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Drongo69

Drongo's Air Support

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dascz.jpg

Drongo's Air Support (DAS) is a fairly simple bunch of scripts to allow players to call CAS and airstrikes in OFP. It can be used in both SP and MP for West, East and Resistance. It supports the use of addon craft and is pretty easy for the user to mod. Part of the inspiration for DAS came from the amazing CoC Unified Artillery system (though DAS is far less acheived than CoC UA). The option to require radio weapons is built in, with default support for WGL and VTE.

Download DAS beta 03 (~103kb)

Contains a simple test mission, the addon, the scripts.

Thanks to Macser and Sanctuary for making the dialog model and graphic.

Edited by Drongo69

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This looks great! Been playing MP WGL for a couple of years now and it's been frustating that CAS dosen't work. Maybe this is the answer. :yay:

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Hope this proves useful to you guys. Feedback, suggestions and bug reports are most welcome. In particular, during testing I had some trouble getting non-BIS aircraft to drop bombs in the right spot. Anyone else experienced this?

If there is enough interest (from myself lol) I might try to expand the system a bit. I might add in voices for the FAC and pilots, as well as adding more control (eg. ingress direction, time on station, altitude, etc). If military folks could help me out with the proper phrasing and procedures to use, that would be a big help too.

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This looks fantastic; need to try this out soon.

And I have a suggestion (if it isn't already covered):

There are some addon weapons which allow you to fire smoke grenades (for example M79 or M203). Also some Kiowas of BAS OH-58-pack fire smoke discharging rockets.

It would be nice, if the "smoke" could be used as the target for CAS.

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@ vektorboson

Your dialog tutorial was very helpful in making this, I probably couldn't have figured it out without it. Thanks :D As for smoke as a marker, it is possible to do, but for MP it would be a giveaway to the enemy that they are about to get smashed. I can make it an option to be set by the mission maker.

I'm working on beta 2 at the moment. Sanctuary has made a 3D radio object for the dialog, so now the dialog can be moved, zoomed, etc.

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Your dialog tutorial was very helpful in making this, I probably couldn't have figured it out without it. Thanks :D

No problem; but I've got one small suggestion: You should use a tag (in this case DAS) for all classes and defines. So instead of RscListbox use DAS_ListBox.

The problem is (actually my fault) that many people use the defines and classnames of my tutorial. Therefore if someone wants to make their own dialog, there may clashes which can lead to CTDs.

(But hopefully Sanctuary is going to include DAS directly in his resource.cpp; I have included COC UA in my personal resource.cpp, so I don't need any description.ext for my test missions.)

As for smoke as a marker, it is possible to do, but for MP it would be a giveaway to the enemy that they are about to get smashed. I can make it an option to be set by the mission maker.

AFAIR using a smoke marker is much more realistic than transmitting coordinates for CAS. In Falcon 4 for example, if you fly a CAS-mission, your target (or target area) is marked by smoke and you either drop cluster bombs on the smoke or you use Mavericks on vehicles that are near that smoke.

In the heat of a battle it's also easier to just shoot a smoke grenade with good old M203, than to look for the exact coordinates of the enemy.

I'm working on beta 2 at the moment. Sanctuary has made a 3D radio object for the dialog, so now the dialog can be moved, zoomed, etc.

Excellent; I'm sorry I never came about to extend that tutorial for 3D dialogs. I had a sample Palm organizer model (probably my first own p3d).

May I suggest to use some kind of LCD-green (as on digital watches) as the background and black for text? It looks less gamey than the current OFP Laptop like colors.

Anyway, very cool addon.

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I concur with Vektorboson's suggestion as to the screen. It'll look less "arcadey": I don't know what a FAC console (if one exists) looks like. Something akin to the FDFmod SANLA system, I would imagine, for the LV217 and LV648 (probably got that last designation wrong) HF radios.

As to target designation, the M203 smoke bombs put out a pretty small amount of smoke; they're good for indicating targets to things supporting you directly like orbiting attack helicopters (hint hint ;) - what I'm suggesting is perhaps a smoke marker only for attack helicopters. Mind, A-10s can also orbit quite nicely.) or tanks, but not so hot for calling in fast air on because you have less time to acquire a rather small smoke marker. Grid coordinates are an accurate enough means of doing it for most fast-movers.

I would also suggest the option to "laser spot" for an LGB-equipped aircraft. Basically you send your comms through as you do now, there is a dialogue between you and the aircraft CoC UA style (more on this on a second) and you illuminate the target with the laser designator. It may help to make a small laser designator addon more like the BAS one than the bigass thing that requires a huge battery, as a side note. Pilot acquires the laser spot (dunno if this can be detected in-game via script, which would be a prerequisite for continued "acquired - weapon release in thirty" dialogue or "cannot acquire - trying again" dialogue) and releases the weapon.

As to the protocols involved, I've got some messages waiting on response from my CF, UK, BW, and US buddies, some of whom are in a position to know/ask about the protocols and common dialogue we use to call for close air support. I'd be willing to volunteer my time and voice to this project if you intend to do up what CoC UA did with their "MTO" and "Shot" calls, for example, and I know a handful of other guys who would also be willing.

Edit: An option to make this dependant on having a radio object in your inventory would also be good. snYpir's MP/SP Support Pack has this option, I believe, included with a small easily editable dialogue that lets you add new radios (set up to run by default with BAS SATCOM and the SEB Nam Pack v2.0 PRC-25 and Type 59 Manpacks, I think) via classname if needed, e.g. the LSR_R109.

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Very cool stuff Drongo, I have seen that vektorboson gave the idea of shooting marker grenades (Or smoke grenades) for a CAS mission, well, I think JAM or LSR have released something like that, I will check it out as I have both weapon addons, but I think its JAM cos I remember you can shoot that, it was called x4 marker grenade or something, it hits the ground and pops the smoke out, for about 2 minutes, kinda useful, it worked for me during a time I have been making infantry close quarter missions on the BAS island...

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@ Vektorbosen

I'll try the lcd colours you suggested. The smoke marker is now included as an option (but at this point it is just be "magically" spawned at the mapclick, rather than fired or thrown). I'm using "das" tags in my DASmenu.hpp, but there is still some conflict with CoC UA that causes a CTD in MP. I'll have to go over it with a fine-tooth comb.

@AKM

DAS already has an option to require a radio weapon, it can be set in DAS\Init.sqs and DAS\Define\CustomDefine.sqs. For laser-designation, I just assumed that people will use addons/mods with laser designators and call in aircraft as CAS and let default OFP behaviour run it's course.

As to the protocols involved, I've got some messages waiting on response from my CF, UK, BW, and US buddies, some of whom are in a position to know/ask about the protocols and common dialogue we use to call for close air support. I'd be willing to volunteer my time and voice to this project if you intend to do up what CoC UA did with their "MTO" and "Shot" calls, for example, and I know a handful of other guys who would also be willing.

That would be excellent, thanks!

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Vektorbosen, I think your suggestion for a more LCD-type screen makes it look much, much better, thanks. Credits for the textures and the new 3D model go to Sanctuary and Macser. The only thing holding back the next release is that it is still causing a CTD when used with CoC UA in MP.

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I hope you can iron out the CoC UA incompatibility; adding FAC as well as FOO capability to people would give them more power than god. It'd look very impressive in many scenarios. Vektorboson's suggestion really does improve the look of the interface!

My contacts say they can get me the data I'm looking for early next week. If you can hang on a bit longer I will try to get this information to you in a timely manner + some voice clips. We'll have to discuss how best to implement it though, how much room for soundbytes do you have and how many do you want to use? And so on.

I may have missed it, and I apologize if I have - I've just completed an entire unit of coursework in two days because holy shit I'm behind (such is life when your textbooks arrive three weeks late...) - but, can you assign assets in DAC a callsign? So instead of "A-10 with Mavericks", I could have "Pig 7" ?

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Vektorbosen, I think your suggestion for a more LCD-type screen makes it look much, much better, thanks.

Now I'm getting too much credit for such a simple suggestion; anyway, I have adjusted for myself the FED of CoC UA to have the LCD-look, too. Though it is hard to get it look right.

The only thing holding back the next release is that it is still causing a CTD when used with CoC UA in MP.

If this is the only thing holding the release back, I'd say release it away. Of course this bug needs to be dealt with, but releasing it, will widen the number of people who may take a look at it.

I know I'm going to take a look at it, and perhaps I may by chance identify what leads to the problem. For example it's extremely important to use tags for class names and scripting variables.

If you're going to release it with this specific bug, describe when that happens (if you can reproduce it!), that will help with searching.

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Drongo: Sorry about the delay. My contacts obviously prioritize me lower than their bosses (like we'd expect anything else, right? :p) and I am told they should have the requested information for me shortly.

My Russian sources have prettymuch crapped out; no surprise there, when they were in the 'service of the Motherland' they weren't trained to direct aviation, that was left to dedicated FACs.

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First post updated with the latest version. It includes the 3D model, LCD text and a few minor tweaks (please scan the readme for a bit more info).

@Vektorbosen: I wonder if maybe the dialog idc I was using before was conflicting with a UA idc? At any rate, I have changed the dialog idc this time (to 3333 if that helps searching). Previously the CTD happened when I tried to use UA and DAS in an MP mission together.

@AKM: No problem, I guess some people don't place the level of importance on a 9 year old video game that we do eh? :D No hurry.

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I think something needs to be done about the approach of aircrafts. They are aparently unable to fly over the hill to deliver the payload(using the new mission being a US sniper) on target instead they chose to crash into it. I tried going to the other side of the hill and ordered an air strike on my own position. What happened was that I for the first time felt the fear of having an A10 going right at you -yiks. Then it droped its bomb only to crash(don't know if it hit a tree or somthing) and blowing every thing up with its bomb. I had one A10 CAS make it over the hill and choppers worked fine, by accident I ordered 2 apaches to do CAS and it was really cool sight until they split their formation and crashed on a gun run.

STGN

ETA I was using WW4 mod during testing

Edited by STGN

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