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skruis

Athena - An ARMA 2nd Screen Application

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3 hours ago, skruis said:

@Amateur-God, Absolutely. In the download, there's a key. You can add that to the keys folder on your server and the players should be able to use it on their PC's.

 

Awesome, your mod is now in Contintental Tactical Team Server

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Sorry, no. I've been out of touch w/ most of my ARMA buddies for a while now and they often relied on me for scripting support and I was only so so.

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Workin on it. I'm back in the swing of Athena development. There's 2 major things I want to get wrapped up ASAP: the overhaul of the socket connections and Workshop compatibility.

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Progress update. I've overhauled the communication between the extension, the relay and the desktop app. I'm currently working on the connection between the desktop app and the community server. I have no idea if anyone is actually using a community server but I'm updating it regardless :-)  This update will probably help the people that have been complaining about it not connecting. The old network architecture was my first attempt at network programming and it shows. Because there are automatically less 'servers' involved in the new versions, it's easier to make a 2 way connection so it 'should' be more reliable over all. Additionally, I've tested the latest version of Athena and am able to run the mod from different directories (other than the normal Arma 3\@Athena folder location) so after I've got this next release wrapped up, I'll try to distribute through the Workshop. I'd expect to see something by ... late Wednesday/early Thursday.

 

After that, I'm going to look into some feature updates. I got some good feedback about the logger (server utility) so I'll update that and release it publicly so you can start using it as an AAR utility. Additionally, there are some small tweaks that have been requested by a particular unit so that Athena can better fit into their style. I'm going to expose some per player and client side variables that will allow scripters to have some more control over what Athena gathers/displays. So, for example, there could be a couple of variables such as:

  1. ATH_Capable - this one should only be set by the mod
    1. Boolean
      1. true if the user is running the @Athena mod
      2. won't exist if the mod isn't running
  2. ATH_Connected - this one should only be set by the mod
    1. Boolean
      1. true if the user's application is connected
      2. false if the user's application is not connected
  3. ATH_Allowed
    1. Boolean
      1. true if the user is allowed to use Athena
      2. false if the user is not
  4. ATH_ScopeUnit
    1. Integer
      1. 0=off (disables collection of units)
      2. 1=list (a list of units)
      3. 2=player (your own unit)
      4. 3=group (your group)
      5. 4=side (your side) - DEFAULT
      6. 5=Athena users (you and other ATH_Connected on your side)
  5. ATH_ScopeUnitExtended
    1. Boolean
      1. true if you want to enable extension discovery (position of a collectable unit + non collectable within X distance)
      2. false if you don't - DEFAULT
  6. ATH_ScopeUnitExtendedRange
    1. Decimal/Double/Whatever
      1. 0 to Desired Range - 0 is the DEFAULT
  7. ATH_ScopeUnitList
    1. Array of units
  8. ATH_ScopeObjectList
    1. Array of objects + ranges [[object1,50],[object2,100]] - [] is the DEFAULT

So, I think most of those are pretty self explanatory apart from the extended thing. So I thought about how you would implement something like this IRL for every soldier and I kind of thought of the radio man. Now, I'm not a military expert but I figured it would only really make sense to have 1 well connected guy and then the rest could have shorter range transmitters. So basically, one of the guys in the unit would be the 'uplink' and the other guys would feed their data through that uplink to 'command'. If someone gets too far out of range of an uplink, they disappear from Athena. That's the idea and it would pretty much only be effective when ATH_ScopeUnit is not 0 or 4.

 

I'm open to feedback on the var's. I figured with that combination of variables, you can essentially control Athena and have some cool functionality. You might only enable Athena if a unit has a GPS or if they have a GPS and a radio. If you use ATH_ScopeUnit = 1 and ATH_ScopeUnitList, you could tell Athena only to track specific users like TL's, PL's, SL's, etc. or other units with gps, radios, etc. by updating the ATH_ScopeUnitList dynamically. The last group I was in, I setup a mission that if you destroyed a tower, you 'disabled' the other teams TFAR radios. You want to force someone to protect an asset? Tell them you'll turn off their radios ;-)  You could do something like that with these vars. Suppose your pilots are using Athena...you can setup a mission that if your team loses a 'comms' area, it changes the ATH_ScopeUnit to 2 effectively blinding (in Athena) your pilots from tracking friendly ground forces and other pilots...though setting it to 1 and then specifying a list of other pilots would make more sense (cause none of the aircraft would probably rely on the ground based comms for their access to Athena). The ATH_ScopeObjectList is a neat little idea...if you specify an object and give a range, all (friendly) units within range of the object will be displayed in Athena so if you use ATH_ScopeObjectList, you could specify a drone and use it as a mobile uplink or you could specify a list of vehicles and if the units are within range of the vehicles, they too will appear in Athena.

 

Anyways, let me know what you think and like I said, I'm hoping to have something in your hands in a couple of days w/ AAR and scripting support shortly after.

 

-bus/skruis

 

 

 

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Amazing stuff. You're moving this from a game-extender into a tactical asset. So very cool. I'll have to talk it over with my chaps and consider how much of the new scope features we will be using.

 

If I'm honest, I don't use the community server, but I can see how it's incredibly useful for some and is in itself, a great piece of work.

 

The AAR will generate a lot of interest. Even the 'Life' types will find a use for it. :)

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Alright, one of the most common requests for Athena has been fulfilled. It's on the workshop: http://steamcommunity.com/id/skruis/myworkshopfiles/?appid=107410

 

If some of you could try subscribing and running it from your PC's, it would be very much appreciated. I'm considering launching the application (Athena Desktop) automatically when Arma starts ... just because it'll be easier for Workshop users. Any thoughts on that?

 

Also, Tank, this does not include your marker fix. I have to merge that fix back in to the main branch.

 

Thanks,

 

bus

 

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Good work, fella. I'm out for much of the day. I'll switch to the SW version later.

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Thanks Tank! I already had to release an update to the SW version...to get the map exports working. You always think you've checked everything.

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I've published another update to the Workshop. This includes the marker sizing fix and Athena Desktop will auto-launch (by default and if Athena Desktop is not already running) when Arma starts. It does NOT auto-start though. I want the user to be in control of that.

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This might be one-off problem, but my battleye Blocked loading of the AthenaExtension_x64.dll tonight. I'll play again tomorrow night and see if it's a problem on my end, but I'd thought you'd want a heads up nonetheless.

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12 hours ago, skruis said:

I've published another update to the Workshop. This includes the marker sizing fix and Athena Desktop will auto-launch (by default and if Athena Desktop is not already running) when Arma starts. It does NOT auto-start though. I want the user to be in control of that.

Wonderful stuff. Again, I'm away for the day and will get back to it later.

The 'old map data' issue I observed yesterday, is there a way (or even a need) to check map data versioning?

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Karl - Yep, Ive applied. Just waiting on it to go through. 

 

Tank - Good point. Its a little too late to add versioning for this map format. I do want to overhaul that to decrease load times so ill add versioning then. For now, I can alert users to map load errors and suggest theyre maybe using an out of date version. 

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Hmmm, well, I think maps with a fair bit of size and complexity like Altis take a little too long to come up but if noone's complaining...it's not a problem :-)

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Confirmed marker sizing works as expected and colour changing is now instantaneous. Autolaunch also working. :)

 

 

One tiny thing, It shows all my custom, mission added locations (although it 'toUpper's all of their names (not a problem)) but no airport name labels, presumably because Tanoa has a specific Airport location type while on Altis and Stratis, airports are 'namelocal'

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Markers working as expected and autolaunch working: Nice!

 

Mission added locations: that works? I thought I disabled that... Yea, I just checked the code and I disabled it. Are you sure they aren't being added by some other means such as via a marker?

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Status Update:

 

Spent some time working on AAR today...actually just the logger application. I added the ability to supply 'pre-configured parameters' via the config file so that you can launch the logger utility and have it start running automatically without having to configure it. I will also eventually enable auto launch of the logger utility just like I've done with the app. I've just applied for whitelisting and that change will require another application for whitelisting so ... I'll hold off until the entire AAR suite is in place. For now, it's up to you to ensure the logger runs when you want it to run.

 

I also added some duplicate frame detection (though that should be a thing of the past anyways) to avoid unnecessary storage usage and I added the ability to specify a delay (X minutes after mission start) for which it will discard all frames. The reason for that is in case you have 'in mission' briefings or 'safe starts' that last a preset amount of time, you can specify the delay to be 10 minutes or 5 minutes, whatever, and the logger will, upon mission start assuming your briefing is after mission start, discard the data for that amount of time and only then start to collect. Additionally, I've added support for the logger to also listen for a certain data packet that will allow you to have fine control over starting the recording. If you execute this command (on your server): 

 

["put", "start", "recording", "1", ""] call ATH_fnc_relay; 

 

The logger will ignore the time remaining on the delay and instantly start recording. Additionally, you can specify a delay of -1 minutes and that will disable the delay functions completely and the logger will rely exclusively on the commands. If you do specify a delay of -1, you can also then stop the recording with this command:

 

["put", "stop", "recording", "1", ""] call ATH_fnc_relay;

 

So, with that, you can have @athenasvr and the logger running all the time but only record the missions that you want to record via manual control. The Start command will have to be executed for each mission. So if you start the recording and the mission ends, the recording will end and then you'll have to manually start it again for the next mission. And just to be clear: the @athenasvr mod will have an impact on your server. I haven't measured it but its still going to collect data 'each frame' and dump it out to the relay. It's only the logger that's deciding what data to save and that process happens outside of ARMA.

 

So what kind of data will be captured? All units for all sides and all vehicles they occupy. Markers are an issue though. The server does not keep a record of all markers. If you place a marker in side or group, that marker does not get created on the server. Only the pre-defined (in editor) markers, those markers created by a script on the server or those created by players in GLOBAL chat will be seen by the server and then captured in the recordings so keep that in mind. If you're playing COOP and you want the markers to be recorded in the AAR, make them in GLOBAL.

 
I'm going to start testing the logger tomorrow (today was just code changes) and if it looks 'ok', I'll release it via the Workshop as the initial version of Athena AAR. It uses the same extensions, relay, etc. as the normal Athena Application so once that gets whitelisted, this mod will automatically be BattleEye compatible. Currently, the logger will only save Athena 'saves' to a local folder. You can, for now, expose that folder via an FTP server or you can manually publish the saves to a website or some other sharing mechanism. The goal after this initial release is to update the logger and have it publish the recordings to the ACS and then update Athena Desktop to retrieve the saves from the ACS via some sort of a search function. Then the next goal is enable shared playback of the recordings via a 'room' in the ACS...so multiple players can watch the recordings together...in sync and with whiteboard (ink) capabilities.

 

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On 10/27/2017 at 2:44 AM, skruis said:

Alright, one of the most common requests for Athena has been fulfilled. It's on the workshop: http://steamcommunity.com/id/skruis/myworkshopfiles/?appid=107410

 

If some of you could try subscribing and running it from your PC's, it would be very much appreciated. I'm considering launching the application (Athena Desktop) automatically when Arma starts ... just because it'll be easier for Workshop users. Any thoughts on that?

 

Also, Tank, this does not include your marker fix. I have to merge that fix back in to the main branch.

 

Thanks,

 

bus

 

 

What was the feature added in this update?

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Col Penny, the SQF and the Extension received significant overhauls. The primary purpose was to move some functionality out of the Extension and into ARMA so that I wouldn't have to apply for whitelisting again if I changed the 'format' of the data I'm exporting. Additionally, the protocols used in the Pipes between the Extension and Relay and the protocols used for the Socket connections between the Relay, Athena Desktop and the ACS were simplified. The overall number of connections was reduced simplifying the connection process and making it more resilient. Subsequent changes included fixes for the size of elliptical markers, support for auto launching Athena on ARMA start (mission start) and some debugging stuff. I've been posting change logs to the Athena workshop listing too: http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/changelog/1181881736

 

-Bus

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23 hours ago, skruis said:

Markers working as expected and autolaunch working: Nice!

 

Mission added locations: that works? I thought I disabled that... Yea, I just checked the code and I disabled it. Are you sure they aren't being added by some other means such as via a marker?

Yes, it's not mission added locations it's seeing. All my target locations are logic and Athena, rightly, doesn't see them. Oh well,  no issue. Still seeing no airport names on Tanoa though.

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BattleEye seems to have whitelisted Athena.

 

Tank: I'll take a look at the Tanoa airports and get back to you.

 

 

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Oh, also, I'll probably release Athena AAR v1 tomorrow. It'll be a little clunky.

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