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Chain Home Missions

Interactive in-sim tutorials and missions

Chain Home Missions

Postby Hooray » Tue May 13, 2014 4:32 pm

Subject: Trouble at EDDF-Triangle
Bomber wrote:I can tell you that I've never had more immersion than flying a B17 fully crewed with gunners from around the world all talking away on intercom... Flying formation with other planes equally equipped and enemy planes attacking..

Having dedicated era servers for WWII with chain home radar would attract me.

Simon.

how would that work gaming-wise ?

I am asking because the recent progress in the Nasal/Canvas department means that we can now provide a visual editor to place arbitrary stuff, including 3D objects, AI traffic, but possibly also radar stations. So what's needed is 3-fold: 1) 3D objects to represent the actual radar (could be power pylons for starters), 2) a list of positions where those are to be placed (seems to be available online), 3) some functionality that could turn this into "gaming", i.e. hit/miss and different ways to respond this properly.

As you may have noticed, we are also working towards extending the scriptable tutorial system to support missions and adventures (those guys were actually asking for "mission ideas").

Being involved in both efforts to some degree, we could probably come up with a simple "mission" that involves circumventing a chain home radar system, or responding to its alerts.

A first prototype would obviously be "local", i.e. not involve any MP or dual-piloting, but it's not impossible, not even extremely difficult to combine those 3 features. After all, it's really just a bit of scripting tied together. And it's nothing that would take ages to pull off as long as people can live with some compromises initially.

http://wiki.flightgear.org/FlightGear_N ... Map_dialog
Image

This is probably too modern and airliner-centric for your taste, but everything you see there is 100% configurable through images (png or svg), i.e. can be customized - we could even show symbols for radar stations across pre-defined paths, actually place 3D models (as long as we can get our hands on a list of positions) and sound some yelling or alarm if any radar is activated - combined with Thorsten's bad weather that could actually be a fun mission for starters.

So, we would need a list of positions, e.g. based on: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chain_Home ... Home_sites

The whole thing could then be turned into a map-editor like this:
Image

Also, tutorials & missions are just XML - Nasal isn't needed to create simple tutorials

As long as someone can provide a list of positions, we can place radar antennas, show them on a map (including radar beams), and even instantiate some piece of Nasal for each antenna that tracks sector violations. This would not be complicated to pull off, not even using just the tutorials system - and once we support Nasal blocks per model, we can easily run custom logic.
Please don't send support requests by PM, instead post your questions on the forum so that all users can contribute and benefit
Thanks & all the best,
Hooray
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Re: Chain Home Missions

Postby Bomber » Tue May 13, 2014 5:45 pm

Ok because a mission of any type should never be simple or for that matter predicable you have to break it down into scenarios that can by their definition be variable..

Chain home was a directional radar pointing across the channel, there being two 'electronic' systems short and long range. Once you've flown past the chain and got behind it you were in effect off the radar... and this is where local spotters on church roofs using binoculars and hearing the sound of engines over to the north and triangulating this type of info from various sources both on the ground and in the air were used...

But the point of the exercise was that there was a plane coming with bombs to drop and your job was to stop them... (now I know you all know this, but it does no harm to say it)

So isn't that the starting point for an offline mission.... A plane takes off in France, climbs to 11000ft and heads to one of several possible destinations via some way points, either a city, an airfield or a radar station and drops his bombs and then returns.

Now I see that as a basic script that could be used anywhere in the world, any starting point, any destination, and height.

Of course a single plane might not be what you're after, maybe a variable amount... Russian bears flying to North America and you have to intercept in Phantoms.
And the frequency of missions shouldn't be just one set of intruders going for a target, but maybe one on the way, one climbing to alt and another taking off, depending upon difficulty,... the exercise being to stress the game player, forcing decision to be made... intercept this or that...

Online you don't have to script any of this, players fly the planes.. but you do have to give them a reason to fly a slow lumbering bomber towards waiting fast fighters, no body likes being cannon fodder and the but of the joke.

Chain home is about knowing in advance the location, direction and possible destination of incoming , it's a valuable asset so has to be protected. If it gets damaged or destroyed then the map should no longer show all the information that it should, maybe late information or downright wrong information.....making it harder more stressful.

So chain home is 3 lines of defence.... long range directional radar, short range directional radar and omnidirectional short range spotters..

But in the end either online of offline, you have to be able to judge your ability, did you succeed or fail in your task... so data has to be presented to the gamer.
"If anyone ever tells you anything about an aeroplane which is so bloody complicated you can't understand it, take it from me - it's all balls" - R J Mitchel
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Re: Chain Home Missions

Postby Hooray » Tue May 13, 2014 5:56 pm

that sounds do-able, even though the tutorial system was clearly not designed with such variable/dynamic goals in mind - currently, we have support for static/fixed things like:

  • starting point
  • number/position of 3D models (or even scripted traffic)
  • fixed "goals"

Those could be parameterized to become more dynamic. But I think that's too much currently to pull off properly. What may work sufficiently is having a list of ingredients, such as:
  • list of starting points
  • list of targets
  • list of dynamic factors (weather, visibility, failures)

And combine those in a semi-random fashion to keep complexity low. Stuart once mentioned that he prototyped a "mission generator" using this method. And this approach should work well for us, too - i.e. having a list of objectives and potential issues that are randomly mixed during start-up

I would expect flug's bombable addon to have several components that could be generalized to become modules for such a "mission generator"
Please don't send support requests by PM, instead post your questions on the forum so that all users can contribute and benefit
Thanks & all the best,
Hooray
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pui2canvas | MapStructure | Canvas Development | Programming resources
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