Add a meta level gameplay over Alive?

  1. 11 months ago

    I used to play a lot with Alive last year, enjoyed the dynamic environment and all the support functions tremendously. Patrolled on different maps but never really finished clean up one map. And I find it is the lack of a meta gameplay, e.g., resource gain/lose linked to mission success or area control, and the cost to purchase support/supply/reinforcements, that limited the interest or motivation to continue play. There are many missions on different maps with different flavors, but in their core the gameplay is rather similar, go out to a patrol to kill some insurgents, or jump into a conventional war and do some shooting. but rarely I felt what did affect the game.

    This year after I recovered from ARMA 3 fatigue, I started to play liberation, which I realize is just the opposite to Alive: much more thought on the meta level gameplay, i.e., resources, alert level all linked to what the player has been doing in the game, but the down side is the map is so static in comparison to Alive. Hence I am wondering if any of the talented mission makers here have thought about adding some resource management /meta gameplay layer over the excellent foundation of Alive battlefield? I know there is a force pool and can be set to dynamic, but I just feel there is so much potential if this aspect can be elaborated more.

    In some way, I think antistas did a pretty good job combining a meta gameplay layer with a rather dynamic battlefield. Pity I was not a fan of playing the insurgents:)

  2. Tupolov

    13 Jul 2017 Administrator

    Great feedback!

    Originally ALiVE was aimed at co-op milsim groups who provided the background/purpose/meta around their sessions. Our longer term goal was to utliise the War Room to create an "MMO" meta game around individuals and groups leveling up via stats and completing objectives across specific maps and missions. Sadlly, we never recruited the web devs to achieve that and general development took a different turn....

    I say took a different turn because we never really expected ALiVE to catch on as much as it has with the Arma community. We estimated about 50-100 groups would use it - we rapidly got to over 500 groups using ALIVE in the first 3 months. It became apparent that people wanted functional equivalence to MSO, so we concentrated on getting "feature" complete first (and we are still wrapping up final few features!). We also saw that people wanted a more "guided" gameplay approach to ALiVE with additional meta gameplay elements.

    Our first "guided" element was the task system - this gives players tasks to achieve in relation to what is going on. We quickly followed that with a more in-depth logistics simulation around BCRs and Resupply. Although this provided a concept of global force pool and limited side assets etc. we didn't do a great job of exposing that to players.

    Going forward I think we all agree ALiVE needs more of a "presence" in the player experience, ensuring that they are exposed to and aware of how their actions impact the battlefield. That in turn would open up meta gameplay opportunities.

    One quick win would be to integrate OPCOM with the task system so that players are guided more in line with OPCOM's goals. Failure of objectives have a material affect on OPCOM progress, so we need to be able to measure and show that progress in some way.

    Saying all that we have limited dev resources and so we have to be realistic about dev goals. ATM we're really focused on fixing bugs and finalising the original feature list.

    ALiVE is being used in so many different ways that we need to support that flexibility rather than going down the route of a "game mode". In my mind many dynamic mission "mods" are really game modes with a focus on player experience. ALiVE today is very much focused on the mission maker. In fact, I would argue you could build a pretty decent game mode by using ALiVE (and adding those player experience features on top). If we ever get the dev resource it would be great to create a game mode... maybe we call it Multi Session Operations and the circle is complete ;)


  3. Bingo. That's a direction I've always wanted to see ALiVE go in, with tasking based on direct events from the battlefield, and think your idea would be incredible Tupolov, exactly how you wrote it.

  4. Much appreciate your comment Tupolov, and glad to know you guys are giving some serious thought about this!

    Again, disclaimer, I am by no means experienced mission editor, but what I was expecting is not to change Alive in any fundamental way, but rather hoping an mission editor can pull the data from ALIVE and build a meta layer for resource management and objectives on top of it.

    Alive is such a powerful mod to create a dynamic battle ground, it deserve to be played as persistence game or multi-session game. Speaking for myself as mostly an SP player, in the absence of an game master, a persistence game need some kind of meta game play layer to keep it interesting and motivating. And I feel Alive have all the necessary data already in place, laid the ground foundation, just need someone to extract these data and tie them together in a meaningful way.

    Hero, I have played many of your alive mission, i am counting on you too to create one such meta game mission;)

  5. @shi4stone Hero, I have played many of your alive mission, i am counting on you too to create one such meta game mission;)

    Thanks for playing, but I am not your guy for this project. It would require a deep knowledge, tying the meta layer to ALiVE's code, and that is not something I'm equipped to do ATM.

    But I can be the cheerleader for Tupolov's idea (*pulls out palm-palms and waves them*). :)

  6. So I'm from the other end of the spectrum, I actually enjoy not knowing what the OPCOM's goals are etc. In fact half the time we play long term ALiVE missions I have the friendly OPCOM set more as "base defense" than anything. So the players do all the work.

    We enjoy doing a little recon, scouting out the hot spots and then planning missions based around the intel we've gathered. Most of the time I don't even put down a C2ISTAR module.

    I can see why players would want more OPCOM presence, and I think that's great, as long as we can turn it off.

  7. What i am suggesting is not necessarily more guidance from OPCOM, but rather to have some more direct feedback from the game on how am i doing in the persistence campaign, assuming there is an overall objective in the campaign. This feedback could be in term of resource I can use or other more transparent progress indication. If anything, I am more than happy to be my own OPCOM, especially in a insurgency campaign where I only need a couple squad to go out do active patrol and most other friendly are just static defense.

    The way, JD Wang, u describe is how i play alive now too, as it is almost the only way. It is fun for single mission but not very satisfying for a grand campaign, and I just feel it is quite a waste if Alive can not be fully enjoyed as a persistent campaign...

  8. Tupolov

    14 Jul 2017 Administrator

    @JD_Wang So I'm from the other end of the spectrum, I actually enjoy not knowing what the OPCOM's goals are etc. In fact half the time we play long term ALiVE missions I have the friendly OPCOM set more as "base defense" than anything. So the players do all the work.

    This. This is pretty much the original driving force behind ALiVE. We really wanted to create an entire battlefield where players have to recce, recon etc to understand what is going on - with very little guidance from friendly OPCOM etc.

    Saying that, if friendly OPCOM is an attacking force there should be a layer to help players understand what its doing, so player groups can avoid/assist/complement etc. That was pretty much how @SpyderBlack723's operations and intel tablet came about - giving player a better understanding of what friendly OPCOM is doing.

    The task system was really a reaction to the group of players that asked "ALiVE - but what do you do?". We're also finding the task system is a nice complement to our new Air component, by directing players to important ground targets. The task system is a good way to bring players into the battle - if they are not willing to do the recce, recon, patrol themselves.

    I guess what @shi4stone is looking for is a kinda "progress" scorecard for persistent campaigns. For example UI showing you have captured x% of objectives, cleared x% of enemy areas, enemy has x assets, friendlies have x assets, casualty stats for each side etc. Maybe its an addition to the operations/intel tablet functionality. Maybe its something we build into the in-game map UI.

    Obviously, for something like this to be developed we would need a very detailed feature request with design of what it looks like, how it works etc.

  9. Friznit

    14 Jul 2017 Administrator

    See also here:

    Last point specifically. Overall though the intent is to maintain the flexibility of ALiVE whilst providing the tools to expose what's going on under the hood.

  10. Tupolov

    14 Jul 2017 Administrator
    Edited 11 months ago by Tupolov

    Nice one Friz, I think that issue/feature request provides a lot of the info needed for "meta" but in a credibly realistic way.


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