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Dynamic Campaign?

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1 Dynamic Campaign? on Thu Mar 11, 2010 8:43 am


Hi there. Just found this site via the DCS Blackshark forums. I was wondering will there be a dynamic campaign built in? So many sims released these days with no campaign structure Sad

2 Re: Dynamic Campaign? on Thu Mar 11, 2010 12:31 pm


There will be sort of dynamic campaign, but still nothing is fixed
Thinking historical camp. & imaginary camp.
But like to hear ideas of various simmers including you. Cool

3 Re: Dynamic Campaign? on Thu Mar 11, 2010 6:27 pm


well... actually, a dynamic campaign isn't that necessary.
Every simulator shows its best on multiplayer. And most of the time (if not only) we play single missions on MP.
What's more important IMO, is the mission editor.

Actually, if you come to think about it, we don't play simulators to "finish the game", but to just fly it. So, I think a series of (even not connected) convincing, realistic single missions with additional mission editor is the better choice. First, creating a dynamic campaign takes a lot of time, and second, a decently made mission (for ex. based on a real events, or training combat scenarios) can give much more fun and authenticity. Not to mention, that despite all your (I mean devs here) dedication to it, it can still be very buggy.

4 Re: Dynamic Campaign? on Sat Mar 13, 2010 3:31 am


Well ... I will like to have a campaign missions like Falcon has , might be not in the first release , but ... why not ? Even if fly in multy is tricky , a campaign can make a simulator more challenging. Campaign engine like Lock On is boring , you're getting in the end , just mission by mission. Falcon has some days to fight , and you have to cover all the rules , DCA , Sead , Sweep , Strike , bla .. bla.. will make it just more interesting , even if it's not the most matter thing...
Just my 2 Cent$

5 Re: Dynamic Campaign? on Sun Mar 14, 2010 9:23 am


3Sqn_eldiablo wrote:Well ... I will like to have a campaign missions like Falcon has , might be not in the first release , but ... why not ? Even if fly in multy is tricky , a campaign can make a simulator more challenging. Campaign engine like Lock On is boring , you're getting in the end , just mission by mission. Falcon has some days to fight , and you have to cover all the rules , DCA , Sead , Sweep , Strike , bla .. bla.. will make it just more interesting , even if it's not the most matter thing...
Just my 2 Cent$
+1 to that the very reason falcon or longbow never gone off my harddisk is because of DC. Im not bigtime multiplayer alien

Last edited by agm88 on Sun Mar 14, 2010 9:24 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : spelling mistakes)

6 Re: Dynamic Campaign? on Fri Apr 02, 2010 5:56 am


I think that a good dynamic campaign would of course be excellent! But very hard to do, I think. We are all accustomed to the dynamic campaign in Falcon 4, which is brilliant, everybody likes it. But I would imagine that you could spend more time trying to develop that than you would trying to develop your sim. Focus first on your sim, is my advise, but allow for further development of a dynamic campaign.

You can also build really really good a mission builder that produces a large number of triggers and enables a lot of random events. And this is important here -- you need mission builder results/output that can results/status reports to a campaign builder tool, so that a campaign builder can program random missions, or types of missions, based on what happened in previous missions. Allow it to check a number of factors, including status of strategic goals and tactical goals, did ground units advance, did ground units reach an objective, did ground units survive, what status level are they etc. And allow for resupply. F4 does this very well.

I built a couple big campaigns for Janes FA-18 and I am a member of the TSH dev team that is still working on mods/upgrade for that old sim, so of course I am watching your project with great interest. In fact if you are interested in more details contact me, maybe I can help you (and maybe you can help us).

7 Re: Dynamic Campaign? on Wed May 12, 2010 2:44 am


I find the reason I lost interest in DCS: Black Shark and will likely lose interest in LC:FC2 in the near/mid future is twofold: one, the difficulty of creating of dynamic, interesting missions; and two, the lack of feeling that anything I'm doing in the mission matters outside of that mission (since it doesn't).

This is a big issue in terms of realism/immersion: failure to destroy all your assigned targets shouldn't mean "mission failed, try again". That completely destroys any sense of continuity. I think a big part of warfare is that things don't always go as planned, and for a simulator to not have an option to back out of an engagement really takes away from the "sim" part of it. A real pilot can take damage or lose a wingman and decide to abort the mission and save his plane (and himself). That in itself is a dramatic moment and a test of airmanship: who doesn't enjoy the thrill of nursing a damaged ship back to the airfield and making a harrowing landing with one engine, no flaps and stuck landing gear? But then you just get a "mission failed, try again". Bah! In real life, the theatre commanders will deal with the setback and re-task the mission (and you'll get an award for your efforts!). This allows for scenarios where you go to hit a target that's expected to be lightly defended, but the intel was bad and you're lucky to make it out alive. Choosing when not to fight is as important as being able to fight effectively.

That's just my opinion, of course. Others may disagree. If you do accept that premise though, then it's clear you need some level of responsiveness to events so you can fail a mission and have things continue from there, rather than just winding the clock back, or pretending you completed the mission, or similar. ED did this a bit with their campaign system, allowing you to move back and forth between different sets of missions to give the impression of a moving front. But if often breaks the illusion because things you destroyed in one mission suddenly reappear the next since they weren't actually part of your mission, for example.

Of course, as has been mentioned: you're now trying to create both a high-fidelity flight/combat simulator, and also a strategy game. This is probably not very feasible for most developers. So my suggestion is to decouple them: devise a protocol for allowing the sim to communicate with the "mission controller" and a separate program can be responsible for making higher-level decisions. This could be done post-mission (to generate a new mission, or alter an existing "template" mission to reflect changes). IL-2 did this; I recall some mod or other that improved the dynamic campaign generator by replacing the mission creator. More ideally, it could be done in real-time: the control program would receive events (and query for information), make a decision about what to do next, and then issue commands to units within the sim.

It would be some effort to create such a protocol, of course. I think much of this effort would be required anyway, in order to create a powerful and flexible mission editor that can react to events. But exposing this functionality to an external utility would allow the simulation developers to focus on the simulation and providing an API for controlling AI units. Most of the functionality that would exposed would need to exist within the game anyway, just for the game itself to work. Basic AI behaviour is probably going to have to be part of the game itself; but higher-level logic such as "where to send this fighter group to?" can be outsourced to an external program. So it can serve as everything from a full dynamic campaign manager to a simple trigger system to manage one specific mission.

By "external program" - this might be a shared library or scripting language loaded into the game itself, or it could be an actual separate program using something like a TCP or UDP socket to receive information and send commands. But the main thing is, it should be something the user community can alter to fit the needs of their mission/campaign.

8 Re: Dynamic Campaign? on Tue May 18, 2010 6:36 am


Have to agree with nomdeplume. Too lost interest for LockOn because off the missing Dynamic Campaign.
I know It is a LOT of work, so I suggest you should concentrate on the simulation first, and then hopefully add dynamic campaigns later.
Hope that F/A 18 wont suffer the desteny of say: FighterOps or DCS A10C.

This seven-g sim, looks like it has a lot of potential, but remember a good sim is only a half sim without dhe DC.

Keep up the good work, it all looks very nice.

9 great post on Mon Jul 26, 2010 12:36 pm


nomdeplume, kudos for a great post.

Personally, I'd love to see a persistent battlefield online. One can dream, right? Very Happy

10 Re: Dynamic Campaign? on Thu Jan 13, 2011 7:07 am


I feel that the issue will be is that every one thinks that a campaign should be xyz. While others want jkl, ect. I know there are enough of us from previous sims who have created new / mod existing campaigns on our own. The mission builder is what will keep the sim alive. If i can create campaigns and missions i can implement FRAGOs, and maintain and handle logistic issues that may arrive like lost of a frame, amount of fuel and weapon consumption ect.

11 Re: Dynamic Campaign? on Thu Jan 13, 2011 3:22 pm


It would be good to see the essentials completed and polished before something as ambitious as a Falcon-type dynamic campaign is tackled ie. avionics and clickable cockpit, flight model (which is apparently extremely good in recent versions), ai, realistic APG-73, weapons, stores, realistic in flight emergencies and so on. Everyone has things they think are important in this sim from a realistic dynamic campaign to a realistic F-14 Tomcat, the problem with independent projects like this is that they can suffer from "scope creep", where as they develop they get grander ideas heaped into the progam continually stretching the dev time and it ultimately grinds to a halt, and I've been on a lot of teams where that has happened.

So I'd be more than happy just to see a realistic F/A-18 sim for the time being, once we're all enjoying that we'll be in a better situation to make suggestions as to where we want to go next. Personally, I think Falcon was shocking in terms of tutorials and I'd love to see a lite imitation of a real training syllabus with performance scoring that will give a neophyte the means to develop the skills to start flying missions well, but its not at the top of the list either as far as I know.

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