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Kydoimos

What Makes a Good Arma Campaign?

Community Poll on Arma Campaign Essentials  

140 members have voted

  1. 1. What are the most important features of a good Arma campaign? Please try to make a limited selection.

    • Freedom - allowing players to do things in unexpected ways, or through optional tasks, etc.
    • Narrative - a compelling and interesting storyline which adds to immersion.
    • Music, Voice Acting - generally, the audio presentation of a campaign.
    • Well Scripted - a campaign that is correctly configured, without RPT spamming and error messages. Spelling mistakes.
    • No 'Rambo' Mechanics - the eschewal of a 'one man army' play style.
    • Authenticity - a strong emphasis on realism as a contributing factor to an immersive experience.
    • Civilian Interaction - a return to interaction with civilians, as in previous Arma titles.
    • Different Roles - a campaign that allows you to assume the different combat roles available (e.g., medic, pilot, marksman).
    • Consequences - in-game consequences for player actions, either in a single mission or throughout the course of several. Multiple endings.
    • Challenging - the feeling of a fair and balanced experience; challenging but not too difficult.
    • Consistency - the evolution of the player and characters in a persistent, evolving environment. E.g., weapon storing.
    • Mods - the interpolation of third-party mods.
    • Cutscenes, Cinematics, Custom UI - generally, the visual presentation of a campaign.
    • Localization - a campaign available with subtitles and text in your native language.
    • Linear - missions that unfold in a manner intended by the designer.
    • Non-Linear - missions that may unfold in a manner not explicitly intended by the designer.
    • Interesting Characters - figures that are well-rounded, fully explored, and generally carefully considered.
    • Variety - missions which are different in setting, approach and execution.
    • Non-Terminal Mission Failures - missions that can still be completed, despite failing certain tasks.
    • Cliches - campaigns that abstain from cliches and formulaic scenarios.
  2. 2. What is your favourite official campaign to date?

    • Arma: Cold War Assault - Resistance
    • Arma: Cold War Assault
    • Arma: Armed Assault
    • Arma: Queen's Gambit
    • Arma 2
    • Arma 2: Army of the Czech Republic
      0
    • Arma 2: Operation Arrowhead
    • Arma 2: British Armed Forces
    • Arma 2: Private Military Company
    • Arma 3: Bootcamp
    • Arma 3: East Wind
    • Arma 3: Apex Protocol
  3. 3. Do you consider yourself new to the Arma franchise?



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You seem to be talking about a different thing. Lexx and I were discussing about how to make variables persistent throughout a campaign using the campaign namespace. That is generally unrelated to the structure defined in the campaign description.ext.

Well, yes and no.

This was just to have something that happened in mission 1to have an influence on mission 2

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You seem to be talking about a different thing. Lexx and I were discussing about how to make variables persistent throughout a campaign using the campaign namespace. That is generally unrelated to the structure defined in the campaign description.ext

Not entirely, this was what had in mind before mentioning how difficult it would be, but thanks to lexx and yourself, saveVars and name spaces are probably the more efficient option. Essentially the method above would activate variations of different missions.

@velocity overdrive

Thanks, the guide certainly brought about many theories, although I don't think anyone could of expected the artificial earthquake card, like wtf BIS.

I agree with your sentiment about not being able to play some of the back story.. I certainly intend for a large part of the lore to be playable as a sort of "prologue" style introduction, but will be very linear and narrative heavy, but after that.. all of the usual arma sandbox will ensue with all of your suggestions attempted to be catered for :)

Edit :: don't use ur phone and forum kids, quotes get fucked :/

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I saw someone claiming that in another thread recently. Though I'm not entirely sure. Reverting does replace saved values, yes. But replaying? I think I never came across such behaviour. Maybe it was introduced quite recently and/or is actually a bug. I certainly feel it shouldn't overwrite values when replaying missions.

This is what I've experienced when working on my campaign a few months back. Or it was related to player gear saving... honestly, not 100% sure right now. But back then I was able to fuck up the saved gear with replaying already finished missions. Could have been a general bug too, though. Would have to check it out again at some point.

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Well, yes and no.

This was just to have something that happened in mission 1to have an influence on mission 2

 

Different tools for different problems, I'd say. If you just want to make some values persistent, let's say the player's money or gear or a list of completed side-ops, which do have some impact on the next mission, saveVar is the way to go. If you wish to introduce some story branching resulting in a different selection or order of missions, hard-wiring it into the campaign description.ext seems reasonable.

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Not entirely, this was what had in mind before mentioning how difficult it would be, but thanks to lexx and yourself, saveVars and name spaces are probably the more efficient option. Essentially the method above would activate variations of different missions.

@velocity overdrive

Thanks, the guide certainly brought about many theories, although I don't think anyone could of expected the artificial earthquake card, like wtf BIS.

I agree with your sentiment about not being able to play some of the back story.. I certainly intend for a large part of the lore to be playable as a sort of "prologue" style introduction, but will be very linear and narrative heavy, but after that.. all of the usual arma sandbox will ensue with all of your suggestions attempted to be catered for :)

Edit :: don't use ur phone and forum kids, quotes get fucked :/

Ah thanks mate! Il be looking out and stare miserably at your progress thread with apex as I ponder on how il earn cash to get apex :P

On a serious note though, I like your idea for a prologue styled introduction as it's definitely cool to experience the situation in game instead of shoving the news on your face XD

The bootcamp did quite well on it, explaining a few stuff hidden behind the curtain (Well for me)

And darn that quote issue! My codes look like some sort of gibberish language when I edit my posts...

Have fun developing your campaign!

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Ah thanks mate! Il be looking out and stare miserably at your progress thread with apex as I ponder on how il earn cash to get apex :P

I'll defo be in need for some play testers when the time comes.. thanks to everyone for the support and feedback.. this thread should get pinned somewhere, an incredibly helpful resource!!

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I'll defo be in need for some play testers when the time comes.. thanks to everyone for the support and feedback.. this thread should get pinned somewhere, an incredibly helpful resource!!

Your welcome mate! Glad to help :) When the time comes hit me up with a message! (And when I get apex dammit life!)

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First off, the poll in this thread has way too many options to be useful, seeing as every option has about 5% of the votes right now.

Secondly, I think one of the reasons people are disappointed with the Apex campaign is that it feels on rails and focused on the multiplayer experience. It feels like the game doesn't want me to lose. The unlimited respawns contribute to this. Plus, the totally unlocked at start mission s give me no reason to not skip missions.

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First off, the poll in this thread has way too many options to be useful, seeing as every option has about 5% of the votes right now.

 

I'm open to suggestions :) From everyone - it's your thread :P

 

Edit: I will compile all the data into a nice chart at some point.

 

 

Secondly, I think one of the reasons people are disappointed with the Apex campaign is that it feels on rails and focused on the multiplayer experience. It feels like the game doesn't want me to lose. The unlimited respawns contribute to this. Plus, the totally unlocked at start mission s give me no reason to not skip missions.

 

Thanks for the feedback; how do you feel this translates into what makes a good Arma campaign? I suppose in essence, you're advocating that it must be challenging? How high would you place this aspect in comparison to other aspects? Sorry, just trying to get a clear idea of what means most to you in relation to campaign content.

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I agree that a campaign should be worked through. Each new mission is like an achievement. BUT that is not the same as challenging missions, it's just the story unfolding.

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1.) Language used should be determined by story, not users convinience - Americans should talk in English with each other, Russians in Russian, Brazilians in Portuguese and so on. If, say, an Iranian interrogates an American, he should use English. So no more "stupid foreigners" talking to each other in a "stupid funny accent".

 

Agreed.  One of my favourite things about Inglourious Basterds was that huge sections of the movie were in French and German.  It always seems awkward when every character in a film or game speaks English regardless of nationality.

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 Yup, it's called giving your audience credit.

 

 Oh and points for one of my all time favorite movies ^^^ - we just got a new cat yesterday and named her ShoShanna

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Agreed.  One of my favourite things about Inglourious Basterds was that huge sections of the movie were in French and German.  It always seems awkward when every character in a film or game speaks English regardless of nationality.

 

That brings me to a problem I'm currently facing. I've been putting together a small piece of SP content which may or may not be finished and published. It revolves around my little KSK mod. Now, there is no German radio protocol in the game (and I don't intend to create one). So the AI chatter is already in English. And they operate as part of a bigger NATO force, thus they'd likely talk in English over "public" radio channels. Using German voice acting would feel a bit out of place there. The again English VA would be less authentic but at the same time easier to understand for non Germans. Especially in combat I find little time to read subtitles so I generally prefer English VA. What do you guys think? 

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Let them talk in english unless they are "in private" where they drop a word of german or something? Like "How is the Sauerkraut?" or "Wo ist meine Bratwurst?"

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Alright, off to find VAs who speak perfect German and don't have a hillarious accent when talking English... Unmöglich!!!!!11111!

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Amazing thread! Read through it all, but, I have bunch of questions I wanna ask, as I am doing this little project of mine, which may or may not be finished and published (borrowed these words from IndeedPete :P ) due to RL time issues.

 

To me, the best campaign in ArmA series is still the good old OFP one, seconded by Resistance. Simple AI, choices that actually had some effect in future missions... it just worked, and I always find some time to replay through it once again. But then, back to the questions;

 

First thing; some people here said that it should be vital if the campaign contained some kind of Boot Camp mission, or tutorial mission. I agree, but the problem is, more addons, less players (and the terrain addons are rather big). Would you see as a problem if the Boot Camp mission was played e.g. on Stratis, with map disabled and location in description listed as Classified, THEN be deployed on the very same Stratis you just trained on on a covert operation? Wouldn't be that immersion breaking? I liked training missions in older games such as Hidden & Dangerous 2, old as hell, but still a classic, or Vietcong. It isn't even a problem to make you a team leader after a fresh training (which honestly seems a little bit weird, I know). But there is this problem with only three official terrains, which all can be used for deployment in roughly 15 missions campaign.

 

Second thing; revive. Some people here on the forums cursed the revive system in ArmA 2, speaking about it as "babysitting" your teammates. The logic thing seems to do "You are shot, you are dead", but because I'm planning to do a one-time deployment with no support, it can easily happen you won't have any teammates in the third mission and it very quickly turns into a "Lone Wolf" unrealistic scenario. Making them immortal does not seem like a solution either. I still remember when playing MERCS from IndeedPete, that at some point in beta version (don't know if it's still like this or not), your teammate Dražen Petrović was immortal and I've been used to send him up front as a bullet catcher. :) So, what's a general opinion on revive in these days?

 

Thanks in advance for any help in this matter ;)

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I do not think a full training / tutorial mission is necessary (for a fan made campaign) if you do not add any new game mechanics to teach the player. This stuff usually just turns out to be useless and boring fluff (because you've played the same already somewhere else. E.g. official campaign or scenario), which might as well not be in the campaign at all.

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First thing; some people here said that it should be vital if the campaign contained some kind of Boot Camp mission, or tutorial mission. I agree, but the problem is, more addons, less players (and the terrain addons are rather big). Would you see as a problem if the Boot Camp mission was played e.g. on Stratis, with map disabled and location in description listed as Classified, THEN be deployed on the very same Stratis you just trained on on a covert operation? Wouldn't be that immersion breaking? I liked training missions in older games such as Hidden & Dangerous 2, old as hell, but still a classic, or Vietcong. It isn't even a problem to make you a team leader after a fresh training (which honestly seems a little bit weird, I know). But there is this problem with only three official terrains, which all can be used for deployment in roughly 15 missions campaign.

 

One workaround would be to make use of the VR map - for virtual training - but as lexx says above - I think you can probably dispense with a training mission - unless there's a new mechanic. I used the 'hint' system in my campaign, which is quite a good third option for newer players. Thanks for your input into what makes a great Arma campaign! This thread is building a nice little community consensus!

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I personally enjoy these tutorial missions, not to learn about the game, but more to get immersed in the setting. For example, a full playthrough of Arma 2 meant for me going back to the very extensive tutorials as well. Even if I always fucked up the paradrop...

 

Yes, I chose to make your buddy immortal in M.E.R.C.S. Which was really not the best idea. MANW deadline was around the corner and I couldn't get around to add a proper revive system on top of perfectly functioning missions. It would have altered the balancing quite drastically. If you don't have to rely on certain characters for the story, I'd make them mortal but add a pool / reinforcement system of some sorts. I.e. when the medic dies, there's a pool of three other medics that can assume the role in the next mission. And if the player used-up all of them, well, tough luck. That way you can compensate for really dumb AI behaviour (like getting run over by a friendly tank) but at the same time force the player to handle his resources with a bit more care.

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Amazing thread! Read through it all, but, I have bunch of questions I wanna ask, as I am doing this little project of mine, which may or may not be finished and published (borrowed these words from IndeedPete :P ) due to RL time issues.

 

To me, the best campaign in ArmA series is still the good old OFP one, seconded by Resistance. Simple AI, choices that actually had some effect in future missions... it just worked, and I always find some time to replay through it once again. But then, back to the questions;

 

First thing; some people here said that it should be vital if the campaign contained some kind of Boot Camp mission, or tutorial mission. I agree, but the problem is, more addons, less players (and the terrain addons are rather big). Would you see as a problem if the Boot Camp mission was played e.g. on Stratis, with map disabled and location in description listed as Classified, THEN be deployed on the very same Stratis you just trained on on a covert operation? Wouldn't be that immersion breaking? I liked training missions in older games such as Hidden & Dangerous 2, old as hell, but still a classic, or Vietcong. It isn't even a problem to make you a team leader after a fresh training (which honestly seems a little bit weird, I know). But there is this problem with only three official terrains, which all can be used for deployment in roughly 15 missions campaign.

 

Second thing; revive. Some people here on the forums cursed the revive system in ArmA 2, speaking about it as "babysitting" your teammates. The logic thing seems to do "You are shot, you are dead", but because I'm planning to do a one-time deployment with no support, it can easily happen you won't have any teammates in the third mission and it very quickly turns into a "Lone Wolf" unrealistic scenario. Making them immortal does not seem like a solution either. I still remember when playing MERCS from IndeedPete, that at some point in beta version (don't know if it's still like this or not), your teammate Dražen Petrović was immortal and I've been used to send him up front as a bullet catcher. :) So, what's a general opinion on revive in these days?

 

Thanks in advance for any help in this matter ;)

 

Couldn't you make the player fill the shoes of the opposing force you are fighting with? Like for example before the covert operation you could make the player be whatever faction your fighting with and from there you could do your training if it has a new mechanic (I personally never saw a single paradrop in the east wind or something) Or instead of writing the plot down on the description you could let the player discover it in a few prolouge mission such as a few hours before the A.A.F orchestrated the attack while Akhanteros gives a speech. For me it really is immersive!

 

And maybe later on you could let the player discover the prolouge character and then... Il let you ponder on what will happen ;)

 

Virtual Reality may be also a good choice as what Kydoimos said! Maybe before deployal the player could have some optional "Fun" such as playing around with helicopters... Showing new mechanics and once the player is done he can simply inform his superior and viola bootcamp done!

 

Regarding revive in Arma 2 Harvest red i somehow survived an RPG shot and within a few seconds im back sprinting... What you could do is probably implement a system in which a head-shot will kill and explosions will kill but gunshots wont. Incapitating them making it somewhat realistic. After that if he gets shot again he could just fall and die or if you like you could implement respawn-tickets.

 

Good luck on your campaign!

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Since there's talk about giving the player training missions and helpful tips, remember that The East Wind had many missions where a certain strategy/tactic was crucial yet never was a focus of another mission (unless you elected it to be, of course.) Given the nature of the campaign, you don't have any opportunity to hone your skills beforehand, showcases aside.

 

But you almost always had a helpful voice in your ear - an 'advice' support could usually be activated letting someone give you tips or outright instructions. These were also often used to reinforce the cause/effect of the player's current objective, or broaden their view of the situation.

 

For example, in (Supply Network, I think?) Kerry has to take command for the first time and also ambush a CSAT convoy. While there are onscreen hints for commanding your squad iirc, if you activate the Supports hint you get Miller giving you a rundown on convoy ambush: keep everyone hidden, hold fire until an opportune moment, do it fast and run like hell afterwards due to reinforcements. In later missions, you're told how to sneak past enemies, ambush a helicopter landing, prioritize targets... while these are all not 'new' mechanics in the scope of Arma 3, The East Wind lets you learn them through a conveniently optional conversation that also gave opportunities to build character and awareness.

 

I'm a big fan of such an approach, and while you'll inevitably need some hint popup if you want to teach a keyboard combination, there's always the option to let players decide if they want some advice on the current situation. Veterans (or those who die a lot) can skip them, newbies or the unsure can learn from them, and almost everyone will hit play just to hear what their allies have to say. If I can take that road while designing a mission, I will.

 

(And since it was brought up recently, the ability to play from multiple sides of a conflict is something I really appreciate but don't see a lot!)

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Thanks to everyone for their input!

 

As for the tutorial mission, it's purpose is not to teach the player how to actually play the game, because... well, somebody who downloads custom content must already know how to play the game. Teaching the player how to play game would be, as stated before, really boring even for me. Without unfolding the story too much, I can say that the player gets promoted from regular 'grunt' into an elite CTRG unit, which is currently in IOC state (Initial operating capacity). Solely purpose of the tutorial mission will be to decide which class will player fill, and how to operate the Blacknet (essentially a network used to gain intel and supplies), since this is one-time deployment without any additional reinforcements. All supplies will be distributed by high-altitude flying UAVs (similar to CLEO supply drops in State of Decay), limited requisitions made from the Blacknet.

 

Filling the boots of other side of conflict is an interesting idea, but then, CSAT will most definitely don't have the same procedures as CTRG. This is why the campaign won't probably actually be ever released, as I am kinda perfectionist and I don't tolerate even slight mistakes or unrealistic behaviour in my work. :)

 

But... who knows. Maybe I get kicked off my work and have plenty of time to finish it. Right now, my campaign is being made on Friday and Saturday nights ;)

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Thanks to everyone for their input!

As for the tutorial mission, it's purpose is not to teach the player how to actually play the game, because... well, somebody who downloads custom content must already know how to play the game. Teaching the player how to play game would be, as stated before, really boring even for me. Without unfolding the story too much, I can say that the player gets promoted from regular 'grunt' into an elite CTRG unit, which is currently in IOC state (Initial operating capacity). Solely purpose of the tutorial mission will be to decide which class will player fill, and how to operate the Blacknet (essentially a network used to gain intel and supplies), since this is one-time deployment without any additional reinforcements. All supplies will be distributed by high-altitude flying UAVs (similar to CLEO supply drops in State of Decay), limited requisitions made from the Blacknet.

Filling the boots of other side of conflict is an interesting idea, but then, CSAT will most definitely don't have the same procedures as CTRG. This is why the campaign won't probably actually be ever released, as I am kinda perfectionist and I don't tolerate even slight mistakes or unrealistic behaviour in my work. :)

But... who knows. Maybe I get kicked off my work and have plenty of time to finish it. Right now, my campaign is being made on Friday and Saturday nights ;)

Oh if it makes you feel better I have around 24 campaign ideas I scrapped since 2015!

Definitely agree with your statement about tutorials, Rather than to teach the player I usually just make it for immersion.

Good luck on your campaign!

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Hum...

 

IMHO, it's good for a game to have a boot camp.

 

Either like they did on ArmA 1 and 2 - with small tutorial missions (parachute, obstacle course, command, vehicles...) or in the campaign.

 

For example, like what they did in OFP CWC.

Bootcamp at the beginning of the campaign, then when we took the tank, a small tutorial, etc...

Or if the player comes to play a SF whereas he was playing agrunt until then, a small mission or training to know the way SF work.

Etc..

 

I feel it's more immersive.

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Well, just keep in mind that usually tutorials are boring as hell and people like to skip them. In the end, nothing is more a turn off than being forced to slog through a boring tutorial sequence.

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