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Omaha Beach Map Development

nymets1104

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Beach Landing Spawn Test

https://youtu.be/2wJHprOCHtg

To Do:

  • LCVP Model needs to be properly textured
  • Ramp needs to be made moveable or possibly a completely separate model
  • Drivable boats in the future? (Low Priority)
  • Boat animation needs to have more bounce to it
  • Possibly add a wake or splashes as the boat moves
  • This entire video is accomplished with a static mesh LCVP (made by lallup) and Matinee.
  • The first couple spawn waves will be done like this, subsequent spawns will then spawn behind the beached boats.
 
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nymets1104

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lallup is now working on a new model with manageable poly counts. the layout of the map is:


For the first release, the right side of the map will not be in play
The final cap wil be a custom made church by Dragon88
 

nymets1104

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Hi Nym.

Have you tried using bots in the boats? My experience is that they can glitch very badly on moving objects.
Nestor,

Yes I have tested bots in limited numbers, they seem to "ride" in the boat ok but I have no pylons on this map yet and the model we tested with does not have a functioning ramp so I can't guarantee they will get off the boat once it reaches the beach. The collision on this particular model was not ideal either as it allowed the bots to get into the MG positions on the rear of the boat and caused them to get stuck. Another issue we are playing with is what to do with the spawn point while the boats are approaching the beach.

After talking with PsychoPigeon about how he implemented something similar on Kita Jima, he suggested that the players spawn directly into the LCVP because on his map, the players and bots started in the LST and then had to get into the LVT-4. The bots would not reliably "load up" into the LVT-4 and would simply be left behind on the Larger Ship when the landing craft moved out.

So what we planned so far is:

  • First Spawn Wave spawns directly into the LCVP's
  • After the round actually begins, the LCVP begins to move and approach the beach on a fixed route that will be randomly chosen in Kismet from several possible routes, to keep things less predictable.
  • Once the boats reach the shore, the ramps drop and these boats will remain on the shore to provide cover for subsequent spawns.
  • We will likely add a few static mesh LCVPs that are burning or smoking for additional cover near coast line.

Now we have two different approaches to spawning after the first round spawn.

Option 1.
Only have one initial spawn. As soon as the LCVP begins to move, the spawn closes and there is now a delay for however long the trip to the shore takes until any new players can spawn in. (This would likely be accomplished with a trigger volume) This prevents anyone from spawning into open ocean once the boats begin to move and also keeps anyone from spawning directly onto the beach before the initial landing boats have made it there. This option can be accomplished with no custom coding and done completely in kismet.

Option 2.
Have multiple spawns into the LCVP's until the first beach objective is taken. This would take a little more work as we would need to spawn a new boat in the spawn zone each time one drives off to the beach to prevent anyone from spawning into the ocean and dying. We would also need to worry about boats stacking up on the shore after the players disembark. The downside of this I also see is that capturing the beach will probably be challenging enough, having to ride in the LCVP each time you spawn until the beach is capped, could be a downer. I haven't spoke to Shepard yet, but spawning a new InterpActor LCVP into the level at fixed intervals might require some custom coding of the Actor Factory.

At this point, I am heavily leaning towards Option 1 as I am hoping to have this map done in the next 2 -3 weeks and would like to get it pushed out so I can get on the Market Garden project. Also, with the option to spawn on SL, having multiple LCVP spawns would be optional for anyone who wanted to just spawn onto the beach with the SL spawn. Also, Unlike many typical D Day maps in modern FPS, this map will be about 30% Beach and 70% village / farmland fighting in Viereville so I feel like there is not a need to make the LCVP landings too big of a part of the map development, although I know this is what most players would likely anticipate / expect.

I would appreciate any thoughts, experiences, or feedback on any of this. Sorry for the HUGE post, but wanted to make sure I was clear in what we had planned.
 

Lemonater47

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A while ago commander Shepard was talking to me about this. I think it's possible to spawn the bots on the beach while the players spawn elsewhere. He did something similar with the planes. Spawning the bots outside the plane while the players are inside the plane. Otherwise they all get lost in the plane and only occasionally fall out.
 

nymets1104

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I think he added a feature where you were forced off of the plane if you did not jump on your own.


While mowing today, I had another idea pop into my head. After the initial spawn, we could have remaining players spawn on a large LST and then enter a LCVP that is connected to the LST, then we could employ a DH tactic and teleport the player to the beach. Now I have not tested this at all, but it should be accomplished with simple kismet only. This might be frowned upon, but would prevent the repetitive boat ride every time a player died.
 

Nestor Makhno

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In general, beach landings are incredibly problematic from an LD point of view and you need to be prepared for the possibility that this level gets axed for that very reason. Such levels are the ones that get the crap played out of them for a couple of weeks but then fade in popularity really fast.

Currently I am trying to establish what, from TWI's PoV, is the ideal number of levels for a Steam release. Then is would be best to focus on what those levels will be before investing a lot of time and effort into something that does not make the cut. A good general rule is balanced, intense game-play > novelty value every time. Sorry if you guys have already hashed this out and I just haven't heard about it yet. Is there an overall design doc for the mod?

The HUGE amount of time that you are going to need to invest in polish and balance would mean that you prolly should not spend too long down the rabbit hole of how to make a short part of one level work from a technical PoV.

I can't really say too much more about this until I have spoken to Com. Shep. about the team's plans and seen how they mesh with TWI's requirements for Steam release.
 
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Lemonater47

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Squad leaders you can still spawn on.

Forgotten hope 2 has this map pretty much exactly. Your only options are to spawn on boats or to spawn on a squad leader. And it works. But I only think it works becuase the boats have 2 machine guns on the back providing enough suppressing fire for people to move up. Supression in this game affects you more as it actually throws your aim off rather than just blurring the screen like it does in FH2. Not to mention smoke will be used more often due to 5-6 people will have smoke grenades one player having 2. And the ability to call in artillery. In FH 2 the allied commander can do that but not on the first beach stage. FH 2 did give the allies usable ship guns but with the fog you can't actually see anything when you use them and can only fire blindly lol.

In FH2 the german defenders are also horribly exposed trying to get anywhere close to the frontal defences. More so than the allies actually lol. So you may find the germans having some difficiulty getting to the main pillbox.

Personally I think it could work. It's not too different from the first stage of bridges. Only they don't have a tank. It would only need good squad leaders and engineers. Not to mention the spawn zones getting pushed back after a a couple of guys make it far enough.

On number of maps I think about 8 initially will do as we can always get more. Winter is a problem though as I don't have an american winter model at all. Modifications can be made to the russian greatcoat to make it American-ish. German winter uniforms are taken care of in fact we got a seperate autumn one made too. Modifying existing things in novel ways thanks to one talented individual. We also have an American airborne and german fallshirmjager uniform model. New models not modifications. Just nothing winter for the americans which will be a problem for winter maps. I need to find someone who can make an American M43 uniform set. Which can be used for winter and late war. In fact by 1945 pretty much every american had an M43 uniform. Or at least most of one.
 

nymets1104

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Dec 18, 2012
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In general, beach landings are incredibly problematic from an LD point of view and you need to be prepared for the possibility that this level gets axed for that very reason. Such levels are the ones that get the crap played out of them for a couple of weeks but then fade in popularity really fast.

Currently I am trying to establish what, from TWI's PoV, is the ideal number of levels for a Steam release. Then is would be best to focus on what those levels will be before investing a lot of time and effort into something that does not make the cut. A good general rule is balanced, intense game-play > novelty value every time. Sorry if you guys have already hashed this out and I just haven't heard about it yet. Is there an overall design doc for the mod?

The HUGE amount of time that you are going to need to invest in polish and balance would mean that you prolly should not spend too long down the rabbit hole of how to make a short part of one level work from a technical PoV.

I can't really say too much more about this until I have spoken to Com. Shep. about the team's plans and seen how they mesh with TWI's requirements for Steam release.

Thank You for this. I whole heartedly agree with you as well, as personally I feel like this Beach landing is taking up about 75% of the dev time on this map, but represents only 10% of the entire level. I am going to go with Option 1 at this point and keep things simple. The map environment is getting close to completion and from that point on will simply be placing spawns / objectives and covernodes. I have been told the finished LCVP will be ready this week and the final piece I will be waiting on is the re-designed church which I am hoping to have within the week. Myself and the original map designer dont agree 100% on the set up of the beach as I think it needs more cover for allies to keep it from being a slaughterfest, but he thinks it should stay as is. I will keep the discussion open though.

TBH, I really have no idea how it will play out or how intense the battles will be. Our single biggest obstacle in developing this mod, and mainly the levels has been a huge lack of any usable feedback / data. We typically get a decent crowds at the bi-weekly or so (nothing set in stone) Steam Events. The Port Brest map generated a lot of good feedback over the course of several weeks and we were able to get that map fairly well balanced (fun) to play. Hopefully going forward, you or your associates will be available to give good honest feedback (my feelings wont be hurt ;)) so that we can really get this thing polished up. I really appreciate your help so far.
 

Lemonater47

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AMG have the FSSF uniform. Do you have access to that? It has a parka, which I guess could be reskinned to white.

https://vimeo.com/129886864
Yeah it's a uniform that only the first special service force and 10th mountain division wore. Pretty much only saw use in Italy. We don't have access to that though and I assumed it was becuase we wouldn't really get my use out of it. However there could be a couple of things we could scavenge from it since I know someone who can do that.
 

nymets1104

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This is what I would call a rough ALPHA version of the map. It is a published version if anyone wants to give it a whirl and throw in their thoughts. I have included a list of known issues and things I am still undecided about:

  • Boat landing sequence is not in this version, Dragon88 is texturing and hopefully we will have it soon
  • The beach is DULL, I plan to add more craters and decals and hopefully some more meshes of some sort
  • Cap Progression is still being worked, I plan to have F locked until after D and E are capped, but in this version all three enable together.
  • Small Details are still being added mainly to interiors
  • The area to the left of the church from the attacking perspective is waiting on a couple more models from lallup and is still fairly bare
  • Most of the Barbed Wire Fences can be destroyed with Satchels, Arty, or 2-3 hand grenades
  • Cover nodes are still being added
  • RallyNodes and Paths are all set so bots seem to play "well" so far, let me know your experiences.
  • Sounds are still being added
  • Any feedback concerning spawn points is encouraged
  • Some Spawn protection / No Arty zones are set, but not all
  • There are some known collision issues in the church and will be tweaked
  • The Hill leading to E Cap is too steep to climb in some spots. I will likely add a trail or path to mark the traversible areas.
  • If anyone wants an uncooked version, let me know.


DOWNLOAD HERE: https://s3.amazonaws.com/redorchestra2/Omaha/WF-Omaha19.roe

Current Objective Setup:
Same Colors = Enabled Together


 
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Lemonater47

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German defenders spawns are all screwy. Spawn too far away for the first few objectives and after F is taken you can spawn behind the americans. Which is what half the bots do. They all get lost and it makes defending the last few points impossible as its 2-1. They need a look at for all stages. American spawns are fine.

There's a lot of shonky cover nodes and invisible platforms in d.

H has a couple of buildings with no Collision. That are the super low quality only supposed to be used for the background buildings from AMGs environmental assets.

All bunkers should be visible from the beach. That new bunker that on the map is in the bottom right corner of E isn't visible from the beach. So you would just see germans floating in mid air and be unable to shoot them as they are behind an invisible bunker.

Balance wise for the first stage I thi k running up the beach with arty support and smoke is completely possible. The german bots love running into the beach out of bounds though. To defend A and B lol.

The bunker on the far right (W-73) I think is too easy to defend from. I would suggest removing the tripod mounted MG from there. With the reduced recoil and long belt with a dcommanding flanking view over the whole beach it's yoo easy to defend the whole thing from There. If the germans want an MG there they have to take an MG there. Bipod mounted MGs have more recoik than tripod mounted MGs. The tripod mounted MGs in the front bunkers are fine as they have a smaller cone of fire (relative to the beach) and the americans can get a better shot on them.

Flamethrowers I'm not sure about. Yes every single landing craft had a flamethrower team on it. But most of them were dumped or dragged ther users down to the bottom of the sea. Those that made it too the beach somehow were generally prioritised and shot. Meaning none of them actually made it to the other end of the beach. The again the only real way to see how they'll work is in multiplayer. Maybe 1 flamer instead of 2.
 

nymets1104

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Ok thank you, i fixed a bunch of the errors you mentioned and will have a new alpha tomorrow. Some of those low res buildings are placeholders for houses lallup was going to provide, but has yet to. I will prob just use variations of his other model.

The map at this point needs a few more details and of course the LCVP that has been in development for nearly as long as this map. We appear to be on our own if we are to get this done before the end of the year. Dragon88 has optimized the hybrid model of Twrecks and lallup and I am going to attempt to UV Map it so Moskeeto can texture it.

Postamenos has too much on his plate to help at this point, if you know any other modelers who might be able to assist, please holler.