Home » MODDING HQ 1.13 » v1.13 Idea Incubation Lab  » How about adding an UAV?
How about adding an UAV?[message #229800] Thu, 30 July 2009 05:12 Go to next message
MZ0125

 
Messages:19
Registered:December 2008
I just watched a video about the Global Hawk/Predator UAV of the US. And I wonder if it's possible to add an UAV to the game?

Skyrider can spot enemies with his chopper. Yet he can be shot down quite easy in red zones and can not be replenished. What I'm thinking is that with a UAV, we can just buy/build another one if it's destroyed. Since as our smartypants Headrock has his feature of unable to detect distant enemy groups implemented, early warning of enemy existence becomes more important, at least in my point of view

And it does not need to be a Global Hawk, it could just be a big model plane with cameras fitted on... and the SAMs got a really hard time on hitting them, or maybe not at all. Can we make it possible to have certain chance crashing on its own? as it is not some really fancy Global Hawk like UAVs, but a model plane almost made out of scavenged parts... you know... mechanical malfunction... or maybe depends on the mechanical and wisdom skill of the merc who is controlling the UAV?

Or maybe, after our super smart Headrock finish his modification about extra facilities and manned facilities, we can add a UAV controll center at Dressen Airport, where the UAV can take off and land, while someone has to stay there and operate the UAV.

Well... I'm not much of a programmer... So I'm not sure how much work will this be... Please don't skin me if I asked too much...
Re: How about adding an UAV?[message #229844] Thu, 30 July 2009 11:40 Go to previous messageGo to next message
nollan

 
Messages:108
Registered:July 2006
Location: Le Su
I like the idea, but I don't really now that much about how they work in reality. What are the size, the range and the level of technology involved? Maybe you could merge some scrap metal, a radio, a video camera and a wireless modem and then you are good to go? Very Happy

And by the way, my coding experience is limited to making Excel-spreadsheets so we'll have to wait for input on that aspect Wink
Re: How about adding an UAV?[message #230128] Sat, 01 August 2009 10:41 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Starwalker

 
Messages:767
Registered:October 2005
Location: Hannover, Germany
You could use the code for the robot, I'd guess (controlling the UAV via the robot's headset), and equip the UAV with the X-Ray Detector.


Re: How about adding an UAV?[message #234032] Tue, 29 September 2009 13:22 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Czert

 
Messages:107
Registered:August 2007
using of UAV is very nice idea, but original game vas set in 80
Re: How about adding an UAV?[message #234202] Fri, 02 October 2009 11:19 Go to previous messageGo to next message
LootFragg

 
Messages:349
Registered:August 2009
Location: Berlin, Germany
The setting of the game is irrelevant. There are fingerprint ID locked automatic rocket rifles and there's the Metal Storm electronically ignited ammunition, so a cheap model plane doesn't stand out at all.

Basically, I like the idea of a UAV and with your proposal to implement malfunctions, this could be easily balanced out. A UAV could detect enemy movement on the strategic map, possibly reveiling an approximate group size (small, medium, large or Deidranna's revenge). In combat, if a UAV is in the sector, it's got a certain chance of detecting enemies, depending on whether or not enemies are camouflaged, standing near trees or bushes or are hidden below roofs, thus not being visible to the drone at all. This could add a really nice combat element and it could be adjusted to fit the needs of a "high tech special agents squad player type" or a "poor rebels defending their poor country with a poor reconnaissance drone type" by increasing or decreasing the relative chance to spot an enemy per turn / per 10 seconds in real time or alike.

Wow, that's a gorgeous idea actually. I like it. But I can't code. And most of the coders seem to be very busy, so you'll have to discuss that idea, come to a perfect conclusion and wait for some coder to pick up your perfectly designed first post with pictures of eventual graphics and exact description of your ideas. And then... voil
Re: How about adding an UAV?[message #234205] Fri, 02 October 2009 11:44 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Requiem

 
Messages:93
Registered:February 2007
Would a UAV actually be made to fly over buildings or would it's movement be restricted as if it was the robot but with different graphics?

Perhaps a simpler idea more in keeping with JA2's improvised item merges would be a toy remote controlled car that you can glue a camera to and then send off scouting. And perhaps add a block of c4 and a remote detonator and drive it right up to a fortified enemy position.
Re: How about adding an UAV?[message #234206] Fri, 02 October 2009 11:46 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Logisteric

 
Messages:3275
Registered:December 2008
Location: B
won't work if it's not 'civilian' - if it's a merc the guys supossed to get bombed would open up onto it
Re: How about adding an UAV?[message #234218] Fri, 02 October 2009 13:01 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Requiem

 
Messages:93
Registered:February 2007
Only if they see it coming. If say they were inside (hence the fortified) you'd be able to drive up to the building unseen, easier and faster than sneaking a merc there, placing the charge and sneaking them back to a safe distance.
Re: How about adding an UAV?[message #234219] Fri, 02 October 2009 13:06 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Logisteric

 
Messages:3275
Registered:December 2008
Location: B
forget - if we'll get it has to be something like goliath
Re: How about adding an UAV?[message #234228] Fri, 02 October 2009 13:54 Go to previous messageGo to next message
LootFragg

 
Messages:349
Registered:August 2009
Location: Berlin, Germany
Okay, the ideas are going into a different direction here. Toy cars with bombs, I like your evil thoughts. The car could be a merc, but with a very high stealth and camo level, so there's little chance to spot it, but it's a bit too creative, I think.

The UAV shouldn't really be a robot / vehicle of some sorts. It's not really there, it flies high above your head and takes snapshots of you, so there's no need to exercise control over it when in combat, you only fly it from sector to sector. That's what I think fits best, both gameplaywise and realistic.

Focus a bit back on the drone and think further. Answer all the necessary points and keep coming up with ideas.


By the way, you don't have to entirely stick to the third world 80s soviet weapon country theme. There are so many weapons, weapon mods and for mods containing modern infantry combat (Night Ops?) a UAV drone could really be a great addon. Though for standard JA2, a simple and very ineffective drone will do fine.
Re: How about adding an UAV?[message #234233] Fri, 02 October 2009 14:49 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Requiem

 
Messages:93
Registered:February 2007
LootFragg
Okay, the ideas are going into a different direction here. Toy cars with bombs, I like your evil thoughts. The car could be a merc, but with a very high stealth and camo level, so there's little chance to spot it, but it's a bit too creative, I think.
Too creative how?

LootFragg
The UAV shouldn't really be a robot / vehicle of some sorts. It's not really there, it flies high above your head and takes snapshots of you, so there's no need to exercise control over it when in combat, you only fly it from sector to sector. That's what I think fits best, both gameplaywise and realistic.
In otherwords a replacement for the x-ray device, only needing refueling rather than batteries and having a greater range.
Re: How about adding an UAV?[message #234239] Fri, 02 October 2009 16:32 Go to previous messageGo to next message
LootFragg

 
Messages:349
Registered:August 2009
Location: Berlin, Germany
I mean too creative in a way that we move off the main topic when thinking about more vehicles.

I have to admit that I've never used the x-ray device, but yes, it's strategically similar, I guess. Though, if I'm right concerning the device, it spots targets in a certain range and is very reliable, plus it can see through walls. Am I right? Now, the drone also has a reconnaissance effect. On the battlefield it works as a global modifier. I think it's best to calculate the chance to detect an enemy based on whether or not he has been spotted before or lost out of sight, is camouflaged, like I said hidden in bushes or high grass, and it should work very randomly and not always in a way of revealing the enemy, but only marking his position as an approximate value. The difference is that in close combat the system won't give you the results a scanner would, it would be too unreliable and blurred and not able to spot enemies hidden in buildings, but at longer ranges, such a drone could give a strategical advantage by marking average enemy group positions and at times revealing even some. Now that you mention it, you could achieve perfect reconnaissance by using the x-ray device and the drone.

You said refueling. Do you mean returning to the airport as Skyrider does or would you want gasoline to play a role? If yes, how much and would you want it to be maintained like a vehicle with repairing and refueling it?

The second effect of the drone however is watching enemy movement on the map. With HAM's need for reconnaissance you could use your drone to gather intelligence like militia does, only fast, with better control and the chance to explore enemy territory with less probability of being shot down due to its size, if I understood the first posts correctly.

I'd like to add that the drone should only be available when the game advances, like the robot, for example. If we play around with thoughts a bit, we could also think of adding an NPC, perhaps a computer kid, whatever that kid should have to do in Arulco. Madlab's nephew? =D
So he could give you the quest to look for parts he can analyze, hard to find stuff, a walk-man, a lameboy, a fumble pak, the VHS camera and he only copies the technology. That way you wouldn't interfere with the other quests by consuming rare parts. That kid will demand payment for every action, only work after you've met his uncle, need several parts and demand stuff you find around Arulco to build a spy drone from model plane parts he steals from the airport, whatever. So building a drone is time consuming and takes up valuable ressources and you'll have the option to get one, since it can come crashing down every other day thus costing lots of cash.

When thinking of treating it like a vehicle... well, someone has to find out whether or not that works. It should only spawn on the map when it's at the airport, possibly next to the shipment store. You could then refuel it with gas and repair it like you would repair the ice cream truck.

Graphics shouldn't be the main problem, I suppose. It should fit, but it can look very simple and doesn't need animation.

Oi, keep storming your brains, fellow drone lovers!
Re: How about adding an UAV?[message #234241] Fri, 02 October 2009 17:05 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Requiem

 
Messages:93
Registered:February 2007
Probably the easiest way is to make it a replacement for the x-ray device, change the x-ray device into the control unit. Have the UAV a man portable UAV like the RQ-11 Raven which is launched by throwing, and uses batteries. In the description say it's equiped with a thermal scanner. Then change the scan range and time and make it so to activate instead of the handset icon you throw the device like a grenade.
Re: How about adding an UAV?[message #234244] Fri, 02 October 2009 18:29 Go to previous messageGo to next message
LootFragg

 
Messages:349
Registered:August 2009
Location: Berlin, Germany
There's one problem. Animations. If you really want to make it launchable in combat, you need an appropriate merc animation (say "throw") and you'll need the drone itself, probably visible all the time when carried around and JA2 is not designed to show equipped gear. When throwing it you need to circumvent the projectile engine so you don't throw a drone to land on the ground again, but you want it to boost up to the skies. That means lots of extra scripting and an entirely new way of setting stuff. You want to use it like a remote, add a throw animation, add a drone to the hand or play an animation where the drone is launched over the merc's head, that animation has to have 8 different angles. It's a whole lot of effort and I liked the idea due to its simplicity. JA2 is obviously a hard to modify game. I've asked the question if there is the chance to change the mortar illumination shell animation, so it only shoots up, but doesn't come down and still illuminate everything below it, but it's not possible with the projectile engine right now, so you're basically digging a deep effort hole and having 6 coders work day and night on this project is just not worth it. It's just a minor addon.

So I'd definitely stick with the vehicle type drone.
Re: How about adding an UAV?[message #234251] Fri, 02 October 2009 20:38 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Requiem

 
Messages:93
Registered:February 2007
Adding an animation would be fancy, not quite what I meant, to use it you equip the remote and you have a icon showing a hand throwing the uav. Then instead of whatever the current animation for using the x-ray device you have the character use the throwing animation (if in fact there is an animation for the x-ray device, it's been so long since I built one) no projectile needed. The actual uav would just be an inventory item perhaps you need to attach it to the remote to signify you've launched it.
Re: How about adding an UAV?[message #234307] Sat, 03 October 2009 23:29 Go to previous messageGo to next message
LootFragg

 
Messages:349
Registered:August 2009
Location: Berlin, Germany
Don't you think this might be a tad bit too less effort? You just make a movement and then you suggest but don't show that there is a drone above you? JA2 does not have very detailed graphics, but almost every other action has an according animation and you usually know from just watching it that a specific thing just happened. Maybe not with stealing, but almost everything else. So this would look cheap and that's definitely what one would try to avoid working on that project. What about the other suggestions I made? What do you think of them? Criticize.
Re: How about adding an UAV?[message #234310] Sun, 04 October 2009 00:53 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Requiem

 
Messages:93
Registered:February 2007
For one thing the drone would fly higher than you'd see even from the isometric perspective, for another would it really look cheap, cheaper than a guy in a sleeveless t-shirt donning a ghilie suit by changing colour?

If you really want a projectile animation couldn't the crow anim/shadow be used as a guide? As for landing, I think what would be needed would be a change in graphics not coding. Make it use a different image when on the ground after being launched, an image that makes it look like it's flying not just lying there. Same goes for the mortar flare, did they say it's not possible to use a different anim from the same weapon or just not possible to make it not come down?

Why add another character when Madlab is under used? And having it as a vehicle, wouldn't someone need to be assigned to that vehicle to be able to move across the strategic map?
Re: How about adding an UAV?[message #234311] Sun, 04 October 2009 01:02 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Logisteric

 
Messages:3275
Registered:December 2008
Location: B
if it's a vehicle like the trucks, there has to be someone inside - if it sth like the robot it could be controlled by a merc (who looses aps in the process - a lot of aps cause he's to controll that uav threedimensionally)
Re: How about adding an UAV?[message #234319] Sun, 04 October 2009 01:48 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Czert

 
Messages:107
Registered:August 2007
I think for controling UAV you will need command truck, and actual UAV will be represented as merc (robot).
1. command truck - serves as start/land/refuel/transport base for UAV. Moves same ways as normal vehicle in game. Need one merc to drive/operate. Cant carry more mercs/items. only UAV.
How to aqure CT ? Thats about discusion. You can get it from "madlabs brother" for free (quest), quest + demanding of one of your vehicles to convert to CV (very interesing posibility) , or directly from madlab in exhage for robot (so, you will have robot or UAV, not booth).
2. UAV - if it can be upgraded/assembled from parts is matter of discusion. How it will work ?
In strategical mode, as mini-copter (range 4 sectors from CV - simulates radio range, shorter duration than helictoper - endurance, auto refual from CV, much smaller chance of begin shot down by SAM - much harder to spot by radar/target to missile).
In tactical mode - thats hardest thing to evolve - it will be placed off--map (as skyrider/helicopter), works same ways as X-ray, wilt limited uses, before it needs retun to base for "reload". Yes, direct flyiing over ground, controling it..etc will be very nice, but I thing hard to code (and need new animations), and make this long term project (and IIRC we have much nicer big project ahead of us - NGAP, mayby after this is done).
Re: How about adding an UAV?[message #234322] Sun, 04 October 2009 02:33 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Logisteric

 
Messages:3275
Registered:December 2008
Location: B
that make three personel slots

1. uav = robot = merc
2. handler = merc
3. comand vehicle = vehicle = merc
Re: How about adding an UAV?[message #234329] Sun, 04 October 2009 04:59 Go to previous messageGo to next message
LootFragg

 
Messages:349
Registered:August 2009
Location: Berlin, Germany
Yeah, the shirt guys running around unarmoured. Okay, get it. Well, I'm not sure about animations, since I'm not the guy behind the code, but I think I've talked to Headrock about mortars and he told me, I guess he did, that you can't shoot without a projectile being emitted, so then I tried to find out whether it's possible to make that projectile disappear halfway, that's what it was about. So using the animation is not the problem, but it's not possible with the gun system. You can't just launch it like usual equipment.

You could also use MadLab, why not? I thought of maintenance, but you could also land it elsewhere.

Or you could follow the idea that's presented here. Having a UAV command center truck. I didn't think of it. This could be a nice feature, limiting the range of intelligence to where you're willing to go.
Also a very interesting thing to think of is converting any vehicle, I'm thinking of the ice cream truck here, into that specific UAV support vehicle. You could sacrifice some (or all, but that's not worth it) of the valuable storage it provides and get a nice reconnaissance drone. This means you don't need many additional costs and negative features to balance it out, since you've already given up the capacity the truck provides. Recovering and repairing the drone could then be simulated by just spawning another drone at that vehicle after a certain time or you could drive back to madlab and he builds one. The drone could be an item, a big one like the jerrycan, that you'd have to put into the remaining inventory of the UAV truck in order to be able to launch it. You could also add a wrecked drone that appears in the sector the drone crashed. You would have to bring it back to MadLab so he can use some of the parts again, but of course, he would need to buy some other rare stuff and since he's low on finances, it's you who would have to tip him.

Great idea, very nice.

I also haven't thought of the mini-copter. I was against the use of a real drone in tactical mode, because a small airplane (what we were talking about earlier) doesn't stand still and doesn't fly at that altitude. A helicopter, however, working the same way a military UAV drone could (thinking of Ghost Recon), could be visible in combat and even be shot down. That's another dimension I did not entirely think about. It would require only few animations (8 directions, some rotor movement, a crash animation) and work as a direct spotter, not as a global detection tool.

It's still easier to just leave it in strategical and not include it as an object in tactical mode.

Czert, it's not a matter of importance, this is, after all, a very remote thought and not necessary to the game. You're right, however, that it's better to keep it simple (JA2 principle), so possible coders won't have to do much more work than what is necessary. Even if it gets coded, making a drone available in tactical view is just another step that doesn't interfere much with what we have come up with, yet.

I'd therefore stick with simplicity first and make the drone available in strategical mode, coding only the random chance of detecting people in the open, the drone itself being more of an abstract thing, like Skyrider, who also never shows up in the map.

So there basically are these two decisions to make so far:

Vehicle based
- A modified truck / any other vehicle that can launch our drone (how?)
- It takes care of any maintenance and refueling.
- It needs one merc (or two?) to drive around / control the drone.

Airport based
- The drone has a starting / landing sector (preferably the airport).
- It works the way Skyrider works.
- Maintenance and refueling could be done in that sector via repair / the gas can action.
- It needs a merc to be either there or have a remote control / specific headset.

Logisteric, I don't get what you mean by handler. Isn't that covered in 1.) uav = robot ? So either there is someone in the vehicle or he's got a remote.
And you mentioned that there are the two possibilities of either making it a vehicle and putting someone inside it or making it a robot with someone controlling it via remote. Aren't there any further possibilities? If not, I'd make it a vehicle and put a dummy inside. Skyrider, after all, isn't one of your mercs either. He's there for sound purposes, but he doesn't show up or leave his helicopter, yet he's controllable via the airspace screen. Since you don't even need voices for it, the drone might be fitted with a merc you don't know anything about, just for game mechanics' sake.

Please decide whether you'd want a command truck or not. Also, keep spamming ideas. Even if they're not thought over yet. Exchange your ideas, I like that thread and want a drone in JA2.

LetoFragged
Re: How about adding an UAV?[message #234344] Sun, 04 October 2009 12:27 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Logisteric

 
Messages:3275
Registered:December 2008
Location: B
the robot is controlled by a headset (on a merc) - your uav is to be controlled by some form of controll device (on a merc/handler) that consumes about 80% of his/her aps

if someone does all this i bet it's a question of days til someone demands that uav to be armed with an agm-114 hellfire
Re: How about adding an UAV?[message #234363] Sun, 04 October 2009 16:57 Go to previous messageGo to next message
LootFragg

 
Messages:349
Registered:August 2009
Location: Berlin, Germany
It's not even a question of days. Every step towards modern warfare gets hectic responses all demanding more cool stuff. This is always the case. If we can have this XX rocket in Arulco, why don't we get the YY gun? That's not logical, in Iraq, statistically, blah blah. That's why I try to keep it vvvery low to make it fit. Although I don't care what people would do with it when designing their own mod.
Re: How about adding an UAV?[message #234421] Mon, 05 October 2009 03:56 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Czert

 
Messages:107
Registered:August 2007
Logisteric
that make three personel slots

1. uav = robot = merc
2. handler = merc
3. comand vehicle = vehicle = merc
.

Yes, it will use 3 slots to create it (and most realistic IMO,m and desnt matter if you replace CV with something else), but you will use 2 slots to operate it (merc in CV and UAV) - same way as robot is handled, with onlyest difference, that contoling mer will be outside combat,
Re: How about adding an UAV?[message #234454] Mon, 05 October 2009 12:46 Go to previous messageGo to next message
LootFragg

 
Messages:349
Registered:August 2009
Location: Berlin, Germany
Chain of thoughts: If we think of a toy copter visible on the battlefield, what we'd need is the model's animations. The way this is done is by modeling a helicopter (low polygons) in some 3D studio, apply textures, extract snapshots of it from every possible angle in an isometric stretch under the influence of a fixed light source, the same light source that exists in JA2, dunno where the sun was in that case. To the right I think. The pics have to be shifted off a bit to simulate movement, since this is a toy helicopter and thus not very stable, it would have to go up, down, left right, and so on, not in a static way, which means more angles and axis shifts. The frames have to be filtered to match the looks of JA2, some funny job for some guy who doesn't know what to do with all of his time. There should be additional effects like smoke from the engine to make that think look like a toy copter. Also, there would be a need for movement frames and a crash animation.

Fun.

I decided on trying to learn code, inspired by Sandro, thanks Sandro, but I'll most definitely fail and if I succeed, it will take time, lots of. Plus I now have less time, which sucks bloody arse. I'll not take any more care of this project until I have anything to add.

SlutFag

P.S.: Yes I did call myself this way.
Re: How about adding an UAV?[message #239094] Tue, 01 December 2009 00:44 Go to previous messageGo to next message
ChonkE

 
Messages:17
Registered:January 2008
Location: Utah
I think the idea of using the HAM facility chart to make a UAV/Intelligence HQ (like one of the Alrulco militia HQs) for the Strat Map is a very solid one. If you dress it up like the Helicopter and use the "No Enemy Movement Unless Scouted/Spotted" or whatever so that it flies around and shows the enemies in the adjacent sectors. It would be useful, and not overly complicated. Call it a UAV, Satellite Imagery or whatever! Charge by the sector and time-allotted for overflight/stat. orbit using the already added in features wouldnt be overly difficult.

I think adding this to Tactical game might be a bit of a stretch, but it would be really cool if you pulled it off Smile
Re: How about adding an UAV?[message #239164] Wed, 02 December 2009 13:08 Go to previous messageGo to next message
usrbid

 
Messages:1535
Registered:December 2008
Quote:
modeling a helicopter (low polygons) in some 3D studio


And don't forget shading, you want this helicopter to be darker at night and slightly less bright at dusk and dawn.

But there are graphic artists who can just hand draw all the animations, but it does take a lot of time.

I have done custom explosion animations, it is fairly easy when you have an ani GIF as a basis to work with. There is a very large number of royalty free ani GIFs available.


Re: How about adding an UAV?[message #252418] Thu, 27 May 2010 20:33 Go to previous messageGo to next message
ExxonMobile
Messages:1
Registered:May 2010
Logisteric
the robot is controlled by a headset (on a merc) - your uav is to be controlled by some form of controll device (on a merc/handler) that consumes about 80% of his/her aps

if someone does all this i bet it's a question of days til someone demands that uav to be armed with an agm-114 hellfire


Sir, but I originally requested the AGM-65s! And the "G" model please so my merc buddies and I can steer that warhead proper. Razz
Re: How about adding an UAV?[message #252433] Thu, 27 May 2010 21:23 Go to previous message
SpaceViking

 
Messages:757
Registered:January 2004
Location: Rochester, Minnesota, USA
How about just remotely operated cameras? Treat them as an invisible person with limited range of view. You could even add something where if foes see them (like spotting mines?) they try to attack and destroy them.


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