Persistant Battle of Britain Campaign Dev Log

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Persistant Battle of Britain Campaign Dev Log

Post  Wolverine on Mon Apr 20, 2015 2:46 am

Just going to start a little dev log to detail the work I'm doing on the next mission. Feel free to make suggestions or comments!

Worked tonight on getting airfield destruction and persistence working and succeeded.

There will be 27 airfields for the RAF in the Battle of Britain map and each will be capable of being 'knocked out'.
Light damage to an airfield will disable the airfield temporarily (for the remainder of the mission).
Moderate damage to an airfield will disable it for the remaining mission run and for the whole of the subsequent run of 8 hours.
Heavy damage to an airfield will disable it for the remaining mission run and for the whole of the next two runs (16 hours).

Each time the mission runs, repairs are made that bring the airfield closer to active status. Eventually, I'll add a way to check the status of sector airfields in the game (via Tab 4). UPDATE: CHANGED TO PLAYER GUIDED REPAIR CREWS

Also added a little debug message that will tell you what airfield you've taken off from. This will be important info for tracking squadron strength at the various airfields later on when I get to that bit.

Up next, tracking morale of the British people, fuel, aircraft, and other vital industries.

(These new systems are in addition to previously existing items we've been using already in the 1941 and Warfront missions, btw)


Last edited by Wolverine on Mon Apr 27, 2015 2:42 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Persistant Battle of Britain Campaign Dev Log

Post  |450|Devil on Mon Apr 20, 2015 7:36 am

Is it possible to simulate aspects of aircraft production and supply?

Spitfires and Hurricanes were produced at a number of locations - for example Spitfires were built at Castle Bromwich near Birmingham and at Southampton. Hurricanes were built and repaired at about four separate locations.

The current map is limited to the south east section of England and doesn't extend much north of London. However, a few aircraft production facilities (say two for Spitfire production and four for Hurricane production) could be set up at appropriate locations towards the west / southwest of London.

Enemy bombing damage of these facilities could then impact on the re-supply of new and repaired aircraft to the RAF south east fighter bases / squadrons.

A similar setup could be applied to port facilities - Southampton / Portsmouth / London docks / Gravesend / Rochester-Chatham. Enemy damage to these strategic facilities could adversely impact on production of fighters and the supply of fuel and stores.

By having these targets Blue force would have to make choices and balance operations between destroying RAF fighter command through attacking airfield and impacting resupply / rearming / repair / fueling of RAF fighter capability. A choice of the tactical or the strategic.

Equally Red force would need to decide where to concentrate defensive fighter effort - their airfield or production / logistics train.

In this scenario it may be possible to include convoy protection / attack as supply of fuels and raw materials to major ports will impact on RAF capability to defend is airfields and production facilities.
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Re: Persistant Battle of Britain Campaign Dev Log

Post  Wolverine on Mon Apr 20, 2015 9:20 am

Short answer: Yes.

My idea is to include many targets that will fall under several categories of strategic/tactical value.

Chain Home RDF
Airfields
Factories and Ports
Fuel and Munitions
Morale (Terror attacks on civilian targets)

My plan is also to include, at random times, a ship convoy that will appear and, if protected, will provide a boost to one or more of the above values (say, a jump in fuel and munitions levels as well as a little boost to morale).

I'm still working out the fine details of how to make it all work together in a way that is fun to play, but that's the plan.

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Re: Persistant Battle of Britain Campaign Dev Log

Post  Wolverine on Tue Apr 21, 2015 9:56 am

Last night I finished creating all of the airfield templates for the 27 active RAF airfields for the map with three levels of destruction (light, moderate, heavy).

The code is in place for persistent tracking of these fields and was tested as working. I took out test objects at Manston (100%) and Hawkinge (60%) to disable the airfields, reloaded the map, and they were disabled and showing the 'damaged' version of themselves. I checked the tracking file and it showed that Manston had taken more damage and would be out longer than Hawkinge.

All that's left for these airfields now is to decorate them with appropriate scenery, AA, and other static objects.

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Re: Persistant Battle of Britain Campaign Dev Log

Post  Wolverine on Tue Apr 21, 2015 1:30 pm

I should note that part of the reason I'm making this new map is that we've come up against the limitations of the game with Warfront. There's simply too much territory on the map to cover each town. Warfront could certainly be redesigned to remove a number of the smaller towns and villages to reduce the overall number of targets on the map, and in time that may happen, but that work isn't interesting to do or challenging and, to be completely honest, it's hard to get excited about doing it.

With the persistent elements scripting I've learned throughout the Warfront development process, I feel that I can finally make a Battle of Britain scenario that is highly complex, historically accurate tactically and geographically, and provide a compelling experience. At any rate, that is what I'm going to attempt to do.

I've posted in the past about the difference between factual accuracy vs. experiential accuracy. The 1941 campaign map hit a very high mark for me in terms of reaching that goal of providing an experience that felt historically 'real'. Warfront was an effort to create a 'war' map that players could fight over and possibly bring new players to our server who wanted the kind of experience where what they did on Monday mattered on Tuesday; where a long term objective was visible and achievable. In some ways, Warfront sacrificed experiential accuracy to achieve that goal. Additionally, Warfront did not succeed in gaining traction with the community in general and has been largely ignored or abandoned. That's not to say that Warfront has been a failure. We've enjoyed it considerably and learned a lot about ground attack tactics in the process. There's still very much a great feeling when you see the yellow text come up to say that a town has been successfully captured and watching that front line move to encircle it.

With this new Battle of Britain scenario I'm working on, I'm hoping to combine what made the 1941 map a compelling historical experience with what makes Warfront a compelling game play experience. With luck, I'm hoping to provide that custom managed campaign experience, like in the early Storm of War campaigns, but automated, more in depth, and hands-free in server management. The game will handle everything.

Mostly, when you play this new scenario I want you to feel all those documentaries and books you've read about the Battle of Britain. When the Blue team has bombed Manston, Hawkinge, Tangmere and other coastal airfields out of action, I want the Red players to feel how desperate the situation was and how much of a relief it was for the Luftwaffe to switch their objectives to other targets. I want the Blue players to feel how frustrating it was for the Luftwaffe fighter pilots to have to protect bombers instead of flying more effectively up high and in the sun or flying free hunts to bleed the RAF.  I want to simulate the tactical errors of Goering and Hitler - at one stage in the scenario, Blue will start to incur the wrath of high command if they don't satisfy enough of Hitler's and Goering's reprisal attack demands - but the Blue team can ignore this and continue to attack however they choose if they feel that they can get the job done in spite of the penalties. I want Red players to be elated and Blue players to be livid when a target is attacked and gets away with only light damage. I want to make the best dynamic persistent Battle of Britain scenario that the game has yet seen.

I'm being ambitious with this one, fellas, but I think all the puzzle pieces are now available to me - just got to put 'em together.


Last edited by Wolverine on Tue Jun 16, 2015 11:01 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Persistant Battle of Britain Campaign Dev Log

Post  |450|Squiz on Tue Apr 21, 2015 11:07 pm

Wolverine, not only is this project extremely ambitious, but when completed it will be really exciting for both sides to fly.

I have found that the concept and modifications to Warfront over its period of development has shown that CloD has far more potential than originally believed. I have no doubt that with this new project you will successfully expand the envelope.

I suspect that you will need some help with the physical placement of objects in villages, airfields, factories and docks so please let me know what you need together with any constraints and limitations that will be necessary when developing this scenario.

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Re: Persistant Battle of Britain Campaign Dev Log

Post  Wolverine on Wed Apr 22, 2015 10:14 am

|450|Squiz wrote:I suspect that you will need some help with the physical placement of objects in villages, airfields, factories and docks so please let me know what you need together with any constraints and limitations that will be necessary when developing this scenario.

Squiz

You're quite right, Squiz. There will be a need to create targets (around 135 of them). What I'll do is create the base files and put them up with all the appropriate triggers set up already. That way, all any potential helper need do is design the target with a specific set of objects from the builder and then save it again.

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Re: Persistant Battle of Britain Campaign Dev Log

Post  kookaburra on Wed Apr 22, 2015 9:44 pm

Hey Wolverine & Squiz

This is an incredibly exciting development of CLoD and I stand in awe of you guys. Count me in to help put targets together when things progress to that stage.
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Re: Persistant Battle of Britain Campaign Dev Log

Post  |450|Devil on Sun Apr 26, 2015 6:38 am

Please please can we have a target like the Dieppe fuel tanks - that was awesome.
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Re: Persistant Battle of Britain Campaign Dev Log

Post  Wolverine on Sun Apr 26, 2015 3:36 pm

|450|Devil wrote:Please please can we have a target like the Dieppe fuel tanks - that was awesome.

I'll make sure some of the targets are near those big fuel tanks. Unfortunately, those tanks are not static objects so you can't use them as dynamic targets.

Finished work on the date tracker this afternoon. When you join the mission, you'll get the current date in your HUD messages. "The date is Wednesday, July 10th, 1940" for example. Each time the server restarts, the date will increase by one day up to the 17th of September (the date when the invasion was postponed indefinitely, which we will use as a victory condition for Red).

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Re: Persistant Battle of Britain Campaign Dev Log

Post  Wolverine on Mon Apr 27, 2015 2:25 am

Tonight's work:

I've successfully added a repair system that will allow the RAF to assign repair crews to damaged targets. The system currently functions as follows:

Tab 4-4 will bring up the Repair Crews menu. The menu item itself will show how many repair crews have not been assigned for the day. The current default starting number of crews is 6.

The menu has sub menus that will take the user to the various sectors, the various types of targets, and the specific targets themselves.

By using the Damage Report option, players on the RAF side can determine what targets have been hit and how heavily damaged they are. Targets currently do not automatically repair each day but will require assigned repair crews to work on the damage. If a target is already being repaired, it will be noted. Targets can be assigned more than one repair crew to bring them back to operational status faster. A heavily damaged target will require 3 repair crews to bring it back to operational status for the next day's action. Targets will always require at least one 'night' to be brought back (one restart of the server).

Assigning a repair crew to a target will start repairs on that target. If a target has received all the repair work it can get, or has not been damaged, attempting to repair that target will indicate that it does not need the additional repair crew. If all repair crews have been assigned, attempting to assign another will result in a message stating that all crews are already at work. A crew cannot be 'reassigned' mid-mission.

This should allow for some interesting tactical decision making on both sides!

Fully tested it tonight and after ironing out a few silly bugs, got it working.

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Re: Persistant Battle of Britain Campaign Dev Log

Post  Wolverine on Mon Apr 27, 2015 2:03 pm

So of the main code features I'm looking to add to the mission we've got:

Code to allow targets to have persistent damage: CHECK
Code to allow targets to be repaired via player decision: CHECK
Code for resource management of Aircraft, Ports, Factories, Morale, and Fuel: Not Yet
Code for randomized ship convoys delivering resources to the RAF side: Not Yet
Code for Luftwaffe AI raids selectable by Luftwaffe players: Not Yet, but previously accomplished with 1941 map

I'm hoping to do the ship convoy stuff this week and as a test have those resources dump into the Repair Crews resource. If that works, then I can easily transfer those resources to wherever, depending on the type of resource being transported. Maybe each convoy will randomly transport a different type of supply resource (parts for repair crew, aircraft, fuel, etc.).

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Re: Persistant Battle of Britain Campaign Dev Log

Post  Wolverine on Thu Apr 30, 2015 10:40 pm

Convoy code complete!

I've now got randomized convoys loading into the map on mission reset. The convoys will only appear during the initial phase of the battle and stop appearing sometime in late August as per history (this follows the persistent date tracking so that once the mission hits late August, the convoys will not load). All this is automatic.

Convoys ships, as they are destroyed, are tracked and at the end of the 8 hour mission run, the remaining ships are totaled up and counted as reaching port. The code is in place to then assign the value of those ships to one of the resources in the game and save that value to carry over.

RAF players will be notified of convoys via mission menu request and will also have warning of attacks in progress on the convoys.

The 'kanalkampf' stage of the battle is now in place in the map and leads directly into the next stage of the battle!


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Re: Persistant Battle of Britain Campaign Dev Log

Post  Wolverine on Fri May 01, 2015 10:44 pm

This evening's work sees the following addition to the working code:

We now have the ability to assign at the campaign start historical aircraft levels for RAF aircraft. Every airfield can be assigned values for:

Combat ready Spitfires
Combat ready Hurricanes
Unserviceable Spitfires
Unserviceable Hurricanes

Taking off from an airfield will take an aircraft out of the pool of combat ready aircraft at that airfield. Landing safely at that airfield will return a combat ready aircraft to that airfield.

As of now, the map has been set up with historical July 1st serviceable and unserviceable aircraft levels as per data found in The Hawker Hurricane by Francis K. Mason (pg. 64)

If an airfield has no combat ready aircraft of one type available, the ability to spawn in that aircraft is removed (it no longer shows up in the list of aircraft you can choose). If an airfield has no combat ready aircraft of any type available, the ability to spawn at that airfield is removed and notification of the airfield's operational status is changed to reflect the fact that there are no combat ready aircraft there.

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Re: Persistant Battle of Britain Campaign Dev Log

Post  Wolverine on Tue May 05, 2015 12:39 pm

Updated the code a little bit yesterday. I reintroduced the radar targets to the map so that RDF is a target capable of being knocked out. I'm beefing up those targets though. If you're a Blue pilot, don't expect an RDF station to be an easy target in advance of taking on something else. RDF stations have defenses and will be large enough that taking one out is a serious consideration in itself.

However, historically, RDF stations were never down for much longer than 24 hours, so RDF stations can not be knocked out over periods longer than one mission. Plus, there is some overlap, so taking out one station may not eliminate coverage for an entire area, but only bits of it.

If I get a chance, I'll upload a photo of one of the RDF stations to show as an example.

I also tweaked the code that calculates the airfield that you're taking off / landing from in hopes of eliminating that 'Unknown' airfield problem. Updated the strings as well so that airfields like Boscombe Down and Lee-on-Solent will participate in the aircraft management program. All airfields in the mission now conform and operate correctly. The 'you have taken off from x' messages are still there though for debugging for now. So far, things are working well.

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Re: Persistant Battle of Britain Campaign Dev Log

Post  badfinger on Tue May 05, 2015 5:05 pm

Wolverine,

When will "Battle of Britain" be up and running?

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Re: Persistant Battle of Britain Campaign Dev Log

Post  Wolverine on Tue May 05, 2015 11:46 pm

badfinger wrote:When will "Battle of Britain" be up and running? - badfinger

Hey badfinger, long time no see!

Not sure. I'm hoping to coincide the launch of the mission with the anniversary of the BoB this year.

-

Worked on some of the resource management tonight. I sorted out the shipping resources. Every convoy will have a resource type and docking port assigned to it. Depending on how badly damaged a port is, the resources received from convoys will diminish.

IE. A fully active port will receive supplies at the normal rate. Lightly damaged will receive 2/3s. Moderate, 1/3. Heavy damage will mean no supplies from a convoy at all.

Factories will operate as follows:

Each factory will supply a number of parts to a pool of parts for the various aircraft. Over the course of a week in game (7 mission runs) the qty of parts will accumulate and at the end of the last mission for the week (the 7th mission run) the number of parts will be divided by a value required to equal 1 aircraft. This will be the number of aircraft being resupplied to the RAF of that type.

Players will select a squadron to receive the 'next production batch' for both Spitfires and Hurricanes via in game menus. This is the station that will receive the resupplied aircraft.

IE :
Factory 1 produces 10 Spitfire Wings
Factory 2 produces 8 Spitfire Fuselages
Factory 3 produces 5 Spitfire Merlin Engines
Factory 4 produces 12 Sets of Spitfire Control Surfaces
Factory 5 produces 10 Hurricane Wings
Factory 6 produces 8 Hurricane Fuselages
Factory 7 produces 5 Hurricane Merlin Engines
Factory 8 produces 12 Sets of Hurricane Control Surfaces


Spitfire Parts: 10+8+5+12 = 35
Hurricane Parts: 10+8+5+12 = 35

A Spitfire will cost 5 "parts" therefore the total number of Spitfires produced is 7
A Hurricane will cost 3 "parts" therefore the total number of Hurricanes produced is 11 (with 2 parts carried over)

I've decided to go this way because otherwise you get into a situation where only one factory is targeted again and again whereas in reality the production of some things would be shifted to make up for the problem. The goal for Blue is to keep as many factories damaged for as much time as possible if they wish to impact production.

(ALL NUMBERS, VALUES, AND DEFINITIONS SUBJECT TO CHANGE)

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Re: Persistant Battle of Britain Campaign Dev Log

Post  Wolverine on Wed May 06, 2015 2:09 am

New menu for assigning production batch delivery airfield has been coded in and is persistent. At the end of the in-game week, fighters will be delivered to the airfields selected (Spitfires and Hurricanes can be assigned to different fields). The airfield will remain the production batch delivery point until changed by a player.

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Re: Persistant Battle of Britain Campaign Dev Log

Post  Wolverine on Wed May 06, 2015 10:59 am

Interesting thought I had regarding airfields and aircraft #s:

If an airfield is under attack, it is an interesting problem with regard to the aircraft located there. Once an airfield is disabled, those aircraft are inaccessible to pilots. Therefore, it behooves the RAF to scramble those fighters and at least get them in the air where they can then be landed safely at another airfield in order to keep those aircraft available for the next mission.

I kind of like this as it create, in a roundabout way, a realistic theme. The RAF would want as many aircraft off the ground from an airfield under attack in order to preserve them. By leaving them on the ground, the way the system works, it in a weird way simulates damage to the aircraft that would need to be repaired (along with the airfield) in order to get them back in the air. Scramble with the aircraft and you save them from getting damaged on the ground (even though they aren't really there to be damaged on the map).

Nifty!

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Re: Persistant Battle of Britain Campaign Dev Log

Post  Wolverine on Wed May 06, 2015 11:15 am

Quick rundown of the systems in play with the new mission:

Convoys: Convoys will bring a random type of resource to a random port. The more convoy ships that survive the more resources that can be gained

Ports: Fully active ports increase the amount of resources that can be gained from convoys. If a port is damaged or destroyed, the resource gain from convoys will be reduced or nil if the port is heavily damaged has no serviceable facilities.

Factories: Factories will generate Spitfire Parts and Hurricane Parts at various locations on the map. These parts are generated at the end of each mission if a factory is active. Parts will be cumulative across server resets and at the end of the 7th server reset, the parts are examined and a ratio of aircraft to parts are delivered to airfields that have been designated to receive the next production batch.

Fuel: (RED ONLY) Fuel will be consumed for every sortie that takes place. Fuel can be delivered via convoy and also produced by some facilities on the map. A reserve will be in place at the start of the battle. If fuel is ever depleted to 0, the Battle of Britain will end in Blue victory.

Morale: Morale of the British populace is adjusted by various events. If convoys safely reach dock, the morale increases - more so if the convoy is delivering food and other consumables to the population. If a convoy is destroyed or is unable to dock due to port damage, morale is lowered. Civilian targets will be available for the Luftwaffe to bomb and further reduce morale. If morale is reduced to 0 then the public will revolt against the government and the Battle of Britain will end in Blue victory.

Aircraft: (RED ONLY) Aircraft numbers remain persistent over time and start at a historical level consistent with 11 group aircraft levels and dispersal on July 1st, 1940. Aircraft can be transferred by players flying them from one airfield to another.

Raids: (BLUE ONLY) Limited AI raids will be available for Blue players to launch at targets in England. These raids will attack valid targets but may or may not do enough damage to knock it out. Randomized weather and wind means that sometimes a bomb drop will drive off course. These raids will be best used when weather conditions are favourable.

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Re: Persistant Battle of Britain Campaign Dev Log

Post  Wolverine on Wed May 06, 2015 11:10 pm

Got all the resources code working tonight and replicating across server resets. All that's really left is importing the blue AI flight command menus and doing up all the targets.

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Re: Persistant Battle of Britain Campaign Dev Log

Post  Wolverine on Thu May 07, 2015 11:32 pm

Okay! Tonight the following added:

Unserviceable aircraft return and repair.

Successfully crash landed aircraft will be returned to the airfield you took off from as unserviceable. These aircraft will remain unserviceable until the next repair schedule date (every 2nd day). On these days, any available parts are used to restore unserviceable aircraft to working order and then the remaining parts are saved. Keeping your number of repairs low will mean more aircraft produced in the next production batch (every 7 days).

Aircraft repairs cost less than a factory fresh aircraft and so it's important to conserve your airframes. Too many aircraft needing repairs will mean you will never increase the RAF's total fighter count.

Spitfires cost more to repair and make than Hurricanes. Not only will this put a premium on the thoroughbred fighter, it will also encourage and result in a more historical use and ratio of the Hurricane workhorse fighter. 20 Hurricanes are easier to maintain than 20 Spitfires.

Convoys are random cargos.

The convoys were already randomized, but now the cargos are randomized as well. So all of the convoy missions are now x3 in the possibilities. They could be carrying Fuel, Aircraft Parts, or Food and Consumer Goods for civilian morale.

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Re: Persistant Battle of Britain Campaign Dev Log

Post  Wolverine on Fri May 08, 2015 2:08 pm

Luftwaffe bomber command menus have been added in. Blue now has a menu similar to the one used by the Red in order to select bomber missions for any target on the map. The current possible missions available is maximum 315. I don't think we'll have that many raids available, but we could. They don't take up any room in the mission as only one is running at any one time.

For Blue, to use the system:

1. Connect to a control tower in France. If you are out of contact range, you will not be able to authorize a bomber mission.

2. Select the Authorize Bomber Mission menu option.

3. Select the sector you wish to attack, defined by the RAF sector control stations (Northolt, North Weald, Hornchuch, Biggin Hill, Kenley, Tangmere, or Middle Wallop)

4. Select the type of target you wish to attack (Airfield, Ports and Docks, Manufacturing, Fuel Depots, Civilian)

5. Select the specific target you wish to attack.

6. At this point, you will receive audio confirmation of the attack launch from the commander, plus you will get a text brief of the bomber group's projected ingress to and egress from target. The bombers will now be in the air and heading to target. You will not be able to select another bomber mission for two hours.

7. The Tab 4-1 menu now reflects the launched mission by changing the menu option to one that allows you to review the bomber mission briefing if you need a refresher or if you've joined the map and a mission is already en-route.

EDIT: Small other thing added. Fuel is now a consumable resource for Red. Every flight will use fuel. If fuel drops to a certain point, RAF players will get a warning and if no further fuel is produced that day, the Battle will end with Blue victory.

EDIT of the EDIT: Further tweaked the fuel. Now, when fuel runs out, no more sorties can be flown and operations cease. Potentially, if the LW has completely obliterated the RAF's fuel production means, this might mean the server will restart and the RAF is grounded until they can somehow get fuel (via convoy, repairs to production, etc.). In this time, the LW can deal the death blow.

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Re: Persistant Battle of Britain Campaign Dev Log

Post  Wolverine on Sat May 09, 2015 1:16 am

Morale loss system coded in. Various events will affect morale of the British public. If, at the end of a day the morale has dropped to 0 then the public will overthrow the government and end the war. This is the only immediate victory condition for Blue. All other means to win must result in specific conditions to be present on certain dates favourable to invasion. Otherwise, the British will fight on in spite of hardship.

Bunch of new airfields populated and bomber missions added.

Only things left are targets for the factories, docks and ports, fuel sites, and civilians. This will be the work that takes the longest and is the reason why the mission won't be ready to roll for a while. Each target must be designed, tested, and signed off on before going into the mission as a target. And then the mission needs to be run to make sure that the targets are all loadable with no ill-effects on the mission.

BUT, I would say you should get excited for this one, folks. We've engineered some popular features that appear elsewhere and I think in some ways improved them. We've got some features working on this map that have never been seen before but have often been requested. As long as the server can hold up with the number of targets we're putting in (and our Warfront experience says that it will), this is going to be the mother of all BoB simulations in Cliffs of Dover bar none.

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I take my hat off to you

Post  |450|caveman on Sat May 09, 2015 7:44 pm

I must say you have made a once hated program that people did not like to fly and even today trying to convince some of them to come back is hard because they just remember the old days of Clod.

But i take my hat off to you, this has now become a program that when i have the internet working properly, I can't wait to fly when i get home every night, its like being a young child again and you cant wait to get home from school to play with the new toy you have just been given, so once again thank you very much.




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Re: Persistant Battle of Britain Campaign Dev Log

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