at La Trinite
- kill a convoy anywhere (depends on what else you have killed)
- get the units from one side to chase you and lead them to the otherside's forces
- just battle away at one side until they are very weak, making sure you don't bring down any choppers.

I have just been looking at some of my early design notes.  One comment is:
Make sure there is not a trivial way of geting them fighting like for example, just going to La Trinite and laying a few mines.  It seems I failed on that one.


Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: Dubieman on 02 Mar 2005, 02:11:04
I'm alive! Good things do happen to bad people! :D ;D

Went scouring through my old HD and found the saves. After so sketchy copy/pasting I finally retrieved your mission's save. :)

Now I can get to the end...

Story cont.:

Turns out the save put me back before defeating Andropov's army so off to search & destroy. Find one sniper hanging out on the runway and one medic staring at a tree. They are killed and now its time to attack Stamenovs guys...

Go down south and find nothing. I blow up some M2s and move towards Sainte Marie. On a hilltop my abrams comes under RPG fire. We get damaged but blow the rpg guy and the infantry accompanying him to smithereens. But my abrams is hurting right now. I head back to the lodge and repair it and leave 6 as gunner to fend off any idiots who try to check my lodge again. BTW I've found that the lodge has shifted once more and the vehicles are either up 2 meters or underground up to their windshields. Doesn't matter, I can just jump in as driver and they go back to normal. So I journey to the west to take a JeepMG and right now I'm making my rounds down south trying to find more of Stameovs men. Its hard to find infantry in a tank because they won't shoot. In a jeep its faster and they are much more aware of your presence. Especially when I fire the M2 to get their attention. Found one dude near La Pessagne and killed him after quickly dodging behid a building...

Saved right there for now. ;)

And since I'm close to completion, I remembered that you wanted  ppl to fulfill certain conditions when they win like group members in vehicles and such... Any requests or have you solved that?
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: THobson on 02 Mar 2005, 08:40:32
Excellent

Quote
BTW I've found that the lodge has shifted once more and the vehicles are either up 2 meters or underground up to their windshields. Doesn't matter
If you have not been changing the terrain detail settings then it matters to me.  Have you been making any changes to it?

On the end conditions:  I think I have pretty much tested each option, but basically I was looking for comments on the end scene where you have a mix of: team mates alive, and dead.  In vehicles and not in vehicles.

Let me get this right.  You have wiped out Andropov and his army and have a green tick for it.  You have also killed Stamenov and you are finding loons some distance from Chapoi.  Is that correct?  If so:  do the loons seem to be heading for Chapoi?
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: Dubieman on 02 Mar 2005, 22:26:58
I think I have changed the terrain settings... ::)
With the new graphics card I'm able to stick to the norm to high range. Though I found using high in this mission causes a fair amount of lag... :P

And for ending conditions...
I'm got no dead squaddies in vehicles. Most if not all died at the lodge and I'll prolly win this by having me and "6" in the abrams and "3" & "2" in the T80.

And on my current status...
Andropov's army is gone and I've gotten the check for it.

And right now I'm headed for Chapoi by jeep to find any lonely souls near the road. Then I'll prolly go back to my tank and search & destroy offroad... :)

But I've learned from Andropov's last few troops that they tend to stick to places where I last engaged them. Like I killed that medic's whole team near the main airport buildings and moved on, later when I found him, he was near where the battle (if you can call it that ;D) occured.

So I went back to the hill west of Sainte Marie where I destroyed an abrams and BMP2 and found some lingering infantry.

So to sum it up, I haven't found any southerons moving towards home (even after letting it soak for an hour in Chapoi) and any that I find are generally on their "half" of the island.

I'll have to take a look at the shrubbery forest north of Chapoi because I have a feeling ppl are hiding in there. They were prolly drawn there after my failed assualt on their town, when I took my T80 madly into the mountians with RPGs landing near me... :) :P

Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: THobson on 02 Mar 2005, 23:23:04
In the version you are playing the last 5 loons could be anywhere within 500m of the centre of Chapoi (sorry).  You might usefully try the courtyard just across the road west of Stamenov's tent.

Some dead team members and some live team members in a vehcile would be good.

Best of luck.  You have earned it.

Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: Dubieman on 03 Mar 2005, 03:48:38
Well I'll try that courtyard, but I have a feeling nothing is there. There have been lots of HEAT shells thrown in there, along with grenades, roaming tanks, and a few satchels that I used to "make sure" no one was still hiding in the wreckage...

500m? Time to do some searching....

And for dead mates...
Maybe I could pay my T80  a visit and pop the gunner and leave him even though my score might go down, but if it helps beta testing, why not? ;)
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: THobson on 03 Mar 2005, 08:25:52
No friendly fire on my behalf please ;)

It might still be worth checking that courtyard occassionally.

EDIT:

When I say anywhere within 500m I should also have said that they are each given a doMove to the centre of Chapoi every few minutes or so, but that seems not always to be reliable.
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: Henderson on 03 Mar 2005, 23:48:35
I was lurking for a while, and I decided to start the mission again.

I discovered a bug, or maybe just a quirk in the OFP AI. After I escaped Vigny, and got the civvies,(I didn't engage anything yet), I decided to attack Vigny to get supplies. So I loaded up my men and drove there. After dismounting and getting killed a few times just for kicks I said, "I'm going to run them over." So I went straight through the town, running them over. Now here's the wierd part, I didn't get shot at not once, so it was too easy to just wipe everyone out, take their weapons, and drive away laughing. But wierdness didn't effect the two tanks who came to check on things. ;)

I don't know what caused it.
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: macguba on 03 Mar 2005, 23:55:41
Not in this mission, but I have experience something similar.    The AI does have trouble sometimes in spotting you when you are in a vehicle, or rather working out that you are an enemy.     And if you start running them over they sometimes get so confused you can get the lot of them.
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: THobson on 04 Mar 2005, 08:36:45
I also have experienced this in other mission.  

If I understand correctly the tanks got you so the problem only applies to infantry.

Could it be that you were in a jeep (that is a naturally western sort of vehicle) and the soldiers at Vigny are west?  I have not tried what you did but I have stolen a ural from the southron convoy and the infantry at Dourdan had no hesitation in letting rip at me.  But that is west infantry having a go at an eastern type of vehicle.

I think the odd AV mine in or around these field camps would not be at all unrealistic. ;D
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: Henderson on 04 Mar 2005, 22:57:52
I was in the Civil truck. Maybe the AI thought I was a Civ. When I tried running people over later in the mission they blew me up.  ;D
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: THobson on 04 Mar 2005, 23:00:41
Quote
When I tried running people over later in the mission they blew me up
That's a relief! ;D
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: macguba on 04 Mar 2005, 23:19:34
I think with anti-player mines you need to leave clues.  Otherwise its no fun.    You don't have to say anything, but ... well for example if you have these big anti-tank fences on either side of the road with a big obvious gap for you to drive through .......

But don't put any AV mines anywhere near where one of your convoys is due to run.   That has only one end.   ;D
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: THobson on 04 Mar 2005, 23:42:03
Quote
But don't put any AV mines anywhere near where one of your convoys is due to run.  That has only one end.
Especially as they can't be guaranteed to stick to the road.  

It seems Henderson you got your just deserts later so I will put this one down the priority list a bit, for a while.
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: Dubieman on 05 Mar 2005, 03:28:12
Maybe another one of your "danger" areas like in Saint Marie. Only on that road that comes off of the road to St. Louis and goes to the middle of the desert area. Seemed pretty abandoned when I looked around there. Or another town that is booby trapped... :o

@random AV mines....
*shudders*
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: THobson on 05 Mar 2005, 10:20:17
Quote
Seemed pretty abandoned when I looked around there.
If you look in the editor it is - a bit.  If you look at the scripts you will see that that cannot be guaranteed.  The waypoints of several groups of infantry are moved to random locations at intervals around that area.  If that is what it looks like in mission - well it is a large area.  

A booby trapped town might seem odd because it would be in an area controlled by one of the sides.  Saint Marie is mined because:
- Stamenov wanted to make sure there was no possibility of civilians living close to his base.
- He wanted to prevent his soldiers from going there for R&R
- He wanted to prevent it from being used as a base by any enemy, but did not wish to station and soldiers there (his forces are mostly at the front or protecting his base)
- He has certain items that he wishes to keep safe locked away in the basement of one of the buildings there - sufficiently close to his base that they are accessable
- He had a childhood romance but lost her to a rival.  They married and are living in Saint Marie (or at least they were living in one of the houses when Stamenov had his soldiers mine the place.  Whether they have been blown up or simply starved to death no one knows)

Take your pick.  I came to the conclusion that I could justify one mined town.  Not sure I could justify two though.

Keep the ideas coming.  Thanks

Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: Dubieman on 05 Mar 2005, 17:39:20
:wow:

I learned a bit of the storyline I never knew before.  :)
Now you know the curiosity factor is gonna drive me to try my luck jumping into that town. To find his special thing..... Curiosity will kill the GRK. :'(

Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: Pilot on 07 Mar 2005, 23:34:08
I thought give my progress for these last few days, before I go to my brother's place for this week.  I haven't gotten too far yet, as I have not had much time to spend on this mission.

I head south to Chapoi to see if I can't find a chopper.  I look around, but can't find it.  I think it may have been shot down early on.  I come across a few men, and kill them.  I notice the tanks are still down here, somewhere in the hills to the north.  I decide to ambush them.  I lay up to 24 satchel charges.  I intend to lure the tanks into town, and detonate the charges.  As I lay my 32nd charge.  I get killed.  Damn!  I retry back to where I had layed 20 charges, and I lay four more.  At this point I see the man who shot me, and up to 8 others.  How did I miss them?  I go into the second story of the house, and start picking them off.  About this time I realize the tanks don't appear to be in the hills anymore.  The fog has lifted, and I can see up the hills, but don't see the tanks.  I really hope I didn't lay 24 charges for nothing!  I think I did, so I head back.  I decide to scout out the airfield one more time before I attack.  It appears Andropov only has one functional tank on the airfield, and a few AT soldiers.  I attempt to take out the tank on the airfield, but every time I do, I get shot by a sniper.  So I scratch those plans, and head back.  I am going to attack the airfield in the T80 tomorrow.  
I find out the tanks from Chapoi haved moved to a position north of my camp.  I only have a Carl Gustav launcher with me, so I can only do limited damage.  I launch the Carl Gustav at the M1.  It hits the M1, but doesn't destroy it.  The tanks look for me, but never find me.  They head south, and I assume the are going back to Chapoi.
I go back to my men.  As I get back, the weather starts to worsen.  I decide to wait it out with my men.
My intentions are to destroy the three tanks before I launch my assault at the airfield.
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: THobson on 07 Mar 2005, 23:49:03
This is the sort of situation I was trying to create.  Difficult but not impossible, where you need to think about what to do and where you have time to do the thinking and a lot of options to chose from.

I am begining to think I might have tempered the weather too much in the next version.  I quite like the idea that you decide to wait out the bad weather back at base.

Progress Report:
I believe I mentioned that I had inserted three more cutscenes.  Well I am now working on a fourth.  Then I just need to round up enough people to get in front of the microphone :-\ do a bit of tidying up and the next version should be ready

Bye the way GRK I was waiting to see if you found anything in Saint Marie ;)
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: Dubieman on 08 Mar 2005, 02:40:32
Soz I haven't been playing this for a few days now... :P
But I now have some incentive to do so... ;D

*feels trapped and pressured to go into St. Marie* :D
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: Planck on 08 Mar 2005, 04:40:04
If you go to St Marie......make sure you wear a tank......and don't take it off.


Planck
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: Dubieman on 08 Mar 2005, 04:45:18
Way earlier in the mission, I went through with a jeep or something, wasn't pretty. Never went into it again, but had to laugh when one of Stamenov's assualt squads who were chasing me just happened to try to shortcut through there to get to me. Casualties were very high in that group. ;D

Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: macguba on 08 Mar 2005, 10:56:45
I've just had a look at Ste Marie which drew into looking at minefield.sqs.   Now that is an evil little script.   ;D

Two suggestions.   Firstly, make the explosion a random choice of either _killthis' postion, 12m under the ground beneath him, or at a random spot a few yards away.   This simulates different types of mine and booby trap.

Secondly, put a maximum number of explosions in there.  At the moment its infinite.

I am impressed by the use of one trigger though.   My minefield had one trigger per mine and I although I figured out several ways of doing it with one none of them were satisfactory.     Making the initiator time based rather than location based is the gordion knot moment in that little problem.
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: THobson on 08 Mar 2005, 11:03:27
Well thank you.   :)

This was another of those little exercises I set myself - like creating the mines for the player to place
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: macguba on 08 Mar 2005, 18:57:00
For added subtlety you could make the frequency of explosions (while still being random) proportional to the number of loons in the trigger.      More guys blundering about the place would set off more mines, whereas the player on his own would set off few.
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: THobson on 08 Mar 2005, 20:28:28
OK:
In the Saint Marie mine field now has:
-limited number of mines
-mines that explode at a location randomly selected near its victim
- at randomly selected depths
- at a time interval that is random but also depends on the number of loons in the town.

Still not a safe place for the player or his team.

It feels better - even though I doubt any player will notice, but that hasn't stopped me doing other things like this.
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: macguba on 09 Mar 2005, 01:32:11
This kind of detail is surprisingly important in a mission like this.   What if the player moves slightly into the town and then lies still?    As it stands, he still has a chance of being blown up even though he hasn't moved, which he will feel as slightly unfair.      It's very unlikely I know, but the plain fact is sooner or later it will happen to somebody.   The more you can do - like making the liklihood of an explosion related to the number of loons in the area - the better.

Any decent player would of course understand that the necessity of lag reduction does involve the occasional minor compromise, and I'm not suggesting that anyone who was appraised of the facts would feel hard done by.    Of course 99.9% of the players who come into the area will get blown up and feel that they deserve it.    75% of players will never even discover the minefield. and 90% of those that do will merely avoid it.     It's a phenomenal amount of trouble for a tiny, tiny minority of players.
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: Fragorl on 09 Mar 2005, 11:26:43
That would seem to necessitate a simple '&& abs(speed player) > 1' command perhaps, to make sure the player's moving? I'm sure that's occurred to you. :)
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: THobson on 09 Mar 2005, 15:20:15
Mac you are of course quite right,  and even if no one notices it I will still know it is a compromise.   I have already got a lot of satisfaction out of making this mission, just getting things to behave reasonably realistically within the constraints of OFP is challenge enough.

Fragori.  I will in deed put a check like that in.  Thanks  Actually that also will avoid a concern I had that the player just sit there in a tank and wait for all the mines to be exhausted.  Now at least he will need to be driving around which will also seem realistic.

Edit:
Okay I have put that in and it really does help.  I had a concern that by remaining stationary and moving forward in bursts the player could get through unscathed.  Not so ;D  The best tactic to crossing the mine field is to run and hope, well that or just go round it.

GRK I am beginign to feel a bit guilty - you do realise I did not actually hide anything in the town don't you?
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: macguba on 09 Mar 2005, 16:17:48
You always have to remember that the player does not know how you've done it, so even if there is a tactic that defeats the script it doesn't matter.    

As you know I have a minefield in Un-Impossible and it is surrounded by danger signs.    They are blatently obvious in daylight because they have to be detectable in mist.    One of the things I would change, if I could, would be to remove the danger signs and replace them with some other warning.  The problem with danger signs is that nobody is ever going to go past them:  it's too obvious a warning.   What I should have done with Un-Impossible is put a warning in the Briefing.   By the time he get there the player probably would have forgotten, thereby making the minefield more effective and more part of the mission.
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: THobson on 09 Mar 2005, 20:34:18
It was part of my mission when I played it!!  I crawled in to the wood and got killed.  I think you weakened your mines in some way - but perhaps because I was lying down I took more of the blast.

I don't like those signs either - the symbol on them means radioactive.  Having seen them in your mission and in Sui's Facile Ground I thought they were a recognised standard, so I just used them without thinking too much about it.  I can't really put anything in my breifing on this.  The guy starts off as a know nothing rookie.

I have been slaving over a hot microphone all afternoon.
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: macguba on 09 Mar 2005, 21:30:05
I have a variety of mines, although they are all grenades.    12m underground is just the right depth for a toe-popper:   you get wounded in the legs but not killed.     Some appear in the trees and fall to earth.   Some explode a few yards away.    Some set off two explosions.

Actually, on reflection, I think some of those vanished when I removed some mines to reduce lag.

I used these signs because they were the best, or rather least worst, object.    My original intention was simply to deprive the player of that wood, so I didn't really care much.   Really cross with myself for not putting it in the Briefing now, though I appreciate you can't.

Looking forward to the next version!

Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: GI-YO on 09 Mar 2005, 22:28:22
When do you expect version 1.2 to be released? Can't wait! ;D
Keep up the good work

GI-YO
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: THobson on 09 Mar 2005, 22:45:01
Lol: I think 1.2 might be a good number for it. :)  

It currently has the working version number 1.01 but given the changes I have made .01 seems too small an increment to use since the first one

Well lets see.  We have the beta testing party this weekend.  I have a few overseas business trips in the next few weeks  and I need to lean on several family members and their assorted boy and girl friends to put aside their shyness and get in front of the microphone.  Failing that you will yet again have to suffer listening to me trying to play different parts and only succeeding in sounding like I have various stages of a cold.  I have four new cutscenes to get right, more speaking parts and more speaking.  My hope is that I have the next version out by the end of the month.

But at last I feel I am getting a lot of the loose ends tied up.  Especially the mountain lodge.
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: macguba on 09 Mar 2005, 23:25:23
Do all the speaking yourself for now.     You don't want to keep going back to folk - for a start the boyfriend in question might have changed which could be embarrassing.    Save the poor souls until you know you have the final version.
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: THobson on 10 Mar 2005, 08:24:20
Good advice.  
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: Mr.Pibb on 12 Mar 2005, 03:23:14
I wanted to add something here, I had to dig to find this older post you made that, when I read it I knew what to say in return but never did, so heres nothing.

Quote
I thought the mission was quite good when I put it on here - I am now a bit embarrassed about crappy a lot of it is.  Scripts working in the wrong order, people dieing for no reason (I am beginning to think that Malden is haunted), loons not turning up at the end etc.

 Honestly I dont think even the beta version is really that bad, actually think its quite good. And although there are bugs and mistakes to fix, thats what beta testing is about.
 Seems actually aot of the stuff suggested and whatnot are not solutions to actual problems. I think that with a more 'normal' smaller style mission some suggestions would come up, and that would be it. In this case I think alot of people (inluding myself) have been very impressed with your mission and therefore cant help but see the potential of the mission in many various ways. I mean, you have the backbone of the mission pretty much done, which is always the hard part. The skies are the limit as to how immersive and real you decide to make it from there, I understand time is a huge factor. This all coming from someone who spent three years working on my WWIII mod for Ghost Recon. I found myself often in similiar scenarios where I had completed the primary goals of making a particular mission and after spending so much time just getting there I felt like I was finally done. Only after testing the missions through and through did I realize there was much more I could add to make the missions more immersive and realistic, and it was annoying because it meant more time too, but nonetheless ended up spending sometimes large amounts of extra time to really be content with the final product.

 So anyhow, I hope you take your time and whenever you get the thing the way you want it I will be there to play it, regardless of how long. Id be happy to test run any versions along the way for ya too  ;).

 Pibb

Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: THobson on 12 Mar 2005, 08:21:34
That is really wonderful.  Thank you.  

What was behind my comment was that I do pride myself on really testing each part and on thinking  - well what else could happen here?  To find that I had missed some things was a bit of a shock.

The 'take your time' advice is much appreciated.  I really enjoyed the months (well apart from the odd frustration) of getting the mission to the beta testimg stage.  Since then it has felt like a bit of a rush.  I really really have enjoyed all the comments and stories, but the mission building part has of late lost a bit of its alure

As this mission has now been bumped to the top during the beta testing party let me make a general comment to all party goers.

This mission has had a lot of excellent beta testing over the last several months (well it feels like months!).  There are many missions here that haven't so please give them a shot.  Also this mission is far too long to be played in the timeframe of the party so it would not be a good idea to try.  Having said that, if anyone wants to have look at and give me some advice on the intro then please feel free but to spend longer on this mission than that would take away from those other missions that this party is really about.
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: Mr.Pibb on 13 Mar 2005, 20:50:25
 I can understand what you mean when you say since the beta testing you have felt rushed, especially with the combination of alot of things coming up to address and the inevitable feeling to get it done as to not leave people hanging who are now waiting for the final version. Thats why I said I hope you take your time, because as most modders know from expereince that have actual real jobs and whatnot, pushing too hard can really suck, especially when you just finished an 8 - 10 hour shift to come home and crank out mission mathematics for three more hours as fast as you can. Makes me imagine what a privaledge it must be for those who's job is to work on missions, where they can focus tons of time and energy on their work and even get paid for it too.
 I dont think you should feel pressured, in fact, maybe you should take a vacation? Barbatos maybe? ;D
 My suggestion is if you feel that burned out maybe drop the thing for a little while, come back to it when ya feel the inspiration flowing again. Really neat thing is, even with ofp being pretty old by now heck, you could someday even make a version for sayyyy, VBS1? or even ofp2 if the scripting capabilities are still kept the same. But you probably dont want to even think about that right now ;).
 
 Anyhow, thanks for your time.

 Pibb
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: Mikero on 17 Mar 2005, 05:48:18
folks, i'm keen to play this mission, am not keen to wade thru 25 pages to find the latest version. can sum1 point me 2 the right one pls? (1st page says 1.00)
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: Fragorl on 17 Mar 2005, 07:56:10
folks, i'm keen to play this mission, am not keen to wade thru 25 pages to find the latest version. can sum1 point me 2 the right one pls? (1st page says 1.00)

As far as I know, 1.00 is the latest version; it's great, don't let the 25 pages of comments lead you to think there is anything wrong with it. The next version sounds as though it will have a whole slew(? ;D) of new features that will be even better. :) Undoubtedly, the new version will be updated on the first page/post (if it's still beta :))
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: THobson on 17 Mar 2005, 08:38:54
Fragori is right.  The only version out for testing is v 1.00 and that can be got from the first post in the thread.

The next version v1.10 should be ready either this weekend or next weekend.  I am out of the country all next week and feel disinclined  to put on a new version just before as I will not be able to repond to comments as they are made.

I am not sure the new version has new features so much as a smoother flow, more credible story a lot of rough edges taken off etc.  There are four new cut scenes (getting the voices is the thing that is delaying release).

It would be good have the new version looked at with fresh eyes as the people who have tested v1.00 know a lot about what is going on and so even subconsciously may make allowances for things that a fresh person would not.  So if you could hold off for say 10 days  :)   If not then the top of this thread is where to get it.
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: macguba on 17 Mar 2005, 11:17:18
Good timing.    I'm out of the country all next week too.   You're not skiing at Val Thorens by any chance?
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: THobson on 17 Mar 2005, 12:28:30
If only.  No I am working.  A global meeting in Aix en Provence.  The food and wine will be excellent
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: THobson on 27 Mar 2005, 19:33:46
[size=10] ****** Version 1.10 ****** [/size]

Link disabled 10 June


Well here is version 1.10.  I think just about every beta tester has made some suggestion that has been included in this version.  Some suggestions I am still thinking about and some I may well have forgotten about.  If you made any suggestions on v1.00 and do not see it here then please don't feel offended,  it may be that I simply overlooked it rather than did not like it (it is a very long thread and it did take a long time to read all the posts again, but there were an awful lot of changes needed to the original version).  If you made a suggestion on v1.00 and you still think it is relevant then please make that suggestion again.


I am particularly interested in comments on anything that strikes you as notable but particularly:
- The new weather model
- Markers turn on, off and change colour correctly
- Objectives become active, set Done and set Failed correctly
- The behaviour of the first group of civilians if Alexi has: 1) a vehicle that is too small for all of them; 2) a vehicle that is large enough for all of them; 3) does not use a vehicle.  
- Visiting important places before the player knows about them
- The intention with this mission is to get the player to a point where they think: "Now what should I do?" and have plenty of options to choose from.  Does it succeed in your view?
- Each side gives up when their leader is dead and they are down to a loon count of 10 or less. What does this feel like?  Too many?  Too few?
- Are there any scenes where the voices don't need to be re-done?
- Any dialogue that is particularly weak
- People doing random things during cut scenes
- I am still not totally happy with the behaviour of the civis at the lodge.


Areas I know I still need to work on:
- Intro - improve
- End scene - improve
- Outro - make new
- Dialogue and voices in cutscenes - improve
- Civis at the Lodge

I have done a lot of testing in the Preview of the mission editor only find that when I save it as a pbo mission and play that, things can be different, especially the behaviour of the characters in the cutscenes.  If you spot anything strange please let me know.

Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: THobson on 27 Mar 2005, 19:36:30
========================== Changes v1.00 to 1.10 =================

---------------------------------- General: ------------------------------------------
Changed the background story line, with consequent changes to the text in the overview, briefing and intro.

Improved the Overview picture.

Made minor changes to the Intro.

Removed early references to the truce, La Trinte and the two sides trading

Removed the hints.

Gave each side a flag, put a flag at each base, each field camp and on the lead vehicle of all vehicle groups.

Removed the infinite save games.  The player now starts with a set number and then gets an additional one every 90 minutes or so.

Changed the convoy and patrol monitoring code so that damage from simple collisions will not prevent them from working.  I believe this might have been the cause for several of the stuck southron convoys detected at La Trinite (I have run a few soak tests and did observe this happening), it certainly was the cause of some of the abandoned, but only slightly damaged, jeeps some of you found.  I believe it is also the reason that SEAL84 found a jeep that had run out of fuel (another jeep in the group was damaged, the crew got out and walked, the jeep SEAL84 found slowed down to wait for them and so ran out of fuel before getting back to base - that is speculation, but I have seen it happen).  Much of this was already dealt with, but I then restructured the scripts to avoid the large savegame bug and inadvertently disabled the relevant pieces of code.

Force setTerrain detail to normal to prevent weird things happening at the lodge

Removed all fires except two (Vigny and the mountain lodge).

Removed the hard to find, and surprising if you do, little groups of tents.

Made some changes to the layout of the field camps so they each look a bit different.

Trashed a few more towns and left evidence around of the criminality and indiscipline of Stamenov's army.

Changed the weather model:  Fog intensity changes more slowly; maximum fog intensity is reduced; Maximum intensity of fog, overcast and rain now reduces as progress is made in the mission.  There will still be bad weather late in the mission, but it will not be quite so bad as at the start.

Lost the two mad women that run up and down the island.  They may yet come back if the mission can bear the load of the extra units and the extra triggers etc. needed to make them interact with the player.

Cause one side to attack the other when the strength of the forces gets significantly out of balance.  They must have a chopper in the air, and they must have a strong force.

Modified the minefield at Saint Marie - does not have infinite mines, the location and depth of the explosions is now more random, and the frequency of explosions depends on the number of loons in the minefield.

and of course I have updated the list of Beta testers!!


----------------------------------------------- Briefing: -----------------------------------------------------
Put a picture of uncle Nikolay in the Briefing to help the player recognise him.

Killing Andropov and Stamenov are now separate objectives, distinct from destroying each side's army.

Improved the sequence of the objectives to be more logical.

Improved the information provided.

Improved the markers used on the map.


----------------------------------------------- Mission: -------------------------------------------------------
Changed the starting location.

Removed the random starting locations

Instead of having to kill all the soldiers when each side gets down to a small number of loons, in one case they surrender, in the other they run away or surrender depending on where they are.

Restructured both bases and the mountain lodge area to be more realistic.

Changed Stamenov's accommodation, changed the way the females with him behave and made his bodyguard behave in a more realistic way

Created an addAction for the empty and damaged armour in each base that will now enable the player to re-arm them.

Reorganised La Trinite.

Reorganised Vigny and enabled the dead bodies there to play a more active part

Changed the mines so that: they can only be placed if you have an appropriate item in your inventory and that item is removed from inventory when you place the mine.  I am indebted to macguba for his code to do this.  I incorporated his ideas into my scripts, the need to ‘re-arm' the player is something I would never have spotted.

Changed the place mine script to prevent a mine being placed when the player is in a vehicle.

Provided a disable mine action.

Removed most of the dead vehicles and wrecks from around La Trinite

Reduced the civi groups from three to two and re-written the method by which the player finds out about each of them and interacts with them, there are now proper cut scenes at each of the civi locations.  Also, any one death of a civilian will now result in a red cross - even if it occurs after you have got them to safety at the lodge mac!

If Alexi kills a civilian he will become a renegade.

Improved the endgame code that gets the loons to the base.

Fixed the bug that sent a base on alert even if a loon was killed by being run over by one of his own trucks.

Changed the waypoints for the attack on the southron base by the northrons to reduce the likelihood of it getting stuck on the way.

Very slightly reduced the strength of the northron group that attacks the southron base.  What was 1xAbrams, 2xT80 and 1xVulcan is now 1xAbrams, 1xT80, 1xT72 and 1xVulcan.

A lot of invisible stuff to streamline the code - fewer scripts and fewer variables to help move the mission away from the large savegame bug.

Removed the NV goggles from the officer in the group that attacks you in Vigny if you hang around after the cut scene.

Strengthened the group that arrives at Vigny after the cutscene to give the player an incentive not to hang around.

Added a new location with cutscene to strengthen the story.

Removed illogicalities if the player visits the game locations in a wrong order (ie before he is told about them).


---------------------------------------------- Cut Scenes: -------------------------------------------------------------
Changed the Vigny cut scene to have two soldiers arriving by foot and also to help explain Tatyana's sudden rush out of the building

Compressed the two scenes at the mountain lodge into one.

Ensured no cutscene would be watched through NV goggles even if the player happens to be wearing them when it starts.

Added four new cutscenes.



========================== Still to do: ==============================
Rework the ‘offshore island' part of the intro.

Rework the final scene.

Improve the dialogue in some of the cutscenes

Get more voice actors

Improve the civis at the lodge


======================== Still thinking about: ======================
Modifying the mines so that if they are damaged they will explode.  This will be more realistic - but might result in a chain reaction.

Reducing the skill of some of the civis (against this is - they are a hardy people that know the island well)

Having a radio/tape player in the cab of some vehicles

Having weather forecasts

Enabling the player to reorder the group

Bringing back the mad women runners.

Forcing a specific view distance in the intro.

Having an outro that shows the fate of any surviving soldiers.

Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: THobson on 28 Mar 2005, 02:09:46
Okay, Just to say I am a bit red faced here.  

Anyone who downloaded v1.10 before I posted this will still have some debugging code active in the mission.  That code will do absolutely nothing to the mission, but it will generate an error message at the first group of civillians.  Anyone downloading after this post will have a mission with that code deactivated.  Same mission just no error message.

Sorry.
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: Fragorl on 28 Mar 2005, 03:12:55
D/Ling now. ;D

I kind of gave up on the previous version, simply because I played for so long using ecp and then caught the savegame bug :P Editing/replacing the savegame files worked, but caused all the scripts to cease functioning (the game would come up with 'file XXX.sqs not found' as soon as the mission loaded).

About the savegame bug: I don't know too much about how it works, but from what I can see, the number of global variables has something to do with it. That includes named units. I have a couple of functions which can seriously reduce this number. Basically, it involves rolling all the global variables into a global array. This in itself isn't a new idea, but the interface is very user friendly, and I envisioned using the functions in exactly this situation.

I can explain if you're interested, or else check here (http://www.ofpec.com/yabbse/index.php?board=10;action=display;threadid=22177) if you haven't seen this already. (ignore most of my first post, its a bit verbose :P The 4th post explains it a bit better).
On the other hand, you say that you've streamlined it, so there may be fewer problems. Either way, I look forward to playing it with ecp!

EDIT: and i should mention, that's a massive number of changes you've implemented, excellent work :) I look forward to playing it
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: Fragorl on 28 Mar 2005, 03:41:26
And to double post:

;D ;D
I've just seen the new intro. Chilling. It's a huge improvement on an already fantastic intro. And It looks as though you've included everything everyone has asked for. The change to the story makes it much better IMO. Great timing of the text with the 'The US moved in to counter this Soviet invasion' which kind of looks like a counterattack to the Soviets 'moving in to restore order'. The music matches the text, events of the intro perfectly. I can't really fault it.

Starting location/briefing
It's changed! It's always nice to see something new. Although, I don't know if this is any less of a walk.... ;D I like it better, however.

Anyway, that's all for now, back to the game.
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: Fragorl on 28 Mar 2005, 04:21:26
And to triple post.

OK, it is now becoming apparent how much work has gone into updating the mission. I've now completed the first leg (to the mountain hideout). Here is my feedback, in no particular order

*** Caution - Spoilers ***
- The walk up the hill. Yes, it was just as long. But the change of scenery made it quite bearable.
- The cutscene with Tatyana. Much better, I noticed a few small changes, they give the whole cutscene more flow.
- After the cutscene. This is better. Nikolay wants Tatyana to wait for him, but she is very fearful of the returning soldiers, and panics, fleeing.
- Tatyana's death. The voice acting could use a little more improvement; ('Why didn't you wait for me, Tatyana?') Nikolay sounds more exasperated than shocked/distraught/furious. But it is better. It is fitting that Nikolay says something when he approaches Tatyana's body, but I think more should be done here - perhaps a short burial scene, another (short) cutscene showing Nikolay reflecting on her death. It seems a bit heartless just to drive off. Also, the comment about the other dead civvie ('Glad it's not my uncle') made me chuckle. The tone of voice is wrong; the comment seems out of place. Overall, however, there has been great improvement in this whole sequence.
- The drive to La Pessagne. I come across a whole column of soldiers. So that's what Tatyana was afraid of! I systematically run them all down in my jeep. They don't seem to mind...  :-\. On the plus side, I've already picked up a couple of RPGs and an AA launcher. Hurrah.
- La Pessagne. There are soldiers in La Pessagne; it was deserted before. This is one of those little things that improves on the original - it lends a feeling that the island is actually inhabited. I run one down in my haste to get to the mountain lodge. I do not stop to see the others' reactions.
- The lodge. This cutscene has been hugely reworked. I like it better. It explains the whole situation in a nutshell, and without being too wordy. Great work.
- 'They're following me? I expected to follow them. It must be my father's uniform....'. Thank you. I noticed this. :)

That's all for now. It's fantastic so far.
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: THobson on 28 Mar 2005, 04:36:25
Fragorl.  It is comments like that that make it all worth while.  Thank you.

On the voice acting - everyone is trying as hard as they can but we are all crap.  I wondered about having deliberately naff voices (we could manage that) but it is not in keeping with the overall effect I want to create.  If everyting else can be got to how I want it I might start looking for some real out of work actors.  They have to be out of work or I would not be able to afford them ;D


EDIT:
I am not sure I have made enough changes to the number of variables etc to enable it to be played with ecp without hitting the large savegame bug.  Let me know how you get on.  I looked at your scripts - I may need to do something like that, but I have got the number of global variables down quite a bit.  My first step will be to remove the stuff I use for debugging that is turned off in the playable mission.  For example I must have 50+ markers used to track the locations of the main groups and units.  These are constaantly updated on the map when played in de-bug mode but just sit there as empty markers in the mission you are now playing.   There is some other stuff like that that can be taken out without impacting the mission in any way.
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: Henderson on 28 Mar 2005, 15:25:20
The fog! THE FOG! I hatessss itssssss. ;)

The mission is great, like the new cutscenes and dialogs, and also, *gasp* an occupied Larche! The Island now has many targets to strike.

The only thing is, the player can't do anything in the fog. Even with the new and improved weather, the AI is popping me from the abyss. As I type this I'm stuck outside of La Trinite getting popped over and over and over again by guys I can't see. I know the weather is supposed to add feeling to the mission, but to me, it's unplayble when it's foggy. *cries* I don't want it to be 80 degrees and nice and sunny, but the fog, to me at least, has to go. It seems the AI isn't affected by the fog but IS affected by the time of day, hence me being able to drive up on them at night and run them over.

Having to wait out the fog isn't that fun of an idea to me.  :'(

Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: macguba on 28 Mar 2005, 15:43:59
I have d/l and will comment when I get a chance to play.  
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: THobson on 28 Mar 2005, 15:59:10
Henderson - what time is it?  The intensity of the fog does lessen as progress is made.  I am really puzzled, I find the fog does help as a means of concealment.  Now the rain is another thing the loons seem to be able to see straight through it but it really cuts the visibility for the player.

I hope it doesn't put you off.

At the moment I am stuck outside Arudy on a bare hillside in bright clear sunlight being picked off by snipers on the other side of the valley that I didn't put there wishing the weather would turn bad.

macguba:
Thanks.  When you are ready.
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: Planck on 28 Mar 2005, 20:21:10
Ok, I downloaded this new version (twice I might add  ::)).

I'm in two minds whether to use ecp again or not, I'm leaning towards vanilla OFP.

I'm not sure whether I can go through this at 2 - 3 fps again.


Planck
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: Henderson on 28 Mar 2005, 20:33:59
Henderson - what time is it?  The intensity of the fog does lessen as progress is made.  I am really puzzled, I find the fog does help as a means of concealment.  Now the rain is another thing the loons seem to be able to see straight through it but it really cuts the visibility for the player.

I hope it doesn't put you off.

At the moment I am stuck outside Arudy on a bare hillside in bright clear sunlight being picked off by snipers on the other side of the valley that I didn't put there wishing the weather would turn bad.

It's about 7:40. I'm close to the enemy but not close enough to see through the fog. If I move forward, I get zapped. If I get moved backwards, I get zapped. I feel so powerless versus the A.I. I may have to restart, and this time, I guess I'll wait out the fog.  :'(
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: THobson on 28 Mar 2005, 21:48:01
@Planck
Sorry about the need to download.  I would try vanilla OFP this time if I were you.  It would help me to have someone that has played both with and without.

@Henderson
7:40 as in 07:40 or am?  That is very early.  The fog level is still at its initial level and will stay at that level for between another 40 to 70 minutes.  If you are fighting at La Trinite so early on you will be dealing with two infantry groups that travel with, and guard, the convoy.  I am afraid you are likely to be dead meat whatever you do.  They have NVGs and they go and search the place where an enemy has been spotted.  If they have seen you they will be milling around you hidden only by the fog.  I fear if the fog were to lift you could find upto 18 loons within 50m of you.  Your only hope is to stay still and hope they don't spot you.  Once the Resistance detected by whateversideyouaretanglingwith trigger has deactivated they will then get back to their normal business.

The only tactic I have found for dealing with the convoy guard infantry is as soon as I think they have taken an interest in me - I get the hell out of there as fast as I can.  It works some of the time.

So I think the fog might actually be keeping you alive at the moment.  I am sorry if this is frustrating.

Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: dmakatra on 28 Mar 2005, 22:08:03
I was just wondering, Thob... Are you trying to top the top 10 threads (by replies) list? Because you're almost there. :wow:

:beat: *Gets Shot* :beat:
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: THobson on 28 Mar 2005, 22:14:05
Lol :)

Actually I would prefer to have this new version on a new thread as it is so different from 1.00.  But I think I would be shot, or worse, if I tried that.
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: Fragorl on 29 Mar 2005, 01:53:17
Hurrah. I've had my first successful game load with ecp running - half way from the mountain lodge to trinite.

I just wonder- is it likely to go downhill from here? (I can't imagine why it would though - unless you create any more variables as the game progresses) Otherwise, it looks as though i can rest easy and play this without worrying if next time, it won't start.

Great!  :toocool:

EDIT: and I saw your earlier edit. Looks like you wont have to worry. Yet (fingers crossed)
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: THobson on 29 Mar 2005, 08:28:44
That is good news.  I did get rid of a lot of stuff now I come to think about it.  As the game progresses triggers that are no longer needed get deleted so there is some reduction in what is going on, for a while.  Once a base goes on the defensive (effectively the endgame code for one side, then two or three  more scripts come alive and run in the background until that side is finished.

One test I apply to the mission to check for the savegame bug is to start the mission and then immediately kill both leaders (by radio command).  This pretty much maximises the amount that is happening inthe mission with both sides now in their endgame and none of the early stuff deleted yet.  I then check that I can save, exit OFP and then restart.  That is fine for plain vanilla OFP, but as I don't have ECP it tells me nothing about that.

It looks like some of the restructuring I did was enough to solve the problem even for ECP users.  If things change then please let me know.

Incidentally.  ECP has some sort of random weather variable. What does that do?
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: Fragorl on 29 Mar 2005, 10:53:56
Dammit. Oh no. The bug has reared its ugly head again. This was my third save/load sequence- I'd shut down ofp, rebooted as usual, and attempted to load the mission. This time, it failed. I've honestly no idea why it suddenly happened again, or more perplexingly why it worked the other two times.

I'm going to restart, and play with vanilla/decaf ofp this time; i'm sick of the bug destroying the game experience. Sorry for messing you about, THobson.... rrrrr.....  >:(
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: THobson on 29 Mar 2005, 11:26:38
Not messing me about at all.  I am sorry for the problems you are having.  

I am now trying to think if anything does start in the early part of the mission.  I do have a main Housekeeping script that runs a set of scripts at defined intervals.  The chance is very low (1000s to 1), but it might be that one of the scripts was running when you saved and the local variables in the script tipped the save over into the savegame bug.  This would indicate that the mission is now on the borderline of the bug when using ECP.  A bit more work might fix it.
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: Dubieman on 29 Mar 2005, 18:45:44
Not sure if you've done this yet, but have you defined ECP variables in the init or something?

You know, you can turn off almost every feature of ECP that way. So if you haven't done it, it might help with lag and so on... ;)
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: THobson on 29 Mar 2005, 19:26:31
The only thing I do about ECP is to check if it is running and if it is I do not activate the custom script for burning vehicles.  I do this by:

Code: [Select]
if ECP_initialised then {goto"ECP_is_loaded"}
.
;load custom burn scripts
.
#ECP_is_loaded

this is code that runs 20+ seconds after the start of the mission.
Is this correct?  It is totally untested as I don't have ECP.

I did contemplate borrowing macguba's script from Un-Impossible and just using it.  I did not do that for two reasons:
1. I don't like using something I don't understand (scripts using the drop command being the only exception!!)
2. There is shortly to be a new version of ECP that apparently works in quite a different way so it would not be a long term fix anyway.

I am hopeful that some beta testers might tell me something about the behaviour of the mission with ECP.  So far the only effect I am aware of is the savegame bug.  

I was concerned for a while when I saw ECP had some random weather stuff, but so far I have had nobody ask "what fog?" or "what rain?"  So I guess my scripts must be overriding whatever ECP is doing in that area.

As far as turning off ECP features to help with lag I think this should be a choice for the player to make, just so long as it doesn't screw up what I am trying to achieve.  If I find that it does then I will turn it off.
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: Dubieman on 30 Mar 2005, 00:27:43
When I get a spare minute I'll download and give it a play.

@ECP
I've attached the readme if you'd like to see how the settings apply.

Random weather... I've really never noticed the random weather from ECP. So I think your scripts are overriding some long ~'s in the ECP scripts. Maybe...
 ::) :P

And ECP problems, only savegame, I started v1.00 with ECP, but the savegame bug kept me form ever enjoying the mission so back to regular OFP I went.

And I wouldn't worry to much about the new ECP cause you can just update your mission to be ready for it if people test with it.
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: Henderson on 30 Mar 2005, 05:44:14
No! I accidently exited deleting the first part of my post! *cries*

Basic Rundown:

Intro: Nice and new, good.

Briefing: Notes for the backround section? Maybe the nuclear exchange should start after a short war between China And Russian after the Chineese Airliner is shot down. As the U.S advance through Korea and Nato advances through Europe, the Chineese and Russians panic and push the big red button.

Mission: Ahhhh, the big hill of death! EVEN BIGGER! :P I start strafing up the hill. Once I reach the super steep incline I hear firing in the backround? Is it target practice or something? Maybe executions? Anyway, I make it to the top of hill!!!  ;D I stealthily advance towards the town and house, and aim towards my unknowing targets...

 :gunman: One drops in one shot, the second one standing near the fire tries to flee. I run up to the house and shoot him and the proning guy. All too easy. I take the baddies' M16s and stow them in the jeep, making sure to keep one for myself. I then initiate the cutscene.

Ahh, new lines, all is good. The extra stuff explaining why she is very nice. And it looks like she really got shot now, not a setdamage trigger. :) Anyway, I go outside and pop the two murderers, then jump in my jeep and drive off, making sure to deposit another m16 into the jeep. Ok, nice long country drive now. Once I get to the ruins, the new and improved cutscene is initiated. It's much better then the old one, much more stuff is explained, including where the two other civvies came from.  ;D Very nice.

After the cutscene everyone joins my squad, I like what Alexi says about his father's uniform and not letting them down. I rearm my squad with the loot from Larche, everybody but 5 has an semi automatic, I gave 5 a hunting rifle. ;) It looks like my squad can survive a basic firefight now.

Said I was unlogged when I went to preview, but I enjoyed the new radio stuff. I loaded up my whole squad, and drove to the civs only to find that three couldn't get on board. It doesn't make sense, in version 1.00 the civil truck could carry a whole squad of twelve, but now it can't? Hmmm. Luckily, I have a retry from the base camp.

That's all I feel like typing at the moment, I'll tell you the rest of the events later.  ;D
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: THobson on 30 Mar 2005, 08:42:47
@GRK
Thanks for the ECP stuff, that will be a real help.  

I fear you will need more than a minute for the download.  It is quite a bit bigger than the original.  I use a higher quality of ogg for the voices in this one.

@Henderson
I am glad you are still talking to me after the fog and all.

Quote
I hear firing in the backround?
Really?  It wasn't me.  I am collecting evidence that Malden is haunted.  This is not my first data point.

Did you check out any bodies at Vigny?

Quote
I like what Alexi says about his father's uniform and not letting them down.
I am glad you liked that.  It seemed like a good idea but I had doubts when I heard it 'live'

Quote
I gave 5 a hunting rifle.
Great, so you found the ammo dump.  My son said he didn't see the ammo crate in the cutscene - I told him he was not supposed to.  I was wondering if others might miss it.

Quote
I loaded up my whole squad, and drove to the civs only to find that three couldn't get on board.
The civis are now quite different.  They don't join you but they do follow you and they will get into the truck if you do and if there is room.  I have never taken my whole squad to get them - I only take #2 (one of the benefits of beta testing).  So with me and one other they all get in.  I need to invetigate what is happening here.  When you say three could not get on board is that 3 loons or number 3 loon?  Did you get a message about the vehicle not being large enough for the civis?  Did your squad all get out and was it them that were having difficulty getting back in or was it the civis that couldn't get in?  Anything you can remember would be of real help to me on this.


Quote
Said I was unlogged when I went to preview,
I am sorry.  I don't understand this.

Quote
I'll tell you the rest of the events later.   ;D
Glad to see the smiley face.  I look forward to it.
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: Fragorl on 30 Mar 2005, 12:34:16
I didn't like to comment before, because i though that it was deliberate, but i too heard gunfire as i walked up the hill. Actually, it sounded exactly like a chopper launching some missiles at armour, but who knows. Its a mystery.  ;D
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: THobson on 30 Mar 2005, 13:24:32
Bloody hell!!

Its back to the fjord for me.
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: Mikero on 31 Mar 2005, 05:33:34
Good Grief!

In the debased language of today where everything a bit better than good is "awesome" and 'very' has to be prepended to every adjective to make it important, I'm loathe to call this mission a masterpiece, but can't think of anything more appropriate. You have purloined an entire genre, THobson. Who now can make a mission in this theme?

This mission has MacGuba's fingerprints all over it but another author has been a creative genius to make it his own. It's neither a mission, nor a campaign. It's a game in its own right that happens to use the ofp engine. Put it in shrink wrap and it would have been a $35 CD.

24 HOURS and 5 mins play time. according to the stats. Is that a definition of engrossing, of being immersed?

Some niggles. They are so minor they ordinarily wouldn't be mentioned but this mission deserves their comment:

Intro:
People who have already played this mission will miss it. The text pace is fast (thank God) unfortunately there's a quick passage surrounding "and then nothing".  I missed it's significance, ie, i didn't take in the downed airliner, it and the entire passage, were too quick for the information content. It has considerable impact on the why / where of what you you are.

Plan or notes:

I have a jotted comment that "either of them" should be replaced with the word 'side'. It's probably because the sentence/paragraph repeats itself.

Game General:

These are not niggles, simply how the game played for me, I stress the word game, not mission.

There was some confusion with the initial civilians. Depending on what I did first they would / wouldn't get in truck. Would / couldn't get in car and eventually ended up walking (which was perfectly ok) but the vehicles (plural) loading was messy, random.

Trinite was laggy, very. In fact, anywhere larger concentrations of vehicle caused large lag. (tanks eg). I learned to avoid any built up areas in order to play the game at all. (3gig+ cpu, 512 meg ram).

I learned to avoid using vehicles at all. My squad were mostly awol with this, no matter what i tried. That T80 i snaffled sure could have been helpful though.

At one point I wanted, desperately, to reach into the video screen and rip out that goddamn ap/av mine. Every time i reloaded I would plant one and blow myself up. I have the impression this is a legacy issue, something you liked, and don't want to remove it even though you know it's not that good. The AP stuff is  lethal. On a map of this scale i am garanteed to run into them myself at a later stage.

I can see that I *could* simply use up the buggers (both av and ap) by liberally sprinkling them along the supply routes, I can see that they would be the best way of cleaning up soft vehicles, BUT, i needed to take on tanks etc too often at later stages of gameplay, and it became a damn nuisance. I am hoping you might get rid of them.

Cutscene Storylines:

Simply wonderful. Immersive, intense. Some deal of dissapointment on my part that they began to taper off towards end of game. I wish / hope, you will liberally sprinkle them elsewhere.

Had the impression i was suppposed to attack Chapoi first (via storyline). Next game I'll go for the airport instead.

Gameplay:

The game is so overwhelming in detail that no critqiue can do it justice. Only point that simpy must be mentioned is that at no time were the enemy looking for contact lenses. They were aggressive / ferocious. The few that were not were understandably so, for all the right reasons. Loved the re-arming machine gun nests. Loved the random waypoints. Beautiful.

Readme:

I believe this is now inconsistent with V1.1, it did not appear to be relevant. I truly hope you did not spawn vehicles. I'm hoping for my game play I can go hunting them 1st, before they attack me.

Addons:

Not (in my never humble opinion) necessary. If all that's stopping this game being a general release is a Kiowa, replace it.

Outro:

I'll stand by my words, this is a masterpiece. You did credit to all those mentioned as beta testers, in a sophisticated, non cheesy way. They deserved to have their names stamped on this one and are undoubtedly honoured.

Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: THobson on 31 Mar 2005, 09:42:52
I wondered what you would make of it.  Thank you so much for your comments.  I have previously referred to making missions as like cooking.  Great fun on your own, for awhile.  But what really makes it is the appreciation of others.  For that I thank you.  

If you have time I would be interested in knowing how you approached the mission.  It is amazing how many problems I have noticed that the player didn't just by reading what he did.  If you don't have time that is fine.

On your comments:
Quote
People who have already played this mission will miss it. The text pace is fast (thank God) unfortunately there's a quick passage surrounding "and then nothing".  I missed it's significance, ie, i didn't take in the downed airliner, it and the entire passage, were too quick for the information content. It has considerable impact on the why / where of what you you are.
 Another thing that is striking is that all the things I feel a little uncomfortable with get picked up by beta testers.  There is a lot of the story at his point and it is a bit of a rush.  I want the music at the end to fade out as the scene fades out so there is a limited amount of time. I even start the text before the music which I am not happy about.  What I plan to do is to shave the odd fraction of a second or so from each of the little scenes to help with this.

Quote
I have a jotted comment that "either of them" should be replaced with the word 'side'. It's probably because the sentence/paragraph repeats itself.
Thanks.

Quote
There was some confusion with the initial civilians. Depending on what I did first they would / wouldn't get in truck. Would / couldn't get in car and eventually ended up walking (which was perfectly ok) but the vehicles (plural) loading was messy, random.
This is where more information would help me.  Henderson had a similar problem - did you take your whole squad with you?  Following Henderson's comments I looked at the code again last night.  It looks okay, but maybe there is something I am missing or perhaps there is another feature of OFP that I need to work around.  I need to do something about that car, either kill it or remove it.  


Quote
Trinite was laggy, very. In fact, anywhere larger concentrations of vehicle caused large lag. (tanks eg). I learned to avoid any built up areas in order to play the game at all. (3gig+ cpu, 512 meg ram).
That is a worry.  Do you know your OFP benchmark?

Quote
I learned to avoid using vehicles at all. My squad were mostly awol with this, no matter what i tried. That T80 i snaffled sure could have been helpful though.
Again some more information on the problem would help me here.  I avoid using vehicles in the middle of the game while there are choppers about for the obvious reason, but I have had no other problems.  In my current run through I am about to attack Chapoi, I have a convoy of 1 Abrams; 1 T80; 1 BMP ambulance;1 Repair truck and 1 ammo truck.  The only problems I get are when I allow the trucks to advance without first ensuring there are no AT soldiers about, and the damned northron Hind that is buzzing Chapoi itself.

Quote
At one point I wanted, desperately, to reach into the video screen and rip out that d**n ap/av mine. Every time i reloaded I would plant one and blow myself up. I have the impression this is a legacy issue, something you liked, and don't want to remove it even though you know it's not that good. The AP stuff is  lethal. On a map of this scale i am garanteed to run into them myself at a later stage.
Originally I had quite a lot of stuff that was meant to keep the player on their toes - like vehicles running out of fuel etc.  Most of that has gone.  My preference on the mines would be to have them lower down the list of actions but I don't think that can be done, as it is they do ensure the player has to be careful with the mouse wheel click.  I have made it so you can't place one of these mines while you are in a vehicle, you do get a disable option and thanks to macguba you also need a specific item in inventory to place one.  If you double click on the map you can place a marker to show where you have placed a mine, but also I like it that the player has to bear this in mind when placing a mine.  I will wait and see what other feed back I get on this before deciding what to do about this.


Quote
Cutscene Storylines:

Simply wonderful. Immersive, intense. Some deal of dissapointment on my part that they began to taper off towards end of game. I wish / hope, you will liberally sprinkle them elsewhere.
 I have been giving thought to this.  One problem is in not knowing what the player is going to do.  It is on my list of things to think about.

Quote
Had the impression i was suppposed to attack Chapoi first (via storyline). Next game I'll go for the airport instead.
Actually there is nothing you are supposed to do first, I tried to make it so there was no right way and no wrong way to do the mission.  Attacking a base will generate a response, as a small band of fighters it might be better to take a less direct approach, or even to get others to do most of the fighting for you.

I am glad you are going to play it again.  My favourite thing about this mission will never be noticed by people who only play it once, and that is how different the middle part of the mission can be.  Sometimes you have choppers to deal with, sometime they have already been dealt with for you - it can make a big difference to the play.

Quote
The game is so overwhelming in detail that no critqiue can do it justice. Only point that simpy must be mentioned is that at no time were the enemy looking for contact lenses. They were aggressive / ferocious. The few that were not were understandably so, for all the right reasons. Loved the re-arming machine gun nests. Loved the random waypoints. Beautiful.
Music to my ears if I can use such a phrase about written text.  You can certainly come again.

Quote
Readme:
I believe this is now inconsistent with V1.1, it did not appear to be relevant. I truly hope you did not spawn vehicles. I'm hoping for my game play I can go hunting them 1st, before they attack me.
I didn't think it was out dated - I will check thanks.  I certainly do not spawn vehicles, or anything else for that matter.  My intention is that there is no trickery, it is meant to feel like a real experience.  Everything you need to deal with is already on the map at the start.

Quote
Addons:
I don't do them (it does limit my opportunities to do beta testing sometimes).  The only exception I make is General Barron's Editor Upgrade.  Any delay in releasing the mission will be down to my time spend fixing some of the problems.


Milkero let me thank you again for the encouragement your comments have provided.  I loved making this mission (most of the time) and I love playing it, but even better is to hear that others enjoy it as well and also I enjoy seeing how many different ways it is possible to approach the mission.

Thanks again



Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: Henderson on 31 Mar 2005, 11:59:35
Sorry I'm not posting as much Thobson, I'm currently on a Kotor II binge and am trying to beat that. :)

@GRK
Thanks for the ECP stuff, that will be a real help.  

I fear you will need more than a minute for the download.  It is quite a bit bigger than the original.  I use a higher quality of ogg for the voices in this one.

@Henderson
I am glad you are still talking to me after the fog and all. Really?  It wasn't me.  I am collecting evidence that Malden is haunted.  This is not my first data point.

Did you check out any bodies at Vigny?

 The only bodies I saw were the police guy's body, ("Glad it wasn't my uncle. ;)) and Tatayana's, I was too busy running to check for more, heh.

I am glad you liked that.  It seemed like a good idea but I had doubts when I heard it 'live'

Great, so you found the ammo dump.  My son said he didn't see the ammo crate in the cutscene - I told him he was not supposed to.  I was wondering if others might miss it.

The civis are now quite different.  They don't join you but they do follow you and they will get into the truck if you do and if there is room.  I have never taken my whole squad to get them - I only take #2 (one of the benefits of beta testing).  So with me and one other they all get in.  I need to invetigate what is happening here.  When you say three could not get on board is that 3 loons or number 3 loon?  Did you get a message about the vehicle not being large enough for the civis?  Did your squad all get out and was it them that were having difficulty getting back in or was it the civis that couldn't get in?  Anything you can remember would be of real help to me on this.

I had my squad in the check, and once I got one, the civs started to get in after. But, it seemed 3 of them couldn't fit into the truck for some reason.

I am sorry.  I don't understand this.

I was talking about the forums, hehe, when I went to preview my post, it said I wasn't logged in. :)

My words are in red.

Ok, now since I'm fully awake and have time to blow, back to the mission. :)

Last post left me back at base after a checkpoint. This time instead of taking my whole squad I only took number 2, you know, just in case. The ride is uneventful, and we reach the civs. The cut scene starts up, everything goes good again, and this time all the civs get into the truck. J The tide back to base is uneventful, and as I drive up, a cut scene starts? Caught me off guard the first time I played it. I like the whole thing about the civs rebuilding the ruined building and Corporal Ivanov and the other guy, (forgot his name. :P) Also, during the cutscene I heard more firing in the backround. ??? I tell my new recruit to halt, and jump back into the truck with two. As I'm driving I hear more explosions? ??? Wonder what they're firing at. The rest of the drive is uneventful and I reach where the civs are at. I like the new cut scene that says that something is going on in La Trinite without being specific.

After the cut scene I wish the men a safe journey and board my truck with #7 and 2. As I'm driving through the country towards Houdan, I drive right past a group of soldiers. They didn't make any hostile moves so I continued on. Once in Houdan I drove up to the house and activated the cutscene. I like the way you're using cut scenes to explain the story, unlike in version 1.00 the player knew everything from the very beginning. :P I also like recruiting the Russian deserter to your cause, I knew some people still had morals!

I begin the drive back to the lodge, and about 200m out I hear Pavel's voice saying he's ready for my order. He must have a real strong voice. :P I disembarked my squad and now I'm planning for my next course of action, which I think should be to get a truck that can carry everyone in my squad.

Having fun with the mission Thobson, best beta test mission I've ever played. :)
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: THobson on 31 Mar 2005, 12:42:00
Quote
Sorry I'm not posting as much Thobson
Absolutely no problem.  When I put 1.00 up I was hit by so much in such a short space of time it took me quite a while to assimilate it.  The current pace is more manageable.


Quote
But, it seemed 3 of them couldn't fit into the truck for some reason.
So some of them got in but some didn't, and you did not get a message about the vehicle being too small for them.  Interesting that is a good clue as to what to look for.

Quote
when I went to preview my post, it said I wasn't logged in.
Oh I see.  I now do a select all, Ctrl C before going to preview - I lost too many long posts this way in the past.


Quote
Also, during the cutscene I heard more firing in the backround…. As I'm driving I hear more explosions?
This is baffling.  Have you had the "We seem to have got them fighting each other" message?  There are only two places where I use environmental sounds and that is if you approach either of the groups of civis before you know about them some environmental shooting will start and a few seconds later the player gets shot.  All other sounds of fighting are real.  Once you know about the civis the triggers that create the sounds are deleted (as is the one that shoots Alexi) so they cannot be firing by accident.

Quote
I drive right past a group of soldiers. They didn't make any hostile moves so I continued on.
This is a pain I can do little about.  If you are in a truck the footsoldiers seem to ignore you.  Get out or go near some armour and it is very different.

Quote
I also like recruiting the Russian deserter to your cause, I knew some people still had morals!
This has had a desirable effect on future game play.  I want to create an environment where the player needs to keep alert, and remember what he has done.  You certainly need to remember what you have done with 9, otherwise at some point you may see a Russian soldier coming towards you and the moment of hesitation while you consider if he is your guy can prove fatal.  I know.

Quote
I hear Pavel's voice saying he's ready for my order. He must have a real strong voice.
Maybe I should make it sound like a radio message

Quote
I disembarked my squad and now I'm planning for my next course of action
Just the sort of situation I was wanting to create.

Quote
which I think should be to get a truck that can carry everyone in my squad.
I need to check that truck.


Quote
Having fun with the mission Thobson, best beta test mission I've ever played.
I am very pleased to hear it.  Thanks again for your comments.

Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: Henderson on 31 Mar 2005, 12:50:15
This is baffling.  Have you had the "We seem to have got them fighting each other" message?  There are only two places where I use environmental sounds and that is if you approach either of the groups of civis before you know about them some environmental shooting will start and a few seconds later the player gets shot.  All other sounds of fighting are real.  Once you know about the civis the triggers that create the sounds are deleted (as is the one that shoots Alexi) so they cannot be firing by accident.


I didn't get the message, and I didn't engage anyone except those three guys, so I don't know what's going on either.
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: Mikero on 31 Mar 2005, 14:54:35
@THobson
>a walkthru is needed.

totally absolutely understand the need for this. Even as a beta player I *enjoy* reading other's ways of getting into deep doodoo  :)

I have said that the mission is too overwhelming to give one, I will however do it as a totally separate reply, and probably in sections. I fully understand your need for it.

The following is where i hope to be helpful: It is based on what i've read in this forum:

FOG:

For me, this game/mission was like sipping good wine, you dont gulp and you dont rush. As far as I was concerned I was happy to have a cup of tea and ruminate on what the HELL i could do next. Like others I 'suspected' the ai could see thru fog/rain. Am happy to report to them, and you, this is not the case (unlike smoke grenades/broken bushes).

IF you crawl 5 meters, not 6, and look, you will just make out the silouhette target, just as the ai is doing to you. If you let your squad ping at an m2 nest, why be surprised. I've been on plenty of missions in reverse, and I shoot back! The answer for me was to crawl, shoot, crawl, the ENTIRE length of the runway.

I was content to do this because I was totally immersed in the play at hand. This was just one interlude, of a huge mission and needed a different play style. Fine by me. I did not need to rush and get it over with. I had after all just been through hell elsewhere and was more than pleased that this, while slow, was going to be a peaceful interlude. I have NO problem with your use of fog/rain, It immersed be in the belief that oh shit, another thing going wrong. It was real, realistic, not a turkey shoot. Even better, it varied. There is a discrepency in the load game where fog may or may not be present.

Vigny:

The only mission that has ever used this start is chapter 3 of PMC fury. In it's case it was meant to be, and was, hilarious. Constantly falling over, etc.

Your start was not hilarious and was not meant to be. Unlike others, I had no trouble, no frustration, at climbing that goddamn hill. I *knew* what I was in for, and I suspect the 'complaints' if they were complaints, were simply surprise at how much you meant buisiness, that this IS the tuffest mother of a hill in the game and overlooked by everyone. It would not trouble me whether you kept the original, or the current, it would trouble me greatly if you made it easy. Too boring for some players? Tough. You lead up to this entrance just right, nuclear war, hell-in-basket, atomic rain probably, and sheer utter gloom to start. You look up, when and after you can orient, and think, you gotta be kidding. Jesus!

Damaged Jeeps/Fuel.

Again, I found it more realistic that they DID run out of fuel and WERE damaged. It's chaos, this is (probably) the last standing armies. They are in the throes of losing the last of their high value equipment, it's very soon going to be clubs folks, this is all that's left, AND it's getting ruined.

Fate of soldiers outro:

don't agree. You've already mentioned it in the outro, what WILL happen to them? Stay tuned.

Disarmed soldiers:

Have to mention, disarmed soldiers rather than find-the-last-bloody-loon = clever as hell.

You might have an 'undocumented feature' here. I couldn't tell if my loons were reporting these unarmed soldiers or real ones from the north. Perhaps both. 2nd niggle same issue. Vehicles my ppl got in were red, they should have turned green. Had a hard time targetting the 'real' red ones.

savegame bug:
dunno what that is. My problem was if I restarted and resumed ofp, it 'began' at an earlier save, I had to then use load or retry to get back to where i was. Hardly a biggie. The bug others mention would be awful.

Fighting each other:

Am still at a loss what that actually meant. Couldn't determine if it was north fighting north (that's what I currently think). Trigger ocurred around about houdan. Same subject, not sure if it's clever or confusing, that the north / south tanks battle it out at chapoi. You mention only four or so, it *seemed* like many more were involved. Took awhile for it to sink in that the buggers weren't after me, I was so relieved, I think you should leave it as is <griN>

Trinite:

Unlike other reports I had no trouble with what was going on here, DEAR GOD PLEASE DONT LET THAT FOG LIFT. I understood implicitly that I would be presented with 2 million angry spetz gunning for me just metres away.

In fact, this was the best lesson learned for my game play. I had to change my thinking and turn geurilla (sp). Not Resistance, Gorilla (sp).  The rest of the game was hit, and run away as far as runny run run could take me. If I could run to other side of island, it wasn't far enough, but my tactic was very successful. My squad stayed alive. After two towns or so, I understood I was in deep doodoo if I hung around. No, trouble, just bloody exciting. The ai played fair, it didn't hunt me to extinction.

Civils:

you mention 3 civil scenes. How I wish you'd put one back.

1st civils. This is identical as reported by others. In my case i drove entire squad. Unless I got out (and it wasn't necessary to trigger cutsene, so easily fix that by trigger IN hut), the civils wouldn't get in. I get out, i order in, and everyone tries to, 3 fail.

I try to get them in car, and messages to say we'll walk. Various scenarios follow but the basics begin with overflowing truck causing all later messages to be awol. Suggestion: Let the truck run out of fuel.

Ammo stash in haystack:

With a kozlice as main armament, I'm gonna search high and wide. Keep it hidden. Had the suspicion, that I could have missed the radio, hello are you there stuff. It triggered well away from _the_ radio, which I had just passed.

ECP and Lag:

It might simply be a question of turning super ai off. It *might* not be required, I have no idea what I'm talking about, but it *would* appreciably chew up cpu cycles because celerons do not have this option as an option.

St Louis? / Minefield:

what was that about? I think enemy kept wandering into it (as did I), did it have other significance i missed? It's fine as is, I ask a curious question only.

Females and Chapoi die:

Is this intentional? Is there any way to prevent it? I sure tried. Dont answer if its a secret. If not, there was a stone tower I could not climb that would have given me a bead on the bugger. Same subject, something nasty about that church, one blackop hidden IN buliding wall, pinged me every time. Other black ops protecting big bad general could see straight thru most of it's walls and were murderous. I hope you can patch that up.

Dead Policeman:

Huh? What where? I did no such thing. Did I?


>what is your OFP benchmark.

Give me a clue. Where do i find it?

Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: macguba on 31 Mar 2005, 16:00:45
Quote
>what is your OFP benchmark.

Give me a clue. Where do i find it?

Start - Prgrammes - Codemasters - OFP - Flashpoint preferences.  
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: THobson on 31 Mar 2005, 16:31:35
@Henderson
Quote
I didn't get the message, and I didn't engage anyone except those three guys, so I don't know what's going on either.
Utterly weird.  If there is shooting someone is getting killed and if someone gets killed by the other side you get the message.  I was thinking of putting in some executions - but I haven't done that yet!!


@mikero


FOG:

Your comments represent exactly the effect I was trying to create.  Thank you

Quote
Like others I 'suspected' the ai could see thru fog/rain. Am happy to report to them, and you, this is not the case (unlike smoke grenades/broken bushes).
Interesting.  Thanks.

Quote
The answer for me was to crawl, shoot, crawl, the ENTIRE length of the runway.
Lol I spend a lot of my time in the same position, eyeball to eyeball with the grass.

Quote
There is a discrepency in the load game where fog may or may not be present.
That is another thing I am not sure I can do something about.  I presume after restoring the game the weather returns to something like it should be after a minute or so.  If not I will need to have another look at the weather code.

Vigny:

Your comments on the hill - great thanks.  I have macguba to thank for pointing me to the specific landing point.

 
Quote
Fate of soldiers outro:

don't agree. You've already mentioned it in the outro, what WILL happen to them? Stay tuned.
 I have a dilemma.  I wanted an outro that showed a sort of epilogue.  But I like the ending the way it currently is and feel that something after the de-briefing would take away from what has gone before.  What I have in mind is an unpleasant end for the surviving soldiers delivered by Mariana (Alexi's mother)

Quote
Disarmed soldiers:

Have to mention, disarmed soldiers rather than find-the-last-bloody-loon = clever as hell.
A happy force of necessity.  In version 1.00 there was occasionally some difficulty in finding the last loon - even though I do have some scripts that make them head for the centre of their base.


Quote
You might have an 'undocumented feature' here. I couldn't tell if my loons were reporting these unarmed soldiers or real ones from the north
I am afraid your guys will report the surrendered loons in the same way they will report the active ones.  This is OFP and I cannot change it.

Quote
2nd niggle same issue. Vehicles my ppl got in were red, they should have turned green. Had a hard time targetting the 'real' red ones.
OFP again I am afraid. I cannot fix this

Quote
savegame bug:
dunno what that is.
Be happy.


Quote
Fighting each other:

Am still at a loss what that actually meant. Couldn't determine if it was north fighting north (that's what I currently think)
You get this message the first time one of the loons is killed by the other side.  Subsequently all hell breaks loose and major warfare begins between north and south.

.
Quote
Trigger ocurred around about houdan.
I don't suppose you can recall what you might have done to cause this.  It is several months since I had war break out spontaneously between the two sides but I am still very sensitive to it happening.  It would ruin the mission.

Quote
Same subject, not sure if it's clever or confusing, that the north / south tanks battle it out at chapoi.
This is one of the locations where a battle will take place after the truce between the two sides is broken.

Quote
You mention only four or so, it *seemed* like many more were
Four armoured vehicles target Chapoi, but there are others on guard. So if they are not otherwise engaged they may also have joined in.  Stamenov also has some armour based around Chapoi, they will obviously have been fighting back.


Quote
In fact, this was the best lesson learned for my game play. I had to change my thinking and turn geurilla (sp). Not Resistance, Gorilla (sp).  The rest of the game was hit, and run away as far as runny run run could take me. If I could run to other side of island, it wasn't far enough, but my tactic was very successful. My squad stayed alive. After two towns or so, I understood I was in deep doodoo if I hung around. No, trouble, just bloody exciting. The ai played fair, it didn't hunt me to extinction.
Lol, wonderful thanks.

Quote
Civils:

you mention 3 civil scenes. How I wish you'd put one back.
The three ‘scenes' in v1.00 were a bit crap to say the least.  

Quote
1st civils. This is identical as reported by others. In my case i drove entire squad. Unless I got out (and it wasn't necessary to trigger cutsene, so easily fix that by trigger IN hut), the civils wouldn't get in. I get out, i order in, and everyone tries to, 3 fail.

I try to get them in car, and messages to say we'll walk. Various scenarios follow but the basics begin with overflowing truck causing all later messages to be awol. Suggestion: Let the truck run out of fuel.
I have been thinking about the cause of this.  I move some GameLogics into the vehicle that Alexi boards and if I can get enough in I know there is room for the civis.  What seems to be happening is that the GLs are staying in the vehicle even after Itell them to get out and so are taking up space.  That would fit the symptoms perfectly, the truck holds 12.  You start with a squad of 5, I put 5 GLs in then 5 loons try to get in and 3 won't fit.  It all adds up.  I unassign the GLs from the vehicle and then setpos them elsewhere so I don't know what I am missing.  I have only just thought of this as the reason so I will need to check the code when I get home.  Your idea of having the truck run out of fuel is a neat one, fully in keeping with making life difficult for the player in a realistic way.  I will look at that if I have no joy with the GL problem.


Quote
Ammo stash in haystack:

With a kozlice as main armament, I'm gonna search high and wide. Keep it hidden.
I do show you the hiding place in the cutscene.  "We do have some weapons, but not a lot I'm afraid"

Quote
Had the suspicion, that I could have missed the radio, hello are you there stuff. It triggered well away from _the_ radio, which I had just passed.
As you realise this is an important potential bottleneck in the flow of the story.  In v1.00 the radio was next to the clearly visible ammo crate and so was very had to miss.  In v1.10 it is behind Irena - you can see it and a medicine box behind her in the cutscene.  If you don't activate the radio yourself then I have one of your team activate it for you if you get too far from the lodge.  Is that what happened for you?  Were you too far from the lodge when it happened for it to feel realistic?

Quote
ECP and Lag:

It might simply be a question of turning super ai off. It *might* not be required, I have no idea what I'm talking about, but it *would* appreciably chew up cpu cycles because celerons do not have this option as an option.
I don't use ECP.  What is the super AI?

Quote
St Louis? / Minefield:

what was that about? I think enemy kept wandering into it (as did I), did it have other significance i missed? It's fine as is, I ask a curious question only.

Quote from Reply #367:
Quote
Saint Marie is mined because:
- Stamenov wanted to make sure there was no possibility of civilians living close to his base.
- He wanted to prevent his soldiers from going there for R&R
- He wanted to prevent it from being used as a base by any enemy, but did not wish to station and soldiers there (his forces are mostly at the front or protecting his base)
- He has certain items that he wishes to keep safe locked away in the basement of one of the buildings there - sufficiently close to his base that they are accessible
- He had a childhood romance but lost her to a rival.  They married and are living in Saint Marie (or at least they were living in one of the houses when Stamenov had his soldiers mine the place.  Whether they have been blown up or simply starved to death no one knows)

Take your pick.
I made all this up at the time at the time of writing that reply. I really just wanted the exercise of making my own minefield.

Quote
Females and Chapoi die:

Is this intentional?
Yes
Quote
Is there any way to prevent it?
No
Quote
I sure tried.
You gentleman
Quote
If not, there was a stone tower I could not climb that would have given me a bead on the bugger
I have been all over Chapoi with a sniper rifle trying to see if I could get my cross hairs on him.  If there is anywhere I have not found it.  I would have moved him if I had.
Quote
Same subject, something nasty about that church, one blackop hidden IN buliding wall, pinged me every time. Other black ops protecting big bad general could see straight thru most of it's walls and were murderous. I hope you can patch that up.
I wonder if they can see through the walls because the building has been destroyed.  I will look at it.

Quote
Dead Policeman:

Huh? What where? I did no such thing. Did I?
I think that is Stamenov.  Even though he is actually a west solder looking like a civilian policeman OFP seem to report his death as a civilian policeman.  The only other policemen in the game is the body in Vigny and the dead guy in the police vehicle in St Marie.


Quote
>what is your OFP benchmark.

Give me a clue. Where do i find it?
Go to your game folder and instead of running the OperationFlashpoint.exe or whatever it is called, run the OperationFlashpoint Preferences.exe. This will display your benchmark.

EDIT:  I see macguba beat me to it.

Mikero.  Again.  Thank you so much for the comments and the pointers to improving the mission.

Are you sure you only play mission and don't make them?


Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: Mikero on 31 Mar 2005, 18:53:20
@THobson
>I assume the fog re-appears after awhile

very quickly, if not sooner.

>an unpleasant end...

how droll. Let it be. You will leave a bad taste in the mouth. You have let other ppl's imagination run wild with what you've already said in that outro, why do the thinking for them? But, I can point you no better than pilot's  outro of released prisoners in red tide. Subtle, understated. original and totally dissapointing to rambos. On the other hand, you have of course done such an amazing opus, that I'd probably be speechless with what you did come up with, so go with your gut. My opinion of how this game should *play* is worthless. That's not false modesty, I have no useful opinion on what this mission should and shouldn't 'be'. It's too unique for anyone but the author to craft.

> I have MacGuba to thank

so do we all, but I'm going round to his house with an axe for mission impossible.

> spontaneous war breakout

cannot tell you, the mission was too overwhelming to be certain of any trigger happpening anywhere, it all just flowed. There was no bug, as such. Please be aware, the game is overwhelming in intensity, it is difficult as a player to be 'certain' of what happens next/when/why. That is hardly a criticism. There's no time for introspection, should i play that differently?, your into my god, what now, the 'next' is more interesting that what just happened. You can't, well I can't, 'digest' everything that happened.

>The radio

no wasn't silly distance I was in house, and it didn't seem 'right' that it triggered where I was. A spatial issue. Left me with bloody hell, i'm gonna have to scour every inch of this turf looking for more goodies.

>in cutscene

as they should be, and only where they should be. Fine by me. Very fine indeed.

>what is super ai

it's one of the options in the difficulty panel, only present on cpus better than 1Gig4? or more. I do know it is cpu intensive (elsewise why 1gig4), I 'think' it's only effect is to make ai deadly accurate, but not smarter. This is afaik. Point being you are hunting for all cpu intensive scripts, and this, is part of the family so to speak. On some missions, super ai actually dumbs the squad down, it's so busy crunching, they, aint doin nothin. My reference to ECP was only in this context, not, the fact that you dont use it.

>cpu benchmark

5338. Is that good, bad, or indifferent?

Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: macguba on 31 Mar 2005, 19:23:06
@mikero - 5338 is good.    The maximum with top quality kit is probably a little under 7000.    My old comp (PII) was about 750, which was just adequate and no more to play Resistance.

@THobson - not a proper test yet, but some bits and pieces.


readme

Add the date.   At the start give a short description of the mission.   All those marvellous designer's notes need some context.      Change the other requirements to this:

Other requirements:  Do NOT adjust Video Options: Terrain Detail during the mission.    The mission will set it to Normal, which is necessary to prevent bad things from happening.
 

Overview

The old pic was a little too short:  now it is a little too tall.    Start the text with "Renegade US and ..."    Add your name.


Intro

In the first line of text the tense is wrong - Evil came to Malden, since it was in the past.  The original revolt has now finished, it is not in the present.

Have line spaces between the lines of text.   The new smaller text is good.

Blackout at start still not perfect.

Why and how did Malden survive the nuclear exchange?

Baddies' faces (I know they haven't changed) good.

When the three loons surrender their weapons appear on the ground.   When they die the weapons reappear on their backs and fall to the ground again.

Woman about to be raped bit ended too soon - he had just got out his rifle when the shot cut away.

The scene on the outlying island is better but still not quite right.   The fire smoke came right out of mum's mouth.  Fires are usually bad in cutscenes because you cannot predict the wind direction.   Who are these men anyway?  Why don't they go to get my uncle?   We have nice shots and speech of your sister and mum but none of you, the main character.    Have some cardboard boxes lying around, and perhaps the pistol if you can be bothered.



Briefing

Excellent speech!  And I'm delighted to see new start location.

Plan - don't use "you".   This whole thing should be in the first person, or a very vague third if that doesn't work.  In background change to "... an overzelous, frightened or drunk US naval captain shot down what turned out to be a civilian Russian airliner with the children of several Politburo members on board...."

Notes - don't use "certainly" twice.

Gear - add something about how you wish you had more ammo.


The mission[/u]


Start & Vigny

Start a few feet away from the boat, to avoid the Get in actions.   You don't want to draw the player's attention to the boat - you just want it there for the sake of completeness.   Which reminds me, there is a missing dash - somewhere in the briefing.   Boat damage and fuel spot on.

Savegame at the the top of the hill, not sure if it was scripted or me by accident.

Only two soldiers?  What happened to the third?  And both US?  We should have one of each, surely, then the player can choose M16 or AK.

Shot the girl for the mission failed.  Say your mother died of grief and hunger, and your sister of pneumonia, but somehow you survived and returned to the main island to choose which evil group to join ...

Don't put the civvy body so near the soldiers.   Why did the soldiers just stand there instead of going over to examine the girl's body and then see how she had escaped?    Got sound files over bodies: collected ammo and binocs.

__________________________________

*pause to read your original new version post, which I have not yet studied.*

Make the version 1.1 bit HUGE so that we can find it easily when running through the thread.    It's important in a long thread like this to have waymarkers.

Things being different in the mission editor and the .pbo is a real bore, its happened to me.  Remember, sod's law applies - it is the .pbo which is "right".

Briefing pic of uncle nic is good.

Strengthened group at vigny eh?  Well then I won't hang around.

Tanya's rush is better now.

But overall it looks like you have done a LOT of good stuff.  

I am playing without ECP, which is my usual way.  Vet mode obviously.

Won't read the stories yet, I like to play first.

*back to the mission*
____________________________________


I have a feeling the squad arrives too soon:  I barely had time to look around and rearm before they arrived, and in fact I was caught with a poor savegame position.  Managed to run away behind the church, but thought, "I'm buggered if I'm going to walk" so I went back into the village and dropped them, using one beta testing cheat savegame on the way.   Left in the jeep with M16 and LAW.

Don't start with 10 savegames:  its a horrible number, both to calculate with and to look at and I suspect its a bit mean as well.  12 is better.   You can legitimately use 3 around Vigny alone.


La Pessagne

Ran over a soldier in the road, turned left and parked up behind a bush.  Returned to town to drop a two man patrol and a sneaky loon under the net.  Pleased to find a field hospital as I had been slightly hurt up at Vigny somehow.      The tents and flag look good.   There should be something under the net, it should have a purpose other than sneaky loon hiding.   Bodies behind tents should be piled up, not lined up.   Lines are for bodies in front of walls.


Lodge

The drive was uneventful.   Light is good, is the mission a little later now?   If so its better, you see the dawn a lot whereas before it was just dark.     Stopped at the old signpost location with the short road but nothing there now, correct I think:  not worth the lag.    Drove all the way up and got the cutscene.   Didn't try anything fancy, I assume you have tested all combinations.

Much better cutscene.   The titletext grates after the coloured text earlier, do it all coloured.    Big tip - use stringtable.csv, deeply worth it.    Liked the characters appearing, however they should be setpossed in to join you in a little group and we should have an overhead shot of the group.   It's stupid them talking to you from inside the building.    Tatyana sequence was good but make the opening shot a static one of the dead soldiers' room; then a static shot of the bedroom and then the zoom into the body.    Perhaps even start it with a static shot of the boat.    The zoom out from the bed doesn't work, a shot like that has to start on a small object.   They are not road convoys, they are just convoys.  Convoys generally use roads and you have mentioned heavy traffic on the roads.   Liked the joining sequence at the end.

Green tick for the first objective btw and a whole bunch of new objectives and map markers.  (Which reminds me, there should be a link to La Trinite from the Background, I think it is.  Almost always link from Briefing to map, even if the marker is invisible:  its just annoying if you want to find the town and can't.)     Don't say north of these villages, make it clear that these villages are controlled by Andropov.  Similarly south.     One of the flags is a bit squashed.

The whole Lodge location is now excellent, well done.   I presume the medical box by the radio works.   Got the radio message while I was running around looking for the graves.   Three graves is plenty, and make them rougher - these people are not used to doing their own burials.   The location may not be susceptible to improvement, but if it's possible bury people with their heads higher than their feet.      The other minor gripes are that the motorbike should not block the woodpile, and the woodpile should not block the window.  Try putting it inside.    The AI has no hope at all of driving off in the yellow car, make it more accessible.   Love the weapons in the haystack but give everybody a full ammo load if they have a weapon:  if the player wants to change the last shellbox for a grenade (or vice versa) he can.    

My personal view is that titletexts are for cutscenes and the like.   Once a loon is in your group (or even if he is not) and speaks during gameplay I prefer to see the text come up as sideChat.

No lag problems so far, although you can feel the mission is heavy.

I took the hunting rifle and gave the M16 to 5.   We jumped into the lorry.


Civvies

We arrived at the civvies and the objective changed from blue to green at some point.    Make more of the fact that where they are is dangerous (near the main road, where they are sure to be found) whereas the lodge is safe.  At present there is no strong reason for them to move.

Arrived in the lorry and got the cutscene.   There are four civvies and the soldier, too many for the car.   Use of the reserved variable words "lead" and "follow" is slightly confusing - I was expecting them to join my group.    Not sure what to do.  Got back into the lorry and they said they would get in, but they haven't yet.   It's feeling like its going wonky.   I suspect you have been too cute with this bit.   Yep, there is a problem.  Everytime I got into the truck I got the "wait while we get in" and two of them would get in but the others could not.  I got my loons out and then they did get in, but my loons couldn't.   In the end I put my loons in the car and set off for the lodge.    The capacity of the lorry is not a problem (12 IIRC) so I'm not sure what was going on.

Aside: savegames.   I don't know what 's coming up but seems to me that you are entitled to a savegame on
- arrival at Vigny
- after the cutscene
- leaving Vigny
- possibly leaving La Pessagne
- approaching the lodge (long drive, dunno what will happen there)
- leaving the lodge
- leaving the civvies

so unless there are a lot more coming up 10 is going to be wholly inadequate.

Anyway, arrived back at the lodge.  Cutscene started a little early, I hadn't even spotted that we were nearly there.    Cutscene needs work as you know.   It's not at first clear who is in it.   Then the civvies just vanished.    Green tick and new objective, make it "Rescue the second group of civvies" just to change the wording from the first one.   New man joined my group.

Set off alone  in the jeep to get the other lot and had the cutscene.  Nice voice acting from the girl.    Everybody ran off except my joiner:  we set off in the jeep but broke down on the ridge.   Saw the medic but not the civvies he was supposed to be shepherding.   Returned to the lodge to see it repaired (say "shelter" in the building, not "hide":  in this weather a roof and four walls - the other buildings providing one or other but not both - is even more important than concealement.)

No sign of anybody turning up here.   It's possible they got here first but unlikely given that I passed the medic.  Will wait a little.   Oh, and give your joiners/soldiers slightly different weapon loadouts.   An extra grenade here, a mag less there, a pair of binocs or a handgun for one of them.    Ah, here they are.   8 joined, the civvies went into the chimney except one didn't quite make it - see pic.   Extra savegame.    One extra savegame after all this time seems a bit pointless.   Need at least three to make it worth the effort of adding them, or perhaps add one for each objective completed.  Actually that's a nice little reward for doing what the mission designer wants.    

3 green ticks and a full squad.    Be a bit more expansive on the new Houdan objective, either another page link or if that seems too much a simple "... for the missing women." will do.    I'm not sure I really want to though.     Lots of talk about activity at La Trinite.  (Actually we could do with another oblique mention somewhere perhaps.  I'm spoiled because I know what's there.)

Well I'm a-gonna go to Houdan anyway.
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: macguba on 31 Mar 2005, 23:27:42
Time for a new post.

Houdan expedition

With all the comings and goings I notice my loons are not in good shape.   Stick an "aware" in at the end there, in case the player forgets.

We try to get into the wagon but 6 won't mount.   This lorry is definitely jinxed.  Wierd.   We'll have to walk, I could probably cobble together enough cars but they are too crap across country to make it worth it.   It is 8am in the game.

Decided to pop into Arudy in the hope of some action and a nice juicy truck.   Sneaked in from the NE because I got slightly lost.   Dropped a sentry and then was shot myself by a sniper on the opposite hillside, a good 200m beyond where I could see.    The AI shooting you through the fog is something you can live with to an extent - its just an annoying little "feature" in the game - but you are placing snipers to take advantage of it which isn't fun.   It's too good a mission to warrant stuff like that sniper, even without the fog problem.

Anyway, its getting late so I'm going to read the rest of the thread now.

__________________________

Comments arising from the thread so far

Don't worry too much about your voice acting.   You are not all crap:  it's all clear and of perfectly acceptable quality, which puts it straight into the top quartile of OFP user mission voices.  Better is better of course, but its a reflection on the quality of the mission as a whole that people are noticing it.

I agree with Fragorl that the Intro and Tatyana sequence are much slicker.    

My ECP script from Un-Impossible just turns off most of the ECP variables I could find in the master ECP script.    I don't really understand it either.   Borrow it by all means.   But in the end of the day, ECP is not your problem.    Either get it and spend a little time with it so you can understand how your mission relates to it, or just say in the readme "this may not work with ECP."    The new version of ECP was going to be totally different, but I and some others raised this point very seriously with the team and I think they took our concerns on board.    Consequently, unless you have new information, it is not reasonable to assume that they current system for switching effects off will not work in the future.

Cross with myself for not taking kit in the jeep from Vigny.  What was I thinking?!

Strange firing at Vigny seems more than likely to me.   AI have lots of blue on blues, not necessarily resulting in casualties.    They are common enough to make a material difference to the difficulty level of Un-Impossible.    

Got sound files over bodies at Vigny.  

No trouble finding the ammo in the haystack.  Thought it was reasonably obvious since it was shown the in cutscene and even if you missed the spot the voice said "we have weapons" so they have to be somewhere.

Liked the "officers uniform" bit, good thinking there.

I agree that the pace of text in the Intro is probably a little fast, especially for non-native English speakers.      Appreciate you only have the length of the music, but you use the second line appearing after the first trick quite a lot, possibly even too much:  putting up all the text at once makes it easier to understand, even if it isn't quite as sexy.

At the first civvy location there were no error messages or radio calls.   They just didn't get in:  stood there in a clump at the back.   It felt like there were gamelogics in the seats.   I had my whole squad with me.

Mission making is indeed a bit like cooking.    I've never managed to put that common thought into such a good analogy.

Haven't got to the new mines yet so can't comment on their effectiveness.   The top of the Action list thing is a bummer.   I deliberately put an Action in Un-Impossible partly to annoy the player, but that's a special case and it was only a morphine script.   I really do wish you could fix the order or something.

To reiterate:  blue on blues are dirt common.  That is certainly the firing people are hearing.  I haven't heard any.  I first learnt about blue on blues when playing CWC in about mission 8 I suppose.   I was shot clean through the head in broad daylight by a loon on my side from a distance of 30m.    And no I wasn't a renegade, in those days I was much to innocent to shoot my own men for fun.

Mikero is half right:  often when you are shot through fog it is from that zone where you could have seen if you looked hard enough.   However I have been shot several times in this mission from several hundred metres away - three or four times the distance you can see.

The new start position is much better than the old one.  It is closer, and because of the extra steepness you don't mind the lack of a long weapon and 4x so much because they make less difference - whatever happens, you are going very slowly.    When I first discovered this spot, a long time ago, I expected to find it in missions all the time but as mikero says it is very rare.

I've tried to let my eyes gloss over bits in the thread referring to things I haven't seen yet.  So I don't know what happens at Houdan, except that something does.

mikero didn't have to trek to the third lot of civvies, don't listen to him!

A walkthrough is IMHO a good idea for every decent mission.   You never know where or how people are going to get stuck.   You don't need it to complete the mission, it's perfectly obvious what you are supposed to do and you have already done the right thing of providing backup:  for instance all of your squad have some kind of weapon even if you don't bring stuff.

Ah-ha, so you have put GLs in the lorry!   Well they're not getting out again.   deleteVehicle the bastards.  

Radio at the lodge is easy to spot - I got the action almost as soon as I entered the building.   Distance from the buildings for automatic radio is about right - any further would be weird and only I would be looking for the graves.

SuperAI is an option that appears somewhere in the game.  It simply turns up the skill of the enemy (all units) to 1.    It shouldn't have an impact on lag.   It has nothing to do with ECP.

Whew.   As you've probably guessed I was supposed to be cleaning the house this evening.

Overall, what can I say.   So far, it is much, MUCH better.    How it is now is how you thought it was first time around, if that makes sense.    Much slicker, more professional:  a real feel of quality around the place.    Where the quality feel is absent there is a feeling of work in progress instead, which is fine.    

Excellent.   Good work.   Well done.  :thumbsup:

That's it for now.   :)


PS - given the new background, consider changing the title of the mission.
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: Mikero on 01 Apr 2005, 04:39:22
Walthru, part one of many.
Intro:

Stunned, speechless.

Plan:

Huh? So Easy? So straightforward?

Notes:

Stunned, Readable.

Gear/Group voiceover:

Stunned, speechless, what 'game' am I playing? Diction clear, distinct, nothing mumbled.

Hint: Use radio save if you want. Ok, right now. one gone 9 to go.

Disoriented, sound of boat, look up, dear jesus, you want me to do what? Looks at briefing again. I like that boat sound, it told the truth about where I was, why I was.

Climb hill, feel like a kid with my dad's pistol. If anything's in that valley ahead, I AM going to wet myself. Rain? glorious rain. I want to look up in the sky and let it poor over me, this is tuff, man this climb is one hell of a mother. Fenceline. easy. Find the gate, what gate. where's the gate, jesus.

I get thru, I'm deeply scared, thinks, nothing can be behind me, feel safer. Can't see village, Hill, get as high as you can mikero. village slihouette. What's this, destroyed buildings, oh god, trouble, this feels authentic. Beginning to sh*t bricks. Does ofp have ghosts? looks plain evil. Feeling awful now. If it were in the engine, my pistol would be rattling, I am.

Smoke. Fire? let's look. Crawl mikero, crawl. This is evil here.

Soldiers? Hmm, friend or foe? Recalls intro, all nationalatoes, all on the rampage, they have to be baddies. Hope I'm right. Will I fire? are there others? crawled too far I want to get on with mission, head shots or you're dead. god there's 3 I nearly missed him. He *definitely* wasn't there 1st time I played this.

Put out fire, rule 101, put out fire.

collect ammo?, store in jeep?. No way, there has to be more nasties.

cutscene:

Speechless: not encountered this style before, is the rest of the game like this? Bet it will be, this is too polished to be a one off.

pay close attention mikero, you MUST listen to what's being said. Write it down, damn, forgot half of it, too stunned, reload, restart cutscene, I *know* I've missed something vital: Soldiers, mountain.

Too scared to look at map, I'll miss a patrol coming at me, feel sure of that. (Turns out I'm wrong). Two soldiers i guess. Risk a grenade (am lousy most of the time with these). Got the 'feel' right now. Just a few sporadic foragers as the intro said. Turns out I'm wrong again.

what to do? flee now? I'd be a sitting duck, wait them out and snipe mikero. Turns out to be a bad choice, restart, flee. Message triggers plural as I drive near bodies. Restart, try again and just take the patrol OUT, Vigny needs to be investigated, not fled from. Use another savegame.

Count the enemy as you shoot them mikero, keep count, whatever you do. Begin to notice enemy is random positioned on any restart. Oh god. This is tuff.

Finish of last of them, start scouring Vigny, collecting goodies, and noticing message triggers (apart from woman) are inconsistent, they appear to be things i should have triggered before heading for campfire. Not my fault. Fire was directly in front of me, I am certian to hit that 1st, voice triggers' aferwards, not good.

Now, what was that cutscene, read map, nearly miss mountain lodge because it's so far from where i'm looking.

Time for jeep, it isn't there to look pretty, author wants me to use it, ok. It is a long way after all.

Eek, sound of chopper, very very far away, collect every damn piece of hardware you can mikero. Jeep is mule.

Sh*t, Passagne's occupied. Notice no reaction if I drive over them, not very responsive if i get out and shoot. Too easy, but nasty bugger hidden in nets. Collect a bit more, another patrol, damn, I get it, hang round too long and it's good-night, thank you for playing. Ooh this town has mash tent. Store for future reference.

Not happy with myself, driving, driving, checking map, driving, driving. trying to 'figure' out' the mission style, it's changing before i can adjust. Damn what the hell? m2 jeep, 2 m2 jeeps, christ a platoon, eject. Fast

Drives back to Pessagne, looks for satchels/mines in tent area, nothing. Notices civlilian dead. notices their behind tents, out of sight.

tries again, badly disoriented and worried about those jeeps, lose direction several times. Relying on memory of island, rather than map, jeeps are benign, they think I'm one of theirs. I'd only get one if i hit them. i need help, drive mikero, drive away fast.

Very disoreinted eventually find mountain closer to camp, know *exactly* where I am, and am hopelessly lost at same time. Mist everywhere, needle in haystack stuff. I know every bush on this Island, the author is an bad man. Turn on scuba skills mikero, trust your compass, not your eyes. Fall into campsite, relief, cup of tea time.

Cutscene: Distinct, clear. Undramatic, understated. No tear jerking sillyness, no emotional claptrap. Author left my imagination intact.

Restart: missed the info content of the cutscene, this author is using audio AND text AND video to feed me info I'm on overload. Replay. Watch the barn old son, watch the barn. Spot the radio,,,,,

savegame, 7 left.

POT of tea time.
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: Fragorl on 01 Apr 2005, 07:40:02
Before I forget that I snapped it:

This error message came up a short while after I killed Andropov. It doesn't look like anyone else has reported it, so here it is:
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: macguba on 01 Apr 2005, 09:01:33
Reading through mikero's highly enjoyable last post, I am struck by two things.    Number of loons in Vigny house is variable?  Good.  But have 3 more likely.   The old set up was better than the new one.

Secondly, I think you should weaken the squad that comes into Vigny slightly.  "Vigny is to be investigated, not run away from".    You can't leave, it's just not what  you would do.   You need to spend a minute over Tatyana's body:  you need to search for weapons or ... or whatever else is there.   If you haven't checked the place out thorougly before the cutscene - and most people won't , we behave like moths when you show us a fire - you really want to do it afterwards.    Squad coming in is fine - you warned us about it - but at the moment it can be quite hard and slightly easier would be better.    There is no real reason to rush the player out of Vigny anyway.
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: THobson on 01 Apr 2005, 10:02:32
There is a monstrous amount of good stuff here.  Thank you for it.  I am digesting it all and I will respond to it all.  I am tempted to respond to somethings immediately, but then that might make you wonder about the thing I left out.

But
Note the deliberately big but
I am supposed to be working today and this evening I leave the country for a week.  I will have intermittent access to the internet and no access at all to the game.  I will have access to some stuningly good food though so it is not all bad.

I have found the error with the truck and the gamelogics:


Now fixed.  Sorry.

Fragrl. Divide by zero!!  Holy moley.  Thanks for spotting it.
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: THobson on 01 Apr 2005, 13:46:56
What the hell.  The worst they can do is fire me.

If I replied to every point this would go on for pages, so let me make some general comments and then I will deal with the specifics.

I am glad you all seem to like it.  For all the good things that you have pointed out thank you  the ego boost is helpful fom time to time.  Also if you have made a point that is not covered below then that should be taken as ‘I agree - thanks'

@macguba
Overview picture - yes indeed v1.00 everyone was squashed up. in 1.10 they are stretched out.  I did the calculations for this latest one - I clearly need to re-do them.

Intro:
Evil has come to Malden vs Evil came to Malden.  You are right of course.   Every time I see it in the Intro it jars, but when I go to edit it in the file it seems okay and I leave it.  The feeling in the Intro should swing it.

Non-perfect blackout - I am stuck on this.  It is night, the camera is in the corner of a barn (guess which one) with a tiny filed of view.  I will keep trying.

The three loons surrendering - you spotted the weapons.  It is a pain.  The switch move for them getting up into the surrender position leaves the weapon on the ground and the one for them dieing from the surrender position has them dropping their guns.  I will have to live with this unless there are some subtle switchmoves that I am not aware of.

Why no shots of me?  Well that is me standing next to Anna my sister.  How strong are your views on this - it is the second time you mention it I notice.  The problem is one of timing and the length of the music score.  I suppose I could try and stretch that out.

Briefing
Quote
"... an overzelous, frightened or drunk US naval captain shot down what turned out to be a civilian Russian airliner with the children of several Politburo members on board...."
In the Background I have tried to deal only with things that have really happened (apart from the nuclear exchange of course).  I was thinking of the Iranian airliner that was shot down by the US Navy battle cruiser Vincennes in July 1988 killing all 290 people on board.  Overzealous and frightened might fit, I can also go for incompetent but I can't go for drunk - sorry.  I also chose a Chinese airliner because (my view) whatever else can be said of the Soviet regime it was tremendously pragmatic.  If such a thing were to happen I think they would gain maximum capital out of it in the UN and then have got their retaliation in another way.  Also remember the S Korean airliner shot down by the Russians in 1983 with a US Congressman on board.  These nations can be very pragmatic.  I felt the Chinese might be less predictable.  This is not post facto rationalisation of the type I did on the St Marie minefield.  I really did go through this thought process when I dreamt up the scenario.  As always I am open to persuasion, any thoughts?

Mission
Quote
Don't put the civvy body so near the soldiers
Which body and why?  There is the woman, the man the policeman and two covered bodies.

Quote
Briefing pic of uncle nic is good.
I thought it might help the player to recognise him later

Vigny squad.  My original intention here was to keep the player off guard and get him running.  In v1.00 when I saw several of you were using this squad for target practice and as ammo crates I increased the probabilities of several of them existing (from 50 to 100%).  I did nothing with the timing.  It should still be circa 2 minutes from Tatyana biting the dust.  Seeing all the comments, I now have a different intent for that group.  So I will drop its strength and possibly delay it slightly.  My intent now is to teach the player that having hit somewhere very bad things will come your way if you stay around for too long.

10 savegames,  plus one every 90 minutes or so.  Before I saw your post I was wondering if I was too generous.  All suggestions welcome.

La Pessagne
The empty net.  There are nets at several of the camps.  Some have trucks in but I wanted some variety and so not all are occupied, La Pessagne is one of the empty ones.  As this is seems to be the first one the player comes across (it isn't when I play) it probably does seem strange.  I will put something in and empty another one.

Quote
Light is good, is the mission a little later now?
To be precise the mission starts 24 hours and 10 minutes later than v1.00.  The 10 minutes is for the light (very well spotted) the 24 hours is so the Intro is not on the 10th.  Even though it is December and not May I wanted there to be no confusion over whether I had changed the date from its default or not.  In fact I don't think there is anything in the mission that tells the player the date - apart from the watch and that doesn't have the month - but I might change something later.

stringtable.csv - This is my first attempt at using voices and before I started I posted a question about why use a stringtable.  The only arguments in favour seemed to be: All the text is in one place; if the speaker is killed you don't get the text; it makes multi language much easier.  None of these is a concern to me.  Against using a string table is that it is one text string for one sound.  Some of my sounds (the radio message for example) is one sound file synchronised with several titletexts.  Also I thought coloured text was not possible with stringtables - I have no data on which I base this.  I am a newbie to all this - how can it help me?

Lodge
Quote
Didn't try anything fancy, I assume you have tested all combinations
Multiple times.  But you still caught me out in v1.00.  I have approached the lodge on foot and in a vehicle, I have stopped and not stopped and I have sat tight in the vehicle when ordered to get out.  What I had not done was to crawl into the trigger area - that is why you got a shot of only your feet at the start of the scene.
Has anybody driven into the lodge cutscene?  I was pleased with this.

Cutscene shots of Tatyana.  Good idea - I was trying to make it clear that what had been happening on that bed was a significant part of the story Alexi was telling to Ruslan.  That can still be achieved.  Thanks.

Medical box:  Yes it works.  I don't know if it has some capacity limit - but it does heal.

Civis
GameLogic problem now fixed - what a bummer, I thought it was really neat.  I never noticed it because I only ever take one loon with me on this trip and then only for him to report status if I get lost.  

Indeed the scenes need work as does the second group returning with the medic.  I think I know what to do about that.  As for the loons getting into the lodge - yes the problem is there are too many of them and one or two usually show from the outside.  But that is where they really are.  My logic was wholly based around what you might do.  Me trying to think like mac doing a beta test: Hmm so the civis are in the lodge are they?  well let's just put a dozen or so satchel charges round it and see what happens.  Boom, two red crosses get shot - good.  I think what I will do is setPos them away once they are inside.  The only way to find I have cheated is to blow the bloody place up.

Houdan
Quote
With all the comings and goings I notice my loons are not in good shape.
I am sorry I am not with you.

Quote
The AI shooting you through the fog is something you can live with to an extent - its just an annoying little "feature" in the game - but you are placing snipers to take advantage of it which isn't fun.
Well I am not doing it deliberately.  I am putting them where it feels like they should be, but if the feature is a problem I will get rid of these.  It is meant to be difficult, but also realistic and fun

Quote
.    How it is now is how you thought it was first time around, if that makes sense.
It makes a lot of sense thanks.

Mission title - yes I was wondering about that after I changed the story line,  but then I thought  The name seems to be getting reasonably well known, and they are after all still abandoned - just not in the way they were in v1.00.

lined up or piled up bodies.  I tried piled up, but they don't - they merge into one another so what you get is a jumble of head and legs.  I will see what I can do to untidy them a bit.

@mikero:
Lol - love you descriptions.

You don't need to save at the very start.  If you play again and don't want to sit through the Intro you can just hit the escape key.

Loons in the house at Vigny - there are always three, but I have noticed that one of them always legs it as soon as one of the others is killed.  He must have got away the first time you played it.

Quote
Message triggers plural as I drive near bodies
Now fixed only the Tatyana lament can be triggered if Alexi is in a vehicle.

Quote
noticing message triggers (apart from woman) are inconsistent, they appear to be things i should have triggered before heading for campfire.
I originally had it so these messages would not be played if the bodies were visited after the scene with Tatyana.  Then I thought:  Well he still does not know whether one of them is his uncle or not.  Tatyana was kept prisoner and didn't know where here father is.  Also I thought that most players would go for the house first and so miss them.  If they feel illogical I will put them back as they were so that you get them if you visit the bodies before the cutscene but not after.

Once again.  Thank you all so much.
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: macguba on 01 Apr 2005, 16:09:51
Lol I read your first post and though "hmm ... mid afternoon at the latest."   ;D

With overview pics you need to experiment.    Pure calculations don't cut it:  the optical effects of the page are significant so trial and error is the only way to find what looks right.

Forget the blackout, you've done what you can.

What happens if you removeWeapon in between the animations?

The problem with having a Chinese airliner (I remember well both the events you describe) is that there has been no previous mention of China.   Why should that incident have anything to do with Malden?   It needs to be something Soviet to make sense.

At Vigny the two soldiers stopped where they were after shooting the girl.   After I shot them there were three bodies, one of them a  civvy.   Either move the civvy or, better, have the soldiers come up to the girl and go into safe.

10 savegames is not sufficient.     Deep in the heart of the mission a time based rule is fine, although 90 minutes is harsh - 45 would be better (one attention span.)       The start of this mission is (rightfully) slow and as I've said before slickness is essential.    Therefore the option of a savegame after every cutscene or event is essential.    Count them up and add a couple for luck.     I'd forget about adding them and just give something like 24 or 36 at the start and leave it at that.   Nice and simple.    

If you wish to imply that the net should shelter a truck that's fine, but put some barrels in the corner or something.

I never used a stringtable till the final versions of Un-Impossible but I wish I had.      There is no problem about using it with coloured text.    The real benefit is that it just makes life MUCH easier.   All your text is in one place instead of scattered throughout the scripts and triggers.   If you want to change something it makes life much simpler because you know you have found all the instances of it.   I'll try and write you a little tute next week.    I condede that switching to it will be a little tedious.

I drove into the lodge cutscene.  It's a little surprising that you can hear the first shout, but then the "get out of that vehicle" makes up for it.  It worked fine.

Quote
My logic was wholly based around what you might do.
 ;D ;D ;D
Setpossing away is fine.   The first group of civvies should shelter in the ruin until you leave:  for me they just vanished, presumably into the lodge but they were supposed to be fixing it.   Or maybe send them to a nearby copse to wait, then setDammage a couple of trees.

Loons not in shape:  they were in safe not aware and also were no longer keeping low, although I don't think there is a commmand for that.   Formation was ok.     Not a big deal.

Snipers overlooking the airfield are fine, you're expecting trouble there.   Snipers overlooking Arudy are a bit dodgy, take them out.

Jumble of heads and legs sounds fine to me.

No harm in keeping the name:  problably not worth changing at this stage.  Just a thought.

The third loon at Vigny must have legged it.   I thought I saw three, but when there were only two I put it down to expectations.   Make him higher rank if he is fleeing.

Bodies in Vigny:  no reason why you can't have different sound files depending on whether you have had the cutscenene or not.

Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: THobson on 01 Apr 2005, 17:46:34
 ;D
All is clear and helpful as ever thanks, except one thing I am puzzled by:
Quote
The first group of civvies should shelter in the ruin until you leave:  for me they just vanished, presumably into the lodge but they were supposed to be fixing it
During the first part of the cutscene they should get out of the truck and go stand behind Yuri.  Then Yuri tells them to go get some wood and repair the lodge.  The next shot you get is a front view of Yuri with the civis running off in the background behind him - or at least you should.  They actually do go to a wood and then come back, enter the lodge and it is repaired.  They only come back when Alexi is some distance away so the player is unlikely ever to see then walking through the walls into the lodge and the lodge then magically being made whole again.

I spent a few hours playing this afternoon.  It is a relief after so long building and testing.  Things were happening I had not seen before.  We all moan about some of the 'features' of OFP, but really there is a tremendous engine there.

I am now off to pack and then head for the airport.  I will be back at the end of next week.

EDIT:
Fragol:  I found the code that was generating the error.  It is in four scripts that each run at approximately 5 minute intervals throughout the mission so I am astonished that the problem has not become apparent earlier.  It will not spoil the mission for you.  If you got to the stage of killing Andropov what this bit of code is doing is not that important.  I will fix it though.  I think the problem is that I am trying to access the -1th element of an array.  Just a guess.  Will check it out when I get back.  Thanks again.

Best of luck everyone.
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: GI-YO on 01 Apr 2005, 19:17:13
here comes anothr long winded and slow review from my self. I have been waiting for a new version of this mission so i'm looking forward to skulking through the fog looking for loons (and I hope I dont brake it this time and get the correct ending!)

OVERVIEW - picture a bit bigger.

INTRO - I liked the fact you have explained why the soldiers are on the island, not just on their holidays  :P.I think that music is from STAR WARS! and if so greeeaaat choice (wish I had my X-wing....) The voices seem more alive this time. I'm not sure if the fiction notice at the end is nessacary, but you must have your resaons for including it.

BRIEFING - landing point has changed  ;D but by the looks of it I will still have that pesky pistol  :(. The main text has changed and it all reads well. The picture of uncle is a nice touch.

MISSION - (here go's nothing.....) oh the memories this concures slogging my way up the hill. moan over. As i crest the hill i see the houses to my right so walk across before sticking my gun into the back door of the house and killing the occupants. After grabbing an M16 and some 'nades i spot a runner so get hit in the back with my pistol. I then save my game and realise I shouldn't have done so at such an early stage. I may have missed this but you could mention you only have 10 saves. I get the cutscene with tatyana and then kill the two goons who are juist standing in the rain not doing anything. I stop here as the sun is shining and a book with pictures in beckons me. More soon.

GI-YO
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: SEAL84 on 01 Apr 2005, 21:04:49
So I reinstalled OFP and forgot to copy the mission and my savegame, so I'll start fresh with 1.10....I'll see if I can test this weekend.

Dunno if I'll play Larry the Looter again though ;D
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: Mikero on 02 Apr 2005, 01:59:31
Walkthru 2 of many

realise now my disorientation was due to a conviction the mountain base was occupied by enemy. I was using my old tricks of trade to get round authors and scour all around it first. Turns out I was wrong, again, and the tables were switched on me later when things that shouldn't be, were occupied. Suspicion dawning I had to forget all I knew about what authors do, and play the game, not the man.

apres Le Lodge:

5's unarmed. Oh yes, it had to be female, what a storyline. Never knew you could hodge-podge the engine to have anyone in any squad. This is becoming magic stuff.

savegame and scan the groups gear.

No good, not good at all, useless weaponry fix it Mikero. I'll use jeep mule as last resort, what has the author left me in camp?

Beginning to feel good, I'm young, I survived, I felt like i could lead this group. Cutscene told me how I felt about it too.

Sound of choppers overhead. I'm going to try and pop one, they'll fly low over here. Nope, viz too poor.

I notice how limited my squad is in law capacity. Arm them to the max I can, I take hunting rifle, I mostly use mule-jeep.

Radio option as I near radio, turn it on.... Check vehicles, civil, ok transport the civils, i need that. Got weapons? Nope, am gonna take mule jeep as well, I suspect some civils might join my squad. Turns out I was wrong. Radio msg to get any1 in my squad to turn radio on didn't work, similar to 'put out fire'. 1st play thru this game, i triggered the message by walking away, all totally fine by me.

I dismiss all ideas of using roads, direct compass bearing only, chopper is worrying me, I hope mist holds, I stop to check that flash was sound of thunder, not a missile. All ok. #2, my civil driver is having a hard time, too bad, he'll catch up or I'll waypoint him later. Still convinced enemy will be at 2nd camp.

Worrying about M2 jeeps, am trying to time their arrivals if I spot them again, trying to guess how far they patrol. Still far too weak to take them on. I need satchels, god, i need satchels.

have crossed two roads, now want a peeky boo at the camp from above I hope. Get #3 to tell me where I am. No sign of enemy at any time. Mist is driving me mad, this is fine.

cutscene triggers as I crawl towards hut.

I 'know' the undocumented features here. I try a different tack, I get my squad (4) in the mule jeep then I get in civil, soon as i do, the civils tell me to wait, i switch to 3rd person to make sure they're all in and dont need to, another msg tells me they're done, ready. No enemy sighted, I risk it and tell the jeep to go alone to base camp. I make my own way. Quick scout of hut reveals one body close by a radio, but nothing else I could see useable, except car. #2 now warns me that mule jeep is low on fuel. Hmmm, dont like the sound of that.

Am still curious about those m2 jeeps, i decide to take road, the mist is just driving me mad. My confidence is building I navigate successfully back. No enemy anywhere.

Cutscene: bad dialog, the civils won't be safe, they repair "what they can live in".

Lost it how I gained an extra member, #6. I Dont bother retry to find why, all I know is there's at least another two _possibly_ available for my squad. I'll get the civils, i want those soldiers. Am expecting, again, that this will be an ambush so decide to take all along with me. So far, not sure who's dumbed down to hell and back, I want a firefight to find out. Am intitially thinking lame mission, collect a few more civils and get a brownie point or two, then, like a thunderstorm building up, i detect lag, ever so slight, i know now this'll be bigger than Ben Hur.


Mercy me, #6 can have a LAW. I'd normally take an M2, but it doesn't 'feel' right in the mist. I rearm him top to bottom. My mule jeep was the right decision.

Worried about fuel, and, lol, #2 refuel at barrels. He gets there, but i'm not convinced he's close enough. I get in and do it myself.

All loaded in civil truck. Off we go.

The choppers bugging me again. I change my mind and load #2 with a machine gun. While he's at it, I examine map. Trinite sounds too risky, i need a firefight, Larche is marked as occupied, I'll test them out on may way to civils. Am pretty sure I'll need to run like hell afterwards. I want to see what goodies these towns have for later. Dont think the M2 jeeps are up here, I'll test that now. (wrong, wasn't i)

Savegame.6 to go.

Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: Mikero on 02 Apr 2005, 02:03:41
Walkthru part 3 of many

Larche
let civil cruise it's own way down the slopes, thinking m2 is good choice a bmp would have blapped by now, Larche looms 20 meters out of the mist, rpg hits me, goodnight. Retry

cruise down and get out at safe distance, run my way in. Fog works both ways, loons. Squad slaughtered as we crawl our way in during heavy rain. At one point my #3 (I think) got up shouldered his rifle and was cut down (all were in danger mode)

retry:

answered phone, left game running to test, squad cut down  500 meters from Larche. Enemy Patrol is randomly in area. My Squad was 'pointing' in 'wrong' direction to me, a clear indication i've missed something. Would have gone x4 to try this tactic again, but *appreciated* the author prevented me from doing so.

retry: perhaps two sentries dead, then cut down again. I'm approachinbg directly from sw, this angle is clearly wrong, the buggers are using bushes to get close to me. Gonna circle.

retry:

attack larche via west road where i can get a clear flat view of anything coming near us. No bushes in my way. spot idling M2 jeeps and take out 2 of them before the others move off (hunting rifle). They remain disinterested in me.

furious firefight with severely agressive ai taking us on. using cheatsaves like mad to progressively knock them off. lag, very very slight. As soon as ai enemy are 'detectable' in mist, they either shoot us dead, or we shoot them. The lag in fact is adding atmoshpere, it's like having another sense in the game, like smell or in this case feel. Finally notice that I am in fact slightly hurt from Vigny. I had my chance at passagne, and missed it. Silly me. Am quite prepared in *this* game to drive all the way back there, am deeply suspicious of roaming squads and want to check the area one more time (but I dont)

Seemed like 100's of enemy, which in fact turned out to be no more than a traditional squad coming at me. It's not the way it 'felt'. Mercy me, a mash tent. I heal, then spot a sentry incongrously in safe mode. Shoot him then all hell breaks loose as his 'friends' pick us off. Retry:

Do this again and realise 'safe mode' is quite ok, these guys are on the other side of town, it's not a bug. I keep count, there HAS to be four of them. Sure enough. The mist is insane. (I love it). Strange sound of G36 I want that gun badly but turns out there wasn't one. Notice NV goggles available, start loading my squad with them, not enuff to go round, expecting another patrol any moment. Sure enough, another patrol, or i think so at least, the mist prevents me knowing if I'm near stragglers or patrols. Decide my greed is killing me so race for the truck full of goodies, load #2 in a now-empty M2 jeep and race for the mountain hideout. Sound of abrahms long way away coming to Larche. I'm too undermanned, I'd normally stick around and pop it, but this mist has changed the whole dynamic of how I do things. Noticed any restart, the enemy aren't where they were last, I can't apply my usual attrition tactics. Again, I badly disorient going 'home', it's the mist, I am damn good at Nav, I can't use peripheral vision anymore to 'know' where I am. Dawning on me that mist is my friend, that the ai doesn't hunt me to extinction once it can't "detect" me. This goes in my mental notebook. This, is going to be a huge mission, I have to learn everything again.

Fall into camp, think of sending everyone out on 1km radius to 'see' how the land lies, decide no, this mist keeps me safe. Chopper again, its clearly patrolling, not hunting. Ok, another thing in the mental notebook.

Decide I'm undermanned, I have to have more squad, I'm hoping the last? civils will join me as armed soldiers.

Cup of tea time while I think trhu how to get to that last? civil area. Is it ambush, is it ok like before, are there patrols. My experience of Larche is not helping me decide.
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: Mikero on 02 Apr 2005, 02:29:05
@macguba

>vigny

damn good advise. Will desist from interjecting at you because I've notcied we both look at the same mirror, you on the inside with scripts looking out at how a player plays it, me on the outside seeing my reflecltion and how I play it. We both see the same piece of glass.

@THobson

>you dont need to savegame....

to HELL WITH YOU. I feel safer doing it!!!!

ps: go on your french eating binge, a long one, this game will take ages to digest, you dont need to patch it piecemeal. There are no ShowStoppers.

Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: Mikero on 02 Apr 2005, 04:10:47
Wakthru part 4 of many

Los Civils Tres

quick note that walkthru is a chained series played in a train track game. This is wholly inadequate. My attack on Larche is just one of one squillion approaches I can take, it has simply affected my next squillion possibilites.

I check map, I want more civil-soldiers, I now know strategically I'm safe. Am thinking of the title text message in cutscene. to how can I harm them, what damage can I inflict. Am thinking, played right, I'll "own" the west side of this island. I have map markers saying so. It affects my thinking on Trinite, am not ready for it. I've knocked at both armies, do I want to ibmalance them? do i want to keep them even? What's going to work here.

Right now I'll use transport again to the civil area, I'd prefer a runwalk across mountain ridge, but my experience of truck-use has been good so far. This is my main objective, back of my mind is Goisse. let's see how far I change my mind, if at all. Decide to take a dogs leg direct east approach accross rdiges, I want to avoid Larche Valley, am severely scared of it.

savegame, 6 left (i picked up another in larche)


My navigation is again woeful. I stumble into the civil area, this was not my intent. It turns out safe, I did not expect it so.

Cutscene: excellent, of course. diction clear and distinct, no mumbling.

Info content excellent, it's affecting my decisions what-to-do, It is very clear to me that I'm in charge, the order to get the civils to safety made that clear to me. I AM the leader here.

Scrounge hut find nothing but a dead body, not sure what it was / why it was. Fits perfectly in game, just wanted a storyline behind it's discovery.

Ok, I said to girl I would only think about Houdan, That'll stay for later. I'm going back to base camp, I want that medic, I want Goisse. The thing I dont want is that forest, I seem to get cut to shreds, If I'm gonna take this enemy on, it's going to be on my terms, flat, clear, open ground with mist so deep you can drink it. Trinite is too big, I haven't the soldiers enough who can carry Laws to take on convoys, I have to believe the cutscene info. Trinite can wait. It can wait forever for all I care.

As I load up and drive back to my hideout it strikes me Arudy looks vulnerable, I can grab my new found medic if I need him. Let's have a small diversion., #7 is in safe mode, I soon change that.


Savegame, 5 to go


Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: Mikero on 02 Apr 2005, 05:00:01
Arudy

I get on west road to Arudy and decide to use it, I can out-drive any patrol I find in mist. Soon to be buggered thinking.

Just as I unload at a safe distance below Arudy skyline, a 4 jeep patrol sweeps past me. God in heaven, I 'thought' i'd crippled them. Both armies are now, so obviously in hindsight, using them as road patrols on their respective borders. Fortunately, they ignore me.


sniper 200 on my left, movement in Arudy, I'm in deep doodoo. I Erun towards mountains. I'll take them on, but it's always gonna be on my terms. My little band of guerillas cannot match this ferocious, aggressive ai. I circle to boulders above Arudy, #8, the medic becomes available. This surprised me, OF COURSE, it all 'makes sense'. Is all the scripting this good?

Half my squad are looking in opposite direction. Is this an ofp bug, is this 'natural' a squad will always protect it's flanks? I tell em to look at 12 oclock. They do.

I bag two walking sentry, my squad's not cut down, I have them under control. There's a chance they'll protect me as we crawl our way in.

2, maybe 3 more baddies around tents/mesh. The squad is doing the hard work. Squad collects nvg's and better arms as we crawl in. One of the baddies is a sniper, medic gets the M21, it's the best tool for him.

I grab the open truck just for the hell of it, I'm not hanging about, race back to mountain camp and figure this may be the main feature of my game play.

WHOA!

Inexplicably, one of the residue M2 jeeps with driver-only from Larche is there waiting for me. I shoot before thinking. Was this a defecting soldier? Dunno. Suddenly, mist is clearing and whole safety feeling goes out window. I just dunno, I have terrible feeling of committing a mortal sin.

POT of tea time

Save Game 5, maybe 4 left



Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: Mikero on 02 Apr 2005, 09:27:27
Walktrhu 5 of many

Goisse

Ok, being leader isn't enough. I'll win battles, lose wars, have to think like a General. I'm fixated on Goisse. Scenario is building where cvilians will start to occupy west and and I'll get support. Have decided to severely unbalance opposing sides, it's a win win for me. either they'll give up, join me, or fight each other. I can't keep pinging both.

I'm looking at my objectives, all are harder than tuff. Not prepared to risk my small band against entrenched enemy. I've watched #5, she's always in right place right time, and was a very bad girl during the Arudy assault. Now I need to know about #2, he's the only important one in any squad, either he can spot things i dont, or he wont. I'll test him at Goisse.


Mist is clearing, it's now 9am. back into truck people. IF i spot any M2 jeeps have decided to take them on.

I clear the mountain ridge and a T80 now parked in Larche takes me out. I forgot to remain scared of the place. Restart

I use well worn track to passagne. I decide to use roads, I want those jeeps. Enemy activity has been far less around that way. Sure enough, all the way to goisse, no enemy. Disembark at last boulder group in valley before goisse, sounds of jeeps, cant tell east or west direction take a punt they weren't behind me. Up they come from Goisee, I'd done more early damage at Larche than I thought. Only one has a gunner. My squad are magnificent, I dont fire a shot, they do, and take out a vulcan for dessert.

Sure enough one of the sentries now comes at us, I am now expecting this agressive behaviour, again the squad deals with him while I try using my hunters rifle which I now resent holding. It's not doing the job against agressive enemy, worse than sniper. If there were any more enemy around goisse they've fled. I switch my squad to Alert mode, I want them very responsive in movement now. I getting ready to run. The lag is building up, I'm nervous. I switch #2 to a LAW, the machine gun is no longer what i want. I checked him out on the attack, my squad surprised me.

New plan is cooking. The west of the island is mine, the lag is subsiding, I'm after that T80 in Larche, if it's still there, from there I'll hit St Louis, that should be enough wobble to cause the armies to change their truce, or something....

Every time I put #8 in an M2 jeep my squad kill him. I get in each position of both jeeps, finally #2 tells me he 'got' the AA guy, I load #8 again, all is ok. I take off in convoy and it's a schmozzle, #2 stuck,  #5 'somewhere',  plenty of "where are yous". Back to basics, get in the truck people.


savegame, another 5 left
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: Mikero on 02 Apr 2005, 16:05:27
Episode 6 of many

Larche Encore

I take the roads from Goisse to Larche, I want the T80 that might be there, St Louis is my objective.

I get to the T junction west of Larche (1km) and discover for the 1st time that the bloody signposts are LYING. They are OUTRIGHT LYING. Jesus! The author is an evil man. In my case Larche is indicated as Pessagne and Lolisse!

I start my way down hill and hit a savegame (4 left) A bradley is bravely trying to climb the pass and my favorite T80 behind it. I think they're investigating goisse.

I eject out with squad too late, restart.

I pop the Bradely, and wing the T80. it retreats and 3 of my squad are ordered to go finish it off. They fail, it comes back, and then we all have a go. Chopper is overhead. Time is 9:30, mist isn't really there.

Enemy squad comes up the canyon and more or less finish us off. Restart

Enemy squad nowhere to be seen (this time, they are IN larche)

I can hear tanky noises Larche direction and decide I still have enough armamement I rearm the Law guys at the truck and down we go (walking)

From here on, the whole episode turns to mud. My squad go dumber than dumb in presence of Vulcan T72 and Abrahms. It takes a gustav and 4 laws to DAMAGE the abrahms alone. Don't care a rat's arse what the specs say, this is cheating. Bigtime. I'm pretty damn furious about this, it spoilt it for me, bigtime.

Many cheatsaves later I bludgeon my way back into Larche, as soon as those god-damned crap tanks were disposed of things came back to 'normal' my squad started hitting things they should hit, two squads of enemy hit things they should hit (me). The Vulcan was lethal at long range, crap at short, this I accept, I dont accept the Abrahms, it's not on. ****FOUR**** AT GUYS including me could not hurt it. This is big big cheaty cheat cheat. Ultimately, I'm left with my sqaud intact and a badly damaged abrahms I guess I can repair, if this is the intention, go to hell. My squad didn't respond well in M2 jeeps, they'll fare worse in a tank or two. This is bad stuff.

The T80 died 'normally' at 3, the T72 at 2.  There is no excuse for this, it must be fixed.

Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: THobson on 02 Apr 2005, 17:51:33
mikero:

It is not France this time.  I am currently in Malaysia - and about to go to bed.  

Great reading.  Thanks.  Sorry about the toughness of the Abrams.  They are just standard issue, I have done nothing with them, but I could weaken them if the general consensus is that they are too tough.
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: Mikero on 02 Apr 2005, 18:33:50
Sorry about the toughness of the Abrams.  They are just standard issue, I have done nothing with them, but I could weaken them if the general consensus is that they are too tough.

Not on. I garantee you a light airplane ride from Kuala Lumpur to me: You get in the damn thing and repair it. 2 most likely, 3 at best rpg's will see you in your Jim Jams and tucked up in bed for the night. This I should know, I used the bl**dy thing in first go at this mission. No matter what the specs say, the ofp engine as minumum is interfering here if you aren't. It was smacked so hard and continously with missiles I moved it half way round Larche, to little effect. If 'them' is involved, I won't be repeating the experience.
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: Mikero on 02 Apr 2005, 19:49:44
Episode 7

St Louis or bust

Must have done some deal of damage to this side, they must have been weakened at Larche. I've no evidence, but I think that.

It's 10am, rainy more than misty, I walkrun my squad towards St Louis, In my greed on the 1st Larche attack I snaffled the truck, now, I'm a foot soldier with no transport. This suits me, I play better when not terrified.

Am plotting my next move, if something doesn't give in St Louis. I'll head into Trinite and hopefully crush anything convoy. I'm a bit off balance with no machine gunner in my squad, but let's see what happens.

run thru the fuel station, all crushed buildings no opposition. My choice to destroy the M2 jeeps seems a good one, nothing's going to surprise me up the rear.

I spot the tent area in silhoette. This'll be where they are.

Savegame. 5 left again.

Oh no, how stupid. I run smack into the centre of 9 enemy warming their tootsies by the fire (if there was I fire, too dead to find out). Armed with a useless M21, no chance.

retry: Im on north road crawl in, get the guy alone in center of town two AT guys happen to patrol at same instant, get them, my squad start doing their job, we're more or less 'ok' I'm using the tactic learned, keep away from bushes, clear view, raining hard.

HOW StUPID

convoy trucks. Of course there'd be convoy trucks I'm lying in the goddamn middle of the convoy route, you IDIOT. A spectacular firefight ensues, I dont survive. Retry:

What todo? #2 starts telling me, bmp ahead (I'm on north road). I lie down well away from St louis tents. I'll smack this convoy 1st. Bmp 500 bmp 1000, the buggers aren't coming up this road. Ook? Transport noises in my ears, their NOT coming. Oook? Oh yes, of course they turn off to airport road. Now I want St Louis more than ever. Nothing then will come back up that road alive.

Circle higher, sniper stuff, long session of hit two, run like hell, go back, hit two, run like hell. I'm timing this against lack of transport noise, then, #2 does what I want a #2 to do, he whacks a vulcan i did not see. Run son, run very hard this time.

I hold up in a forest and medic evry1 that needs it. At one point the tent area came alive and my hit 2 tactic failed, my squad cut down everything that came their way. They did the same thing in the earlier bit with unloaded troop trucks but were just over-run.

I'm going back in. There might be a few stragglers, but St Louis is mine and I've learned the limits of what my squad can do with enemy in force.
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: Mikero on 02 Apr 2005, 21:05:42
@THobson

Gozilla the tank

you have repair scripts running
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: THobson on 03 Apr 2005, 03:35:39
I'll take that as a question.  No
But...
the M2 jeep patrols and all the vehicles in the convoys (including the APC and Vulcan) are repaired when they return to their base (this is fair), and very occassionally enroute when the OFP engine has screwed them up - not often (also fair I think).

The armour groups are not repaired by me at all.  But I have put in a Support groups for each side (repair truck, ammo truck fuel truck bmp ambulance)  The OFP engine will send these to support units that need them.  As far as I can tell the OFP engine uses these as a one shot action.  I don't recall seeing them used twice.

If you damaged an Abrams and later found it un-dammaged, the support group repair truck is the only explanation, assuming it is the same Abrams that is.

My tactic with Abrams is to use mines and/or satchel charges.  I will occassionally take them on with tanks providing I out number it and I have at least one Abrams of my own and I can get the first shot in.  In my current run though I have and Abrams and a BMP full of infantry on the way to my position - I know because I have not survived the last couple of times.  I have 4 AT soldiers, a fully manned/womanned T80 and an Abrams with me as the gunner waiting for them.  I don't feel too confident we will get out of this unscathed.  I never take them on when all I have are foot soldiers unless there is no option.  If I have to I try to get all my shots to hit the turret in an attempt to kill the gunner.  Nasty things.

Love your story
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: Mikero on 03 Apr 2005, 10:07:50
>love your story.

that is appreciated, thank you. I *know* how much you gain from this type of feedback.

Episode 8

Post St Louis onslaught


Turns out going back in was harder, and more exciting, than thought. A rather annoyed troop truck was with the Vulcan and they had got out. They were all in aware mode by the time I spotted them at far end of town. A very good exchange followed, good in the sense that the enemy were nasty and smart using flanking movements, hide in the bushes and other tactics to drop us. They were smart enough not to charge. My squad did equally as well. When this choreograph goes well, you dont mind a reload or two. Did notice Mikero (me) is indeed half right as MacGuba said, in rain (which it was) my squad and enemy could see through it considerably further (about 50 meters my guess) more than I could. Yet to test if mist has the same 'problem'

Lost my medic. This normally means a restart for me, can't function without em. I hadn't saved in a very long time, it meant restarting the episode. Also, this game had plenty of promise: plenty of mash tents and transport, that if we got hit bad, we'd *prabably* not have to crawl our way back to Goisse to fix it. I was interested to see if the game would replace him later, so carried on. Way out of my normal play paramaters.

Simple choice from St Louis, attack airport, attack Trinite. I chose Trinite, I'm walking the south road, I WANT a convoy to come up to me. Time 10:30 rain, then no rain, fairly clear. Chopper noises overhead. Savegame 3 left (i copied the user/temp am not confident of lack of medic)

Enter unnocupied Trinite, no enemy beforehand, move to South side and start laying those AP mines everywhere, figuring it will be the Southrons if any, who come peek a boo. At the instant I lay the last ap,  the northron convoy makes it's appearance!

I'm outblasted outgunned outmanned. Retry or flee? Retry.

I wait out the appearance of the Northrons. 1 bmp, 1 ammo, and 1 troop carrier destroyed. No further activity.

I figure I've finished the rest of North's convoys since these same vehicles were reported to me much earlier at St Louis in opposite direction. Figured only one convoy per army.

Time for the south. Rather than use AV/AP I decide to run the south road to houdan. If it looks real bad news, I'm going to backup up into Trinite and ambush them. Rain. no rain. choppers. My squad behaving strangely, as they always do, in presence of vehicles, lots of 'where are you's"

500m from Dourdan i spot the tents,dead civils and what appears to be only two walking AT sentry. They go down with sniper rifle and M2 Jeeps make an appearance moving into, then west towards Arudy. I leave them be, I'll collect them on my way back. Have hatched a plan to go as far South as Houdan to keep promise to girl, then attack airport. I figure if I do this, remaining convoys if any will have made their appearance. Have got no sense that either side is attacking other, this is surprising me. Got bushwacked coming into tents. 2 more enemy lying down in ambush positions (one in nets). There were NOT looking for contact lenses, restarted and checked again, they had a bead on me/squad all the way in. Restarted again after testing this.

Checked signposts. Now curious to know how many are lies, these weren't.

No chopper sounds. Mo rain to speak of. 11am. Skies overcast.

walk road to Houdan, halfway there sound of convoy. Turns out I'm in very bad position because I'm too close to ridge of road. It leaves enough time for the troop trucks to detect me and unload. I wont repeat that mistake. Squad knocks out every vehicle, all of them, while I'm fiddling with goddamn slippery than wet mouse controls trying to reload rpg and planting the bastards instead, i lose two precious ones this way, ultimately get killed by enemy soldiers while trying to reload m21 and planting another instead. I LOATHE THIS THING. I LOATHE LOATHE LOATHE IT. EVEN WORSE, I discover later I'm the only poor bastard in my squad that can actually use them. Pointless my view only, I can't run back and reload from ammo crates fast enough to make any sense of them. and choose mines (for squad) instead.

So badly mauled, I have to restart from pre-trinite savegame. Am sorely pissed with this ap/av stuff.
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: Mikero on 03 Apr 2005, 13:30:06
episode 9

Trinite Encore


same experience as last time, took out Northrons as before, walk down to Dourdan, similar not same. 2 walking sentrys spot me early. Net guy charges too (or never gets to nets, not sure). Tent guy this time is INside tent. But i'm prepared for that.

Dourdan -> Houdan

Arrived much 'earlier' in Dourdan, (my guess) than before, great deal of vehicle noise, no lag. Die twice with M2 Jeep's coming at us from south (Houdan). Again, a surprise for me as I thought they were using beach road, not as it was, a full line-of-supply run. Why is everything obvious in hindsight? These guys change from dullards to deadly in seconds. Squad slaughtered.

3rd try, M2's and T80 thingos from Arudy. All were present all the time, 3rd time, they made there presence 'felt'. Serious rethink. Flee would be best option (back to Trinite) , Im wrong AGAIN coz i dont do it.

4th try: I try wait them out around Dourdan tents.

The wait is terrifying, can't see, can only hear two mechanised groups getting closer, buildings block my view. Quick splat at vulcan one pop at a T80 then I'm back in familiar territory planting AP/AV again. Retry.

5th try, race for NE mountain.

400 meters, jeeps race through Dourdan at tremendous speed. Little wonder we can't splat them with rpg any other time. They move like mosquitoes. The tanks have moved to block North road. I thought, wrong AGAIN, that they were on their way to crunch the Northrops. Pop the vulcan because it's the nastiest bastard in the pack at long range, I get lifted off my feet and land in Houdan from the T72. Woe is me.

Retry 6

I plunk the AP's in centre of town hoping to nab at least one mosquito then race for the NE mountains. Explosions behind, and then confirmatory secondary sound of two exploding jeeps (not tanks). I keep running, lag drops off, they've given up. I backtrack in time to see convoy coming in from south. One of them triggers an ap, the nasties unload, I wait for them to load up again and use a cheatsave. Basically knock them to pieces by targetting ammo truck, my squad deal with vulcan as it tries to flee (2nd retry), stragglers running about Dourdan pinging at us, we deal with them, 3rd try, Aggressive ai soldiers coming over hills from SW, 4/500 meters they get a few of us, me included before i spot what the hell's going on, Wasn't expecting this.

I back up to a savegame from just after knocking convoy to pieces. The dynamic changes slightly as T72's and friends take an interest instead. My squad do their best, but we're back in deep doodoo again. Hit retry and flee towards beach. I SHOULD HAVE REMEMBERED THIS WOULD HAPPEN. Like everytime before. Where are my brains.

I reorganise and start back towards the smoke columns in Dourdan, think maybe trinite's a better idea, we'll see. I decide to keep on mountain in my move west as the tanks wont be able to get up here easily. I keep checking the valley below and sure enought a squad of 7 are searching it. Sniper rifle knocks out 4 of them and title text tells me they're now fighting each other. Interesting. I pick off the remnants and head in, there's a limited amount of small arms fire coming from Dourdan North. At first I think the tanks have gone, and There she is, a T80 waiting for me at the Tents. I'm suspicious the others are about, I fire anyway, and sure enough my body ends up somewhere in the sea. Retry:

There's evidence that the hit on the ammo truck caused some really bad news for someone, either that, or they really are fighting each other. There's bodies littered all over south Dourdan. I start scouting for the T80's friends, a gunship is doing some awful damage somewhere, it's too far away to know where exactly. In the meantime a lone survivor of some squad comes a bit too close and we ping him.


The T80, T72, Vulcan start to move down the valley where the dead squad is (due east Dourdan). we're in a perfect spot high on mountain, they can't get at us, except that vulcan. I wait my chance in the rockline and take him out, the tanks are confused and start rolling back, i nab the T72 and sometime later the T80 is finished when i order the squad to attack it. They more or less hit him at once with three laws. Not bad.

Bullets start pinging the mountain, nothing serious, unless you get hit, i scan, and there they are, coming up south from Houdan, I suspect it's the squad I first saw on SW hills of Dourdan, they mean buisiness, I use up my few remaining M21 rounds and race for the forest. Back to Trinite for us. I've learned the lesson, never stick around.
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: Mikero on 03 Apr 2005, 14:30:46
episode 10

Trinite Encore en Troisieme

I've lost it as a General. blown it bigtime. Events are just sweeping my little squad along. The lag is building, I don't mind it, it's adding atmosphere. I'm in forest, I'm heading for Trinite to re-arm, we're all seriously short weaponed, sure enough a squad's entering Trinite ahead of me, I pick the worst bozo moment to be in the worst place on the Island at the worst possible time. If I have to crawl to mountain hideout, i'll do it, right now we'll watch and wait.

I'm trying to adapt plans asap, Houdan's out, no point passing thru Dourdan again. Larche taught me how quickly the flies will gather, looks like the airport may have to be it.

The squad that entered Trinite is coming back, it's not really after me, but I let the squad knock out what I can see thru my unarmed sniper rifle. Most are pinged, start collecting what I can, then I hear the Godzilla Tank behind me at the forest we just came out of. No way, even worse, another squad is coming up from Dourdan (I *KNEW* not to go back there). I put everyone in alert mode, not danger, to get them moving fast and wing it straight through Trinite, I'm going nowhere near godzilla ever again.

I pause just long enough to rearm M21, and get my law people armed only when I spot a dead AT directly at 12o'clock, if they go anywhere back near Godzilla they'll end up permanently "where are you". We're out of here.

I get into forest other side, squad is pinged at but the enemy aren't really after us, we race up mountain, only chance against tanks.

All goes quiet I can more or less pick out La Trinite at 800 meters a few stragglers searching it. Have to re-arm, have to think, can't have enemy pushing the agenda. It's either mountain hideout or Larche, both, are as far away from Godzilla that I can get.

Earned another save game, god knows how we came out of that one, this game at least gives a fighting chance against terrible odds. They don't hunt you to extinction. I've gotta keep remembering that. There was no enemy airport side of Trinite, I've hurt Northrons bad, they've holed up.

Savegame 3 left, and a strong cup of tea.
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: Mikero on 03 Apr 2005, 16:04:22
Episode 11

Base Camp


I decide to move back to camp, I'm under armed, there's hell everywhere, can't risk another squad in another town. The chopper or choppers are having a field day. Their knocking enemy troops off, but then i hear some tanks go up, If it's godzilla, my entire squad will join that chopper's army. Can't tell on mountain ridge if it's airport, Trinite, or way back south where all this booming is coming from, or all three.

Luck for me, I did a serious amount of collecting at Vigny, the mule Jeep remains full of goodies.

I can hear remote small arms fire, very sporadic, think it's coming from Arudy south and Larche north. The panic subsides I rethink. The last thing I want to do is finish off the North, am going to take a liesurely time down to Houdan, my orginal objective. The armies can battle it out as much as I need them to without me. I want the last remianing M2 jeeps, two from memory. I want the choppers to finish off all armour, everywhere.

#4 has never fired a single shot. I'll kill him myself at end of game, #8 is gone, #5 the woman, keeps running out of ammo. I know which is my weak flank.

time is 11:45 sky is blue, no mist, no rain. Transport would be dead before getting in them.

savegame 3 left

Houdan or bust


I drop down to Arudy, cross over and move west to mountain to observe Doudan / Hourdan. i remain a curious moth.

Sniper wounds #7 and squad takes him out from 200 meters, i never saw him. This is new. Heal 7 and 2, 2 i couldn't heal at medicine cabinet at base camp. Give #3 the M21. Sounds of M2 gun in Dourdan 1km away, then an explosion. It's still going on, and WE are still alive. it also means Northron remains stronger than expected.
Move up into treeline cover, new tactics needed now, open areas mean death from now on.

Another sniper south, I ignore him for now, small arms fire in Dourdan, I ignore that, I want the mountain above Houdan.

Something really vicious going on at Chapoi, suits us fine. 3 man at-ease patrol walking down from top hamlet above Houdan, I wound them, then the mist closes in. Pop a lone sentry 1st hamlet above Houdan. Take out 3 returning sentries. Unpleasant sound of Vulcan shredding Chopper. Hope you got Godzilla first, son.

Nearly got bagged coming into 1st hamlet. My strong left flank did it's job. I was protecting my right. Now getting deeply nervous, it's payback time where the buggers start coming at us. It is of course pouring from the heavens, change of tactics, quick, clear, open views, if i can't get it, we're out of here.

Clear view, no movement, I race into Houdan, as I do so am thinking escape route if anything goes bang : it will be Dourdan, snipers will be attracted to noise in mountains, I'm not going back there. Keeping my squad on stay alert, I want them fast, flexible. This is change of underwear time.

Cutscene:
Info content enormous, most salient points for me at this stage of game were that trucks never stop here, girls in Chapoi and One chopper each, that's vital, essential info. Diction was not quite as good. This is a *very* tough ask. Voice actor holding two dialogs, but the deserting Russian was mumbling.

Quickly turned my new #8 out of safe mode.

I'm going back to Dourdan, I'm marauding, I'll get back into Trinite when it suits me and the airport's on my list. I first have to be satisfied that the north / south armies have stopped shooting each other.

Savegame 2 left
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: THobson on 03 Apr 2005, 16:51:13
mikero:

Keep at it this is wonderful stuff.  What you are describing is exactly the type of mission I hoped I had made.  Except for the difficulty with the tanks an mines.

Quote
One chopper each,
I think it was something about each side having one chopper in the air all the time.  Amounts to the same thing....at first.

I'm off to bed now.  I look forward to your next episode.
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: Mikero on 03 Apr 2005, 17:11:33
Episode 12

Back to Dourdan head north.


Glorious sounds of armour exploding dunno where and don't care. Another one goes bang, and if I'd turned round I'd see my squad grinning, coz I am. Sutiably painful noises of various enemy ai getting smacked by other ai, and we hit road ridge above Dourdan. Two remaining soldiers come out of the pouring rain at us, they go down, we survive, and apart from wetting myself, no harm done. It is Pouring, so I dont feel any worse.

Devastation in Dourdan is very great, death everywhere and a lot of upturned wrecks. Remain convinced I did most of that damage. The fuel station seems intact, but it could have been the cause. Scout thouroughly for four M2 jeeps. Find them all. dead. Decide it's safe to take truck in Dourdan Nets, drive thru to Trinite, no enemy, all silent all rain. Devastation pretty appalling here too but this is all down to us. No sign of Godzilla, nor any of his friends. I hope they've gone to a large wreckers in the sky.

Decide to chance it into St Loius.

Devastation not quite so bad, a single burned out vulcan. Vicious things. Check the signposts to see if little fingers have been fiddling. Not this time either, except a curious reference to Lolisse again. Can't shake the feeling there's civilians, those that survived, beginning to peek out of windows.

Can't get a single thing right in this game, i turn the corner and there's dead enemy everywhere. Trucks, the lot. No armour though. Pity.

End of the road folks, we're walking.

Save game 1 left

Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: Henderson on 03 Apr 2005, 17:56:27
I'm back for another round. :)

When you last left me, or where I last left you, ;), I was back at base preparing for my next move. I decided to take # 2 and 6 with me in the civil truck south towards Arudy so I could do a quick raid and grab a 5T truck that could carry my whole squad. I saw the 5T truck through the fog and a squad of soldiers walking through the fog. Little did they know these would be their last few moments on Earth as I sped towards them. 8) After I killed them all I disembarked and ran towards one of the AT soldiers to loot their bodies, only to be sniped by an invisible guy that I couldn't see but saw me. Grrr.  >:( I fortunately had a save before I got out. I went to go run him over only to get shot by ANOTHER sniper in the bush in the dark that I couldn't see!!!

"Bah," I said. I just decided to skip getting those RPG soldier corpses guarded by the super snipers that I can't see and are everywhere and just decide to take the 5T truck. I safely take the truck and take it back to base, then order my people to board it. Hooray, they all get on board! Now it's time to head to La Trinite. I barely miss the convoy and push on. I find a safe spot a little east of La Trinitie to park my truck, behind some bushes. I tell my squad to stay low and halt, because I'm going to scout the town, alone....

I quickly enter La Trinite, seize the Ural Ammo truck, and run back to where my squad is waiting. Hehe, it seems all my ammo troubles are solved now. :) I take this time to arm my squad with all the necessities. Everyone except 7 is armed with Bizons. 7 is armed with a M60. I also made sure to stock up my 5T truck with extra weapons and ammo, no telling when I might see an ammo truck again. :) I looked out, and decided I should try to ambush the Southron convoy. There was fog yes, but not enough to stop me from trying. We ran down the hill just as the convoy came down the road, so I flanked from behind and in a matter of seconds, that whole entire convoy was in flames. Good shooting by my men if I do say so myself. :) Much better then my first try, I'll tell you that.

But now I'm thinking, "I just blew up their convoy, should I run? Or should I stick around and ambush them?" I scout south a little, and I don't see anything coming up the road, so I fall back slowly, watching the way from Dourdan. After a while I turn and beat it back towards my truck. Once I'm there we rearm on AT rockets and I plan my next move.

The northron convoy seems like a good choice, last thing I want is it popping up on me if I attack. As I moved I heard something moving, so I was on guard. But, they saw me and I got killed, so retry. This time I waited at my truck to see if they would start fighting each other. Sure enough I hear a tank fire and something blow up. Seconds later I get the, "They're fighting each other message." :) The firing seems to pick up now, La Trinitie now seems to be an unhealthy place to be. I'm so far east that they shouldn't really bother with me, but I can't take any chances.

After looking at the map for a few seconds I decide Larche is a good target. It's close to my home base and I'll be striking at the Northrons. I started to move out, making sure to full my truck with extra laws and MGs. Everyone boards up and we move out. I drive carefully cross country, watching out for any inf or armor, towards the lodge. We reach the lodge with no contact with the enemy, though I heard firing in the backround. I choose to save here then move on Larche.

I disembarked just outside Larche and move in carefully. Dropped one baddy in the fog and another that came to check things out. I moved towards the tents and then I got ambushed. No problem, had a save game there. I try again, and the two go down easily, followed by two more coming through the fog who my squad takes out, followed by ANOTHER two more coming through the fog that my men take out again. :P We begin to crawl in carefully, I don't want to take any chances. I easily kill another baddie to my left who is looking up. We advance into the town, it seems quiet. We clear block by block. I see three guys in the fog, I kill 2 and the other ran off. When I looked for him I couldn't find him. Then I hear 4 say that a Soldier is history, so I guess he got him.

Larche is now secured after this little skirmish. This should hopefully put the Northrons and Southrons on more even terms. If not, Saint Louis is my next target. I got into my truck and started to RTB. As I was riding back I got shot by a Vulcan from 1000m away, in the fog!!! How the?! Hmmmm, luckily I still had a save near. I was more careful this time and waited just in case the Vulcan was coming after me. This time I found out it was an armor patrol, a t72, Abrams, and Vulcan. :( They had my truck covered. It was them, or my driving ammo dump.

I chose them, so I decide to flank around with 2, 6, and 8, my rpg men, and take them out. First to go is the t72, I didn't even have to give the order before it's gone. Next is the vulcan, I took it down in one hit. And last of all is the Abrams. 4 rpgs later and it's gone! I did it! I defeated the armored task force!! Larche is a Heroic Victory. Not only did I destroy the garrison I destroyed the armor they sent to reinforce it. To top it all off, I get to keep my mobile ammo dump/5 ton truck! Andropov is definately going to be hurting now. :)

I got the heck out of Larche, I really didn't want to stick around for a round 2. ;) As I was escaping up the hill to the lodge, I got ambushed by infantry and killed. Next retry I decided to drive around them and made it safely back to the lodge.

*Whew* Longest playthrough for me on version 1.10, and it was pretty fun watching events unfold unscripted, and all before 8:30 gametime! ;)
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: Mikero on 04 Apr 2005, 01:53:51
@henderson

sagely nods head in agreement, ho ho ho, been there dun that, only to find i haven't been there better and didn't do it as well as you did. I think I hit the doodoo fan somewhat sooner and more often. <huge grin>

I know *exactly* where you are game time and spatial. The author is an evil man. Laughed aloud at your description of the mobile ammo dump. Oh yes, it hurtz. Every goddamn choice we make has umm err a benefit and a cost with this mission.
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: Mikero on 04 Apr 2005, 02:05:03
Epsiode 13 Unlucky Number

The Airport


Just too big to compress in a single reply, need to break it down, sorry for that. The materiel has significance to the author of what came in and what didn't. I am dissappointed that he hasn't added smell of burning corpses but will let that be for a moment.

I walk my way towards the south gates using the road bushes in column formation, more or less, deeply suspicious of ridgeline, 10: 1 on there's snipers up there. 100:1 on there's more than one. Had a very small taste of them around Arudy, they were miles from Chapoi and protecting it. This is the airport it's meters away.

Dead soldiers litter the road and sides, seems like hundreds but probably fewer than a dozen or so. The atmoshpere feels like a begin mission in itself. There's a long dead bmp ahead, a silouetted tank, no smoke no flames. Bit of crunched armor here and there. this was a fight I missed (thank god).

Single M2 gunner in his post, single AA soldier at the gate. Hope so anyway. Other nest has been swiped. The AA makes no attempt to get in nest, but is deadly alert. So are two guys at south building (undamaged).

No lag. Raining hard, time is 1340

I get my squad back into wedge formation. They're relaxed, they've gone into splatter formation where they alternately cover left and right. Generally means I've missed nothing. Another two nasties at small building on sothern end of runway prone and alert. Down they go. One is a black op. That's odd.

Sometimes the ai can astonish you still. I did a 3d view to check my squad, and there-they-were. The ai nasties were copying my tactics and coming in at 6'oclock. They may have been southrons. I let the outcome play its' course, in otherwords a retry was coming up. I just watched as they did what a human player would do. My squad fought it out just as nastily and I hit retry half way thru. Amazed.

Quick dash to the M2 nests at gate, put #3 in the other and waited. Was going to do this anyway, so wasn't really a cheat (well not really, OK!). Noticed wrecked MI24 on hill.

Really hated the thought of that hillside. Had to choose between a quick assault up runway to kill general, or, a protected crawl on beach side of airport. Chose the beach I wanted nothing unpleasant on that flank at least, it was my weakend side with dumbed troops.

Good decision, took out 3 sleeping enemy on beach side, an ak47 , an m16 and an AA guy (retry involved). Glorious sight of a wrecked godzilla near houses. Two in fact. No smoke, long dead. Noise of vulcan splatting something. This means they're busy. The south is inadvertently helping me. Another two AA in houses, I'm getting closer. Wreck of an apache? is on runway. General grouping of transports in complex appears undamaged. Can't be certain on that.

Mist is thick but not nearly as annoying on this eastern flank.

If a blackop is so far away from his general, and vulcan is spitting, the North is finished, the southrons will be all over me,  will have to run hard as can when time comes.

Great position where I am, mist has no significance I'm so close to buildings. Taking out M2 gunners as I edge around. Sniper a few more officers, a medic, all are slowly getting mauled. Then and of course, whatever's in the south runway has crawled up to do me in. I cheatsaved myself into a hopeless corner. I can't get over wire fence, can't back away. It's various degrees of goodnight, thank you for playing as I bungle more and more. Reload St louis.

Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: THobson on 04 Apr 2005, 02:06:27
I just got up and had a quick read before the start of my day.  Stunning stuff.  Thanks guys.

Quote
The author is an evil man.
;D
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: Mikero on 04 Apr 2005, 03:28:50
Episode 14 less than lucky

Airport II

No changes to previous entering southern gates, I ignore knowledge of 6 o'clock southrons to my cost later. Convinced Beach side is my option. Change tactic and single file my people along beach side, inside, wire fence.

it's working. Just enough shrubbery to hide me in the lead as we stealth-crawl our way forward pinging as we go I have single backup sniper, #3. Following events happen in various retry cheatsaves, no order, not sequences of "and then":

---
A missed AT soldier at south gate gets #7.

Sniper panics and breaks cover 50 meter bush to left of us. Dead on his tippie toes.

2nd sniper in same bush not detected till too late. The author is an evil, evil man.

We collect sniper gear one is an SVD, nasty noises from M2 gunner

6 o'clock southrons make their appearance at this 'most inconvenient moment'. They aren't after us!!!! they are for god in heavens sake, copying our tactics. Holy moley shmoley, where does this engine leave off?

They detect us at same time (as I recall and can be very wrong) snipers appear on hillside, or, M2 blapping. The M2 i had of course 'killed' twice before. My squad magnificent, we are, in effect a line formation, not column, and everything goes down thud.

Really bad bastards come at us from the buildings. Ook? THEY ARE COPYING US!!! single file, along the fenceline. No hope in hades of getting sniper as he crawls, hidden from view thru bushes 12 o'clock. The loathsome rat is copying me, how dare he. Blood everywhere as my squad cannot get a bead on him, nor the Mgunner covering him. Not an m2 gunner, an Mgunner crawling in sync. I need to go outside and scream, scare the cats, come back in and toss my tea at the dog (who at least appreciated me)

---

All above scenarios repeated on cheatsaves till I get to front buildings. #5 wounded bad. She's been a very bad girl again and done great damage, she's down to her handgun.

#2/#9 take out remaining T72 or Bradley inconsequential which it was, ammo truck(s?) go up. World in flames. Sporadic interference from combination of black ops / officers / medics general riff raff as they charge out of building / transport area and trip over us. Nothing overwhelming, one's and two's separated by deep pauses. If Andropov was there he's dead, and if anything was there, it's deader than dead. Flames and smoke everywhere.

Deep pauses mean i've hung round too long. Didn't learn did i? Sure enough snipers waypointing their way down hillside. All they needed was one big bang sigh. 2 down, 3 down, 4 down and so it goes. Desperate cheatsaves to get them first. squad intact from furious cheatsaves. squad are squealing hurt, low ammo, low morale probably.

What to do? Black op at extreme south >intact< building, bundles of black op here. This author has never put the kitchen sink in because he can, black ops have significance. What do to? 2 o'clock in flames, 6 o'clock surely dealt with? No, that southern building, I back up, this is a feint, this is where they wanted me to be, you total bastard, back south you go mikero. Stops, thinks, not possible. Andropov's at that goddamn marked fuel station. Of course, of course, of course. THAT is a long way, crawl your way in here, get truck to the north road if i can.

Swap to m16, later a bizon, blast my way up to mash buildings riddle the area with 60 round bizon, riddle everything again, use up 3 magazines, grenade everything,  Title text cuts in Andropov is gone. I never saw him. I was wrong, AGAIN!

Crazed dash on stay-alert to heal re-arm, half squad cut to pieces by single blast from Bradley, two splats at T80 from remaining squad then they're all posted awol into the sea.

Restart from cheatsave, Andropov dead, heal, rearm, all is quiet.

For now.

Fido, Give me back my lunch.
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: Mikero on 04 Apr 2005, 04:52:23
episode 15

Airport III apres Andropov

There's a meataphorical bandage around my head, I can feel it. My poor little group are hurting, I can feel that too. We're huddled up in Andropov's tent area. It's the only safe cover we've got. The smoke is drifting overhead, I'm so dazed, I'm flinching from fire sparks that will never hit me. I cannot take these buggers on again so soon. It's 13:15 mist is gone, that laggy feeling hits, makes me seasick now. Ever so faint, I can hear them, Armour is coming. Southrons? Northrons? Is it Northrons at Chapoi who've broken their siege and are coming back? Dunno. Wish I were at Chapoi now. Distant memories of a base camp where it's safe.

I can't fight if I can't examine my squad. I've got to get away and regroup. I can't lose a single one of them, no time to check their ammo count. It's getting quite personal, I care now, that they survive. Deep doodoo time again. I hit a savegame. Panic decision, but it's all I've got, can't handle the St Louis episode again i'm at my limit, I'm exhausted as a player. Better start from here, as bad as it is. I've an empty m16, I have to risk it. Hunt an M21 and watch hills. One last time squad, please, one last time.

Fate decides for me, grabbing an M21 takes me closer to the other fuel station and away from Tanky noise, one last time squad, one last time. #4 grab the svd, you can at least be a pack mule.

The large squad at fuel station detect our presence, they dont go alert, they go savage. Am so desperate to get a reprieve I empty nearly 40 rounds of M21 into them while they remain bunched up. Bodies everywhere. The squad whack stragglers, they whack an AT guy coming over NORTH runway. ok god not more? Surely not from there?

Never hang around mikero, never. Get far away from the hillside too. We race through the fuel station towards desert. Anything that comes at us in the desert has very poor odds. I'm heading for the lighthouse, boulders first. I risk re-arming my squad as we race, not sure everyone's got all they need, they've got much more than they had.

Peace, calm, quiet. I examine my squad. Not bad, not great, not bad, pretty good in fact.

Win battles lose wars Mikero. Finish off the Northrons and you're on your own. Leave 'em be. Then again that t80 was it repairable? Scope the runway, no tanky noises. Can I get more? Damn damn, another what-to-do. Someone else be Generallissimo, the pay cheque isn't there. Is everyone healed? I just dunno.

I kick Fido for some inspiration.
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: Mikero on 04 Apr 2005, 08:41:07
Episode 16

Airport IV.


That's right I have to go back for the most embarassing reason. I have to check the #@(_(+_@#$$ flagpole. I dont know who Northrons are. Most battles I've had, could have been either. Stupid, stupid me.

No resistance coming in, an aggressive Bradley is on patrol south runway. #2 takes it out 450 meters with Gustave. This surprised me. I rearm, and generally crawl around buildings, lots of individual nasties coming from south, beach, and hillside. Singles and pairs but nothing dramatic. squad spotting everything. Wait for a quiet moment get my squad properly armed, mash tent etc, all while a few more pairs / singles making desultory runs either at, or away from us, or both. T80 is skittish and keeping way down south. It may even have gone on patrol to St louis not sure, am sure, it will return. It wont come near my 4 AT people. Have the impression enemy soldiers would form up into squads if only they could meet up. My troops never let it happen (it would explain why some enemy change course in mid-stream, and go looking for friends)

Decide to repair T80, fine, back him out of wedge and have just little time to line up a southern sweep. My squad have or are keeping enemy ai well away from me. 1st go, I get zapped, I backed out too early, too many AT soldiers or at least one, and T80 finishes me off. 2nd go, I'm ready, hit him hard while still a remote silhouette, two more shots at him vs one on me and its over.

Then, welcome to hell. The enemy come streaming over hillside in two separate waves (NE / SE) it's all i can do with heat missiles to keep up. Only protection I have is fact i'm in road between building complexes making any direct hit on me a bit hard. #8 (my russian) goes down to a sniper, I'm too busy with very unpleasant people with big long tank busting guns to worry about lone snipers. At same time, Northrons give up. I decide to leave it that way. Truth of matter is I'd just hit a cheatsave, the thought of backing up to my retry was too much.

Then they come pouring in, un armed. I am staggered, I mean I'm jaw dropped, I mean I can't believe how many there are. Perhaps as many as 2 dozen minimum, perhaps as many as 50. I don't know because right then and there the southrons come in from direct south. One retry later i'm in M2 nest looking south and waiting, we get them all. This while everyone's bleating about enemy at 50 on my right flank. They've surrendered dummies.

All goes quiet, T80 gets medicine, I wait awhile, I actually swarm the squad around the surrendered troops to stop them 'identifying'. We re-arm regroup. Load up in various vehicles, T80 in lead. Deeply unhappy about this, have bad experience and no good ones, of vehicle play.

Off to St Louis and south. I figure so much carnage that direction, unlikely to have more concentrated troops, and last thing I can do now is risk the mountains with snipers everywhere. Armour it is then. (medic bmp holding precious human cargo). Have quick thoughts of circling all way westward into goisse and dismiss it. I have no troop trucks.

Fido gets a pat on head.

Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: Mikero on 04 Apr 2005, 09:57:00
Episode 17

'Dead' South to Chapoi


I pass thru St louis, Trinite, Dourdan with no sign of enemy activity. I leave my trucks to catch me up and get as far as the Le Port/Chapoi Tjunction and wait for them. 6/7 in the bmp are doing just fine, 4 is a cretin, and 2 is miles behind.

The drive is spectacular in 3d view, i stay as commander and just watch #5 my gunner swirling around after anything that moves (I chose her because she was a very bad girl, several times when it counted)

4, the brain dead cretin get's injured (he's in repair truck) who's the cretin to let him drive that!

I figure it's him driving directly at rocks. He calls out he spots a lone soldier around dourdan but otherwise makes it ok. Not so #2, he's way back having a hard time of it, he calls out multiple contacts at dourdan, then silence.

Reload.

I wait for them at Dourdan. I'm watching #4 crash into another house and get out of tank to shoot him there and then. Just before I do, extreme east on rocks, over they come, a full squad of nasties who must have been on dourdan/houdan beach, most carrying launchers. They get one ping at the T80 which only has #5 in it, (i'm about to slaughter #4 and offer his body to any hell that would take him), when #5 opens up and gets them all. My kind of gal.

#2 is just as painful in his other repair truck. I eventually get them somewhere near me and take out 3 A/t soldiers coming down out of mountains (a cheatsave involved)

decide to put 4 in as passenger of a single repair truck, i take over driving and let #2 into tank. I scream out of there with my armour trying to catch up. T80 ambushed at Houdan in similar scenario but I leave them to pick off what they can. They do, we eventually end up at Le port turn off after agonising waits where tank / bmp cannot get their respective acts together I repair up and really can't be bothered with this vehicle stuff, it's too painfull.

I gain a savegame at this point and decide to use it. 0 left. It's 14:30, mist is closing and I'm pissed at this vehicle buisiness. (NOT authors fault)

I'm keen to use tank at Chapoi, just for the hell of it, so I will make one try and one try only to scream up to vantage point before town and take it from there. If there's any more nonsense am gonna use the retry and walk in. Bad mood. I really should have walked the south road and *enjoyed* what came.

Fido, where are you?

Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: THobson on 04 Apr 2005, 11:39:13
Late afternoon break for me.

Quote
Have the impression enemy soldiers would form up into squads if only they could meet up. My troops never let it happen (it would explain why some enemy change course in mid-stream, and go looking for friends)
Actually at this point there is a script running that is doing exactly that.  Small groups are joining to form larger ones.  That could be causing the change of direction.  

This was  (http://www.ofpec.com/editors/resource_view.php?id=788)developed from the script I wrote for this mission.

mikero:  You are making all the hours I spent thinking about it, making it and testing it all worthwhile

EDIT:

Bye the way.  The briefing should show you which flag belongs to each side.


Quote
It's getting quite personal, I care now, that they survive.
Just re-read this.  That is what it is like for me.  Whenever any of them go down I remember who they are and where I first met them.
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: THobson on 05 Apr 2005, 01:53:56
An over night reflection on the av/ap mines.

The problem seems to be the accidental placing of the mines because these actions are top of the list.  How about if I put a 'safe' action above them?  For example I could move the mine instructions from being a radio command to being the top action of the players list.
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: macguba on 05 Apr 2005, 02:11:22
Conceptually, that isn't good.     The radio menu is being used for "external" acts such as savegames:   you are not immersed in the game when you use the radio menu, for a second you are a rational thinking being playing a game.

The Action menu is in the game, and that's where the mines should be.    It is really annoying that the user added action is always top, but that's just a game feature.    It happens in all missions with Actions, so most people are fairly used to it, and also to the occasional cock up.  

It's one of these red herrings of beta testing:  people mention it becuase they are frustrated and annoyed at the time, but that doesn't necessarily mean that you should change anything.

If you do want to change something, then I suggest a safe Action is added first so that the mines are second.    This may involve inventing a largely pointless Action, but there's nothing wrong with that.   It could be a phone call to your mum, a healing script, get the weather forecast, a sound file giving a rousing speech to your loons or a mumble to yourself, or whatever.
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: Planck on 05 Apr 2005, 02:48:42
Or maybe it could pop up a hint box, reminding you how many of each mine you have left.   ::)  ::)


Planck
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: Mikero on 05 Apr 2005, 02:53:49
Episode 18
Chapoi west

We park up, at the crop / farm area west of Chapoi. #5 immediately takes out a Vulcan that's in the area.
I'm in repair truck with #2/4 as they were quite hopeless at driving the thing

I get into T80 and with all other vehicles emptied, we 'walk' our way towards chapoi. T72 comes up over lip of ridge and he dies, whacked by one blast from the T80 and 3 from the squad!!!

I inch forward towards lip, mist is very thick, no more than 50 meter view. I get near lip and am taken out by a T80 or 72 from forest other side of chapoi. There is NO WAY i can see him. As commander, he's not even showing up on radar. I reload check again, this vehicle at least can see thru mist. I cannot, all out, retry, we're crawling in.

I assume I could have played this with #5 and crew manning the T80 'she' would have been on even footing with the other tank, they would have 'seen' each other. I chose, and will choose in future, not to play any vehicle. I wish now I had walked the southern road, it would have been a series of fantastic firefights and cunning vs cunning. Am not sore about the game, just sore with myself. This was a blunder.

As it turns out, the crazed dash to south was a strategic magnifico, In effect I've left half / three quarters? of the southron army falling in mountains and / or, on their way to the airport. This knowledge, I shall use later, to get very very very far away and come at them from elsewhere. I will use truck transport to my benefit in future, i can outrun any patrol in the mist(s). Can't wait to do this on next try of game.

More notes:

1st time I tried this game where I attacked Chapoi 1st (in effect) the southron army down weapons and walked, or stood where they were. They were walking OUT of chapoi, to at least as far as the fuel station, perhaps further. Northrons on the other hand all congregated in the airport buildings and unlike southrons, but hands behind head. Both effects were maginificent. THe southron choreograph gave me the impression of soldiers going home to mum / family (which clearly wasn't the case but that was the effect). The Northron choreograph gave the effect of enemy coming to join me if only I knew how. These both, are formidable sequencing in terms of player appeal.

I really was confused with Airport General. The game / author convinced me, he had fled.

1st time thru I attacked airport from north. The mist was the single most effect. This time, from south via beach fence, the mist played no effect at all. It had no significance. All good stuff.

---

I crawl in to west side chapoi, detect a burnt Bradley, We're taking out the odd M2 gunner in the vehicle area and a few agressive singles, no evidence of enemy in strength. Chapoi leads north to that minefield town, I *know* snipers will be on mountside. Very distressed, I make best use of mist to crawl my way in, if mist lifts, snipers will kill us all. I'm biased towards right flank because priority is M2 gunners, but any chance i get, it's 9'oclock for me and the squad. Can't fight these guys when odds are too large, I need wide open areas when mist is about, any sign of re-inforcements, we're out of here.

Have interesting exchanges with a few singles, including snipers, not pleased with some enemy IN sandbags, but there you go. At some point I lose #3, few annoying pieces follow with the broken bush problem Eg, you can never see thru them but they dont exist line of sight wise for enemy and you're always hit.

Leap in the Vulcan and re-arm it, I chose it because it was the one in front (clear view). Take out a few nasties but then the T72 which I most definitely cannot 'see' and neither can my squad, hits me from 350 meters (I saved game and ran to him to check this) I accept he may have seen vulcan tracer. Retry:

Couldn't get squad into any of these vehicles, (a bradley, a vulcan, a Godzilla) they flat refuse.

Get in a great spot to snipe the general's body guard (between buildings looking directly at church). Knock em all out. Squad doing a reasonable job. Get them to stop, lie down, because they're losing it when armour is around, going awol.

A Godzilla arrives with a Bmp, the bmp goes, one or two pathetic shots at the godzilla, then most of the squad are swiped, one at a time (the godzilla is incredibly innacurate). Godzilla came in becuase I'd picked off a T72/Vulcan some time before, this choreograph I accept. He's not there becuase I'm in Chapoi. Several retries to essentially keep out of its way, not much joy. Snipers in hills pick off a few of me, again, unconditionally cannot 'see' them. Cheatsave and run to them to check this fact.

All in all, I've had enough, The mission is a masterpiece, no doubt at all about that. I get into familiar territory of at least trying to kill off Godzilla because all other choices are now closed, and end up planting AP/AV. This is the last straw for my game play. It's not that I can't learn new tricks, it's like fighting one handed, your right arm is now, effectively useless, like holding a rifle with left hand only. You dont have time to scroll down, it's become a non-functioning part of game immersion. My left hand cannot, effectively move, slide, crawl and, additionally "R"eload. Quite some spoiler. Please give me my mines and satchels back.

So, I stop the mission here. I'm tired, emotionally exhausted in fact. Tough ask to play this mission and report it at same time. Much tougher than expected. I've learned a lot about me, in the process. Have an inkling now of why the author nearly gave up on this magnificient creation. It drains you.

Let's go for a walk, Fido.
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: Mikero on 05 Apr 2005, 03:06:32
It's one of these red herrings of beta testing:  people mention it becuase they are frustrated and annoyed at the time, but that doesn't necessarily mean that you should change anything.

I'm 100% behind you there Mr Mac, it's not my call. It's not my mission.
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: THobson on 05 Apr 2005, 06:51:29
I think my earlier post was mis-read.  Let me quite the relevant part:

Quote
For example I could move the mine instructions from being a radio command to being the top action of the players list.

This would result in the numer of remaining mines being reported as suggested by Planck.
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: THobson on 05 Apr 2005, 06:59:30
mikero

Just read your last post.  Thank you. You are a hero.

If you have any thoughts about the things you don't like - mines and Abrams would feature highly I guess.  You certainly deserve to be listened to.
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: XCess on 06 Apr 2005, 00:19:28
Hope I can get OFP working agan *crosses fingers* Damn IDE cable snapped at the same time my computer crashed and wouldn't rest6art (an it wasnt the cable causing it cos i replaced it) then had to reinstal windows. bah. damn microsoft. But if it works... I'm gonna loose my life again!!! DAMN YOU THobson!!!!!!!! Why does this mission have to be so good.

*edit: Yay!!! top of the list of beta testers  :P*
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: THobson on 06 Apr 2005, 01:56:00
XCess:  Welcome back.  Top of the list - well you were the first.

Henderson:  I am not ignoring you

mikero: I need to give more attention to enormous run through.

I only have time to skim read this week.  I will be back home soon.

Bye the way mikero.  A lone Abrams is very vulnerable to a satchel charge, and if that is placed at its side it will get the crew out without fully destroying it, so with a rapair truck you get the tank for yourself.
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: Mikero on 06 Apr 2005, 02:33:37
Bye the way mikero.  A lone Abrams is very vulnerable to a satchel charge, and if that is placed at its side it will get the crew out without fully destroying it, so with a rapair truck you get the tank for yourself.


3 things. After this I am going to do all I can to desist from hitting the reply button to this mission for a little while. I've swamped it. Others *must* have their say.

I have no issue with the Godzilla's, they're in the same category as "never stick around". You learn as you play.

I am reminded of MacGuba's comment that beta testers rarely report an error of fact. The Larche, and Larche only Abrahms had different characteristics to the Trinite and the Chapoi tank. I wont swallow even more board space. Basically I went back to user/temps and tried them all out. The others were 3 law/rpg. The Larche turned from white to angry red after each hit. I synchronised a larche hit (all - cease fire) and hit him with 3 at a time, he died. (cannot be 100% on last statement because i died too). I am unhappy about the Godzillas which makes the game fantastic  ::)

Finally, I do have some contribution in 'ideas', I am building up a list of them, they're staying off this board until others get a word in.

Your comments back to me have been appreciated. (especially by Fido who's now returned to 'safe' mode)
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: macguba on 06 Apr 2005, 21:29:54
mikero I don't think you're swamping, you're just telling lots of detail.  I haven't read any of it yet, since you're ahead of me.

You may recall I was shot by a sniper overlooking Arudy who I coudn't see.    I'm really on my way to H/Dourdan.

Went after him.    8.12 convoy of four jeeps/mg pass through Arudy in good order heading west.   Boxed round to the south of Arudy and found him and his mate, both very, very well hidden.    Took several attempts:  having the SW standing up made him virtually invisible.     Brilliantly done, however I'm afraid you have to take these guys out of the mission.   You've gone to so much trouble to create the atmosphere and, even aside from the shooting through the fog thing, they spoil it.   Not consistent.    I was also disappointed to see they were both US.   You don't need to be absolutely pedantic about every single pairing being one of each, but we need more mixing and matching.  I'd have made this a Soviet sniper with an M21 and a Yank with a Dragunov - kindred spirits who swapped weapons.  

Bodies behind tents:  we don't need theme everywhere, or if we do make it different in each village.   Behind tents, under the net, in a garden somewhere.   In this case, since there is a graveyard, put them by the entrance.

Picked up one M21 and somebody took the other, then my last remaining shotgun merchant took the second M21.   Cleared four loons from the village, took their weapons (2 laws but no mg) and the truck and legged it.    The obvious approach to Houdan is from that road end farm to the west, so we headed that way.   Ambushed onthe way by a wandering squad:  tick tick tick boom!    Savegame cheat and took them out second time.   Approached the farm tactically.   Nobody at the top end.  

The weather is clearing and its 8.37, but that half hour of game time has taken me an hour and a half.   Everybody has a proper weapon, with the spare M21 still in the squad.   1 AA, 1 LAW, 1 RPG, 1M60, 2NVGs.

Covering the lower farm.  It's too quiet, there should be somebody about.  Ah, there is, a solitary soldier.   Well I doubt he's solitary but shoot him anyway.    We run south down the track, I may be daft enough to come to this place but I draw the line at approaching Houdan down the road.     I almost run up to the loon on the track before seeing him, but fortunately he doesn't see me.   I stop for a look around and a squad of three are coming up the main road to the farm.   We drop them but they saw and and shot back so we're in the shit now.   (Actually lost 6 the first time round, but retried since he was a soldier and we need the kit.)  Leg it over the skyline and "3 o'clock unknown tank 200" bloody hell what now.

Well there's nothing there, or rather I can't find it.   What is it?  Will it kill me?  Will I kill it?   Find out in the next exciting installment.

On the basis of that session this mission may be a fraction too hard.  I know I'm a bit crap these days, and was playing in devil may care betatest mode rather than properly, but even allowing for that it was slow going.   This is a very big mission:  the essence of the difficulty (apart from the big fights) is the number of contacts - sooner or later somebody is going to get you.   Therefore the contacts themselves should be pretty easy.    All these guys overlooking things and random ambushes are not easy.    

Anyway, long way to go yet.   Hope the trip isn't proving too tiresome.

Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: XCess on 07 Apr 2005, 00:39:45
F***!!!!!!!!  >:( >:( >:( >:( >:( >:(
tried running flashpoint today and it said summit bout invalid serial. Thanks to a reinstall of windows. Saw the disc the other day and there's a fat chunk taken out of it. Anyone wanna lend me a copy? lol
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: Mikero on 07 Apr 2005, 01:10:06
F***!!!!!!!!  >:( >:( >:( >:( >:( >:(
tried running flashpoint today and it said summit bout invalid serial. Thanks to a reinstall of windows. Saw the disc the other day and there's a fat chunk taken out of it. Anyone wanna lend me a copy? lol

you dont need it. Either and both patch 1.95 and 1.96 remove it's need.

edit:

if you're running Xp consider putting OFP on a separate drive. It, and a few other games cause XP to severely fragment it's disk space. (Virtual mem issue)
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: dmakatra on 07 Apr 2005, 01:13:20
Seems like a lot has changed... Gonna try this again someday.

:beat: *Gets Shot* :beat:
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: XCess on 07 Apr 2005, 05:56:37
I have it patched, and I have it on a seperate drive already. But when i try and start it it says bad serial number. i think it's cos there's no registry entry anymore.. anyone know how to add them manually?
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: THobson on 07 Apr 2005, 11:34:36
Okay I am back.  Jet lagged as hell and significantly heavier from the wonderful Malaysian food.  No chance of going into the office today - maybe tomorrow. ;)

My first priority is to test Student Pilots offering.  The poor guy put his latest version up sometime ago and no one has looked it yet.
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: XCess on 07 Apr 2005, 19:37:33
Sent an e-mail to BIS seeing if they can help me getting registry keys back.. if they're helpful then I'll be back with ya soon THobson.
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: THobson on 08 Apr 2005, 09:37:57
I have just re-read the whole of last week's postings.  Thanks to you all and especially mikero - that was a stunning effort.

mikero:
Quote
Inexplicably, one of the residue M2 jeeps with driver-only from Larche is there waiting for me. I shoot before thinking. Was this a defecting soldier?.
 At the mountain lodge - I have never seen that before.  In the previous post you did say:-
Quote
load #2 in a now-empty M2 jeep and race for the mountain hideout.
The only explanation I can think of is that the empty M2 jeep still had living crew that re-boarded the vehicle once it was unoccupied.  A long shot but the best I can think of.

Quote
Every time I put #8 in an M2 jeep my squad kill him. I get in each position of both jeeps, finally #2 tells me he 'got' the AA guy, I load #8 again, all is ok.
What a pain.  I cannot think of anything I can do about this.
Quote
signposts are LYING. They are OUTRIGHT LYING. Jesus! The author is an evil man.
Lol I may well be, but I am not fiddling with the signposts, it is the map.

Quote
I am reminded of MacGuba's comment that beta testers rarely report an error of fact. The Larche, and Larche only Abrahms had different characteristics to the Trinite and the Chapoi tank
This is a real puzzle.  I have just used standard units and don't do anything sneaky in the background.  Could it be where the tank is being hit?  I know a satchel in front or behind an Abrams will kill it, but place it to one side it will force the crew out but will not kill it.

Quote
Couldn't get squad into any of these vehicles, (a bradley, a vulcan, a Godzilla) they flat refuse.
The state of damage to the armour in for repair at each base is random.  In some cases they will be so damaged the AI will refuse to board.  If you repair them then all should be fine.

Quote
I am unhappy about the Godzillas which makes the game fantastic  
I gathered you were unhappy, it was the last bit that puzzled me.

Quote
Finally, I do have some contribution in 'ideas', I am building up a list of them, they're staying off this board until others get a word in.
I would like your thoughts as soon as you feel able to put them up.  What I find best is not to react immediately to ideas but to let them soak for a while, so the sooner the better for me.

General Thoughts:  
Reading your story again all at once I am struck by the change of tone.  I did not notice this before when I read them almost as you wrote them.  You got so close to finishing but then gave up when another Abrams turned up and the av/ap mines bit.  Also on v 1.00 Student Pilot gave up on realising the side he was attacking had another Abrams.  This is most definitely not the effect I want to create.  I want it tough and I want people to give in, but not so far into the mission.  I have tried not to do anything that specifically makes it hard or easy, rather I have tried to think of what might be realistic and then just let the player loose.  Perhaps I should modify that a bit and take out some of the Abrams - all thoughts welcome and all opinions valid.

macguba
Quote
having the SW standing up made him virtually invisible.    Brilliantly done, however I'm afraid you have to take these guys out of the mission.  You've gone to so much trouble to create the atmosphere and, even aside from the shooting through the fog thing, they spoil it.  Not consistent.    I was also disappointed to see they were both US.  You don't need to be absolutely pedantic about every single pairing being one of each, but we need more mixing and matching.  I'd have made this a Soviet sniper with an M21 and a Yank with a Dragunov - kindred spirits who swapped weapons.
SW=?
Quote
having the SW standing up made him virtually invisible.    Brilliantly done
Is this irony I detect?

I have removed both snipers for v1.11.  The view of the campsite from the hillside was just too tempting.  It seemed to shout ‘sniper' at me.  I had done some mixing of weapons but for 1.11 there will be a bit more, somewhere between 10 and 20% of units will have weapons belonging to the other army.

Quote
Bodies behind tents:  we don't need theme everywhere,
This was my attempt at being obvious about something subtle - or whatever the phrase was.  I take the point though that it should not look like a cookie cutter has been used.

Quote
On the basis of that session this mission may be a fraction too hard.
Well I have taken out the Arudy snipers for v 1.11.  The loons west of Houdan I felt were fair.  One guy on look out, one guy at the lower farm and 2 or 3 walking between the upper farm and the outskirts of Houdan.  The fact that they are all in the same group I think makes their behaviour more realistic.  I have not tried to play the player I just tried to make an environment that is realistic with realistic things happening but as you say it is the obvious approach to Houdan and if the player is going to for the obvious then well… ::)

Quote
random ambushes are not easy.  
The location of many of the infantry groups is random, in the sense that that they have S&D/Cycle waypoint combinations that are moved around randomly.  Each camp has only a small squad in permanent residence - ie they don't go off to fight the war they stay there until their base is in desperate need of their help.  Similar pattern to the group W of Houdan, one group some stationary and some on patrol.

Quote
Anyway, long way to go yet.  Hope the trip isn't proving too tiresome.
Thanks.  It was more fun than I expected.

Other:
I have slowed down the speed with which the fog changes - I think I have over done it.  The most noticeable feature of the weather is now the rain - and it seems AI can see through this better than the player.  Fog seems to be different, it seems to affect AI and player equally, or at least similarly

My own run through - I was in the mountains knowing that an Abrams and a BMP full of infantry were heading my way.  One time the badly damaged Abrams repaired itself at my repair truck.  Retry.  Next time I got them all but lost 3 of my 4 LAW carrying soldiers in the process.  Decided to press on (a decision I now regret).  I got my fully crewed T80 on to the hill over looking Chapoi.  I crawled into the town and spent an age hiding in houses, sneaking round killing a few loons then hiding again.  I was quite pleased with the behaviour of the baddies, only occasionally would I see a group standing still, but as soon as I started shooting they were after me (and I was using a bizon).  In the end I think Stamenov was the last Southron alive.

I now have an ammo truck and a repair truck just north of La Trinite with the medic (Pavel Ivanov is his name by the way) close by.  I am now heading north with two Abrams each with a gunner and a driver, and a T80 with me as the sole occupant alternating between driver and gunner.  Encounters with enemy infantry do not go well in that we are invariably damaged before we see them, fortunately there are enough of us take them out before returning to La Trinite for repair.  Encounters with enemy armour go less well.  Same pattern as with the infantry, except we don't survive.


Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: hobson_matt on 08 Apr 2005, 14:47:58
OK.. This is the first time I have officially Beta Tested anything, but I have been updated with the progress of this mission so far, so I thought I would throw in my comments.  I am not a great editor myself and so will base the mission mainly on realism and playability.

I have posted this without reading too many of the comments above, played without ECP, in Veteran mode and benchmarked at 4792.

Mission

Starts well, nice atmosphere from the briefing… looked as expected but much darker and more rain.  Used this fjord before in missions, good for starting the mission, but after about 20 seconds realised why I never used it that much.  A mix of sidestep-running and my 3rd can of Budweiser got me up to the top…

I approached the lodge carefully, saw 2 soldiers in the house.  Was not sure what to assume so got as close as I could.. One dropped to the ground, so I killed him, then got the other before he had time to weapon his M16.  Upon entering the house I saw a 3rd soldier on the floor, put 2 bullets in his head and entered the cut scene.

Went outside, shot both soldiers with newly equipped M16, and loaded up on ammo.. Saw the usable jeep, so loaded M16 into it and grabbed another one, filling up on ammo again, I must now have at least 10 mags to help me.  Searched others, didn't want to hang around so nicked bino's off a corpse, ran to the jeep and headed East-North-East out of the town and up the hill.

**PAUSED GAME TO WRITE UP THIS FAR**

A tidy bit of map reading gets me to the lodge, nice cut scenes!

Spend 5 mins mucking about with the weapons to make the most of my arsenal.. If u can call it that..

Hear the radio message, and head for DD46 to get the civvies out, make a mental note to stop by a town to "pick" up some weapons at nearest point.

Got to the civvies easily, I got back in the truck and heard them say to wait until they were aboard.. Unfortunately they did not board the truck, just stood outside, despite the obvious space in the truck.  So I gave n02 the driver spot, and I ran outside the truck back to the lodge, having others made navigation much easier!

Whilst the civvies started to repair the building (and me with one extra), I decided to head near La Trinite to get the 2nd lot..

Got to the end of the hills, and left 5 and 6 to guard the truck whilst the remaining 4 (including me) headed for the 2nd group of civilians.  We got there with no problems, and received the message about Houdan.. After checking the map I got 5 & 6 to board the truck and RV with us on the way to Houdan…  I hid the truck North of Dourdan, crossed the road on foot, and headed South to Houdan.

8 Got the civilians to the lodge and joined me.  I ordered him to go to the hidden truck to wait therefore us to return.

On the way into Houdan I hide my men in the bushes to the East, this way I can sneak round the town alone.  I get into the town and see the undamaged hut, so I head inside.  I get the cut scene with the Russian soldier, (the text did not match the words at one point, when I asked where the traffic was heading)

I now have a decision to make.. I have 9 men, but one is still north of Dourdan.  I could do with getting some better weapons, so I can think about hitting one of the bases.  I save the game and take a breather.. then spend 5 mins checking the map.

I take a break and resume after a few hours.. When I click "Resume" it takes me back to before I was near Dourdan! At least 2 saves ago!  I then click "Retry" and it takes me to Houdan, my latest save  ;D

I head back and RV with the rest of my squad (minus number 8 ). Then go North-West towards Arundy.  I approach from the south, take out 2 snipers (both standing in bushes to the south), then I hit the town.  I get new weapons for my whole squad, and steal the US Truck, then head to the mountain lodge, and tell 8 to RV with us there.  I noticed that the barn with the hidden ammo crate (which I have only just seen!) is floating a few feet up in the air, how strange (see screenshot).  I crawl underneath and load up on pistol ammo, then steal more M16 mags and law's off the US truck.  I now have a relatively well armed squad, no machine gunners and only 2 RPG's, but I do have 2 snipers, and enough ammo to destroy a small island, how convenient.

Now I have a decision, Fuel Bases? Convoys? Main Bases?  Or La Trinite?  It is getting lighter and the fog is lifting, it is now 08:40, and so I decide to head to La Trinite to see what I can play with there.  I approach from the forest to the North-West, leving my guys to the back of the forest.  I see a convoy approach from the North, search the town and leave.  So I head in alone.  I find all the weapons in the centre, and nick the ammo truck, leaving it at the back of the forest with the rest of my guys.  I load up on satchel charges, and an empty bison and lay the charges where I saw the Northern convoy stop.  As I head out the town is searched by a Southern Convoy, just got out in time!  I wait for the Northern guys to come back, and they stop at the same point while their guys get out.  I wait until most are in the town, and I blow the charges.  I then run to the far end of the forest, and get my guys to head South out of the way.  As the weather was lifting I moved in to watch the reaction.  Just as I hoped they were sat beside their destroyed vehicles, just waiting.  After 15 mins the Southern Convoy came back, and saw the Northern guys, and fighting kicked off.  Suddenly I could hear tanks and choppers coming in, so I move back a bit, and pause to write up this far.

All I can say is wow!  Its great to have a "mission" like this.  Its not really a mission though, more of a dynamic campaign, as I feel that I have complete freedom on what to do next.  I have a full squad, 4 silenced weapons, 2 machine gunners, and 3 snipers.  I am ready to hit anything!

The fog and rain really create a fantastic atmosphere, although it has made it quite hard to comment on the realism as I have not really had that many contacts with either side.  I will mention a few possible ideas, although a lot of it may just be down to personal preference:

1) The snipers covering Arundy seemed a bit odd.  It was a relatively quiet place with no obvious reason to have covert cover.  Maybe they were rogues?
2) Something is very funny with the positioning of units, as I mentioned some buildings and vehicles have taken to hovering after I load the game, where some others are sinking.  Any ideas why  ???

Hope the comments help!
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: macguba on 08 Apr 2005, 17:00:46
Welcome home matey!

Quote
having the SW standing up made him virtually invisible.    Brilliantly done
Is this irony I detect?
Not irony, if it was delibarate it was very well done.    Sad to see them go but its the right thing.    SW = southwest.

The guys above the farm are fair.   I had forgotten, when I wrote the too hard comment, that I deliberately chosen what I thought would/should be the hardest way.    Taking out the Arudy snipers is (in the context of this area of the mission) all that is required I think.   May change my mind later of course.   ;D


@northener, I've only read the first part of your report  since I haven't got to Houdan yet but it seems to me that you've taken to beta testing like a duck to water. :thumbsup:

Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: THobson on 08 Apr 2005, 18:03:08
@northerner
Quote
Got to the civvies easily, I got back in the truck and heard them say to wait until they were aboard.. Unfortunately they did not board the truck, just stood outside, despite the obvious space in the truck.
Sorry about that,  I have some stuck GameLogics in v1.10 - now fixed.

Quote
text did not match the words at one point, when I asked where the traffic was heading
I checked this so often I would have put money on it not happening.  Thanks.  I will check all the messages again.

Quote
When I click "Resume" it takes me back to before I was near Dourdan! At least 2 saves ago!  I then click "Retry" and it takes me to Houdan, my latest save
I have no idea what causes this.  If your run through is anything like mine the initial ‘Resume' will always take you to the same place.  â€˜Retry' and ‘Load' work okay for me though.

Quote
Then go North-West towards Arundy.  I approach from the south, take out 2 snipers (both standing in bushes to the south
This is a touch embarrassing.  I grouped the snipers with the small group that patrols the town.  That group is set to Safe and so the snipers stand up!  But that is more than made up for by the fact that if any of the loons on patrol know where you are then so do the snipers.

Quote
I noticed that the barn with the hidden ammo crate (which I have only just seen!) is floating a few feet up in the air, how strange (see screenshot).
What a bummer!  v1.00 had problems like this, but not so extreme.  It seems to be caused by the level of terrain detail.  This mission needs to be played at terrain detail set to normal.  I set this in init.sqs and then I keep reminding it every 5 minutes or so in a housekeeping script.  Having seen your screenshot I have experimented a bit.  

The code I use is:
setTerrainGrid 12.5
This sets the mission to normal terrain detail but it does not change the user's settings.  Given your benchmark I suspect you might have your terrain detail set to high.  What I have found is that if the user's settings are for high detail and I then run the code setTerrainGrid 12.5 then the two buildings you show in your screenshot appear to rise up a few feet.  My theory is that constant saving and resuming will keep putting the mission back to high detail and then the housekeeping script re-sets it to normal so lifting the buildings a few feet each time.  If I am right this means I will need to require the player to set his video options to normal - what a pain.  It also means that if you continue as you are you might be able to bring down some choppers by hitting them with a French Barn - I think AA buildings must be a first.

Quote
All I can say is wow!  Its great to have a "mission" like this.  Its not really a mission though, more of a dynamic campaign, as I feel that I have complete freedom on what to do next
Glad you like it.

Quote
1) The snipers covering Arundy seemed a bit odd.  It was a relatively quiet place with no obvious reason to have covert cover.  Maybe they were rogues?
These snipers are missing from the next version.  
Thanks for your comments and help.  Please let me know how you progress.

@macguba
Quote
Welcome home matey!
Thanks.

Quote
having the SW standing up made him virtually invisible.    Brilliantly done
Is this irony I detect?
Not irony, if it was delibarate it was very well done.
I originally had them lying down in a bush each.  It took ages to get them just right, then I go and group them with some loons that are patrolling in SAFE mode so they stand up.  I thought that would have made them more visible - hence my reference to irony.

EDIT:

I should not have claimed that it was a mistake.  I have just checked the snipers in my readonly version of 1.10.  Having the snipers stand up in a bush is an absolutely stunning way to hide them.  Even knowing where they were I could not see them if I was more than a few feet away.  I must be honest - this was a happy accident.  One I will repeat deliberately in future.
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: XCess on 08 Apr 2005, 22:16:59
YEEEEESS!!! THANKYOU THANKYOU THANKYOU!!! I'll be playing the mission in a couple of days when I get my replacement disc through from BIS. Yay.  ;D
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: THobson on 08 Apr 2005, 23:51:04
Excellent
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: Mikero on 09 Apr 2005, 01:39:41
@Northerner

welcome. Nice piece of writing btw. I shall be pinching some of it.

It's clear this mission is having the same effect on you as most of us, it's very fluid, what you call dynamic, if you ever get into a quiet spot, thinking the mission's gone lame, well,,,, hee hee.

HAW, giggle, snort, snigger....

when this happens, truly, be afraid. At 4792, the tiny amount of lag is your best friend.

what does RV mean please?

Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: Planck on 09 Apr 2005, 02:14:10
Possibly RV = Rendezvous   ;D


Planck
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: Mikero on 09 Apr 2005, 04:39:21
>comments welcome.

There's a true trory of a French Archeologist who started chipping away inside the great pyramid because it didn't fit his 'idea' of how the maths all worked out.

here are my ideas


Flags:

I do not want 'x' marks the spot. By all means have them in the briefing, do not, hold my hand. Just show them for candy, I'm a 16 y/o with my dad's revolver, twenty something at best. I wouldn't analyze their significance other than they mean death, or, they probably didn't even exist during my flight to the small island. I would use them as the overview pic. Drawing attention to the fact that this wont be Nato vs Russians. I should 'learn' this, just as I learned to never stick around. There are many things i 'learned' and this became thematic of the mission.

Bodies:

cookie cutter is a good description. They need to be splunked elsewhere. But I want more than this. I want a reward for finding them. The all important, often missed, player feedback. I want a voiceover as minimum as i discover them. My view, they are great devices for optional objectives. Le Port eg is a long way away and there's a mysterious roadblock at the Tjunction already. (I know what it's there for at that angle Thob).

A fiction:

Of course it is. And a marvellous bit of inspiration to include it. Adds understated authenticity. I loved this more than anything else, no bull.

Cutscenes:

More please. Much more. Much much much more. Percentage wise they are pitiful in number. There's a balance that needs to be struck, right now it's severely the wrong way. Diversionary optional objectives as bodies are discovered eg.

Savegames:

Imagine, i've just been through hell. I am somewhere safe, licking my wounds, or grieving over the lost Russian in my squad and this idiotic 'there you are, a reward'. Oh, thank you, thank you so much. Why didn't I get one when i 'deserved' or 'needed' it.

I'm in the middle of a firefight and this message comes up. Ook?

I want a savegame from destroying each of the marked towns, and so on. It's player feedback. In truth, you are too cute by half. Let me decide how many retries i want. They're not the same as cheatsaves. Don't bother limiting the number at all, OR, put them in as feedback mechanisms.

Cheatsaves:

no-one's mentioned it. If you prevent them, this mission is unplayable. Period. Anyone who says they don't need them on this mission is smoking something illegal.

x4 crippler:

excellent. Make the player learn. Never stick around, especially at x4.

Godzilla:

I enjoyed him in the same vein as never stick around. I would *never* confront one again in this mission. I resent it also, you the author have played unfair. A T80 is a bad enough mongrel as it is, these leviathans make any contact with them unplayable.

AP/AV

I've had my 2 cents. But, putting a safe option isn't the issue for me. My left arm is now dead.

Vehicles:

My brain dead drivers run into walls, boulders, and all. I want a message "we're exhausted #1" but I also need feedback after that msg to either get them out, or keep going.

Goisse:

not good enough by half. I have to have a reward for going that far. I encountered one soldier. (yes, and jeeps). You have to maintain a squad sentry thing in these towns, _despite_ the need to re-inforce elsewhere. the player must have a feedback reward for bothering.

Westrons:

The location of base camp is , well, at worst! perfect.

What happens when I accidentally shoot my Russian? Do the rest of my squad/some of my squad desert? Why can't I learn to defend the west, and civils enter the area, why cant one/ two of them, start replacing my dead medic if I 'learn' to go back to passagne. (repopulating means dead ai can be put in graves and buried from cpu cycles)

airport:

What happens if, sorely tempted, I start executing them, what does my Russian do?

why didn't some of the losers join my squad and fill out my losses? That's not a technical question btw.

why aren't they bolstering me for the last, final, big push south?

Houdan:

wrong. It's too far away, you've pushed me too far south, I will attack chapoi, especially with what Russian tells me.

You need to change this to Dourdan I realise you have a St Louis balance issue.

I need an Airport counter wobble to the Russian's conversation, I need a quest to the airport, to leave me undecided. Add another woman to the pack who tells me this. The one i've got is a token. I want a fleshed out squad of misfits.

Arudy Snipers:

This was 'ok' by me only because they had no direct influence in the Arudy attack (for me). I strayed too far. If you remove them you must replace with marauding troops on the mountain skyline. It must be as it became, a clear distinct warning that south of road was southron. If i went into mountains to get at Chapoi, it would be at my peril, and a choice i had to decide. The sniper effect enhanced my westron safety zone. North mountains were my territory. You enter my space at your peril.


Tough / Too hard:

Yes.

This is a XXX rated hardcore ofp mission. It can only be played by people with an eye patch and 3 teeth missing. My conservative estimate is you would had to have played 100+ missions before this one to have any chance of 'understanding' what tools to use. Mgun vs rpg vs Snipe vs use terrain, vs vehicles. Buildings are both friend and foe. What do black ops really mean. You need to know what chopper + truck + clear skies mean. You especially need to know the differences between rpg/law/gustav and AA. You would not introduce a friend to ofp via this black hole.

It's the strongest malt wiskey out there, you wouldn't dream of diluting such a thing, and can only sip and gasp for breath.

But it is too tough. I met it at Larche, MacGuba at Arudy. All of us at airport / chapoi. The saving grace is that ai wont hunt you to extinction. When you 'learn' this, it's manageable.

I dont know what you can do about the Abrahms godzillas (correction, think I do). They introduce a very unfair element into it. My idea would be to minefield areas, plural. Once war breaks out, these mongrel things destroy themselves. Scenario wise it would make sense that the only safe corridor between north and south is Trinite. I would 'learn' as player that if i chose to use a tank, this is my only route thru. You haven't played the minefiled card anywhere near enough.
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: Mikero on 09 Apr 2005, 06:12:33
rushes back to computer, trips into keyboard, qwerty indelibly printed on foreheaad.

The Russian can't be alone. He's atoning for his sins, nursing badly wounded civilian, probably female. She can't speak till medic'd. She tells player the airport wobble, the thing to stop the Chapoi assault being a certainty. She joins the squad if numbers are 'right'. Civilian must be in crawl mode, transport needed. And, they can be safely left where they were found in mad rush for ambulance bmp at trinite (eg).

Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: General Barron on 09 Apr 2005, 10:07:17
WOW! I suppose I'm 'getting on board' with this mission a little late in the game, but god damn, its good! The intro sucked me right into the mission like you wouldn't believe. By the time I saw whats-her-name get shot, I was ready for blood. I'm ready to kick every damn ruskie and yank off of this island! Take back the land for the dozen-or-so remaining civillians! YEAH! Then SOMEONE will have to repopulate the human race...  ;D  ;D  ;D

The camera technique for the intro could have been better, but then again I'm not that great myself with cutscenes, so I don't have much to suggest!

I rescue the first batch of civillians, but some of them decide they don't want to get into the truck. After fiddling around for a while, I kick out two of my allies, and tell them to grab a Skoda. Right as I start pulling away, I notice an enemy squad about 50 meters away! I decide to just gas it, and I plow thru a good 3 or 4 of them in my escape. HAHAHAHAHA! I better turn on the windshield wipers to clean off the blood.  :o

Funny, I would have expected them to react quicker and send some bullets my way, but they didn't. Nor do they shoot my friends in the Skoda, thank Jeebus. Nor did they shoot me when I was escaping from the very first town... I'm beginning to think their blinders may be on just a bit too tight. Then again, I suspect I'll need all the help I can get in this fight.  :-\

Later, I reach the second batch of civilians. I tell corporal whats-his-name to take the civies back to our mountain hangout, and after the cutscene I see a few people running off into the fog. I guess they would rather go by foot? Oh well, I hope they don't get shot along the way...

I suppose I should rescue that little girl's parents... problem is, I've got ADD, so I've forgotten where she said they were! I check my briefing, but no marker, nor any notes! What the heck am I supposed to do? How come I got a nicely updated objectives page for the first two 'rescue missions', but not for this latest one? ???

Oh well, I suppose I'll head for the town to the NW (forgot the name). I hop into my truck with my newfound sidekick (the rest of my squad being back at home base), and start driving. I happen to check the 'group' tab of my notebook, and it looks like there are about 6 people in my truck! I thought they went off on foot?!?!

Now I'm really confused, because I don't want to take civillians into battle with me.... After sitting around for a little bit, I get a message that all the civvies are safely back at camp! Well who the heck is in my truck?!?! Ah well, I'll sort it out later. Right now I've got some rescuing to do.

I arrive at the town, which was closer than I expected. Good thing there weren't any soldiers on the outskirts of it, or else I would have been an easy target. I disembark and do a sweep of the town with the corporal. I see Ivan up ahead... perhaps I should save now. Right after I finish saving, the dung starts hitting the fan, as an enemy patrol squad waltzes right into town, while my buddy is right in the middle of the road. He dies no matter how many times I retry, but I take out the rest of the soldiers pretty easily.

I decide to stick around for a bit afterwards, and extract a little vengance on anyone else that wanders by. Another squad comes in--they never know what hits them. I pick up a Strela launcher off of one of them, and hope to take out that damn bird I hear flying around all the time. It's all in vain, because I can't see a darn thing. At this point I've searched the town, and I don't think her parents are in it... I guess they were in another town?! Damn ADD! Oh well, I'll have to pick it up again later.

Issues summary:

:hmm: No updating of the briefing for the 'rescue the parents' sub-mission
:hmm: Civvies don't wanna get in my truck in the first sub-mission
:hmm: Some civvies run to safety by foot in second sub-mission, but some of them are also in my truck. Objective completes while I've still got them in my truck

Damn fun mission! It totally reminds me of an old Amiga game I always wanted to remake in OFP: "Midwinter". Its plot is somewhat similar to this, only on an arctic island, and with only one enemy army. This mission truly makes the most out of OFP, and I look forward to continuing it! :thumbsup:

Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: THobson on 09 Apr 2005, 10:30:21
@mikero
Great thank you.

Flags:
When you say don't hold your hand - do you think I am doing that?  Is there too much use of flags from your perspective?  I have one at each base and one for the leader of each vehicle group.  I can see why you suggest using them as the overview picture, the trouble is I really like my current one.  

Bodies:
Great suggestion, some voice over and maybe a savegame.  The bodies only feature in Stamenov's part of the island.  He is evil, Andropov is just ruthless.

A Fiction:
I am really glad someone liked that.  I had the idea when I realised I was basing the names in the mission on real people.

Leon Stamenov, from Leon Trotsky;

Vladimir Ilich Andropov from Vladimir Ilich Lenin

Andropov from the former head of the KGB

Other names I got by looking in telephone directories and selecting combinations that pleased me.  In the end I don't think the extent to which the key players have names comes out very much.

Cutscenes:
I agree.  I have already spent more time at the keyboard on these than all the rest of the mission put together (and believe me that is saying something!), and the main factor driving the size of the download is the cumulative size of all the voice files, but it does need more.  This was meant to be a tip the toe in the water exercise for me.  This is my first ever attempt at cutscenes with voices but some leviathan got its tentacles around that toe and I am now in deep ocean.

Savegames:
In v1.00 the player had an infinite number available.  There was push back from beta testers about this, so I limited the number and then added a new one every 90 minutes or so.

Your logic is powerful.  I will take out the 90 minute ‘reward', but add them elsewhere when the player has done something worthy of one.  As you say it would improve player feedback which I agree does need boosting

Cheatsaves:
I don't know if they can be prevented, the player can always <Alt><Tab> out and rename the savefile.  That is what I do when I am testing, but I really do want to get the number of savegames sufficiently well balanced that it is not necessary.  Vain hope maybe.

x4 crippler:
My hero.  If you read the early posts on v1.00 you will see that this was hotly debated. My instinct was always that to create the type of atmosphere I wanted accelerated time had to be prevented.

Godzilla:
The Abrams are real bastards, but paradoxically they are some of the easiest armour to capture.  A mine or satchel charge will kill anything else but with an Abrams a well placed mine or satchel charge together with a repair truck gives you your very own battle tank.

I have some concerns here that I need to think on.  The mission is pretty well balanced as it is and so to start swapping M1A1s with T80s might have some other unfortunate consequences.  Set against that is the effect the tank had on your enjoyment and also Student Pilot also stopped when he saw Andropov still had one active.

I have made a change between v1.00 and v1.10 that might be an influence here.  In v1.00 all the armour on both sides was committed either to the north/south battle, or to defending their base when it is attacked.  In v1.10 each side has one armour group that is only committed when that side enters its endgame (<50 living loons left or leader killed or Alexi detected in the base).  This significantly increases the likelihood of the player having to deal with it.  â€˜It' being a T80 + Bradley with onboard infantry in the north and an Abrams + BMP with on board infantry in the south.  Perhaps as a minimum I need to go back to the set up used in v1.00.

There is also a huge amount of variability.  Sometimes the choppers rule the island blasting all the armour away, other time they are taken out so quickly there is a lot of armour left.

The simple act of writing this has helped me clear some thoughts.  My current inclination is:

- Reinstate the arrangement in v1.00.  That way there is a high probability that all the armour of each side will have contact with armour and possibly air units of the other side before the player needs to deal with them.

- Otherwise leave them in to reinforce the need to hit and then run away.

This is not a ‘decision' it is meant to be a suggestion for comment.

AV/AP:
I think this was a good idea that might just not be good enough.  In v1.00 these mines were a mess.  You could place them at anytime, you did not need specific items of inventory {you could even place them when you were in a vehicle!) and there was no disarm option.  Yet they were useful and fun.

In v1.10 all that has been fixed, but they are now worse than useless.  I have just completed my run through of v1.10 (you will understand I don't do a full run through that often!).  I placed two AV mines deliberately and several accidentally.  Of the two I placed deliberately one destroyed three M2 jeeps and the other remained un-detonated at the end of the mission.  I did not place a single AP mine.

Options I am thinking about, and on which I would welcome comment, are:

Option 1: Just get rid of them

Option 2: Put a safe option as the top action (I like Planck's suggestion of a hint giving the number left) and remove the need to have some specific items in inventory - this is what makes the AP mines useless and the AV mines so annoying when placed accidentally.  But this change does reduce the realism significantly.

Option 3: At La Trinite instead of forcing them on the player, give the player the option to take them or not and also give him a radio command that lets him throw them away.

Option 4:  Option 2 and Option 3 combined.

Vehicles:
I understand what you want.  The scripting challenge is immense, I would have to be monitoring and fixing problems with the OFP engine (I am already doing that a lot just to keep the convoys and jeep patrols running).  That was difficult enough and I know what they are supposed to be doing.  Monitoring units that may or may not be in a vehicle, and may or may not be trying to get somewhere is a task that is currently beyond my energy level.

Goisse:
In v1.00 all the towns were empty once the fighting started and the soldiers there went off to war.  In v1.10 Goisse is the one border town I forgot to put in some permanent guards.  Sorry, now fixed for v1.11.  I have no idea where the solitary soldier came from.

Westrons:
Quote
The location of base camp is , well, at worst! perfect.
Thanks.  In the earlier threads there was a lot of discussion about this also, mostly not supportive.  Your comments help reinforce my view to go with my instinct.

Quote
What happens when I accidentally shoot my Russian? Do the rest of my squad/some of my squad desert?
It is just the same as accidentally shooting anyone in your squad in any standard OFP mission.  Do it too often and you get shot.  Killing one of the civis you rescue though is different - killing one is one too many.  Also killing anyone at the mountain lodge before the cutscene is also fatal.  Otherwise I have just gone with standard OFP.

Quote
civils enter the area, why cant one/ two of them, start replacing my dead medic if I 'learn' to go back to passagne. (repopulating means dead ai can be put in graves and buried from cpu cycles)
That is a tough challenge.  I don't want just to have random people there, if I have them they will need to interact with the player.  The closest I got was in v1.00 I had a couple of mad women running around the island.  At the time I did not have the energy to make them interact with the player so took them out.  I am certainly thinking of bringing them back.  They seemed quite popular.

I do like your concept of the player learning things.  That needs more thought on my part.

airport:
There is no consequence to the player if he starts killing surrendered soldiers ( or escaping soldiers at Chapoi).  This was one of those - I will do it later - tasks that I didn't get round to for v1.10.

Houdan:
Dourdan is a border town and so must contain a significant presence.  Houdan is the sort of place a deserter might go to.

On the counterbalance issue with the airport:
Quote
The Russian can't be alone. He's atoning for his sins, nursing badly wounded civilian, probably female. She can't speak till medic'd. She tells player the airport wobble, the thing to stop the Chapoi assault being a certainty. She joins the squad if numbers are 'right'. Civilian must be in crawl mode, transport needed. And, they can be safely left where they were found in mad rush for ambulance bmp at trinite (eg).
Is a stunning idea.  Thanks.

Arudy Snipers:
They are gone in v1.11.  On the suggestion of having more infantry groups in the mountains - I too was wondering about that, not in the context of the Arudy snipers, but just generally.  You make an excellent case that would improve the atmosphere of the mission.  The mission certainly has the capacity.  Would you believe that excluding the small groups that guard the towns, but including all the soldiers in each base and the soldiers that travel with each convoy I only use 18 infantry groups for each side?  I laugh when I see people complaining that the OFP limit of 63 groups per side is too small!

The thing that stopped me doing this earlier was a concern about lag, but that seems not to be a serious problem.

There are somethings I need to give thought to:
- Are they to be a force early on or throughout the mission?  In other words do they join the general north/south war (and so get neutralised) or do they stay put so requiring the player to deal with them.
- Their location - I don't want them getting in the way of the armoured groups that attack each others base.

Tough / Too hard:
Quote
Yes
If the yes refers to Tough - fine; if it refers to Too Hard - then not fine.

Quote
My conservative estimate is you would had to have played 100+ missions before this one to have any chance of 'understanding' what tools to use. Mgun vs rpg vs Snipe vs use terrain, vs vehicles. Buildings are both friend and foe. What do black ops really mean. You need to know what chopper + truck + clear skies mean. You especially need to know the differences between rpg/law/gustav and AA. You would not introduce a friend to ofp via this black hole.
That is what I want.  I started building this mission thinking there might be one or, if I was very lucky, three people in the whole world that would enjoy and finish this mission.  I have been thrilled by how wrong I was.  

Quote
But it is too tough. I met it at Larche, MacGuba at Arudy. All of us at airport / chapoi. The saving grace is that ai wont hunt you to extinction. When you 'learn' this, it's manageable.
I have tried very hard not to play the player, not to make assumptions about what he will or will not do and to make it easy or difficult for him.  I have just tried to create a realistic island and then give the player an impossible task.  I mean - you arrive on the island that has two large and well organised armies (each with a head count of 280+ in v1.10) all you have is a pistol and a couple of magazines and your objective is to ‘kill them all' or as near as damn it.  It forces the player to learn new ways of playing.

It is still a huge regret of mine that I could not keep the size of the squad down to seven.  Then I could have made oblique references to medieval Japanese samurai.

I do like your idea of multiple minefields - with real mines this time so the player can see them.  Concerns I have about this are:
- They could seriously inhibit the north/south war
- They must not get in the way of the armoured assault each side makes on the other's base - and this then makes me feel like I am making a map that is deliberately contrived.
- It would not be realistic for armour to be oblivious to the location of their own minefield.  The way the mission works the armour goes where it sees fit.

This is another idea I need to soak on.


mikero - you have really ‘done me proud' as they say where I come from.  Huge ego boosts balanced with comments that bring me back to earth and some excellent ideas for the next version.  I am truly grateful.


Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: THobson on 09 Apr 2005, 11:03:24
My test.  You will I hope understand that I do a lot of testing by running through individual parts of the mission separately and only occasionally do I do a complete run through of the whole thing.

I have just done a run through of v1.10 and I have a long list of little things to change but there are some other more significant ones that deserve comment and discussion - several raised by mikero above.  A couple more are:

I believe I should remove all the vehicles from La Trinite - or at least remove their fuel.  Most of you seem to have fun by scavenging for weapons.  I don't, I just steal the ammo truck at La Trinite when the town is empty.

I am not happy with the fog.  I think I have diluted its impact far too much.  As I think we are all seeing - rain cuts down the player's visibility without seeming to impact that of the AI.  Fog seems to work on both player and AI.  In my run through I finished at about 5pm mission time and apart from the early morning fog it was never an obvious feature.  The fog level should peak somewhere between 11:30 and 14:30 and I never noticed it.  I think my code that reduces the maximum intensity of the fog depending on the loon count of the smallest side is doing its job too well.  The fog is on a 5 to 6 hour cycle, the overcast (and hence rain) is on an approx. 2+ hour cycle.  I plan to change this - I am just not sure to what yet.  I think more fog will make the snipers easier to deal with in a way that the rain does not.

Anyway just a couple of thoughts for comment.

@General Barron:
Welcome.  I will reply shortly I just need to help my other half move multiple bags of compost for the garden.
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: THobson on 09 Apr 2005, 12:25:41
@General Barron

Okay chore done.

Quote
No updating of the briefing for the 'rescue the parents' sub-mission
The briefing should now have an objective to ‘Search Houdan'  Houdan is where she said she lived.  If not then you have stumbled on a big problem.

Quote
Civvies don't wanna get in my truck in the first sub-mission
Entirely my fault.  I use Game Logics to check that the vehicle the player is in has enough space for the civilian group.  But as a result of a typo on my part the GLs are stuck in the vehicle.  Now fixed for the next version.

Quote
Some civvies run to safety by foot in second sub-mission, but some of them are also in my truck. Objective completes while I've still got them in my truck
At the mountain lodge you are joined by one soldier and three civilians, after you get the first group of civilians to the lodge you are then joined by one more soldier, then at the second group of civilians you are joined by another soldier.  So at this point your squad consists of: you, three soldiers and three civilians.  The two groups of civilians are not of the fighting variety

Quote
I don't want to take civilians into battle with me....
I suggest you do, they are all you have got.  Reports from other beta testers are that Irena is particularly formidable especially as a sniper or as a tank gunner.

On the apparent reluctance of the soldiers to fire on you early on, I put that down to two things:
- fog seems to reduce their ability to react
- infantry do sometime seem to ignore you when you are in a light vehicle (armour units have no such problem)

On the first group of civilians:
Quote
as I start pulling away, I notice an enemy squad about 50 meters away!
That I cannot explain.  I have had so many strange things happen in and around Dd46 that I am beginning to think the place is haunted.  

Quote
This mission truly makes the most out of OFP, and I look forward to continuing it!
Thank you.  I hope you enjoy it.  

But you will need to do something about that ADD ;)
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: Pilot on 09 Apr 2005, 16:25:44
Quote
and also Student Pilot also stopped when he saw Andropov still had one active.
Yeah, the Abrams are tough.  I am sorry I didn't complete it, though.  I do intend to come back and test Abandoned Armies again, maybe when V1.11 comes out.

EDIT:
About the mines, I like option 3.
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: GI-YO on 09 Apr 2005, 17:17:53
A small update on my minimal progress. I spent an age finding the lodge (again). I thought there was an autosave at this point? I would have liked to seen one act as a good launching place for the rest of the mission. The new cutscene at the lodge is very good. Explains more of the background story and introduces my band of men and women, and explains why I am leading them :thumbsup: . I've been busy at work this week but tomorow should be a good time for me to give this mission a right good work out. More soon

GI-YO
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: THobson on 09 Apr 2005, 17:56:39
GI-Yo
Thanks for the comments.  There are no autosaves in the mission.   I did think of putting some in but decided to leave it to the player to decide when to save.  Best of luck this time.  I hope it doesn't break.
Title: Re:Abandoned Armies
Post by: Mikero on 10 Apr 2005, 00:52:05
Quote
When you say don't hold your hand - do you think I am doing that?  


glaringly obvious during mission play that you will not. Example: you miss the info content of a cutscene, you miss a mission,

Therefore I never