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What Makes Missions Interesting To You?

18 posts in this topic

Posted

As you may know, I've been working away on my Texas Militia expansion pack, and I've done things alot differently than Claiming Liberty. I'm finishing all the content, including new weapons, kits, sound, actors, etc. first, and then I'll start on the missions. I've gotten ready to script some missions, and I'm not being inspired. So, as stated in the topic's title, what makes a mission interesting for you? What's your dream mission? I've got a storyline, but the missions aren't coming to me. Thanks to anyone who can help me out :thumbsup:

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Posted

Random elements help out so much. A few simple changes in patrol paths, to not knowing if a tank, truck with reinforcements, or nothing is going to happen next.

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Posted

For my first mission, I'm having a random two man patrol selected at the insertion, and also randomly selecting to have a tank in the north or east. I'll also have some mortar rounds hitting on certain missions, J-DAM strikes, and more.

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Posted

Is eye candy good? I know most of us aren't fans of MW's scripted cinematic feel, but a few intense explosions and such would be good, right?

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Posted

When we play on Sundays there are very few comments about the appearance of modded weapons, uniforms and maps.

But scripted explosions generally are commented on favorably. I know everyone of us has played games with much better FX but still my team mates always appreciate the GR FX even old as they are.

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Posted

I love missions that reward stealth and effective sniping. If you can blend that into an ambient battlefield, that would be sweet. Obviously have independent objectives, but work on balancing them so most every order is of equivalent difficulty (e.g., det pack usage sets off alarms, or put a patrol between two otherwise adjacent objectives. Basically, find ways to keep the difficulty continuous. As already said though, keep it random so the best you can hope to do is memorize that map ahead of time, but not the enemy locations. Continuous difficulty is vastly preferable to discontinuous but easy (or worse still, discontinuous but HARD).

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Posted

I think I've got Zeko doing my maps for me, so it's going to be alot better now, rather than vanilla maps. I'll get him to add some "destructible" buildings (e.g. swamp airfield bunker) so I can simulate J-DAM strikes and such.

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Posted (edited)

While explaining how the mission needs to be carried out is essential, too much of "Blah blah blah blah, secret base. Blah blah blah, nuclear missile bomb...." causes a great loss of interest. :)

Edited by WytchDokta

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Posted

Like the briefing for the intro mission of World War III Gold Edition..... :whistle:

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Posted

Not that I have played any GR in a long time. I'll still offer my $0.02.

1) A mission should be achievable using multiple approaches. Those approaches should be reasonably balanced, so that the penalty (or reward) for making a choice does not make the mission too hard/easy.

2) Choices/decisions should be clear. This impacts how you write the briefing and how you script the mission. Skip the rambling prose in the briefing and tell people what they need to do and how they are nominally supposed to do it. Any changes that come up in game should be clearly presented (no 20 line text box that is up for 2 seconds in the middle of a firefight). Better to use chat messages and adjust the objectives dynamically. Again, keep the choices balanced, this is not a puzzle game where you want people to try things until they guess how you scripted the "winning plan".

3) Failure (and extraction) should always be an option. I hate missions that will not let you extract until you have done "everything," or missions that just fail because you ran out of AT weapons or demo charges. Give the players a chance to improvise, maybe they can recover/find a kit, maybe they just lose an objective, maybe they decide they are going to "run for the chopper" and escape with what they have left. This is another form of choice that the players should have and will improve their sense of immersion.

4) Make the script a "living environment" for the players. Think about your script as running a high level commander/AI for all of the actors on the map, and make them react to the things the player does. For replayability using a bit of randomness to reactions and reaction timing can be a huge bonus. This forces players to watch what is happening around them and make decisions/choices rather than "ride on a rail" and shoot at the popup targets.

These are the principals I used when working on tournament scripts (never and randomness in those), and I believe they apply to just about any type of mission, be it a rescue, stealth demo, firefight, or run to the extract scenario. The ramifications of these guidelines change based on the scenario, but the core ideas remain and can help you create a more engaging and immersive environment for your players.

Personally, I always found 'script candy" -- novel scripted tasks, bobby traps, or sub-tasks -- way more interesting than any eye-candy or catchy/novel models.

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Posted

I always hated the 'You Have No Demo Charges And AT Rockets -- Mission Will Automatically End' stuff. Who cares? I can still rush in and take some tangos down with me even if the main mission is failed. Thanks for all the advice.

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Posted

Think about your script as running a high level commander/AI for all of the actors on the map, and make them react to the things the player does. For replayability using a bit of randomness to reactions and reaction timing can be a huge bonus. This forces players to watch what is happening around them and make decisions/choices rather than "ride on a rail" and shoot at the popup targets.

This.

The vast majority of missions are designed from the players perspective. What you end up with is going from A to B to C with more or less scripted encounters along the way. Try turning it upside down and look at it from the bot's perspective: Put the number and type of players aside and start with the bots and their mission: What kind of warriors are they? Elite soldiers? Veteran insurgents? A bunch of untrained dudes with guns? What is their mission? Protect a bridge, radio station or other objective? Hunt for rebels? Ethnic cleansing? Sabotage mission? What would they do on the map and how would they do it? Only then do you start to make compromises and admissions to the fact that this is a game played from the players perspective.

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Posted (edited)

I hate to admit it, but I should've asked these questions before releasing any Claiming Liberty missions. Oh well, the best way to learn is from mistakes. I love your idea of pretending to be the hostile AI forces. Now I have this picture in my mind, for my first mission, of the AI's objectives--

Objective 1 - Secure the airfield (players must shut down airfield)

Objective 2 - Confiscate equipment from arsenal (players must take control of arsenal)

Objective 3 - Eliminate resistance in convention center (players must decimate any hostile traces inside)

Objective X - Maintain control of stronghold at Alamo (players have bonus objective to retake the Alamo)

Oops, now you all know the first Texas Militia mission objectives :o:D And then, visualizing those AI objectives make me think, if I was playing the AI's side, this would be so boring. Defend this, defend that, sit in this corner and stare at the corner. I see why Jack57's missions are so popular and great, because as in Band of Brothers, he had the AI doing more than just sitting around. Now, while I like his style of changing objectives and wild plot twists, that was never for me, and although that was realistic and exciting, I just never really enjoyed scripting that way. Great ideas here.

Edited by rileyfletcher_01

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Posted

I always hated the 'You Have No Demo Charges And AT Rockets -- Mission Will Automatically End' stuff. Who cares? I can still rush in and take some tangos down with me even if the main mission is failed. Thanks for all the advice.

Like the "Turn Back Now, You're Leaving The Mission Area" stuff. Who cares? I want to explore. Why make that area accessible then threaten to end the mission if I go there?

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Posted

Oh yeah, GRAW is pathetic in that way. It's like this open field that I want to flank the enemy in, but no, you must continue upon this scripted path. In GR, even though sometimes their invisible walls across roads that left the map were hokey, it still seemed more realistic than getting some flashing message and then being struck down by the game engine if you leave.

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Posted (edited)

Not that I have played any GR in a long time. I'll still offer my $0.02.

1) A mission should be achievable using multiple approaches. Those approaches should be reasonably balanced, so that the penalty (or reward) for making a choice does not make the mission too hard/easy.

In Claiming Liberty, it was pretty much straightforward: fire rockets at the tanks, kill all enemies BEFORE capturing the escaped officer, do NOT leave the ambush zone until the vehicles come, and destroying the depot BEFORE going to the fort because if you didn't you couldn't win the mission because the script was too restrictive. The game should be much more dynamic.

2) Choices/decisions should be clear. This impacts how you write the briefing and how you script the mission. Skip the rambling prose in the briefing and tell people what they need to do and how they are nominally supposed to do it. Any changes that come up in game should be clearly presented (no 20 line text box that is up for 2 seconds in the middle of a firefight). Better to use chat messages and adjust the objectives dynamically. Again, keep the choices balanced, this is not a puzzle game where you want people to try things until they guess how you scripted the "winning plan".

I never enjoyed objective changes, partly because it makes your scripts much more complicated, because if a player completes one objective somehow before it is available for completion, you'll enable the new obj blocks and it will not function.....just was too much for me.

3) Failure (and extraction) should always be an option. I hate missions that will not let you extract until you have done "everything," or missions that just fail because you ran out of AT weapons or demo charges. Give the players a chance to improvise, maybe they can recover/find a kit, maybe they just lose an objective, maybe they decide they are going to "run for the chopper" and escape with what they have left. This is another form of choice that the players should have and will improve their sense of immersion.

I was working on the TACT (tenth anniversary celebration tournament) for GR, but never finished it. I always had a blue zone marked on map that would let the players extract even without completing all objectives. Of course, it still deducted the 80 points as if they had failed, but they could still salvage part of the mission

4) Make the script a "living environment" for the players. Think about your script as running a high level commander/AI for all of the actors on the map, and make them react to the things the player does. For replayability using a bit of randomness to reactions and reaction timing can be a huge bonus. This forces players to watch what is happening around them and make decisions/choices rather than "ride on a rail" and shoot at the popup targets.

Very good description here. If I understand correctly, you're saying that you should have more scripted reactions. If you examine the first original campaign mission by RSE, you'll see they had some things like this; while not very complicated, it still added some realism, although I never noticed this happening in game until I perused thru the script. They have a runner for each outpost who will, when alerted, runs to either the caves or tent camp which will alert them. This is not actually realistic though in my case, since in 2017 we'll probably all have radio communication or something. But having reinforcements run over to a downed patrol makes so many possibilties: a diversion so the players can make it through a defended point stealthily, or many other things. Having a realistic environment with a reactive script opens so many more realistic options.

Dang, now I'm just itching to script a mission :rofl: I'll be glad when Zeko finishes the first map.

Edited by rileyfletcher_01

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Posted

In M01 (Caves), I was able, several times, to get past the patrols, secure the caves, eliminate the tent soldiers (they come in rescue to the caves if you kill the soldiers there) and then go steathly all the way to the end, avoiding every enemy possible. I like how the mission gives you this option. You can snipe most enemies, you can engage in firefights all over the map, you can go past them without being noticed.

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Posted

I like a map/mission where you can snipe and clear buildings :)

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