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This is something that I have always wanted to do, and have been working on in my free time recently...since there are no user-made Operations in Steel Beasts.

 

Background

1. This operation will take the player through 4 or 6 missions (depending on outcomes) to fight within the 1st Brigade "FALCON" of the Radonian Army to seize the city of Malinska against enemy forces in a fictional European conflict.

 

2. These are small-scale missions meant for Single player or small cooperative sessions. Each mission will only include 4x playable vehicles (or teams) with BLUEFOR teams scripted to move based on the players movement. 

 

3. Equipment will vary by mission - right now there are two tank missions, an amphibious (LAV) mission, an IFV mission, and some other special missions to demonstrate the other aspects of Steel Beasts. 

 

4. Cause and Effect is in place - Major Victories will result in benefits for the player and may unlock future missions. Defeats will still progress the operation, but may put the player in a tougher spot for future missions. Defeat = advantage REDFOR.

 

 

Status:

Operation and phasing concept is complete

Operation file is setup (It took me a second to wrap my brain around the Operation setup wizard (still learning))

Missions are being built now. 

Testing still needs to occur.

 

I'd like to have this out by the end of the JAN 21. 

 

 

 

 

TS_SS.png

Edited by Apocalypse 31
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You may want to pause (for just a little while) to incorporate whatever changes 4.2x contains, rather than having to retrofit later.

 

Update from a different thread:

  

2 hours ago, Ssnake said:

We'll have version 4.2 ready next week. It's probably easier to wait for it, since it'll come with a unified web installer, so you have to run just that single installer program and the rest will be done automatically.

 

Edited by Gibsonm
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1 minute ago, DarkAngel said:

You will also need to delve into the black arts of the .opc file which i think is lost knowledge

I am really wrapping my head around this - mostly hoping to not hit the 'clear' or 'delete' button which are conveniently placed right next to the SAVE and OK buttons!

 

Events -> Mission Score -> Operational Events

 

Think I got it. It is definitely a lot of effort, and I am clearly reminded why we have so few operations....and by 'so few' I mean zero. 

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I find the OPC construction to be fairly easy. 

 

The hardest part is balancing events + operational events + scoring and tying all of that to operational phases and conditions for the next phase. 

 

1. It helps that I have been making scenarios for years, and have an understanding of how scoring works

2. I know what I want in terms of the scenario and was able to graph out my thoughts.

 

image.thumb.png.b5e8cc49203bb92cc88c1d1f2c0f23c8.png

Edited by Apocalypse 31
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So far the only wonkyness that I have found is the Operation Events

 

Sometimes I see them in new scenarios, sometimes I don't. I'm doing something wrong, but I'm not sure what-

 

@DarkAngel Any ideas how to get Operation Events to show up across all of my phases?

 

 

Edit - This seems to work:

Reset the operation, save the scenario (without an operation loaded), reload scenario, load operation

 

But I have found an oddity where there is no way to delete an Operation Event if you delete the scenario. 

-For example: I added an operation event but deleted the sce file without deleting the operation event - now my scenario has a permanent operation event that i cannot delete - not a BIG deal, since I dont have it linked to anything- just annoying

Edited by Apocalypse 31
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BETA III is up.

 

Many fixes to the scenario events, operational events, and scoring. 

Fixed a mission ending early

Made some formatting changes to scenario briefings

Added platoon boundaries - much easier for players (and me, when building the OPFOR plan!)

Added operation description to main op screen

 

 

To Install:

Drop the files into the following directory

Documents\eSim Games\Steel Beasts\My Operations

 

You should have Operation Talon Strike.opc in your 'My Operations Folder' as well as a Talon Strike folder

 

Edited by Apocalypse 31
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i admire what you are doing and ill tell you why, and consider it feeback for esim.  either an esim empoyee or the harcore fan attempts this sort of thing. you might try texture or sound mods, you might create missions or you might create maps. this one is beyond my interest for for the payout i was getting out of it. i did not figure my ideas were good enough to see an operation through. if you stay with it, and you believe in what you are doing, you might be pulling off something epic for the community. that is probably the story of steel beasts anyhow. the evidence of that is how few other products there are out there in the same ballpark

Edited by Captain_Colossus
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19 hours ago, Captain_Colossus said:

i admire what you are doing and ill tell you why, and consider it feeback for esim.  either an esim empoyee or the harcore fan attempts this sort of thing. you might try texture or sound mods, you might create missions or you might create maps. this one is beyond my interest for for the payout i was getting out of it. i did not figure my ideas were good enough to see an operation through. if you stay with it, and you believe in what you are doing, you might be pulling off something epic for the community. that is probably the story of steel beasts anyhow. the evidence of that is how few other products there are out there in the same ballpark

 

My observations, as a player since 2007, in random order...

 

1. I appreciate the words, but I don't really think this is, or will be 'epic'. Half way through this process I realized why nobody has done this: it is a lot of work for very little reward. I gain nothing from this. 

 

2. This is a small community, and we have very little content for a game that is 15+ years old. More specifically, we have very little small-scale content where a player can focus on 1-4 vehicles (an area where I think Steel Beast shines the most). This tells me that even in our small community, this might not be in high demand. 

 

One of the ways that I gauge this metric is by looking at the # of downloads for user-made content. How can something be epic, when most of the recent user uploads have less than 100 downloads? The top 5 most downloaded files are not even user-produced content, but rather equipment and game manuals that were uploaded 10+ years ago. The most downloaded user scenario has a little over 4k downloads, but was uploaded in 2003. 

 

A comparison: The most popular user-made ARMA mission (not even mod) has 797,661 downloads, and was uploaded in 2015. 

 

Since 2007, I have uploaded 18 unique user files with a total of 3,956 downloads. <crickets>

 

3. This first operation (Talon Strike) won't be winning any awards. It is slightly better than being a total 'shit show' of a campaign - the scenarios are very simple and it follows the story just well enough to be coherent. I will be very surprised if it is even noticed when it hits the download section or if it caps 100 downloads.

Edited by Apocalypse 31
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Overall Lessons Learned

1. Operations seem like they can offer an exceptionally immersive single-player experience for players, and provide options for continuity that string together multiple, connected scenarios using cause/effect relationships. 

 

2. Operations are a LOT of work - I have another planned that I will design the concept for, but I'm not going to start building scenarios until I see that this is something that the community even wants. That measure of effectiveness will be # of downloads - if Operation Talon Strike reaches 500 downloads then I will continue. If not, then I'll just go to the gym more or lawn-dart myself more in DCS. 

 

3. In-game Operations still have gaps and limitations.

 

3A. The biggest gap is obviously the enduring force pool of units - I learned that you can have carry-over units, but it is a LOT of work and requires you to create an Operation Event and Scenario Event for EVERY vehicle that you wish to use.

 

3B. Another gap that I found is that there is no way to give the player an outbrief of the operation - there's just no option that I saw. Maybe I missed it? It would have been nice to award the player with a medal or tell the player that they should find a new day job...or something.

 

3C. Operations are single-player only. 

 

Overall: If you are comfortable manipulating individual scenario events and are decent with simple if/then logic, then you will be OK creating a scenario.

 

Areas Where I Screwed Up / Created More Work For Myself

1. I was really eager to learn/utilize the operation editor and I jumped into it too quickly. Save the Operation Editor for the end, when everything is complete - the Operation Editor is just a way to string together scenarios and operation events. 

 

2. My scenario concepts weren't complete when I started building the scenarios - I was building on the fly and having to go back and forth between scenarios to change/modify things so that it made sense. It may have caused a disjointed story and it definitely changed my concept of the entire operation at one point. 

 

3. I was trying to do too many things simultaneously instead of sequentially - I was editing scenarios, modifying the concept, and trying to manipulate the operation editor all at the same time. I published BETA 1 then realized that I didn't even complete the last mission. I had been so wrapped up that I forgot to finish the final mission. Focus on one thing at a time, in sequence.

 

What I recommend

1. Start with the COMPLETE concept- do not place a single unit until you KNOW exactly what the ENTIRE operation looks like; the start/end conditions by phase/scenario, what the Major Victory-Victory-Defeat outcomes will be and how they are linked to the follow-on phases. 

 

2. Ensure that the scenario admin data is synchronized with your concept - does the date and time group match what you planned? - does this mission occur at night, as per the story line or during the next morning? Are your callsigns the same between scenarios? Did you forget the to set the time limit - and does your time limit match your concept?

 

3. Follow a sequence - I developed a checklist for creating operations to keep me on track. This is my recommendation for the sequence of events based on my experience.

 

Closing Thoughts

To everyone who made it this far in my wall of text----

 

PLEASE PUBLISH YOUR WORK- who cares if you think its shitty. This Operation and many of the scenarios that I make I consider to be shitty, but I've had a fair number of players tell me that they enjoy my work, so my opinion might be skewed since I am the author. 

 

It would be really nice if this community saw an increase in single-player content; different mission makers = more varied perspective = different types of challenges = different types of missions. 

 

Please publish your work. I guarantee someone will appreciate it.

 

image.thumb.png.30ab17156589f8a00c3591e41b660ea1.png 

 

Edited by Apocalypse 31
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Release V1 Bugs:

Bad scoring values for several missions. This has zero effect on your progress in the operation - operational benefits are strictly tied to events. Scoring is only to produce the line in the de-brief that says Major Victory or Victory or Defeat. It is in no way tied to how your performance. 

 

Potential Bug: My Event Score was tied to an Event within an Event (objective complete and mission time less than 30 min). The Event Score was Event Complete (Objective Complete and less than 30 min) by mission end. The mission end (timer) was 60 minutes. The only thing I can see is that there is a conflict with using an event with Mission timer + a scoring event tied to time + a scenario time limit. That all reads super confusing. 

 

Mission 1 Briefing is messed up (bad copy/paste job)

 

Phase 4A makes you wait until the time limit to end

Edited by Apocalypse 31
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