GDCE2 WIP (General Dynamic Campaign Engine)
Just to inform you that GDCE2 is in the make.
For now, just some general ideas.
GDCE1 was a "random" mission generator. Years ago I wanted to make GDCE2 less random and more strategic. I had a detailed project but the code started being too complex. Arma1 got out and I lost interest. That variant is dumped.
What will GDCE2 be roughly:
Technically a single VERY long mission. It will use a heavily modified version of DAC3 (with a hopeful help from Silola ). GDCE1 was practically a random mission generator where DAC1 filled the empty space.
In v2 I plan to intertwine GDCE and DAC much more. Missions would be less random, instead they would often involve actual DAC units. Your HQ would be a DAC generated camp. The objective will be to destroy all enemy HQs.
A distinction between GDCE from other dynamic campaigns, is that in GDCE you're a grunt (eventually SF) and you never make strategic decisions. You get a mission and you have to do it. The whole background stuff is that your missions get much more sense than standard stripted SP missions.
Simply, there is a war going on and you take a part in it.
For start I have ideas for:
long range patrol mission
use the same arty system as the AI
other features i plan to implement:
artillery units move forward to new places when too deep in friendly territory (currently don't have an idea of executing this)
a supply system
SecOp missions, meaning you could be given secondary missions, dependent on the current situation on the battlefield. Give support to a unit in need etc.
The main goal is to maximally use DAC units, so the missions would actually have a reason of happening. For example, a friendly DAC unit gets eradicated. Your next mission could be a patrol (or search & destroy) mission in that area, saying to be careful.
I'm of course interested in your ideas.
Oh, I can remember GDCE for OFP Good old times, indeed. Looking forward to it!
Great news, loved GDCE.. 1 request though, can you make it more like a big operation? For example you will start off the campagin doing a dynamic landing on a beach and you have to take towns and stuff, so its like the enemy also has a commander? Because in the original GCDE, it felt like you were going around the island killing stuff, but didnt have any true objectives.
So what i was hoping it would be like (for example) is lets say you landed on a beach, took a town with another company, and are awaiting orders. Your AI commander would tell you to set up a FOB some 500 meters away from your current position and you proceed to do that, and then guard the FOB till reinforcements arrived at day. Something like this would make this mission the ultimate ArmA 2 Experience
I'll think about this.
Altough I intend to make the player just a single bolt in the whole war machine.
You will have a couple of fixed bases and the enemy too. Both sides will have a HQ in deeper territory.
As I said, the missions won't be randomly generated as before. Instead, at every mission start, you "AI general" would "calculate" the situation and give you a mission dependent on the current situation. Regarding this, I'm thinking about a dynamic briefing for the mission. At worst it would be a single long string describing what and why you have to do.
Yes I understand what your saying but I felt that the original GCDE lacked a Frontline system and figthing with other squads. It felt like you were just going around Everon doing spec ops and blowing everything up.
Master Gunnery Sergeant
You ever play the flightsim Falcon 4? Have often thought how great it would be to have a dynamic campaign engine for A2. (Have even tried to script different aspects myself, but nothing like this!)
This is very interesting. Looking forward to more news.
I've had some free time, so here is a snippet:
It's not really a mission, it's a sandbox showing the general concept.
I'm using Utes island, because of the short load time. It can be dense, since it's a small island. Bear in mind that the final version will be at a MUCH slower pace.
Now it plays more like an online shooter, because of the high unit density.
What is done (or WIP) till now:
- integrated DAC (script version, because changes are made into DAC scripts)
- made ground support available (from DAC)
- made arty strikes available (from DAC)
- your bases are marked, the enemies are hidden. In the future, the enemies bases will be marked once you find them (personally or through intel).
- random base name, will be more detailed.
- the Blue HQ is your base you have to protect. The FOB (forward operational bases) are bases where arty is situated and units get spawned.
- you can switch to the Red side: in the editor there is a unit at the northern side of the island. Make it "player" and volia!
Currently there are no objectives. You can play as the objective is to destroy the enemy HQ.
In the future:
- you will be assigned to a base (HQ or any FOB) from where you will get missions and make reports. If your base gets destroyed (or some other reason) you can get reallocated to another base.
- by destroying enemy bases, the enemy will get weaker (at least in that area).
- you win if the enemy HQ gets destroyed. You will gradually move to this goal by succesfully executing missions (assault, patrol, ambush, long range patrol, support, gather intel)
IMO there are two extremes in missions:
meaningful but predictable (low replay value) and
random but boring and "generic" feel.
I'm trying to find a balance between these. Things should be random to a degree (but never make you feel it's random), but on the other side remain meaningful.
If someone feels adventurous and you know how to use DAC, feel free to port it to another (bigger) island, make larger and more zones. This way the gameplay should be more realistic/believable, not arcade-like. The current config is more like an instant battle scenario. For testing purposes.
---------- Post added at 09:14 AM ---------- Previous post was at 09:10 AM ----------
It's mainly because I'm really into Vietnam stuff (GDCE was actually called Vietnam Tour of Duty at the beginning). It's originally meant to be played as an US AirCav or SF in Vietnam.
Originally Posted by Burdy
A progress update, refined structure and some questions:
Two sides are in war on a single map (for now). Every side has a HQ and various number of FOBs (Forward Operating Bases). If one side's HQ gets destroyed, the other side wins. The HQs are positioned generally on opposite sides of the map.
You're a team leader and your team is assigned to a base (either the HQ or a FOB). You get semi-random missions (depending on the current situation) to execute. The missions repeat until you win or lose.
This was the much simplified version. In short, there are football management games and football playing games. This should be a pure football playing game.
The fundamental of this mission is DAC3 by Silola. It's basically similar to DAC1 (dunno about DAC2 since I've intentionally missed the ArmA1 train) but much more flexible. You set up the whole battlefield through the DAC setup. Once it's up, you've assigned to a base and perform missions from there.
You see your HQ and all your FOBs on the map, but all enemy bases are hidden. Through gathering intel and recon missions some of the enemy bases could get "compromised" so they show on the map. Now you could be assigned assault missions to the known bases.
I'm trying to integrated the player and his team into DAC as much as possible. You can call (default DAC) ground support from nearby units, (default DAC) arty strikes and also DAC units could ask for your support during missios.
Planned mission types:
- seek and destroy (basicall a patrol mission in a hot area)
- llrp or recon
- ambush (will be a bit tricky to make)
- gather intel (go to a city/village and speak with locals)
- medic (go heal wounded units, or heal wounded citizens)
- intel: when you gather intel, you get to know a random thing about the enemy. A positio and waypoint for a unit (for creating ambushes), position of one of their bases or position of some of their arty units. Intel could be gathered (altough small amount) by searching dead enemies (officers). (or maybe by capturing them). Intel would be like money. It would be a number. When it reaches an amount, your general "spends" it on info. The intel "amount" is reduced by a value. Searching dead bodies could reveal big intel (small chance), like an enemy base position.
- if your home base gets destroyed, you're assigned to another one.
- you have the option of sleep to skip nighttime operations (optional)
- FOBs could be created on the fly. It isn't a problem technically creating them, but what would trigger creating one, and where? You could have a mission of securing the area of the future FOB. When secure, you would call the engineers who would set up the base. (Don't really care about the visual stuff: heli's fly in, you go home, sleep, when you wake up the distant FOB is puff, there).
- in OFP briefing structure was mainly static (you couldn't add variables into it). Dunno about Arma2. I plan to make a dynamic briefing before each mission: current weather, weather forecast, maybe your groups callsign, home base callsign, ETA etc. And some dynamic text based on the mission parameters. At least I would make a big string variable with all this stuff and your CO tells you this through a dialogue, so it remains in the dialogues log.
- similar as new FOB missions, there could be new arty missions. Secure the area and arty arrives. Also there could be arty rearm missions.
- you could also spot enemy bases. Report through radio the position. If you're accurate enough (say, 100m), in some time (say 10 mins) the base gets marked on your map. Time delay for avoiding cheating.
- if fog is too great, insertion/extraction and other air support is impossible
- maybe would be tricky: when you encounter friendlies in the field, you could ask for recent happenings. They could tell you where (if) were they attacked last time.
- when on LRRP, ground support is disabled, since your goal is recon an directing airstrikes, while remaining undetected. (your team would be reduced to 4 during these missions)
What is done:
- DAC units and bases are spawned as planned
- ground support is available either to AI and player
- arty support is available either to AI and player
- FOBs get random names
- friendly bases are marked on the map, while enemy bases are hidden (this may seem a basic thing, but it's very tricky since EVERYTHING is dynamically created, I even don't know exactly how many FOBs we'll have, not to speak about their positions and names)
- currently working on stroring data about bases, and assigning a base to the player. When this is done, I'll try to create some type of mission. Probably recon or assault (by cheating - using an enemy base position).
Some of the stuff that trouble me:
- how should I decide waypoints for recon and patrol missions in a greatly unpredictable battlefield? Say, 3 waypoints which would make sense? Not zig-zagging, not in water (solvable), not on an island, not in boring friendly country etc. Maybe stealing waypoints from a DAC zone, but currently I don't have the slightest idea how to do it. Even the current "hacks" of DAC are the peak of my scripting skills. For example I managed to "steal" the base locations from DAC, which seemed impossible at start.
- when and where should I put new FOBs? Either friendly and enemy. - maybe if all FOBs in a DAC zone are destroyed, the enemy builds FOBs in the same zone, or in a nearby zone. In this case zones should be pairend like z1w and z1e, z2w and z2e. So there would be "contending" zones.
- when and where should I put new arty units? Either friendly and enemy.
Good work ... downloading and testing