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What makes a good mission?

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  • What makes a good mission?

    Last night I heard some pretty harsh "criticism" of various missions, and some gushing "love" of some other missions. One of the responses was that they did not like "generic infantry assault town" missions (the mission being played was infantry defending a factory, but anyways).

    Mission editing takes a considerable amount of time, it's not something that you do to a mission type/game mode that you don't really personally enjoy playing. There is a lot of frustration and work involved in it.

    If the idea for a mission is already made up, and all the tough questions answered, it is a LOT easier to make a mission about it.

    Kind of a general survey here to see what the player base is interested in doing. So, I'd like to find out from as many people who play here as possible: What do YOU think makes a good mission?

    I will start with my answer.

    I think a good mission lasts no longer than 3 hours, it doesn't give the players an unlimited amount of equipment and personnel to complete their objectives, conversely, they are given restricted equipment and are forced to work around their limitations to complete objectives.

    I think most contact and fighting should happen in short, but very violent bursts. Semi-large formed groups fighting each other, ie: Platoon vs. Platoon or Squad vs. Squad, rather than a Squad fighting 1 or 2 troops at a time every 5 minutes.

    I think a good mission needs to be randomized and re-playable. Mission objectives should either change location each run through or be in a wide area, ie; take and hold a 300m2 area, or one of 10 possible points, or kill the Officer who is at one of 5 CPs.

    Short and simple for now, what does everyone else think?

  • #2
    Re: What makes a good mission?

    I was the one saying I hated "generic infantry assault town" missions. I wasn't saying this out of the blue, it was in response to some criticism of F16TAC missions. The complete line was "I hate generic infantry-attack-town missions, but I don't voice that often". I wasn't criticizing the mission choice, as I actually quite like F16TAC missions, I was just (hopefully light-heartedly) responding to the Falcon hate (there are certainly valid reasons to dislike the missions, it's just they're not very important to me personally).

    I'll also play those "generic infantry-attack-town missions", and they can be great fun especially when the commander comes up with a unusual strategy, I'm just a bit bored when we play one of those immediately followed by another that's the same thing with a different name and a few side objectives.

    As for what makes a mission good, the recent humorous Storm Chaser "fanboyism" is probably a good lead. Storm Chaser's not a mission that pretends to simulate any sort of realistic military operation, it has issues and it can be really boring especially if played "by the briefing" without resorting to metagaming. It's also unique - as far as I know there's no other similar mission up yet. TvT also helps in that there's generally an incentive to one-up the enemy that's not there when you're shooting at passive AI targets that exist only to be killed.

    Not every mission can be TvT, though, and a lot of people don't like those kind of missions. For co-op, I'd say a good mission lasts 1 or 2 hours, as it seems past these lengths you either start getting "cycling" as people have to leave and new people with no idea what's going on join, or people have to stay up until unholy hours (which is great since it means they're enjoying themselves, but it also makes people reticent to join new missions when it's getting late). Also, joining at the tail end of a 3 hour mission lessens the time/"emotional" investment you have in it, so if you're just playing to pass time you might end up wishing everyone would die already so a new mission can be started.

    You make a good point on restricting equipment, however this seems to be a common complaint with the F16TAC missions... the first of these missions I played was TvT, though, and that might be where the complaints are coming from since you want to avoid anything more than rifles/machineguns in a TvT environment. I wouldn't restrict ammo too much, though, as in every round I've played so far people have either had no concern for ammo or been completely dry. Also, as somebody else said, there are no ammo shortages in real military conflicts nowadays (unless you're an irregular force, I guess).

    As for "short, very violent bursts", I think I agree, but I'm not sure to what degree you mean. I agree it's better than shooting one or two soldiers every five minutes, but it what becomes boring (and this is one of the issues with those attack-town missions) is that combat can degrade into walking for 5 minutes, getting 10-20 contacts, everyone goes prone, shoots for another 5 minutes, repeat until mission completed. I like it when things don't go according to plan and you're suddenly taking fire from somewhere you didn't expect. It shouldn't be a deus ex machina enemy spawn right behind the human players, but it should reward them for scouting around and making sure they aren't wedging themselves in between the objective and the rest of the enemy army. If they neglect that, they should have to put up a good fight to get out of it. Never having authored missions, though, I don't know how simple this is; I imagine it's hard to do it without the players' plan just becoming "since there are more enemies behind those enemies, let's just go even further back and attack from the outside in".

    Randomization is good, though it should probably be coded so that there is always something to shoot at at regular intervals. Someone reported F16TAC The Patrol as bugged, for instance, because due to the way the randomization is setup you can apparently go through the entire mission with just one enemy encounter.

    Sorry for the answer not being short and simple, I can't seem to keep it brief :(


    • #3
      Re: What makes a good mission?

      Well as seeing how much of the criticism seems to be leveled at my missions in particular I thought would try to explain my motivation in making the decisions I do so that other people can voice their opinions and create some constructive criticism.

      First off my missions are designed to simulate a full blown military conflict between two superpowers in the 1985-1990 era. This alone changes many of the assumptions that people hold about military conflicts especially since the wars that are being fought right now are not of this type.

      So what do I plan for in my encounters? First and foremost I plan for teamwork, in all of my missions playing as a well organized platoon will mean you have a shot at winning the mission. This means that fire teams, squads and the platoon must have a strong command structure with strong leaders that can coordinate the fire and maneuver of their individual combat units to provide mutual support and complete their objectives. In addition objectives and enemy forces are positioned to prevent un-realistic flanking maneuvers with patrols and LP/OP's to force friendly movement in the AO to be more cautious. In a full blown military conflict the unit your facing doesn't exist in a vacuum, units on either side combined with artillery and air support mean that the standard TG tactic of sitting on the highest hill around the objective killing as many AI as possible and moving in from there doesn't work in all cases.

      What does this mean for the average rifleman? The average rifleman can expect some drawn out engagements of like sized units or above. These can last from 5-10 minuets depending on the platoon commanders plan and the effectiveness of sections to close with and destroy the enemy. Several of these engagements constitute a mission with missions rarely lasting longer than an hour and half.

      Now for some particular things that I change in order to make my missions adapt to these criteria.

      Iron Sights:
      The first and most obvious difference is the lack of optics, for this I have a very particular reason. Iron Sights do the most to encourage team play of any changes listed here. With the ability to engage targets over 200m-250m severely limited it forces players to do two things, first is close with the enemy. The ArmA 2 AI while perhaps better than ArmA in some way still cannot cope with long range engagements. All too often I am playing a mission with optics and it devolves into the following: Set up positions, snipe AI with no return fire, move, repeat. Personally I don't think that is much fun sure your kill count is higher but did you have to coordinate with your squad, or even your fireteam. Not really you just blew away the AI without any real need for your team mates. Some might call this team play but if it is its because everyone is near each other shooting in the same direction.

      The second thing Iron Sights do to encourage fire is force people to coordinate their fires, both within their fireteam, their squad and their platoon. Precisely because targets are harder to hit means that a single person's fire will not be enough to limit the engagement ability of an enemy unit. With optics one rifleman and very quickly limit the combat effectiveness of an enemy squad especial with AI. With Iron Sights units are forced to mass their fire and sustain that rate of fire in order to effectively negate the enemies ability to return effective fires. Some times this even means that especially if faced with a superior force a section alone will not be able to close with and destroy an enemy section but must coordinate with another section and have them maneuver to close with and kill the enemy.

      The second most obvious thing in my missions is the lack of maps for all but some platoon staff and squad leaders. This is for three reasons, first the obvious that when playing on a lower difficulties players can’t map cheat and find enemy (something I think should be disabled on ALL difficulties). Second in means that individuals and fireteams can’t lonewolf. Fairly straightforward, if you don’t have a map it’s very hard to know what direction to run off in to go lonewolfing. Thirdly it promotes the use of fire teams as part of a squad rather than individual entities. Fireteams should be the maneuver elements of a squad but also always be in close contact with one another ready to offer mutual support of maneuver against a treat, extremely rarely should fireteams ever be out of visual range of each other (this doesn’t mean on the other side of a hill) it means several hundred meters from each other or more. By removing maps from FTL’s the SL has to show his map and constantly be briefing his FT’s on what their movement and plan will be as well as keeping them apprised of the platoon situation should the SL get hit.

      No NVG’s:
      Very simple, No NVG’s make night more of a challenge and provide a different twist to the standard ArmA game play, the ArmA engine is one of the few that simulates night well and playing without NVG’s shows this the use of flares, tripflares and other sources of illumination as well as the need for better unit control make fighting at night a challenging experience. In addition it also allows the AI to close to unprecedented distances easily without detection meaning again that they are more likely to provide a good and reliable fight.

      No Magic Medics:
      All of my missions to date utilize the medic module but without the use of
      “Corpsman” units. This means that everyone can perform basic life saving actions but that it will take a long time and people will not end up fully healed. This is done for several reasons, first and foremost it makes taking a casualty a more serious affair than when a medic can heal them in 30secs. Secondly from a purely simulation viewpoint I don’t think that Magic Medics should be included in ArmA and I think my system offers a reasonable alternative. The biggest problem I think is that not everyone understands the role the platoon HQ and individual soldiers should play when a casualties is taken (see my thread on handling casualties). This system means that that getting hit is a more serious affair and one that is not to be taken lightly. It also means that to fully heal someone at least some form of evacuation in necessary be it to an ambulance, field hospital or even a CASEVAC.

      JIP/No Respawn:
      This one is because I don’t want to punish people for just showing up late to a mission but I would like death to carry some serious consequences. I feel that if properly monitored by admins that the JIP/NoRespawn system provides for this. It allows players showing up to join the mission in progress although they may have some walking to do to catch up to the platoon, however it makes people be more cautious and reduces the amount of stupid stuff people try to pull. I feel that no respawn is justified given my mission length(usually short) and its true sometimes you get real unlucky and get hit early but since I severely limit AI Skill the chance of getting sniped in the head from 400m with an AK is EXTREAMLY low and far and away most of the time people are not killed outright unless the AI is within 50m. In addition I almost always include a casualties cap script so that if the majority of the platoon is killed the mission ends which prevents everyone waiting on 3 people to try and finish the mission.

      Walking/Lack of Vehicles:
      To date most of my missions have been infantry centric, that is because that’s what ArmA does best far and away. However this leads to people having to walk to their objectives, the longest I have ever placed the spawn from the AO is about 500m, and jogging up 500m does not take long at all so in reality the amount of walking you do in game is comparatively short less than a few minuets and it allows the squads and FT’s time to get organized. As for lack of vehicles, in combined arms maps vehicles tend to do most of the killing and given that they are usually not what the majority of the players are doing it means that often while it is fun for the vehicle crews the infantry get stuck doing nothing. However I don’t mind making armor centric maps and in fact I have one in the works now after I release my most recent mission.

      Part of full out warfare is artillery. Like it or not artillery is a major killer especially of infantry however I do my best to limit its use. For that reason when I drop artillery on the players positions, I use a spawn script to spawn small shells to represent 60mm mortars because hitting the players with 105mm shells or higher is not fun in anyone’s sense of the word. However sprinkling of mortars adds some cool effects, gives the players yet another thing to deal with and encourages players to maintain proper spacing between people. In addition I use artillery only after the players have completed at least one objective in order to avoid someone being randomly killed by artillery without the chance to do anything in the mission which I totally agree is stupid.

      I really don't think that my missions are the best on the sever, infact there are several missions that I think are much better than mine. I know there are still a lot of things that I can do better for example randomization, many of my missions lack the amount of randomization that I would like them to but every time I make a new mission I do things differently, try new ideas and some times they suck and sometimes they work. However I don't think that the critiques I get are particularly helpful, either people think the missions are fine of people hate them, that really doesn't help me. I would like to know why they suck or why you like them so I can work on making things better I hope people have fun playing my missions and I think that people do because if no one did people wouldn't play them however some constructive criticism would be really helpful to me.

      So there you go, that’s why I do the things I do when I make my missions, I understand not everyone has the same definition of fun as mine and that’s fine I am offering a certain type of mission, a focused usually infantry based map with several objectives and numerous ways to complete those objectives while staying in the framework of a larger operation. Nor do I think that this is the only way to make a good mission. I have had much fun with many other peoples missions and do enjoy playing some of them. So no I am not looking for every mission to use only iron sights or remove maps or have no magic medics but I think if mission makers keep in mind promoting team play as one of their objectives missions would turn out only that much better.

      Last edited by Falcon_262; 10-03-2009, 03:58 PM.


      • #4
        Re: What makes a good mission?

        To me a good mission involves challenging conditions, and replayability. A good example are some of Beta's maps and Falcon's (wac maps i think), some happen at night, do not give unlimited supplies, include cool scripts like disposable at-4/rpg18 and paraflares/tripflares, etc...

        I just played a Wac mission (grozovoy pass, or something), the map (briefing) was good, with LOA's, some info on the larger ops (other platoons) and some cool icons.

        The mission is really tough (which is a good thing), you cannot loose many people before it ends, but the short time I played was awesome. 1st team tripped a flare and got engaged, started getting pounded by mortar fire (very nice). Then my team tripped a flare and got hit in the rear by a section at 100-150m dist. which has to be one of the best engagement vs AI I had in a while. Scheduled arty is nice too, gives a use for the watch.

        So good things : -Mission gives the impression of being part of a bigger operation (map/briefing/LOA's + Scheduled Arty)

        -Mission has parameters that promote effective, military-like strategy + teamwork (night setting, time restrictions, enemy patrols (random?), eny mortar response, trip-flares, medic mod, map restriction, no respawn, etc)

        -cool features : Para-flares, see map script, disposable launchers, mortar script (i think it's in there)

        Bad thing : Mission is a though one, not bad in itself but it requires a great deal of coordination and discipline + competence from every player in every slots, which might discourage some from playing it, probably more suited for an organized event.

        That's just an example, but IMO has many elements of an excellent COOP map. Another good example is F16TAC_Patrol : It's a simple mission, but just knowing it has random patrols keeps you on your toes in the dark forests and make for memorable close range engagement. Also those good points would apply to several other maps, and randomization is definitely a plus replayability-wise, so is difficulty.
        When deeds speak, words are nothing.
        Pierre-Joseph Proudhon


        • #5
          Re: What makes a good mission?

          The generic scenario isn't the problem with missions. Logistical errors and bugs are what cause the most strife. A boring mission is one where you spend more time worrying about getting the next lot of re spawns in rather then worry about keeping your own team alive. The enemy should be smart, challenging you, whether in small or large numbers, and not simply being a turkey shoot, but a fire fight. Clever unit placement and scripting can achieve this quite easily.

          A well concealed, lone enemy sniper team can cause more panic for a fire team then a whole platoon of roaming insurgents.

          All players love being surprised by intelligent AI, they enjoy the idea that they can't so much as predict the enemies movement, dispositions and tactics.
          Mission makers must remember its their job not to create enjoyment for the mission players, but to be the OPFOR's brain, predict every movement you can possible think of that the commander may take, counter act it, plan for it, allow the AI to do their role as fighters, not thinkers.

          Sometimes the broad options open to a BLUFOR commander may be immense, and you don't want to flood every position with OPFOR, so limit yourself, allow a certain amount of AI to an area. If static defences (bunkers, MG nests and outposts) can't cover the ground you have, set up patrols that cover it for you. The chance of stopping the BLUFOR is less, and they are more open to being spotted, but these are the issues a mission maker faces.

          What tactics does the military apply in real life? Denial of teritory.
          If you don't want to give up an area or approach to the BLUFOR, nor patrol it, mine it, either discretely or obviously. They act as both denial of territory and attrition.
          These all add to the challenges for the squad leader, but they shouldn't be tedious nor frequent; lest the waiting soldiers get bored.

          Also, as somebody else said, there are no ammo shortages in real military conflicts nowadays (unless you're an irregular force, I guess).
          Not all forces have supply trucks following them around, and constant roll ins of helicopters to drop off supplies. Ammo should be restricted and conserved, especially in missions that ran for more than one hour.

          There is no need to force the teams to work together, removing the map from the lower sub-ordinates simply allows for confusion, and more time spent explaining things when it should be easy. Whilst I agree with the assumption that iron sights do increase teamwork (and overall skill also), they are inhibiting and unrealistic in particular situations.

          Very simple, No NVG’s make night more of a challenge and provide a different twist to the standard ArmA game play, the ArmA engine is one of the few that simulates night well and playing without NVG’s shows this the use of flares, tripflares and other sources of illumination as well as the need for better unit control make fighting at night a challenging experience. In addition it also allows the AI to close to unprecedented distances easily without detection meaning again that they are more likely to provide a good and reliable fight.
          I have to agree with this, however the reasons to not allowing night vision in game do not suite that of real life. IRL, the commander would choose to not use NVG's as an advantage due to the inhibiting nature of the equipment (less perception).
          This is not the case in game, and whilst it makes for a more fair fire fight, you must ensure the AI do not use NVG's either.


          • #6
            Re: What makes a good mission?

            In my mind, a good mission is one in which a mission designer does not need to explain the rationalization behind why it is the way it is. This, in principle, is exactly why I dislike Falcon's thematic co-op campaigns: although the idea behind them is often interesting, the implementation is such that the enjoyability of the mission is superseded by the mission designer's intent. In short, a good mission is one in which no rationalization is necessary on behalf of the "grunt".

            Falcon, I believe your missions are being picked on in particular because (in my opinion) you have forgone the enjoyability of some missions in exchange for a particular ideal. No, "magic" medics are not realistic, but it has also been proven time and again that their lack of presence on the battlefield is both annoying and confusing. Yes, artillery is realistic, but it is also the definition of deus ex machina.

            I want to mention that I really do enjoy a lot of the things you implement, Falcon (iron sights, lack of NVGs, and infantry-based combat especially), and I'm not picking on you. Your missions are simply the best example of what I've seen as missions not properly adapted to a player-base beyond the designer.

            EDIT: Also, with regards to ammunition, I believe it should in all instances be as strictly limited as possible simply for the reason that there is no such thing as a military "budget" in ArmA (beyond Warfare, that is). Limiting ammunition not only creates a false sense of weight behind weaponry (making a Javelin feel like a truly powerful weapon, for instance), but forces players to think as strategically as they would in a real combat environment.


            • #7
              Re: What makes a good mission?

              A good non-respawn mission should last no longer than an hour. A good respawn mission should last no longer than 2 or 3 hours.

              This is where i disagree with falcon the most. I think that you should have a limited number of scoped weapons(2 or so per squad). I to think ammo should be limited especially for AT weapons, I have to agree that no-NVGs is awsome except for pilots. IMO maps should be given to the lowers. It doesnt add anything to the mission(for me) to not have a map, infact i prefer one of my lowers having one so he can take point, and there should be "Magic Medics" all your doing is changing magic medics into magic truck thats 50m away, and its just annoying.

              I think a mission should allow someone who is commanding for the first time make a plan with very little difficulty. A mission should be completable by simply walking straight to an objective and start shooting people, but at the same time also be completeable by flank and therefor(hopefully) taking less casualties. The breifing should be clear and easy to understand to non-military people.

              Someone i dont remmber who told me "There are three types of support, Arty, Air, and Armour. If a mission has more then 1 type of those then it will be terrible" (he didnt use terrible but i am trying to keep this within TG rules). I have to agree 100% with this person. I have designed every mission ive made around this principle. Combined arms is not fun. Someone has to be the infantry guy who only gets to shoot 2 people the whole mission. i have yet to see a combined arms mission pulled off. The closest that i think we have would be Op Ares, which lacks artillery and if anyone remmbers has dirasticly reduced assets from v1. Assests should re-spawn a limited number of time for example 5x for humvees and trucks 1x for heavy armour ect. Of course if its a non-respawn mission then you wont need respawning vehicals.

              I know i will differ from alot of you guys on this one but ill say it anyway. A mission should have near constant contact from the second you step out of your base. IMO there should be no longer then 10min breaks between shoot outs, and by shoot outs i mean atleast a four person patrol or somthing of the like. Ai should be set of very low skill and there should be a 2.5:1 AI:human ratio, the ratio should be even higher if armour is involved and some higher skilled AT guys should be added. Missions should be hard, most of my non-respawn mission are only finished 25% of the time, maybe its even lower.

              Well thats my idea for a mission. The irony of it all is that my most popular missions(Op lockdown and Op Pearl) go against almost everything i said here and i have to admit i dont like them much. As for my idea of a perfect mission id have to say Tulga is my idea of a great mission.


              • #8
                Re: What makes a good mission?

                I can agree with a lot of your points tralic however the one about AI skill level should vary. I've found AI are absolutely USELESS on the lower skill levels at range however if you max it out you can have long distance firefights with the AI actually shooting back like a player would (most of the time...). Anytime AI are used for <200m though or have the chance to be at that distance depending on how the CO moves out they should be set to half or lower. Keep in mind the server itself also increases AI difficulty even it's been maxed I believe.

                Damnit Blizzard, fix ZvT already >.<
                In Soviet Russian, Arma admins are nice to you!


                • #9
                  Re: What makes a good mission?

                  you are all crazy. lol. I think a good mission is one which has plenty of ammo, NVGs, the command modules, the medic modules and some air support. I like to give players plenty of ammo, cause this is really a reflection of how western forces fight in general.
                  Never tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do and they will surprise you with their ingenuity. - General George S. Patton.


                  • #10
                    Re: What makes a good mission?

                    I'm with Carver on this...

                    While not unlimited, I generally provide a couple of ammo crates for various choices for the players and then if they really get stuck they can always grab enemy weapons just like the the RL.

                    I personally really dislike "having" to have an M16 with ironsights, 1 grenade and 4 clips of ammo. I wouldnt go into the RL with that weapon loadout and so I sure as hell dont want to do so in a game.

                    For me, what makes a good mission is immersion...and immersion is measured by time... If you get stuck into a mission and suddenly 3 hours later you look at the watch and go...holy crap have I been playing that long? THAT is a good mission.

                    I like variety in missions and tried to do so with all my missions. I like ambience, and intro music to set the tone... in short I try to recreate RL scenarios based on past experience or that of others that I know to give you taste of what certain problems are in RL combat.

                    Most importantly.... the mission should be FUN! otherwise whats the point...?

                    I have played a couple of missions where there is lots of tabbing around the battlefield with the occasional contact and been quite bored.

                    I also believe combined ops can work very well, however I like to set the infantry tasks that they must complete in order for the air assets to be released.... the asset to be released will help with the next part of the mission....It just takes some planning and thinking.

                    I spend most of my time in mission design in "setting the stage", then I drop the players in and set the objectives...sometimes I'll set the objectives first to ensure they work, THEN build everything around those.

                    In short there is no magic answer to a good mission. Much rests on the people you are playing with. A defense mision can be great as can a SF tactical small team op, along with a full blown TvT....

                    At the end of the day... we all like different styles of mission and as long as that remains, play on the TG servers will never be dull!

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


                    • #11
                      Re: What makes a good mission?

                      A long time ago, in a galaxy far away (well, okay, it was the nascent VBS1 community, back in the twilight days of the OFP era), BAS was very concerned about the structure of good and bad coop missions. So we created something called the CoopA dogma. The dogma was underpinned by five key concepts:

                      1. A scenario must provide a compelling back-story and narrative structure that is broad enough to allow a group of players to 'buy-into'.

                      2. Player roles must be differentiated such that participants are challenged to contribute in a specific and identifiable manner.

                      3. Close co-ordination between players must be facilitated and rewarded, with an emphasis on the use of leadership at the tactical level.

                      4. OPFOR responses to player threats must be dynamic and fluid enough to promote high levels of re-playability.

                      5. A scenario must offer multiple endings reflecting degrees (or types) of success, with a mixture of player and event-driven conclusions.
                      You can read more about how and why the concepts were identified on this page:

                      The dogma itself was more detailed, and can still be read here:

                      Ultimately, the dogma was too ... dogmatic. However, a more relaxed interpretation of it can still yield some useful results for the mission maker. Importantly, to quote from the original site:

                      CoopA is not a mission 'type' (like CSAR), but an approach to scenario design that can accommodate a range of 'types', both new and established.
                      Reading this thread it's also curious to note that nobody so far has mentioned the relationship between the narrative context and mission structure, and how the fit between those two elements (or lack thereof) can really influence the quality of the player experience.

                      By "narrative context" I don't mean pages of back-story contained in the briefing notes. Commanders are time pressured enough to welcome the ommission of poorly-written novellas which must be read before formulating their plans. What I mean is the narrative container in which the mission sits; this is something that can be conveyed in a few sentences of briefing, or a short cutscene. It is the information that helps the player understand how, or at least why, his character ended up at the mission's starting point. It also serves to justify the mission objectives, if not the means as well.

                      From the narrative context flows the mission structure, or at least it should. For me it is disconnects in this relationship that can fatally undermine a playing experience. So when you find yourself in a narrative context about resistance fighters, but you're armed to the teeth with scoped rifles and off to capture a whole city ... well, that's a disconnect. Conversely, when the mission calls for you to be USMC troops operating out of a well-stocked FOB, then having enough rounds to reconoitre by .50 cal fire is dandy. Often without recognising why, players are aware enough to recognise a mission structure that is at odds with the narrative context.

                      The operative word here is "experience". As a mission designer I suggest one should have a clear idea of the experience one wants to create in that particular mission. That decision allows one to select an appropriate narrative context, and from there flows the mission structure. One - if not the most - fabulous things about ArmA1/2 is its Lego-like ability to allow mission makers to craft an almost limitless range of experiences for players.

                      So what I would argue (passionately) is that with some exceptions, it is almost impossible to say that certain decisions (such as ammo amounts, maps or NVGs) can truly define a 'good' mission. Instead, I'd argue that if the relationship between your narrative context and mission structure is solid, and you pay hommage to some very broad gameplay-related concepts (such as those identified by CoopA), then you can make a good mission out of nearly any chosen "experience".

                      Hope that helps (and yes, CoopA's resources became BAS f, which became F2).


                      • #12
                        Re: What makes a good mission?

                        Something I read that made me think of this topic. What makes a good experience.

                        1. Clear goals (expectations and rules are discernible and goals are attainable and align appropriately with one's skill set and abilities).
                        2. Concentrating and focusing, a high degree of concentration on a limited field of attention (a person engaged in the activity will have the opportunity to focus and to delve deeply into it).
                        3. A loss of the feeling of self-consciousness, the merging of action and awareness.
                        4. Distorted sense of time, one's subjective experience of time is altered.
                        5. Direct and immediate feedback (successes and failures in the course of the activity are apparent, so that behavior can be adjusted as needed).
                        6. Balance between ability level and challenge (the activity is neither too easy nor too difficult).
                        7. A sense of personal control over the situation or activity.
                        8. The activity is intrinsically rewarding, so there is an effortlessness of action.
                        9. People become absorbed in their activity, and focus of awareness is narrowed down to the activity itself, action awareness merging.


                        • #13
                          Re: What makes a good mission?

                          I have an idea! Which I am posting for the Xth time.

                          PLZ someone MAKE A D-DAY TYPE MISSION!

                          What is wrong with a huge assault against all odds now and then? It is those fights that entice us to play these games in the first place.

                          I've scoured the internets even to find this type of mission, but even google has it's pants down on this one?! Am I missing something or is the ArmA community against any realistic but bloody fights?

                          Send more people then the opponent has bullets is a tried and tested military tactic, and I personally would like to see this kind of map for once instead of all the similar go here, kill dude, go home sort of thing.

                          I remember I made a mission like this in flashpoint, so it can't be THAT hard. It might need proper landingcraft though, because the current patrol boats and rubber boats don't cut it for an assault.


                          • #14
                            Re: What makes a good mission?

                            Originally posted by BigGaayAl View Post
                            I have an idea! Which I am posting for the Xth time.

                            PLZ someone MAKE A D-DAY TYPE MISSION!

                            What is wrong with a huge assault against all odds now and then? It is those fights that entice us to play these games in the first place.

                            I've scoured the internets even to find this type of mission, but even google has it's pants down on this one?! Am I missing something or is the ArmA community against any realistic but bloody fights?

                            Send more people then the opponent has bullets is a tried and tested military tactic, and I personally would like to see this kind of map for once instead of all the similar go here, kill dude, go home sort of thing.

                            I remember I made a mission like this in flashpoint, so it can't be THAT hard. It might need proper landingcraft though, because the current patrol boats and rubber boats don't cut it for an assault.
                            What is wrong with it? Al, it will be a lag fest. How much action are you talking? If we got a 40 player mission and they hit a beach defended with even 60 a.i. it will be lag-o-ramma. Even the best ArmA 2 servers can't handle it. ArmA engine just can't push that type of activity. Now we could do it, but it would have to be on a bit smaller scale. Less player count the better too. But big won't work. That won't be a gay experience for a Big Gay Al!
                            Never tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do and they will surprise you with their ingenuity. - General George S. Patton.


                            • #15
                              Re: What makes a good mission?

                              What makes a good mission? TG Mission Team... stay tuned its coming..
                              Never tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do and they will surprise you with their ingenuity. - General George S. Patton.




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