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Rydygier

[APEX SP] Descent Trajectory

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Descent_trajectory_base2.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Introduction

 

A singleplayer, semi-randomized open scenario for Tanoa. You're an alien nanite swarm-based entity survivor, for now in roughly humanoidal shape, that crashed on the deadly planet - water everywhere, very toxic. Your mission was to recon for the Swarm, if your race should invade and consume the planet, or leave it be. But now the first issue is to survive long enough to hunt down The Hunter, rogue sub-entity of The Scout, that caused the crash. The Hunter will try to neutralize The Scout as well. Next task is to clean up all debris from the crashed starship, if doable, to leave no trace of your tech while avoiding detection as long, as possible. Lastly - transmit any recon data and evacuation request to finish the mission.

 

Requires APEX expansion. 

 

 

Download

 

Descent Trajectory 1.03 (Dropbox via Orangedox)

Descent Trajectory 1.03 (Steam Workshop)

 

 

Notes and advices

 

  • I'm open to good ideas, feedback is appreciated and mission may be enhanced with new features;
  • Recommended settings: >1000 meters of object draw distance for intro and outro, enabled post process effects;
  • DT gameplay  differs from typical milsim scenario. Player gets new tools and HUD elements instead of usual soldiering stuff. These are simple to comprehend, but not always self-explanatory, thus I strongly recommend to read briefing entries before first play;
  • The basic tools are: the Probe (action menu), Nano Stroke (melee range, 360 degees attack, free of charge, via LMB (basic shooting action)) and Nano Shot (ranged attack, holding and releasing RMB (temporary zoom action)). The attacks will be disabled, when player uses normal weaponry;
  • Under 0-8 support menu one can find few settings: rate of time passage, autosaves, detector sounds switch;
  • Scenario is highly randomized (in main part in quite peculiar way), thus regardless of initial settings, each gameplay difficulty may differ;
  • GUI font is not very readable for purpose (should look alien at first glance). Don't worry, important informations about discoveries etc. are stored as diary entries with standard font;
  • Combinations of some techs may prove very useful against The Hunter or if you wish to play the Predator;
  • Brain scan tech is crucial for understanding local tongue, but also important as mean to gather valuable recon data, that affects the outcome;
  • The only obligatory tasks are neutralizing The Hunter and Transmitting the signal. All the rest is up to you, but situation, you leave will affect the fate of the planet;
  • You can sprint all the time, if terrain allows, fatigue doesn't apply to The Scout entity;
  • Think about The Swarm as about a super-mind, where each specimen, temporarily separated, independent subswarm entity, represents a thought or pending consideration. Thus the same Swarm or his subswarms may generate subentities of contradictory goals, which represents a mind in doubt, during decission making or cognitive process. Thus we have The Scout and The Hunter, while The Scout has a task to convince The Swarmm to change its mind via new data;
  • Chances for further mission development depend on level of interest around this scenario, which is indicated by amount of feedback. Especially proposed ideas and bug reports are appreciated;
  • Known issues: due to Arma engine limitation, for "NAKED VR" avatar Active Camo tech may work only partially, if The Scout and The Hunter will use it simultanously. 

 

 

To Do

 

waiting for requests and ideas...

 

 

Changelog

 

Spoiler

v1.01:

  • Changed GUI/HUD definitions in attempt to improve handling different screen resolutions and interface size settings (not tested above 1920x1080).

 

v1.02:

  • Corrected The Hunter AI to avoid situation, where he is drifting far away in loiter mode. Now he'll roam around/return to his escape pod unless he's hunting The Scout;
  • Added switchable via 0-8 acoustic Hunter proximity indicator, which will signal by sound, when The Hunter is closer, than 100 meters from The Scout. The closer, the more frequent and higher sound. Makes hunting The Hunter noticeably easier, some players may prefer keep this off for stronger thrill of being hunted;
  • Not removed escape pods will strongly affect the outcome;
  • Added manual Probe movement control: when PCP is active and Probe is in the STAY mode, can be moved via cursor arrows, optionally with shift key for faster or control key for slower movement pace. Due to some limitations PCP camera position refresh is low, thus it doesn't feel smooth, but does the job;
  • From now on The Scout will be not harmed by falls from a heght;
  • Added always available, free of charge short "jump" via alt+numpad del when on the ground;
  • Added always available ability of controlled flight, that consumes red nanites fast (beware). Controls: alt+numpad 5 for vertical thrust, alt+numpad arrows for horizontal movement, when above the ground. Thrust power stronger, if with shift key or lower, if with control key. Not quite Iron Man/Superman style, but sinusoidal flight on decent distancies is possible. 

 

v1.03:

  • New init setting: Avatar appearance. Player can choose one of few ways, how The Scout (and The Hunter, which mimics same look) will look like. "NAKED VR" stands for old way, which may be also achieved via removing uniform in play for any other appearance;
  • Added some audiovisual effects for "processing bodies" action;
  • Also the main HUD font should now keep its size regardless of set resolution and interface size;
  • Updated outro credits.

 

 


Terms of Use

 

Spoiler

 

Anybody can depack this mission and change my work for own needs, even release such changed version, as long proper credits are given: it is released under APL-SA license, except for additional sound files, which come with own terms of use. Their respective copyrights owners don't endorse me nor this project in any way:

 

Detectron (Curt Cassingham, edited by Rydygier)

Fizzing sound (Mike Koenig/Soundbible.com, edited by Rydygier, license)

Scanner sweep (www.freesfx.co.uk, edited by Rydygier, license)

Explosion distant cannon fire (Adobe, edited by Rydygier, license)

 

 

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First try was a bit short. Important to understand the HUD methinks

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In my few testing runs appeared, gameplay length can vary roughly from 0,5 (if you're OK with invasion outcome and just want to get out) -1,5h (if you're ambitious and try to gather enough recon to prevent the invasion despite rumors level spike at the final step), also depending on randomization and settings, but assuming, you're 100% focused on your official task. One may prefer also to do some Predator stuff and hunt down some patrols or "chat" a bit with the locals/terrorize the island... Also, if toxicity is high enough, one may be forced to "feed" a bit on the local ILF (intelligent life forms) to keep shielding nanites > 0. Kinda vampire style. 

 

I've a feeling, there's room for more interesting activities, but no good enough ideas for now. 

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Really enjoying the mission, lots of interesting tools to play with. Just one question so far, is there any criteria for successful mind control?....all my early attempts are failures. 

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Thanks. :)

 

Quote

Just one question so far, is there any criteria for successful mind control?

 

Yes. The chance directly depends on your knowledge about local ILF mind (same for the other PSI-based tech), basically - "language skill" shows the probablity of success. Language skill may be raised via brain scans (possible on alive or dead ILF alike). Depending on initial settings, you may have this tech from the start, otherwise you have to count, brain scan tech will be discovered during probe scans, which is possible, but far from certain. 

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Played a little more today....man this is so cool my head is spinning! It feels like a total conversion mod. It's taking me a wee while to suss out the systems and tools available, the diary entries are invaluable, but it's also been cool to try and learn the systems using the GUI menu. Some kind of enhanced leap or jump feature would be alien cool. My only gripe is the VR Entity as player avatar, it's a little jarring against the Tanoa shrubbery so I'm playing in first person, maybe it's just a placeholder but some kind of different avatar would also be welcome. Speaking of Tanoa, this mission feels like it could be ported to other terrains, I'd like to play this on Altis.  

I really hope you gain enough feedback to feel the need to continue development of DT, you seem to be able do that very rare thing in Arma....pleasing the SP crowd!

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Quote

VR Entity as player avatar

 

It was the most and and the only alien looking avatar in vanilla Arma 3 (apart from CSAT bugmen of course :P seriously, I considered them...). Anything better would require a mod, which is bad, limits player base. IMHO VR dude fits pretty well to the story, after all, it is a nanite swarm formed into humanoidal shape. Another important thing - it has hidden selections covering all the body, which is required for active camo feature. 

 

Script-wise porting should be possible, easy even, although due to peculiar kind of procedural stuff (based on model names of terrain objects) it would require extra testing. Also, don't know, how CPU and gameplay would tolerate bigger areas, this aspect may also require extra attention.

 

Jumping... I'll think about. :)

 

Also I got a report on Steam, for UHD resolution HUD seems to be broken (don't know how exactly), anyone can confirm problems with HUD/GUI on resolutions different than 1920x1080? If so, 1:1 pics would be great.  Rather unexpected, I deliberatelly used Pixel Grid System, that according to description, should handle different resolution, but perhaps I misused it somehow, lack of experience here. 

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No issues with HUD/GUI.

Resolution: 2560x1440 

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22 minutes ago, Rydygier said:

It was the most and and the only alien looking avatar in vanilla Arma 3 (apart from CSAT bugmen of course :P seriously, I considered them...). Anything better would require a mod, which is bad, limits player base.

 

Maybe not so, these guys were scripted by haleks...

Spoiler

pKdGsbA.jpg

Z4nqK7j.jpg

AqnNrnk.jpg

 

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Well, the guy with the backpack is the VR player character, which I saw and considered not alien enough, the "ghost" is intriguing though, don't know, how it is done without mods, I see refract particles, but beyond that... Still, the question is: can be render-to-surface texture applied to cover all the body to any of them for active camo? I'll check haleks' work anyway, because I'm curious now. Where can I find, what you show me? 

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The phantom is a scripted creation and not part of Ravage, I was just lucky enough be be given the chance by @haleks to test out his unreleased mission concept recently, hence the screenshots.  

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I see. Till I check it, it stays uclear to me, how that phantom is done without mods/additional assets. Seeing it in motion could shed some light perhaps. Maybe some advanced stuff with particles or via attachTo, but what are these "armor plates", no idea. Either way, seems not possible to use with active camo using r2t. 

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Did some tests with HUD/GUI and I see, if I, having 1920x1080, change in the options interface size above "small", or set lower resolution, initial text typing and then logo is bigger, not fitting the screen, and main HUD goes off the upper edge of the screen. Disappointing. Intentionally based GUI dimensions on pixelGrid, which, as I understood, should prevent exactly that. Maybe I understood wrongly. It's new thing for me. Now I'll experiment with pixelGridNoUIScale and pixelGridBase, maybe I should understand them conversely, I did. EDIT: pixelGridNoUIScale andpixelGridBase  makes things worse with bigger interface scale. Not good. 

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As for today, mission updated to 1.01. Changes:

 

- changed GUI/HUD definitions in attempt to improve handling different screen resolutions and interface size settings (not tested above 1920x1080).

 

 

What's next? I'll think if anything can be done about that jumping request. :)

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Regarding changes to GUI/HUD, everything checks out fine in 1.01 as it did in 1.00 for my 2560x1440 screen resolution. (Interface size: Small)

Spoiler

JrZ4FLR.jpg

 

13 hours ago, Rydygier said:

 Seeing it in motion could shed some light perhaps.

 

Spoiler

 

 

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Is that ghillie suit perhaps? Not sure, for some reason player is fleeing from them. :)

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I'd just be guessing if I were to try and describe how the phantoms were scripted, possibly a hidden ghillie suit plus some fancy glass/metal rvmat stuff.....but really I've no idea, all I can say is it's a damn fine creation.

Maybe for clarity you could pm haleks for some more info. :-)

 

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Perhaps no need, I wouldn't copy 1:1 other people work anyway. I see such possibility: another initial setting, where player can choose own avatar, while only the current one will provide proper visual effects for active camo tech. As for the others, these will be based on what they're wearing, which is kinda weak, because player can always take off the uniform. It may be a guy in the ghillie, another in pilot's outfit or indeed CSAT bugmen. But that's player choice then. 

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Mission updated to 1.02:

 

- Corrected The Hunter AI to avoid situation, where he is drifting far away in loiter mode. Now he'll roam around/return to his escape pod unless he's hunting The Scout;

- Added switchable via 0-8 acoustic Hunter proximity indicator, which will signal by sound, when The Hunter is closer, than 100 meters from The Scout. The closer, the more frequent and higher sound. Makes hunting The Hunter noticeably easier, some players may prefer keep this off for stronger thrill of being hunted;

- Not removed escape pods will strongly affect the outcome;

- Added manual Probe movement control: when PCP is active and Probe is in the STAY mode, can be moved via cursor arrows, optionally with shift key for faster or control key for slower movement pace. Due to some limitations PCP camera position refresh is low, thus it doesn't feel smooth, but does the job;

- From now on The Scout will be not harmed by falls from a heght;

- Added always available, free of charge short "jump" via alt+numpad del when on the ground;

- Added always available ability of controlled flight, that consumes red nanites fast (beware). Controls: alt+numpad 5 for vertical thrust, alt+numpad arrows for horizontal movement, when above the ground. Thrust power stronger, if with shift key or lower, if with control key. Not quite Iron Man/Superman style, but sinusoidal flight on decent distancies is possible. 

 

Avatar customization left for the next time, requires more consideration. 

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Hi @Rydygier!

 

Some tips about the Ghost avatar EO suggested : I'm not sure I fully understand how you achieve the active camouflage effect as I'm not used to work with R2T, but I assume you're using setObjectTextureGlobal?

The Ghost option might work with that : you need the U_O_T_Sniper_F uniform as it is one of the very few ghillie suits with complete hidden selections.

_this setObjectMaterialGlobal [2,"a3\structures_f\data\metal\Metalclean1.rvmat"];
for "_i" from 0 to 1 do {_this setObjectTextureGlobal [_i,""]};

As you see the ghost effect is achieved with materials rvmat rather than textures (the absence of textures on the first selection is equally important for that particular result) - plus some particle effects on top of that for the refract effect, but I reckon your R2T technique looks better when in movement.

The active camouflage might look different though : VR entities seem to be using a special material and I don't know how to reproduce it on other units (the ghost would probably look uber cool if that was possible).

 

Hope it helps, feel free to get in touch with me or have a look at my recent screenshots, they could give you some ideas. I'd be happy to contribute. ;)

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Thanks, haleks, appreciated. I'll experiment with that (cool screenshots BTW, seriously amazing). As for r2t active camo, it was also an experiment, which resulted with such code:

 

Spoiler
Quote

        _texDirs = 
            [
            [[0.5,0,1.25],[2,0,0],90],//left arm
            [[-0.5,0,1.25],[-2,0,0],270],//right arm
            [[0,0.5,1.25],[0,2,0],0],//torso
            [[0,0.5,1.7],[0,2,0],0],//head
            [[0.5,0,0.6],[2,0,0],90],//left leg
            [[-0.5,0,0.6],[-2,0,0],270]//right leg
            ];
            
            {
            _unit setObjectTexture [_foreachIndex,(format ["#(argb,512,512,1)r2t(rendersurface%1%2,1.333)",_foreachIndex,_pfx])];
            _cam = "camera" camCreate (_unit modelToWorld [0,0,3]);
            _cam cameraEffect ["internal", "BACK",(format ["rendersurface%1%2",_foreachIndex,_pfx])];
            
            _cam attachTo [_unit,(_x select 0)];    
            _anch = "VR_3DSelector_01_default_F" createVehicle [0,0,0];
            _anch hideObject true;
            _anch attachTo [_unit,(_x select 1)];
            _cam camSetTarget _anch;
            _cam camCommit 0;
            
            sleep 0.1;
            }
        foreach _texDirs;

 

 

However apparently, there's a limit for active r2t textures at once, 8 or so, while one unit have 6 textures, thus no use for more, than single person. The idea was to display on given texture, what camera see on opposite side (rough invisibility idea), but since for torso and head there is only one texture for all sides, it ended up more as active camo, where cameras display on the body terrain around. Effect often is nice, can be really effective as camouflage on some terrains, although whole thing can be glitchy too. In the jungle context may be observed in the mission, at hand I have only short footage illustrating an issue I encountered with limited to 8 amount of active textures, when tried to apply same effect for two units:

 

 

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Experiments with new avatar very promising. @haleks, if you don't mind, I wish to add you into "special thanks" section of mission's outro credits. :)

 

Quote

 VR entities seem to be using a special material and I don't know how to reproduce it on other units (the ghost would probably look uber cool if that was possible).

 

Like this?

 

ghost_1.jpg

 

for "_i" from 0 to 2 do {unit1 setObjectMaterial [_i,"\A3\Characters_F_Bootcamp\Common\Data\B_VR_Soldier_F.rvmat"]};//also with "O" (red) and "I" (green). 

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2 hours ago, Rydygier said:

Experiments with new avatar very promising. @haleks, if you don't mind, I wish to add you into "special thanks" section of mission's outro credits. :)

 

I sure don't mind. ^^

 

Thanks for the VR material, I shoulda guessed it was in the bootcamp addon!

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