|2010-04-13||New Trailer Explaining Arma 2 Mission Definition and In-Game Features|
A new Youtube movie is available illustrating PlannedAssault web based mission definition and the corresponding in-game features.
While preparing the movie, several bugs were fixed, and new mods and units have been added. See the list after the movie and screenshots for more info.
ten steps to create a mission
positioning units and objectives
example of a two formation attack
mission defined transport of infantry
AA unit protecting attacking formation
customized units in the unit database
movie small print
Mods and units added:
The planner and website have been upgraded to versions 1.08 and 1.21 respectively.
|2010-03-08||Beta Opens Up|
PlannedAssault's beta stage is now open for 'everyone'. Please use the Register button above to create an account. If you participated in the closed beta, you need to sign up again.
For a quick tutorial on how to create missions, please view the Youtube video. Although the planner and mission generator have significantly improved, missions are still defined in the same way.
|2010-02-19||Planning Failures Explained, Dutch army and air force units added|
For a long time, I considered the game AI problem of "automatically explaining why no plan can be found" a much harder problem than just "automatically creating a plan" (to attack or defend a position). My assumptions were based on my planner being similar to a path finder; Writing a path finding algorithm to find the shortest path to exit a maze is easier than writing an algorithm that explains why it isn't possible to escape the maze and where best to modify the maze to enable escape.
However, the good news is that I was wrong, and PlannedAssault now offers an explanation and recommendations when it fails to find a plan for the given input. The solution is fairly simple and elegant, and I'll explain it below:
PlannedAssault planner providing explanation and recommendations when unable to generate plan/mission
PlannedAssault's planning works by taking a high-level plan and asking AI Commanders to refine this plan into more detailed variants. AI Commanders do this by adding to the plan new lower-level tasks to implement an abstract high level task. This process is repeated until either a plan is created that doesn't need further refinement (in other words, the plan has been fully translated into low level concrete tasks), or when the AI Commanders are unable to refine the incomplete plans further.
In PlannedAssault's planning, each of the AI commanders covers a specific scope and maneuver type. For example, one commander translates 'transported movements tasks' for a transporter unit and a cargo unit into pick up locations, drop off locations, vehicle movements and instructions to mount and unmount. Another commander refines tackles 'combat team attack' tasks into main and flank attacks, assembly areas and fire support needs.
It is not unusual that a partial plan cannot be refined by any of the AI commanders. Typically, there will be another variant of the overall plan that can be successfully refined, and the problematic partial plan simply is one of the discarded options. For example, when the terrain does not offer sufficient space to attack with a single large formation (one AI commander's specialty), a two prong flanking assault with two small formations (another AI commander's specialty) might succeed.
Planner failures thus occur when none of the plan variants can be refined into a more concrete plan by any of the AI commander. Why exactly does that happen, and what do we tell the user so he can work around this? Only the AI commanders know!
The solution then is simple: upon a planner failure, collect the tasks which the AI commanders failed to refine, and ask all AI commanders covering that task why they failed, and what they recommend to change in the input (selected units and their positions, selected objectives and their positions). Above, their advice is shown.
Dutch air force AH-64D engaging
Dutch L16 mortar team awaiting missions
Dutch F16C firing missiles
In PlannedAssault's supported Arma II mods, the Dutch are now represented with infantry (by Aeneas2020, Binkowski and friends), fighter jets (VXR F-16C reskin of Myke's F-16C Falcon mod) and gunships (NCS's AH-64D reskins). With a bit of scripting I've added a Dutch mortar team to PlannedAssault's unit database.
The planner and website now run versions 1.06 and 1.16.
|2010-02-10||Arma II mods: Mando Missile initialization added, IslaDuala terrain updated to 1.3|
PlannedAssault's Arma II mod database has been updated with Mandoble's 'Mando Missile ArmA for A2'. Furthermore, mission planning for IslaDuala is now done based on the IslaDuala 1.3 terrain.
Supporting Mando Missile is as easy as placing a few modules in the editor or, alternatively, calling three functions from init.sqf. The latter option coincides with per-mod init commands supported in PlannedAssaults data model, and has been chosen. To enjoy Mando Missile behavior in your mission, simply select the mod in the mod selection screen.
Mando Missile init in PlannedAssault mission
Mando Missile init.sqf initialization in PlannedAssault's mod database