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Buyer beware. A phenominal game BUT...

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  • Buyer beware. A phenominal game BUT...

    I have been enjoying ArmA2 which , unfortunately because of my "unstable" wireless internet connection I can't play online.

    What I can do (or at least try to do anyway) , is play scenarios I create in the editor and this is where the frustration and aggravation comes in.

    There is virtually a complete lack of documentation for the immensely complex and capable game editor. Easy enough to drop in a few units , way points and triggers then go at it but if you want to go in any deeper with the newly introduced command modules and scripting you're left to your own devices to endlessly roam the internet for fragments bits of information here and there.

    The actual controls are , except for a few cursory comments , yours to figure out. Even the "complex menu" system is only categorized , not detailed so you can enjoy the wondrous experience of pressing 9 i9n game to see what comes underneath it.

    Fortunately I do have Dr Murrays manual which is an invaluable asset but from recent correspondence with him , the revised fro ArmA2 is still quit a ways off it seems.

    Oh and lets not forget the tool kit they dumped out there for us to figure out.

    It's like giving someone the keys to the space shuttle and saying "here - figure it out and take it for a spin"

    I have e-mailed BIS directly about this concern (odd it wasn't mentioned in any of the reviews..maybe they played ArmA1 and were able to bumble around the battle field with that prior knowledge) but it's doubtful I'll hear anything back form them. I;d even be willing to but VBF2 just to get the loose leaf binder that comes with it that details all the features.

    I know many other games come reasonably well documented and someone else usually composes a more in depth tutorial eventually , but to ship something like this with absolutly the bare minmum to even install the damn thing is a travesty. Printing costs aren't an issue either as a lot of games come with PDF manuals. So should this.


    Think it's a disgrace that BIS expects the community to do their work for them.

    (and for anyone that has managed to figure out the scripting , command structure etc. all I can say is wished I had that much time to spend searching the net and I congratulate you for your infinite patience)
    [CoFR] BeerHunter

    You shouldn't feel bad because you're not succeeding. It's far better to feel confident that you have the ability to handle failure

  • #2
    Re: Buyer beware. A phenominal game BUT...

    first off, you can't have a go on any games multiplayer mode if you are messing around with wireless internet, i'm sorry, it may sound harsh, but the simple fact is you are not surfing the net, you are playing a vastly complex game on a server with many other people doing the same thing...
    start with yourself, get a good setup. Now i realise not everyone can have a broadband connection, be it financial or simple geographical. This unfortunatly is life...you can't blame the game for the limitations of life... wireless internet + online gaming is imho a no-go for intense, complex games like this.
    I'm sure many manage just fine playing CS, etc on wireless, but this isn't CS either, some among us have top of the line PCs with broadband internet and still experience problems..

    Secondly, i'd aggree on the seond part, but unfortunatly that is the nature of modding, i've been involved in modding for many games, and most of the time it's a case of the few one eyed people leading the blind.
    Having recently started editing for arma2 i have to say i've scratched my head more then once the way this game is set up. I have found my experiences on other games to amount to exactly zero when it comes to arma2.
    Again, this isn't a CS or Battlefield game, Things are not as confined as those sorts of games, wich brings an infinitely more complex sandbox to play in.
    Only advice i can give you is to stick with it, have patience, hang around modders and learn through them.
    Modding is time consuming, it's just one of those facts of life...
    There is alot of info out there to find, however due to the complex nature of the game this info can not be as prehashed as in other games, the info is there, you just can't copy-paste it and be done with it, you have to mold it to what you want to do with it.

    It is daunting, and at first i was wondering the same thing as you, however i've come to understand that with this game, there just isn't a clear cut "this is how you do it".

    i don't know if that makes any sense...
    Anyways, come hang out on the editing TS channel, people are allways willing to help there.
    sigpic

    "brum brum"

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    • #3
      Re: Buyer beware. A phenominal game BUT...

      I have a hard enough time just playing and staying alive let alone mission making. I salute all the mission makers, never a bad word out of my mouth about anyones mission. Thanks to all, it keeps life in the game.

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      • #4
        Re: Buyer beware. A phenominal game BUT...

        Scripting SQL, like any programming language, is a difficult and time-consuming investment. No, it isn't user-friendly, but it's also been the backbone of so many interesting and completely out-of-the-box missions that I couldn't imagine an ArmA without that kind of power behind it.

        For any help you need with missions, maps, or scripting, you can check out the official wiki.

        Lastly, if you have a wireless connection that is so patchy you can't play online, you should think about upgrading your router! I'm playing happily and wirelessly on a D-Link DGL-4500 with absolutely no problems (all my internet problems stem directly from my ISP ;) ).

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        • #5
          Re: Buyer beware. A phenominal game BUT...

          Beerhunter, I am sorry to hear that. I understand the frustration you may have and you are obviously entitled to your opinion. But I reckon if you had gotten online properly it would be a different story. I for one do not programme, my 1337 skillz in that area are somewhat retarded. If you ever get your internet problems sorted out (tried an ethernet cable, thats how I fixed my wireless woes?) feel free to jump back on, it may well be to your liking. As for the SP campaign, I got as far as the Manhattan mission and left, I have been playing these since OPF and strangely OPF was the only single player campaign I was a fan of enough to complete. ArmA I came close, and ArmA 2 I am not even going to bother. Now it may be unfair for me to say so, but I wish the devs worked more on MP and now SP, as that is where most fans are, instead they somewhat neglect MP. But then neither are what you would call complete. But that is the way it is, and us fans just suck it up either way!

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          • #6
            Re: Buyer beware. A phenominal game BUT...

            As I said , it's a phenomenal game and I'm really enjoying it and only wish I could get online however , the caveat is that the total lack of documentation means that missions design / scripting can be a veritable nightmare to learn.

            I studied C++ programming and , for example , have an entire shelf in my bookcase lined with reference materials.

            I had an idea I wanted to implement in a trigger and I had a hell of a time trying to find the most rudimentary instructions on how to do it. Not including the scripting syntax , I had to search for quit a while to find where to put the script and again , how to call it.

            Very basic stuff the DEVELOPER should have taken th etime to explain , not leaving it up to the community.

            I'm just frustrated with the extremely steep learning curve and the hassle it is to find even the most rudimentary instructions , that's all.

            Oh and BTW , it's my ISP that's wireless. As I live in a remote rural area not serviced by cable or DSL , it was either that or satellite.Don't think changing my wireless in home router (currently a D-Link WBR 2310) will make any difference but if I thought it would , that WBR 2310 would be in the recycle bin in a flash!.. :D
            [CoFR] BeerHunter

            You shouldn't feel bad because you're not succeeding. It's far better to feel confident that you have the ability to handle failure

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Buyer beware. A phenominal game BUT...

              Beerhunter.. You are right on the money. I totally agree. I am an experienced graphic designer, done some web development before and do mission design and scripting for ArmA 2. And its been a frustrating train wreck learning the stuff. If there was another game out there which could provide scale of combat which this game could achieve and give it a flexible editor like ArmA has, I'd switch in a heart beat!

              There is no excuse for BIS to not include at least some digital documentation with the game detailing the scripting engine. They must have it. Its published with VBS2, also i'm sure they have their own internal documentation. They don't even let people know in game that there is an engire wiki site with loads of helpful information. But even that site is useless to someone who has never done scripting or coding before.

              All i can say is just keep spending some time reading the sources of information that are out there and it will come together for you eventually. Small steps is the key, and practicing what you read.

              This game has really been in development for almost ten years now. They have no excuse but basically choosing not to create documentation. And its hurting them. There are TONS of bad broken missions out there. People are not professional programmers or military strategists, they need help in the form of documents and videos to make better scenarios. They better hope that no one comes along and makes a game filling in the areas they refuse to.. because they will take a massive hit to the community. BI deserves no excuses. NONE, in my opinion. They have choose to neglect because they know they can still make the money they want without having it. And as a customer I will leave them if someone can make a product with the proper level of support for the editing community.

              The more I see Operation Flashpoint 2 in development, I'm beginning to think they might pull off more of a successful game than I initially suspected. If they can provide a well documented tutorial for mission editors, the ArmA 2 community might just take a hard hit. Right now I suspect that it will not provide the same large level of scale in missions that ArmA 2 can, but that is to be seen yet. I will say at least they have a proper working FLIR simulation. Hell that alone might make it worth it.

              This new expansion for ArmA 2 coming up next year better throw in some really good features, otherwise I think ArmA 2 might get shafted by OFP2.
              Last edited by GeneralCarver; 09-06-2009, 04:17 PM. Reason: more to say
              Never tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do and they will surprise you with their ingenuity. - General George S. Patton.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Buyer beware. A phenominal game BUT...

                Originally posted by GeneralCarver View Post
                All i can say is just keep spending some time reading the sources of information that are out there and it will come together for you eventually. Small steps is the key, and practicing what you read.
                Beerhunter, what Carver said is true. I started messing around with the editor since the Operation Flashpoint game. Thats spanning say at about 10 years ago. The basics have been the same with improved "scripting" through time. Give or take few little changes.

                Its learning curve and what you put into it is what you'll get out of it,as with anything. Hopefully in the right direction. Reading your post, you are making headway into mission editing and looks like you are experiencing what I've experienced first time I clicked on the "Editor" tab years back. Keep at it and with your knowledge of programming, it should come together nicely.

                Keep it up.

                TGU Instructor TG Pathfinder

                Former TGU Dean Former ARMA Admin Former Irregulars Officer

                "Do not seek death. Death will find you. But seek the road which makes death a fulfillment." - Dag Hammarskjold

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                • #9
                  Re: Buyer beware. A phenominal game BUT...

                  Also, one has to keep in mind that the editing tools (i.e. Oxygen, TexView, FSM Editor, etc) are rather gestures of generosity from BIS than anything that's actually shipped with the game. They have no obligation what so ever to provide documentation for anything else than the 2D Editor that's actually shipped with the game, and there's lots of documentation on their wiki. Agreeably some of it is a bit tricky to find and only some of the new modules are decently documented, but in general it is all there.

                  http://community.bistudio.com/wiki/ArmA:_Mission_Editor is a good place to start.



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                  • #10
                    Re: Buyer beware. A phenominal game BUT...

                    Well, I am personally making them obligated. BIS is now obligated to create some nice manuals, videos and such on how to use the editor, scripting and tools. I might just send them a letter about this new terms of service between them and myself. lol.
                    Never tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do and they will surprise you with their ingenuity. - General George S. Patton.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Buyer beware. A phenominal game BUT...

                      These forums, and the OFPEC forums are a good resource. You can search or ask questions related to scripting/editing and it will be answered pretty quickly.

                      To be honest, the BEST way to learn how to edit/script is to pick apart other people's missions to see how they did it. Obviously, don't start with something massively complex like Domination, but, eventually, you really should take a look at those type of missions. Domination/Evolution have taught me a tremendous amount in regards to integrating scripts into the mission, they are very complex missions that have had a lot of work put into them.

                      Basically, if you are having trouble, unPBO (there is a tool for this, a few of them, I use Keygety's cPBO tool myself, but PBOView works well too and is a GUI program) some missions and take a look or ask questions where editors hide.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Buyer beware. A phenominal game BUT...

                        And here's a prime example of my frustration after spending 2 afternoons trying to get it to work..

                        Pge 0.19 in the OFFICIAL BIS manual under "Modules" says in the short paragraph describing the "modules" : "....are just one double-click away".

                        Someone forgot to mention the the High Command Sub is disabled by default "for performance" (which I just happened to stumble upon on a WiKi somewhere).

                        I'm not talking about a "how to script and build a scenario" tutorial , just a damn explanation of the features , what they do and what you have to do to implement them. Drop in an initialization string , sure , but where??

                        And apparently you have to insert all 3 medic modules (from what I understand) to have your medics work properly. Too much trouble to mention that? Huh??

                        *argh*
                        [CoFR] BeerHunter

                        You shouldn't feel bad because you're not succeeding. It's far better to feel confident that you have the ability to handle failure

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Buyer beware. A phenominal game BUT...

                          Actually, do not ever use the 3 medic modules together. Never ever.

                          For all effects of the medic system, only use First Aid Simulation and Battlefield Clearance. Otherwise you'll get quite messy results with the first aid actions.

                          See the bold text at http://community.bistudio.com/wiki/First_Aid



                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Buyer beware. A phenominal game BUT...

                            and another fine example of the community solving our own problems. Thank you BIS. lol
                            Never tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do and they will surprise you with their ingenuity. - General George S. Patton.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Buyer beware. A phenominal game BUT...

                              This is a gripe I have had for a long time...now bearing in mind the BiS boys are in the Czech Republic....it comes down to this....

                              USING BLOODY PLAIN AND SIMPLE ENGLISH TO DESCRIBE WHAT DOES WHAT AND WHERE IT GOES!!!!!!!!!!

                              So many times I encounter scripts and instructions that try to create a tutorial, but then write the tutorial so that THEY the tutorial writer can understand it.....

                              THATS NOT your audience.... your audience for a tutorial...is an IDIOT! (yes I place myself in this bracket)

                              Therefore you need to tell the person, what something does.....all the tools, i.e. features of the editor you will need and EXACTLY what you need to place in which box or a trigger, etc, so that a simple brain/monkey can follow it.....

                              Mr Murray's guide in ArmA1 was a good first step and I am sure his ArmA2 guide will be even better...

                              In short the best solution right now is to get ya backside on TS and go into the editing channel and wait to ask a more intelligent brain that arrivs in channel to give you a hand with your problem...
                              BlackDog1




                              "What we do in life... echoes in eternity!"

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