Sunday, March 30, 2014

ArmA 3 - The Correct Care and Treatment of Your Combat Engineer

The last mission I published at the Steam Workshop got 19 downloads and zero comments, strongly suggesting that I cease and desist about scenario-making. :) Long time readers of the blog Marko and Doug were the only ones I heard back about the previous mission.

This week I am not even able to upload a screenshot to the Steam Workshop. Is somebody trying to tell me something? So this mission is going to be a more private release. :) UPDATE: I finally managed to upload the mission to the Steam Workshop. Link is provided within the blog entry.

Very small setup: the point vehicle of your convoy has been hit by a mine. Your task is to clear the mess.

At the scenario's start, this combat engineer will need your help to clear the mines ahead.

The bend down the road looks like the perfect place for an early morning SNAFU.
The combat engineer is about to remove the mines around the destroyed vehicle. A mortar-fired smoke screen is up. There is no enemy contact yet, but it will get messy.
It feels bad to leave the combat engineer in the middle of a road (he is about done with the last mine), but he will appreciate you not shooting over his head.
The "plot" thickens! Just kidding. Never expect a thriller from my missions. Just be happy they don't crash your game. :)

And finally, the actual tactical main dish: will you clear the hill with a low and concealed (left flank) or a high and exposed (right flank) approach? Decisions, decisions ...

You can request the mission by e-mailing me at realandsimulatedwars at gmail dot com.
UPDATE: the mission has been uploaded to the Steam Workshop. Grab it from this link:

As a final note, let me add that I'm having a lot of fun with the editor. It's a slow process to me, but every mission I make uses more and more of the in-game editor resources. For this mission I used:

  • Task management modules: for task creation, completion and marking
  • Four in-map mortars firing smoke round automatically at coordinates specified with the editor
  • Animations: the engineer goes prone and removes the mines via a small code line in the waypoint
  • Custom callsigns: the engineer's call sign was changed from alpha 1-1 (default) to "combat engineer"
  • Dynamic grouping of units: after removing the mines, the engineer will go under your command for the second combat task
  • Triggers for mission ending: if the engineer dies before removing the mines is an automatic loss. Mission ends in victory when the second combat task is completed.

I did this with the vanilla version of the game, no script files and brief lines of code within the triggers and modules. All good fun.



Johan said...

Ok, another reminder that I really need to find the time to get into Arma 3 properly, and play through the new official campaign, so that I can then start spending time with other things in Arma 3. :-)

I enjoyed your previous SF mission, and I look forward to checking out the Recon mission.

Hopefully the low interest will not make you stop making more missions in the future!

Dave said...

Long time reader; don't think I ever posted :-)

I appreciate the missions and your posts. I like the focus on small tactical scenarios that describe what I feel are actual jobs that need to be done. It may not be for everyone though, hence the limited downloads and comments. I have been considering how to incorporate elements of this into missions with the SimHQ group but at the moment I am bogged down in DCS modding.

Doug Miller said...

Today is the day I fire up Arma III and finally get into it. You've tipped me over the edge!

I certainly enjoy your scenarios and missions. I'm looking for your other Arma III stuff on Steam Workshop right now. Browsing through what's on offer leads me to believe that most people are looking for "Hollywood" missions and not missions that would reflect actual military tasks. That a mission that attempts to replicate World of Tanks in Arma III would be highly rated and downloaded is a pretty good indicator, I think.

Steam is a mainstream gaming platform; what's popular is going to be pretty mainstream. Unfortunately JC, what you and I are interested in with these simulations is probably not very mainstream! :-)

So, can we play Arma III Co-op like we've done SPPro PE?

chrisol said...

I'm also interested in this, and will email.

I've struggled a bit with ARMA 3 (as I did with ARMA 2, but no Op Flashpoint) and tend to find that a lot of the scenarios are long and involved (particularly with grandiose entry cut-scenes that can't be skipped); whereas I want something shorter with clear goals but several possible ways of approaching it - this sounds ideal.

Also I get a bit motion-sick with ARMA2 and 3, particularly in/out and around buildings... so a rural setting is great.


Miguel said...

I'm following with interest these Arma 3 posts. Can you reuse these behaviors you're programming Jorge? It totally looks to me that you're going - AI programming wise - where the Bohemia guys haven't cared about going.

I'm totally unfamiliar with the Arma 3 editor but these 'task' objects you mention, can be created programmatically? And if so, can they be assigned to NPC's?

Doug Miller said...

Well, after 7 hours of messing with Arma 3 today, I can say that while BI have made great strides in graphics, and marginal strides in UI, they've done nothing to make their campaign instructions any more comprehensible.

I have a feeling playing scenarios like yours are the only way I'm going to really enjoy this sim. The campaign missions leave a lot to be desired.

JC said...

Thanks for reading and your comments!

Johan: no worries. Whenever you find the time, the missions are available for you.

Dave: Thanks. What type of modding are you doing right now?

Doug: it is kind of strange, but it looks like a generational barrier has been crossed. The age bracket that was playing Operation Flashpoint is very similar than the one playing ArmA 3. Yet, the gaming palate is completely different when it comes to things to do. Yes, we can play some coop sometime!

Chrisol: thanks. I think I saw your e-mail. Let me know if the mission works at all.

Miguel: thanks for reading. I'm not programming the inner workings of the AI but rather using the in-game tools available in the editor. Sorry for the confusion. These things are completely re-usable because they are part of the plain vanilla mission editor. I can provide more details if you are interested.


Miguel said...


no worries, you got a delightful blog going on here :)

I am curious about the scripting engine in Arma III, seems to be quite powerful even if you - as you say - are just scratching the surface. You're doing powerful scratches there, mate. What you describe in your post totally sounds like "first steps in implementing SOPs in Arma".

Can you provide me some pointers to look further into the capabilities of the scripting engine? Google doesn't help if you don't know what to ask :)