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What elements do you think make for a good mission design.

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Posted (edited)

Ok lets debate.

 

What do you like to see in a mission.

Elements. like realism action fun. attention to detail etc.

Edited by Marko

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Here is a list of what I typically look for, not necessarily in order.

 

1. The mission designer clearly stating what you need to do to be successful. This can be in OPORD format, narrative, etc. It doesn't really matter as long as I know what I, as a player, need to do.

 

2. A task organization that makes sense for the mission size, and is grounded in the real world. Throwing tank platoons at a player can get unwieldy, quickly. You probably don't need seven companies worth of "stuff" to conduct a movement to contact against a company-seized element.

 

3. Interesting terrain. I love missions set on arid maps because that particular terrain theme is used so rarely. Additionally, having terrain that supports more than one solution encourages replayability. 

 

4. A sense of tension. The reason action in Steel Beasts is so effective for me is the release of tension after finally coming into contact with the enemy. Give some uncertainty to the enemy's position, and make the player find them.

 

5. Replayability. I love when mission designers give the enemy multiple Courses of Action. You can replay the same mission numerous times and always encounter a different scenario. 

 

6. "Something Different." In @Panzer_Leader's scenario Combat Team Advance at Woodhill, you start with just the recon platoon, and must answer the Commander's Priority Intelligence Requirements prior to having the rest of the Company "released" to your control. This is an example of "something different" that makes a mission unique.

 

Generally, if most of these elements are present, I will enjoy the mission. 

 

Realism depends on the situation. It is realistic to have a tank platoon as a reserve. It is not fun if in a two hour multiplayer game, said tank platoon sits out of contact for a full 1 hour and 40 minutes prior to being committed. It is a delicate balance, and one where I will generally sacrifice realism for the fun of the group. 

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I like surprises. That could be a specific event, an unexpected unit, it doesn't have to be a "negative" surprise.

 

Likewise, I think it's good to give the player meaningful "macro choices". One of the earliest missions I made confronted the player with having to make a river crossing on a tight schedule. But he could discover an undefended piece of the river that could be forded, just outside of his designated battlespace.  Making a quick detour across the boundary would reap great benefits in taking the enemy by surprise and bypass some of the defenses, but run the risk of a penalty,

 

So the specific challenge for the player was to discover the crucial bit of terrain, and then to decide whether the tactical reward was worth violating/bending the mission orders, and seek the initiative with an aggressive exploitation of a potentially fleeting opportunity. Of course, this is a bit of a one-time trick. You can't do that in every mission, it's not necessarily the best option for replayability (but then again, maybe the location would be guarded at one time, and left defenseless on another, thanks to randomized jump/spawn conditions.

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, Mirzayev said:

6. "Something Different." In @Panzer_Leader's scenario Combat Team Advance at Woodhill, you start with just the recon platoon, and must answer the Commander's Priority Intelligence Requirements prior to having the rest of the Company "released" to your control. This is an example of "something different" that makes a mission unique.

Thanks for the shout-out @Mirzayev but credit where it’s due. The two phases of this scenario were inspired by a two-scenario mission created by @Gibsonm and used by BG ANZAC which I condensed (into a single scenario with less specific reconnaissance focus and more manageable TO&E for single-player) and moved back in time to 1994. So, while I designed the scenario from the ground up, I’m not sure it would have included the “something different” you credit me for without the inspiration from @Gibsonm‘s earlier effort.    

Edited by Panzer_Leader

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18 minutes ago, Panzer_Leader said:

Thanks for the shout-out @Mirzayev but credit where it’s due. The two phases of this scenario were inspired by a two-scenario mission created by @Gibsonm and used by BG ANZAC which I condensed (into a single scenario with less specific reconnaissance focus and more manageable TO&E for single-player) and moved back in time to 1994. So, while I designed the scenario from the ground up, I’m not sure it would have included the “something different” you credit me for without the inspiration from @Gibsonm‘s earlier effort.    

Even still, it is the first time I have seen the reconnaissance fight given appropriate emphasis in a single-player scenario without the entire scenario having a recon TO&E. It makes it very manageable for the player, and prevents the recon from being a "throw-away" asset. It was a very innovative way to "force" the player to conduct an area reconnaissance, without seeming artificial or heavy-handed. 

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28 minutes ago, Panzer_Leader said:

Thanks for the shout-out @Mirzayev but credit where it’s due. The two phases of this scenario were inspired by a two-scenario mission created by @Gibsonm and used by BG ANZAC which I condensed (into a single scenario with less specific reconnaissance focus and more manageable TO&E for single-player) and moved back in time to 1994. So, while I designed the scenario from the ground up, I’m not sure it would have included the “something different” you credit me for without the inspiration from @Gibsonm‘s earlier effort.    

Panzer Leader,

 

Glad you liked it.

 

Mirzayev,

 

Happy to send you a link via PM. It, like most of my scenarios, isn't uploaded here.

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45 minutes ago, Gibsonm said:

Mirzayev,

 

Happy to send you a link via PM. It, like most of my scenarios, isn't uploaded here.

I would definitely be interested. 

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Posted (edited)

Im a fan of sound events to inform the user of important events and also for entertainment/immersion value :)

An under-utilised feature i reckon.

Edited by Bond_Villian

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It might be argued that this thread should really be contained in this pre-exiting one:

 

 

Having said that though Volcano has provided some good pointers in the past:

 

 

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