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It is about 2 years since the release of Callsign Minotaur. I'm still hard at work on my follow-up project, but after such a long time, I really needed time off of it. I had a bit of vacation as well, so I used this to do something radically different: Create something, anything in one week. And thus, this is what I did.

 

Y2mUctQ.png

 

Years before the "East Wind" crisis, a small group of CTRG operators make their way through the dunes of North Africa to collect tangible information on CSAT's secret weapons project.

 

Overview

Dunes is a (very) short, story driven campaign scenario that comes with a desert themed map.

This project has been made within the scope of 7 days.
(Well, almost. Issues with the voice over production sadly resulted in a delayed release.)

Dunes is also my very first terrain in this engine. I've started experimenting with map creation about one or so weeks prior, to learn more about its creation process. After a couple initial hiccups, it started to shape up quite nice, though, which then sparked the plan to not just throw it on the workshop and be done with it, but to turn it into something better... and bigger.

Keep in mind that at the end of the day, this is still nothing but a small project which I have used to test heightmaps, textures, clutter, and everything else related to map making.

 

Download

> Steam Workshop

 

Mods

Dunes doesn’t require any mods to run. Any gameplay changing mods should be disabled while playing the campaign, as these can cause negative side effects.
 

Supported languages

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Wow, after months off these forums I come back and see a mission by lexx, freshly posted 7 minutes ago. 😊 

Looks great, bookmarked!

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Sweet jebus - it's like you read my mind Lexx! I was thinking of doing a really similar terrain and setting 😮 

Downloading now!

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Thank you very much Lex and Congratulations for the release !

Let's play some SP !

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Hey Lexx! great to see another vanilla campaign from you again!  Any chance of having a armaholic or gdrive mirror? SWS mods doesn´t work on my stuffed SSD (they never complete to dl and activate =(

 

Kudos for another awesome work and cheers!

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A probably too long review 😂 -
 

Spoiler

I love the terrain - I only wish it was bigger to capture the sense of scale of those environments more, but I completely understand the scope of the project. Kudos overall on what you can achieve in 7 days though - it's your usual high standard regardless!

I particularly like the intro cutscene. The sweeping camera does a great job of giving you a sense of the wide open nature of desert settings like that, whilst introducing your unit as a tiny feature in that landscape. Because I went straight into the mission I had no idea how big the map would be.

In terms of your unit - in reality it would likely be an 8 man section, two fire-teams of 4 so that's something to think about maybe. Some kit/bags on the sides of the pickups would perhaps have added a sense of being more equipped to be out in the desert for longer. I'd also have the units either all being in fatigues, or all be in civilian clothes, not both.

Briefing - Nice in-set images and intro to the setting and mission - there's a good sense of time-depth and overall reason for being in the region without giving too much away. If you'd had more time it might have been nice for Morgan to narrate some of this like in the TacOps missions.


 

1st Mission

I love the Apex/TacOps feel overall. I think like Apex/TacOps, it gives such a fuller experience to Arma that was missing in previous missions and your work does this well.

 

The characters could be fleshed out a little more and I think it would have been better to have new character names instead of using Tanny, Reynolds etc from Arma2: PMC - they'd be old guys by now! The informal nature of the conversation is good as it makes it seem like the men know each other.

I have to admit, because the earlier hints were really basic I ignored the one telling you how to ID the enemy units. I was therefore spamming 'T' on my keyboard expecting that to trigger the trigger, so perhaps it might be worth getting rid of the basic hints, or getting Morgan to say specifically to Hold Sec. Mouse. I worked it out from the briefing so perhaps you've encountered this previously? You could also explain having to get closer to ID the enemy units with Morgan complaining that the kit isn't working - it's a particularly British thing to have dodgy IT kit (or at least complain about it) so I could entirely see this being the case for CTRG in the 2030s 😂.

The difficulty is very easy however (though I stole the patrol Quilin and got one of my guys to be the gunner), so I think it might be worth having some form of reaction, or QRF arrive when you attack the main camp at least.

I couldn't hear some of Morgan's comments - perhaps they're not triggering correctly?

At the main camp, the chairs get in the way of triggering the "search" action - I'd move them back from the desk to make it easier.

 

The tent to the front of the Tempest collapsed at the beginning of the mission so perhaps needs resetting.


I think you could definitely add more objects to the insides of the tents and make them all open - perhaps move the documents to one of them so you actually have to look in and search the tents. It would also give the camps a sense that they were lived-in, rather than just being props. Same with the containers.


2nd Mission
Nice intro sequence - It made me wonder what was coming.

I think my only real gripe is that the difficulty is quite high - I had to load autosaves quite a few times and my difficulty is set to medium. It does add to the drama obviously, and it obviously felt rewarding when I downed the Kajman, but really shows how easy the first mission was.

It might be nice to have some of the other guys talk and react to the situation.

Because of the starlight only/ no NVGs look, your teams AI units are sometimes slow to see the enemy units so I ended up doing most of the shooting. If you read any Andy McNab/ Chris Ryan, they all emphasise switching over to NVGs and NV weapon sights at night which I think would still be the case for the 2030s. I think as soon as you leave the main camp because of being contacted, then your units could enable NVGs. It would also show the difference between your highly equipped/trained CTRG, and possibly less well trained/equipped African CSAT.

Because I stole some NVGs from some CSAT, I couldn't see the final cutscene - as these were on when the cutscene was playing and there was no way to turn it off. You could add some code to make sure they're disabled. It was also quite hard to hear what Morgan was saying - unless this was intentional?


Overall
Overall this is a really great mini campaign and great feel. It might have been nice to have a third mission to have a beginning, middle and end, but completely understand the time limits/ scope of the project. I really hope you're going to do something as a DLC, I think you should seriously consider it. If I was giving an OFPEC review, I think this would be a solid 8/10.

 

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8 hours ago, corporal_lib[br] said:

Hey Lexx! great to see another vanilla campaign from you again!  Any chance of having a armaholic or gdrive mirror? SWS mods doesn´t work on my stuffed SSD (they never complete to dl and activate =(

 

Kudos for another awesome work and cheers!

 

Use Link Shell Extension mate : http://schinagl.priv.at/nt/hardlinkshellext/linkshellextension.html

I used it to install Arma and its DLCs accross several drives.

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I probably won't upload it anywhere anytime soon, because I hate the hassle of updating external files (and I love pushing small updates on my stuff every once in a while). I don't mind if anyone downloads it in other ways, though. Hell I don't even mind reuploads, but you always have to keep in mind that it means the files won't be updated asap.
 
 
 
 
2 hours ago, Callsign said:

The characters could be fleshed out a little more

Yes, but I had to limit the amount of spoken words because of costs and all that jazz. Otherwise I'd have your team mates talk some more as well.
 

2 hours ago, Callsign said:

I think it would have been better to have new character names instead of using Tanny, Reynolds etc from Arma2: PMC - they'd be old guys by now!

I agree, but at this point in the project I started to get sleep deprived and stopped caring. Thought of it as a funny easteregg. 😆
 

2 hours ago, Callsign said:

You could also explain having to get closer to ID the enemy units with Morgan complaining that the kit isn't working - it's a particularly British thing to have dodgy IT kit (or at least complain about it) so I could entirely see this being the case for CTRG in the 2030s 😂.

Man, wish I had this idea when I wrote the dialog. 😕 Tried to come up with a reason for why there is a limit at all, but nothing felt right, so I just kept it as is.
 

2 hours ago, Callsign said:

I think you could definitely add more objects to the insides of the tents and make them all open - perhaps move the documents to one of them so you actually have to look in and search the tents. It would also give the camps a sense that they were lived-in, rather than just being props. Same with the containers.

True, but I was running out of time. In fact, even the containers and stuff I've added at the very end of everything. Also a part of the backstory is that they are breaking camp and moving out, so I thought adding too much stuff would mitigate that again.
I might get back to that and add some more objects / clutter in the future.
 

2 hours ago, Callsign said:

I think my only real gripe is that the difficulty is quite high

Yeah, I heard that already. Will be tweaked in the next update. Fun fact: I had no issues with the difficulty at all while testing. On the contrary, I had to punch up unit skills very high, because I felt it had no difficulty at all. Even the stupid gunship... There was NEVER a time where I didn't need just one missile to shoot it down. It rarely hit me, it rarely did anything and I was able to down it in seconds... Made me furious, because I had to spend hours to make this thing work.
 

2 hours ago, Callsign said:

Because I stole some NVGs from some CSAT, I couldn't see the final cutscene

Yeah, heard that one as well. I had this happen to me only once and I could never reproduce this bug later, so I just ignored it and put it under "one-time only thing that will never happen again" ... naturally, after release it started happening to everyone.

Next update has the NVGs removed.
 

2 hours ago, Callsign said:

Overall this is a really great mini campaign and great feel. It might have been nice to have a third mission to have a beginning, middle and end, but completely understand the time limits/ scope of the project. I really hope you're going to do something as a DLC, I think you should seriously consider it. If I was giving an OFPEC review, I think this would be a solid 8/10.

Thanks! I started working on the 3rd mission, but couldn't make it in time + it suddenly didn't feel like a good ending anymore. I decided to make the gunship the final boss and end it with that, otherwise the "real" ending might not have been as impacting anymore.

 

If anyone cares, here is my schedule breakdown:

Day 1: Map
Day 2: Map / Mission 1 basics
Day 3: Mission 1 dialog / Mission 2 basics
Day 4: Mission 2 dialog / Implementing all dialog into the game
Day 5: Dialog polishing / Bugfixing / VO inquiry
Day 6: Bugfixing, playtesting, bugfixing, gameplay tweaks, polishing, bugfixing, god damnit, this godforsaken gunship is so buggy, etc.
Day 7: Dialog polishing, icons, ui, sfx, videos, etc. some quality of life improvements, project completion with a very close call.
Day 8 and ongoing: Waiting for VO 😞

 

All in all this was very stressful with about 6 hours of sleep per day and 1 hour of food + random tv show to relax. Still it was great fun because of the limitations you have to set for yourself. There is no time for much thinking, you just start working and push through. You also quickly end up with something that might be worth releasing, which is the biggest motivation booster (well, at least for me). Probably not going to do another 7 days challenge anytime soon, but I do feel inclined to try a "make a mission in one weekend"-thing, like I did back when Apex was released.

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Lexx,

 

I'm working hard to finish my latest mission, but as soon as I'm done with it, I'll be playing this campaign, it looks pretty cool. 

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So I'm getting flooded with "bigger map!!11" requests. 

 

Is this enough sand?

 

 


E3ZnPAa.png

 

P297jRT.png

(It's a rhetorical question.)
 

 

 

This is very wip - just a first test. No idea when I can release it.

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4 minutes ago, lexx said:

So I'm getting flooded with "bigger map!!11" requests. 

 

Is this enough sand?

  Hide contents

 


E3ZnPAa.png

 

P297jRT.png

(It's a rhetorical question.)
 

 

 

This is very wip - just a first test. No idea when I can release it.

 

 

It needs more sand. 😉

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Awesome stuff! 

I have this suck ass bug with the drone. When I send it to waypoint, all is well for a while, then the fucker just starts circling around and around to a degree where it can't even hold the locked target anymore. Anybody else have this bug? Btw it's unrelated to this mission, but figured I would try my luck anyways. 

Lexx, I dig this, refreshing with a completely new terrain. Would you consider using 3CB mods? Would be cool to drive around in Jackals or Landrovers☺️

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I can't get the UAV task to complete, what do I have  to do? I've read the comments on the Steam page, and it seems that a couple of other people are having the same issue.

 

So far I've tried twice, for a total of about 45 minutes of flying around, I cannot get that task to complete.

 

Spoiler

I found 3 different locations with CSAT units, I used the "T" key to mark them, what else do I have to do?

 

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You also have to mark the mobile patrol and a foot patrol near the primary camp. You'll see them in TI mode.

If anyone has a suggestion about how to make it more obvious, I'm all ears.

 

@jonstyle This is classic arma 3. Sadly there is nothing we can do about it. 😕

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17 hours ago, haleks said:

 

Use Link Shell Extension mate : http://schinagl.priv.at/nt/hardlinkshellext/linkshellextension.html

I used it to install Arma and its DLCs accross several drives.

Interesting... I was wondering if it would be possible (and then I´ll finally be able to use dbo_horses and Vidda, HL uprising and many other mods only available to SWS =D

 

Merci!

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very nice mission/map, need more like that, with same quality and fun!!!

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Really nice Lexx! Always excited when you put something new up on the workshop! 💪

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13 hours ago, lexx said:
  Reveal hidden contents

You also have to mark the mobile patrol and a foot patrol near the primary camp. You'll see them in TI mode.

If anyone has a suggestion about how to make it more obvious, I'm all ears.

 

 

 

First of all, I just finished the campaign, I really liked it, I wish it was longer. I'm thinking HALO jump in, meet locals to secure transportation...I could go on, and on, but I understand that this was only a 7 day project.  

 

The level of production, and polish of the campaign was very impressive considering you did it in 7 days. 

 

The only thing that seemed out of place, was the ending of part one, and part two. It seemed abrupt, and felt quite jarring. In fact, at first, I thought the game froze. Maybe a simple fade to black, with the "End of Part One" text on the black screen would have made for a  smoother transition.  A pretty minor nitpick admittedly.  

 

Overall, very well done. 

 

I commented, and rated the mission over on Steam for you. 

 

A suggestion for the UAV task.

 

Spoiler

For the UAV task, maybe put in the task description something like. There are 3 areas of interest, and be sure to keep an eye out for mobile patrols. Something like that in the task description would give the player a better idea of what he needs to find to complete the task. 

 

I think something like that would clear up some of the confusion.

 

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Updating the task description should help, I guess. I'll try to address this in the next patch. Not sure when it's ready though. Likely not today anymore, so I guess at latest next weekend.

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Awesome work as normal mate, little playthrough here. Thanks for the work!
 

 

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On 5/6/2019 at 1:52 AM, stburr91 said:

I can't get the UAV task to complete, what do I have  to do? I've read the comments on the Steam page, and it seems that a couple of other people are having the same issue.

 

So far I've tried twice, for a total of about 45 minutes of flying around, I cannot get that task to complete.

 

 

You may be too far up - try flying around 170 - 180m. If done correctly  when you identify the enemies by pressing T, the targets get called out ("There is one group / site / camp" etc.) and it will be marked on the map.

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14 hours ago, lukio said:

 

You may be too far up - try flying around 170 - 180m. If done correctly  when you identify the enemies by pressing T, the targets get called out ("There is one group / site / camp" etc.) and it will be marked on the map.

 

That may have been part of the problem, I was flying at about 200 meters. 

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I've increased the detection range with todays update. You need to manually detect the targets, just flying around won't do it. Also the range is not just in 2D space, but 3D - that's why flying too high means you can get out of range as well (now with the increased range that should be way less happen, though). In any case, if you are out of range, a dialog message triggers (with a ~15 seconds timeout). If no message gets triggered, it means something is blocking the view. Either the dust or something else, or it's just Arma being Arma.

 

Generally I'm a bit puzzled about how many players are reporting issues with that part. Personally I never get detected no matter what I do, I'm always hitting all targets, in fact, I'm done with this whole part in maybe less than 3 or 4 minutes at max. I honestly thought it would be waaaay too easy when working on it. That's why it never even occurred to me that this could be problematic for anyone.

 

Did multiple other tweaks and fixes as well. E.g. the missions shouldn't conflict with sound mods anymore, also the "search camp" task got a couple new triggers to make it more obvious that there is more to search.

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Posted (edited)

I'm not very interested in missions. 

 

Is there any chance of a standalone release of the map? It looks great! 

 

Edit: Actually played the first mission now and I think I should reconsider my attitude towards workshop SP missions. They can be very much worth it. 

Edited by the_one_and_only_Venator
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Nah. That just means I would have to support two addons with all future updates. The missions are small and easily ignored, imo.

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