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Author Topic: (Review Completed) [SP] Abandoned Armies  (Read 145309 times)

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Offline Mikero

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Re:Abandoned Armies
« Reply #1380 on: 23 Sep 2005, 02:35:10 »
Gah!

Played the mission sans sandbags up to takeover of all outpost-towns.

(I also removed everything 'false' eg car=hidden where it clearly had no impact or wouldn't be looked for in scripts. not graves eg)

This is just a report on the result, NOT, a declaration that sandbags should be touched in any way.

Either I started the war early, or the engine did, one of my gameplays is to enfuriate the enemy so much that they chase me north -> south or south -> north and then a blue on blue occurs. That isn't my intention, my hit, run, entice, reduce-the-numbers, is. The blue on blue always surprises (and elates) me when it comes. I either started the war (again), or, the lack of barriers in T3 caused a blue on blue.

My comments on hints on convoy are RUBBISH. So easy to forget the whole desperate, hair tearing, frustrating, exhilarating, god knows what to-do, aspect of the mission. Say nothing. I am deeply embarrased by myself being so bloody crass. This isn't one of those missions. Jesus.

Anyway, the results of sans sandbags are revoltingly evil., you can't win, you can't break even, you can't quit the game.... Thob. Murphry's phlaw has hit hard.

The chopper was positively nasty. It ultimately found any vehicle i found ::)

The result has been a persistent, consistent and permanent, 'heaviness'. That awful trudging thru sludge stuff where it's not laggy, but nothing is responsive. Trucks sliding off roads eg because the engine's trying to keep up with the mouse twitch. This is pre-lag territory.

All of this because the war started! All of this because, the engine is now devoting a lot more energy into the ai and making it pay! As in there's background battles going on slugging the engine! A catch 22

Because of the permanent heavyness, I'm unable to say for sure whether loons in visual were dumber or smarter, most were ferocious, some weren't. But I just can't determine if any were looking for contact lenses or not. There's one guy at Larche near 'the house' who is persistently dumb, you might want to check him as litmus paper.

btw 'heaviness' for me is that seasick feeling where things go lumpy. In previous missions it was a terrific sixth sense, a feeling of menace a feeling of run like hell before it's too late.

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I have still to find my father's grave.

MacGuba's Sergei has a soft mumbled Houdan. Not good.

"Stop or I'll shoot"

PLEASE do so. Make the player understand to listen to every word ever spoken. I had the misfortune to walk my way into camp due to 'unforseen circumstances' 8) IF the player gets out of vehicle, or walks in, PLEASE order him to drop his weapon. This small piece has irritated me a lot as not being authentic. MAKE ME drop my weapon, please.

Group: imH it is not fully developed. For me, it is still coming on too quick, and for me, they shouldn't all be gaining at the same rate, little brother Ruslan eg. It is undeveloped because so much more (imho) could be done with it, without (i believe) lag penalties.

Fiction:
I think I am the only one who not only liked this, I adored it. I have not heard one positive comment about it other than myself. But be careful THob that you don't swing this mission too far to suit, just recall WHY you put it there and smile. There was a similar comment on Pilot's Red Tide, most didn't like the fact that the big bad Russians were released and free to go home. I loved 'the fiction' because it pulled me OUT of the game. This massive immersion of the intro, and then a play on my sanity. Taking it out is a mistake. It is a final, warning flag, a heads up, 'this mission is different'. It's a promise of things to come.

>speed text

I only referred to the time when the screen was black at very very beginnings of intro, not during candy. There's no reason (other than music passage) why this part shouldn't be longer, much longer, let me settle in my chair please. I wouldn't attempt to slow the 'candy & text' sections, we ARE going to play this intro again, 3 times, to follow what's happening. Let me settle in, at the beginning.

"Cannot stay here" Why not? I certainly would! This has always bugged me.

>Thunderclap.

Mac's on the money yet again. This bit generally happens to me half way up the hill (and I broke an ankle in two versions as I toppled over). Give player a slight pause as he settles in to sound of boat and gloom, then, whack!

>Move the boat.

Don't agree. Only because the audio of it was 'perfect' for me, as was the temptation to get in the bloody thing. If there's a technical reason, i wouldn't know. Situational awareness wise, it's currently perfect.
----
Conclusion to sandbags?

It's alchemy. Give the engine more time to the ai, and it does just that and produces lag :'( ??? :-\
Just say no to bugz

SpikeTennyson

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Re:Abandoned Armies
« Reply #1381 on: 23 Sep 2005, 04:49:54 »
@THobson
To be honest I had forgotten about the comment from Sergei about La Trinite trading. I usually share the computer room with a girlfriend who likes to have conversations and two kittens that like to climb up my leg or launch themselves off the printer onto the keyboard. Or maybe it is just my abysmal attention span. I did remember the helicopter comment which is why I decided to attack the south only and the convoys. Remembered the medic comment, but my man in the lodge (R.I.P) had the medic symbol on him so I knew that already (so why did I leave him exposed you are asking....). There did not seem to be a possibility to get myself healed by the medic in the concentration camp as he disappeared after the cutscene.
A small suggestion: When you finalise this, I think you should put a better name than THobson on the credits. Maybe you don't want to use your real name (although Luke Warmwater is not a name to be ashamed of {sorry, am I not meant to tell people?}), but make it at least sound like a real name.
Oh, and I like the finished house up at the lodge which is presumably full of happy civis. A shame my medic didn't have the sense to stay in there rather than stay outside and get shot!
Will send you a screen shot of the blue flag on the map; if it is still there.

Offline Mikero

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Re:Abandoned Armies
« Reply #1382 on: 23 Sep 2005, 09:05:24 »
It's surprising me that SpikeT is not reporting Lag, perhaps he's running too far too fast :D

>repaired house

I also forgot to mention the Trinite huts. After the war starts (I think), the first one (south) dissapears! The ammo is left in an open area, but the hut is gone. I think it's the same hut that initially has no ammo in it.
Just say no to bugz

SpikeTennyson

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Re:Abandoned Armies
« Reply #1383 on: 23 Sep 2005, 11:50:55 »
@Mikero
Slight lag as I drove through Dourdan, and only for a few seconds. Otherwise game is smooth.

Offline THobson

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Re:Abandoned Armies
« Reply #1384 on: 23 Sep 2005, 21:55:27 »
mac:
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Ditto the snipers.  Yes they are covering the bases beautifully, but why are they there in the first place?  "Quick!  We're, err, not under attack!  What to do, what to do ... Yes!  Quick!  Send some snipers out to take ideal positions for covering the base.    What?  What?  Facing outward?  Don't be a d**n fool,  nobody is attacking us, why would they face outwards?"
Lol ;D
I will really need to soak on this.  I like them.  Each base has snipers on a hillside covering it and has snipers in the base covering the snipers on the hill.  They really make it difficult.  Several times I have been in a dilemma, because the snipers are protecting units that are protecting the snipers.  Once I wanted to bring in my armour to pound the loons in the base but couldn't because of a chopper, but any attempt at taking the chopper down resulted in death by sniper.  Similar situation when I wanted to LAW some armour in the base.

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Download

Include as jpgs the overview shot, a tall narrow picture that will go on the mission page in the mission depot, and a shot that placebo can use in Flashnews.
Where would I put three pictures?

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The readme should say near the top that the mission is designed for Vets and there are no waypoints in Cadet mode.
In addition there is now a message (in the next version) that recommends the player change to Veteran mode if it detects the mission being started in Cadet mode.

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If you can dig out the thunder sound from the depths of the game, have a thunderclap a few seconds into the mission.  Help set the atmosphere
I have the file I would use, I just didn't have then energy before.  Also I don't want the sound to be predictable - but of course I can randomise the delay.

Assume that all your other comments have been copied and pasted into the to do list, and thank you for them.  Very helpful.

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I know how much the bit about the magically appearing gate at Dourdan will have pleased THobson.
It worked!!

Mikero:
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Played the mission sans sandbags up to takeover of all outpost-towns.
Jee…  I thought I had spent a lot of time on Malden.

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the lack of barriers in T3 caused a blue on blue.
That would be a serious problem if it did.  I spent ages getting it so that no war would start without player intervention.  I even left it run for 100+ hours just to check (I was away for most of the week)

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I have still to find my father's grave.
AGGGHH.  Of course!  These ideas have got to stop.  I have a life I need to get back to, if there is anybody still there that is.

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PLEASE order him to drop his weapon. This small piece has irritated me a lot as not being authentic. MAKE ME drop my weapon, please.
Good idea,  but it is not as easy as it sounds.  The player could arrive there with one or both rifle and pistol (most likely both).  I can detect what weapons he has but not whether he is armed with it or it is on his back.  Also at that point the player is not allowed to move after the second warning, putting the weapon on his back or on the ground constitutes a move.  It really is a good idea, I will look at it, but it could be a bit of a pain to do.  Much tougher than getting the loons to steal empty vehicles at LaT for example.

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Group: imH it is not fully developed. For me, it is still coming on too quick, and for me, they shouldn't all be gaining at the same rate, little brother Ruslan eg. It is undeveloped because so much more (imho) could be done with it, without (i believe) lag penalties.
Skill levels increasing more slowly and at different rates for different team members certainly would not be lag inducing.  I have approached this one carefully.  The last thing I want to do is to cripple the team.

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It's alchemy. Give the engine more time to the ai, and it does just that and produces lag
Hoh good. ::)  This argues for small changes not big ones.  A big thank you for doing that test by the way.

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also forgot to mention the Trinite huts. After the war starts (I think), the first one (south) dissapears! The ammo is left in an open area, but the hut is gone. I think it's the same hut that initially has no ammo in it.
This should only happen if the hut has been destroyed - is that a possibility?  Perhaps the repair truck blew up and killed the hut??  What a bummer.

Spike:
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There did not seem to be a possibility to get myself healed by the medic in the concentration camp as he disappeared after the cutscene
Yep, that's true, Alexi tells him he is not needed because he has a medic.

My name - yes embarrassing.  I just have no imagination.  I am stuck with it I'm afraid.

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Oh, and I like the finished house up at the lodge which is presumably full of happy civis.
Well there is one way to find out.  Get a few satchel charges and blow it up, then see what happens.

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Slight lag as I drove through Dourdan, and only for a few seconds. Otherwise game is smooth.
Now this is interesting.  Do you know if there have been any tank battles and if so where?  These usually do cause a problem.

« Last Edit: 23 Sep 2005, 21:59:36 by THobson »

Offline tudders

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Re:Abandoned Armies
« Reply #1385 on: 23 Sep 2005, 22:15:35 »
Quote:The readme should say near the top that the mission is designed for Vets and there are no waypoints in Cadet mode.
In addition there is now a message (in the next version) that recommends the player change to Veteran mode if it detects the mission being started in Cadet mode.


Im all for this - i had it on cadet mode and wondered why i needed to be able to navigate in the dark with a compass.

Switched to veteran mode for the lastest version, did the tatyana cutscene and stole the jeep before finding the only gap in the fence and drove into the fjord  ::)  Not one of my finest abandoned armies moments  ;D

Offline THobson

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Re:Abandoned Armies
« Reply #1386 on: 23 Sep 2005, 22:40:45 »
 ;D
That is priceless! ;D

Offline macguba

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Re:Abandoned Armies
« Reply #1387 on: 24 Sep 2005, 03:59:09 »
Snipers.   It's your mission of course, and you must do what you want.  I just don't think they are consistent with the vision of a realistic working island that you have tried to hard to create.   I've only really encountered them at Arudy (now removed) and the airfield.  The ones at the airfield made the mission unplayable when the rain and fog were at max, but once the weather cleared up a little and I knew they were there clearing them was merely tedious, not difficult.

The pictures should go in the zip next to the .pbo and the readme.  The tall thin one should be submitted as a thumbnail when you submit the mission to the Missions Depot.   IIRC you can click throught it to get a larger one, also submitted as part of the process.  However I also havea  feeling that that aspect of hte mission submission process doesn't actually work at present.  Ho hum.

mikero - I love the notion that reducing statics gives the engine more time to spend on AI which results in more lag than you started with.   This is very OFP, and probably right.
Plenty of reviewed ArmA missions for you to play

Offline THobson

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Re:Abandoned Armies
« Reply #1388 on: 24 Sep 2005, 15:00:49 »
Correction.  I think getting him to drop the weapon might be easier than I first thought.  It is a long time since I looked at these scripts and I thought I might have to do a complete rewrite because they are based on monitoring the player's movments.  I now think it might be a simple add in.  By the way though, it has always been the case that if Alexi fires his weapon during that wait he will die.

SpikeTennyson

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Re:Abandoned Armies
« Reply #1389 on: 24 Sep 2005, 17:59:26 »
Due to circumstances beyong my control, have not been able to continue the mission for the last couple of days, but I have been thinking about it.
While I still think that the level of hints provided to the player as to what he has to do towards completing the mission (start a war), and how he might achieve that (weaken one side, attack convoys); I think the playing experience would be greatly enhanced if the player was given subsequent feedback that his actions had been successful.
In the mission I am playing, I have worked out that there is some sort of battle happening in Dourdan, presumably between north and south; but I don't know why. Did I start it or did they just start fighting anyway? Are my strategies working or not?
One way to "reward" the player would be for radio intercepts to be received at particular points in the game which could let him know that certain events had occurred which were due to actions he had taken. To provide more authenticity, these could be mixed in with random, broken and meaningless intercepts; as if the players radio was capable of picking up occasional radio messages from the armies.
For example, a message could advise northen troops that a convoy promised from the south had not arrived, breaking an agreement and that hostilities would commence in retribution.
This is suggested by someone who has limited playing experience of the mission and who knows nothing at all about mission construction; I am just keen to delay THobson's return to the real world!

Offline THobson

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Re:Abandoned Armies
« Reply #1390 on: 24 Sep 2005, 20:04:51 »
Spike:
The idea of intercepted radio messages is an excellent one.  It was mentioned a while ago - together with intercepted weather reports.  I had hoped everyone had forgotten about it, it could be quite fiddly to implement realistically in an environment where I, the mission builder, have no idea what might be going on.  I will think on it more.  An alternative - the one I settled on when this was first suggested - is to leave it to the player's imagination, something they have to work out.  I think I am rationalising - I am just running out of energy.

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I am just keen to delay THobson's return to the real world!
Gee Thanks


Correction 2:
Getting the player to drop their weapon was not a simple add in as I had hoped.  I have now got it working having spent all day on it and having completely restructured that set of scripts.  Problems like - when the player drops his rifle he automatically arms himself with his handgun if he has one, that rather defeats the purpose; - there being no way I can find which weapon he has active; etc. made it more complicated than I had hoped.  Nevertheless it is a great imrovement.

EDIT:
If anybody has the energy to test this ‘Drop your weapon' addition,  replace/update existing scripts with the attached and edit init.sqs so that DeBug = true.

I also put Alexi near the lodge next to dead soldier so he can pick up a weapon and next to an empty jeep so he can drive in if he wants.  After the mission starts wait until you get the loon count hint (everything is initialised by then) and ignore all the debugging information.



« Last Edit: 24 Sep 2005, 22:24:19 by THobson »

Offline THobson

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Re:Abandoned Armies
« Reply #1391 on: 24 Sep 2005, 22:24:49 »
You will also need to put these inthe sound folder:

Offline macguba

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Re:Abandoned Armies
« Reply #1392 on: 26 Sep 2005, 10:42:57 »
OK I'm on it.

First couple of attempts worked fine although my pistol seems to vanish automatically which took me by surprise.... I was all geared up to drop that too, when it magically appeared in my hand after dropping the M16, although of course it didn't.

Arrived, when told to halt I jumped out of the jeep before being asked.  Script seemed to hang up - nothing else happened, I just stood there.   However, my pistol (though not M16) had been removed.

The gap between "halt" and get out of that vehicle is too long.  Shorten it if possible.

If I arrive with only pistol it is removed, leaving me weaponless which is a bit confusing.   The "drop that weapon" command is not issued.

Other than that it seems to be fine.    (Thinks:  didn't check that weapons were added back correctly after the cutscene.)
« Last Edit: 26 Sep 2005, 11:07:32 by macguba »
Plenty of reviewed ArmA missions for you to play

Offline THobson

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Re:Abandoned Armies
« Reply #1393 on: 26 Sep 2005, 12:14:25 »
Thanks:

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although my pistol seems to vanish automatically which took me by surprise...
This is to prevent:
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when it magically appeared in my hand after dropping the M16,
Being told to drop a weapon and then to start brandishing a pistol should get him shot so I take the pistol away.  This will seem odd if the player arrives with just the pistol - I will change that.


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Arrived, when told to halt I jumped out of the jeep before being asked.  Script seemed to hang up - nothing else happened, I just stood there.
Strange.  I will have a look at that.

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The gap between "halt" and get out of that vehicle is too long.  Shorten it if possible.
I will check the timings.

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If I arrive with only pistol it is removed, leaving me weaponless which is a bit confusing.  The "drop that weapon" command is not issued.
I decided only to have the drop the weapon instruction if the player has a primary weapon (see the comment above) hence you don't get the drop weapon instruction - but I should not remove the pistol either in that case.  Thinking about this now it might be better to get him to drop the primary weapon if he has one (and magic away the pistol), and if he doesn't have a primary weapon then get him to drop the pistol.

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Thinks:  didn't check that weapons were added back correctly after the cutscene.
The pistol is added back with the correct number of magazines.  The primary weapon is left on the ground where the player drops it.

Thanks again.  It is so helpful having someone other than me test it.


guenon

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Re:Abandoned Armies
« Reply #1394 on: 27 Sep 2005, 10:16:00 »
Ok, my first attempt in beta-testing  (ya - i know - this mission isn't a real beta in many  standards ;) ... so lets start some monkey business ...


Readme: I'm missing the install instructions ... there are many John Don'knowhows out there ...
but the rest - this's a first class readme *thumbs up*

OFP v1.96, Pref. Bench ~6400, no ECP, DXDLL enabled

Preview: Nothing exceptional to mention - all needed things are in there

Intro: *thumbs up*

Mission Plan: got to check this ... ignored it almost, 'cause ... ya know - playing a mission is more thrilling than reading it ...

then the first "Bug", don't  know if it ever was mentioned, but it needs obviously  the  map_editorupgrade ... which isn't mentioned in the readme AND it runs fine without this addon ... so it seems to be a relic in the description.ext ...

Mission itself: Great atmosphere! Played it for a few minutes ... but can't  say much  on this, need to play it again ;)