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Creating Content: The Big Risk


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For a number of months now I've been planning a potential single-player campaign -- having done tons of research related to the imagined conflict -- and it's looking like I don't have much further to go before I start creating the Air Tasking Order (ATO). I've also started creating the voice-overs (yours truly). Before I take the dive and plunge into the ME wholeheartedly, I wondered if anyone wanted to comment on the potential risk of creating missions, et. al, knowing that the "code" of the DCS World is in constant flux; i.e., what are the chances that in the end, my campaign might not work, e.g., in the new world as rendered by "EDGE", etc.

 

I'm thinking that's just the nature of beast -- i.e., software development -- but one of my goals will be to have "best practices" in place to minimize any potential problems. For example, I can certainly do all the VOs with no risk, as they will be used no matter what the software looks like.

 

Any comments, suggestions, or just feel like sounding-off, please reply!

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As far as EDGE goes, you shouldnt have any worries as it will not effect the current terrain.

 

As for other concerns, there is always a risk that something might change and break a trigger or some such thing. I dont think there are generally to major, but you might have to evaluate your work into the future and release updates as needed.

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There's no doubt about it, updates can alter certain features which can then "break" your .miz: mine have been sabotaged by artillery that can fire on a point in one version of the sim then not in the next, helos that cannot hover, and recently, SA-19s that acquired Cold War-winning magic powers in the last patch and therefore had to be replaced by SAM units (SA-6) that behave like, well, SAM units.

 

There is a tendency for every two steps forward made by updates to be accompanied by one step back, i.e. for every two things they fix, they manage to break another, but as long as it's not the other way around, progress gets made. I'm grateful for the diligence of the developers in their relentless quest to improve the product but it can create headaches for mission designers.

 

I do not use much scripting -- I am a logic moron -- but I flex the muscles of the ME's trigger system pretty thoroughly. My best suggestion in dealing with scenarios broken by updates is to "document" your missions thoroughly in anticipation, i.e. put all the triggers in an order/grouping which makes sense and, above all, name the triggers in such a way that they describe exactly what their function is. Give your units names that can be alphabetized by the ME in the unit listings, same with trigger zones. This way, if you suspect that a feature amended in an update has thrown your mission out of kilter, it's easier to identify and locate the affected areas and fix them without feeling like you're finding your way out of a dense jungle at night without a flashlight.

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In the meantime, work on understanding the campaign engine, test some scoring outcomes and just be sure that your next mission in the campaign will be the one you expected and planned for, based on the mission outcome. In short there is a LOT of testing to be done, just of all the little individual parts, before moving on to the big enchilada.

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For the most part the mission editor itself is quite stable. At least in regard to setting up AI actions, triggers, etc. There are a few times when stuff changes, notably over the last year a few objects have changed categories, but that is an easy fix. The mission editor itself is always changing and there might be a new better way to go about a given concept than what you might have worked tirelessly to achieve with an earlier version. AI within the simulator on the other hand can become tricky, as the AI can suffer from their own bugs in addition to any bug or issue that might exist with weapons. So it can be a tad frustrating when AI behavior changes regardless if it was a feature change or a bug.

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  • 2 weeks later...
There's no doubt about it, updates can alter certain features which can then "break" your .miz: mine have been sabotaged by artillery that can fire on a point in one version of the sim then not in the next, helos that cannot hover, and recently, SA-19s that acquired Cold War-winning magic powers in the last patch and therefore had to be replaced by SAM units (SA-6) that behave like, well, SAM units.

 

There is a tendency for every two steps forward made by updates to be accompanied by one step back, i.e. for every two things they fix, they manage to break another, but as long as it's not the other way around, progress gets made. I'm grateful for the diligence of the developers in their relentless quest to improve the product but it can create headaches for mission designers.

 

I do not use much scripting -- I am a logic moron -- but I flex the muscles of the ME's trigger system pretty thoroughly. My best suggestion in dealing with scenarios broken by updates is to "document" your missions thoroughly in anticipation, i.e. put all the triggers in an order/grouping which makes sense and, above all, name the triggers in such a way that they describe exactly what their function is. Give your units names that can be alphabetized by the ME in the unit listings, same with trigger zones. This way, if you suspect that a feature amended in an update has thrown your mission out of kilter, it's easier to identify and locate the affected areas and fix them without feeling like you're finding your way out of a dense jungle at night without a flashlight.

It seems you are working on great project so how much distance have your covered till now? Your work is very exciting stuff for me:thumbup::thumbup:


Edited by KennyRhodes
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