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Can't See Map Before Dropping, Can't See Extract On Mission Start


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#21 Dave Forsey

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Posted 20 January 2020 - 09:34 AM

The extraction location is determined at run-time. We can't know the order that you'll complete the objectives so once it's triggered, the code looks for the closest valid dropzone to the player's location. Sometimes that's a ways away - dropzones have to be placed where there's room to put an object that's bigger than a football field, and in a place that's not being used to bring in reinforcements. Dropzones are placed by level designers in each individual tile and differ depending upon how the tile is configured.

If you need an in-game excuse - AA fire and air patrols restrict where the dropship can land safely! :-D

As far as having a map for the mission briefing - one did exist for a while. Each tile had a image that would get stitched together from the area spec that could be loaded without loading the landscape tile themselves (which doesn't happen until after you've accepted the mission and takes a long time), and images of the garrisons would be overlaid on top of that.

It didn't look good enough and had other problems, so it was deemed that given everything else that had to be done, the technical cost was too high and the feature was cut, but not without a great deal of discussion. It was a hard decision and the designers really wanted it.

This is not a simple feature to add because of the procedural nature of the landscape.

#22 Koniving

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Posted 20 January 2020 - 10:23 AM

View PostMW Waldorf Statler, on 20 January 2020 - 03:03 AM, said:

The Maps generated before you launch, the accepting of the Contract give the Mapgenerator the Parameters for build the Map (Biome for example) or will you accept a Desert Planet Misison and drop in a Iceworld?


It generates based on a code.
The code is based on set parameters (you can see this in action with instant action)
However, while it chooses a layout, sets the parameters, etc... it isn't "fluffed" with the random elements until after the map is loaded. When loading a generated map in the editor (specifically the levelgenerator.umap), it takes 2 minutes for the editor to decide on parameters as this isn't pre-decided by a mission setup ahead of time, and then 9 more minutes to build and load the map itself. (Loading it direct takes much longer than the game would or loading the title screen and instant action through the editor.)

For example
Assassination on theme military with difficulty 60 against House Davion and map size medium of Biome Arid Desert at Noon with no weather and trace atmosphere =
MDAzNzA3MDEwNjAwMjEyMDEw
This doesn't mean any small details of the map is decided, placement of objects isn't yet decided, what mechs to spawn, etc, as this particular code isn't complete as it's too short, there's more to the code that decides what will actually show up...
And this code
MDAzNzA3MDEwNjAwMjIyMDEw
Is the same as above, but except it is lush canyon. Can you tell how many letters changed?

MDAzNzA3MDEwNjAwMjAyMDEw
Now it's Glacial Ice and the weather is snow.

MDAzNzA3MzMwNjAzNDA1MDUw
Now it's a raid in an urban environment against House Steiner on a HUGE map with a biome of Glacial Ice at Night and it's Snowing and the atmosphere is EXTREME...

Did you see how it changed?
Nothing's loaded, nothing's generated, but already we have the parameters "set"...
There's no map... but we know what it's going to be, against who, etc.
Yet there's no map.

with the rest of the code, I could tell you exactly how big the map would be, where the spawns likely will be, etc...
And yet... there's no map made at this point, and the exact details of what you see won't be 'exactly' the same even if the placement is.

Edited by Koniving, 20 January 2020 - 11:26 AM.


#23 Dave Forsey

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Posted 20 January 2020 - 10:36 AM

Well, not exactly.

Mission generation builds the entire map, all the units, garrisons, dropzone etc. It just doesn't use the landscape.
It does this in a few milliseconds and creates an AreaSpec that contains everything that defines the mission.
The expensive part, loading all the assets, doesn't happen until you actually launch the mission.

Each tile consists of two components, the landscape and a markup level (_MRK).
The markup level has all locators that say where things are going to be placed, but no geometry.

Mission generation uses this to decide how to configure each tile and where to place objectives.
Each tile has a number of configurations, each of which lays out a different set of assets (different sized garrisons, extra rocks, dropzone etc). The mission generator sets the config which determines what gets loaded - but the actual assets don't have to loaded to build the mission.

In the campaign, this happens in two stages - the cheap fast part produces the missions and the info used in the contract briefing.

However in InstantAction, both stages are performed one after the other when you hit confirm.
We set things up so all that is needed is the Key to fully create a mission.

Also, it takes a long time to load a mission the first time, much less on subsequent runs.
UE4 does a great deal of internal caching.

#24 Xaat Xuun

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Posted 20 January 2020 - 10:45 AM

View PostDave Forsey, on 20 January 2020 - 09:34 AM, said:

The extraction location is determined at run-time. We can't know the order that you'll complete the objectives so once it's triggered, the code looks for the closest valid dropzone to the player's location. Sometimes that's a ways away - dropzones have to be placed where there's room to put an object that's bigger than a football field, and in a place that's not being used to bring in reinforcements. Dropzones are placed by level designers in each individual tile and differ depending upon how the tile is configured.


ahh , that explains why the pick up is further away, can't be picked up, if enemy dropships are already using that spot
assigned parking, and they were there first kind of thing

maybe we could get that handicap parking spot to use, for pick up Posted Image

#25 Dave Forsey

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Posted 20 January 2020 - 11:07 AM

BTW - for anyone using the editor:

When you are in InstantAction, hit the HOME key to bring up the debug screen.

If you hit SHOW_DEBUG_INFO, a separate panel will pop up on the IA screen with a GENERATE button.
This runs the mission generator without launching the mission.
The output screen dumps a lot of info about the generated mission, including units used.

#26 Koniving

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Posted 20 January 2020 - 11:17 AM

I was close. :)
(I'd like to say I did pretty good despite the complete lack of documentation on how to build generated map missions at the moment..)

#27 Dave Forsey

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Posted 20 January 2020 - 11:36 AM

Absolutely! And if you had known about the SHOW_DEBUG feature, you would have gotten the rest.

Yes, documentation is lacking. Game development triage... at least you have the blueprints.

#28 FRAGTAST1C

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Posted 20 January 2020 - 07:17 PM

View PostDave Forsey, on 20 January 2020 - 09:34 AM, said:

The extraction location is determined at run-time. We can't know the order that you'll complete the objectives so once it's triggered, the code looks for the closest valid dropzone to the player's location. Sometimes that's a ways away - dropzones have to be placed where there's room to put an object that's bigger than a football field, and in a place that's not being used to bring in reinforcements. Dropzones are placed by level designers in each individual tile and differ depending upon how the tile is configured.

If you need an in-game excuse - AA fire and air patrols restrict where the dropship can land safely! :-D




But I've had a few missions where the extraction zone have been on top of the enemy garrison. Posted Image

But yeah, I know what you're saying. I was thinking the same way as well. However, would it be possible to make the mini-map interactable like in MWO when you expand it? Back in the day, in games like Heavy Gear 2, we could expand the map and place points-of-interest and tell our AI mates to go there and patrol or guard and things like that. Would you consider doing that for MW5?

#29 Dave Forsey

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Posted 21 January 2020 - 10:05 AM

View PostFRAGTAST1C, on 20 January 2020 - 07:17 PM, said:

But I've had a few missions where the extraction zone have been on top of the enemy garrison. Posted Image


That was a bug - each tile has several configurations. ConfigA might have a 190m garrison with the hotdrop over in the corner while ConfigB has a rock in the same spot with the hotdrop nearby. The bug had the hotdrop from ConfigB active in ConfigA.
Hopefully all of those have been caught.

View PostFRAGTAST1C, on 20 January 2020 - 07:17 PM, said:

But yeah, I know what you're saying. I was thinking the same way as well. However, would it be possible to make the mini-map interactable like in MWO when you expand it? Back in the day, in games like Heavy Gear 2, we could expand the map and place points-of-interest and tell our AI mates to go there and patrol or guard and things like that. Would you consider doing that for MW5?


We mournfully put that one on the "wish we had time to do it" pile. But unlike putting the map in the mission briefing the battlegrid is implemented completely in UMG blueprints and I believe all the AI calls are blueprint accessible - so a good candidate for modding.

#30 MW Waldorf Statler

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Posted 27 January 2020 - 03:13 AM

Thanks for clearing my misunderstands ;-)





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