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Basic Mission Design and Guidelines?

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  • Basic Mission Design and Guidelines?

    I've been away a while so apologies if this has already been brought up.

    As any OFP'er will most likely know, finding playable missions could always be a problem due to the poor quality of the mission itself, and the amount of mods you'd need to play the mission. I have had the 'pleasure' of testing missions before for OFP and probably had a playable mission 1-3 times out of 10. As you can probably appreciate, this is highly frustrating.

    What these missions lacked I'll list below.

    Pre-mission
    - No indication of mission type, # of players prior to download or mods needed
    - No mission/ Poor mission briefing
    - No map markers used in briefing (leading to blind wandering in game)
    - Poor/fixed loadout for weapons

    In Mission
    - Mission just ends on spawn
    - Poorly located/unrealistic spawn point/entry
    - Die on entry (i.e. poor halo drop)
    - Frustrating/unrealistic locations of enemy troops (e.g. one lone soldier sitting in a bush, unseeable, for apparently no other reason than the author's desire to kill someone).
    - Not enough enemy to make the mission challenging (e.g. 2 guards patrol a house that hold bad guy you need to kill - insert with 8 players).
    - Too many enemy (though not always a bad thing if done correctly)
    - Boring storyline or too simplistic objectives (though a hard one to really moderate as this is opinion but as an example, insert in village to walk 50 metres to objective to blow up fuel station. Take out static guards around the station and blow station = mission ends. This would play much better if inserted 500 meters outside of village, include patrolling and static guards and maybe include a vehicle. Once objective completed, move to EP. Just a little difference makes something a lot more enjoyable).

    Mission End

    - Mission doesn't end as win conditions not defined correctly in editor.
    - Failure to extract due to no landing air (i.e. just hovers), or none arriving land vehicles.
    - Mission just ends abruptly with no extraction.

    There's probably a few more points I've missed.

    What I'd like to see here at TG (and across the board in fact) is that the above points face due consideration when making missions. I'm sure that a lot of the above could be recitified if the author just played the mission through. I love the mission review we have for the missions already on the server too. I'm not saying that current TG authors aren't taking this into account but I think it is important that future missions consider the above.

    I'm sure we want to encourage people to design missions and I'm all for that. I do think it should be considered that some guidelines be laid down though for people new to mission editing to follow. This way they'll have an idea of what kind of thing the AA TG community is looking for and some basic ideas on how to proceed. We can assume that people know what comprises a good mission but not all people do - with some guidance, we can help them out to make it enjoyable for all.

    This post may even be irrelevant, but I've experienced the worst side of this in OFP and think it would be an idea to start something lest we see the same happen again with AA.

    Thanks.
    Jex.


  • #2
    Re: Basic Mission Design and Guidelines?

    Jex,
    You are spot on with your analysis!! One thing to remember here though, is we (TG) are producing our own fair share of missions. With that being said, the above mentioned items are critical to any mission we produce and actually publish on our server. I have allot more faith in the producers here than the average public when it comes to understanding what a mission needs to be successful. That is why we have already implemented the above items on what we have personally made and have running on our server.

    Another thing to remember here is that if it is a poorly designed mission possibly makes it onto the server, it will last maybe a day or so before removal. We have implemented a forum thread that discusses each mission in detail. This process has already vetted several crap missions and highlighted several other custom ones that rock.

    With the introduction of ArmA and some of the newer scripts like the patrol script, the maps also never get boring. The randomness of soldier placement and more realistic behavior from the AI add to experience so much more.


    We look forward to seeing you on!!
    "The chief foundations of all states, new as well as old or composite, are good laws and good arms; and as there cannot be good laws where the state is not well armed, it follows that where they are well armed they have good laws." -Machiavelli

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    • #3
      Re: Basic Mission Design and Guidelines?

      Hey I can't wait to get the game and start making some missions :)
      Jex.

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      • #4
        Re: Basic Mission Design and Guidelines?

        I did some basic mission design early on in OFP, and I've just started dabbling here now in ArmA... I hope to put some missions together soon, and fortunately the mission editor looks pretty much unchanged from OFP (that may be good or bad depending on how you look at it!).... anyways, I'll be looking for you guys online soon I hope..

        Chek6... Fanatik

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        • #5
          Re: Basic Mission Design and Guidelines?

          Originally posted by Fanatik View Post
          I did some basic mission design early on in OFP, and I've just started dabbling here now in ArmA... I hope to put some missions together soon, and fortunately the mission editor looks pretty much unchanged from OFP (that may be good or bad depending on how you look at it!).... anyways, I'll be looking for you guys online soon I hope..
          Looking forward to playing your missions. Let us know when they're ready so we can get them on our ArmA Coop server.

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