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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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Real military life has boring aspects.

 

I just find that it can add realism.

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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.

 

Yes, I completely agree. Tutorials are really boring as hell, but I am afraid that it is unevitable in my campaign, given the reasons above.

 

When I mention Hidden & Dangerous 2 again, there was also the option to completely fail the whole tutorial. It really pissed me off back then when I had to redo the whole almost half-completed mission again. Maybe giving some more ambience into the tutorial and some interesting content instead of "Go, run to the flag and the back" or "Step over there and shoot five targets" can overcome the understandable cons.

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In worst case, you could simply add a shortcut for the player, so he can skip the tutorial if he likes to.

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Or do it like cwc, give the tutorial a story. First mission with a tank you had to move it, fuel it and find your crew first. That way you learned the mechanics before you met any enemies.

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Or do it like cwc, give the tutorial a story. First mission with a tank you had to move it, fuel it and find your crew first. That way you learned the mechanics before you met any enemies.

 

^^ I like this solution very much :)

 

And just to keep the thread on track, let's just asset that this ties in with:

 

 

Challenging - the feeling of a fair and balanced experience; challenging but not too difficult.

 

Variety - missions which are different in setting, approach and execution.

 

and possibly:

 

 

Narrative - a compelling and interesting storyline which adds to immersion.

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Or do it like cwc, give the tutorial a story. First mission with a tank you had to move it, fuel it and find your crew first. That way you learned the mechanics before you met any enemies.

 

Yes, good old CWC, I also like this idea. Thanks everyone for their priceless input on this matter :-)

 

Now, the only thing left to solve is where the tutorial mission will take places, so it won't be too immersion-breaking.

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Great thread! Wish I had gone through it a bit earlier since I am already halfway through making my Tanoa campaign. This is my second campaign (connected mission packs to be more precise), but I have to admit I don't put enough work in the narrative as I don't have time/resources/skill to build detailed cutscenes, or add voice work. I can share some thoughts and tips on making fun campaigns without strong in-mission narrative (Although I'm sure some of this is obvious):

  • Keep the Story Simple and create an overarching goal to your campaign. If you won't be able to have a detailed and changing narrative, the overall arc of the campaign should be simple, and preferably communicated on the maps. For example in my first campaign, it was a straight "Nato takes Stratis" 6 mission campaign. The battle lines were always on the map, and progress was visible.
  • Gameplay Flow between missions. The most basic flow I try to follow is alternating between High and Low action missions. This can take different forms : Stealth Followed by Combat. Small area mission followed by Large area missions. Linear mission followed by Open missions. The cadence doesn't have to be 1-2-1-2-1. It can be something like 2-2-1-1-2. Just as long as there is some contrast between missions.
  • Unique Gameplay Flavor. If you don't have a strong narrative guiding your missions, your gameplay mechanics should give each mission a flavor, a hook. For example I make efforts in my current campaign to have at least some unique gameplay aspect for each mission :
    • Mission 1 (linear/open): Boat based combat finale
    • Mission 2 (linear): Being hunted in the jungle at night by IR Laser equipped bad guys
    • Mission 3 (open): Searching for a hidden vehicle in the large Blue Pearl port
    • Mission 4 (linear): Sneaking through a city as a civilian, avoiding getting too close to enemy patrols.
    • Mission 5 (open/huge) : Clear an entire side Island, multiple open ended objectives.
  • At least SOME narrative. Just because you don't have strong in-mission narrative doesn't mean you can't have some characters. Keep some characters throughout the campaign. A superior that gives orders. A team lead who updates the mission status. You can also have written briefing with personal touches, jokes n such. It is obviously not as ideal as having voice work and in-game cinematics, but for the player who takes the time to read them, it gives a little reward and flavor.

My 2 cents! Cheers

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For example in my first campaign, it was a straight "Nato takes Stratis" 6 mission campaign.

Where can we find your Stratis campaign? Based on what you describe, I'd like to try it :)

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Where can we find your Stratis campaign? Based on what you describe, I'd like to try it :)

Hey Variable. I think you already stumbled onto my stratis campaign (dardanelles) on steam, you left a comment a while back asking me about dedicated server and revive settings. Im not sure if said settings were what you required, but FYI I recently updated the missions with arsenal and BIS revive. Though im not sure how they fare on dedicated. You can find the links at the bottom of my description for my current Tanoa campaign (some connection between the two) :

https://forums.bistudio.com/topic/193066-spco-5-mission-pack-venture/

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My favorite campaign IIRC was the user-made Retaliation, but the original Cold War Crisis was awesome even though some of the roles were distracting (e.g. the helicopter pilot). Resistance was pretty cool if not better made, but TBH I prefer the soldier campaigns rather than guerrilla ones so I remember CWC more fondly. Red Hammer starts well enough, but gets repetitive afterwards. I think one of the key factors in all these campaigns was the 80's Cold War setting which gives them all the extra atmosphere I personally enjoy.

 

Starting with ArmA, I increasingly disliked every single campaign BIS published. E.g. I felt ArmA campaign was lifeless without a main character and Queen's Gambit was short and I thought I disliked the setting, but then with ArmA 2 I discover how I enjoyed those previous ones more. So, the more modern the setting became, the less I enjoyed it culminating with the IMHO awful ArmA3 futuristic setting with weapons, vehicles, helicopters and factions I couldn't care less about. The peak is of course the Tanoa campaign which I wouldn't even classify as such and it was the first time I asked for a Steam refund.

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Hello there

 

Just a quickie from me (for now)

 

Cut scenes.

 

Nothing makes me want to gouge out my eyes with a spoon than cut scenes.

 

Unskippable ones are even worse and make me want to gouge out other people's eyes.

 

All I need is a concise bullet point briefing on key points.

 

There are tabs for extended briefings for those who love em.

 

me? I like  to K.I.S.

 

Rgds

 

LoK

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Dunno if it's just me, but I think we lack good SP missions or campaigns.

The workshop is full of missions, but most of them require a lot of mods or are coop.

 

There is not a lot of vanilla content, and even less of good ones.

Most of them don't have a proper briefing (situation, mission explanation, etc...) nor clear objectives in the briefing screen at mission start.

 

For people who like playing SP (like I do), it's very annoying not to have enough good content.

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 ^^^Someones recently remade the Arma 2 classics like Village Sweep etc and they're great to replay with all the new Arma 3 features + mods. Personally I think the Arma 2 SP missions were really well thought out.

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Eh, don't get me started on all these coop missions. Are people honestly playing them?

 

Damn, try to filter the workshop for singleplayer and all you find is [COOP 999 Players]... And almost all of them (that I've tried) are sloppy made. I could probably create throw out missions like that on a daily basis...

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^^^Someones recently remade the Arma 2 classics like Village Sweep etc and they're great to replay with all the new Arma 3 features + mods. Personally I think the Arma 2 SP missions were really well thought out.

Yeah, I played them of course!

They're always good, but these are remake ^^

I meant original ones ;)

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Dunno if it's just me, but I think we lack good SP missions or campaigns.

The workshop is full of missions, but most of them require a lot of mods or are coop.

 

There is not a lot of vanilla content, and even less of good ones.

Most of them don't have a proper briefing (situation, mission explanation, etc...) nor clear objectives in the briefing screen at mission start.

 

For people who like playing SP (like I do), it's very annoying not to have enough good content.

That's actually true, We are lacking any good SP missions or Campaigns but literally the majority is CO-OP or some require mods (which I'm totally fine with if it isn't unnecessary like CUP mods for Arma 2 missions)

Indeed there is not a lot of vanilla content but I know someone is out there making something good :D sometimes the missions just don't have anything proper, No dialogue, No briefing and heck no explanation!

Pretty much the newest best campaign IMO in the steam workshop is the CWC campaign for arma 3. Even though I haven't played CWC it looks really good!

It's really annoying to not have any proper good Singleplayer content but we all have to know that even making a scenario is a challenge so I have my biggest respect for anyone who undertake this task!

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Old thread, but harking back to it's original discussion about what makes for a good campaign. Someone said that Voice Acting/Dialogue isn't so important because it's hard to do - while I really do appreciate just how hard it is to find someone who can do voice acting, I don't think you can underestimate just how immersion breaking bad voice acting is. Not just the acting, but bad dialogue too.

 

One third party campaign, I won't mention which because I've no wish to hurt anyone's feelings, the voice acting was so cringeworthy that I really struggled to remain interested. Things like including garbled 'military-esque' cliches you've seen in far too many bad action films while putting on a 'tough sergeant' voice is not OK and it's nothing at all like the real world. Most soldiers, officers and NCOs talk to each other very normally, they aren't growling, scenery chewing characters who can only talk in clipped orders - if you're going to write dialog, just write it the way you would talk to your friends, your boss or a stranger in real life. Do not feel tempted to throw in any military terms unless you actually understand what they mean, and never overuse them. Truthfully, for good voice acting you don't need to act, use your own voice and say it naturally, calmly, do not over-stress syllables or add intonations etc.

 

Lastly, you could learn something from watching some of Dyslecxi's ShackTack videos - when he gives a briefing or orders to other players, he's not acting, he's just being himself relaying instructions as I presume he would in real life were he suddenly dropped into the army. That's what you want to aim for, not what you see in the movies.

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 Been playing the old OPF/CWC missions with the old audio and have to say -as corny and dated as it is I love that sound and far prefer it over the teenage cussin stuff in East Wind. It was basic radio HQ sound but maybe it was the age/maturity of the actor came across really well. The most recent campaign although i hated it did seem to however have decent to very good audio.

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~Dont punish the free roaming player by artificial means and set up a few easter egg locations in probable areas of exploration.


 


~Dont expect them to win a landwar in Asia


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~Dont punish the free roaming player by artificial means and set up a few easter egg locations in probable areas of exploration.


 


~Dont expect them to win a landwar in Asia


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Old thread, but harking back to it's original discussion about what makes for a good campaign. Someone said that Voice Acting/Dialogue isn't so important because it's hard to do - while I really do appreciate just how hard it is to find someone who can do voice acting, I don't think you can underestimate just how immersion breaking bad voice acting is. Not just the acting, but bad dialogue too.

 

One campaign, I won't mention which because I've no wish to hurt anyone's feelings, the voice acting was so cringeworthy that I really struggled to remain interested. Things like including garbled 'military-esque' cliches you've seen in far too many bad action films while putting on a 'tough sergeant' voice is not OK and it's nothing at all like the real world. Most soldiers, officers and NCOs talk to each other very normally, they aren't growling, scenery chewing characters who can only talk in clipped orders - if you're going to write dialog, just write it the way you would talk to your friends, your boss or a stranger in real life. Do not feel tempted to through into any military terms unless you actually understand what they mean, and never overuse them. Truthfully, for good voice acting you don't need to act, use your own voice and say it naturally, calmly, do not over-stress syllables or add intonations etc.

 

Lastly, you could learn something from watching some of Dyslecxi's ShackTack videos - when he gives a briefing or orders to other players, he's not acting, he's just being himself relaying instructions as I presume he would in real life were he suddenly dropped into the army. That's what you want to aim for, not what you see in the movies.

I definitely agree, While voice acting is extremely hard to deliver (At the very least, Low quality. Higher quality = Payment and some people like me cant afford it) plain dramatic cliche military lines are pretty immersion breaking just like what you said.

 

I always go with subtitles + setRandomLip true since those two combined together might actually be better than without a proper dialogue. When i also design the chatter/subtitles i always make sure it looks realistic and avoid not needed chatter. Although humor at the perfect time is good too. Since my campaign has literally nothing to do with NATO/AAF/CSAT it instead focuses onto criminals. That way i can add some seriousness and definitely humor while the player drives around. Since its IMO realistic cause when your driving around sometimes your passenger wont be silent. Humor is kept to a bare minimum though.

 

Take an example for Resists voice actors, Completely professional but they are paid thus they usually produce high quality voices (Pretty rare to find a fellow lad who wants to give out high quality voice acting for free! Im probably wrong with this one too)  possibly the majority cant afford that (Im probably wrong)

Humor at the beginning when there is absolutely no reason to remain serious. Full on serious at the right moment, Helicopter speaker sounds realistic, Greeks and Iranians sound... Well Greeks and iranians.

 

And an example of a great campaign without voice acting is indeedPetes M.E.R.C.S i mean, The literal new dialogue option, RPG styled dialogue. Speakers face shown real-time. Lip movement. Humor added in cause well... They are mercenaries. I loved the design of the dialogues which makes it unique instead of radioChat which looks weird. Although the new splendid dialogue from BIS sure is fancy!

 

I havent really played any other games other than Arma 2 (I love the russian voices, IDK why they are just so cool and sometimes pretty serious.) but when i watched the ending of OFP. I immediately noticed how weird the guy who said "I got almighty on the line" as they never really had that type of accent in further Arma games, Probably why Arma 3 voice acting is by far my favourite in the east wind! The chaos from all callsigns is pretty immersive. (Charlie sounds like some guy who is literally unkillable. But... :()

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What exactly are "plain dramatic cliche military lines" for you people?

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I think a lot of people don't understand how expensive sourcing voice acting is. I had big plans to do a fully voice acted campaign. Then I got some quotes. Scrapped that project in a hurry because I didn't have hundreds and possibly thousands to shell out for what was essentially community service to Arma players. And we all know asking for donations yields nothing; let's not kid ourselves here, if it's free people will only use it for free.

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I think a lot of people don't understand how expensive sourcing voice acting is. I had big plans to do a fully voice acted campaign. Then I got some quotes. Scrapped that project in a hurry because I didn't have hundreds and possibly thousands to shell out for what was essentially community service to Arma players. And we all know asking for donations yields nothing; let's not kid ourselves here, if it's free people will only use it for free.

 

I'm curious, how much per line / chunk of text?

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What exactly are "plain dramatic cliche military lines" for you people?

It's gonna be pretty hard to explain but what I mean is that the dialogue is repeatedly using the same line without changes such as "Copy That" and by dramatic I mean by voice acting actually, they scream into the mic. You could speak normally and add a dose of awareness into screaming in the mic which usually doesn't sound dramatic.

Usually this isn't the case since most campaigns I played didn't used cliched military lines and are often pretty creative/realistic!

I think a lot of people don't understand how expensive sourcing voice acting is. I had big plans to do a fully voice acted campaign. Then I got some quotes. Scrapped that project in a hurry because I didn't have hundreds and possibly thousands to shell out for what was essentially community service to Arma players. And we all know asking for donations yields nothing; let's not kid ourselves here, if it's free people will only use it for free.

I definitely understand how expensive voice acting is that's why I pointed out on the post about using subtitles + setRandomLip. But my post was more towards the people who had plans on making voice acted campaigns :) People who voice act/pay for voice acting earns my respect since they literally payed for us to have fun be immersed!

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