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Posted (edited)

I'm having an unusual (for me) problem.  I am trying to get a flight of fighters to escort and flight of bombers.  But even before I set up the logic for the Cover MCU I have an anomaly.
Although the bombers upon spawning form fight up, fly to target, drop bombs and return home the fighters spawn and fly around in circles.  At first I thought it was a timing issues with the triggers as that had happened before but not the case this time.
I went so far as to copy the bomber logic and tie it identically to the fighters.  No joy.  I did try adding the Cover MCU Target Linking it to the bombers and Object Linking it to the fighters per the manual.  Didn't help.

The screenshot below shows the logic setup.  I have also included the values for the various MCU's

.

* "New" timer set for 6 seconds/100% probability

* 2s START Timer set for 2 seconds/100% probability

* 2s Formation Timr set for 6 seconds/100% probability

* Command Formation:  Plane V Form/Dense

Fighter Plane Advanced Properties; Enabled not checked, AI set to Normal (same as bombers)

First Fighter Waypoint Object Linked to fighter LEADER.

First Waypoint Target Linked to 2nd Waypoint etc.

 

This logic works for the bombers, they spawn, form up and fly to their first waypoint.  Fighters just circle at spawn point.

What do I need to change?

 

TIA

Fighter Logic.jpg

Edited by Beebop

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Possibly formation before waypoint. Also I can't see if you have linked the wingman to the leader, but that may be just the picture

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Posted (edited)

Wingmen are linked and fly in circles, in 'V' formation with leader.  They are circling at the spawn point and not going to the first waypoint at all.

As I understand it the waypoint needs to be activated before the formation command.

After mission start the New timer triggers the New activator after six seconds.  The New activator is Object linked to the lead fighter.

The New timer also triggers the 2s START timer set to 2 seconds which activates the first waypoint.

The 2s START timer also triggers the 2s Formation timer which is set to 6 seconds which the triggers the Command Formation timer Object linked to the lead fighter.

 

The timing of this doesn't make sense but it is the exact same logic path and timings as the bomber formation with spawns and heads for the first waypoint and then flies it's route.  I have also used this same logic path and timings in another mission to get three Stuka's to spawn and fly their waypoints. 

What I can't understand is why it works for one flight but not the other.  The only difference between the fighter flight and the bomber flight is plane type and altitude.

Edited by Beebop

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Posted (edited)

Can I see your mission please?

 

Quick thoughts... Is the waypoint sending a message to the flight that says, "Hey, fly over here sillys!"? The waypoint may be active, but you still have to tell the planes which waypoint to go to. Often times, the first waypoint doesn't have a "go here" message tied to it when I view other's mission issues.

 

 

EDIT: Here's what I mean about the waypoints (For anyone else needing similar help):

 

 

Edited by [TWB]Sketch

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Posted (edited)

2s START time is Target Linked to first fighter waypoint activating it.

Fighter Waypoint 1 is Object Linked to fighter leader.

 

I carefully duplicated the logic structure, timings and links of the bomber flight which behaves properly.

Edited by Beebop

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Okay, I get that your frustrated. That just means you're learning! 😀 (Positivity and all that... ) I'm not certain whats wrong, so I'd need to see the mission to help further.

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Sorry.  I didn't mean to come across as frustrated but yes, I am.  Here is the complete mission.  Place the folder in Multiplayer > Dogfight

Stalag 666.zip

BTW, your videos have been very instructive and illuminating for me.  thanks! 👍

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It's all good. Let me take a look at it and I'll get back to you.

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Posted (edited)

Once I get those fighters flying I want them to cover the bomber flight.

Edited by Beebop

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Posted (edited)

 

You'll need to add other logic to get them to stop covering. As an example, the ju88s enter the last waypoint to land. Once they do, then you can do a force complete on the 109s and then give them a land mcu as well.

To setup the cover mcu, on page 122 of Jims Manual ->

 

 

 Capture.JPG.f2cae640c1a0a5b4f414dd3c6030a710.JPG

Edited by [TWB]Sketch
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Does cover work on a spawned flight?  If I have a covered flight I always put it on the map instead of spawning it.  I know that formation doesn't work worth diddly on a spawned group.

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9 minutes ago, PatrickAWlson said:

Does cover work on a spawned flight?  If I have a covered flight I always put it on the map instead of spawning it.  I know that formation doesn't work worth diddly on a spawned group.

 

I'm not sure to be honest. Maybe? 

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5 minutes ago, [TWB]Sketch said:

 

I'm not sure to be honest. Maybe? 

 

I know that formation doesn't work.  However you can get multiple spawns to go to a waypoint (where they will collide because they are not in formation).

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8 minutes ago, PatrickAWlson said:

 

I know that formation doesn't work.  However you can get multiple spawns to go to a waypoint (where they will collide because they are not in formation).

Correct. Your question was (as I understood it), "Does the Cover MCU work with spawned in vehicle entities?" And the answer is, I don't know. It's worth a test for sure.

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@ Sketch.  THANKYOUTHANKYOOUTHANKYOU  for the video.

1.  I'm glad you initially had the same problem as I did.  I wasn't going crazy after all.  😵

2. I had used a 'Cover' MCU as per the manual but it didn't work.  Thanks for showing me how to make it work.

3. Rebuilding the waypoints worked (who'da thunk it?) so I'll try the same thin using your video as a guide.

 

So many odd things about the ME like the fact that what works for one thing doesn't always work for another.  I'll store away that new found knowledge of considering rebuilding when a "proven"  logic set doesn't work.

 

I can't begin to thank you enough for taking the time not only to look at the mission and find the problem but especially for the video that explained it so clearly.

 

I'll get back and let ya'll know how it turned out. And thanks for all the patience with me guys.  i really appreciate it.

🥇👍🏆👌

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SpawnCoverTests.zip

 

^^ For @PatrickAWlson 

 

I did some tests to see if spawning planes will perform the cover command. And I'm happy to report that they do indeed follow the cover command and can even be released from the command (via force complete mcu).

 

image.thumb.png.1aa2f2e066a1bfb0024c26ba46618c30.png

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I am curious about something: if they can cover but cannot fly formation, what do they do?  Crash into each other?

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OK.  so I followed the video e x a c t l y.

1. I removed all fighter waypoints.

2. I made a new waypoint, "Escort WP".  I set it to 2000 meters, Medium priority.  I Target Linked the 2s Start Timer to it and Object Linked it to the fighter LEADER.

3. I set all the fighters to 2000 meters.

4. I added a Trigger Waypoint and set it to 1 second.

5.  I Target Linked the Escort WP to the Trigger waypoint.

6. I added a Command Cover MCU.  I Target Linked the Waypoint Timer to it.  I Target Linked the Cover MCU to the bombers and Object Linked it to the fighters.

I did not touch the logic for the fighters except to re-link the 2s Start Timer to the new first fighter waypoint.

I went over your video several more times to be sure I was getting everything and rechecked the mission several times before exiting.

I started the mission and..................................................

 

Now the fighters don't spawn at all.  ARRRGGHH!!!!

These planes spawned before. 

I re-checked the mission and retried several times just to make sure everything I added had properly saved.  (it did).

I also tried restarting the computer just in case and I checked the mission file integrity in the ME.  No problems noted.

 

Since I am making a dogfight mission does the Cover MCU not work/mess up in that type of mission?  I did have one in before and the fighters still spawned.

If it's the mission type then I'll have to forgo the cover flight as the Ju-88's spawn and fly just fine.  Their whole purpose is as a surprise for the players when they attack the harbor by the Player Spawn airfield.  I just wanted some defense in case one of the players went after them if they were near the airfield.

 

I sometimes wonder if it's my game install but I have had other perplexing issues and it was my lack of understanding that when enlightened, solved the problem (and added to my personal knowledge base).

 

I tell ya, I'm about ready to break out Crimson Skies and reload it onto the computer.😁

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, PatrickAWlson said:

I am curious about something: if they can cover but cannot fly formation, what do they do?  Crash into each other?

Before I gave them a cover command, each had their own waypoint, so that they wouldn't crash into each other while in flight to their rendezvous with the bombers. Once they reached the destination, I only gave a single cover command to all the fighters because I do believe the ai is smart enough to avoid a collision while protecting a target. Having said all that, the ai is stupid; as I'm sure you're all too aware. So my official stance is, the ai will cover a target 60% of the time, every time. I do have video of them flying together while covering the bombers, and they never hit each other. It's a bit long:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

57 minutes ago, Beebop said:

Now the fighters don't spawn at all.  ARRRGGHH!!!!

These planes spawned before. 

I re-checked the mission and retried several times just to make sure everything I added had properly saved.  (it did).

I also tried restarting the computer just in case and I checked the mission file integrity in the ME.  No problems noted.

 

It looks like you had the fighters disabled by default. Did you plan to activate them at some point? I assume so, because you had an activation MCU tied to the bombers, but not to the fighters. When I checked for issues of your mission, I must have clicked 'enabled' without even thinking about it.

 

image.thumb.png.2cefe8fc4f2e3b95ba20bfa771eb2212.png               image.thumb.png.2a90bdaef281abcfd0336c28589707a6.png   

 

 

 

 

 

57 minutes ago, Beebop said:

Since I am making a dogfight mission does the Cover MCU not work/mess up in that type of mission?  I did have one in before and the fighters still spawned.

If it's the mission type then I'll have to forgo the cover flight as the Ju-88's spawn and fly just fine.  Their whole purpose is as a surprise for the players when they attack the harbor by the Player Spawn airfield.  I just wanted some defense in case one of the players went after them if they were near the airfield.

The Cover MCU isn't causing the planes to not spawn in and should work fine in your dogfight mission. When solving problems, try to imagine each MCU as an event in a chain of events. Sort of like Christmas lights, or dominoes that fall down... Something like that. I wish we had a better debugging system - where you can set a breakpoint on an MCU, and step through each MCU until you figure out what's going on, but I digress...

 

Below is an image of how I think things through when setting up events or troubleshooting issues.

 

 

image.png.f6a46a25a1909e57ce8c4360eac94c05.png

 

In my experience, it's nearly always something that's easy to figure out, but because you've been staring at it so long; you're pulling teeth. It's why having a second pair of eyes (having someone else look at your code) is a great idea. 

 

 

 

As a side note, I think you're doing great! If you look back... way back... You can see some of my posts that are very similar when I first started learning the editor. I had the same frustrations, and had the exact same, "What the heck is going on!?" moments. I would bet other mission designers would say they too had the same difficulties when they learned the editor. If you can keep at it, you'll get "over the hump" so-to-speak and be able to create really cool and unique missions (because the editor is so powerful). Don't give up.

Edited by [TWB]Sketch
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Posted (edited)

That was it Sketch.  I failed to 'Enable' the planes.  Now they spawn and escort like they are supposed to.

THANK YOU!

Amazing that it only takes the one waypoint for the fighters to escort.  It's kind of like attaching a glider in 1946.  😉

 

So I am using the Activate MCU incorrectly?  I thought since planes were considered Objects that i should object link it to them.  They won't accept a Target Link.  That seems to be reserved for enabling different MCU's to operate and talk to each other.  Is the Activeate MCU designed to trigger other MCU's? 

Nevermind,  Just re-read up on Trigger Activate MCU's.  (sometimes you (read ME) have to read things a couple of times for them to sink in with all the things there are to know.  Whew!)

 

The power and flexibility of this ME is so advanced from 1946.  So far I'm finding it does just about everything we wanted in '46.  But to achieve that requires a level of complexity that can drive you nuts.  That simple oversight caused a lot of my problems.  At my stage of understanding there's so many things to remember.

Thanks for the help and adding to my knowledge base.  I have long been a supporter of an updated ME manual.  Jim's is tremendous but with all the additions and changes I can see it would be a daunting task to bring it up to date and even then there are so many way to make things happen that covering them all would create a book the size of an unabridged dictionary, LOL.

 

Well it's Bedtime for this Bonzo but tomorrow I may have some questions about the 'Force Complete' MCU as I haven't used it yet.  I would like to have the 109's land as well as the bombers..

Thanks again for all your help.  👌👍

Edited by Beebop
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2 hours ago, Beebop said:

Well it's Bedtime for this Bonzo but tomorrow I may have some questions about the 'Force Complete' MCU as I haven't used it yet.  I would like to have the 109's land as well as the bombers..

Welcome to the use of the Airfield entity. You can use many of them on the same airfield and you can do a lot of very nice things once you will master the Airfield logic, the taxiways, runways etc.

Have fun for the next few weeks. 🙂 

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@Beebop If you enable them I'm pretty sure that you do not have to spawn them.  They will be on the map from the start.

 

Spawn enables the planes on spawn.  What spawn allows you to do is keep planes off the map until you want them on it (usually proximity to player).  I personally would love to have everything enabled from the start and not use spawn at all, but it would bring most systems to their knees.

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OK.  to prevent another ARRGGH! moment,


I have read about the 'Force Complete Command' MCU and read the example mission showing how it is used in the manual but am unsure of how to implement it as was suggested to get the fighters to land with the bombers.
In particular I gather that I need to Object Link it to the bombers,and enable it via a Message Link from the bombers to a 'Counter Trigger' Target Linked to the 'Force Complete' MCU.
If that is correct what "message" do I send from the bombers, 'OnBinogBombs'?
Is '1' the Counter Number and 'Reset After Cleared' the Advanced Properties for the 'Counter Trigger' MCU?
Also I am unsure of what waypoints to link.  The only fighter waypoint?

 

Again this is just one of many uses for these MCU's and I understand that every possible usage can't be shown as examples.

 

Thanks in advance for the education.

 

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Sorry it's taken so long to bet back.  You gave me a lot to digest in the video.
Again a BIG THANK YOU for going to the trouble to make a video.  It makes things easier to visualize and I greatly appreciate that.  Hopefull others reading this thread will find the vids useful as well.

 

So, I followed your example and placed a 'Force Complete' MCU set to "low". 

I added a waypoint to the bombers just short of the final waypoint that is Target Linked to a 'Command Land'. 

I Object Linked the Force Command to the Fighter Leader and then placed a new waypoint for the fighters near the final bomber waypoint and Object Linked it to the Fighter Leader. 

I then placed a 'Command Land' on a nearby airfield and Target Linked the last fighter waypoint to it and Object Linked the 'Command Land' to the fighter leader. 

Now when the bombers reach the waypoint Target Linked to the Force Complete the fighters break off, head for their last waypoint and land. 

Everything's Jake.  Thanks!

 

Now two questions....
1. I noticed in your video that your cover fighters were not using a formation command.  I tried that but lost fighters as they wildly careened around the bombers.  I went back to using the formation Command and added a fighter.  I still lost two of them.  Do you recommend using a Formation Command for escorting fighters or not?  And if not since it appears that the AI behavior when escorting is so chaotic should each escorting fighter be given it's own waypoint set at a different altitude (fighter and waypoint) the properly link each fighter to the Cover, Force Complete and create a final waypoint and Command Land for each fighter?  Can several different fighters use the same command Land?  (sorry, that's obviously more than one question)

2. During the video you said you would have some graphic glitches because you were running the game and the Editor at the same time?  Did I hear that right?  And if so HOW do you do that?  A typical 2~3 hr building session that has testing involved, even on a small test map, takes up about 1/3 of the time opening and closing the ME and the game.  It would be nice to be able to cut that down by being able to switch between the game and the ME.  (one of the nice things about the 1946 FMB was the ability to fly the mission in while in the FMB)

 

So now I can move on to another learning experience, which I'm sure I'll have questions about.
Again I want to tank you Sketch for taking the additional time not only to address my problems, but also to test, correct, make suggestions and then make videos describing clearly what to do.  I also want to thank you again for your patience.

 

In addition I want to thank everyone who has looked in on this thread and replied with helpful tips and suggestions.  This is a great Community and I am blessed to be a part of it.  As I get more familiar with the ME I will pay it forward and share the things I have learned from everyone.

 

THANK YOU ALL!

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1 hour ago, Beebop said:

So, I followed your example and placed a 'Force Complete' MCU set to "low". 

I added a waypoint to the bombers just short of the final waypoint that is Target Linked to a 'Command Land'. 

I Object Linked the Force Command to the Fighter Leader and then placed a new waypoint for the fighters near the final bomber waypoint and Object Linked it to the Fighter Leader. 

I then placed a 'Command Land' on a nearby airfield and Target Linked the last fighter waypoint to it and Object Linked the 'Command Land' to the fighter leader. 

Now when the bombers reach the waypoint Target Linked to the Force Complete the fighters break off, head for their last waypoint and land. 

Everything's Jake.  Thanks!

Awesome! I'm glad it's working! My day's spirits are much better now.

 

1 hour ago, Beebop said:

1. I noticed in your video that your cover fighters were not using a formation command.  I tried that but lost fighters as they wildly careened around the bombers.  I went back to using the formation Command and added a fighter.  I still lost two of them.  Do you recommend using a Formation Command for escorting fighters or not?  And if not since it appears that the AI behavior when escorting is so chaotic should each escorting fighter be given it's own waypoint set at a different altitude (fighter and waypoint) the properly link each fighter to the Cover, Force Complete and create a final waypoint and Command Land for each fighter?  Can several different fighters use the same command Land?  (sorry, that's obviously more than one question)

The short answer is: "Regardless of formation or not, the ai will probably crash into each other"

The long answer: The ai, in this case, is performing very complex interactions and because of such will not perform how you'd expect. Imagine programming an ai element to follow other ai elements while those other ai elements have their own code... Code that whatever the designer set that ai to do (follow waypoints, attack targets, etc, etc)... That cover mcu logic is gotta be pretty complex! So, let's give the developers a pass on the occasional plane crash. 😄

 

Additionally, I only used individual fighters because I was testing if spawned entities would also follow a Cover MCU command. (And they do.) You can try either method, formation flight or non-formation flight, but if you do I recommend spacing your guardians as far as possible from each other. (Loose formation, or pretty spaced out if not in formation). Of course, this suggestion only helps...

 

1 hour ago, Beebop said:

2. During the video you said you would have some graphic glitches because you were running the game and the Editor at the same time?  Did I hear that right?  And if so HOW do you do that?  A typical 2~3 hr building session that has testing involved, even on a small test map, takes up about 1/3 of the time opening and closing the ME and the game.  It would be nice to be able to cut that down by being able to switch between the game and the ME.  (one of the nice things about the 1946 FMB was the ability to fly the mission in while in the FMB)

Understand that having both the ME and the game open is not supported, you'll need a decent rig to have both open, you'll have more graphical glitches, and you're likely to crash the editor or the game way more often. Save your mission designs OVER and over again, if you're going to have both open at the same time. Then, save more.

 

Steps to have both ME and Game option:

  • Open the game like normal
  • Sign into your account as normal
  • press alt-tab to go back to your desktop
  • launch the mission editor
  • ???
  • PROFIT

 

You can use alt-tab to switch between the ME and the game. If you get graphical errors, close both the mission editor and the game down and relaunch just the editor. Save the mission again. (Sometimes, I save the mission with a new name so that I have some sort of version control.... ) It should be fine at that point. 

 

Good luck and enjoy your learning experience... It'll be a great story to tell in the future!

 

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