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Author Topic: Which are the really great missions?  (Read 2484 times)

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Offline Archangel Scream

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Which are the really great missions?
« on: 27 Dec 2002, 22:58:22 »
I mean, so far as I can tell, there are about a handful of high-standard missions that you can respect with a permanent place on your harddrive.

But I'm very disappointed - and quite worried - that OFP is roaring on regardless.

Every few months there's a new upgrade; there's an utter plague of addons (of variable quality); BIS are introducing new commands; we have Oxygen...and a plethora of new islands...

...yet where are all the quality missions?? Without missions, there is no OFP - other than as a artist tool. OFP should be far more than a mere 3-D art rendering program. It needs quality missions.

And quality missions that work with Resistance. :(

(btw - anyone know if BIS will address incompatability issues with pre-Resistance missions? I never got to play Toadlife's "Operation Lojack").

Offline Messiah

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Re:Which are the really great missions?
« Reply #1 on: 28 Dec 2002, 01:59:26 »
amen to that...

as i know too well, the addon thing has gotten out of hand - even i started to make addons - but after a while i realised that so many addons were coming out, and no decent missions... so i reverted back to my roots in this community and have started on 2 interesting missions - one which is set in North Korea (and i started this in the summer, way before all the latest crap thats going on)

now, Archangel, u know im a mission editor by heart, as uve tested one of my missions, and since that was my first mission then im really hoping that after working on these two for about 2 months that maybe i can give someting to your pernament places list...

as for lojac, place your original OFP cd in the cd drve and run normal OFP - then u can play Lojac (unless u didnt use the seperate RES addons folder, then it mite crash) - Lojac is a quality mission - not one of the best, but its def on my pernament list AND one which i take inspiration from - not many do that.
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Offline Dinger

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Re:Which are the really great missions?
« Reply #2 on: 28 Dec 2002, 22:58:17 »
For me, a really good mission pushes the limits of OFP in a way the designers didn't consider.  A really good mission takes about as much time as a really good addon, sometimes even more. It's a long, long process.  What makes it worse is that a really good mission isn't terribly stable.  Those cool ways in which it pushes the limits exposes it to each update.
For example, I have a mission that's now been waiting 3 months for a review here.  The idea was better than its implementation, and I make no cliaims that it's a RGM(tm).  When I started it, OFP ver. 1.46 was current.  Then I finished it under 1.75, and submitted it.  Then 1.85 introduced a helicopter bug, and I had to upload a "fixed" version.  Now 1.90/1 _may_ have broken the helos again, and autosave now resets the mission clock. The upshot is that when I get home, I have to patch it _again_ and upload another version.  All this for a mission that someday may be made available, along with a review that in all probability will talk about how crappy the frame rate is, how confusing the artillery manual is, how I should have added voice actors and put in dialogs instead of action-menu stuff. Oh, and of course the bugs.
I wouldn't have these problems if I didn't try to innovate.  I also would have finished it 10 times faster if I left out the fancy elements to the mission.
Missions are hard.  Writing a "keeper" is part luck and a large part hard work. I'll keep the faith.
Oh yeah, and you shouldn't be alloewd to release an addon without a cool mission.

Offline Archangel Scream

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Re:Which are the really great missions?
« Reply #3 on: 02 Jan 2003, 14:00:17 »

Dinger -

I've had a look at the missions pending and found "Insipid Popsong". Wolfrug is down for reviewing it - but I've now downloaded the mission, and if I don't see his review within a week I'll paste up my own.

Sorry for the delay.


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Re:Which are the really great missions?
« Reply #4 on: 06 Jan 2003, 13:29:23 »
I've already thought about this a couple of times, in my opinion mission makers are the guys that give our addons life, it makes no sense for an addon maker to be making addons all over the place and that not being able to make good missions and play with them.
Because of that and for some months, I've been reading some tutorials, and I've been checking how you guys do it and I've also been making a lot of questions in the forum and to my mission makers friends to try and learn something.
So far I've been able to make 4 missions with some quality, can't say it's an Anmac, Toadlife,Archangel ... mission because it ain't, but they have some fair quality probably a 6 or 7 maximun for an ofpec reviewer.
I would like to put them here for people to test and help me, but the amount of addons I use just makes it unberable, since I'm an addon maker, for me using addons is a must in all of them, it's nice to be able to make missions and use my own work in them.
Now back to topic, I think you guys are totally right, we miss some nice missions, we have Anmac,Tomb,Toaldlife,Sui,Archangel,Icarus and some more kicking A** but we need more, I've been downloading some missions and I've seen a lot of crap lately, people should be more carefull with their work, the realism factor, the joy of playing the mission, the history, the events all of those should be carefully thought, it's already the third or fourth time that I try a mission that runs like this:
You must kill an enemy officer, ok, you start the mission, you run almost 700 miles finnaly you get to the perimeter no action so far, you killl three enemy soldiers, you enter the perimeter you shoot the officer and the mission is over, cool Great Mission  ;D
Now that I've learned the basic for making missions I realise that it takes at least 10 days to make something with quality and this 10 days can easily be turned into 3 or 4 weeks, if you intend to make custom sounds,random events, a nice cutsene, a mission with a lot of surprises that even surprises you when playing it for the 100th time  ;D
The amount of units doesn't mean a nice change of fire
and a lot of action, it's a lot better to be walking and all of the suddent see an enemy unit in a high position spotting you and calling for help while some more attack you from an undefended flank or walking on a road, and get an enemy tank in front of you who was hidding behind some trees...
It takes a little bit of imagination and a good organised plan to make a good mission, than the more you know about editing the better, sometimes I find myself in a situation like "It would be nice to make this here, but how am I gonna make this?",ok there I go read and ask ;D
 Normally I wright in a paper my idea for the mission, the events that will happen, the best spots of engagement, normally before starting I put myself in the field and I start marking the best places for events, the best places to hide soldiers or vehicles, I start studying the field, always try to give a nice photograpy behind where things hapen, when the player as to walk more than usual  instead of making it boring, I make some nice events like a radio call, an enemy helicopter flying around and everybody needing to hide... that sort of things...

I think some missions need more imagination and more work , not that thing today I will make a mission, more like today I'm gonna start a project...

just my two cents  :P


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Re:Which are the really great missions?
« Reply #5 on: 06 Jan 2003, 14:14:18 »
Indeed.    ;D

I try to make my missions as original as possible.   ;)  I actually will be sending quite a few in for review now that the mission depot is back up..  Also I keep thinking of small things I want to be perfect before I send them in.   ;)  

If anyone is interested in helping a mission maker make better, more interesting missions that belong in the "keeper" category..  Please help in BETA testing!   :P  


 ;)   8)  

There is hope!   Good missions are being made, it's just that there are definately a lot of missions that do not have much effort put into them.  


P.S.  Dinger:

Oh yeah, and you shouldn't be alloewd to release an addon without a cool mission.

We tried to...  Check out the TAAB mission/addons and let me know what you think if you have the chance!   ;)  ;)
« Last Edit: 06 Jan 2003, 14:16:42 by Asmodeus »

Offline Dinger

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Re:Which are the really great missions?
« Reply #6 on: 06 Jan 2003, 18:30:11 »
I should probably clarify a little what I said up there (and refer to stuff in a cross-thread).
I wasn't really complaining about the delay.  I expected it when I submitted, and I know that you guys are always looking for reviewers (a thankless task).  What I was pointing out was that, at least to me, the "really cool" missions are the ones that push the envelope of what OFP can do.  Those take a darn long time to develop and debug, and they are vulnerable to each new patch.
And in the end, the mission designer is so close to the project that it's hard to judge just how good the mission is.  Something that annoys the hell out of everybody may be an object of particular affection to the designer because of the technical challenges involved.

I used the mission I wrote and submitted as an example, because I knew it best, and because, at the time I put up that post, I had found a couple of bugs new to 1.90/1 that screw up the timings in the mission and in general impede functionality. (Tomorrow I will be home and submit yet another patch).
I could have used the mission mentioned in the initial post, toadlife's lojack.  It only works with 1.46.  Since I've seen in beta (but not yet released) a 1.85 mp version.  But upgrading it is not a simple task either.

Anyway, this is my answer to why there are so few good missions: they're just as hard to produce as good addons, perhaps even harder.

p.s., I stand by my orthography comment ;) .

cool, when I get back home I'll put it on the list.
« Last Edit: 06 Jan 2003, 18:31:04 by Dinger »

Offline toadlife

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Re:Which are the really great missions?
« Reply #7 on: 07 Jan 2003, 23:57:00 »
This has been a dilema in the OFP world for quite a time - actually ever since the great evil (in my opinion), addons, came to the community.

Regarding Lojack, I've been working for the past month or so on a coop version of Lojack (which is a lot more fun than single player). THe coop version is all but done - I just have to wrap some things up.

Once I release it, I'll whip up an updated version of the single player version, which will have 3 more hostage locations, smarter enemies, fixed camps (so the hostage doesn't get 'stuck'), and some other suprises.

You can play Lojack with 1.46, But I would recommend waiting for the updated version. It'll be tons better.

The single player version will be much easier to update, since I won't have to deal with client/server scripting :o issues.

After that I'll work on my campaign, for which I have the first 4 missions complete (REALLY!).
"Whenever you want information on the 'net, don't ask a question; just post a wrong answer." -- Cancer Omega.


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Re:Which are the really great missions?
« Reply #8 on: 25 Jan 2003, 18:42:05 »
I'm trying to learn how to make missions but it is quite a daunting task.  Scripting and the mission editor are a must to learn but you also have sound editing and such.  

You would most likely see more, great mission if people pooled their talents.  Right now i seem to have ambitious stories that i would like to make into missions but my mission making skills are lacking.

I'm getting the hang of things dealing with mission making but it will weeks for me to be able to actually start working on a mission.  If i started right now i would be wasting my time because i would end up scrapping it and starting over so i could implement the new skills i had learned.

If multiple people got together you could easily make great missions, just divide up the tasks:

-Mission maker/scripter
-Cuscene maker
-Sound designing
-Story developement/dialogue writer
-the other stuff that makes up a good mission too

Offline macguba

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Re:Which are the really great missions?
« Reply #9 on: 29 Jan 2003, 18:28:35 »
In the most cordial manner possible  ;) I disagree with much of the above.       You don't need to push the boundaries, or have lots of wonderful addons, to make a truly great mission.      Of course these things can help.

As a mission designer what you are really doing is telling a story, or rather creating a story for the player to enact.       And the fundamentals of good storytelling don't change whether you are sitting in the bar of a cross channel ferry or creating an OFP mission.

You need a good plot; good characters; a sense of place and time; suspense; surprise; a good beginning and a good ending.   (Amongst other things)    A good mission is one that makes you feel something.  Think back to those distant days when you started the first campaign.      Were you a little nervous in the chopper on the ride into Morton?    Did you have not the faintest fucking clue what was going on until somebody said "Mission over" and you, just like a real squaddie going into battle for the first time, were merely glad to be alive?       Were you wet and cold After Montignac, as you tried to get to the exfil point?

All of these things were achieved with ordinary OFP.     Now that we are combat veterans it is much harder to achieve the same effects and that is one reason addons, new commands and complex scripting can help.  

The real problem behind the dearth of really good missions is a lack of imagination in the community at large.     Nothing makes me more miserable than a talented addon producer making yet another version of the Blackhawk.     I haven't looked around recently but is there a submarine?   A frogman?   An oil rig?     Don't get me wrong, I'm not getting at addons, mission designers are just as bad.    For example, how many missions have you played that had a fulfilling but "unhappy" ending?      Limiting yourself to "happy" endings (ie objective achieved and you're still alive) is exactly that, limiting.

Part of the problem is that in general - and certainly at OFPEC - the way missions are rated places a relatively high value on looks (overview, camerawork etc) and a relatively low value on how the mission actually plays - plot, charactisation etc.      People who want high scores (which is likely to lead to more people playing your mission) respond appropriately.     Consequently all the "good" missions are great to watch but no better than ok to play.

Concentrate on the story boys, if its not a good story then its not going to be a good mission.  8)

Plenty of reviewed ArmA missions for you to play


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Re:Which are the really great missions?
« Reply #10 on: 30 Jan 2003, 00:36:41 »
I haven't looked around recently but is there a submarine?   A frogman?   An oil rig?     Don't get me wrong, I'm not getting at addons, mission designers are just as bad.    For example, how many missions have you played that had a fulfilling but "unhappy" ending?      Limiting yourself to "happy" endings (ie objective achieved and you're still alive) is exactly that, limiting.

Hi Macguba!!   ;D  I know it was just an example, but I had to say that our mod is indeed working on a new submarine with special features.   ;)  

As far as what you've said about unhappy endings...  I agree, war isn't all happy endings for sure!  I've used this idea in a few of my missions to date.  (City of the Dead is a somewhat well-known one that should be reviewed soon)  Also seen a few other rare mission makers out there do the same.   ;)

I agree that you can make a great mission that requires no addons.  It's comparible to the people that made "Night of the Living Dead" for dirt cheap.  It was all about how they presented the story, not the special effects and thrills..  (even though those are cool, and in the right hands can only add to the greatness of the mission!!)   ::)   :P

Just had to say that, as a mission designer, it is definately difficult to make your way through the maze of bugs, beta testing, waypoints, triggers, scripts, sound effects, camera effects, briefings, graphic design, AI acting more like turkeys than humans, custom addons...  etc..  So, in the end the really great missions requires 3 main things:  (as I see it)

An innovative, hard working, talented and knowledgable mission designer with friends in the community that specialize in the mission designers' weaknesses and help with those extraordinary problems that seem to arise in certain situations in OFP...   ;)

A lot of time  

Multiple detail oriented Beta Testers with varying computer configurations and benchmarks(very important and also usually very hard to find very many people with the time and effort)

And all of this for free!   :o   ;D  

I think all good things will come to those who wait, and considering how many skills one must have to create a really top notch mission, it takes time for people to adjust to OFP and learn all there is to learn to accomplish just that.

Asmo   ;D   :D   :)

P.S>  @ Dinger..  Thanks a lot!  Any feedback at any time is always helpful!   ;)   ;D
« Last Edit: 30 Jan 2003, 00:52:55 by Asmodeus »