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Dynamic Campaign Discussion Thread


winchesterdelta1
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After thinking a bit more about this, I think the only way a DC will exist in DCS is after a long time. Making a DC for the first product (Black Shark) would be a massive undertaking which would probably not be profitable: it's not of use for the military clients, and it's not cost-effective for the entertainment market.

 

It might become cost-effective if they work their way towards a DC through smaller steps: Black Shark has stand-alone missions only, A-10 has dynamic mission generation, etc. But it's not guaranteed: whenever they decide to do a DC (if they decide that), it will still be a considerable undertaking which is costly in terms of person*hours and might not have sufficient return as increased sales.

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I agree.. I don't think we'll ever see a dynamic campaign with static targets and objects that pass on to the next mission etc. Their real area of expertise seems to be in the pit and flight models. That is a good thing.

 

The development of a dedicated server with tools for the owner to add flights, and tanks and objects on the fly would probably cure this impossibility. An online dynamic scripted long term dedicated server would be fantastic.

 

Think of it this way. One night I start the server. Set the mission parameters, set certain flights to repeat for so long like cap, sead etc. Only set it to repeat for 24hrs. I come in the next day see that 50% of the missions were shot down, t hen that means I can only really set up 50% of the caps or less the next day. I can set up missions for trains to be rolling in reinforcements from the North, or ship bound reinforcements from the south. Set up waypoints and different scenarios. Come back the next day see how it progressed. See if certain objectives were held or not.

 

This control gives it a dynamic feel for online players...

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  • 2 months later...

This sim is awesome, but.....

 

This sim is awesome, but its missing dynamic battlefield.

 

I think that ED should hire this guy, real prodigy, pure genius or at least negotiate with him.

 

http://www.cleared-to-engage.com/2011/03/12/interview-with-kevin-klemmick-lead-software-engineer-for-falcon-4-0/

 

DCS needs this talent really badly , with contemporary computing power (multicores) he could help to create something that everyone ever dreamed of. I am sure he would pick up this glove.

 

I am tired of playing the same missions and campaigns over and over again.

 

I know we have ME but this could change everything.

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I have read that before. Interesting interview for sure.

 

I don't think it is as simple as just "hiring" him, though. He probably already has a full time job, and as he said in the interview, he has no interest in flight simulators personally.

"When once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return." - Leonardo da Vinci

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I am tired of playing the same missions and campaigns over and over again.....

 

What about the DMG?

Novice or Veteran looking for an alternative MP career?

Click me to commence your Journey of Pillage and Plunder!

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This sim is awesome, but its missing dynamic battlefield.

 

I think that ED should hire this guy, real prodigy, pure genius or at least negotiate with him.

 

http://www.cleared-to-engage.com/2011/03/12/interview-with-kevin-klemmick-lead-software-engineer-for-falcon-4-0/

 

DCS needs this talent really badly , with contemporary computing power (multicores) he could help to create something that everyone ever dreamed of. I am sure he would pick up this glove.

 

I am tired of playing the same missions and campaigns over and over again.

 

I know we have ME but this could change everything.

 

DCS AI is improving, but not quite good enough to work right in a DC, IMO.

 

I'd fly A-10C at least twice as much if there was DC. It would be a vastly better game.

 

Personally, I'm getting really bored of just killing static units or units driving from A to B. I need some real CAS, or some feeling that my activities are actually making a difference in the bigger picture.

 

I'm working on some scripts that won't give you a DC, but should allow much more interactivity with the mission, and make it easier to build highly interactive missions to keep the fun factor alive.

 

It is actually possible to create a DC, but it would be a lot of work! What you'd probably need is a vast mod to A-10 that replaced the A-10C UI with new UI .exe that included a real-time map display similar to Falcon 4. When you hit "fly", then it would create a .miz based off current battlefield conditions. Data could be harvested real-time from the mission to fed back into the DC UI.

 

The good news with this approach is that actually, DCS AI may be sufficient for a DC. When you are not in the 3D world, events in the dynamic campaign would be entirely decided by dynamic campaign engine, and NOT by DCS AI.

 

If I didn't have to work, I might even start a dynamic campaign community building project myself. But as it is, chatIOlib, scripting guides and mission building is about all I can handle.

 

So a dynamic campaign is possible, but it would probably take a little cooperation from ED, and a dedicated group of community developers.

 

A pseudo-persistent world type "dynamic campaign", similar to a Falcon 4 "Tactical Engagement", actually might be achievable in a reasonable time frame however. If someone got THAT working, then it could spark enough people's creative juices to perhaps get a full DC implemented.

 

The random mission generator is a step in the right direction, but it just doesn't generate long enough, realistic enough, or polished enough missions for it to be that useful.


Edited by Speed

Intelligent discourse can only begin with the honest admission of your own fallibility.

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I'd fly A-10C at least twice as much if there was DC. It would be a vastly better game.

 

I'd buy DCS: Warthog if it had a DC! (don't get me wrong, I'm not bashing the product; I simply don't have much extra money so I give very careful consideration to the games I buy)

 

That auxiliary .exe program is also how I'd see a DC most easily implemented, and I think that's how Falcon 4 worked (as opposed for example to EECH where you can jump into a cockpit instantly).

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It is actually possible to create a DC, but it would be a lot of work! What you'd probably need is a vast mod to A-10 that replaced the A-10C UI with new UI .exe that included a real-time map display similar to Falcon 4. When you hit "fly", then it would create a .miz based off current battlefield conditions. Data could be harvested real-time from the mission to fed back into the DC UI.

 

The good news with this approach is that actually, DCS AI may be sufficient for a DC. When you are not in the 3D world, events in the dynamic campaign would be entirely decided by dynamic campaign engine, and NOT by DCS AI.

 

If I didn't have to work, I might even start a dynamic campaign community building project myself. But as it is, chatIOlib, scripting guides and mission building is about all I can handle.

 

So a dynamic campaign is possible, but it would probably take a little cooperation from ED, and a dedicated group of community developers.

 

A pseudo-persistent world type "dynamic campaign", similar to a Falcon 4 "Tactical Engagement", actually might be achievable in a reasonable time frame however. If someone got THAT working, then it could spark enough people's creative juices to perhaps get a full DC implemented.

Using a combination of mission debriefing data and lua export data from the previous mission and mission triggers in the new mission (to do things like blow up bridges or structures at mission start), I think it would be quite feasible to design a kind of linked mission generator that would generate a new mission based on the ending world-state of the previous mission.
Edited by EvilBivol-1

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Using a combination of mission debriefing data and lua export data from the previous mission and mission triggers in the new mission (to do things like blow up bridges or structures at mission start), I think it would be quite feasible to design a kind of linked mission generator that would generate a new mission based on the ending world-state of the previous mission.

 

Yes, that would already be pretty decent.

 

One thing I love about EECH is that while I'm on a mission, the world is evolving. I can take one hour to go on a recon mission, and when I'm back that all-important airfield has been taken by the enemy. That would be even better.

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I started a dynamicscampaign project. The parts needed are:

 

* mission generator

* mission result assessment

* campaign database.

 

Of these I pretty much completed the mission result assessment part. This was adapted as the 104th's pilot statistics system - since I don't personally care much for pilot statistics (this is visible at http://stallturn.com/104th/).

 

I started working on mission generation. The ability to read and write the mission format produced an intermediate project called lottu (http://stallturn.com/wiki/en/lottu) for modifying the mission file within a track recording. The mission generation work was not complete.

 

I hadn't started the campaign database but this is the most straightforward part (although still a substantial body of work). You can build a database based on the published Order of Battle for any scenario period.

 

My dynamic campaign system has been on hold for a while as I improve the pilot stats system (there have been a lot of little things, and 'edge cases' with the logs themselves) and also have switched to mucking around with rendering an F-16 cockpit in an external program for a little bit.

 

Unfortunately A-10C patch 1.1.0.8 breaks live statistics. Changes were made to support events (kills, crashes etc) as triggers and this has broken the debrief.log in several ways:

* the debrief log is not written until a mission ends. It is a pain to wait 8 hours 'till a mission ends before processing stuff. Worse, if the game crashes before the log is written you get no log :(

 

* the debrief log format has changed. Unfortunately events are not described by a single line anymore so handling events requires keeping more 'state' during parsing. This is not insurmountable, but is a PITA. Log entries should be one to a line and ideally contain everything needed to parse the event (it sucks linking fired, hit, dead events - all events should cover: who (callsigns for players!), what, where, when how).

 

* the default debrief log format misses a lot of information. For example, callsigns are not logged for each event. To get around this custom scripts were written that place this information in the log. Unfortunately insertion of these custom messages does not appear to be working.

 

Worse, the breakage of the debrief log seems to be a result of adding events for mission triggers. However, this breakage could have been completely avoided through the use of a simple extra in-memory log table (at the cost of about 200 kB per mission, that is, a trivial amount) and have each event log to both the debrief log (as was done previously) and to the new event table (used for triggering).

 

So, not only are pilot stats broken since patch 1.1.0.8 it seems that a 3rd-party (eg. me) dynamic campaign is out until this is resolved in some way. Unfortunately LockOn and DCS have a bit of a history of arbitrary changes that break the behaviour that third parties rely on. Which is why many people build stuff which is then not maintained (changes break it and people don't fix it), and makes it hard for people to invest a year of weekends (required for such a large project) when ED can break the interfaces without any notification and for seemingly small changes (where the breakage could easily be avoided).

 

Apologies for the rant, it is just worth saying what happens for anyone contemplating a large 3rd-party project. It is a real shame IMHO.

 

Edit: Just seen EvilBivol-1's post. This is exactly what I was developing, however AFAICS A-10C patch 1.1.0.8 break this goal.


Edited by Moa
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..

 

Whoa cool! Someone started on it. But as you say, the problem is that every patch, they break or change something. That sucks about debrief.log.

 

However, lets say that someone DOES come out with a dynamic campaign system, or a persistant world system. I would guess that a very, very large percentage of folks would start using this system, and I don't think ED would have much of a choice but to make sure their patches didn't totally break it, or if they did, give the creators some kind of heads-up.

 

Anyway, the _G table for the game runtime grew drastically in 1.1.0.8 (so much so that I had to make a new dump _G mission because the old one just locked up): it's like 180,000 lines now. Among those nearly 180,000 lines, I found this potential gold mine:

  ["debriefing"] = {
     ["setVisibleChangeCallback"] = "function: 000000002A01DD60, defined in (135-137)./Scripts/UI/debriefing.lua";
     ["createFilterFunc"] = "function: 000000002A01F710, defined in (492-501)./Scripts/UI/debriefing.lua";
     ["setTableRows"] = "function: 000000002A01F670, defined in (485-489)./Scripts/UI/debriefing.lua";
     ["getCoalitionTextColor"] = "function: 000000002A01F580, defined in (450-458)./Scripts/UI/debriefing.lua";
     ["setPlayerUnit"] = "function: 000000002A01E930, defined in (307-324)./Scripts/UI/debriefing.lua";
     ["setupSimpleFilter"] = "function: 000000002A01F300, defined in (371-378)./Scripts/UI/debriefing.lua";
     ["extractMissionData"] = "function: 000000002A01E5D0, defined in (261-266)./Scripts/UI/debriefing.lua";
     ["linkControls"] = "function: 000000002A01F270, defined in (326-368)./Scripts/UI/debriefing.lua";
     ["_PACKAGE"] = "";
     ["setCellValue"] = "function: 000000002A01F440, defined in (406-428)./Scripts/UI/debriefing.lua";
     ["updateLossesControls"] = "function: 000000002A020E30, defined in (671-686)./Scripts/UI/debriefing.lua";
     ["updateScores"] = "function: 000000002A01E760, defined in (281-294)./Scripts/UI/debriefing.lua";
     ["formatTime"] = "function: 000000002A01F4E0, defined in (431-443)./Scripts/UI/debriefing.lua";
     ["updateDeadUnits"] = "function: 000000002A020FF0, defined in (708-718)./Scripts/UI/debriefing.lua";
     ["setDBUnitsByType"] = "function: 000000002A01DE00, defined in (139-141)./Scripts/UI/debriefing.lua";
     ["addComboItem"] = "function: 000000002A01F800, defined in (510-534)./Scripts/UI/debriefing.lua";
     ["extractUnitsData"] = "function: 0000000029CD4780, defined in (210-259)./Scripts/UI/debriefing.lua";
     ["addDictComboValue"] = "function: 000000002A01FA80, defined in (582-593)./Scripts/UI/debriefing.lua";
     ["composeDateString"] = "function: 000000002A01F530, defined in (445-448)./Scripts/UI/debriefing.lua";
     ["updateMissionData"] = "function: 000000002A01E3F0, defined in (172-186)./Scripts/UI/debriefing.lua";
     ["getSideName"] = "function: 000000002A01E710, defined in (275-279)./Scripts/UI/debriefing.lua";
     ["showMissionResults"] = "function: 000000002A01DD10, defined in (130-133)./Scripts/UI/debriefing.lua";
     ["updateLosses"] = "function: 000000002A020CB0, defined in (650-669)./Scripts/UI/debriefing.lua";
     ["resetAll"] = "function: 000000002A0210E0, defined in (737-756)./Scripts/UI/debriefing.lua";
     ["refilterTable"] = "function: 000000002A01F760, defined in (503-506)./Scripts/UI/debriefing.lua";
     ["_M"] = {}; -- __unnamed__["debriefing"] (self reference)
     ["filterField"] = "function: 000000002A01F3A0, defined in (381-395)./Scripts/UI/debriefing.lua";
     ["destroy"] = "function: 000000002A01DEA0, defined in (143-146)./Scripts/UI/debriefing.lua";
     ["addEvent"] = "function: 000000002A021240, defined in (762-791)./Scripts/UI/debriefing.lua";
     ["isVisible"] = "function: 000000002A0211F0, defined in (758-760)./Scripts/UI/debriefing.lua";
     ["clearEvents"] = "function: 000000002A014890, defined in (720-735)./Scripts/UI/debriefing.lua";
     ["updateMissionDataControls"] = "function: 000000002A020F60, defined in (693-706)./Scripts/UI/debriefing.lua";
     ["copyTable"] = "function: 000000002A020C60, defined in (633-648)./Scripts/UI/debriefing.lua";
     ["create"] = "function: 000000002A01BB00, defined in (91-128)./Scripts/UI/debriefing.lua";
     ["getUnitDisplayName"] = "function: 000000002A01F940, defined in (551-570)./Scripts/UI/debriefing.lua";
     ["show"] = "function: 000000002A01E3A0, defined in (163-170)./Scripts/UI/debriefing.lua";
     ["updateMissionResults"] = "function: 000000002A020EC0, defined in (688-691)./Scripts/UI/debriefing.lua";
     ["_NAME"] = "debriefing";
     ["isShotInvisible"] = "function: 000000002A01FAD0, defined in (599-608)./Scripts/UI/debriefing.lua";
     ["updateSecondToDie"] = "function: 000000002A01F3F0, defined in (397-402)./Scripts/UI/debriefing.lua";
     ["addAddUnitNameComboValue"] = "function: 000000002A01F9E0, defined in (572-580)./Scripts/UI/debriefing.lua";
     ["_"] = "function: 000000002A00D260, defined in (207-222)./MissionEditor/modules/i18n.lua";
     ["getCountryName"] = "function: 000000002A01E6C0, defined in (268-272)./Scripts/UI/debriefing.lua";
  };

 

Gonna start testing them this evening. Furthermore, the good news is that it claims all those functions are defined in Lua, so it looks like we will be able to directly see the source code form them. Maybe even modify it. But as you say, who knows what they will break/change, next patch :(


Edited by Speed

Intelligent discourse can only begin with the honest admission of your own fallibility.

Member of the Virtual Tactical Air Group: http://vtacticalairgroup.com/

Lua scripts and mods:

MIssion Scripting Tools (Mist): http://forums.eagle.ru/showthread.php?t=98616

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Now includes remote server administration tools for kicking, banning, loading missions, etc.

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If you guys do something based on these tables, perhaps you could provide a sanity test that the devs could run to make sure they didn't break anything, or at least to be able to inform you that there are some changes.

 

At minimum perhaps one of the testers can do it. The mission it will run against should be as minimal as possible.

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Great idea GG, a 'regression test'. However, such a test shouldn't put the devs in a 'straight-jacket' in any way.

 

That is why I was keen to work with the debrief.log as this is an external file that could (and ought to) be independent of the internal changes within the engine.

 

The ED devs would be free to do whatever was needed to get things done internally, and the external (file) interface would stay the same.

 

This stability is important for the longevity of 3rd party software (or on my case, important as it takes me a long while to build stuff based only on using free evenings and weekends).

 

Using the __G (globals?) table is a last resort for me, as it is very likely to change rapidly (as it should, since it is an internal structure). It is nice to know it exists though.

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YESSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

I struck gold, but I had to use a debug function, debug.getupvalue. Is that bad? Anyway,

 

tempname, events = debug.getupvalue(debriefing.clearEvents, 1)

 

and now "events" will be a table that has all your events from your mission.

 

Is there a dancing emoticon around here?:bounce: Close enough.

 

Anyway, one should be able to integrate this into an "avoid collateral damage" script, an friendly fire script, a script that detects when a aircraft or a ground unit fires something specific or anything at all, a script that detects when you destroy a specific static map object... and actually the two things I want to use this for first are none of these. I need it to count bombs dropped by an AI aircraft that the player is giving multiplayer chat message targetting instructions to (so the script knows when to tell the player "negative, we are Dakota/Winchester"), and I also need it to harvest multiplayer client unit ids for a line of sight script.


Edited by Speed

Intelligent discourse can only begin with the honest admission of your own fallibility.

Member of the Virtual Tactical Air Group: http://vtacticalairgroup.com/

Lua scripts and mods:

MIssion Scripting Tools (Mist): http://forums.eagle.ru/showthread.php?t=98616

Slmod version 7.0 for DCS: World: http://forums.eagle.ru/showthread.php?t=80979

Now includes remote server administration tools for kicking, banning, loading missions, etc.

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I can confirm now, this works in both single and multiplayer. :) You never know. I had to check.

 

Moa, keep in mind, this was from a dump of _G seen by a Lua script in a unit's triggered action, not the same global environment as where the net functions exist, for example. I donno how many other environments the debrief functions are inherited into.


Edited by Speed

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Lua scripts and mods:

MIssion Scripting Tools (Mist): http://forums.eagle.ru/showthread.php?t=98616

Slmod version 7.0 for DCS: World: http://forums.eagle.ru/showthread.php?t=80979

Now includes remote server administration tools for kicking, banning, loading missions, etc.

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I agree Moa, and I think the devs might be interested in keeping things stable. They may have simply not been well informed of the community's desire for this.

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I used to play flight sims like you, but then I took a slammer to the knee - Yoda

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I agree Moa, and I think the devs might be interested in keeping things stable. They may have simply not been well informed of the community's desire for this.

 

Yeah, without us stating it we can't expect them to have ESP :)

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Now this is starting to sound very interesting. Wish I had to the time to contribute.

Personally, I'm getting really bored of just killing static units or units driving from A to B. I need some real CAS, or some feeling that my activities are actually making a difference in the bigger picture.

^ I really couldn't agree more.

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Yeah, it´s great that you guys still investigating in a DC (or something similiar, persistent world).

I need some real CAS, or some feeling that my activities are actually making a difference in the bigger picture.
Same thinking here and I know a lot of people who are with me.

Hopefully ED will be more aware of what you want to do and support you in this direction.

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Hi,

 

First of all, I don't know nothing in programming but, with the tools we have, is it possible to create a structured semi-dynamic campaign ?

 

I explain: Several missions with, for example a moving line of front (like in 'devil's cross' campaign)

The structure of the campaign would be 'semi dynamic' if it could be possible to implement a database with all the blue and red forces, structures,...

The goal is to interconnect this database between all the missions of the campaign.

 

OK, maybe unclear...

 

For example: Mission 1 scenario: Red forces advances to a point. If they achieved, you lost. If they are stopped by you or other blue force, then go to mission 2. The degradation that the red and blue forces made are stored in the 'campaign database'.

For the Mission 2, when the mission generates, the campaign engine could substract the destroyed forces or create new groups by 'sending reinforcement'.

And then, could it be possible to create a 'persistent' world that remember the degradations made to the environement. Those degradations also stored in the 'campaign database' and generated when loading the mission.

 

The idea is to create a 'battle memory' between the missions.

 

It's just an idea. BTW, I love this sim like it is now but I just wanted to launch an idea. And, yes, sorry for my english level, maybe barely understandable.

 

Happy flying to all and thanks ED for your work.

 

EDIT: I just remember I read the post #158 where EB looks confident in the feasablitity.


Edited by Cedaway
grammar and structure

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Hi,

 

First of all, I don't know nothing in programming but, with the tools we have, is it possible to create a structured semi-dynamic campaign ?

 

I explain: Several missions with, for example a moving line of front (like in 'devil's cross' campaign)

The structure of the campaign would be 'semi dynamic' if it could be possible to implement a database with all the blue and red forces, structures,...

The goal is to interconnect this database between all the missions of the campaign.

 

OK, maybe unclear...

 

For example: Mission 1 scenario: Red forces advances to a point. If they achieved, you lost. If they are stopped by you or other blue force, then go to mission 2. The degradation that the red and blue forces made are stored in the 'campaign database'.

For the Mission 2, when the mission generates, the campaign engine could substract the destroyed forces or create new groups by 'sending reinforcement'.

And then, could it be possible to create a 'persistent' world that remember the degradations made to the environement. Those degradations also stored in the 'campaign database' and generated when loading the mission.

 

The idea is to create a 'battle memory' between the missions.

 

It's just an idea. BTW, I love this sim like it is now but I just wanted to launch an idea. And, yes, sorry for my english level, maybe barely understandable.

 

Happy flying to all and thanks ED for your work.

 

EDIT: I just remember I read the post #158 where EB looks confident in the feasablitity.

 

Allready done in Janes F-18, i hope that they will get it in dcs too.

 

:thumbup:

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Idea for dynamic campaign

 

This is question/idea targeted at ED or comunity?

Would it be possible to create campaign like mission structure similar to career mode in "Rise of flight"?

In ROF there is career mode, that is simplified dynamic campaign - it randomly creates different type of missions (recon/bomb/cap/patrol etc...), but it keeps track of player progress..There is a time interval during which "campaign" lasts, and new missions get generated on a daily basis...Simply put player is advancing from day to day, and gets to play a different missions during the time interval (ie 800 days of WWWI)..Only thing available to select for player is ordnance, and the time of begining of campaign, and different squdron...

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