This might be a tl;dr for some, but I would really appreciate some feedback on this.
I've just finished my first year of College studying music, and decided that it wasn't for me, so now I'm working, and turning to my other favorite hobby, gaming, in look of a career. I've never truly modded before, but I have time, ambition, and ideas, here's one that I'd like to get feedback from the community on:
For years now I've been wanting an authentic contract killing game. I love Hitman to death, but it doesn't meet the freedom of movement, and meticulous planning cravings that I want when I play as an assassin. So I decided I wanted to make a slower, more planning based assassination mod. The full mod I'm planning (if this idea picks up) will be for Arma 3, with it's better AI, better physics, and better everything, but until then I've been thinking of making a series of missions for Arma 2 that show the very basics of what the mod might be like, but before I start work on it, I want to know whether it's even a good idea or not, so here goes:
Each contract can span over a few days, or more than a week. You play as a contract killer, and all you're given is some basic intel, and a photo of the target. Each contract is comprised of several missions, where each mission represents 1 full day (the day/night cycle will be sped up a lot for the sake of gameplay). The idea is that at first you simply monitor the target, figure out his schedule, and formulate a plan (yes this means actually writing down some notes unless you have perfect memory). Then you get more in depth, maybe you infiltrate his home when the target's gone and look for useful info, or you follow one of his bodyguards and interrogate him to find out more information, or maybe you hack into his PC.
I plan on putting lots of work into each mission so that there are many ways to gather intel, and exploit the target. I also plan on adding a little bit of randomness so that not every playthrough is exactly the same, the target may have a routine, but that doesn't mean he's gonna follow it all the time. I'm already familiar with the mission editor, and I plan on becoming adequate in scripting so that I won't have to completely rely on already existing scripts for help, but any and all help scripting and mission making wise would be accepted.
My plan for the full mod for Arma 3 is to make a website that directly links with your in game character, including persistent stat tracking, a reputation system (are you subtle and clean, or messy but effective? Are you famed for your amazing sniper accuracy, or your deftness with a pistol?), and an ambiguity system (If you don't clean up after yourself, then you might become a target). You can collect intel in game, which you can then review on the site. I'm also hoping to have an economy system called the black-market which is where you buy new weapons, ammo, identities, and hired hands, using money you earned from contracts.
I realize I'm dreaming big, especially for someone with as little modding experience as me, but I have the ambition, will, and time to work on this. What I need is feedback, and help. Is this a good idea? Does this even sound like it would be a fun thing to play? Is there a better platform than Arma for this idea? Or am I just another overambitious new modder that's biting off way more than he can chew? Please comment about what you think, and if you like the idea and want to help, pm me.
Good luck with this idea. I started out similarly-- though I did have modding experience, I didn't have any with the Arma series. For the past 8 or so months using the editor, I taught myself how to script (I'd say I'm intermediate at this point) and now I'm able to create missions that are fun (hopefully) and convey narrative at the same time.
Many will tell you that the search tool is your best friend. It's 1000% true, I never made a single post to ask a question, because they had all been asked already. You need to know what to look for when you have a question, so try many different search queries to see if what you're looking for is out there.
As for looking to user-generated Arma missions/mods to jumpstart a career in game design, I'd advise as politely as possible not to invest too much hope into that. If anything, it'll set you on the path and maybe you'll find a program in game design to enroll in (I just graduated from Parsons in NYC, which has some very interesting game design courses). Sadly, Arma doesn't have the massive player base, you'll likely find it hard to get feedback from people at first. I know because there are crickets chirping around my own threads
Anyway, ambition, ideas, and patience will allow you to learn how to do anything you want with this game, so just keep at it.
Added 9 minutes later:
Oh, and one more thing: don't be afraid of using other people's scripts. It gets to be a pain in the ass to hand-code stuff sometimes, and other people have created really awesome templates for lots of functionality. Just make sure you're keeping track of the names of the authors and you are giving credit where it's due in the mission somewhere and in any posting on a site like Armaholic.
This post was edited by headup (2012-06-10 16:14, ago)
Thanks headup, that scripting site has pretty much everything I need right now. Don't worry, I'm plenty humble enough to use other people's scripts, don't know why I would write one if it already exists. I realize Arma isn't all too popular, but for the type of mod I'm going for, I can't think of a better, easier to work with platform. Also, DayZ goes to show that an awesome mod can grab attention from beyond the game's community. I'm not looking to jumpstart a career in game design with this, I just want to get some actual work under my belt so I'm not the guy that talks big but has nothing to show for it. My real plans are for Arma 3, but I just want to get my ideas out there.
I once heard a game designer say, "If you want to make something, strip it down to it's most basic form, where if you took away any more it wouldn't be the game you wanted, and go from there" and that's basically what I'm trying to do with Arma 2, make the most basic form of the type of game I want, get feedback, and work up from there. Again, thanks for the feedback!
knowing myself, I would follow the target, find a good spot, and silent-snipe it in the middle of the street, then hide the weapon and walk like nothing happened
anyway, I would personally enjoy seeing this mod on arma II, it's a great idea and I think you should make an arma II version, that you would be able to improve with arma III, correcting the bugs that you might had in the first version
More or less a base mod already ready for arma III
did I made myself clear or do you need me explaining a part or two ? :p
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