Intel Depot

Interview with Mandoble

Sep
10
2007

 mando_interview

In our next interview we sit down, in this case on instant messaging, and get to know Mandoble the scripting guru. Many know Mandoble as "the guy who helped me with a loop in my script". He has recently created the Mando Missile script system, Mando Gun ArmA, and most recently the Mando Tracktor.

Cheetah: Mandoble could you tell us something about yourself (age, country, occupation)?

Mandoble: 38 years old, I live in Spain and work in the oil & Gas automation industry

Cheetah: How long have you been active in the OFP/ArmA scene?

Mandoble: Well, in the scene I've been for two years more or less. Playing OFP, quite a bit more.

Cheetah: Which game do you enjoy the most, and why?

Mandoble: HiTech Creations Aces High. It is an outstanding MP WW2 combat flight simulator.

Cheetah: You prefer scripting over playing; why?

Mandoble: I did enjoy playing OFP, but not ArmA in its current "development" stage. There are several main bugs that keep me away from playing it. The most annoying one for me is the AI being unable to board vehicles in many situations. The AI units keep running against the vehicle not being able to reach the boarding spot. This "simple" bug is able to ruin any mission. On the other hand, ArmA scripting is simply fantastic, although there is still a terrible lack of good scripting documentation in the BIS Wiki. Scripting is really what frees you in ArmA editing.

Cheetah: How would you rate scripting in ArmA/OFP vs scripting in other games?

Mandoble: I don't script in any other game, so I can't say.

Cheetah: You scripted the MandoMissile Suite, could you tell what it is?

Mandoble: Soon I realized the lack of missile warfare capability in both OFP and ArmA. So I made the old mando missile suite for OFP. I was a good script suite but it has also big limitations, for example the maximum speed of the missiles to be accurate (no much more than 300 m/s), these missiles were able to catch any ground vehicle, but against fast maneuvering planes their capability is quite low. Then I started again from scratch the OFP Mando Missile, which was in fact way different in concept to its predecessor. The new missiles were able to intercept any OFP plane flying at any speed, they were also able to intercept other fast missiles. And then I bought ArmA and started to adapt the scripts to the new engine (new commands, new SQF scripts, etc.) And this is how Mando Missile ArmA 2.0 was born. But I have no experience at all with MP scripting and the final result was fully incompatible with MP games, so I started again almost from scratch, redesigning everything to be fully MP/SP compatible. The current result is Mando Missile ArmA v2.2 beta, which is fully MP compatible.



Mando Missile ArmA is just a script and then a full set of other scripts to convert any existing vehicle, plane, chopper or ship into a missile launcher for AI or players. There are also scripts to create countermeasures like chaff or flares both for AI and players, as well as scripts to switch any ArmA fired missile into a Mando Missile, which gives the editor the chance to modify any missile's flying or seeking parameters. The Mando Missile script was designed to be extremely flexible; you may configure almost anything through its parameters, you may create also your own warhead (detonation), exhaust smoke and launch Fx scripts (I already included some as examples).


Cheetah: Did a lot of time go into developing the Suite?

Mandoble: If we consider that everything started with the old OFP MandoMisil Suite, then it was about 1.5 years.


Cheetah: Will there be cool new features in future updates?

Mandoble: As always, but basically all the missile functionality is already finished, now it is time to edit some tutorials and to document correctly the headers of the scripts (some of these headers are outdated and may confuse the editors). With that documentation, current V2.2 beta will become V2.2 Final.

Cheetah: Any other scripts you are working on?

Mandoble:
Mando Gun ArmA , which is already public. It gives a fantastic gun capability to any unit. With it you may transform current ArmA Shilkas and Vulcans into deadly Su34 killers even at long distances. You may also use these scripts to configure static MG defence lines, etc. Horizontal and vertical firing dispersion is fully configurable, so you may create quite interesting firing zones.

Cheetah: What scripts out in the community draw your attention, and why?

Mandoble: Up to this moment I had no time to examine many of these scripts in-depth. I did like quite a lot, a small script by Mr Flea which used a transformation matrix to finally calculate vectorUpz and vectorDir for any vehicle based on simple inputs such as roll, pitch and yaw. I did post a link to it on the OFPEC ArmA Editing/Scripting Advanced section as well as a demo mission using it, quite interesting to see.

Cheetah: Do you have any hints for (new) mission authors/scripters?

Mandoble: The mandatory hint is, of course, to visit www.ofpec.com where they may find answers for most questions they may have. And the second and also mandatory hint is to realize that ArmA editing has its learning curve; they should proceed step by step, trying to really understand what they are doing instead of just copy/pasting things here and there. I would add also that good scripts and design have a far greater impact in final mission than just nice-looking addons. Missing them in mission editing is like building a quite nice car without taking care about its engine and wheels.

Cheetah: What tools/websites do you use and can you recommend any of these?

Mandoble: My only editing tools are ArmA editor and Notepad. About sites, for editing www.ofpec.com, for news http://www.armedassault.eu/ and http://www.armaholic.com/. And don't forget about BIS Wiki site.

Cheetah: You published missions for OFP, could you tell us something about them?

Mandoble: I have published one mission and two campaigns. The mission was The Forest , something like a horror movie. And then the campaigns Operation Urup and Grunt ONE.

Cheetah: Any chance of you releasing missions for ArmA?

Mandoble: Sure.

Cheetah: Many questions raised in the OFPEC forums get answered by you, how do you gain the knowledge?

Mandoble: By divine intervention, it was really a matter of lots of patience (this is where the divine intervention intervened) and many many tests. I picked up the Comref and tested most of the commands until it was quite clear for me the purpose and functionality of each one, and this is also a good hint for any new scripter.

Cheetah: Are there any (advanced) scripting topics you haven't explored yet, and will explore in the future?

Mandoble: Not really. Perhaps the FSM, but not sure it will interest me all that much.

Cheetah: Could you list some of your scripts/functions/missions that you want to bring to the reader's attention, along with a small description?

Mandoble: Well, there are many of them, and all of them may be found in www.ofpec.com, Editing/Scripting Resources Beta Testing & Submission ArmA and OFP forums. At OFPEC the editors will find not only my work, but also many interesting scripts done by other brilliant scripters.

Cheetah: There is a rumor that you don't like addons, and that is why you stick to creating scripts, is there any truth to this?

Mandoble: I dont like addons because 90% of them are problematic, unfinished, way limited, and, in most cases, absolutely unneeded for the success and fun of a mission and with compatibility problems between them, with the exception of addons that allows you to access to more ArmA objects like trees, houses, roads, etc Of course, there are still few outstanding addons out there.

Cheetah: Anything left for you to say to the community?

Mandoble: Don't be afraid about scripting, it is a wonderful world to explore. And also don't try to learn everything the first day. And if you have any questions, even dumb ones, go to OFPEC and ask there.

 

Just some of Mandoble's famous scripts 

Mando Missile v2

Mando Gun ArmA

Mando Storm  

Mando Runway

Scrolling text

Mando Chaser  

 

 

Mando Missile screen shots

screen5

screen1

screen4

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