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XyZspineZyX
06-12-2003, 04:26 PM
It's OK to have a Computer Campaign Generator, but it will never take the place of good missions developed by human beings and should never be thought as capable enough to be a best solution...for sure.

Principally, the timing can never be exact enough for the very best missions. Also, the templates in computer campaign builders (pre-set objects, map locations,etc.) can never come close to providing historical accuracy by any stretch of the imagination.

Building missions, I frequently spend hours just getting the different objects placed just right so that the player gets the most out of the visual and action experience at just the right time.

It often takes hours sometimes just getting proper altitude descent rates of flight groups in order that the heavy flak doesn't destroy the whole lot before they can deploy their payloads.

It often takes hours aligning waypoints of flight groups to get the best possible large formation visual experience. Having large numbers of aircraft over targets can make the visual and action experience exciting.

These are all things that can never be accomplished by a computer campaign generator. A human person building missions has to play, tweak, replay, tweak, etc. to build viable combat missions scenarios. Good mission building requires some real thoughtfulness and imagination.

Computer campaign generators are just another tool for using a combat flight simulator. Sure, I think they're OK in combat flight simulations where air war, dogfights, recons,caps, etc. are just a matter of air combat engagements, and shooting targets.

I'm just completely put off with them when it comes to using the vast array of objects, aircraft, payloads, maps in a combat flight simulation like IL2-FB.

In short the basic purpose of any mission building should have a foundational objective. I see this objective as:

The timing of elements and objects in missions is most critical in the development of excellent missions for "PLAYER" enjoyment. It is critical for objects, aircraft, waypoints, payload deployments, to be at the precise time and place as needed, and best used for the enjoyment of "THE PLAYER/S"

In short, mission building should be about providing the player/s and only the player/s with the absolute best use of the combat flight simulator.

If it is important to have the historically correct skins, the correct gruppe/squadron insignia, the correct virtual cockpits, the most correct flight models, etc. It doesn't make sense to ignore precise timing of events and precise timing and placement of objects in mission building.

Lastly, I used the Computer generated campaign tools back when I was first learning about combat flight simulations. I can't tell you how many times I felt like a fool after doing a mission because the campaign generator had created an impossible situation for survival. The disappointment after spending almost an hour flying the mission was keen. I tried persistently to use the campaign generators, because I just didn't want to tackle mission building. I just wanted to learn to fly, manuever, and shoot targets. I needed experience to develop enough skill with the combat flight simulator to enjoy it. So, the campaign generator was a help.

I now refuse to let a computer generated program lead me around by the nose, and then make a fool out of me as well.

I suggest all users of the IL2-FB make it a point to learn or it least plan to learn enough about the IL2-FB FMB to develop some of their own missions. Mission building is fun and it will open an entire new world of involvement with the IL2-FB.

In short, I suggest more effort and emphasis should be placed on developing or improving the FMB, rather than improving the computer campaign generator.

------------------- /i/smilies/16x16_smiley-very-happy.gif

XyZspineZyX
06-12-2003, 04:26 PM
It's OK to have a Computer Campaign Generator, but it will never take the place of good missions developed by human beings and should never be thought as capable enough to be a best solution...for sure.

Principally, the timing can never be exact enough for the very best missions. Also, the templates in computer campaign builders (pre-set objects, map locations,etc.) can never come close to providing historical accuracy by any stretch of the imagination.

Building missions, I frequently spend hours just getting the different objects placed just right so that the player gets the most out of the visual and action experience at just the right time.

It often takes hours sometimes just getting proper altitude descent rates of flight groups in order that the heavy flak doesn't destroy the whole lot before they can deploy their payloads.

It often takes hours aligning waypoints of flight groups to get the best possible large formation visual experience. Having large numbers of aircraft over targets can make the visual and action experience exciting.

These are all things that can never be accomplished by a computer campaign generator. A human person building missions has to play, tweak, replay, tweak, etc. to build viable combat missions scenarios. Good mission building requires some real thoughtfulness and imagination.

Computer campaign generators are just another tool for using a combat flight simulator. Sure, I think they're OK in combat flight simulations where air war, dogfights, recons,caps, etc. are just a matter of air combat engagements, and shooting targets.

I'm just completely put off with them when it comes to using the vast array of objects, aircraft, payloads, maps in a combat flight simulation like IL2-FB.

In short the basic purpose of any mission building should have a foundational objective. I see this objective as:

The timing of elements and objects in missions is most critical in the development of excellent missions for "PLAYER" enjoyment. It is critical for objects, aircraft, waypoints, payload deployments, to be at the precise time and place as needed, and best used for the enjoyment of "THE PLAYER/S"

In short, mission building should be about providing the player/s and only the player/s with the absolute best use of the combat flight simulator.

If it is important to have the historically correct skins, the correct gruppe/squadron insignia, the correct virtual cockpits, the most correct flight models, etc. It doesn't make sense to ignore precise timing of events and precise timing and placement of objects in mission building.

Lastly, I used the Computer generated campaign tools back when I was first learning about combat flight simulations. I can't tell you how many times I felt like a fool after doing a mission because the campaign generator had created an impossible situation for survival. The disappointment after spending almost an hour flying the mission was keen. I tried persistently to use the campaign generators, because I just didn't want to tackle mission building. I just wanted to learn to fly, manuever, and shoot targets. I needed experience to develop enough skill with the combat flight simulator to enjoy it. So, the campaign generator was a help.

I now refuse to let a computer generated program lead me around by the nose, and then make a fool out of me as well.

I suggest all users of the IL2-FB make it a point to learn or it least plan to learn enough about the IL2-FB FMB to develop some of their own missions. Mission building is fun and it will open an entire new world of involvement with the IL2-FB.

In short, I suggest more effort and emphasis should be placed on developing or improving the FMB, rather than improving the computer campaign generator.

------------------- /i/smilies/16x16_smiley-very-happy.gif

XyZspineZyX
06-12-2003, 05:10 PM
Or, build a truly dynamic environment where you don't have to "cheat" by timing everything.

Falcon 4 and AH-CH spoiled us years ago in this sense.

XyZspineZyX
06-12-2003, 05:38 PM
Falcon and AH-CH simulated a very limited theater of operations - both speaking of time and size. I never played AH-CH so I can only comment on Falcon, but I think while the input of a single pilot in such a small area can - I repeat can - have an influence on the outcome of that war thinking the same about a war that was fought along a frontline of 2000 miles over the course of 4 years is - pardon - ridiculous. Local achievements might be possible, but one cannot influence events happening on a far away corner of the front.

---------------------------
http://home.t-online.de/home/340045970094-0001/lwskins_banner_gross.jpg (http://www.lwskins.de.vu)
Historical Skins for Luftwaffe-Fighters

XyZspineZyX
06-12-2003, 07:24 PM
Isn't this a matter of the difference between "off the shelf" and "bespoke" tailoring.

A good bespoke product will be significantly better that the mass product ...
... but a poor bespoke will be significantly worse.


I think there's space for both.

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XyZspineZyX
06-12-2003, 10:59 PM
I've used IL2Gen as the basis for many interesting missions.

After I'd set-up the template, I'd have IL2Gen rattle off about 20 or so missions for me.

Then, I'd open them up in the FMB and see if it looked interesting. About a third of the time, I'd find something that would work out for me. I'd frequently alter the plane types, flight routes, ground objects, etc. to me liking but this could take only 10-20 minutes to generate a fun mission.

Now, I'm not going to stack-up one of my little online missions against something that you spent hours crafting, but I do believe there's a place for these tools.

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XyZspineZyX
06-13-2003, 12:05 AM
THe main problem with 'tailored' missions is that they are time consuming to create, and that often results in the dreaded linear campaign (which is about the worst sort of campaign for a player to be stuck with). Random campaigns may not have all the special elements of a tailored linear campaign, but real life isn't tailored or linear - it's random and dynamic. At least with a random campaign I am assured of missions where I may be surprised by the enemy during numerous campaigns. If I fly a linear campaign I can only be surprised through a single pilot's career. A linear campaign, however well-crafted and ingenious (and even if it has a mission builder), only has a limited life on the player's hard drive. A random campaign gives greater replay value and can even be more realistic than a dynamic campaign in some cases (WW1 for example), while a well crafted dynamic campaign is the best for any combat flight sim where air power is paramount.

XyZspineZyX
06-13-2003, 02:29 AM
I feel much as you do, nearmiss, but many people just don't want to do all that work. Maybe they're just not that interested in the historic details.

After all, it's a big job, to do it right you have to do a lot of historic research before you even start. (Then find out the map in the game is wrong so you can't get the ground action right anyway. Grr.) You spend many hours building a mission and twenty minutes flying it. To some people this just doesn't look like fun. It isn't what they bought FB for.

And so I think it should have both, as it does now. This is one of the good features of FB, that it can be used in more different ways than in Il-2 Sturmovik.

I agree however that the FMB needs improvement. The interface is terrible. And we were led to believe the FMB would be improved in FB, but it wasn't. Not in terms of function and use. Just some new features added. (Which are very good, of course, the front line markers are a wonderful addition for one thing.)

However I don't believe there will be any further changes.
The design of the FMB is just not something that can be addressed in a patch. And putting it in an upgrade would not attract enough additional buyers to be cost effective for the developers.

It's not too bad really. After making missions in CFS2 this FMB seems state of the art by comparison.

XyZspineZyX
06-13-2003, 08:20 AM
Ciao!

csThor wrote:
- Falcon and AH-CH simulated a very limited theater of
- operations - both speaking of time and size. I never
- played AH-CH so I can only comment on Falcon, but I
- think while the input of a single pilot in such a
- small area can - I repeat can - have
- an influence on the outcome of that war thinking the
- same about a war that was fought along a frontline
- of 2000 miles over the course of 4 years is - pardon
- - ridiculous. Local achievements might be possible,
- but one cannot influence events happening on a far
- away corner of the front. -

Well, F4 has a whole country to start with (actually two, the two Koreas).. I don't think that that qualifies as small and the outcome is certainly not ridiculous (F4 is many times more fun and immersive than IL2/FB, at least offline).

Note that while the FEBA is small, as the country is "thin", we're talking about fast jets here, not necessarily fighting only on the FEBA.. In a given moment the whole map is filled with planes fighting.

But of course if that turns out not to be appliable for a wwii sim, you could make as well some adjustments in order to implement a truly dynamic campaign, e.g. different sized maps or more and shorter campaigns, la "mig alley" (love that sim too!).

XyZspineZyX
06-13-2003, 08:36 AM
S!

With two recent additions to our programming team we are getting close to releasing the online mission generator.

Further details here.

http://www.doghousecomputing.com/scorchedearth/

happy to answer questions on our forum.

RAF74 Taipan

http://raf74.5u.com/cgi-bin/framed/1498/tiger_WHT.jpg

XyZspineZyX
06-16-2003, 09:15 PM
I have yet to see a random generator that routinely cranks out both historically accurate and playable missions.

VEF, as I understand it, is computer generated. I flew it for awhile in IL-2 and found myself in sitautaions that had nothing to do with history and, too often, flying around in an empty sky. It is my understanding that Starshoy, who is the guru of the very weak offline campaigns in FB, also is the major force behind VEF.

Every review I have read of both IL-2 and FB knocks the off-line campaigns as, by far, the weakest part of the sim. There were a few additions to FB (front lines, improvement of AI pilots with experience, etc.) But it is by no stretch of the imagination a dynamic campaign. And there is no feeling of being involved in a larger effort. It doesn't "tell a story."

I tried earlier versions of RAF-74's computer generated missions and never, not even once, flew one I enjoyed. Again, too much time in empty sky looking for targets that weren't there (the intel officer should be shot). I'll try the latest version but my hopes aren't high.

On the other hand, hand-made missions can be skewed to favor one side or the other. And they don't guarantee historical accuracy, either. VOW has that problem. Ramstein, who writes most of its missions, always seems to find the worst VVS planes of any given time period to throw in on the Russian side. It's a subtle advantage but I think a look at the history of his missions would show they clearly favor the LW. So, hand-made doesn't mean perfect either.

Hangar's missions are, IMO, the best. He researches them thoroughly and the sides are well balanced for playability. Sadly, his campaigns are linear but FMB doesn't provide any real options.

What is missing here is a reflection of the fact that the air war on the Eastern Front was tactical (as opposed to strategic) and (on both sides) linked entirely to the fighting that was taking place on the ground. We end up flying close air support for what always appears to be a skirmish of ground forces rather than a real battle.

I agree Falcon 4.0 set the standard for offline campaigns and FB doesn't even come close. A sim that's five years more recent should be better, not worse.

Too late for this sim, I'm afraid. Either Starshoy doesn't seem to "get it" or either Oleg or Ubi has been unwilling to give him the resources to build a really great offline campaign. What we have is linear and boring and about a half decade behind the times.

That's a pity.





tttiger

"Never wise up a chump!" -- W.C. Fields

XyZspineZyX
06-16-2003, 11:42 PM
-----to Oleg-----

In WingComander (bad example i know)
there is a random storry about an young pilot, which comes to his squad (he just finished the fighter-training/education)
the missions are not linear but they are not realy unlinear, there are some goals you have to succes, or the next mission won't be doable (just to much enemy's > depends on the other missions).
I think it would be the best (for the next sim) to include a storyline for the pilot, maybe one for fighters on for jabos and so on....but it should be a little differet by playing for other nations. (depends on time etc)
perhaps you can use some diary-informaion of pilots.

There would be much to do but the game would be played longer (alsow from Offliners) and most of the Onliners would play the campaign as well.
In this case i'll play the campaign, but the way it is done at this time is boring, it's just not interesting.
(well there is no athmosperhic feeling from the battle, no smal-talk, no talking in combat..it's some kind of ded ther is no life in the AI-Wingman, if you know what i mean ?!)

> if not, just play a few wing-comander missions (freespace would alsow do it) and you'll understand my feelings!

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Message Edited on 06/16/0310:44PM by ToP_BlackSheep

XyZspineZyX
06-17-2003, 12:06 AM
If there are enough aircraft in the air over a given size area combat area (say front line or strategic target), there is no need to "time" opposing flights so they meet. These are the kind of missions I make. No need for timing. Everybody meets over a space of about 10km to 20km.

On average computers, FB can only handle a few flights, and if a major part of a large map is used, aircraft flights will rarely meet, unles they are placed and timed by hand.

XyZspineZyX
06-17-2003, 02:36 AM
You may find this thread on timing interesting:

http://forums.ubi.com/messages/message_view-topic.asp?name=missionbuilder&id=zztys

I have not repeated the timing experiment, and can not comment

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XyZspineZyX
06-17-2003, 07:12 AM
Please don't. Replayability would go down even more than with semi-dynamic campaigns.

If any work has to go in the direction of better offline play, I'd say perfect the current campaign, and start thinking to something else for the next add-on / sim.

ToP_BlackSheep wrote:
-
------to Oleg-----
-
- In WingComander (bad example i know)
- there is a random storry about an young pilot, which
- comes to his squad (he just finished the
- fighter-training/education)
- the missions are not linear but they are not realy
- unlinear, there are some goals you have to succes,
- or the next mission won't be doable (just to much
- enemy's > depends on the other missions).
- I think it would be the best (for the next sim) to
- include a storyline for the pilot, maybe one for
- fighters on for jabos and so on....but it should be
- a little differet by playing for other nations.
- (depends on time etc)
- perhaps you can use some diary-informaion of pilots.
-
- There would be much to do but the game would be
- played longer (alsow from Offliners) and most of the
- Onliners would play the campaign as well.
- In this case i'll play the campaign, but the way it
- is done at this time is boring, it's just not
- interesting.
- (well there is no athmosperhic feeling from the
- battle, no smal-talk, no talking in combat..it's
- some kind of ded ther is no life in the AI-Wingman,
- if you know what i mean ?!)
-
- > if not, just play a few wing-comander missions
- (freespace would alsow do it) and you'll understand
- my feelings!
-
- <div style="text-align: center;">
- <hr style="width: 100%; height: 2px;">
- <a href="http://ifh.firstones.com"
- target=_blank><img
- src=http://ifh.firstones.com/img/banners/banner01.
- jpg border=0<>
-
- Message Edited on 06/16/03 10:44PM by
- ToP_BlackSheep

XyZspineZyX
06-17-2003, 05:09 PM
Try Iron Skies TTiger. Or at least review it. It has two parts handmade by either side's commander and there is an automerging process that combines the two. It is strictly guided by a ground war which is run like an Avalon Hill style boardgame.


http://www.ironskies.net/forums/


As to VEF 2. Having not been involved in VEF since February i havent been involved in the recent improvements ; but i can tell you that in reviewing Starshoy's recent endeavors to improve upon the concept -- you will be surprised at what hes coming up with. Im sure that many of its elements will eventually make it into the sim in part or parcel.

See here for descriptions of the tactical simulations he is improvising and improving upon at this time -

http://www.netwings.org/dcforum/DCForumID38/45.html

Another realm of possibilities lies in the work to provide 24/7 servers using FBDaemon and Lowengrin's DCG.

There are many ways to enjoy this simulation. I wouldnt waste your times complaining about this that or another, please find the online campaign that most fits your need s(or two or three of them) and enjoy yourselves... i think that is why we fly this sim isnt it? (ive tended to forget that seeing a lot of the threads in the ready room of late)

My point : there are many motions online to improve FB in persistent online campaigns, persistent DF style campaigns, and there are plenty of people making the single missions you are referring to that include a bit more personal touch.
When online campaigns, scripting tools, and offline mission makers all share their ideas ; the offline campaign improves due to technological advancements. VEF and other campaigns proved that hands down. What thinktanks exist online, will benefit the offline simmer in their next sim. Vice versa. The more offline mission makers make 'suggestions' to online/offline campaign generator programmers, the more chance those will make it into the nex maddox sim.

Murdock
Iron Skies

'Enjoy the sim. Add to the community. Help other communities shine. Treat each other with respect. Those are the staples of a healthy community.'





Murdock
SimCorner
http://geocities.com/murdocksimboy/

Message Edited on 06/17/0304:13PM by MurdockSC