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zodd

Navigation Aids (pre release) - Hand angles, Pace counting and Vehicle Odometer

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Release thread:

http://forums.bistudio.com/showthread.php?171053-Land-Navigation-mod

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Old thread

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Navigation Aids (pre release)

Apologies for the ordinary video - A quick showcase setup to give you an idea of pre-release capabilities.

RELEASE NOTES

Update - Download link

Pre Release V2 updated version:

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/74159983/Arma3/NavAids/Final/ZOD_Nav_PreRelease2.zip

V1:

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/74159983/Arma3/NavAids/Final/ZOD_Nav_Release.zip

Details in post #5

There are many aids to land navigation present in real life that are not in Arma. These are often made redundant by difficulty settings (eg. Showing location and direction on the map) but on higher difficulty settings or in specific situations, these real life aids come in handy in game.

This mod is an attempt to bring some of these real life options in game. Currently it is a collection of scripts but the endstate will be a packaged mod.

It is fully functional in SP and has been tested in hosted and dedicated MP without any issues.

To any coders or others that will look through the scripts:

Dont have a heart attack looking through the scripts, they are uncommented and some things could have been done better! That said - If you have improvements I would welcome them as I am a bit of a novice!

I haven't included waitUntil !isNull player on the init - it is functioning as is but I assume this is something I should put in? Will this cover possible JIP issues?-COMPLETE V2

The contents of this mod are:

1. Hand Angles – A convenient way to get an approximate angle is using hand angles. While hand angles are not as frequently applied in navigation, they are used extensively in target indications.

2. Pace counting – The main low tech way to keep track of your distance travelled is pace counting. This is handy for both paces and bearing navigation (Fundamental land navigation technique – especially used in thick terrain or terrain without key landmarks)

3. Vehicle odometer and trip meter – Self-explanatory; allows you to track distance travelled in vehicles.

Current Issues:

The images for pace counting beads and hand angles have a white background at this stage. The copies with transparent backgrounds show up way too faint for some reason but I am working through this.

This issue is discussed here in case you have any input:

http://forums.bistudio.com/showthread.php?170737-cutRSC-image-always-transparent

COMPLETE IN V2

The hand angles seem accurate on all displays apart from TFT (The other multi monitor aspect ratios appear fine)

Sometimes the pace counter images flicker when changing – open to a fix for this if anyone has one. (cutRSC used)

This issue is discussed here in case you have any input:

http://forums.bistudio.com/showthread.php?170637-cutRSC-indefinite-duration-flickering-workaround

MP (JIP specifically) has not been comprehensively tested - appreciate feedback on if it performs well or has issues in MP.

I would very much appreciate people reviewing this and letting me know bugs and usability improvements. The intent will be to release this fully after community testing (and when I can get the image alphas sorted!)

Setup:

Unzip into your mission folder.

File has init.sqf and Description.ext set up already - if you need to combine with another mission:

In your Description.ext add:

Code:

#include "NavAids\Dialogs\handAngleDialog.hpp"
#include "NavAids\Dialogs\paceCounterDialog.hpp"
#include "NavAids\Dialogs\vehOdoDialog.hpp"

class RscTitles {
#include "NavAids\Dialogs\handAngleDialog.hpp"
  #include "NavAids\Dialogs\paceCounterDialog.hpp"
  #include "NavAids\Dialogs\vehOdoDialog.hpp"

 class Default 
{
	idd = -1;
	fadein = 0;
	fadeout = 0;
	duration = 0;
};
};

In your init.sqf add:

Code:

execVM "NavAids\initNavAids.sqf";

or

nul = [true, true, true] execVM "NavAids\initNavAids.sqf";

Where the three Boolean values determine which aspects of the Nav aids are initialised:

The first one is Hand Angles

Second one is Pace counter

Third one is Vehicle odometer.

Eg. If you don’t want hand angles or pace counting but want the vehicle odometer, you would use:

nul = [false, false, true] execVM "NavAids\initNavAids.sqf";

Editing values:

NavAides\initNavAides.sqf can be edited up to this point:

//-----------------------------------------
//----------DO NOT TOUCH BELOW HERE -------
//-----------------------------------------

The values you can edit and the effects are as follows:

//Hotkey for action shortcuts
_hotkey_HAND_ANGLE_HOTKEY_SHOW = "User15";
_hotkeyHAND_ANGLE_CYCLE = "User16";
_hotkey_PaceCounter_Start = "User17";

//Show individual paces and summary of paces per 100m when calibrating as a hint
_displayPaceHints = true;


//Default value (m) for pace counter to be set at
ZOD_PACE_COUNTER_DEAFULT_DISTANCE = 100;


//Default value for individual paces (Does not affect movement speed or distance - just used to show how many paces taken
ZOD_PACE_DEAFULT_DISTANCE = 0.7;


//Show a hint with the exact distance the beads are calibrated to when a player recalibrates
ZOD_PACE_RECALIBRATE_DISTANCE_HINT = false;


//Random offset for default pace counting
//Leave at 0 if you want the default to be 100m exactly
//Set it to a value to add a random inaccuracy to the default pace count value
//eg. setting this to 5 will mean the default value is somewhere in the range between 95 and 100
//This allows you to stop people having perfect distance measurement by default 
//Players can still calibrate it in game to ensure accuracy
ZOD_PACE_COUNTER_DEAFULT_RANDOM_OFFSET = 0;


//Layers to display images on
//Change the numerical value of these if the display is flickering on and off with another 3rd party mod
//Ensure the layers are different!!!

_handAngleDisplayLayer = 6;
_paceCounterDisplayLayer = 7;
_vehOdoDisplayLayer = 989;


//Odometer reading - display via hints instead of cutRSC (Set to true if having display issues 
//Note this will use hints to display the odometer readings!!!
ZOD_NAV_ODO_READING_HINT = false;

Usage:

You will have several addactions available:

1. Disable Nav Actions - Hides all nav actions and disables hotkeys. Note if something is already displayed it will remain displayed.

2. Toggle Pace counter (Usable via hot key - Default is User17. Can be configured in initNavAides.sqf) - This will commence pace counting and display the pace counter. If you have not calibrated it, it will default to 100m per lower bead. This will turn off if you get in a vehicle. Not available while calibrating. Note you do not require a hot key for this; you can toggle it via action menu.

3. Calibrate Pace counter - Calibrates the distance you want the lower beads to be set to. This allows you to set a specific distance (eg. lower beads at 10m etc). Note that the distance is calculated as you walk - if you walk directly to a point, you will get a different pacing distance than if you veer off course a lot (As per real life). Cannot toggle pace counting while calibrating (end calibration to commence pace counting)

3a. Calibration Complete. - Finish calibrating distance. Red text and priority action. This will set the distance. Only available while calibrating

3a. Cancel Calibration (*NEW V2*) - Cancel calibrating distance. Green text and 2nd priority action. This will cancel calibration and revert to previously set the distance. Only available while calibrating

4. Toggle pace hints - Show or hide individual paces (information given via hint). These are paces while calibrating and paces between lower beads. Default pace is set to 0.7m (approx real life). This is handy for getting an idea how far between lower beads you are (and as you will maintain a count in real life anyway). Can be toggled on and off as required.

5. Toggle Hand angle (Usable via hot key - Default is User15. Can be configured in initNavAides.sqf) - Show/hide the hand angle on screen. Note it is only accurate when in normal view - if you zoom in it will not adjust! Note you do not require a hot key for this; you can toggle it via action menu.

5a. Hint Current Angle - Only usable when showing hand angle. Gives you a hint detailing the equivelant angle in mils.

6. Cycle Hand angle (Usable via hot key - Default is User16. Can be configured in initNavAides.sqf) - Display the next hand angle up. Resets to 1 finger after splayed hand. NOTE – If the hand angle is not already displaying, the first time you press cycle it will toggle it on, subsequent presses will cycle through. Note you do not require a hot key for this, you can toggle it via action menu however for rapid use in combat, it is recommended that a hot key is defined for this action.

7. Reset Trip counter – Reset vehicle trip counter. Only available when driver of a vehicle.

HAND ANGLES

Hand angles are a method used within the military for navigation and target indication. The basic principle is if you hold your hand out at full arms length, the relative distance between fingers/fist etc to objects in the distance will be the same for all people.

Code:

One finger - 30 mils
Two fingers - 70 mils
Three fingers - 100 mils
Four fingers - 125 mils
Closed fist - 180 mils
Splayed hand - 300 mils

Measuring distance:

Hanger at 100m. Width of hanger is one fist (180 mils). Therefore hangar length is approx 18m (Subtension rule employed here)

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/74159983/Arma3/NavAids/Final/HandAngleDistanceMeasurement.jpg (417 kB)

Target indication:

eg

300m, Reference two story building, far side of watercourse. Three fingers right, T100 under tree

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/74159983/Arma3/NavAids/Final/HandAngleTargetIndication.jpg (743 kB)

PACE COUNTING

Pace counting is a method used by dismounted troops to keep track of distance travelled. It is a skill that takes quite a while to learn and be effective at. The basic idea is you learn your paces by pacing out a known distance (100m normally) several times to get your average including over different terrains. There are several methods to keep track of your paces - pace counters (beads, clickers etc) are the most common.

The beads work by having lower and upper beads representing (generally) 100m and 1000m respectively. Every 100m you move a lower bead down to the bottom. When you hit 900m you move the last bead down - after the next 100m you move the lower beads up to the top again and move an upper bead down - This way you keep track of your distance!

eg 4.6km looks like:

4-6km.PNG

(upper beads - 4 down. Lower beads - 6 down = 4.6km)

Note that you can use any distance you pace out for the lower beads.

For distances in between 100m you can approximate for more accuracy - eg. if you take 120 paces per 100m and you are 60 paces in, you know it is 50m

Calibrating the pace counter is as simple as selecting the action menu to “Calibrate pace counter†then pacing out your distance and use the “Calibration Complete." menu action. You can specify whether you want a hint of the exact distance paced or just the paces in initNavAids.sqf

VEHICLE ODOMETER/TRIP METER

This is automatically applied to all vehicles in the mission – The odometer/trip meter will display when you are in the driver seat of a vehicle. When you are driving you also have the option of resetting the trip meter. Distance is displayed in KM and is incremented in 0.1km lots (as per normal odometers)

Aircraft have the odometer/trip meter enabled as well however they will only display horizontal distance travelled. Land vehicles will include vertical distance to get an accurate representation of up and downhill.

NOTE - The distance displayed by the odometer and pace counting will not be the same as straight line map distance - the distance actually travelled will be greater due to hills unless the terrain is flat.

Hope you can get some use out of it and I look forward to your feedback!

Enjoy!

Edited by Zodd

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Cheers all

Whilst this is packaged as a 'Nav aids' mod, I am finding the hand angles in particular are very handy and used a lot more for target indications.

Interested to hear feedback if/when people try it out.

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Pre Release V2

Updated version:

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/74159983/Arma3/NavAids/Final/ZOD_Nav_PreRelease2.zip

Changes:

* Fixed image alpha issues allowing removal of white backgrounds.

* Tweaked image alpha settings (Pace counter now barely transparent).

* Tweaked position of pace counter (away from mousewheel action menu).

* Removed initialisation of hand angles and pace counter - Now it wont flick through them all when you load but images may flicker slightly as they are loaded the first time.

* Enable/Disable Nav actions renamed to Enable/Disable toggling Nav options to better reflect effect.

* Added (hopefully - untested!) JIP compatability

if (!isDedicated && isNull player) then { waitUntil {!isNull player}; };

Fixed Bugs -

Pace counting

* Double the paces were required for the first bead.

* If pace hints were off, calibration would still set it accurately but would indicate in the hint that it was set to 0 paces total.

* Calibration would show cancelled message on entering a vehicle but still set the value to the point up until you entered the vehicle.

Outstanding bugs:

None known

Upcoming features:

None specifically - no requests submitted yet.

Question to those testing - Do the Hand angle pictures need to be a higher resolution?

Hand angle/pace counter as they appear in game with V2:

PreReleaseV2Images.jpg

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None specifically - no requests submitted yet.

I have one or two requests that may or may not be easily implemented:

1) A map overlay to use with this mod and with TAO's Map mod. The map overlay can be seen here

2) A reflective belt that can be dropped on the ground to use in conjunction with the pace counting beads.

I am a huge fan of this mod AS IS. If you feel that these are a waste of time, or that it doesn't fit in with your overall objective, please disregard. Kudos either way. :)

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Amazing work! But would it be possible to make the applicable measurements have an actual tool in the inventory needed?

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Amazing work! But would it be possible to make the applicable measurements have an actual tool in the inventory needed?

That's a great question IMO. In the ArmA-verse, the tools you speak of cost nothing to the military nor tax-payers that provide for them to be handed out to soldiers. I think that for those "realism" teams or clans out there, the concept of using this mod adds that extra sense of immersion in the fact that not everyone in the rifle section has range finding equipment right on hand. Just my two cents though, cheers!

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Raptor - You mean something like this:

(WIP)

Note - the protractor scale in the image is off so will fix that up. May look into default map zoom if I can work it out (so it aligns to the roamer scale)

The idea of this was more to simulate the basic navigation elements every soldier has (well... some more than others...)

Hand angles are obviously something that is always available

Pace counters may not always be available but the same effect can be gained by just keeping count of the paces - the pace counter image is more of a representation of the pace counting. That said, I can quite easily set it up with a public variable that is required to be true to display it - that way if people want to set a scenario where only specific people 'have' pace counters they can override it by setting the variable post init...

The vehicle odometer was just something I did while I was bored waiting for feedback - can quite easily incorporate a list of vehicles to not apply it to... will add to the TO DO list...

Reflective belt... haha we dont use them but I do know what you are talking about... might leave that out for now (can use a cyalume stick or something if needed) but I am sure someone can mod them in!

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Release frontpaged on the Armaholic homepage.

================================================

We have also "connected" these pages to your account on Armaholic.

This means in the future you will be able to maintain these pages yourself if you wish to do so. Once this new feature is ready we will contact you about it and explain how things work and what options you have.

When you have any questions already feel free to PM or email me!

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Raptor - You mean something like this:

(WIP)

Note - the protractor scale in the image is off so will fix that up. May look into default map zoom if I can work it out (so it aligns to the roamer scale)

The idea of this was more to simulate the basic navigation elements every soldier has (well... some more than others...)

Hand angles are obviously something that is always available

Pace counters may not always be available but the same effect can be gained by just keeping count of the paces - the pace counter image is more of a representation of the pace counting. That said, I can quite easily set it up with a public variable that is required to be true to display it - that way if people want to set a scenario where only specific people 'have' pace counters they can override it by setting the variable post init...

The vehicle odometer was just something I did while I was bored waiting for feedback - can quite easily incorporate a list of vehicles to not apply it to... will add to the TO DO list...

Reflective belt... haha we dont use them but I do know what you are talking about... might leave that out for now (can use a cyalume stick or something if needed) but I am sure someone can mod them in!

Zod that would be awesome if you could add in the protractor scale and get it working with the map etc, you have just made my day was always hoping that someone would bring such Nav Aids into arma 3, if I may would it be possible to have the following:

image358.jpg

would you be adding any drawing tools? Pencil etc

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Wow I really was looking forward to something like this! Any chance you could add various map tools to the mod as well?

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Fox - Cheers for the frontpage... will get a REAL version out soon enough hopefully!

SEADOG - Range cards are probably out of the scope of this mod... how would you forsee them being used in game?

Raptor - no worries, after much pain I have managed to set it up so it opens the map at the right map zoom for one of the roamers (obviously can still zoom in and out as required though) Just adding in some 'string' connecting protractor to the mouse cursor to allow accurate angle measurement then it will be done for V3. Hopefully by the weekend we will be good to go!

Raspu - Map tools... possibly... probably not for initial release. I know there were some done for A2 which are a lot better than I could do! I will keep it on the back burner though!!!

Has anyone tested in MP/Dedicated? And are there any general usability improvements? Getting to a point where I am happy to release official V1. (Unless there are any other aspects that are deemed to be NEEDED for release?)

Cheers again all - appreciate all the feedback!

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New Years update:

The string scales with map zoom so you will always be able to read it clearly.

Map opens and automatically zooms to 1:50000 roamer (Note - this is ACTUALLY 1:5000 because the grid lines are 100m apart at this zoom level)

Issues:

On 16:9 aspect ratio the protractor is spot on - slightly off on other displays (Squashes vertically slightly - Negligible margin of error for reading angles, roamers are slightly off so different zoom levels will line up with horiz/vert roamers. Correctly aligned, individual readings will still be accurate)

Protractor is clearer than video in game but may try and make it slightly bolder for ease of quick reading.

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Awesome progress there Zodd. As far as the map tools goes, I think it was NouberNou (ACRE, ACE, and multiple other mods developer) that did the A2 version of the map tools. However, I think you're doing an awesome job in the interim. I have no other team members to test this out with on MP, so I can not lend any help in bug tracking for that side of the issue.

Hope to see more. Thanks for the work.

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Hi Zodd

That just looks so awesome, apologies about the range card (My Bad eyesight) , it was more this one :

6pnl.jpg

This would definetly helps some us Mortorists outhere

Look forward to seeing the next update

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Raptor - Thanks for the kind words! Great to hear someone is enjoying it. If you have tried it out, do you have any other suggestions/usability improvements?

pre release V3 will hopefully be cleaned up in the next day or two and once that is reviewed and tested I will look at making it a mod and releasing it.

SEADOG - Thanks - with regard to the reverse bearings protractor, when specifically would it be used? I will concede I have never seen/used one that was specifically reverse angles only... As long as it has the mils on it, backbearings are pretty simple. Interested to hear your thoughts on the use of it!

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@Zodd this would be used by FST /FOO in terms of fire orientation by also by FDC I suppose particularly when number crunching (solution finding)

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Some great stuff here I will keep an eye on in case I revive my Orienteering missions / system.

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There are some other things I'd like to do with it, in way of making a few models for you, but I can't texture at all. There is a VBS video using a land nav trainer, and in it, they have these placards on posts that I think you could setObjectTexture on, and with those, you could make a nice land nav mission yourself. Basically, tell a person he/she has to navigate to each placard, record what message is on it, and after navigating using the map grid overlay, the beads, and whatever else, they return back.

Anyways, other than that, I think you're doing good, and I don't want to drown you in requests

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Anyways, other than that, I think you're doing good, and I don't want to drown you in requests

Could not have said it better than Raptor 6

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Awesome! Real Land Navigation can now be brought into Arma 3.

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SEADOG - Interesting... I am just a grunt, haven't used them... backbearings are easy enough to do... maybe gunners cant count high enough with boots on eh? haha

Not sure if it will be in soon... You might just need to +/- 3200 for now.

Raptor - Interesting... I think you could almost just use the in game whiteboard to achieve a similar effect...

These links make it seem easy enough:

Might be a good way to make a demo mission for the mod when it is done...

Would especially like it if you could put a nav data sheet on there for players to use (maybe break them down into single legs with the next part at each finish point... hmmm interesting... )

Thanks all - really appreciate the feedback... Now something for you!

NOTE - V3 not yet ready - finishing up some issues with transferring map data (see below) but hope to have it in the next day or two when I can confirm it works as intended.

Pretty happy with the new features though.....

Changed in V3:

Added protractor and string

Added semi transparent background to protractor to improve readability

String scales with zoom level

Map opens to 1:5000 (to align 100m GS with 1:50000 roamer)

Removed 'white crap up top' from two finger hand angle

Commenced converting execVM to calling precompiled functions for better performance

Coming - New in V3

Added drawing tools

Open map with action to use drawing tools

Draw by left clicking and dragging

CONTROL modifier is used for controlling what appears on your map

CONTROL - LMB will hide/show the protractor (on by default)

CONTROL - RMB will delete the last drawn line segment

ALT modified is used to ALTER how you draw

ALT+LMB changes the pen colour

ALT+RMB changes the line width

NB: This is WIP and a bit buggy, but what I am currently working on..

KEY ISSUE

The transferring is not working and only one person can draw at a time in MP.

Options are -

1. Remove this from V3 and just aim for polished release of veh odometers, paces and hand angles and the protractor (noting it was not originally part of the plan)

2. Put the head down and work on this to get it functional regardless of how long it takes - noting that it is a very handy feature

3. Modify slightly and incorporate into V3 without the ability to transfer map marks between people

4. Pull the map pens out of this mod completely and start a new one (in addition to option 1)

Interested to hear thoughts on it

Edited by Zodd

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If I would be you I would go for 4, reason being you can work on it and get very well polished features out

and there's no feel of rushing present.

I know for lot of people is tempting to get toys as soon as possible but I can wait and get something better

rather then something quick but with less features.

Congrats on all your coding skills you are really good!

One small note I would very much wish that options would

be bind to keys rather then to Action menu (I'm sure you know about

dsylexi video about arhaic years old action menu)

You can reference ACE for example they binded to [ for start drawing

and ] to end it!

Another idea that's rolling in my head is would be drawing doable in briefing screen

or is there restriction about it?

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