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#1 Posted at 2012-05-15 14:34        
     
Hello all, this is my first post, as well as what may end up my first public release of a mission. I've been working and learning with the editor now for about 6 months, had tons of ideas, made a lot of unfinished maps...but I'm finally getting to the point of being able to convey a story AND have a functional, challenging, engaging mission.

Anyway, this is a mission I've been working on that I plan to incorporate as a 4 or 5-mission SP campaign.

Op. Croc Hunt

**Requirements**:
ArmA2 & OA (or Combined Ops)
Isla Duala - http://www.armaholic.com/page.php?id=9150
TF86 Navy Seals Pack - http://www.armaholic.com/page.php?id=10001

Overview:
Inspired partially by the recent operations authorized by the US President to send SF elements to Africa to hunt down notorious war criminal Joseph Kony http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseph_Kony

The campaign revolves around your insertion as part of Task Force Fang, a Tier One contingent operating in the Horn of Africa. These guys have spent most of their time on carriers chasing pirates around, and find themselves in an entirely different sort of war. You are flown into the southern democracy of Afrene, which is nearing a full-scale armed conflict with their neighbor Molatia to the north. The notorious war criminal Arthur Bombaade has been operating freely in Molatia for some time, but it wasn't until the release of a western-made documentary detailing the horrifying activities of Bombaade (nickname: the Crocodile) and his death squad that the United States took closer interest. Amid the public uproar in America and Europe, the US President authorizes a seek and terminate order on Bombaade and his inner circle.

Coming Soon--

OP.Croc Hunt Pt.2: Insertion

WIP Screenshots: http://imgur.com/a/9u92n#0z1SB

Task Force Fang is to insert into Molatian territory via Nambe island, which is at the center of a decades-old territorial dispute btwn Afrenian and Molatian forces. Inserting at the Afrenian 3rd Battalion's (A3B) Outpost on the former site of a resort, Fang 1 (your team) must get across the volatile island which is crawling with Molatian patrols, and cross the heavily guarded border into Molatia.

Objectives:
*Sweep and clear a nearby settlement looking for western aid workers
*Establish a forward OP on the top of a hill overlooking the island's east
*Eliminate 'the Hyena,' an elite sniper from the Crocodile's death squad (Optional)
*Neutralize the AAA emplacement on top of the eastern plateau (Optional)
*Cross the border into Molatian territory

Features:
*New mission for the amazing, massive Isla Duala add-on
*Insanely detailed briefing with lots of background
*Immersive, well-written storyline
*Choose your loadout at the A3B Outpost
*The island is crawling with Molatian forces of all kinds
*Multiple approaches to completing the tasks and entering Molatia
*Lead a 4-man fireteam deep into enemy territory, play as either team leader of Fang 1 and Fang 2

Status:
*Tasks now work properly!
*Want to add at least 1 conversation tree
*Want to create intro and outro cinematics

So yeah, really excited about this mission, your team isn't fighting alone, the A3B is actively engaging the Molatian army from their OP's, tracers fly overhead often. The mission starts off relatively easy until after you set up the fwd OP, but pushing into Molatia's half of the island, then crossing the border is no cakewalk.

Hoping to do a beta release soon for testing, would appreciate any feedback! Let me know if you're interested in testing.

KNOWN ISSUES & FUTURE CHANGES:
~Need to add preview image and text to Scenario (SP Mission select) screen.
~Need to add task hints to show when Obj's are completed and assigned.
~Need to investigate the naming of unit types (eg. Corpsman, RTO, etc.)
~May make the AAA hill more challenging by adding more OPFOR (weigh in!)
~May add random spawn and/or adjust behavior on the Hyena (weigh in!)
~May add the ability to select loadout either during the briefing or during insertion (weigh in!)
~AI can be stupid when debarking from the RHIB during insertion, and then regrouping, I'm assuming they're reacting strangely to the topography.


This post was edited by headup (2012-05-20 21:19, ago)


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#2 Posted at 2012-05-15 16:44        
     
Sounds like an awesome mission. Are there any plans for a non-ACE version?


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#3 Posted at 2012-05-15 22:38        
     
# Suicide Commando : Sounds like an awesome mission. Are there any plans for a non-ACE version?

Thanks SC, glad you dig the WIP! ACE may not end up being a requirement, as the only thing in the mission currently that requires ACE (as far as I know) is the ACE version of the TF86 SEAL units, which there are non-ACE versions in that mod anyway. The native features of ACE are present to add a boost to gameplay, but I'm not really leveraging any of the mod's more advanced script-based functionality.

Updates to follow soon, will hopefully be looking at a beta test release next week.


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#4 Posted at 2012-05-16 00:24        
     
This sounds very interesting, and I am looking forward to the beta. *THUMBS UP*
Sorry, but I don't use ACE, but as soon as you change it I'll give it a whirl *CRAZY*

*Edit* You may want to consider adding different units to represent other countries outside of the USA, I know as a Canadian player it's a bit tiresome to always play the States :-P

Thanks
Warrior of Arma

This post was edited by Warrior_of_Arma (2012-05-16 00:38, ago)


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#5 Posted at 2012-05-16 04:57        
     
Thanks WoA, I may switch out the ACE units and test that tmrw before I get too further deep into development.

As for more "cultural diversity" in my missions-- I'd flip that right around and say we need more Canadian and Euro players releasing Canadian and EU missions and mods (starting with some truly decent CADPAT "lumberjack commando" or JTF2 units). Trust that I have a mountain of ideas, this one is just on top of the pile for the moment. I was mulling over including a mission from an Afrenian soldier's POV (maybe a contact behind enemy lines?), and might find a way to bring that in as I continue the story with the rest of the Op. It's insane just how much you can do, and I only recently got my modfolders/game launcher working.

I should also note that while I try to add a degree of realism in my missions, I do a bit of research and thread hints of this into the mission, I'm definitely not trying to offend any people who might consider Kony or the west's condescending treatment of sensitive African issues to be a sensitive subject. The more I read about the situation, the more I find there are a lot of differences between what is actually going on over there right now, what is being reported (or not reported) by the news, and what I'm reflecting in the mission. Also, I haven't actually watched the Kony documentary either, not too interested, the idea is more in response to the initial uproar and resulting sensationalism.

tl;dr - this mission doesn't actually have anything to do with Kony.

This post was edited by headup (2012-05-16 05:07, ago)


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#6 Posted at 2012-05-16 16:37        
     
Ah, yes politics. It is always wise to avoid offending people by throwing in real world names to directly simulate what is going on, unless me, you,or they, are really over there we have no idea what is really happening. Also, just switching a name doesn't change what you are trying to do (I mean Ocama Din Laben, really?) That being said, this is a war game so it's natural to draw inspiration from real world events.

On your idea for an Afrenian POV, it sounds pretty interesting. I don't think we spend enough time exploring the enemy's perspective. Also, I was not trying to criticize your choice of units, I was just offering an idea. No offense meant ;-)

Warrior of Arma


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#7 Posted at 2012-05-16 17:12        
     
For sure, I wasn't offended at all either so no worries. Also, Afrene is BLUFOR, Molatia is OPFOR, and I was planning on doing the mission from some deep cover contact, but it could be from an oppressed Molatian rebel or something instead, I haven't made up my mind yet.

As for the mission, I converted the SEAL Units to non-ACE, about to test that. However, without a set of wire cutters, which appear in ACE (also testing today), the mission gets pretty damn tough...not to say making it to the border fence alone doesn't already cost you your entire squad if you don't move carefully. I haven't been able to find a decent workaround that allows you to avoid a frontal assault on the Molatian-guarded border crossing (a narrow strip of land and one of the only ways to get across the river without swimming).


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#8 Posted at 2012-05-16 17:56        
     
Oh, my bad. I don't often use Duala, so I'm not expert on the politics. :-D
For the river issue, maybe turn the Seals into Blufor Molation troops to sneak in? maybe a hidden civilian or hidden small raft to cross?

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#9 Posted at 2012-05-16 18:43        
     
OK I got all the ACE/CBA out of there, also had some Jade Groove MFP units in there by mistake (meant for them to be Afrene Cops), so I updated the req's above - Duala and TF86 SEALs only.

As for the fence issue, it turns out that player can always use a satchel, they will start with 1 in their gear, but they will need more if they want to complete the optional AAA objective. There are two ordinance boxes on the island, one in the hands of each faction.

I think when I get the conversation tree w/ Lt. Oyelowo working, he will warn the player that the fence is electrified and wirecutters would be useless. He will also advise the player to take the extra time to survey the battlefield from one of his OPs...I won't say why for now :)

Added 5 hours 58 minutes later:

Alright, another update, lots of progress. While it's not a convo tree (and doesn't need to be) you report to the Afrenian Lt, he gives you a SITREP and some tips and then you move to the next obj. Now have a much cooler insertion via river boat just before the sun peaks over the hills. Also added a few hints, set-piece details, and extra dialogue triggers for the explorers.

A few more kinks to work out before it's ready for testing, would like to get a loading screen and an intro cinematic in there maybe. Also, does anyone have a decent bug tracker they can recommend? Arma has been crashing a lot recently and I can't tell why.

This post was edited by headup (2012-05-17 00:43, ago)


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#10 Posted at 2012-05-17 03:18        
     
Glad you decided to take out the Ace dependency.


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#11 Posted at 2012-05-17 18:59        
     
Alright, loading screen and autosaves are in place, exported to .pbo, I think it's ready for some beta testing. I myself have played through many different times and ways, with many different experiences in terms of enemy contact, which is pretty encouraging, looking fwd to some feedback.

EDIT: Now in the submission process...

Added 16 hours 44 minutes later:

First release is now up on the main page! So excited, hope you guys enjoy. Looking forward to hearing feedback and suggestions.

In the meantime, I am going to work on the two missions that come before and after insertion, and learn about Intro cinematics. Op.CH 1-1: Arrival involves your arrival at Camp Noobia in Afrene, my idea is to have the player start as Fang TL, but then it switches to an Afrenian soldier undergoing PT training provided by American "advisors." Not yet sure how to do this, but I don't doubt there is a way. Op.CH 1-3 will most likely involve playing as a Molatian dissident providing assistance and transport for the Fang teams, we'll see if that pans out or not though, I may just use that in the aforementioned cinematic.

This post was edited by headup (2012-05-18 15:53, ago)


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#12 Posted at 2012-05-18 16:01        
     
just began the mission, looks cool FTM.
I think you can add taskhints when an objective is complteted and a new one is set as current (or if a new one appears).


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#13 Posted at 2012-05-18 17:12        
     
OK cool, I'll start adding known issues to the original post so I can keep track, thanks a lot for pointing that out Wiki.

Just played through using the forceful approach and directly breached the border station (vs. my preferred method of sneaking using a commandeered boat), both are totally feasible strategies. Interested to hear how people play this through. AARs are much appreciated!


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#14 Posted at 2012-05-19 00:29        
     
Pretty good mission *THUMBS UP* I choose to search everywhere for a hidden CRRC, till I just high-jacked a boat.
I had to retry twice, once when I got sniped walking out of Spookdorp, and the second walking off the OP by a machine gun opening up on me. =-O But, despite these annoyances (which are probably due to my skill or lack thereof at the game) I found it very good overall. The only changes I would recommend are: 1) Add a possible location for the Hyena. 2) Maybe allow the option to choose your own gear at the start. 3) You may want to add an overview for the mission in the scenario screen.
Hope this was helpful :-)

Regards
Warrior of Arma


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#15 Posted at 2012-05-19 01:50        
     
Thanks a lot for playing through and providing some feedback!

The MG/Hyena-- yup, I got picked off many times by the MG nests (is that what you are saying, or was it an MG on patrol?), I never got killed by the Hyena that I was aware of, but that's bc I always knew his location (which currently does not change), I may add some randomness to where he spawns, I was also considering maybe just a simple combat-behavior S&D waypoint so he moves and is prone often, but is also bound to get killed if he doesn't get you first. His skill level is maxed out, so if you give him a shot, he'll take it. And the MGs are there to keep you off the road, best to flank them or pick em off from a really long distance, I may experiment with MG nest's skill level, but also I think the map needs a couple easy ways to die...the road is pretty well-guarded btwn the two MG nests and 4 or so patrols between the nearby camps, those Molatians done want anyone using them.

A few follow-up questions if you would be so kind: did you end up checking out either of the Afrenian OPs near the outpost like Oyelowo recommended? Did you have a look around the 'f*$%ing mess' in Spookdorp and get the comments from your teammates? Where did you search for a CRRC, or where were you expecting one to be and why? (I take it you grabbed a fishing boat to get across, which is the only way besides hitting the main border station road, it's a definite bottleneck and I wanted players to decide ultimately how to approach it.)


1) I can consider giving the Hyena's location, didn't think of that before. I guess if it's randomized a little then letting players know that area will balance the challenge. Lt. Oyelowo could always warn the player, but then how would he not know the current status in Spookdorp and know that Hyena will be there. The "clue" I left for ppl is in his dossier-- he sets elaborate traps, so when ppl see that things are amiss in Spookdorp they might get clued in that this is his work. Perhaps a clue in Spookdorp somehow that I can also tie-in to the dossier. Green smoke or something.

2) You mean allow during the briefing or on the RHIB? The RHIB would be quite easy, never done it during the briefing or looked into it but I'm sure it's not hard.

3) Was definitely planning to figure out how to add the preview img and some text, added this feedback to the post up top.