Jump to content

Nicholas Bell

  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Medals

Everything posted by Nicholas Bell

  1. Razani Map Beta v.55 Razani is a 10 km x 10 km map based on an area in North Waziristan in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) of Pakistan. The area is currently controlled by the Taliban and has numerous Al-Qaeda training camps. Razani is on the main highway between North Warziristan's two largest towns - Miranshah and Razmak. Please read the enclosed README file for important information. Not just the usual legal stuff, but facts you will find useful. If you do not read the README, it will be obvious when you ask questions or make comments. Here are vital parts from it: Credits: Opteryx - for allowing the use and modification of his objects. In addition to the great assistance he gave by use of his objects, Opteryx has provided both inspiration and a challenge to me with his passion for detail and accuracy in his many outstanding maps. BIS - for use and modification of the Sample Model MLODs Requirements: This map addon includes razani.pbo and razmisc.pbo (Bisign and public key for both included) and requires the following additional addon to function fully: Desert2.pbo - from Queen's Gambit. You lose half the grass clutter, one rock type and one bush type if you don't have it. V0.55 Changes 1. New Sat Map colors 2. Couple of new compound clusters 3. Improved ability of AI to get in and out of qalats. 4. New wall and building objects. 5. Some walls will “destruct†rather than fall over. 6. Opteryx’s PBO’s no longer required. 7. Other miscellaneous items. This update is long in coming – almost 3 months and over 140 hours of work. Unfortunately not a lot to show for the effort. Much time was spent creating new structures and attempting to improve AI behavior using multiple and/or complex AI Pathways. These experiments not only failed, but created havoc with the program when there were even a few units on map. My follies found that AI Pathways are only sometimes used by individual soldiers, but never by units as a whole. The only way to get squads to move through openings is to make them 3-4 meters wide. Anything smaller than this will be ignored by the AI pathfinding routines. So now entrances to qalats are larger. You will no doubt still find plenty to get frustrated about regarding the AI pathfinding around the compounds. On the other hand, the AI can do some unexpected things. After numerous attempts to set and keep sentries in the towers, I gave up. However, during a mission I found myself being shot at by some damn Taliban in a tower – the AI had somehow managed to make the guy enter the door and climb the ladder on this own. Go figure… http://www.sendspace.com/file/s1ypj4 http://www.megaupload.com/?d=4L0ARVB8
  2. This is not as difficult or time-consuming as it might appear. First, you need a topographic map, at least 1:50,000 scale. Of course 1:24,000 or less is even better. You can find plenty on the internet. You can also purchase them in paper or digital versions. I've got a massive amount of topos available through my own collecting and because of my map making for HPS Simulations, so finding something interesting wasn't difficult for me. Starting with a fairly extensive urban area on my Bluefields, Nicaragua map has tempered my enthusiasm for such projects, so I've decided to select a more rural area dotted with small towns easy to replicate in Visitor, with mixed open terrain and scattered forest to keep up the frame rate while playing. The interest in the Cold War, coupled with the fact that I served in the US Army in 1980's in Germany makes it "no-brainer" for me to pick out a map from central Germany. The map: A scan of the map area I choose to depict: I scale the scanned image so each pixel equals one meter. This is a 5120 x 5120 map. Zoomed in you can see the contour lines - 20 meter base with 10 meter intermediate lines. Determine the high an low points on the map, and assign greyscale values to the contour lines to correspond. Since the elevations range from 410 to 490 meters, I use an RGP value of the elevation minus 400 to keep it simple (ie elevation 450 is assigned color value R:50 G:50 B:50). The max and min height in the PBL file define the actual in game elevations of course. I create a separate layer for each contour which makes finding and correcting mistakes easy. The areas enclosed in contour lines are filled with the same color.
  3. Nicholas Bell

    ASR AI Skills

    How do the modifications to accuracy and precision in this mod interact with the same settings in the player configuration? Are the effects cumulative, multiplicative, or does this mod override the configuration values? Thanks. I always appreciate the time and effort of modders like yourself.
  4. Nicholas Bell

    Razani, N. Waziristan Map

    I am not working on Razani at all because ARMA2 refuses to work on my system and there is no point IMO on completing it only for ARMA. So until BIS patches ARMA2 so it works or I get a new computer (neither seems likely in near future) this project is dead. Too bad, I had a lot of neat ideas for the rest of the map.
  5. Nicholas Bell

    Geforce 8800 GTS Users..

    I'm with you on this problem. Crashes within 5 minutes with my 8800 Ultra (768 MB). I've given up. Tried over a dozen drivers, all the tricks in the forums. Temp at 56 C. No overclocking the GPU. Have posted crash logs, etc at Developers Heaven, so I've done what I can. System: XPS 720, Intel Core2 Extreme processor QX6850 (3.00GHz Overclocked to 3.33GHz) w/QuadCore Technology, 8MB Cache, 4GB DDR2 SDRAM at 800MH, 768MB nVidia GeForce 8800 Ultra, 150BG SATA HD (10,000 RPM), 500GB SATA Hard Drive (7200 RPM), Dell UltraSharp Wide 22 ArmA runs great - usually use 7 km view range without a problem! Whole thing just makes me sick. What a waste of my time and money to this point. That will change if a patch fixes the problem. Not in the position to buy a new computer just to play ArmA2 at this point.
  6. Thanks Thales100, for taking the time to take and post those images. Looks terrific. Will keep my fingers crossed that 1.03 gets me up and running :)
  7. Since I can't get ArmA2 to run more than a few minutes before I get a BSOD or CDT, has anyone checked to see how my Schmalfelden and Razani maps look & work in ArmA2? Thanks!
  8. Nicholas Bell

    How Satisfied with Arma2 Are you??

    For the few minutes I can play it before a BSOD or CTD, it's great. Waiting for the patch...
  9. Nicholas Bell

    NVIDIA video card(s) owners read here!

    Anyone have success with their "old" 8800 Ultra? Was using 174.74 nicely for ArmA. I've been trying many newer versions now without much to say for all the effort. I'm not complaining about frame rates as much, which run anywhere from 20-60 "depending", but rather about graphic artifacts, textures not appearing (light blue bushes especially) no matter how long I wait, and eventually black screen lockup (reboot required). Dell XPS 720 Intel Core2 Extreme processor QX6850 (OC 3.33GHz) 4GB DDR2 SDRAM at 800MH 768MB nVidia GeForce 8800 Ultra (driver du jour) 150MB Raptor SATA HD (10,000 RPM), 500GB SATA Hard Drive (7200 RPM), Dell UltraSharp Wide 22" Win XP Media (32bit) I now I'm showing my age, but I remember great it was to jump from a 386SX to a 486DX playing Dynamix Red Baron. Was like "glass". We were more tolerant back then (almost 20 years now) regarding frame rates. Enjoyed many flight sims at what must have been 10-15 FPS. Today people would be screaming bloody murder, but back then that was "smooth" - well, choppy actually. But the "chop" was consistent which made them playable. In fact after a while one didn't notice. Now if I could get ArmA2 to run a *steady* 20 FPS I would be happy :)
  10. Naval Warfare Simulations (NWS) Online store has the 505 version available. They are located in Florida. They ship promptly. $44.98 including 1st class postage - took 3 days to arrive in Pennsylvania. I'm no shill - just a happy repeat customer. http://yhst-12000246778232.stores.yahoo.net/armaii.html
  11. Nicholas Bell

    Island Panthera v1.0

    Congratulations on the release of your map, IceBreakr. Very nice, and you sure completed it in record time. You must have been working day and night! Good job lowering the elevations to create the rivers. And now you have a map that suites your needs :)
  12. Nicholas Bell

    Razani, N. Waziristan Map

    Welcome back, Mr Cash2009 :) Always enjoy your landscape photography. I think the new sat map colors add much to the environment. Don't have ArmA2 yet so I can't personally speak for how it will run on that, but hopefully in a week or so I will find out.
  13. Nicholas Bell

    Razani, N. Waziristan Map

    v 0.55 update on first page.
  14. Nicholas Bell

    Cold War Rearmed - Island Pack

    Thanks for your time and effort to break these out for us :)
  15. Nicholas Bell

    Indiana Farmland

    Coming along nicely. A couple of things I suggest: 1. Fix the road intersection by using the proper road terminations. 2. Use the road smoothing script on all roads, including gravel roads. 3. Decrease the height of your clutter. 4. The sand color texture contrasts too much. Edit the color to blend in more with the farmland. Decrease brightness and saturation. 5. The sand texture mask needs to be adjusted as it is only on one side of the road, while it should be on both to create road shoulders.. 6. While the fences may be accurate, the AI simply cannot handle path-finding with extended object barriers, and they won't jump over. You need to have multiple gaps in the fence 3-4 meters wide for the AI pathfinding routine to use it. Anything narrower will be ignored.
  16. Nicholas Bell

    Schmalfelden, Germany Map

    I am not making any decisions on future modifications to this map until ArmA2 is released, and the tools necessary to make it compatible with it (if necessary). From what I have seen the ArmA2 map contains a lot of terrain similar to Schmalfelden, and I suspect my map will fall into disuse (for reasons like small size and lack of A/F). The changes you are asking for are not difficult, but would still require more than 6 hours of my limited time, time I feel is best used for other maps I am working on. I suggest you petition the makers of whichever sound mod you are using to provide options or control over the ambient sound effects, as Schmalfelden is not the only map where this is a problem. If I do decide to update the map, I will seek input at that time.
  17. Images provided by MrCash2009 - Thank You! From the Readme: Schmalfelden, Germany Map Requirements: ArmA 1.08 or higher. No QG required. Acknowledgements: I could not have created this without the shared wisdom, help and encouragement from people like Opteryx, Planck, Linker Split, Phaeden, Edge, Allie and many other good souls in the BIS Map Editing Forum. Legal: Permission is granted for personal, military or educational use with Armed Assault or VBS2. Any commercial use is strictly forbidden by BIS end user license agreement. Permission is granted to distribute this software as long as it is 100% free of charge and this readme file is distributed with it. I assume no responsibility for any damages this program may cause - use at your own risk. If your video card overheats or your computer blows up you're on your own. Installation: Place the Schmalfelden.pbo file in your Arma/Addons folder. Schmalfelden is a map based on actual terrain in Germany, created using a military 1:50,000 scale topographic map and a Google Earth image of the area. I selected this area for recreating realistic engagements in a European environment which might typically described as "good tank country", terrain which Soviet Forces would have sought to exploit with their tank and mechanized infantry forces had the Cold War ever gone "hot". Another reason I selected this area was because unlike most of Germany, the farming communities in this area are very small - most towns usually are at least a square kilometer or two. Hopefully the small size of the built up areas will help the ArmA AI. Although the ground may appear to be flat (especially from the air) there are actually differences in elevation across the area of 50 meters. Making use of the valleys and draws are critical in your tactical maneuvering. The map is also well suited for use in WW2 European scenarios. I also find quite a bit of fun to ride around on a motorcycle and explore the roads and trails and take in the sights from odd corners of the map. Flying NOE in a helicopter is also entertaining in itself. Known Issues: 1. These maps have a high object density and require a good system for high FPS. How many objects are in the players line of sight is the main factor impacting frame rate. Obvious solutions to help improve FPS are reducing the Visibility Range and other Graphics options, increasing the fog in your mission setup (not unrealistic for Germany) or fighting at night. A less obvious help is setting up missions so the players primary direction of focus is toward the center of the map where there are fewer forests. Keeping the forests on the west and northwest side at your back as much as possible is a good idea. 2. This is a 5120 meter x 5120 meter map, not an island - no water around it. Apart from the small size some may not be happy with, this introduces oddities on the right and lower edge of the playing area, where the overlap of satellite image segments overlaps the actual image. In effect you lose proper terrain image for some 250 meters on the right and bottom edge. Not particularly noticeable on foot, but definitely noticeable when flying. I use these areas as setup areas for AI controlled forces to enter the scenario. Additionally, the ArmA program uses the lower left satellite image segment to cover the area outside of the map playing area. 3. No airfield. 4. The ArmA restriction of 4 textures per map segment (I have 7 total textures on the map) has required some texture fudging where there are too many texture types in close proximity. Therefore you will find some forest floors with grass instead of leaves and ferns. There are also some areas where there is light colored grass instead of preferred darker green grass. Within the constraints of the game engine, I have attempted to make this map as realistic as possible. Here are some exceptions and other comments: 1. Buildings. ArmA buildings are in general smaller than the real world buildings. I've done the best I could to determine the general type of structures, and the close clutter of the structures is realistic. For those not familiar with Germany, barns and other "out buildings" are usually all "in town" right next to the owners house - sometimes attached. Animals, manure piles and associated odors too! The hangar buildings represent the common pre-engineered steel "barns" which are quite evident in the Google image. The church in Schmalfelden is much larger than the actual church which I found a photo of, but it is more correct in architecture. An Eastern or Spanish style just didn't look right although the size would be more accurate. I've used some artistic license in Schmalfelden and Speckheim to make them a bit more interesting. 2. Vegetation. The forests in the area contain what might be called "lumber nurseries" where trees are harvested for lumber and the area then replanted with trees in dense rows. Different species of trees and areas with different age trees are evident in the Google image. While possible to recreate the dress-right-dress" rows of trees, doing so adds even more tree objects than are already on the map. I opted for a random placement which restricts line of sight without using as many tree objects. Tree and bush placement outside the forests is generally accurate because of the high resolution Google image used. You'll see single trees standing in the middle of a wheat fields. They are there because they are really there. 3. Roads Most German farm field paths and many forest trails are actually paved with light duty asphalt. I thought it a bit "much" to do all the roads in asphalt and have down-graded many of these to gravel or dirt tracks. 4. Interesting Note The quarry is know for it's excellent plesiosaur fossils. The area also has a lot of caves. I request a little slack from German Armed Assault players <g>. I know someone out there knows the area or even lives there, and while I am certainly open to criticism and correction, please remember I'm using maps, aerial images, and a few images off the net to construct the map. Plus faded 20+ year old memories when I drove through the area once after visiting Rotenburg which is east of the map area. (I lived in Thuengersheim, north of Wuerzburg 1985-88 while serving in the US Army.) In any case, please do not be insulted by my failings or errors. I would appreciate reports of errors on the map if you can provide coordinates or some description of the location. Contact me on the BIS ArmA Forums (member name Nicholas Bell). Enjoy! Nick Bell April 2008 V.81 27 April 2008 1. Desaturated greens on satellite map and eliminated some of the whitest farm fields. I believe these white fields are ripe oats. The tan/brown fields are wheat. 2. Toned down the brightness of the quarry and the gravel pit. 3. Decreased the number of trees by 25,000 in the 2 woods in the center of the map and large portions (but not all) of the forests in the northwest corner. I have experienced improved frame rate. I plan to continue to thin out the forests. 4. Modifications to road network. 5. Cleaned up some road intersections. I am aware of others than need work. 6. Added road reflector posts on some of the roads. Unfortunately they are backwards from the actual German posts. Not much I can do about this. 7. Corrected building heights which where above or below grade (ie "floating" or "sunk") Plus other miscellaneous corrections and improvements. V.82 4 May 2008 1. Further improvements on satellite map. 2. Eliminated another 30,000 trees. Frame rate continues to improve. 3. Fixed several more ugly intersections. 4. Objects added: Additional road reflector posts, road signs, street lights in 2 towns so far, miscellaneous objects. 5. More building height problems addressed. 6. Longitude/Latitude changed to make it compatible with BAS f (this change is not included in the readme file but the change is the PBO). v.90 16 May 2008 1. Reduction of tree quantity in all forests now complete - a major task. Frame rates should show improvement. 2. Added additional fields with hay rolls. 3. Added brush to numerous locations along roads, lanes, and between fields. This consists of krovi_long bush type sunk 1.5 meters below the surface. When used in combination with Durg's Vegetation Fix, these low bushes provide concealment when the player is prone. 4. Eliminated incorrectly located road reflector posts in towns and farm roads. 5. Further improvments in roads and intersections. The road smoothing script doesn't seem to be going the best job for some reason, and many roads remain somewhat bumpy. 6. More improvements in the satellite image, toning down the bright fields. 7. I continue to find floating or sunk buildings which I am fixing. Some I swear I have already addressed. Either my memory is bonkers (probable) or Visitor has gremlins (possible). 8. Odds and ends you probably won't notice. v.91 20 May 2008 Minor Update 1. Ladders and doors now work. Thanks to Fitzee on the BIS forums for his help solving my problems with this. 2. Fixed a mask conflict at the quarry entrance. v.94 5 June 2008 (Plain Version - looks like previous versions) 1. Satellite image improvements. 2. Continued work correcting minor problems. v.94HV 5 June 2008 (Heavy Vegetation Version) 1 & 2 As above. 3. Edge growth added to forests. Expect lower frame rates. Great for ambushing the opponent. v.94XHV 5 June 2008 (Extra Heavy Vegetation Version) 1-3. As above 4. Because the edge growth creates a "hollow forest", this version adds a "minimal" amount of vegetation to forest interiors to break up line of sight. Expect lower frame rates. I have experienced some extremely "exciting" engagements in forests with this version, but you will probably have to crank down your visibility range and visual options to get decent FPS. Of course, if the mission is contained to forest areas you really don't need to have the visibility range set high. And if it causes too much lag, drop back and use either the "plain" version or the "Heavy Vegetation" version. V1.0 Hundreds of minor fixes and improvements to object placement, satellite image and terrain mask. Major noticeable changes: 1. Terrain speed modifiers fixed so vehicles will not speed across farm fields. 2. Satellite map resegmented from 512 pixels squares to 256 pixels squares. This increases the playing area of the map on the east and south edge. It also allows for improvement in terrain mask. For example, there are areas the true meadow terrain now. 3. All versions can be placed in your addon folders and appear as seperate maps in the editor. 4. Signature keys included with each PBO. 5. Time to complete: 19 January 2008 to 27 June 2008. Approximately 340 hours. Versions: Schmalfelden V1.0- no undergrowth at forest edge or inside forests. Provides the best FPS. (Note there is no "a" version as there was no problem with this file) http://www.sendspace.com/file/xwvbf0 http://mihd.net/yqtp2u9 http://www.mediafire.com/?gtucb3ri42g SchmalfeldenHV (Heavy Vegetation) V1.0a- Undergrowth at forest edges provides excellent concealment. Expect lower FPS. Version 1.0a fixes internal references, eliminating the "snow" terrain (no satellite image) problems. http://mihd.net/6svnbzq http://www.sendspace.com/file/ab22cj SchmalfeldenXHV (Extra Heavy Vegetation) V1.1 - Undergrowth at forest edge and inside forests. Count on low FPS unless you decrease your settings. Version 1.0a fixes internal references, eliminating the "snow" terrain (no satellite image) problems. Version 1.1 Eliminates misplaced stray buildings sitting in the middle of farm fields. http://mihd.net/z5rcefu http://www.sendspace.com/file/1p15s0 Source files for use in Visitor 3. Please checkout the readme file included. Modify the map to make it the best for you! Aspirin not included - see you in the Map Editing (Visitor) forum. http://www.sendspace.com/file/ajnv6m (209 MB) Please download and enjoy MrCash2009's outstanding collection of 50 Schmalfelden landscape shots. Makes a great slideshow screensaver or wallpaper. MrCash2009 authorizes mirroring and use of his images. http://mihd.net/rg37zci I've created a planning map from Visitor which is more detailed than the map you get in the ArmA editor. http://www.mediafire.com/?gkii4nmbjtz Here is a small sample, reduced in resolution. Contour lines are at 1 meter intervals. Thanks to all the site mirroring these files. I know I appreciate all the work and expense that goes into hosting and maintaining the sites and files.
  18. Nicholas Bell

    Razani, N. Waziristan Map

    Thanks for the pointers, Gents. I since I purchased Crazybump, I ah, went crazy with the normal maps and no doubt screwed the pooch on some of the rvmats. And sections, man have I got sections...how'd they get there???..hah! Back to work.....
  19. Nicholas Bell

    Razani, N. Waziristan Map

    There is no map update at this time - just information where I am in response to inquiries. I am stuck. In final testing with squad on squad action the lag around both the old and the new compounds is horrific. It is not noticeable with just a friendly squad following me around. It's as if when the program has to start processing actions required in a firefight, it no longer can handle the load. The hard drive runs constantly at this time, although there are no visible slow loading LODs or textures. It is apparently not a graphics problem - turned everything down and decreasing the view distance does not help at all. Retesting the squad on squad action with all the buildings and walls removed results in very smooth action. So it appears that there is something in Opteryx's and/or my objects which is gumming up the program - at least with the map in it's current condition. (Note I also tested some demanding missions on my Schmaldfelden XHV just to make sure it wasn't just my computer crapping out on me and there was no problem). So I need to do some serious fault isolation procedures to determine what object(s) are the culprit. This will unfortunately take even more time. On the positive side, in the last 2 months I've logged over 100 hours of work on creating new objects and textures, improved the configuration file, improved the ability of the AI to navigate in and out of the qalats (wider openings and AI pathways), improved the sat map and of course added the offending buildings and walls. Here are images of the blighters.
  20. Nicholas Bell

    AI and roads

    True. You lose the sat map around the edges of the map. This lost area appears to be 1/2 the size of your segment. So if you are using a 512 pixel segment you lost about 256 pixels. Must admit I've never seen the problem with the colors like that though....:confused: Remember Visitor uses the lower left hand segment to create the endless border around the map. This will get rid of the alternating striped areas around the edge. You need to create the paa file by hand and put it in your layers folder before you binarize the map. If you want to get rid of edge problem there are 2 solutions, neither which is easy. 1. Change your heightmap and push your coastline farther away from the edge of the map. Of course this will force you to rework the sat map around the shore and relocate any objects. 2. Place your island on a larger map. Create a new 10,240 map (10 meter cells, 40x40 texture size). Use the Change Canvas size tool of your graphics editor to make the height map, mask and satellite image 10,240x10,240 and import.
  21. In my struggle to create convex objects in irregular shaped objects like rocks, I noticed that the BIS rock MLODs shadow LOD's often are neither closed nor convex. Per the Wiki they have to be. How can this be? I get all kinds of problems with the objects I make if the shadow LODs are not convex. Also, how important is actually bothering with creating the shadow LOD's, fire and view LODs if in fact the system falls back to resolution or geometry LOD if these are not present? (per the Wiki). What impact does having or not having these LODs have? Does it slow the game down or speed it up? And finally, what is the real definition of "convex" in modeling terms. I know what it means in layman's terms, but it has to be a bit more complicated other wise I won't be having such difficulties. A definition describing the necessary relationships & positions of vectors and/or faces with each other in an object might clear it up for me. Thanks!
  22. Nicholas Bell

    Sap Everon 2.0

    Very nice! Thematically tight. Excellent attention to detail. Nothing sticks out as being out of place. Too pleasant a place to fight a war :)
  23. Nicholas Bell

    Trouble with grass. Ensk Island.

    Hard to tell from the images, but it looks to be a problem with the mask_lco, your texture files or layers.cfg. Could you post (or provide download link to) these so we can look at them? Sorry I can not be of more help at this point.
  24. Nicholas Bell

    Ship Movement bug on user made maps

    Thanks for the insight, Synide. Unfortunately this really puts a damper on several of the islands I am working on. Better to know now, though. I had no idea BIS wasn't providing us the latest tools.
  25. Nicholas Bell

    problem with natural objects

    Had this problem when making Schmalfelden - even when binarizing. Manually deleting the temp folder used by BinPBO and all the files in the data/layer folder did the trick. Not sure why BinPBO "Clear Temp Folder" didn't work.